SF Food Festival 1 SF Food Festival 2 SF Food Festival 3 SF Food Festival 4

La Cocina’s 2012 San Francisco Street Food Festival on August 18th from 11AM – 7PM, promises to be one of the best food events of the year. This annual fete is a benefit for La Cocina’s non-profit incubator program which helps launch women-owned food businesses and assists immigrant communities in becoming economically self-sufficient. This year’s culinary event will include 33 micro-vendors along with over 40 restaurants, and will span eight city blocks in the Mission District.

Last week, I was invited by bayzest.com to get an exclusive sneak preview of this year’s vendors and their culinary delights. There was such an incredible range of foods to choose from and some delicious sweet treats too! The photographs above highlight some of the selections. Jarred’s pickled green fried tomato with buttermilk ranch dressing and chicharrones (photo #1) was divine! Chef Emiliana Puyana has a hit on her hands! Rye Cocktail Bar provided the refreshing beverages for the evening (photo #2). They were the perfect complement to all the magnificent food we were having. There were also tasty savory cakes made with steamed, pureed black eyed peas, seasoned with tomatoes, onions, peppers, a hint of crayfish and topped with Nigerian tomato sauce and crispy corned beef from Chiefo’s Kitchen (photo#3). Chiefo Chukwudebe’s dish provided me with a glimpse into the rich culinary culture of Western Africa. Another standout, although not pictured here, were the Dduk Bokis or “spicy rice cakes” from To Hyang. Chef Hwa Soon Im described these as “rice cakes in spicy sauce with fish cakes.” They were unique and flavorful. It came as no surprise when I learned that her restaurant has been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover.

My pick for dessert (and there were so many great ones) would be the cakepops from La Luna’s Cupcakes (photo #4). Each cakepop is handmade, blended with creamy frosting and then dipped in chocolate or decorated with a variety of toppings. I tried the bright blue vanilla flavor. It reminded me of a cross between a dense, moist cupcake and fresh cake batter. It was so delicious!

If you are planning to attend the 2012 San Francisco Street Food Festival be sure to go early to beat the crowds. Entrance to the festivities is free and you can pre-purchase food passports HERE and for the list of vendors click here.