Eat Drink SF, a premier food, wine, and spirits festival that celebrates the Bay Area’s world-class chefs and restaurants, announced full main stage programming and festival activations for both the Taco Knockdown, presented by Milagro Tequila on August 25, and the four signature Grand Tasting sessions at the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason, August 26—28.
Presented by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, Eat Drink SF invites food and drink enthusiasts to connect directly with top local chefs and bartenders and get a taste of what makes San Francisco a top-rated food city. From Thursday to Sunday, more than 160 restaurants participate and guests will enjoy bites as well as unlimited pours of beverages from more than 70 bars, distilleries, breweries, and wineries.
In addition the comprehensive line-up of local culinary talent, Eat Drink SF announced new activations in the festival lineup:
All four Grand Tastings will feature San Francisco's Buena Vista Café who will be serving their famous Irish Coffees featuring Tullamore D.E.W. to bring guests a quintessential flavor of San Francisco.
This year, Eat Drink SF has added a special Grand Tasting on Sunday, August 28, to celebrate the Golden Gate Restaurant Association’s 80th anniversary and honor the legacy restaurants in the Bay Area. The Sunday Afternoon Grand Tasting will feature Bay Area bars and restaurants that have been open for at least 20 years and that have helped shape the distinct flavor of the local culinary experience including Scoma's, Sutro's at the Cliff House, Tosca and Goat Hill Pizza.
Eat Drink SF has added the “Bay Bar” to all Grand Tastings, which will feature a rotating lineup of San Francisco’s beloved cocktail bars, such as Hard Water, Prizefighter, The Treasury, Whitechapel, and more. Additionally, The San Francisco Brewers Guild will be pouring local craft beers at all Grand Tastings in the “Backyard Bites” section.
In addition to the participating restaurants at the Grand Tastings, Eat Drink SF presents 23 culinary, wine, and cocktail demonstrations and panels. A sampling of Main Stage programming and talent includes:
Friday Evening Grand Tasting, August 26:
- Emcee: Joel Riddell of iHeartMedia
- Cocktail Demo with Selena Donovan of Maven & California Gold of Beretta Presented by Sipsmith Gin
- Beer Pairing Demo by Chef Anthony Strong of Locanda Presented by Stella Artois
- Saturday Afternoon Grand Tasting, August 27:
- Emcee: Margo True of Sunset Magazine
- Culinary Demo with Elaine Johnson of Sunset Magazine
- Cocktail Demo with Alex Smith of Whitechapel Presented by Imbibe Magazine
- Culinary Demo with Brandon Jew of Mister Jiu's Presented by All Clad and Fine Cooking
- Saturday Evening Grand Tasting, August 27:
- Culinary Demo with Andrew Le of The Pig & the Lady Presented by Hawaiian Airlines
- Cocktail Demo with Erik Adkins of The Slanted Door Group
- Sunday Afternoon Grand Tasting, August 28:
- Emcee: Liam Mayclem of KCBS Foodie Chap
- History of the Tiki Drink by Martin Cate of Smuggler's Cove
- Culinary Demo with Thomas McNaughton of flour + water and Ryan Pollnow of Aaxte Presented by All-Clad
Inside the Grand Tasting, San Francisco Wine School Beverage Classroom announces the following classes:
- Friday, August 26: “Wine 101: Speak Like a Geek,” “50 Shades of Gris,” and “Cabernet is King?”
- Saturday, August 27 (Afternoon): “Discover Beaujolais,” “Bubbles, Bubbles, & More Bubbles,” “Chardonnay: Burgundy, Butter & Beyond”
- Saturday, August 27 (Evening): “Do Points Matter?” “Savvy Blanc: Too Cool for the Pool,” “The Dark Side of Pinot Noir”
- Sunday, August 28: “ViniPortugal Class,” “Summer Through Rosé Colored Glasses,” “Que Syrah Syrah.”
Guests can kick-off festival weekend with Taco Knockdown presented by Milagro Tequila at Folsom St. Foundry on Thursday, August 25. Returning after a sold-out debut in 2015, this year’s taco competition has added a “Milagro Margarita Mix Off” with local bar stars: Brandon Bigalke (Wingtip), Brian Nelson (Whitechapel), Ted Ronnie (Mosto), Oz Serafin (Trick Dog). Reigning champs DOSA and Trick Dog will defend their titles against a new batch of fierce taco contenders: AQ, Bar San Pancho, Delfina, La Urbana, Matador, Mr. Tipple’s Recording Studio, Myriad Gastropub, Palm House, Picco, and Souvla. From 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., taco lovers will sample 12 unique tacos from participating restaurants and drink beer, wine, competing margaritas and other cocktails crafted by The Bon Vivants.
General Admission tickets are $109 but will increase to $119 on July 25 and VIP tickets are $199 to $209. A limited number of tickets for Taco Knockdown presented by Milagro Tequila are still available for $85.
Eat Drink SF benefits the GGRA Scholarship Foundation and CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture). GGRA’s scholastic-based scholarship program has given more than $500,000 in the past 14 years alone and was established to encourage and provide assistance for students who wish to further their education in pursuit of careers in the hospitality industry.