Two Food Gal Giveaways: Tickets to FallFest and to the Foster Farms Chicken Cook-Off

A scrumptious look at last year's FallFest. (Photo by Marcie Franich Photography)

San Francisco Magazine’s FallFest Extravaganza

You’ll have to wear loose clothing to try all the food from 40 top restaurants and vino from 40 wineries at San Francisco Magazine’s annual FallFest, noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 13 at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco.

What’s more, there also will be drink seminars, a cocktail competition, live music and chef demos by such esteemed chefs as Belinda Leong of B. Patisserie and Justin Simoneaux of the Boxing Room.

Among the restaurants that will be serving up noshes are: Brasserie S&P, Pizza Antica, Perbacco and Dosa. Participating wineries include: Bonny Doon, Natural Process Alliance and Chappallet Winery.

Tickets are $95 each. The event will benefit Meals on Wheels, which provides food for home-bound seniors.

Contest: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a pair of free tickets to FallFest (a total value of $190). Entries, limited to those who will be able to be in San Francisco on Oct. 13 for the event, will be accepted through midnight PST Sept. 22. Winner will be announced Sept. 24.

How to win?

Just tell me your favorite thing about fall. Most memorable answer wins.

Here’s my own answer:

“Hands down, it’s braising. When the heat of summer subsides, the sun sets earlier and the nights cool off, I like nothing better than putting a big Dutch oven in the oven to let cook away for hours with meat, veggies, aromatics and wine. The aroma fills the house, as does the heat, making it the ultimate toasty and tantalizing cooking experience. Best yet, the oven does all the work for you while you can go about doing other things — or simply nothing at all.”

What would a Foster Farms event be without a "Foster Imposter''? (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Foster Farms Fresh Chicken Cooking Contest in the Napa Valley

Yours truly will return for the third time as a judge for the Sept. 28 Foster Farms Fresh Chicken Cooking Contest at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena.

I’ll be joined by fellow judges: Lynn Char Bennett, food writer for the San Francisco Chronicle; Chef John Ash of John Ash & Co.; Chef Ken Frank of La Toque in Napa; and Liam Mayclem, host of CBS’ “Eye on the Bay.”

Together, we’ll decide which of six finalists will win the grand prize of $10,000, plus a year’s supply of chicken.

Giveaway: If you’d like to come watch all the action in the kitchen and taste the dishes that will be vying for the title, I’m pleased to offer five pairs of free tickets to the event, which starts at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 28. You must provide your own transportation to the event. First five people to email: will win the tickets.

More: Scenes from Last Year’s Foster Farms Chicken Cook-Off

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  • Oh wow just another good reason I wished we lived back there. I know whoever gets the tickets will have a great time!

  • Though the Bay Area doesn’t always have the sharp changing of seasons as other parts of the country, I still love the plethora of colors in the fall that happen for only a week or two. My favorite is the Japanese maple tree, during the fall the natural beauty in Japanese maple tree becomes even more alive as every leaf slowly turns into a crimson red. Whether in the front yard or a nearby park, I stand there amazed, admiring the deep color which brings warmth to my heart.

  • I love fall….the apples on the tree are ready for making applebutter and apple pies. The scent of warm apples and cinnamon fills the house and makes my mouth water in anticipation of the first warm, juicy, bite of pie. And the cooler weather means it is time to hunt mushrooms. Mushroom soup, mushrooms on pasta, sauted mushrooms, stuffed mushrooms…I just can’t get enough of the meaty and toothsome flavor they bring to the table! I love cozy fall nights by the fire enjoying a meal of something I grew here at home or hunted on a long walk through the woods.

  • Fall means steamy, aperitive soup that swarms the entire house and warms the entire body, gentling coursing through the passage of one’s throat, and eventually radiating from inside out throughout the body. Soup means healing and home. I drink soup boiled for hours if sick during flu season (also fall season). I also drink my meek replicas of Mom’s soup to remind me of home. Fall means the autumnal varietals: the exuberant butternut squash, the spunky tomato at the end of its harvest time, the wholesome sweet potato. Fall means soup to me.

  • Sounds like a fun event! Once kids have no activities on weekdays and weekends I want to go to food events!! 😀 My friend invited us to go to one in Hearst Castle during the same weekend but we can’t go because of the kids. Wish we have parents around here. 🙂

  • Hehe and we’re just going into spring here but I remember fall like it was just yesterday!

  • The most memorable thing about fall for me has to be the leaves. The shapes, the colors, the textures, the variety is never ending. I love the riot of color that brightens everything, including the gloomiest weather. I especially enjoy jumping into a whole pile of them and hearing them crunch underneath my feet. Fall makes me feel like a kid again.

  • Fall means we get to throw our annual Crocktoberfest Party! It brings together friends and family for dozens of savory crock-pot dishes such as smoky pulled pork, creamy corn chowder, gooey enchilada and spicy chili con carne. This is serious comfort food amongst wonderful company. We always end with a large pot of mulled cider, which simmers throughout the evening and envelopes me in a spicy-apple embrace.

  • It’s such a go-to response, but my favorite thing about fall is the food and the Thanksgiving holiday. In my family, nearly everyone has at least two Thanksgiving meals to attend (at the in-laws, two parents’ houses, etc.) so my mom’s family tries to keep it interesting. While we’ve done the turkey/green beans/potatoes/stuffing things with great success on numerous occasions, now we mix it up with a fun theme: three years ago we all potlucked a huge Chinese spread, complete with black bean spareribs and sticky rice; two years ago we prepared an Italian feast, where I piccata’d enough chicken to feed a small army, and we sipped (spooned?) affogato late into the night; and last year we hosted our first ever Trader Joe’s Thanksgiving, where we taste-tested nearly every item in the fall “Fearless Flyer” (tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it!). We’re never short on food or great company, and it’s a great way to stave off tryptophan overload. Of course, I still always find my way to at least one turkey during the holiday…

  • The beautiful Fall season arrives with much anticipation of cooking. What’s not to like about this season? The leaves on the trees are turning color and the cool crisp night are so inviting.

    Our home is full of good food and wonderful friends sitting outdoors and enjoying appetizers of warm brie with fresh crostini and olive oil dried tomatoes. The outdoor pizza oven has been fired up for a few hours and ready for some homemade pizza with exotic toppings of arugala, tomatoes, and sliced cured olives. Everyone gets to help make pizza since making food together is so enjoyable. .

    The sun now slips behind the mountains and the hummingbirds make their final evening chirps. Our lovely six chickens are now on their roost and another beautiful Fall day has ended.

  • Autumn means wrapping an apron over bulky sweaters. It means waning afternoon light that arouses a hearty appetite for braised meats, roasted cruciferous, spice-laden stews, and charismatic red wines. Fall means pushing aside pencils and brushing off eraser dust from the table before setting it for dinner. This season brings reflection on a summer past, thanksgiving for the present, and optimism about the winter ahead.

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