This may be a shock to family and childhood classmates, but I took a lot of drugs in college. I want to get that out of the way because that confessional is important to this post. So we'll start with a bit of personal history.

I was raised a good Catholic girl in a very rigid country, Saudi Arabia. So there wasn't a lot of opportunity to act out the same way as in the U.S. Not that I would have. After all, I found out as an adult that there was plenty of acting out going on in our American compound that I never knew about. Probably because I wasn't in the popular crowd. Anyway, I was a good girl at home.

In my all girls high school I did a few crazy things, but it's not until I went to college that I got the true freedom to do whatever I wanted. I, of course, did the college thing and tried drinking and smoking first. Didn't care for smoking, luckily, and soon found out that I had no tolerance for alcohol. I wanted to fit in, have fun, and loosen up, so I turned to drugs.  No need to list them, but among them was marijuana and cocaine. 

After college I still did some drugs, but as life's responsibility got more serious, I gave them up. I would get too paranoid. I did still do cocaine on occasion... because it kept me awake. I don't really do caffeine, so if I went to a concert or wanted to stay up late for a party with friends, I turned to cocaine.

Here's where the addiction showed. I was married at the time and I had never had an addiction craving for any drug.  I never HAD to keep up with any drug and could easily walk away from it...except for cocaine.

Cocaine was the only drug that made me do the following: I would lie about it. I would buy it and not share it with anyone else. In other words, I would hoard it. I would hide it. I would do it at times that I didn't need it, like at work. And cocaine broke up my marriage. I wasn't the only one doing these actions, my husband was too. We were both hoarding, hiding, and using it without telling each other.

That's why I know that sugar addiction is real. I have a sweet tooth. I rarely turn away from dessert. I will seek out sugar. 

I will hoard it. If someone brings a particularly droolworthy dessert that I love, I will watch it, take as much as I can for myself, even hoard it.  Yes, I have taken extra portions and hidden them away so I can enjoy it later. Hoarding, to me, is a huge sign of addiction.

I can even take it back to my elementary years in Saudi. My mother rationed treats, so if I got a few riyals (money) from a babysitting job or something, I would secretly go to the commissary and buy a secret stash of powdered donuts or chocolate. I'd hide them in my drawers under my clothes. 

The reason I'm writing this post now is because I did a seriously warped bit of baked goods hoarding recently. It made me realize I need to admit to my addiction and stop denying the truth. Sugar is just as addicting as cocaine. 
Another year of pork is here. Cochon 555 lands in San Francisco on May 1st. "Cochon" is French for "pig" and the 555 means - 5 chefs, 5 pigs, 5 wineries. What could be better than that? 

Cochon 555 was established as a way to support family farms that raise heritage breed pigs. Since the start it has focused on supporting local agriculture as well. There are tour stops in 10 U.S. cities where the five chosen local chefs compete to make the best dishes from their assigned heritage pigs. The winners from each city then go on to compete in the Grand Cochon finale at the Aspen Wine & Food Classic.  

This year the beneficiary of the funds is Piggy Bank. Launched in 2015 by Brady Lowe, founder of the Cochon555 U.S. Tour and Taste Network, Piggy Bank’s mission is to create a heritage breed pig sanctuary that provides free genetics and business plans to emerging family farms. The sanctuary will change the future of food by uniting a community working together for safer, responsible farming practices and sharing of genetics, livestock and the sharing of information. Piggy Bank is dedicated to creating the first Open Source agriculture platform through the responsible farming of heritage species. 

Tickets for Cochon 555 are $125 (general admission) and $200 (VIP). Both ticket prices includes endless drink and tons of food. GA starts at 5pm. VIP starts at 4pm, and includes one-hour early access to all the food (premium access to limited experiences like Punch Kings, wines and spirits), a chance to hang with the celebrity chefs, judges and media. Everyone is invited to the After Party.  

Where:                    Terra Gallery
                                511 Harrison Street
                                San Francisco, CA 94105

When:                    Sunday, May 1, 2016
                              VIP Admission: 4PM                                                                                                                          
                                General Admission: 5PM
Tickets:                   $125 General Admission
               $200 VIP
                                Purchase tickets at

Disclosure: I am receiving a press pass to this event. 
Disclaimer: I received a free ticket for this post. 
Another year and another spectacular time at Pebble Beach Food & Wine. Our chefs were there again providing some delicious bites and making Sacramento proud. This year I've decided to load the pictures to slide shows. 

In this first slide show we start with Ramon Perez from Puur Chocolat who had brought 31 flavors of his excellent chocolates. Then you will see Matt Masera from Empress Tavern and Mother with both a savory and a sweet bite. He's being helped by Michael Fagnoni from Hawks. Finally is the salt cod fritter from Oliver Ridgeway of Grange. You will also see Kelly McCown from The Kitchen and Ravin Patel from Selland Family Restaurants exploring the tent.  I suggest you go full screen as you watch the slideshows.

That evening was the Guy Fieri event at the Intercontinental Hotel in Monterey. For this one Michael and Matt made a braised goat with mole bite. The goat was from Passmore Ranch. Bill and Team Kru made a poke with pork jowel and toro. You will also see the After Party event where Kelly McCown and Ravin Patel served an Indian inspired bite with an assortment of condiments that you could put on it. It was also made with goat from Passmore Ranch. 

On Sunday our three Sacramento chefs were in the same tent. First you'll see Michael Thiemann and Matt Masera from Empress Tavern and Mother with their dessert bite. Then you will see Bill Ngo from Kru with his team serving uni panna cotta. You'll also see Oliver Ridgeway from Grange serving a steak tartare with beef tendon.  At the end, the caviar, bacon, and pig are all actually cakes. 

This summer they will probably be heading down to LA for the Los Angeles Food & Wine with all the Hollywood celebrities. I may be going to that one as well if I'm lucky.  Enjoy!