Oceanside Farmer's Market & Picnic | Sony Foodie Blogger Event | San Diego, CA

{This post is part of a series outlining a recent trip I took to San Diego, California to take part in an event that Sony Electronics was hosting for food bloggers to test out the new Sony Cyber-shot WX9. All images within this post were taken with the new WX9 that will be released sometime in April.}

Oceaside Farmers Market Collage

Before we began terrorizing vendors and their products, as if we were paparazzi looking to get paid, Chef Chris Ivens-Brown gave us a little insight into his philosophy and approach to cooking and preparing meals. He also shared additional information regarding his efforts to raise awareness to help consumers make more sustainable choices when selecting food, especially when it comes to seafood. It was refreshing to see a Chef, who's not just jumping on the slow food bandwagon, instead he's someone who is actually using his influence to make positive changes for a lasting impact. (I hope to share more about his efforts in a future post.)

Unleashing a group of food bloggers who were freshly gifted with shiny new Sony cameras on the Oceanside Farmer's Market was an extremely interesting experience to be a part of. People perusing the vendor-filled streets had an inkling that something was special about what we were doing, although they weren't exactly sure what we were up to. One giveaway, was that we all had the same point and shoot cameras in hand accompanied by the same wild look in our eye as we set out to capture images.

Farmer's Market Flowers

Catching so much attention from onlookers required me to field quite a few comments and questions from curious customers and vendors about our association with Sony, which also lead to spilling the beans about the new Sony Cyber-shot WX9 and the cool features we were testing out. My enthusiasm for this handy camera was extremely apparent as I explained my favorite modes, although the point was not for us to become new sales people for Sony, we were supposed to just have fun and take pictures. However, keeping quiet about the camera would have been very difficult to do given the circumstances.

We had about an hour to explore the market before we needed to meet back at the bus for the picnic lunch. I, of course, used that time to photograph a number of different things that caught my eye. The many flowers on display were my most favorite subject to capture, but I also enjoyed shooting the more unusual items discovered along the way, too. An interesting encounter that blew my mind were the Buddah Hand lemons, never have I seen a citrus fruit with tentacles before! They looked alien and super creepy.

Buddah Hand Lemons

The tastiest treat I sampled was the raw pickled garlic with cayenne pepper (pictured in the collage above). Luckily, a fellow blogger urged me to go back and try some before we left the market. I'm not one who typically likes raw garlic, but this combination was sooooooooo good. It only took me about 2 seconds to figure out that I needed to buy a jar to take home, especially since Cody enjoys eating raw garlic. I knew that he'd love this stuff. The jar is quickly dwindling!

After spending some time walking around the market, it was time to be taken to our ocean side picnic. As I mentioned in the sneak peek posted earlier in the week, this was not your typical picnic! Instead of blankets in the grass as I envisioned, we would be dining beneath shaded tents overlooking the ocean.

Table Triptych

The food spread spanned two six foot tables that were covered with the most delicious looking food from end to end. Chef Chris Ivens-Brown thoroughly explained what each dish was before the bloggers began preparing their plates. There was barely any space left on my plate by the time I made it to the end of the table. It was too sad that I didn't leave any room for the cheese platter. It was a sacrifice that I chose to make, though. Besides, I was much more concerned about leaving room for dessert!

Picnic Triptych

Although leaving room proved to be a lot more difficult than I anticipated after I began enjoying my meal. I scarfed down the Smoked Turkey Club with applewood smoked bacon, garlic aioli, and a cage free boiled egg. And the Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake was also one of my favorite flavors along with the Cedar Wood Seared Wild Salmon. Truth be told, it was all delicious, and I wanted to eat more than I had room for!

Lunch Plate of Yummy Goodness
{Click on this image to see the food tags}

At the end of the massive meal, I joked that it'd be awesome if I had a second stomach, so that I could keep going, but alas, I had to show some restraint. Although any little bit I did manage to exercise was pretty short-lived, because dessert was soon placed in front of my face. I heard the words Chocolate Molten Cookie come out of the chef's mouth, and I lost all control! Do you blame me?!? I didn't think so.

Dessert Diptych

Amazing food, great company, and the beach in the background all converged to create an experience I felt extremely lucky to have been a part of. The coordinators of this event, Chef Chris' team and the Sony Staff, did a wonderful job of making it a memorable afternoon. It was hard to believe that the day wasn't over yet, either. We still had dinner at Sony Headquarters to look forward to, which totally blew this lunch out of the water! If you love food as much as I do, you won't want to miss the upcoming post I have in store for our dinner!! (Follow WW on Facebook to receive updates about new posts, recently added photos, and a giveaway that I'll be announcing soon!)

Which one of Chef Chris' dishes looked the most appetizing to you? Maybe you'd want to go light and sample the Grilled Vegetable Brushetta? Or, perhaps, you would skip the main course and go straight to dessert? If you share your thoughts, I may post a recipe or two!

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    1. I'd want to sample them all! Love sights and smells of farmer's markets, especially the little bouquets of flowers. That Buddah Hand lemon is really weird, would hate to be peeling that thing!

    2. Is that strawberry juice around the ice cream?

    3. @Gaston Studio: Farmer's Markets are awesome. I can't wait for ours to get going again! Those Buddah Hand Lemons were really weird. Seriously, how would you peel them?!? haha

      @Prin: Strawberry juice...almost! It was a Hazelnut Nougat Semi Freddo with Strawberry Rhubarb Prosecco Consomme Basil Syrup. Say that 3x's fast :D haha

    4. Great post! Oh, you only use the buddah hand for the peel so you'd have to zest it. :)

    5. @Minty: Thank you! Good info about the Buddah Hand Lemon :D

    6. Haha, I can only imagine how crazy the farmers market must've been filled with all you foodie photographers!

    7. $3 a bunch,,YES PLEASE!!!! half the time our guys who do flowers at market dont even show up,makes me sad :(