Summer just kicked off and we’re already looking forward to August for San Francisco’s Premier Food, Wine and Spirits Festival: SF Chefs 2011! Held in Union Square, this staple event gives SF foodies the opportunity to mix and mingle with master chefs from more than 200 of San Francisco’s finest restaurants, bars, distilleries, breweries and wineries.

While our appetites must wait for August, our friends at SF Chefs have discovered a way to keep our senses satisfied until then.

While the official SF Chefs event is from August 1 – 7, this year they’re adding a new element to the mix: SF Chefs Preview, a series of events throughout July that will give a taste of the main event.

Held at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, these intimate classes and demos will range from Salumi pairing to kids’ pasta making. Culinary superstars participating include Staffan Terje (Perbacco), Paul Cannalis, Anthony Strong (Locanda and Delfina), Luis Villavelazquez (Les Elements, previously of Orson, Citizen Cake & Absinthe) and William Werner (Tell Tale Preserves).

Preview events are an excellent way to build buzz and increase excitement and awareness for your main event. Take it from our SF Chefs friends; who wouldn’t want to grab the main course after tasting those appetizers all summer long?

“We created the SF Chefs Preview Series to give consumers a taste of the kind of programming that will take place August 1 – 7 on Union Square,” said Rob Black, executive director, Golden Gate Restaurant Association. “The events mirror our main event themes of ‘Taste,’ ‘Pair,’ ‘Mix,’ and ‘Engage,’ which allows a connection to the festival in August. The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market adds an up-close intimacy for these classes, which gets people engaged and excited for the main event.”

Are you already excited about the SF Chefs event? Use promo code AFCO11 for 10 percent off of your tickets! And don’t forget to check out all the other amazing Bay Area food and wine events coming up this summer, including standout wine events Taste of Mendocino, Pinot Days, and South American Superstars, as well as SF Magazine’s Best of the Bay 2011. For the scoop on all the best SF events make sure to sign up for What’s Brite this week in SF!

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