San Francisco’s best chefs, bartenders, sommeliers and people in the food and hospitality industry are set to join together for a week-long celebration of San Francisco’s amazing food and drinks scene.  Here’s a look at what’s ahead for SF Chefs 2012.

The event, now in its fourth year, is like heaven for food and beverage connoisseurs.  Grand tastings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, after parties, classes and demos, cooking competitions; there is a little bit of something for everyone.

Two of the main organizers of the event, Andrew Freeman of Andrew Freeman and Co. and Rob Black with the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, have been working night and day to finalize everything before the official start date, July 30.  However, this year’s preparations were a bit different.

“We had one of our quarterly meetings with our chef advisory committee and we asked them if there was anything in particular they thought should be included this year,” said Freeman.  “As a whole, they said they wanted to really highlight the camaraderie and friendship chefs share in this city.  And that’s where the idea for the Dinner Party Project sprouted up.”

As we have mentioned before, the Dinner Party Projects paired chefs and friends for memorable nights at some of the best restaurants in San Francisco.  But Freeman and Black said this could soon be  a yearlong type of event starting next year.

Along with these fun and unique dinners, SF Chefs has been working with CUESA to offer demos ranging from macarons to lamb and beer pairings, all just a teaser of what’s to come.  Black said that the unique, family-like atmosphere of chefs in San Francisco really lends itself to the event.

“For example, we are having a cooking competition this year. Eater SF readers got a chance to nominate their favorite chefs to participate. And from there, we paired them up into some pretty unique teams,” he said. “In a lot of other markets, that might not work. The rivalry, competition and ego of chefs might get in the way. But all of the participants were happy to be a part of it.”

For first time guests, the entire SF Chefs schedule may be a bit overwhelming. Freeman and Black said a lot depends on what you are looking to take out of the event.

“I would suggest definitely choosing two of the tasting tents. And then look through some of the classes and demos and choose a few of those that might interest you,” said Black. “For those that want to mingle with the chefs and are looking to party and have a good time, the after parties are the way to go, especially on Friday night. And I think the cooking challenge will be really fun again this year. It really all depends on the person, but there is plenty to choose from.”

Another unique aspect that is unlike many food festivals across the country: at SF Chefs, not only are chefs highlighted, but bartenders and cocktail experts around town as well. “At a lot of other events, it might just be wine or certain spirits which sponsor an event. But in San Francisco, with the amount of creativity we have in our cocktail scene, it’s only right to have bartenders and mixologists front and center as well,” said Freeman.

Tickets are still available for the event (they can be purchased as a package or individually) but some are already sold out and only available through a package deal. SF Chefs supports the Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship Foundation, which offers scholarships to students from the Bay Area entering culinary and hospitality programs. Other charitable partners include CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture), Meals on Wheels of San Francisco, the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks and La Cocina. An event that is sure to be memorable and can’t be missed.  SF Chefs 2012 runs from July 30-August 5. Click here for a complete schedule.

Photo Credit: SF Chefs