SF Food Wars Pie or Die: Slices From the Judges' Table

Tamara Palmer
Craving an extra slice? Click through our Pie or Die slide show.

Pie or Die, SF Food Wars' seventh battle in under a year, took place over the weekend at Stable Cafe. Twenty competitors brought their finest recipes and enthusiasm (though fewer costumes and get-ups than past contests have brought out), offering entries ranging from the traditional (sour cherry) to the outrageously new (borscht). The final results showed impressive double winners.

Irvin Lin, a graphic designer by day and baker/blogger by night, snagged first place in both the Judges' and People's Choice categories for his blackberry lemon chess pie with honey jumbleberry sauce, a melange of local ingredients (including backyard lemons) tucked into an almond-scented crust. The recipe, and a sweet account of Lin's experience, are on his Eat the Love blog.

Tamara Palmer
​ We're a permanent Food Wars judge, this time joined by Krystin Rubin (Mission Pie), Natalie Galatzer (Bike Basket Pies), and Rachel Cole (Hodo Soy Beanery). We had a tough job, no matter what you might think about the travails of eating too much pie. Many spectacular fillings and ideas were brought down by underbaked crusts, which led to a few of the judges swearing off food forever by the end of the day. Not us, however; we're excitedly gearing up for September's competition.

Up next for SF Food Wars: the Great Salsa ChampionChip, to be held at the Ferry Building in conjunction with CUESA on September 12.

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