The Austin Food & Wine Festival is the highlight of the Spring season for lovers of fine libations and food. This year, the lineup is at its most impressive, drawing from local talent (Aaron Franklin, Paul Qui, Philip Speer, and more) to such prominent chef-lebrities as Andrew Zimmern, Marcus Samuelsson, Susan Feniger, and Marc Murphy. The entire schedule of demos and hosts is stellar, to the point where I continued to write the last sentence until it was ridiculously long and had to edit it down to four prominent international culinary experts.
When you read the schedule of demos, and note the host, over and over again you will excitedly think to yourself, “Oh yeah! Can’t miss that one!”. Several demos are scheduled per hour on the timeline, and attendees can certainly find themselves in a psuedo-ACL Fest panic over what to experience and when. Luckily, there’s an app for that, and you can fine tune your desire to sharpen your barbecue grilling skills without losing the chance to learn more about how to turn last night’s dinner into “Sexy Leftovers.”
Tickets are on sale, and I suggest the Savor pass, a VIP experience not only for the early admittance to the festival’s Grand Tastings, but also for the plum perks of parking at Auditorium Shores, and entry to the Taste of Texas kickoff and the Rock Your Taco Celebrity Chef Showdown. The Rock Your Taco competition features Tyson Cole of Uchi and Uchiko defending his title of “greatest taco in the land” against fifteen of America’s top chefs. You don’t want to skip that, do you? Did I mention the audience will sample the taco creations, along with beer, wine and/or tequila pairings? And music, of course. This is Austin.
Mark April 26-28 as fun at the festival days on your calendar, and make plans for enjoying over 80 wine, food and spirit vendors at the Grand Tasting, indulge in decadent wines while learning from sommeliers and winemakers, and embark on an epicurean adventure. Please remember, responsible foodies and oenophiles designate a driver, call a cab, or hop a bus after the fiesta ends each night.