The Austin Food and Wine Festival has just released details about the 2014 event. The festival will take place April 25-27 and will feature an all-star lineup of speakers, including Andrew Zimmerman, Rick Bayless, Graham Elliott and Paul Qui. This is the third annual festival hosted by the Austin Food & Wine Alliance. Here is a brief run-down of what festival-goers can expect in April.
Taste of Texas kickoff event
The festival begins on Friday, April 25, with the Taste of Texas kickoff event in Republic Square Park. This showcase brings together top Texan chefs to show off the diverse culinary offerings of the state. There will be live music provided by Escort and a line-up of such luminaries as Omar Flores (Driftwood), Philip Speer (Uchi, Uchiko) and Wayne Mueller (Louie Mueller Barbecue).
Rock Your Taco competition
Saturday will feature the Rock Your Taco competition in which two-time winner Tyson Cole will be defending his title from such competitors as Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, XOCO), David Bull (Congress, Second Bar + Kitchen, Bar Congress) and Tim Love, among others. The competition will be judged by a panel consisting of TV personality Andrew Zimmerman, chef Graham Elliot, and Food & Wine publisher Christina Grdovic. Live music will be provided by JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound.
Feast Under the Stars
New this year is the Feast Under the Stars event, which will take place in Butler Park on April 24. This is a pre-festival dinner prepared by a team of five chefs and served outside to ticket-holders. The chef team will be comprised of Tim Love, Tyson Cole, Kent Rathbun, Chris Shepherd and Jodi Elliott. Tickets to this event are sold separately and include paired wine and parking for $185.
Interactive fire pits
Back by popular demand, fire pit stations provide an opportunity to watch chefs prepare meals over an open flame. This year there will be two live fire stations with that rotate through four chefs a day. Don’t miss out on these thrilling demonstrations of technique and talent.
Students at Escoffier’s Austin culinary arts school campus should definitely check out this event. At this celebration of all things culinary students have the opportunity to learn from panel discussions and Grand Tasting tents as well as meet some of their role models at book signings. To get to Butler Park from campus, take Airport Boulevard south to Rte 35 S. Exit onto E 1st Street before turning left onto S Congress Avenue and then right onto Barton Springs Rd. Butler Park will be on your right.
Tickets are on sale now for either a $250 Taste pass or a $850 Savor pass. The Taste pass grants access to demos, tastings and seminars with the opportunity to add on tickets to the Taste of Texas and Rock Your Taco events at an extra cost. The Savor pass provides VIP access to all the demos, tastings and seminars as well as private Grand Tastings on Saturday and Sunday.