Music lovers have ACL Fest, technology freaks have SXSW, but gourmets? We have Austin Food + Wine Festival. On a weekend in April, foodies from across the nation gather at the Shores and Fair Market Auditorium to eat, drink and gallove with the best chefs in Austin and beyond for four days.
On Jan. 23, AFWF dropped its much-anticipated lineup and schedule for 2020, including performances by 100+ chefs, tastings and demonstrations, live music, cocktail tastings, signatures, and plenty of wine.
The ninth annual AFWF begins on Thursday, April 23rd with Festival under the stars, an intimate, family-style alfresco dinner at the Shores Auditorium. Guest chef Kevin Fink (Hestia, Emmer & Rye) is accompanied by Bryce Gilmore (Odd Duck, Barley Swine) and Trevor Moran (Locust, Nashville) for the unavoidable proposition. The dinner, hosted in partnership with Zero Foodprint, supports Austin’s Zero Waste Program, an initiative that aims to reduce 90 percent of the garbage that goes to landfill by 2040.
Friday April 24th sees the return of Grillin ‘and Chillin’, “a practical, interactive dinner party” hosted by the DFW boss Tim Love (Lonesome Dove Western Bistro).
Rock your tacoOn Saturday, April 25th, there will be another fair competition with taco tasting. The chefs try to find out who has the best tacos Tatsu Aikawa (DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya); Mashama Bailey & Johno Morisano (The Gray, Savannah); Anne Burrell (TV personality and chef, New York City); Tyson Cole (Uchi); Scott Conant (Mora Italian, Phoenix); Andrew Curren (ELM Restaurant Group); Jason Dady (Spark); Diego Galicia and Rico Torres (Mixtli, San Antonio); Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley (Foreign & domestic);; JJ Johnson (Field trip, New York City); Tim Love;; Ryan Pera (Agricole Hospitality, Houston); Aaron Sanchez (Johnny Sánchez, New Orleans); Charles Schlienger (Vary); Philip Speer (Comedian); and 2019 reigning Rock Your Taco Champion, Andrew Zimmer (TV Personality and Chef, Minneapolis).
“It is always exciting for us to do our part to bring great culinary experiences to life,” says the Food & Wine publisher Thomas Bair in a press release. “Year after year, Austin Food + Wine raises the bar with creative tastings, cooking demos and events of outstanding talent in an incredibly fun setting – and this year is no exception.”
It would not be a food and wine festival without the food and wine tastings held on Saturday April 25 and Sunday April 26 at Auditorium Shores. Dozens of the best chefs in the country are spreading their best bites in tents on the spacious lawns.
“As a chef in Austin,” Eberly’s Jo Chan said in a press release, “It’s amazing to see our community come together, host one of the most fun and delicious events in the country, and invite talent from around the world to our beautiful city.” ”
Among the cooks to appear at this year’s festival are Aaron Anselmi (Olive & June); Tano Avila (Grizzeldas); Jeff Balfour (Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery, San Antonio); Daniel Brooks (Lichas Cantina); Jeff Brown (Old thousand); Pedro Carvalho (Hopfields); Jo Chan (Eberly); Ji Peng Chen (Wu Chow); Matthew Davis (Open); Jacob Euler (Le Vacher); Reed Faitak (Austin Daily Press); Brandon Fuller (Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile); Taylor Hall (Apis); Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley (Abroad & inland); Victor Ibarra (Here we go); CJ Jacobson (Aba); Clinton Kendall (East Side King); Lance Kirkpatrick (Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew); Geronimo Lopez (Pharmacy, San Antonio); Jason McVearry and Trisha Fortuna (Nudge nudge); Margarita Mendez and Nestor Mendez (Old Town); Josh Neises (Lonesome Dove Western Bistro); David Norman (Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden); Daniel Olivella (Barlata Tapas Bar); Ling Qi Wu (Lin Asian Bar + Dim Sum); Rich Reimbolt (Better half coffee & cocktails); Edgar Rico (Nixta Taqueria); Christopher Rios (The Vegan Nom); James Robert (Firmly); Ryan Samson (Vespaio); Christopher Schaefer (Geraldines); Eric Silverstein (The peach tortilla); Carmen Valera (Tamale House East); and Kevin Williamson (Ranch 616).
While guests sample snacks and drinks, the grounds come alive with live fire demonstrations at the aptly named fire pits, special panel discussions with top chefs, signatures and special cocktail activations.
Supervision of the beverage portion of this year’s event will be carried out by Master Sommelier under the guidance of sommeliers, wine, beer and spirits experts Devon Broglie (global beverage buyer, Whole Foods Market) and Master Sommelier Craig Collins (Italian Portfolio Sales Manager at Vintus, a New York-based importer of fine wine).
Tickets and information
Tickets for the Austin Food + Wine Festival will go on sale on Thursday, January 23rd at 10 a.m. and cost $ 625 for the all-in and $ 250 for the weekender. The Festival Under the Stars also costs $ 250 per ticket. You can find more information about ticket packages and buying a pass here.
A portion of all proceeds go to the Austin Food and Wine Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting awareness and innovation in the food and wine community in central Texas through grants, educational programs, and events. To date, the festival has donated $ 1.1 million to Allianz.