Tickets went on sale Tuesday morning for the Third Annual Food & Wine Festival. Held from April 25th through April 27th, the festival will offer more than 40 events over three days, including hands-on grilling demonstrations, interactive fire pits helmed by an all-star lineup of Texas chefs, panel discussions, Grand Tasting tents offering food, wine and cocktail tastings, live music, book signings, and much more.
The 2014 Festival kicks off on Friday, April 25, with the Taste of Texas, held at Republic Square Park in the heart of downtown Austin, with a performance by Escort. With a lineup showcasing the Lone Star State’s brightest chefs, the Taste of Texas will feature nearly 20 chefs whipping up offerings to bring festival-goers to their knees.
Saturday evening’s Rock Your Taco competition brings out the competitive side of all participants. With live music from JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, chefs will square off against one another to create the ultimate taco, with winners chosen by an esteemed panel of judges, including Christina Grdovic, Graham Elliot and Andrew Zimmern. Two-time Rock Your Taco champion Tyson Cole will defend his crown against the likes of Rick Bayless, David Bull, Richard Blais, John Currence, Bryce Gilmore, Mike Lata, Tim Love, Georgia Pellegrini, Monica Pope, Kent Rathbun, Chris Shepherd, Ming Tsai, and Tandy Wilson. Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams will offer a sweet end to the night to cool off heated palates.
The festival grounds at Butler Park will once again be activated with interactive live-fire stations, where Texas chefs will be cooking over Fire Pits and offering tastes to attendees throughout the weekend. Due to the overwhelmingly positive response from last year, the 2014 program will feature two Fire Pit stations, showcasing four chefs each day, each offering a front-row experience cooking with live fire.
A brand-new addition to the weekend is Feast Under the Stars, hosted at Austin’s Butler Park. This pre-Festival dinner will be a separately ticketed event, held Thursday, April 24. Feast Under the Stars is an intimate, outdoor celebration featuring five Texas chefs preparing an al fresco dinner. The collaborative, family-style menu will be prepared by chefs Tim Love; Tyson Cole; Kent Rathbun (Abacus); Chris Shepherd (Underbelly); and Jodi Elliott (Bribery). Tickets for Thursday’s Feast Under the Stars are $185 per person, including paired wine and parking, and are purchased separately from the festival pass at www.austinfoodandwinefestival.com/tickets.
A star-studded collection of sommeliers, beverage directors, mixologists and craft beer experts rounds out the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival line-up, including Master Sommelier Devon Broglie, Master Sommelier Craig Collins, sommelier Jill Gubesch, FOOD & WINE’s executive wine editor Ray Isle, sommelier Vilma Mazaite, author Mark Oldman, and Nate Wales.
The complete list of programming, including panel discussions, cooking demonstrations and more, will be announced on February 25, 2014. Please visit www.austinfoodandwinefestival.com for more information.
Tickets for the 2014 Austin FOOD & WINE Festival are available in two options: Taste ($250) and Savor ($850), and are available at www.austinfoodandwinefestival.com/tickets. The Taste pass includes access to over 40 demos, hands-on experiences, seminars and tastings, and daily Grand Tasting events. Attendees who purchase the Taste pass also have the option to add on tickets for Friday night’s Taste of Texas event ($150) and/or Saturday night’s Rock Your Taco competition ($150). The Savor experience includes priority access to all demos, tastings and hands-on experiences, private Grand Tastings on Saturday & Sunday, access to a VIP lounge with a bar and additional tastings, and access to both the Taste of Texas and Rock Your Taco evening events. Tickets for Thursday’s Feast Under the Stars are $185 per person, including paired wine and parking,and are purchased separately from the festival pass at www.austinfoodandwinefestival.com/tickets.
A few of the ladies attended a kickoff lunch at Contigo earlier this week, and if that is any indication of the deliciousness to look forward to, Austinites better look out. Palates may never be the same.