ACL 2012: Gourmet Experiences

While Austin EATS provided hungry festival fans with a hearty view of the local (and regional) restaurant landscape, there were also a few notable food-focused events happening around the park as well. Over the weekend, ACL revelers in the VIP area were given exclusive access to some of Austin’s best chefs and treated to a few foodie perks— just the type of signature experiences that define next spring’s Austin FOOD & WINE Festival.
Gourmet Happy Hours

Each day featured a different Austin FOOD & WINE Festival – sponsored Gourmet Happy Hour. What exactly does a tasty two-hour extravaganza like that entail? From Contigo and La Condesa to Lenoir and Barley Swine, a bevy of Austin’s celebrated restaurants — and their brilliant chefs — were on hand, whipping up unique dishes and interacting with excited fans as they grabbed a quick bite and took a minute to relax before heading back out to the music.


Mexican Street Corn from La Condesa


Braised Beef Cheek Sliders on House-made Brioche from The Carillon Restaurant

Festive setup and signature taco bar from Fresa’s Chicken

Chickpea Panisse and Shitake Mushroom Lettuce Wraps from Lenoir

“I love all of these things that Austin does that make it an international city. We moved here from New York so all of these events make it feel like it’s really buzzing.”
— Todd Duplechan, Lenoir


Butternut Squash Vegetable Taco with Smoked Almond Mole, Grilled Turnip Greens
and Spiced Popcorn from Barley Swine

House-made Pimento Cheese and Crackers with a Seasonal Harvest Lettuce Wrap
from Jack Allen’s Kitchen

Bacon Root Beer Float with Butterscotch and Pickled Cherries
from Foreign & Domestic

Tim Love

In a separate area, famed grill-master and FOOD & WINE Festival favorite, Tim Love was roasting up something special for a few of ACL’s musical guests. Namely, an entire pig for headliners The Black Keys.

“Cooking back here is the best part of these festivals, meeting people and talking with the fans and musicians. I’ve made some lifelong friendships with some of the bands here.”

But why grill just a whole pig when you can add an antelope to the menu as well? Love upped his own ante and brought the heat (quite literally) with this additional grilling feat.

And over in the Media Area, guests sipped on tasty Pop’Tails. Super simple and the perfect afternoon cooldown. GoodPops are made with organic, all-natural ingredients and come in flavors like Watermelon Agave, Strawberry, and Hibiscus Mint.

Recipe: Place Good Pop Popsicle in a cup, pour over Tito’s vodka, top with Topo Chico then let it melt!

If you like great food and these kinds of up-close-and-personal foodie experiences, then you’re going to love the culinary extravaganza of the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival, coming back to Austin April 26-28, 2013.