Spanning four days in the heart of downtown Austin, the 2014 Austin FOOD & WINE Festival was a treat for all. From newcomer events like Feast Under the Stars and and amped up elements like this year’s expanded Fire Pit to the now-classic evening favorites – Taste of Texas and Rock Your Taco – the daytime demo and panel-filled festival was bolstered by an array of mouthwatering after-hours experiences.
Guests found new favorites – from chefs to flavors – as they tasted the best bites from a wide range of restaurants, chefs and artisans, all in the fun and intimate setting of Butler Park.
Feast Under the Stars
Kicking off the weekend was Feast Under the Stars – a gourmet, six-course meal served al fresco in the heart of downtown Austin. Guests met and mingled with Tyson Cole, Chris Shepherd, Tim Love, Kent Rathbun and Jodi Elliott while enjoying a unique culinary experience unlike any other.
Taste of Texas
As promised, this year’s Taste of Texas kickoff party on Friday night at Republic Square Park was a veritable buffet of the best bites from around the state – not to mention the delicious drinks.
Saturday @ Butler Park
On Saturday morning guests lined up outside the gate, ready to run for their spot at Tim Love’s first Hands-On Grilling Demo of the weekend. In true Tim Love style, he toasted his students with chilled white wine and tequila shots before diving in to the task at hand.
Butler Park was buzzing with excitement surrounding debuts like Jack Gilmore’s unique grill-on-the-go fire truck and a special announcement from Contigo owners Ben Edgerton & Andrew Wiseheart. The Fire Pits were piping hot, beckoning hungry fans to stop by and snag some tips and a plate full of meat before hitting a demo, panel or the smorgasbord that was The Grand Tasting.
Another exciting new addition to the Festival this year was the increased number of local restaurants featured in the Chef Showcase within the Grand Tasting. With a rotating cast of talented chefs serving up delicious bites, guests sipped and sampled their way through the afternoon.
Rock Your Taco
The third annual Rock Your Taco competition was a close one, with star chefs from around the country like John Currence, Ming Tsai, Tandy Wilson, Monica Pope and many, many more competing to take the title away from two-time champ, Tyson Cole.
Guests enjoyed music from JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound while sampling their way around the park and sipping refreshing drinks from Stella Artois and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
In the end, Richard Blais ended up doing just that – hauling the coveted Rock Your Taco guitar back to Atlanta as proof of his Octopus and Lamb Piccadillo Taco‘s impressive win.
Sunday @ Butler Park
On Sunday morning, AFWF guests hit the park
Whether Hunting for the Next Malbec with Mark Oldman or tackling ‘Eggs & Eggs’ with Andrew Zimmern, guests picked up even more tips and tricks during Sunday’s demos and panels before heading to The Grand Tasting yet again to discover new wines, spirits and eats.
Thanks Austin & See You Next Year!