The Official 2015 Austin Food + Wine Fest Recap

The 2015 Austin Food + Wine Festival spanned four days and featured bites, beverages, demos and more from chefs, artisans and restaurants from Austin and around the country. This fourth edition of the festival also marked the return to our original home at Auditorium Shores, overlooking the ever-changing Austin skyline.


Feast Under the Stars

The gourmet weekend officially kicked off on Thursday night with the one-of-a-kind dining experience of Feast Under the Stars. Guests from Austin and beyond enjoyed a 5-course meal featuring creative dishes from Tyson Cole, Tim Love, Jason Dady, Matt McAllister and Erica Waksmunski.


Taste of Texas
Photo by Cambria Harkey

Friday evening’s Taste of Texas party at Republic Square Park was a fun-filled night of innovative bites from around the state. Guests mixed and mingled while sampling fare from top Texas chefs including Hugo Ortega (Hugo’s, Houston), Quealy Watson (Hot Joy, San Antonio), Blaine Staniford (Grace and Little Red Wasp, Fort Worth) and many more!

Photo by Nick Simonite

Sips & Sweets
Photo by Nick Simonite

After Taste of Texas, the Friday night party continued at Mellow Johnny’s with the dessert and drink-filled Sips & Sweets, featuring creative desserts from some of the city’s most talented pastry chefs including Thomas Calhoun, Mary Catherine Curren, Janina O’Leary, Nicole Patel and Callie Speer.


Saturday at The Fest
Photo by Nick Simonite

To start off the day, Tim Love kept his hands-on grilling traditions alive with white wine, tequila shots and useful tips that guests were more than excited to try for themselves.

Again this year, the Chef Showcase portion of The Grand Tasting featured a packed roster of talented area chefs including serving up delicious bites on both Saturday and Sunday.

Fire Pit station chefs invited fans to check out their setups, snag some pointers and try some uniquely smoky meats & eats in between demos.

And speaking of demos, in an interesting and entirely unexpected twist this year, Graham Elliot and Andrew Zimmern took their “Mystery Challenge” demo to another level – complete with the wrestling gear to match. Fans were treated to an unforgettable cooking duel between two of the hottest chefs in the country as they battled it out in their side-by-side demo tents.

Chefs @grahamelliot & @chefaz came dressed for a serious culinary throwdown. #AFWFest

A photo posted by austinfoodwine (@austinfoodwine) on

Photo by Cambria Harkey
Photo by Nick Simonite

Rock Your Taco
Photo by Cambria Harkey

For this year’s Rock Your Taco competition, chefs from across the country including Antonia Lofaso, Tyson Cole, Hugh Acheson, Tim Love, Jenn Louis and more presented guests with a range of inventive and flavorful taco interpretations. Richard Blais was also on hand to defend his 2014 win, but in the end, the judges awarded Tim Love the prized guitar for his Fried Beef Tendon taco.

Lee Fields and the Expressions brought their soulful sounds to the party as guests sampled their way around Republic Square Park enjoying refreshing beer, wine and cocktails.

Photo by Cambria Harkey

Sunday at The Fest

From enjoying even more Fire Pit action to scoping out Day Two of the Grand Tasting, AFW fans took advantage of every minute of Sunday’s activities around the park. Festival goers also packed in another afternoon full of lessons with demos like Mark Oldman’s “Wines for IPO Millionaires” and Tyson Cole’s “Uchi & Sushi.”

Photo by Nick Simonite
Photo by Cambria Harkey
Thanks Austin & See You in 2016!