For the second year, culinary all-stars strutted their skills at the highly anticipated Austin Food & Wine Festival. This year’s event was significantly better organized. There were shorter line ups, folks generally got to see the demos that they wanted to, and where was no manic elbowing inside the Grand Tasting Tent.
The move over to the manicured Butler Park was a good call too. (Attempting to quench my thirst on dusty cocktails during mini sandstorms at Auditorium Shores last year was the low-light). I appreciated how the organizers actually paid attention to our feedback and implemented changes. Bravo!
Once again, there was no lack of excellent food and drink. The highlights were the Taste of Texas Kickoff Event and the Rock Your Taco Showdown. The chefs all stepped up their game with increased innovation and flair.
After long days of shooting, I was relieved to kick my feet up at the indulgent after parties: Sips & Sweets (desserts and cocktails bash at Mellow Johnny’s) and Sel et Gras (a Parisian soirée at Trace at the W Hotel).
My only wish for next year is that they would allow the media into the VIP tent again. That’s where we were able to socialize and catch up with other professionals, especially out-of-towners. This year, it was replaced by an uninspired media tent that nobody wanted to hang out in. #FirstWorldProblems
Head on over to Serious Eats to see my recap of the weekend. It’s loaded with plenty of photos – enjoy!