Highlights and Photos from Austin Food & Wine Festival 2013

Posted by on May 7, 2013

For the second year, culinary all-stars strutted their skills at the highly anticipated Austin Food & Wine FestivalThis 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.

Andrew Zimmern was very involved in this year's Austin Food & Wine Festival by Melody Fury | Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Austin TX and Vancouver BC

Andrew Zimmern was especially involved in this year’s Austin Food & Wine Festival

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!

Paul Qui at Austin Food & Wine Festival  by Melody Fury | Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Austin TX and Vancouver BC

Paul Qui’s team from his soon-to-open restaurant, Qui, served up kimchi grilled cheese

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.

Tyson Cole's winning tacos at Austin Food & Wine Festival's Rock Your Taco by Melody Fury | Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Austin TX and Vancouver BC

Tyson Cole’s (Uchi/ Uchiko) winning hamachi tacos on yucca shells at the Rock Your Taco Showdown

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).

Salmon and beef tartare at Sel et Gras party at Trace at the W Hotel in Austin by Melody Fury | Food, Drink, Restaurant Photographer and Writer in Austin TX and Vancouver BC

Salmon and beef tartare at Sel et Gras party at Trace at the W Hotel in Austin.  Other favourites included fried frog legs, foie gras donuts, and absinthe cotton candy.

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!

 

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  • http://twitter.com/quenchbytidings Quench by Tidings

    I love Chef Qui’s apron – it’s too cute. He looks like he just emerged out of his own kitchen, ready to serve his friends.