Lone Star State of Mind: 2013 Austin FOOD & WINE Festival

The upcoming 2nd Annual 2013 Austin FOOD & WINE Festival has many in a lone star state of mind.  Food and the Austin chefs that create it, have put Austin, TX on the map.  Not only is Austin the “Live Music Capital of the World,” but is one of this countries culinary hotspots.

Austin Food & Wine Festival

Festival attendees will descend upon Austin, TX to sip, savor, and stroll the festival grounds, rubbing elbows with some of the most celebrated chefs of our time, as well as fabulous line-up of Austin based chefs.

Butler Park will host this years festival, adjacent to Auditorium Shores, which hosted 2012’s Austin FOOD & WINE Festival.  Kicking off the festival with a bang, the Taste of Texas event featuring the Whisky Shivers and Delta Spirit.

2013 Austin Food & Wine Festival

Image Courtesy of TGB Partners

Come prepared, the Whiskey Shivers will most certainly light up the crowd with their blend of eclectic folk -bluegrass inspired music.  I had the pleasure of hearing their music last year during a filming for Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservations, while noshing on John Mueller BBQ (which is now the John Mueller Meat Co).  Dance Friday night away while enjoying food and cocktails, setting the stage for a fabulous weekend.

Saturday and Sunday’s schedule are jammed packed with celebrated chefs and FOOD & WINE festival favorites, such as Susan Feniger (also in town for a book signing of STREET FOOD and cooking class at Central Market), Andrew Zimmern, Marcus Samuellson, Brian Malarkey (with soon-to-open Searsucker location in Austin), Mark Murphy, Jonathan Waxman and more!  Check the schedule grid to catch any one of their demos.  Lets not forget the Rock Your Taco event Saturday night.  One of last year’s highlights, celebrity chefs prepare tacos for the masses.  This year Chef Tyson Cole is back to defend his title.  Will Tyson take home another win for Austin, or will the showdown have a new winner?

The Grand Tasting is back this year and features over 50+ of the “finest beverages in the nation” and 40+ food artisan from Austin.  New to the Grand Tasting this year is the Chef Showcase, where featured chefs from Austin and San Antonio, will dish up creations they’re well known for, sure to satiate the most refined palates.  Additionally, get up close and personal with some of the industries most innovative and knowledgeable tastemakers, as they introduce you to “The Tasting Room Session.”  Wine, cocktails, cider, and urban farming all come to the table in these sessions.  How we share such staples which grace our plates today has changed, spanning multiple channels across the social media landscape.

This year, the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival has created a video series, which features some of the chefs throughout the 3-day festival.  Get a sneak into the festival and the genius behind the culinary creations.

Regardless if its your first trip to Austin or you’re back for another visit, here is a list of Austin Chef’s and their restaurants that have been garnering multiple awards and capturing the nations attention:

Featured Austin Chefs:

Other featured chefs with Texas roots include:

Greetings from Austin, TX

Credit: Skagen-Brakkage

More Travel? Yes Please!

Sojourner at heart or just in town for a few extra days looking to explore parts beyond Austin, TX?  Here are some foodie friendly locals that will keep you coming back to the Lone Star State:

  • San Antonio: Just a little over an hours drive South of Austin.  Explore the historic Alamo, and then cross the street for a stroll down the San Antonio Riverwalk.  Brought the family with you?  San Antonio offers up plenty of attractions for the little ones, including the San Antonio Zoo, Sea World and Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
  • Houston: Two hours East of Austin, TX and well worth the drive.  Emerging as another great food city in the great Lone Star State, restaurants such as Pass & Provisions are setting the culinary scene on fire.  Chefs and co-owners Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan’s unique take on these two restaurants are drawing not only locals, but crowds from outside of Houston.  Get a preview of what Chef Terrence Gallivan is cooking up at this new Houston hot spot at Friday nights Taste of Texas Kickoff Event.
  • Galveston: Have an extra day and want to dip your toe in the Gulf of Mexico? Enjoy some “Island Time” and get a taste of the coast Texans love so much. Take a stroll along the strand or take one of the many historic tours of Galveston that shows of this beautiful port city.
  • Fredericksburg:  Hope in the car, put the top down, turn up the tunes and enjoy a luscious drive through the Texas Hill Country.  Rich in German culture and Texas hospitality, Fredericksburg is awash with wineries, historic sites and plenty of shopping to take home a memento of Texas.  Add on Comfort, TX to your road trip, as its just a short drive from Fredericksburg and Southern Magazine ranks it as No. 05 on their “Top 10 Detours” – May 2013 issue.

 

Where to Stay?

If you haven’t already made reservations, let me suggest the following Austin hotels:

  • Radisson Hotel & Suites:  Downtown location overlooking Lady Bird Lake and in walking distance of the festival, this hotel serves as a great location for your weekend stay in Austin.  Price Point: $$
  • Hilton Garden Inn: Located across from the Convention Center and a stones throw from Sixth Street, Hilton offers up their dependable level of service.  Grab a pedicab to the festival and enjoy the Austin scenery on your ride. Price Point $$
  • Hotel San JoseLiz Lambert transformed this SoCo jem into a lush urban paradise, complete with bungalows and garden courtyard that makes you want to hang out and drink champagne all day.  Price Point: $$$$
  • Hotel St. Cecilia:  Another Liz Lambert creation, there is no other hotel property like this in Austin.  Set in the SoCo neighborhood, just East of Congress Blvd., the St. Cecilia offers a unique experience to its visitors bar none. Stay in a suite, studio or bungalow, you won’t be disappointed I promise. Don’t get me started on the beds (best night sleep ever)!  Price Point: $$$$
  • The W Hotel: One of the newest hotels built in Austin and located in the heart of downtown Austin, The W Hotel is in walking distance to many of Austin’s landmarks, houses the Austin City Limits Studio, and has one of the best spa’s in town.  Price Point: $$$ – $$$$

Price Rating: $$ Moderate |  $$$ Top of the Line |  $$$$ Luxury

 

The Austin FOOD & WINE Festival donates a portion of the Festival¬â„¢s proceeds to benefit The Austin Food & Wine Alliance, dedicated to fostering awareness and innovation in the Central Texas food and wine community through grants, educational programming and events.  Click here to read more about the festival.

Austin Food and Wine Alliance

Reminders:

  • Don’t forget to register your badge! The Austin FOOD & WINE Festival have some goodies in store for those attendees who do = “upgrades, contests, recipes and more ¬â€ all weekend long!
  • Download the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival mobile app, which is available for both iPhone and Android users.
  • Hashtag for the Festival is #AFWFest so make sure to include with your tweets & pic’s you share across social channels
  • Have a fabulous time and enjoy!

I will be covering the 2013 Austin FOOD & WINE Festival all weekend long for The Daily Meal, so stay tuned for live tweets, festival updates and pictures of all the fabulous drinks, eats & more!

 

Photo Credits:  Chefs Photo’s courtesy of the Austin FOOD & Wine Festival and Baltzco

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