Austin Food & Wine Festival kicked off its 3rd installment with Friday night’s “Taste of Texas” featuring Texas Chefs from Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and other areas of Texas. What I love about this event is that the Austin Food & Wine Festival Team really look at bringing in new talent and restaurants to this event each year, allowing festival pass holders to really get a true taste of how Texas cuisine is evolving, be you a Texan or out-of-towner.
And let me just tell you, there is truth to the saying everything is bigger in Texas! Flavors were off charts last night and before the evening over, I’d tweeted and posted my top four bites of the night, which I’ve listed below (warning – ridiculously delicious food porn below may make you drool):
At last year’s event, Pass & Provisions Chef’s Terrance Gallivan & Seth Siegle-Gardner served up a bone marrow dish that had me at hello. Their presentation this year was as creative, and holy shit that rib was a mouth full of richness that didn’t disappoint. I make trips to Houston and Pass & Provisions is always on my “must eat at” list.
New to me this year is Chef Jesse Perez of Arcade Midtown Kitchen and Chef Blane Staniford of Grace. Their dishes were both light, but with bold savory flavors, the perfect balance really. And Chef Blane Staniford’s riff on thousand island dressing with the pastrami beef cheek made me feel like I was sitting in the kitchen of my former client Enid Koffler, whom I lovingly refer to as “my Jewish fairy godmother.” When food “takes you home like that” you want to get to know the chef and their food more, at least I do. And driving 2-3 hours or hopping on a plane is not a barrier. Clearly I will travel for food and use that hashtag during my travels.
There were many other highlights of the night both sweet and savory – Here are some shots of the evening I captured (warning they’ll make you hungry).
If you’ve not made it to the Austin Food & Wine Festival yet, it keeps getting better and better each year and I would save the date on your calendar now for 2015!