What to Eat at the Austin Food & Wine Festival

By Megan Giller  |  April 22, 2015

This weekend the hungriest foodies in the country will gather Downtown for the fourth annual Austin Food & Wine Festival, with evening events, daytime panels and a huge tasting tent. But with so much to do and so many bites to try, where should you even start? Here’s a handy guide of the most promising tastes at the festival.

Taste of Texas (Friday from 7 to 9:30 PM at Republic Square Park)
The Friday evening event will feature treats from Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller BBQ, Justin Yu of Oxheart and Hugo Ortega of Hugo’s, among many others. Also don’t miss laV chef Allison Jenkins’ housemade ricotta with spring vegetables, puffed quinoa and carrot-top pesto.

Rock Your Taco (Saturday from 7 to 9:30 PM at Republic Square Park)
We highly recommend you try all of the tacos from the mighty contestants, including Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto, Chris Shepherd of Underbelly (pictured above) and Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia. First on our list? Two-time winner chef Tyson Cole’s taco, though every part about it is top secret (and most definitely delicious). Check out last year's beauty above.

Hands-On Grilling (Saturday from noon to 1:30 PM and Sunday from 11:30 to 1 PM at Auditorium Shores)
If you're lucky enough to get a ticket to this massive undertaking with Tim Love, well, hats off to you. It promises to be epic, hilarious and tasty.

Fire Pit (Saturday from 11 AM to 3 PM and Sunday from 11 AM to 2 PM at Auditorium Shores)
Between panels and the grand tasting, be sure to stop by the fire pit to try chef Jack Gilmore’s green chile fire-roasted Texas head-on shrimp, citrus-glazed rotisserie chicken, rotisserie wild boar and pot pie bread, complete with the big ol’ fire truck that he had last year. And at Sunday’s fire pit, chef Bryce Gilmore of Odd Duck (and Jack’s son) will be making a fire-roasted calf and wood-oven-baked bread. (Photo by Dan Gentile)

Chef’s Showcase (Saturday from 11 AM to 4 PM and Sunday from 11 AM to 3 PM at Auditorium Shores)
On Saturday, chef Todd Duplechan of Lenoir will be making a miso flan with beet sofrito, beet top furikake and orange.

And on Sunday, Peached Tortilla chef and owner Eric Silverstein will be serving a tasting-size version of the restaurant’s Tres Cauliflower dish, with nori cauliflower purée, grilled cauliflower and peach-pickled cauliflower, topped with nori brown butter, dried aonori and crispy shallots. Meanwhile chef James Robert of new hot spot Fixe will be serving chilled Sea Island red- and black-eyed pea salad with chèvre smoked duck and buttermilk dressing. And St. Philip chef Page Pressley will be dishing out cumin-roasted carrots dipped in dry-aged beef fat with pumpkin seed. (Photo by Inked Fingers)