SERVED TWO WAYS

THE GRAZER AND GOUR­MAND’S GUIDE TO THE AUSTIN FOOD + WINE FES­TI­VAL.

Austin Way - - CONTENTS - BY TOM THORN­TON

The Grazer and Gour­mand’s guide to the Austin Food + Wine Fes­ti­val.

Af­ter the rain­out of the 2016 Austin Food + Wine Fes­ti­val, C3 Presents brings back a high­light of Austin’s spring so­cial cal­en­dar April 28–30. As al­ways, the core Texas chef lineup will be com­ple­mented by ap­pear­ances from na­tional lu­mi­nar­ies like Christina Tosi, Ludo Le­feb­vre, and Ming Tsai. With two op­tions for tick­ets— The Week­ender ($250) and The All-In ($625)—the fest ap­peals to Graz­ers and Gour­mands alike.

FOR GRAZ­ERS

Big bites: The Week­ender pass pro­vides ac­cess to day­time events at Au­di­to­rium Shores on Satur­day and Sun­day, so head straight for the Chef Show­case. On Satur­day, make a bee­line for the trio of Sup­per, Stiles Switch, and Souther­leigh; Sun­day’s wor­thy stops in­clude new­com­ers The Brewer’s Ta­ble, Fuku­moto, and Bon­homie by Uchi vet­eran Philip Speer, who says: “It will we great to show peo­ple who we are. It’s an awesome op­por­tu­nity in one four-ounce bite.”

Hot topics: An­other sig­na­ture fea­ture of the fes­ti­val are chef “fire pits.” Gather around the flames and ask ques­tions of Bryce Gil­more (Odd Duck), Sonya Coté (Eden East),

and Michael Fo­j­tasek (Ola­maie) as they grill on the fly.

Learn some­thing: Sem­i­nars fill up early, so plan ahead. Catch Food & Wine’s Ray Isle for witty, prac­ti­cal wine ad­vice, and learn from lo­cal Master Som­me­liers Craig Collins and Devon Broglie dur­ing their deep dives on Cal­i­for­nia’s Paso Robles re­gion. Must-see chefs in­clude Cal­i­for­nia cui­sine god­fa­ther Jonathan Wax­man and Food Net­work star Aarón Sánchez.

Dance and dine: The fi­nal blowout is the Grand Tast­ing Tent, a col­lec­tion of wines, spir­its, and light bites served to dance­able sounds from Austin’s DJ Mel, fa­mous for serv­ing as former Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s reg­u­lar DJ.

FOR GOUR­MANDS

Love fest: The All-In pass, which in­cludes ev­ery­thing men­tioned above, is a foodie’s dream. Dur­ing the day, Lone­some Dove chef Tim Love (a fes­ti­val co-founder) pre­sides over his grilling work­shop in grand fash­ion: ZZ Top is played, and Tuaca shots are in­evitable.

Night de­lights: Two evening par­ties cater to celebrity chef spot­ters. Taste Of Texas com­bines top-tier Austin tal­ent with no­table chefs from across the state. Fes­ti­val vet­eran Diego Gali­cia of San An­to­nio’s Mixtli says: “Taste of Texas gath­ers the best Texas chefs and guests with the best palates, so the pres­sure is on.”

Satur­day’s Rock Your Taco is the most com­pet­i­tive event of the week­end. San An­to­nio restau­ra­teur and Iron Chef: Gaunt­let star Ja­son Dady’s thoughts? “Ev­ery­one walk­ing through that door wants the ti­tle. I’m from Tacotown, USA, and I’m ready to bring that gui­tar back to where it be­longs!” Dady is joined by na­tional stars like Amanda Fre­itag, Hugh Ach­e­son, and Alon Shaya in the show­down, judged by Gra­ham El­liot and Food & Wine’s Nilou Mo­tamed. Since 15 ta­cos can be a bit much, try shar­ing or pri­or­i­tiz­ing your fa­vorite chefs. austin­foodand wine­fes­ti­val.com

“I’M FROM TACOTOWN, USA, AND I’M READY TO BRING THAT GUI­TAR BACK TO WHERE IT BE­LONGS!”—JA­SON DADY

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT: Head to the Chef Show­case for de­lec­ta­ble bites; Austin Food + Wine Fes­ti­val co-founder Tim Love won the last Rock Your Taco con­test with a fried beef ten­don taco, made of braised oryx and pick­led veg­eta­bles; pas­try chefs will dish out the sweets; as a pre­lude to the fest, the five-course Feast Un­der the Stars is a sep­a­rate tick­eted event on Thurs­day night, fea­tur­ing a course each from star fes­ti­val chefs.

If the fes­ti­val it­self isn’t enough, snap up a ticket to the Feast Un­der The Stars pre­lude event on Thurs­day night. ƛELOW RIƠơT: Re­turn­ing chefs in­clude Austin’s Drew Cur­ren (LEFT) and Cal­i­for­nia’s Jonathan Wax­man. Sweet treats (ƛELOW LEFT) are al­ways a hit.

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