Valentine's Day special at restaurant clients of Cultivate PR

Cultivate's Guide to the Austin Food & Wine Festival

Sci-fi fans have Comic-Con, film lovers have Sundance, and we foodies have the Austin Food & Wine Festival. Back for the 2nd year, this weekend’s AF&WF features an impressive lineup packed full of celebrity chefs, personalities and local favorites. Between a massive quantity of killer food & wine, cooking demos, run-ins with culinary superstars, and late night events, you may need a weekend from your weekend. Full disclosure, we love working with some of the best culinary talent here in town on a daily basis and we couldn’t be more excited to see so many of them participating in the festival. Here are some of our picks for experiencing the best of the fest.

Thursday, April 25

  • Live Fire @ The Salt Lick, 6:30 – 9 pm
  • Get in touch with your inner caveman at this celebration of all things meat & fire! Plus, check out desserts by local pastry queens Janina O’Leary (TRACE), Jodi Elliott (Foreign & Domestic) & Laura Sawicki (Sway, La Condesa).

Friday, April 26

  • Food Republic Interview Lounge @ W Austin, 10 am – 5 pm
  • Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s culinary site Food Republic will chat with notable chefs, musicians & comedians throughout the day at the downtown hotel. Follow along on Twitter for updates, anecdotes and maybe even get to ask a question or two- #FRAustin.
  • Taste of Texas Kickoff @ Republic Square Park, 7 – 9:30 pm
  • The official kick off to the festival features music from Delta Spirit and Whiskey Shivers as well as a steady stream of drinks & food from guest chefs like Philip Speer, Aaron Franklin, Jack Gilmore, Ned Elliott, Paul Qui and more.
  • Sips & Sweets @ Mellow Johnny’s, 9 – 11:30 pm
  • Eat your way through a dream-like fantasy a la Willy Wonka with whimsical dessert creations from TRACE, Congress and Foreign & Domestic. Caution: Don’t enter a sugar coma just yet, there’s 2 more days of festival to go!

Saturday, April 27

  • Unpretentious Dishes Demo w/ Chef Brian Malarkey, 10 – 10:45 am
  • The celebrity chef & restauranteur who is bringing the Searsucker concept to Austin demonstrates how to make approachable, classic new American dishes from the award-winning restaurant.
  • Classic Desserts in a Modern Kitchen Demo w/ Chef Philip Speer, 1 – 1:45 pm
  • Award-winning Uchi Pastry Chef extraordinaire will teach you how to put a new spin on traditional desserts. Here’s to hoping we get a glimpse into the making of the infamous Fried Milk dessert.
  • Grand Tasting @ the HEB Grand Tasting Pavilion, 12 – 4 pm
  • Pace yourself through the 10,000 square feet of some of Texas’ top restaurants, food artisans, wines and spirits as special guest chefs will be on-hand mingling, discussing their dishes and signing cookbooks. Swing byNoble Sandwich Co. at the Chef Showcase from 2-3:30pm and see why they were named one of the ‘Best Sandwiches in America’.
  • Rock Your Taco @ Republic Square Park, 7 – 9:30 pm
  • Chef Tyson Cole defends his title agains 13 talented chefs hungry for the prize. One thing we can guarantee – tacos will be rocked.
  • Sel et Gras @ TRACE, 9 pm – midnight
  • Parlez-vous français? Brush up on your high school French vocab at TRACE’s late night Parisian bistro with inspired bites like escargot, charcuterie and macaroons. Channel your best Brigette Bardot while sipping champagne and listening to classic French pop.
Austin Food & Wine Festival map

Sunday, April 28

As an added festival bonus (as if you needed one), set up just outside the Tasting Room, Say laV (the French-inspired food truck predecessor to East Austin brick and mortar laV) will be serving a selection of its most popular items to hungry festival-goers on Saturday & Sunday. Follow @lavaustin throughout the fest for some fun giveaways.

Bon Appetit!