Austin Food & Wine Festival 2013

 If you attended both Austin Food & Wine Festival this year and last year you know what a treat this year was. While I enjoyed last year\’s event, this year festival goers experienced less crowded demos, plush green grass and little to no waiting lines making for an enjoyable experience.

While I consider myself a foodie and prefer wine over beer and cocktails one of my favorite demos this year was Bill Norris\’ \”Drinking Vinegars & Shrubs\”. Bill shared some tips and tricks and discussed how to use old world ingredients to make the perfect cocktail. He made attendees his creative bitter berry drink with a delicious mix of strawberry and rhubarb.

Bitter Berry drink from Bill Norris

This festival would not be complete without Austin\’s sweetheart Paul Qui. Paul\’s demo was titled \”Qui Ingredients\”. Paul in so many words explained the key ingredient is the team you work with. What a true testament to who he is and his success.

Paul talks \”Qui Ingredients\”

Paul and his team made a fun fondue with various fruits, breads and delicious Antonelli\’s cheese.

A friend asked me what was my favorite dish during the festival. I would say overall everything that came from the fire pit. Day one the fire pit was manned by Tim Byres and Jason Dady.

Jason Dady\’s fish and fowl dish

Tim Byre\’s pork taco

Day two the fire pit was all about Austinites. Jack and Bryce Gilmore did their thing on one side of the pit while Rene Ortiz did his on the other side.

Rene Ortiz of La Condesa and Sway made a mouth watering lamb

Another dish I enjoyed was a shrimp dish prepared by Jesse T. Perez at Arcade in San Antonio.

Chef Jesse\’s shrimp dish

The \”Around The World with Pinot\” was a demo dare I say I enjoyed too much? Ray Isle did an amazing job of explaining the notes of pinot noir and what the flavors we were tasting. It was a well rounded tasting from France to Oregon. Did you know that tart tastes come from high acids? Or that tannic wines cut through fat? I didn\’t know those facts until attending Ray\’s demo.
Around The World with Pinot
I admit I am a huge fan of excellent chefs and a food show junkie so while I love the food and wine from the event, I also appreciate meeting a celebrity chef up close. This year I was excited to have my book signed by the Bizarre Foods man himself, Andrew Zimmern. 

And at the end of the day it is always about enjoying yourself with old friends and new. 
Myself, Heather Forrester and Alicia Kim on the Veuve Cliqout airstream
Find out more about the festival and how to purchase tickets HERE.
Austin Food & Festival\’s Facebook fan page: Austin Food Wine
Austin Food & Festival\’s Twitter account: @AustinFoodWine

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