The Austin Food & Wine Alliance (AFWA) is inviting Central Texans to pig out this Sunday, November 10, at its Third Annual Wine & Swine event.
Two dozen Austin and San Antonio chefs will prepare dishes using locally raised Berkshire pigs to compete for a $1,000 prize from the Texas Pork Producers Association at this celebration of all things pork. Leaving their expensive restaurant equipment behind, the chefs will cook over pits and grills, battling the elements and each other for the Greenling Fan Favorite title.
This is a unique opportunity for chefs.” — Chef Lawrence Kocureck of Trace at the W
The all-star chef roster includes James Beard Award nominees Jason Dady of Jason Dady Restaurants in San Antonio and Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki of Austin (formerly at La Condesa and Sway), as well as lauded pit master Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue.
Dishes range from the traditional pigs in a blanket from Chef Jack Gilmore of Jack Allen’s Kitchen to the unusual chili cheese ramen from Chef Tatsu Aikawa of Ramen Tatsu-Ya and the truly unique breakfast bacon ice cream and sweet potato ice cream from Lick Ice Creams.
Chef Sarah McInstosh of Epicerie Café & Grocery, who is participating in the event for the first time, is looking forward to showing off her pork mastery with a trio of hot dogs: Korean with kimchi and a spicy aioli, German with sauerkraut and mustard and an all-American dog with venison chili and cheese. “Pork is a big product for us, particularly local pork, and anything we can do to celebrate that is something we want to be a part of.”
As a pastry chef, Erica Waksmunski of Congress wanted to create a dish that pairs well with the pork-centric menu and created a brioche beignet with banana pastry cream and assorted candies that would hit the spot. “I thought about people eating pork all day, and of course they’d want doughnuts with that. Who doesn’t want warm, fried food when you are eating pork?”
Chef Josh Watkins of The Carillon will defend his fan favorite title with a whole roasted hog. Attendees will vote for their favorite dishes and beverages, with the fan favorites announced at 3 pm.
For chef Lawrence Kocureck of TRACE at the W, the camaraderie of cooking with fellow chefs is as enticing as the potential prize. Kocurek is making a fire-roasted pork loin with a Spanish-style blood sausage that takes six to seven hours to smoke and grill, requiring him to stay overnight at the event site to prepare.
With a creative menu and offerings from premium wine and spirit brands, the event promises to be exceptional for guests.
“Being able to spend the night and hang out with the other chefs gives this event a more familial aspect,” he says. “Chefs usually only see one another when we visit each other’s restaurants, but we don’t get to visit and enjoy each other’s company. This is a unique opportunity for chefs.”
With such a creative menu, paired with more than 20 offerings from premium wine and spirit brands, including a number of Texas wineries and distilleries, the event promises to be exceptional for guests as well. Jester King Brewery, which is located on Ceres Park Ranch, is one of three participating craft breweries, and AFWA grant award winner Argus Cidery will serve their ciders crafted from Texas-grown apples.
Proceeds from Wine & Swine support the culinary innovation grants awarded annually by the Austin Food & Wine Alliance. Four grants, totaling $25,000, will be awarded later this year.
Ticket prices for Wine & Swine start at $75. You can find more details about the event here.