Austin Tastemaker Awards 2021
CELEBRATING OUR TASTEMAKERS

Austin culinary stars and foodies relish in the 2021 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards

Austin culinary stars and foodies relish in the 2021 Tastemaker Awards

Tastemakers Austin 2021
The 2021 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards was a night for foodie friends to gather. Photo by Kristy Duff
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Guests clamored to commemorate the occasion at several photo booth spots. Photo by Kristy Duff
Tastemakers Austin 2021
The open-air space of Fair Market made for the perfect host locale. Photo by Kristy Duff
Austin Tastemaker Awards 2021
Guests enjoyed the ample outdoor lounge space. Photo by Kristy Duff
Tastemakers Austin 2021
VIPs were treated to early entry and toasted the event with specialty sips. Photo by Kristy Duff
Tastemakers Austin 2021
The evening's bartenders worked nonstop to keep guests in craft cocktails.  Photo by Kristy Duff
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Guests nosh and catch up with foodie friends outside. Photo by Kristy Duff
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Chicken Salad Shoppe provided not on,e but five different specialty bites.  Photo by Kristy Duff
Tastemakers Austin 2021
A variety of meat dishes dazzled Tastemakers guests. Photo by Kristy Duff
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Uchiko's strawberry choux. Photo by Kristy Duff
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Honey Moon Spirit Lounge's crab rice. Photo by Kristy Duff
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Maestro Dobel Tequila kept the cocktails coming. Photo by Kristy Duff
Austin Tastemaker Awards 2021
The bar also featured Stranahan's Single Malt Whiskey  Photo by Kristy Duff
Austin Tastemaker Awards 2021
Oskar Blues poured the evening's featured brews. Photo by Kristy Duff
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Partygoers cooled down with a refreshing dose of Topo Chico. Photo by Kristy Duff
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Emcee Tim League kept the awards program short and sweet. Photo by Kristy Duff
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Beloved East Austin taqueria Nixta was awarded Austin Restaurant of the Year.  Photo by Kristy Duff
Tastemakers Austin 2021
The evening was filled with good times and tasty eats. Photo by Kristy Duff
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Austin Tastemaker Awards 2021
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Austin Tastemaker Awards 2021
Austin Tastemaker Awards 2021
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Tastemakers Austin 2021
Tastemakers Austin 2021

It was a celebration a long time in the making. For more than a year, we’ve called on our restaurants and bars to embrace their tenacity and confront unprecedented difficulties — all in the effort to feed Austin. The time finally came for the community to celebrate these local culinary champs in style.

On August 5, Austin’s Fair Market hosted the 2021 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, marking our signature ceremony and tasting event’s return to an in-person affair, following 2020’s virtual program.

Prior to the doors officially opening for the festivities, VIP guests toasted the nominees and our nonprofit beneficiary, the Central Texas Food Bank, while sipping some delightful cocktails from Maestro Dobel Tequila and Stranahan’s Rocky Mountain Single Malt Whiskey, plus “crushable” craft beers from Oskar Blues Brewery.

Once the doors flung wide and a flood of discerning Austin foodies arrived, the full fete began, with glamorously adorned guests merrily relishing the opportunity to reunite, honor Austin’s restaurant and bar heroes, and dine on truly scrumptious bites.

Amid the lively party atmosphere, guests strolled from one featured restaurant booth to the next, savoring bites like Honey Moon Spirit Lounge’s crab rice, Cuantos Tacos’ brisket-licious campechana tacos, Love Supreme’s perfectly named and roasted corn ribs, and the fiery chili wontons from Old Thousand, which, after a few nibbles, necessitated a visit to the Topo Chico stand for some cooling refreshment.

San Antonio restaurants also brought their A-game, with Mi Roti’s spice-driven jerk chicken bowl, Cuishe Cocina Mexicana’s tacos de lengua, and Landrace’s wagyu New York strip steak getting lots of happy nods from guests.

Some smart guests opted for dessert first, scooping up cookies from Swedish Hill and mouthwatering strawberry choux from Uchiko’s Ariana Quant, who would later win the title of Austin Pastry Chef of the Year.   

Totally killing it in the emcee department was Alamo Drafthouse founder and dapperly dressed Tim League, who cheerfully revealed all the deserving Tastemaker winners — see them all here. Damien Brockway of Distant Relatives was honored as Austin’s Rising Chef of the Year, while Fiore Tedesco of L’Oca d’Oro was named Austin’s Chef of the Year, and adored East Austin taqueria Nixta scored the award for Austin Restaurant of the Year.

Chef Nicola Blaque of The Jerk Shack and Mi Roti netted the San Antonio Chef of the Year win, and husband-and-wife-owned café Clementine was named San Antonio Restaurant of the Year.  

All in all, it was a celebratory evening filled with admirable toasts, new and longtime friends, and memorable bites from some of the region’s favorite eateries. We’re already craving more and can’t wait to toast you at next year’s CultureMap Tastemaker Awards.