Stop and smell the rosés
Austin Food + Wine Festival pops the cork on big return for fall 2021
Let’s all raise a toast to the fruitful return of one of Austin’s most enticing culinary events. After its pandemic-forced cancellation in 2020, the Austin Food + Wine Festival returns this fall for a weekend packed with food, wine, and spirits offerings from some of the area’s most noted chefs and brands.
The 10th annual Austin Food + Wine Festival will take place at Auditorium Shores and the newly refurbished Republic Square Park in downtown Austin November 5-7.
Tickets for the festival go on sale Wednesday, September 1 at www.austinfoodandwinefestival.com/tickets.
This year’s festival will feature all the favorite elements Austinites crave, from food competitions and cooking demos to interactive fire pit presentations, live music performances, book signings, and yeah, a whole heck of a lot of samples from local chefs and restaurants, and wine, beer, and, cocktail tastings.
While additional programming announcements will be made as the event nears, here’s currently what’s on tap for the festival:
On Friday, November 5, the fest kicks off with Grillin’ and Chillin’, chef Tim Love’s hands-on grilling dinner party at Auditorium Shores. The interactive and informative party will include grilling, drinks, and dinner beneath the Austin skyline. Grillin’ and Chillin’ attendees will share a charcoal grill with a partner and prepare their own dinner as Love guides them through the menu while offering tips for how to become a grilling expert. (Note: The Grillin’ and Chillin’ event is exclusively included with All-In tickets.)
On Saturday, November 6 and Sunday, November 7, the festival pops into high gear with cooking demonstrations, book signings, and an interactive area where chefs and pitmasters will cook over fire pits and offer samples to attendees. Current chefs planning to share their live-fire cooking expertise at the fire pits showcase include:
- John Bates, InterStellar BBQ
- Sonya Coté, Hillside Farmacy and Store House Market + Eatery
- Lance Kirkpatrick, Stiles Switch BBQ
- Tom Micklethwait and Ren Garcia, Micklethwait Craft Meats
- Marco Oglesby, The Switch
Attendees can also get to sampling signature dishes from some of the Austin area’s favorite restaurants and chefs, including:
- Christopher Andrews, TLC
- Jeff Balfour, Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery
- Daniel Brooks, Licha’s Cantina
- Jeff Brown, Old Thousand
- Jo Chan, Eberly
- Krystal Craig and Ian Thurwachter, Intero
- Nick Ervan, Wax Myrtle
- Jacob Euler, Le Vacher
- Reed Faitak, Austin Daily Press
- James Flowers, 1417
- Rachelle Fox, Wicky’s Walkup
- John Gocong, Salty Cargo
- Mark Grimes, Creekhouse
- Wade Guice, Juliet Italian Kitchen
- Victor Ibarra, Andiamo
- CJ Jacobson, Aba
- Andrea Juarez, Walton’s Fancy & Staple
- Andy Knudson, Tillie’s
- Geronimo Lopez, Botika
- Jason McVearry, Poke-Poke
- Margarita and Nestor Mendez, Pueblo Viejo
- Josh Neises, Lonesome Dove Austin
- Daniel Olivella, Barlata Tapas Bar
- Matthew Perez, The Beer Plant
- Chris Rios, The Vegan Nom
- Ryan Samson, Vespaio and Enoteca
- Jam Sanitchat, Thai Fresh
- Carmen Valera, Tamale House East
- Ling Wu, Lin Asian Bar + Dim Sum
Chefs and authors who will share their expertise during cooking demos and convos include Dawn Burrell (Late August, Houston), Helene Henderson (Malibu Farm), Fermín Núñez (Suerte), Yoshi Okai (Otoko), and Jam Sanitchat (Thai Fresh).
Many festival foodies will delight in the return of Saturday evening’s signature tasting event, Rock Your Taco at Republic Square Park. Chefs will square off against one another to create the ultimate taco, as deemed by a people’s choice award.
Rock Your Taco competitors include Tatsu Aikawa (Ramen Tatsu-Ya); Nicola Blaque (Mi Roti, The Jerk Shack, San Antonio); Dawn Burrell; Tyson Cole (Uchi); Diego Galicia and Rico Torres (Mixtli, San Antonio); Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley (Foreign & Domestic), Helene Henderson; LeAnn Mueller (la Barbecue); Ryan Pera (Eight Row Flint, Houston); Jam Sanitchat; and Charles Schlienger (Sway).
“The Austin Food + Wine Festival has always been such an incredibly fun and delicious experience,” says Uchi chef and owner Tyson Cole. “We are thrilled to be back and ready to Rock Your Taco again!”
Two ticket options are available to attend this year’s Austin Food + Wine Festival:
- All-In tickets ($625), which include Saturday and Sunday festival access; access to interactive cooking demos and book signings; beer, wine, and cocktail tasting sessions; wood-fired culinary creations from the fire pits; samples from Austin chefs and restaurants; Friday night’s Grillin’ and Chillin’ with Tim Love; and Saturday night’s Rock Your Taco competition.
- Weekender tickets ($250), which include Saturday and Sunday festival access; access to interactive cooking demos and book signings; beer, wine, and cocktail tastings.
Festivalgoers must be at least 21 years old to attend. Detailed health info and entry policies will be released closer to the event date.
The event is presented by Food & Wine Magazine and Austin-based C3 Presents, and benefits the nonprofit Austin Food & Wine Alliance, which works to foster innovation in the local food and wine community through grants, educational programming, and a variety of events. Austin Food + Wine Festival has contributed more than $1.1 million to the alliance in support of these efforts.