Food festivals are generally used to showcase a city’s culinary prowess, but Austin Food & Wine is a little bit different. Much like its sister festival in Aspen, both curated by Food & Wine magazine, Austin Food & Wine is a sort of culinary thermometer. A way to measure the trends, flavors, and chefs that are making waves in restaurants across the country. The Festival attracts up-and-coming and established chefs, discerning diners, and knowledge-seeking industry types from all over the globe for four days of incredible food, booze, live music, and a chance to meet some of your favorite celebrity chefs.
Since its inception in 2012, Austin Food & Wine is rapidly becoming one of the most important food festivals in the country. As a result, they’re doing a lot of work in showcasing Texas’ incredible (and often overlooked) culinary scene. The Festival’s opening event, Taste of Texas, showcased chefs from across the state, including James Beard nominees like Dallas’ Matt McCallister and Omar Flores, San Antonio’s Jason Dady, and Houston’s Chris Shepherd. It isn’t just Texas, though — chefs from Portland, Atlanta, New York City, Louisville, and plenty of other cities were on hand to show off their contributions to the culinary world.
Paste was in Austin for the festivities, and we’ve curated some of our favorite bites, sips, and moments from the eating and drinking marathon that is Austin Food & Wine. If you’ll excuse us, we’re going to go mainline Pepto-Bismol and go on a juice fast for the rest of eternity. Or, at least, until next year’s fest.
Amy McCarthy is Paste’s Assistant Food Editor. She will travel for food, especially if it involves tacos. You can find her on Twitter @aemccarthy.