Austin Food + Wine Festival is pleased to announce the return of the H-E-B Grand Tasting Pavilion, which will feature a diverse selection of the country’s top wine, spirits and culinary exhibitors. The Grand Tasting Pavilion, presented by H-E-B, will span more than 25,000 square feet at Auditorium Shores, offering a prime location where guests can sip, savor, mix and mingle throughout the two-day Festival.
The H-E-B Grand Tasting Pavilion will be open on Saturday, April 25, from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and on Sunday, April 26, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample from more than 100 food, lifestyle, wine, and spirits exhibitors.
The 2015 Festival is scheduled to feature new exhibitors and samples from Alberta Rye Whisky: Dark Batch; Bess Bistro; Bonterra Organic Vineyards & 1000 Stories; Braman Winery; Café Mueller; Casa Noble Tequila; Charles & Charles/ The Show Château de Berne; Chloe Wine Collection; Corner; Daily Greens; Dolce Neve; Earth Balance; Fetzer Vineyards; Guarachi Wine Partners; Gypsy Grove Foods; Halter Ranch Vineyard; Joel Gott Wines; LIVE Kombucha Soda; Michael Mondavi Family Estate; Olive+M;; Oyster Bay; Silver Oak & Twomey; Steve’s Ice Cream; Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey; Tamale Addiction; Taste Elevated; TEKEEN; Templeton Rye- The Good Stuff; The House of Angostora; The Infinite Monkey Theorem; The Jelly Queens Cottage; The Maple Syrup Lady; Topgolf; Torres; Treana Winery; Trefethen Family Vineyards; Tubby’s; Walton’s Fancy And Staple; and Zodiac Craft Potato Vodka.
The Grand Tasting will also highlight returning exhibitors, including Alaska Seafood; American Lamb Board; Amici Cellars; Antinori Family of Wines; August Wine Group featuring Small Vineyards; AustiNuts; Baked By Amy’s; Barritt’s Ginger Beer; Blue Chair Bay Rum; Cayman Islands; Celtic Seafare; Château D’Esclans; Coterie Market; Criterion Cellars; Crú Food & Wine Bar; Cupcake Vineyards; Delysia Chocolatier; Duchman Family Winery; Duckhorn Wine Company; Empson USA Wine Importers; Fara Coffee; Farmhouse Delivery; Finn & Porter; Foley Family Wines; Fork & Vine; Francis Ford Coppola Presents; Frank Sausage; Gekkeikan Sake; Gnarly Head Wines; H-E-B; Hernán; High Brew Coffee; Jackson Family Estate; KitchenAid; Knob Creek Family of Bourbons; Lick Honest Ice Creams; Little City Coffee; Ménage à Trois; Noble Vines; Northstar; Palm Bay International; Perrier-Jouët and G.H. Mumm Champagne; Ranch 616; Rioja – Spain’s Finest Wine Region; Rodney Strong Vineyards; Stella Artois; TÈO; Terlato Wines International; Texas Hill Country Olive Company; Texas Olive Ranch; Tiny Pies; Tito’s Handmade Vodka; Treaty Oak Distilling Co., Dripping Springs, TX; Villa Maria, New Zealand; Vintage Wine Estates; Winebow Imports; Z’ Tejas; and more.
The 2015 Festival officially kicks off on Friday, April 24, with the Taste of Texas presented by Rioja, held at Republic Square Park in the heart of downtown Austin, with a live musical performance by Jamestown Revival. With a lineup showcasing the Lone Star State’s brightest chefs, Taste of Texas will feature signature dishes from: Tatsu Aikawa (Ramen Tatsu-Ya); Alexis Chong(Sway); Ned Elliott (Foreign & Domestic); Omar Flores (Casa Rubia); Diego Galicia & Rico Torres (Mixtli); Dustin Harvey (Eastside King); Allison Jenkins (La V); Steven McHugh (Cured); Wayne Mueller(Louie Mueller Barbecue); Hugo Ortega(Hugo’s Restaurant, Backstreet Café, Caracol Restaurant); Richard Blankenship(CBD Provisions); Blaine Staniford (Grace); Quealy Watson (Hot Joy); Cori & Heng Xiong (Mala Sichuan); and Justin Yu (Oxheart). Taste of Texas will feature wines from Rioja, custom cocktails from Hendrick’s Gin and beer from Stella Artois.
Rock Your Taco, Saturday evening’s signature tasting event, will bring out the competitive side of all participants. With live music from Lee Fields, chefs will square off against one another at Republic Square Park to create the ultimate taco, with winners chosen by an esteemed panel of judges, including FOOD & WINE’s Christina Grdovic, Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot Bistro) and Andrew Zimmern (television personality). Last year’s Rock Your Taco champion Richard Blais (FLIP Burger, San Diego’s Juniper & Ivy) will defend his crown against the likes of Hugh Acheson (Atlanta’s Empire State South, Five & Ten, The Florence, The National); Jamie Bissonnette & Ken Oringer (Coppa & Toro in NYC and Boston); Tyson Cole; Jason Dady; Bryce Gilmore;Antonia Lofaso (Black Market in Los Angeles); Tim Love; Jenn Louis (Portland, Oregon’s Lincoln Restaurant, Sunshine Tavern); Tony Mantuano (Chicago’s Spiaggia, Bar Toma, Terzo Piano); Chris Shepherd (Underbelly); Levon Wallace (Cochon Butcher Nashville); Jonathan Waxman (Adele’s Nashville & New York City’s Barbuto); Tandy Wilson; and Paul Qui (Qui). Rock Your Taco will feature wines from Rodney Strong, custom cocktails from Tito’s Handmade Vodka & Herradura and beer from Stella Artois.
The festival grounds at Auditorium Shores will feature interactive live-fire stations, with Texas chefs cooking over Fire Pits and offering tastes to attendees throughout the weekend. Due to popular demand, the 2015 festival will doublethe amount of Fire Pit stations and offer four each day. Less structured than a demo, and more intimate than the hands-on grilling classes, the Fire Pits provide a forum for culinary Q&A with top Texas talent, and an opportunity to taste the chefs’ bold creations.
The Fire Pits will showcase multiple chefs on Saturday and Sunday, each offering a front-row experience cooking with live fire to all festival pass holders. On Saturday, April 25, enjoy bites from chefs including: Jack Gilmore (Jack Allen’s Kitchen); Jorge Hernandez & Paul Qui (Qui); Pat Martin (Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in Nashville); Tandy Wilson (Nashville’s City House); and Andrew Wiseheart (Contigo & Gardner).
The Chef Showcase will once again feature a dynamic roster of chefs serving samples of their signature dishes to festivalgoers. Mix and mingle in the tents while enjoying bites from participants on Saturday, April 25, including: John Bates (Noble Sandwich Co.); Shawn Cirkiel (Olive & June); Tyson Cole (St. Philip); Todd Duplechan (LENOIR and Metier Cook’s Supply); Jesse Griffiths (DAI DUE); James Holmes (Olivia); Lance Kirkpatrick (Stiles Switch BBQ); Tim Love (Lonesome Dove, Austin); Sarah McIntosh (Épicerie Café & Grocery); and Carlos Ysaguirre (Jacoby’s).
On Sunday, April 26, the Chef Showcase is scheduled to feature: Ji Peng Chen & Ling Qi Wu (Wu Chow); Sonya Cote (Eden East); Andrew Curren & David Norman (Easy Tiger); Kevin Garrett (Bufalina); Josh Jones (Salt & Time); Lawrence Kocurek & Eric Earthman(Counter 3. FIVE. VII); John Lewis (La Barbecue); Rick Lopez (La Condesa); James Robert (Fixe); and Eric Silverstein (The Peached Tortilla).
See the full list of demonstrations, seminars and Festival programming at: http://www.austinfoodandwinefestival.com/schedule/
Weekender passes for the 2015 Austin Food + Wine Festival are still available at $250/person, and include access to fire pits, cooking demos, food, wine and cocktail tastings, book signings, and Grand Tasting tents on Saturday & Sunday. Tickets for Friday night’s Taste of Texas; Saturday night’s Rock Your Taco; Sips & Sweets; and All-In passes are sold out. Purchase Weekender passes at www.austinfoodandwinefestival.com/tickets