The Austin Food & Wine Festival released the schedule of showcasing chefs and demonstrations for the fourth annual event that takes place April 24-26.
One of the demos that grabbed my attention is one featuring “Top Chef Master” competitor Jenn Louis. The chef of Portland’s Lincoln Restaurant will teach attendees how to make a trio of tartares – salmon, beef and lamb. The festival newcomer will be joined by fellow first-timer Levon Wallace of Nashville’s Cochon Butcher, who will demonstrate home butchery tips while breaking down a heritage pork shoulder.
The list of first-time festival attendees also includes chef and six-time James Beard Award nominee Hugh Acheson, who will host a panel that Saturday morning. The chef, who oversees a demi-empire of Georgia restaurants that includes Atlanta’s Empire State South, will demonstrate how to make soup from spring vegetables.
Chef Jonathan Waxman returns to the festival and will deliver a presentation on preparing global seafood, from San Francisco-style Dungeness crab stew to Asian-inspired lobster, and Chicago chef Tony Mantuano returns to impart his pasta knowledge to attendees. He will demonstrate how to make filled pasta.
Other returning chefs include Chicago’s Graham Elliot, who will face off in a mystery-basket challenge with TV personality Andrew Zimmern; Austin’s Paul Qui, who will show how to make his vegetarian Cambodian dip ktiss; and Houston’s Chris Shepherd. The Underbelly chef and James Beard Award winner’s love for Asian cuisine will be on display when he demonstrates how to make Vietnamese-style meat chips and Korean flat iron-grilled lamb vindaloo. And if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make sushi from a master, Tyson Cole will run a demo to teach you the way.
In the wine portion of the weekend programming, charming La V wine director Vilma Mazaite will direct attendees to some of her favorite sparkling wines from around the world. Popular fest fixture Mark Oldman will guide attendees through the best wines to enjoy with hot and spicy dishes and treat fest-goers to an education in some “special occasion” wines, and local Master Sommerlier Craig Collins and chef Andrew Curren of the Elm Restaurant Group will host a demo on food-and-wine pairing.
The Saturday chef showcase will include 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).
And Sunday will see Ji Peng Chen and Ling Qi Wu (Wu Chow); Sonya Cote (Eden East); Andrew Curren and 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) display their tasty handiwork.
“Weekender” passes for the festival cost $250 and offer access to the daytime events on Saturday and Sunday. The $550 “All-In” pass offers access to the daytime events, as well as Friday’s Taste of Texas and Saturday’s Rock Your Taco evening events at Republic Square Park. The festival kicks off with an unofficial, separately ticketed Feast Under the Stars on Thursday night.
For the complete schedule of events and demonstrations, and to buy tickets, visit austinfoodandwinefestival.com.