Austin Food + Wine Festival Tickets Go On Sale Today

More events, more celebrity chefs

Oxheart at the 2015 festival (photo by john Anderson)

You’ve been waiting all year – hungrily watching for any sign of the return of the Austin Food + Wine Festival and all hundreds of bites that you will get to eat over a long weekend. Just when you thought your patience would run out, AFWF announced that tickets go on sale at 10am today.

The festival is adding a few new events this year. Sunday brings a gospel brunch featuring Robert Randolph and the Voices of Greater Calvary Gospel Choir, The Driskill Hotel and  celebrate 130 years in a lavish meal presented by chef Troy Knapp and Hailey Trefethen, and Justin Lavenue and Dennis Gobis of The Roosevelt Room, and the Peached Tortilla’s Eric Silverstein host a special Friday social hour at The Madison.

This year’s Feast Under the Stars line-up includes David Bull (Second Bar + Kitchen), Tyson Cole (Uchi, Uchiko); Omar Flores (Dallas’ Casa Rubia); Ford Fry (Houston’s State of the Grace), Tim Love (Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Love Shack, Queenie's Steakhouse, White Elephant Saloon, Woodshed Smokehouse), and pastry chef Janina O’Leary. Tickets for the four-course collaborative dinner on Thursday, April 21 are $250 (with wine pairings and parking included) but the tickets are separate from the main event.

Jamestown Revival play the Taste of Texas at last year's event (photo by john Anderson)

The Taste of Texas kickoff event at Republic Square Park features talent from throughout the state, including Tatsu Aikawa (Ramen Tatsu-Ya), Matt Balke (Dallas’ Bolsa), Richard Blankenship (Dallas’ CBD Provisions), Luis Colon (San Antonio’s Folc), Mary Cuclis (Houston’s Pondicheri), Andrew Curren (ELM Restaurant Group), Adam Dorris (Houston’s Pax Americana), Michael Fojtasek and Grae Nonas (Olamaie), Ford Fry, Diego Galicia and Rico Torres (San Antonio’s Mixtli), Steve McHugh (San Antonio’s Cured), Wayne Mueller (Louie Mueller Barbecue), Susana Querejazu (Barley Swine, Odd Duck), Cody Sharp (Dallas’ Filament), Ryan Shields (Bullfight), and Marc Vetri (Pizzeria Vetri).

The festival grounds open up Saturday and Sunday, April 23-24. The Grand Taste Tents are filled with some of Austin’s brightest culinary talent (and a couple of out-of-owners). Chefs this year include Joe Anguiano (VOX Table), Jeff Balfour (San Antonio’s Southerleigh), John Bates and Brandon Martinez (Noble Sandwich Co.), John Brand (San Antonio’s Hotel Emma), Damien Brockway (Counter 3. FIVE. VII), Thai Changtong (Thai-kun), Tyson Cole, Sonya Cotê (Hillside Farmacy, Eden East), Todd Duplechan and Melissa Moss (Lenoir), Kevin Fink (Emmer & Rye), Kazu Fukumoto (Fukumoto), James Holmes (Olivia), Josh Jones (Salt & Time), Clinton Kendall (East Side King), Lance Kirkpatrick (Stiles Switch BBQ), Tim Lane (Burn), Rick Lopez (La Condesa), Tim Love,  Harold Marmulstein (Salty Sow), Sarah McIntosh (Épicerie), Frank Mnuk (Geraldine’s), David Norman (Easy Tiger), Olivia O’Neal and Steve O’Neal (Sugar Mamas Bakeshop),  Michael Paley (South Congress Hotel), Ji Peng Chen and Ling Qi Wu (Wu Chow), James Robert (Fixe), Eric Silverstein, Anthony Sobotik (Lick Honest Ice Cream), Chris Turgeon (Unit D Pizzeria), Carmen Valera (Tamale House East), Casey Wilcox (Justine’s Brasserie), Martin Wilda (Sway), Kevin Williamson (Ranch 616), Nicholas Yanes (Juniper), and Carlos Ysaguirre (Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile).

Jack Allen's Kitchen's Chris Ten Eyck grills at the 2014 festival (photo by john Anderson)

Fire pits will be dotted at four stations throughout the park, where a rotating cast of top chefs will be giving live cooking demos. This year’s pitmasters are Ned Elliot (Foreign & Domestic), Bryce Gilmore (Barley Swine, Odd Duck), Jack Gilmore (Jack Allen’s Kitchen),  Paul Qui (qui), Kent Rathbun (DFW’s Abacus, Hickory, Jasper’s), Blaine Staniford (Fort Worth’s Grace, Little Red Wasp), and Andrew Wiseheart (Contigo, Gardner). “All-In” ticket holders will again get the opportunity to take part in Tim Love’s hands-on grilling demonstrations.

Saturday’s marquee Rock Your Taco competition has more starts this ever. Love will defend his 2015 title against Hugh Acheson (Savannah’s The Florence, Atlanta’s Empire State South, Athen’s Five & Ten and The National), Jimmy Bannos & Jimmy Bannos Jr. (Chicago’s Heaven on Seven, The Purple Pig, Juicy-O), Tyson Cole, Jason Dady (San Antonio’s Tre Trattoria, Tre Enoteca, Two Bros BBQ, DUK Truck, B&D Ice House, Shuck Shack), Amanda Freitag (Chopped, American Diner Revival, Unique Eats),  Bryce Gilmore; Antonia Lofaso (Venice, CA’s Scope Italian Roots, Studio City’s Black Market Liquor Bar), Paul Qui, Kent Rathbun, Aarón Sánchez (New Orlean’s Johnny Sánchez, ChoppedTaco Trip), Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Los Angeles’ Animal, Son of a Gun, Trois Mec, Petit Trois); Ming Tsai (Boston’s Blue Dragon, Blue Ginger), and Jonathan Waxman (Nashville’s Adele’s and Bajo Sexto Taco, Atlanta’s Brezza Cucina, NYC’s Barbuto and Jams). The all-star panel of judges includes Food & Wine’s Christina GrdovicGraham Elliot, and Andrew Zimmern.

Rock Your Taco competitor Hugh Acheson demos in 2015

Completing the line up is some heavy-hitter beverage pros including master sommeliers Devon Broglie and  Craig Collins, Food + Wine’s executive wine editor Ray Isle, sommelier Vilma Mazaite, and author Mark Oldman. Tickets for the festival weekend and the separately ticketed offshoot events are available here.

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