Austin Food + Wine Festival is one of Austin’s most beautiful culinary celebrations. It’s a time where Austin’s biggest and brightest serve the city and it’s guests some of their most delicious vittles. This year over 70 chefs united to create one of the cities most memorable annual events. Per usual, the local food and wine selection were outstanding. There were a few stand out restaurants that really blew me away! But what I found most interesting was the lack of cultural diversity. Specifically speaking, diversity in media. I could be wrong, but I was the only black media representative. In this post I recap my Austin Food + Wine Festival 2019 experience, and share why more black media should attend.
Downtown Austin’s Auditorium Shores is the backdrop of Austin Food + Wine Festival. The urban park is transformed into a food and drink paradise, filled with cook-offs, hands-on grilling, cooking lessons, gourmet wine and food, and much more. Though I’ve never visited Auditorium Shores outside of the festival, it appears to be a quite massive Metropolitan Park. Comfort is really important to me when it comes to festivals. Especially festivals occurring outdoors during the warmer months. Nothing sucks more than oversold festivals, large crowds and long lines beneath the glaring eye of the sun. Even during the peak hours of AFW fest shaded seating, tables, chairs and an abundant supply of Topo Chico are always available.
The 49 acre park is lined with tents, booths and pop-up exhibits from major brands like 14 Hands Wine, Hendrick’s Gin and Stella Artois just to name a few. There are tons of live demonstrations occurring that include wine tastings, chef demonstrations (where they literally cook and serve you!) It’s hands down legit.
Black Media Presence
Austin Food + Wine Fest has opened my eyes to the beauty of culinary arts. It’s one of the few events that I’ve ever been to where my culinary idols are actually available to engage with. It’s a great way, as media, to capture footage that we may not have the ability to obtain otherwise. Especially when the culinarians are black. Mainly because no major outlets are really clamoring over them. I did see Chef Carla Hall on site, but didn’t get a chance to meet her! Engaging with our celebrities is key, because it allows our followers to know that these types of events in some way attempt to include us.
If we as media, reach out and show support for events like this, black culinarians will also benefit. The event managers will start to engage with and invite more black chefs to participate, because there is an audience out there that wants to see and support them.
In closing, I suggest you stay up to date regarding media applications. I usually start checking the website in February, the media details are usually emailed to me in March. Because I have been a few times now, I am on their email list and get all the updates. Sarah is really helpful and ensures I get all the details I need!
PRESS & MARKETING INQUIRIES
The 2019 Press Application has closed.
The Austin Food + Wine Festival marks a collaboration between C3 Presents and some of Texas’ most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs, including Tim Love, Iron Chef Champion and Owner/Chef of Queenie’s Steakhouse, The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, and The Love Shack in Fort Worth; Tyson Cole, the James Beard Foundation Award-winning Owner/Chef of Uchi and Uchiko in Austin; and Jesse Herman, owner of the James Beard Foundation-nominated La Condesa in Austin/Napa. C3 is the Austin-based producer of Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits Music Festival.
A portion of the Festival’s proceeds will benefit The Austin Food & Wine Alliance, dedicated to fostering awareness and innovation in the Central Texas food and wine community through grants, educational programming and events.
The Austin Food + Wine Festival is one of my favorite “out of town” festivals. Although Austin is but a mere two hours from Houston, it still feels like I have escaped to another state when I attend. Austin has a different vibe, and the weather is also just a hair cooler than Houston. Making it the perfect location for a weekend of outdoor eating and drinking. I had the pleasure of attending the Austin Food + Wine Festival back in 2017, and it was so much fun. Learning about, and experiencing the various flavors from some of Austin’s finest chefs and restaurants was a true treat. As I pack my bags to head to Austin this weekend, I am looking forward to this year’s culinary lineup!
Curated Demo or Tasting Sessions
Although Austin Food + Wine Festival is known for its myriad of food and beverage tents, they also host tons of curated demo and tasting sessions. Here, guests can learn kitchen tips and tricks from the pros at featured cooking demos, or enjoy a guided tasting led by sommeliers and experts in wine and spirits. The tastings were so much fun! I thoroughly enjoyed sipping craft wines with the makers themselves.
My culinary idols will be in attendance and I can’t wait to engage with them. That’s another thing I really love about Austin Food + Wine Festival. It’s not over sold. Allowing guests to easily walk up to and chat with the people they see on television without all the celebrity hassle and media hype. Should you be attending the festival check out this year’s schedule. I am all over the Bordeaux experience. The curated Rosè session was all the rave a couple years back.
The chef showcase is always fun, especially for us out-of-towners. My husband was raised in Austin, and my mother-in-law still lives on the outskirts of the city. I use this festival as an excuse to create a list of restaurants to visit during our trips to see her. Additionally, highlighting Austin restaurants on my social media offers my followers a glimpse of what else the great state of Texas has to offer.
This year’s lineup is jam packed with a few of my favorite Austin restaurants, like Olive & June and Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden. Wearing your stretchy pants is a must. Not only are there 30+ chefs participating but there are literally too many wine, beer and beverage sponsors to count!
This show is sold out folks, so if you haven’t scored your tickets mark your calendar for 2020. All of the early birds have gotten the worms. Check out some of my photos and blog posts from 2017 below. Hopefully they will motivate you to add this to your “events you don’t want to miss” list!