The Austin Food & Wine Festival Tuesday announced the schedule for its third annual festival, which will feature more than 40 interactive sessions, cooking demonstrations, tastings and panels. Participating talent at the event that runs April 25-27 includes first-time AFWF attendees Richard Blais and Rick Bayless; returning chefs Graham Elliot and Andrew Zimmern; and local stars David Bull and Philip Speer.
Bayless, a trailblazer in the world of Mexican cuisine and winner of two James Beard Awards for his cookbooks, will preview three dishes from his latest cookbook, "Fiesta at Rick’s." "Top Chef: All-Stars" winner Blais will host TrailBlais, a molecular cuisine cooking demonstration that will riff on tacos and tequila, while serving as a preview of the chef’s new San Diego restaurant, Juniper & Ivy. Bayless and Blais will also participate in the popular Saturday night Rock Your Taco event, open to Savor badge holders ($850), with tickets available for purchase for Taste badge holders ($250).
"I’ve traveled to Austin before and it has become one of my favorite cities," Blais said. "I’m looking forward to getting to know the people and culture there a bit better and to participating in such a dynamic and up-and coming-festival. I’ve worked with the C3 team in the past on the Cultivate Festival and am excited to be a part of another one of their productions."
Other demonstrations include Andrew Zimmern’s cheekily titled Big Balls, which will showcase the TV personality’s Duck Tsukune (Japanese chicken meatballs) and Pearl Rice Balls, and Texas chef Kent Rathbun’s Smoking for Non-Smokers, wherein the Jasper’s chef teaches attendees to make cedar-smoked fish without a smoker.
The weekend’s events will also include wine, cocktail and craft brew discussions and tastings with Austinites Vilma Mazaite (LaV), master sommeliers Craig Collins (beverage director for ELM Restaurant Group), Josh Hare (Hops & Grain), Ron Extract (Jester King Brewery), Nate Wells (La Condesa) and Jessica Sanders (Drink. Well.).
The Chef’s Showcase takes place on Saturday and Sunday afternoon with tastings from local chefs such as John Bates & Brandon Martinez (Noble Sandwiches); Stefan Bowers (Feast Restaurant); Shawn Cirkiel (Parkside, Olive & June, Chavez & Backspace); Mat Clouser (Swift’s Attic); Chris Hurley & Jennifer Costello (Bonneville); Lawrence Kocurek (Trace); Rick Lopez (La Condesa); Sandi Reinlie (Vespaio); and Kevin Williamson (Ranch 616).
For the complete schedule and information on tickets, visit AustinFoodAndWineFestival.com.