Last night, the Austin Food & Wine Festival, now in its third year, kicked off with a Feast Under the Stars event at Butler Park. Ahead of the event, we chatted with some of the culinary stars coming to town, including festival newbie Rick Bayless and wine guru Mark Oldman, and over the weekend, we’ll be filing live reports from some of the evening and daytime events on our respective blogs.

Don’t have a ticket? The W Hotel is hosting free interview lounge with Food Republic today and a ticketed event on Saturday night called Cirque du Trace.

In restaurant news, Trento on Loop 360 has closed to make way for another Jack Allen’s Kitchen, and the family behind Black’s BBQ in Lockhart will be opening its first Austin location in the former Boomerang Pie’s home on Guadalupe later this year.

Earlier this week, Arianna Auber explained the changes that are coming to Austin breweries that will allow them to sell their craft beers more like a bar.

In today’s Austin360, Matthew Odam tells us about three wine bars — Apothecary, Wink and Winebelly — that have evolved from the "stuffy cosmopolitan" wine bars of the 10 years ago.

Dale Roe, who is covering the Moontowner Comedy Festival this weekend, enlightened me to KFC’s newest marketing stunt: The Chicken Corsage, a $20 gimmick aimed at the prom demographic.

Cristina Peña, who covers Williamson County for the Statesman, had a trio of interesting food stories in the past week. She (wisely) explored what it means to a traditionally German community like Pflugerville when German grocer Aldi makes plans to come to town. She also broke the news (to me at least) about Once Over Coffee, one of my favorite coffee shops in town, getting into the roasting business with former Cuvee roaster Clancy Rose. (The new roasting company, Wild Gift Coffee, will open later this year.) And with baseball season in full swing, Peña shares the details about the overhauled food options at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, which include a Jack Allen’s Kitchen. (That Jack Gilmore is everywhere these days!)