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Interactive conference puts food on menu

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com

Food is always a huge part of South by Southwest, and the pairing continues this year during the interactive conference.

The Bacon Takedown, a cooking contest that challenges home cooks to create sometimes wild and crazy dishes that involve bacon, returns for the third year, this time at 2 p.m. March 11 at Shangri-La. Earlier that day, the Food Experiments, another cooking competition born out of Brooklyn, will host the Taco Experiment to find the best homemade tacos in Austin. That competition will take place at noon at 501 Studios.

Two food celebrities — "No Reservations" host Anthony Bourdain and "Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchio — will talk about how social media allows them to create interactive television on two different panels. Bourdain and his "No Reservations" crew will present on March 13, while Colicchio will appear with fellow Bravo star Andy Cohen in a panel on March 10.

Like last year, the SXSW staff has arranged some of the food-related panels to be in the same location on the same day. On March 11 at the Driskill, you can hear about how food trucks are using social media, how open data can improve access to and the quality of food and how Brooklyn became such a hotbed for culinary artisans, including Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar and Joshua and Jessica Applestone, who recently opened a Fleisher's Meats in the borough.