A Recap of Wine With Lisa’s Food and Wine Adventures at the Austin Food & Wine Festival 2014: Food and Wine Texas-style….and so much more!

Enjoy my recap of just a few of the fabulous festival sips and bites as well as just hanging around Austin.

Stay hungry and thirsty for more!

FOR MORE INFO ON NEXT YEAR’S EVENT BE SURE TO GO TO www.AustinFoodandWineFestival.com and get on the email list for all upcoming events!

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The Austin Food and Wine Festival is one of the best reasons to visit the amazing city!

Austin is just one of those cities that you must experience at least once in your life. But once you have experienced it, that just might not be enough. Austin is like your first love with unforgettable memories that bring a smile to your heart. Any reason (as if I needed one) is a good reason to visit my one-time home. The food culture, ohhh the food, the wine, the seductive vibe of the city….and everything in between.  Since I moved away, I found myself daydreaming about my adventures in Austin and the Texas Hill Country. I do love the ridiculously hot summer days and pleasant summer nights, drinking Mexican Martinis with forever-friends at one of the many unique restaurant bars plentiful around town; it’s just my favorite place on earth.

The Texas Hill Country in known for its unique culinary culture!

 For sure, every spring I will always find myself in Austin for the food and wine festival. This yearly springtime festival celebrates the Texas Hill Country’s unique culture of food, wine, hand-crafted artisan vodka, wine, and craft beer that showcase the distinct food culture at it’s best.

Hanging out underneath the Live Oak trees is one of the many reasons why I love Austin sooo much. Just about anywhere you go in Austin, there will always be Live Oak trees decorated with lights just like Republic Square in the heart of Austin.

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We wined and dined to music under the stars at Republic Park.

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These are three days  of mingling with some of the most talented chefs in the country and beyond while enjoying all of the food and beverages that you could possibly every want!

Executive Chef Kolin Vazzoler , from the kitchen at SIMI Winery, brought his wine pairing skills to Austin at the SIMI wine tent.

Chicken fried quail with pickled onions and okra paired with SIMI Chardonnay was winner.  I just love SIMI wine on tap! You must visit SIMI winery. I was there last year and spent a fabulous day with Luke and Chef Kolin roaming all around the winery and vineyard and enjoying an amazing pairing by Chef Kolin himself.

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IMG_6060   Aaron Franklin of Franklin’s BBQ  was already in full force at festival early on Sunday morning. I got there just in time for the best treat of the whole weekend. Breakfast for me was dinosaur-sized perfectly slow cooked ribs by Aaron himself! What pairs best with smokey slow-cooked ribs with black pepper? The Federalist Zinfandel, of course! AaronFranklinPicMonkey Collage   With photos like this, you KNOW it’s got to be good!   PigHeadPicMonkey Collage Octopus and lamb picadillo taco took first place at the Rock Your Taco event on Saturday evening. I had a chance to talk to Celebrity Chef Richard Blais and was thrilled to find out that he had just announced Saturday FLIP Burger Restaurant will soon be opening in Nashville!   RichardBlaisPicMonkey Collage   Nashville’s own Chef Tandy Wilson  prepared a rustic and delicious crunchy scrapple taco for the Rock Your Taco Event.TandyNashvillePicMonkey Collage

I was in BBQ Heaven! I have to tell ya that the brisket was just about perfect. Look at it! Mueller’s succulent brisket.yum. MuellerBBQPicMonkey Collage     Had a chance to speak briefly with Chef John Currence  the culinary giant of Oxford Mississippi. He culinary passion and skills are what make City Grocery, Lamar Lounge, Big Bad Breakfast, Snackbar, and Bouré some of the best restaurants of the South. Click on the link 10 dishes that made his career and see why his New Orleans roots led to his success.

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The night before, I met up with friends at Contigo, a chic yet rustic ranch-style bar and restaurant near downtown Austin. The ambiance is stellar and the menu is amazing. Check out the photo below to drool over the perfectly seasoned rabbit paté and crispy fried green beans.  Ben Edgerton, owner and General Manager of Contigo and Gardner was on hand at the festival on Sunday to sample the menu for the soon to be opening Gardner.

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 Gardner Restaurant will focus on local fresh vegetables such as charred broccoli and fire-roasted vegetables as well as local meats.

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Best friend foodie weekend for these two lovely ladies!

 

Duck and Kangaroo? Seriously? Frankly, it was delicious! Check out Frank in Austin, Texas!

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It seems that every food and wine event there is always at least one or more quail dishes and that just makes me very happy. It reminds me of growing up in Louisiana. My father was a hunter and we spent many Sundays eating grilled quail.  Diamond H Ranch featured grilled quail with a fresh strawberry sauce which was delicious!

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Sunday Morning in the Tasting Tents featured Chef  Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food with very fresh and succulent pan seared scallops. How lovely to begin the day with this dish! I had seconds…..

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Dripping Springs, Texas was my home for 3 years. Dripping Springs Vodka  is one of my favorite vodkas and it makes a refreshing mixer with oranges and ginger ale. OSNAP!

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One of best ways to get around down town Austin is a Pedicab! I had the best time roaming from event to event! Every driver was friendly and they work on tips. During the day I was able to hail a Pedicab from the hotel to the park where the AFWF events were taking place. At night, they are priceless for getting around to all the different bars and restaurants!

 

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Sunday afternoon I was invited to a birthday party on a Pubcrawler  with my forever friends (aka The Foogowies). We peddled our way through downtown Austin on 6th Street and stopped at the Mean Eyed Cat and other pubs along the way. I love these guys and I miss them! They are lucky to live and play is such a cool town…..Miss you guys!

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Well, that’s it for another year in Austin at The Food & Wine Festival. I am glad to know that I always will have an excuse to travel to Austin. With fabulous forever-friends, food and beverage along with the gorgeous view, I think I’ll be back soon!

Love ya forever…. 😉

 

About The Author

Lisa Mays

Lisa is passionate about wine and holds the WSET Advanced Certificate (Wine and Spirit Education Trust of London). She will be pursuing her Diploma Certificate through rigorous on-going studies and plans to attain the prestigious Master of Wine designation.

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Author of this web sitehttp://www.winewithlisa.com

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