Looking ahead to spring, the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival, which will take place April 25-27 in Austin’s Butler Park, is gearing up for a full slate of cooking demonstrations, interactive fire pits, live music, and wine-and-cocktail tastings featuring internationally known chefs, sommeliers, and culinary personalities.
Much has been written about the ticket prices, which start at $250 (for a two-day pass to daytime events at Butler Park) and go up to $850 (including special VIP events, Taste of Texas kickoff on Friday night, and Saturday evening’s popular “Rock Your Taco” celebrity-chef showdown).
But we’ll weigh in about the $250 offering, and say that—based on the culinary bounty evidenced last year—it’s worth it. Consider this: $250 buys you two full days of drinking (fine wines and beers, exclusive spirits, and interesting non-boozy options like cold-pressed juices), eating (the sky’s the limit), and opportunities to learn from some of the nation’s best chefs and drink experts, including Texas chefs Tim Love, Monica Pope, Andrew Wiseheart, and Paul Qui. Hands-on demonstrations and classes led by these chefs and others might change the way you look at your kitchen. If you plan your days well, you can find yourself in eight or so classes or presentations. Plan your transportation, accordingly, of course: Butler Park is within walking distance of many downtown accommodations, and cabs and pedicabs were plentiful surrounding the park last year. See www.austinfoodandwinefestival.com.