Lone Star State of Mind: 2013 Austin Food & Wine Festival

Our contributor gives you the heads-up for the 2013 Austin Food & Wine Festival

The festival returns for its second year this weekend.

The upcoming second annual 2013 Austin FOOD & WINE Festival has many in a Lone Star state of mind. Food and the Austin chefs that create it have put Austin, Texas, on the map. Not only is Austin the "Live Music Capital of the World," but it is one of this countries culinary hot spots.  

Festival attendees will descend upon Austin to sip, savor, and stroll the festival grounds, rubbing elbows with some of the most celebrated chefs of our time, as well as fabulous lineup of Austin-based chefs.

Butler Park will host this year’s festival, adjacent to Auditorium Shores, which hosted 2012′s Austin FOOD & WINE Festival. Kicking off the festival with a bang will be the Taste of Texas event featuring the Whisky Shivers and Delta Spirit.

Come prepared, the Whiskey Shivers will most certainly light up the crowd with their blend of eclectic folk-bluegrass inspired music. I had the pleasure of hearing their music last year during a filming for Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservations, while noshing on John Mueller BBQ (which is now the John Mueller Meat Co). Dance Friday night away while enjoying food and cocktails, setting the stage for a fabulous weekend.

Saturday and Sunday’s schedule are jam-packed with celebrated chefs and FOOD & WINE festival favorites, such as Susan Feniger (also in town for a book signing of STREET FOOD and cooking class at Central Market),Andrew ZimmernMarcus SamuelssonBrian Malarkey (with soon-to-open Searsucker location in Austin), Mark MurphyJonathan Waxman, and more!  Check the schedule grid to catch any one of their demos. Let’s not forget the Rock Your Taco event Saturday night. One of last year’s highlights, celebrity chefs prepare tacos for the masses. This year chef Tyson Cole is back to defend his title. Will Tyson take home another win for Austin, or will the showdown have a new winner?

The Grand Tasting is back this year and features more than 50 of the "finest beverages in the nation" and 40-plus food artisan from Austin. New to the Grand Tasting this year is the Chef Showcase, where featured chefs from Austin and San Antonio, will dish up creations they’re well-known for, sure to satiate the most refined palates. Additionally, get up close and personal with some of the industry’s most innovative and knowledgeable tastemakers, as they introduce you to "The Tasting Room Session." Wine, cocktails, cider, and urban farming all come to the table in these sessions. How we share such staples which grace our plates today has changed, spanning multiple channels across the social media landscape.

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This year, the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival has created a video series, which features some of the chefs throughout the three-day festival. Get a sneak into the festival and the genius behind the culinary creations.