Love will repeat his Texas-sized hands-on grilling demos from last year, adding a third demo to the mix with Bizarre Foods Andrew Zimmern. The grilling demos will be in the Hands on Grilling Area and will have 100 grills set up for 200 people at each demo. I was at last years event and all I can say is I don't think I'll ever forget the intense smell of 200 steaks cooking at the same time.
Chef Love will also be participating in the Rock Your Taco Showdown on Saturday night, competing for the title of Best Taco in the Land. The showdown will feature 13 chefs, including Marcus Samuelsson, Susan Feniger, Tim Love and Austins own reigning taco champion from last year, Tyson Cole.
Actually, the DFW area is also well represented at this years festival by Chef Tim Byres, Chef & Co-owner of Smoke in Dallas, who will be part of the Taste of Texas Kickoff Event Friday night at Republic Square (7:00 - 9:30pm). Tim B. will also be manning the Fire Pit on Saturday, cooking on live fire and answering culinary questions.
Last year Chef Byres fire roasted three suckling pigs at the Taste of Texas Kickoff and was the hit of that night. I talked to Chef Byres and he assured me that pigs will be roasted! This time it will be an all-day event Saturday at Fire Pit. If you are interested in roasting your own pig, and I am (just dont tell my wife), Chef Byres will have copies of his new cookbook with diagrams of his homemade pig roasting apparatus.
Chef Tre Wilcox of Top Chef fame/Executive Chef of Marquee Grill in Highland Park Village, along with Chef Blaine Staniford, Executive Chef of Grace in Downtown Fort Worth, will also be taking part in the Taste of Texas Kickoff Event Friday night at Republic Square (7-9:30pm).
You can still buy tickets throughout the week at the Austin Food & Wine Festival website here. You must be 21 or older to attend, no children or child carriers allowed.
Check out the slideshow above for some pictures from last years festival.