Ladies and gentlemen, start your blenders.

Tickets for the fifth annual Austin Food & Wine Festival will go on sale Wednesday, January 20 at 10 a.m. CST, and from the lineup it seems as if half the chefs in Austin are cooking up their specialities, plus quite a few from other major Texas cities.

Fort Worth’s Tim Love, who also helped start the festival, is doing his boisterous grilling demonstration (twice). There’s a reasonably star-studded lineup of nationally known chefs judging and cooking in Saturday’s Rock Your Taco contest, a face-off to determine who can create the best taco, including TV personality Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods; chef Hugh Acheson (Empire State South in Atlanta); taco maestro Aarón Sánchez (Johnny Sánchez restaurant in New Orleans, plus Chopped and Taco Trip); and long-time celebrity chef Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto in NYC) to highlight just four.

New this year are two events: The first is a Friday night Social Hour at The Madison, with cocktails made by Austin mixologists Justin Lavenue and Dennis Gobis of the Roosevelt Room and snacks from the Peached Tortilla’s chef Eric Silverstein. The second new event is a Sunday gospel brunch, where you can repent of whatever you did at the Friday Social Hour. It will have entertainment by award-winning steel pedal guitarist Robert Randolph and the Voices of Greater Cavalry Gospel Choir.

Back for repeat performances is the popular Taste of Texas, a tasting walk-about in Republic Square Park on Friday, with signature dishes from many of the brightest talents in the state. Saturday and Sunday are the festival’s big days, with forty-odd cooking demonstrations, book signings, and interactive stations, including fire-pit cooking demos. No one will leave hungry, because the food tents—glamorously named the Chef Showcase—will have endless supplies of signature dishes.

Although most of the schedule will take place during the main festival, they’re also offering events for folks who want to pony up a little extra. The most exclusive add-on is the Feast Under the Stars, with a five-course menu with wine pairings by Tyson Cole (Uchi), David Bull (Second Bar + Kitchen), Atlanta chef Ford Fry (who just opened State of Grace in Houston), Tim Love, Omar Flores of Dallas’s Casa Rubia, and freelance pastry chef Janina O’Leary.

None of this is cheap, my friends. And the tiers of ticket prices require a degree in finance to understand. But if you’ve got the money, honey, and nothing to do but hang out eating and drinking all day, there is a lot to do. The basic “Weekender experience” is $250 per person. That includes Saturday and Sunday demos, wine and cocktail tastings, access to the Fire Pit, the Grand Taste Pavilion, the Chef Showcase (aka the food tents), and the Gospel Brunch.

The bigger “All-In experience” is $650 per person and includes all of the above plus Tim Love’s grilling show, entrance to evening events (including Taste of Texas and Rock Your Taco), and a subscription to Food & Wine magazine.

But wait, there’s more. If you want to go drink at the Friday night Social Hour, that’s $75 extra. Feast Under the Stars is $250. Oh well, you can’t take it with you.

The festival will be held April 22-24, at Auditorium Shores and Republic Square Park, with a special pre-festival event April 21. You can buy tickets here. Check out the entire list (so far) of chefs and mixologists participating:

Chef Showcase

  • Joe Anguiano (VOX Table)
  • Jeff Balfour (Southerleigh)
  • John Bates & Brandon Martinez (Noble Sandwich Co.)
  • John Brand (Hotel Emma)
  • Damien Brockway (Counter 3. FIVE. VII)
  • Tyson Cole (Uchi, Uchiko)
  • Sonya Cotê (Hillside Farmacy, Eden East)
  • Todd Duplechan & Melissa Moss (Lenoir)
  • Kevin Fink (Emmer & Rye)
  • Kazu Fukumoto (Fukumoto)
  • James Holmes (Olivia)
  • Josh Jones (Salt & Time)
  • Lance Kirkpatrick (Stiles Switch BBQ)
  • Tim Lane (Burn)
  • Rick Lopez (La Condesa)
  • Tim Love (Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Love Shack, Queenie’s Steakhouse, White Elephant Saloon, Woodshed Smokehouse)
  • Harold Marmulstein (Salty Sow)
  • Sarah McIntosh (Épicerie)
  • Frank Mnuk (Geraldine’s)
  • David Norman (Easy Tiger)
  • Olivia O’Neal & Steve O’Neal (Sugar Mamas)
  • Michael Paley (South Congress Hotel)
  • Ji Peng Chen & Ling Qi Wu (Wu Chow)
  • Paul Qui (East Side King, Thai-Kun)
  • James Robert (Fixe)
  • Eric Silverstein (The Peached Tortilla)
  • Anthony Sobotik (Lick)
  • Chris Turgeon (Unit D Pizzeria)
  • Carmen Valera (Tamale House East)
  • Casey Wilcox (Justine’s)
  • Martin Wilda (Sway)
  • Kevin Williamson (Ranch 616)
  • Nicholas Yanes (Juniper)
  • Carlos Ysaguirre (Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile)

Rock Your Taco (competing chefs)

  • Hugh Acheson (Empire State South, Five & Ten, The Florence, The National)
  • Jimmy Bannos & Jimmy Bannos Jr. (Heaven on Seven, The Purple Pig, Juicy –O)
  • Tyson Cole (Uchi, Uchiko)
  • Jason Dady (Tre Trattoria, Tre Enoteca, Two Bros BBQ, DUK Truck, B&D Ice House, Duck Shack)
  • Amanda Freitag (Chopped, American Diner Revival, Unique Eats)
  • Bryce Gilmore (Barley Swine, Odd Duck)
  • Antonia Lofaso (Scope Italian Roots, Black Market Liquor Bar)
  • Tim Love (Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Love Shack, Queenie’s Steakhouse, White Elephant Saloon, Woodshed Smokehouse)
  • Seamus Mullen (Tertulia, El Colmado, Containers at Mondrian London)
  • Paul Qui (East Side King, Thai-Kun)
  • Kent Rathbun (Abacus, Hickory, Jasper’s)
  • Aarón Sánchez (Johnny Sánchez, Chopped, Taco Trip)
  • Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo (Animal, Sun of a Gun, Trois Mec, Petit Trois)
  • Ming Tsai (Blue Dragon, Blue Ginger)
  • Jonathan Waxman (Adele’s, Bajo Sexto Taco, Brezza Cucina, Barbuto, Jams)

Taste of Texas

  • Tatsu Aikawa (Ramen Tatsu-Ya)
  • Matt Balke (Bolsa)
  • Richard Blankenship (CBD Provisions)
  • Luis Colon (Folc)
  • Mary Cuclis (Pondicheri)
  • Andrew Curren (ELM Restaurant Group)
  • Adam Dorris (Pax Americana)
  • Michael Fojtasek & Grae Nonas (Olamaie)
  • Ford Fry (State of the Grace, King and Duke, The Optimist)
  • Diego Galicia & Rico Torres (Mixtli)
  • Steve McHugh (Cured)
  • Wayne Mueller (Louie Mueller Barbecue)
  • Susana Querejazu (Barley Swine, Odd Duck)
  • Cody Sharp (Filament)
  • Ryan Shields (Bullfight)
  • Marc Vetri (Pizzeria Vetri)

Fire Pits

  • Ned Elliot (Foreign & Domestic)
  • Bryce Gilmore (Barley Swine, Odd Duck)
  • Jack Gilmore (Jack Allen’s Kitchen)
  • Paul Qui (Qui)
  • Kent Rathbun (Abacus, Hickory, Jasper’s)
  • Blaine Staniford (Grace, Little Red Wasp)
  • Andrew Wiseheart (Contigo, Gardner)

Feast Under the Stars

  • David Bull (Second Bar + Kitchen)
  • Tyson Cole (Uchi, Uchiko)
  • Omar Flores (Driftwood, Casa Rubia)
  • Ford Fry (State of the Grace, King and Duke, The Optimist)
  • Tim Love (Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Love Shack, Queenie’s Steakhouse, White Elephant Saloon, Woodshed Smokehouse)
  • Janina O’Leary


  • Master Sommelier Devon Broglie
  • Master Sommelier Craig Collins
  • Food & Wine’s executive wine editor Ray Isle
  • Sommelier Vilma Mazaite
  • Author Mark Oldman