I had a very pleasant surprise last month...I won Hipstamatic's #HipstaAustin contest with my picture of a frittata at Nick's on Broadway from my trip to Providence. The loot: two free VIP passes to the Austin FOOD&WINE festival! I got in touch with Andi immediately and booked my plane ticket that very night (at the Nationals' baseball game, mind you).
This was the first year of the festival, and I am so grateful that I got to attend (Thanks again, Hipstamatic!). Each day was full of sessions to choose from as well as grand tastings, book signings, and more. I was also pleasantly surprised with how much I learned about cooking, food tips, wine pairings, etc. Maybe that shouldn't have surprised me, but apparently I was just there for the food.
Here's a brief recap of the weekend, heavy on the pictures (which you may also view on Facebook if you prefer)...
Chef Morimoto: Mastering The Art of Sushi
"This will be easy...for me." Chef Morimoto
He showed us how to make sashimi and sushi. And we learned that you put the wasabi on the fish, varying amounts of it depending on the fish.
Andi and I managed to get him to autograph our badges. Then I even got a picture with Morimoto!
Marcus Samuelsson: Birds of a Feather
We got to the tent quite early for this session. Marcus was setting up and preparing for a bit, so I decided to edit food pictures on my phone from the grand tasting. Naturally, this is when he decides to come down to shake hands and tells Andi, "I'll shake your hand. She's on Facebook..." BUSTED!
Marcus made some fried chicken and taught us to fry chicken multiple times. How did I not know this already? At least twice, preferably three times. Mind: blown!
He also made some delicious sides and even brought a man up from the audience (sitting in our row) to try a plate. See below. I want to eat that all RIGHT NOW.
And then Tim Love dropped by and switched hats on Marcus! Look at these two!
David Bull: Savory Chocolate
Savory? Yes. Chocolate? Yes. SAVORY CHOCOLATE? Well...okay! David Bull showed us how to pair cacao nibs with perfectly seared scallops, accompanied with a jicama-mint salad, coconut cream and chocolate mint. If only I actually ate scallops. Because it looked AMAZING.
Rock Your Taco Showdown
Saturday night, nine chefs created their take on a taco, and we got to try them all and then the judges declared the winner...
Austin's own, Tyson Cole!
And Mayer Hawthorne & The County provided musical entertainment all evening. A perfect April evening in Austin I might add.
Michelle Bernstein: Spanish Tapas
Well, there you have it. A taste of my weekend in Austin for the FOOD&WINE festival. And speaking of taste...here are some pictures from the various tastings. (Hipstamatic's FoodiePak FTW!) WARNING: pictures may make you hungry...
Again, you can view all these pics (full size) on Facebook.