Sunday, March 24, 2013

The 2013 Austin FOOD & WINE Festival... Um, No Thanks!!

So not only do I enjoy cooking food, but I also love dining out in Austin and have been pretty excited to see the direction the city's culinary scene has taken in the past decade. Quite frankly the culinary scene was non existent prior to 2000, so we've come a long way relatively quickly; I knew it would be worth waiting for! I admit I'm a Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel junkie. The news is so depressing, reality shows are the death of our souls (Gypsy Sisters and Bigfoot Hunting- really??)  and yet cooking shows are a win- win because they are entertaining and educational and usually lead to inspiration for a great home cooked meal right here in The Bee Cave Kitchen.

Last year I was SO EXCITED when I heard that Austin was hosting it's first ever Food and Wine Fest sponsored by Food & Wine magazine. We spent $500 on a pair of weekend passes but my hopes and dreams for an amazing experience were absolutely shattered by the lack of planning and execution on the part of the promoters. I can't imagine how let down people who paid to travel here must have felt? I know life is filled with disappointments, but to spend half of a THOUSAND dollars to receive a few morsels of food, some sips of mediocre wine and nothing much else still has me reeling a year later.  My clothes and skin were literally covered in a gravely sheen from the dust and I did not get to witness any demonstrations up close. Just thinking about it makes me feel the need to take blood pressure meds, so I'm going to share a link to my Yelp review and hopefully will get the word out to help save the hard earned money of those thinking of attending. Oh, they claim they have made some improvements such as GRASS and larger areas to seek shelter from the blistering sun, but I seriously doubt it will be worth $250 per ticket, so consider yourself warned if you decide to take the chance.

Dustbowl with the beautiful ATX skyline as a backdrop. Should have thrown that $500 for a nice room at the W and drinks at Trace. This looks like a refuge camp- not a spot to enjoy fabulous food and wine!!!!!!

I snuck around to the side of the tent and used my super zoom to check out Marcus Samuelsson's demonstration that I never got to see since I didn't want to wait in line for one hour after paying $250.


  1. I sort of feel the same way. We went with my hudband to the Vodka tasteting and that was probably one of the best parts of the weekend. The waiting in line under the sun and the wind blowing dust everywhere definitely killed the atmosphere. We are definitely passing this year too.

  2. Wow. I'm glad I read this, since I was drooling over the festival and wondering if I could justify paying to attend! I think I'll pass and wait to see if there are some major improvements this year...

  3. Volunteer! That's how I got to go :)

    1. Midnight. I didn't want to volunteer but pay for a fun and easy VIP experience and instead entered a dust bowl of disappointment. I volunteer for charity events, not events where I want to splurge and feel pampered. That's like volunteering for my own pedicure. These folks let us down horrifically. Ah well.... So be it.


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