Saturday at the Austin Food & Wine Festival was a fun-filled day at Butler Park with plenty to satisfy the culinary curiosity. I loved the expanded Fire Pits, now accommodating four chefs each day. Chef Jack Gilmore of Jack Allen’s Kitchen pulled out all the stops bringing in a retro-fitted fire truck equipped to grill a whole hog, even the head, and erecting what was best described by one reader as a “meat carousel” for grilling chickens.
Roasting the head in the fire truck
Chef Jack Gilmore’s meat carousel
The Contigo crew used the opportunity to preview the veggie-centric delights from Gardner, their new project opening this fall in East Austin. Chef Andrew Wiseheart was grilling potatoes and greens in clay and serving roasted white asparagus rolled in pork salt. They were the best vegetable dishes I’ve eaten in months and I can’t wait to see what else they will dream up for their new menu.
Butternut squash and clay vessels on the grill
Vegetables cooked in clay from Gardner
The Grand Tasting tent also offered up many delights with tasty bites from local chef favorites at the Chef Showcase. The black bass crudo from Chef Allison Jenkins of LaV, short rib from Chef Josh Watkins at The Carillon and the masa gnocchi from Chefs Zack Northcutt and Callie Speer at Swift’s Attic were some of my favorite bites of the day.
Masa gnocchi with a huitlcoche chip from Swift’s Attic
Black bass crudo from LaV
Short ribs from The Carillon
And, once again, I found plenty of artisan products to fall in love with. Stephanie McClenny of Confituras has a new strawberry and thyme jam that is out of this world, and I was thrilled to learn that Celtic Seafare of Dripping Springs now sells their smoked salmon at In.gredients market on Manor. The new to me find of High Brew Coffee, cold-brewed coffee in a can, will be a new staple in my fridge, particularly the salted caramel flavor that has just a touch of sweetness. You can find the elixir at H-E-B and Whole Foods.
Smoked salmon from Celtic Seafare
High Brew Coffee, cold-brew in a can
One of the more whimsical treats of the day was served up in the kitschy, but cute Kim Crawford Casa Mariposa. I loved the Kelvin Slushies made with Kim Crawford wine. The Kim Crawford Prickly Pear Punch was a particularly refreshing treat on a hot day.
Kim Crawford Prickly Pear Punch and Kim Crawford Citrus Wine Slush from Kelvin Natural Slush Co.
I’m off for day two and more great finds. See you at the festival!