Austin Foodie Bits ~ Food and Wine Events January 8, 2013 Edition

After more than a year’s hiatus I’m happy to return to my (almost, usually, as best I can) weekly guide to Austin food and wine events. Austin is a veritable smorgasbord of interesting and education events for food lovers, and many also give you the opportunity to support important philanthropic organizations that further support our food community. I hope you’ll find this listing useful.

Event Spotlight

Austin Food and Wine Festival Tim Love Event HighlightsWhile it’s not until April, I’d highly recommend that you start planning now for The Austin FOOD & WINE Festival. After a first year of the festival that saw chef Tim Love teach 100 people to grill, on 50 charcoal grills that filled a Sunday morning sky with plumes of glorious grill smoke, I think we should expect an evolved and more local festival this year. Austinites being who we are, we weren’t shy about sharing our feedback with the festival producers and, if the line up this year is any indicator, they listened. More local chefs including David Bull of 2nd and Congress, Philip Speer of Uchi and Uchico, Rene Ortiz of La Condessa and Sway, and Aaron Franklin of Franklin BBQ will participate this year. We’ll also be treated to the culinary talents and insights of visiting chefs including Marcus Samuelsson, Andrew Zimmern, and Tre Wilcox. The festival has revamped their ticket packages so there’s something for everyone. As we get closer to the festival I’ll dig into the events and chefs I’m most excited about.

Be Spontaneous: Events in the Next Ten Days

January 9: Wine 101 – Learn the difference between pinot and cab, chardonnay and zin in this free wine tasting class at Twin Liquors. You’ll become a more savvy and comfortable wine buyer, able to navigate a wine list or store with confidence. Free. 6:30 pm. RSVP to

January 14: Farm to Disco Fondue Party – Get ready to dance your booty off! Support the Sustainable Food Center while you enjoy all you can eat meat, bread, and veggie fondu as well as a couple of Dripping Springs Vodka Cocktails. The new years is a couple of weeks behind us, it’s time to get your groove back on. $60/person. 7:00 pm. Buy tickets online.

January 16: Rutherford Ranch Wine Dinner – Head to Jaspers at the Domain for a wine dinner with pairings from Rutherford Ranch. The menu features lobster, scallops, quail, and boar so this isn’t your typical tasting. $85/person + gratuity. Call 512.832.8012 to reserve.

January 16 – February 10: Lion King Pre-Theater Dinner – A visit to the theater just isn’t complete with a special dinner before or after. TRIO at the Four Seasons has a special dinner menu to complete your Lion King experience that includes appetizer, entrée, and dessert as well as parking at the hotel and VIP parking at Bass Concert Hall. There’s a special menu for the kiddos to so there’s something for everyone. $49/adult + gratuity, children’s menu is a la carte. Call 512.685.8300 to reserve.

January 17: Austin Food and Wine Alliance Chef Wine and Dine Dinner with David Bull –  Join one of Austin’s favorite chefs for a five-course dinner at the top of the Austonian, the tallest building in Austin. Chef Bull never fails to disappoint with his food or his hospitality, so this dinner promises to be a great one. It’s the first in a series of chef dinners that will support the Austin Food and Wine Alliance culinary grants program so you’ll be supporting a great cause too. $150/person. Buy tickets online.

Plan Ahead: Events in the Next Three Weeks

January 22: Downtown Austin Dishcrawl

January 23: Brews with John Bates of Noble Pig at TRACE

January 23: South Congress Dishcrawl

January 24: Extra Virgin Olive Oil 101

January 25: Robert Burns Scotch Event and Tasting

January 26: Jester King Second Anniversary Party and Market

January 27: 7th Annual Jo’s 7th Annual Chili Cook Off

January 31: Balsamic Vinegar 101

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