by jane kellogg murray | April 24, 2014 | Food & Drink
As the gourmand world descends on Austin for the Austin Food & Wine Festival April 25-27, the only public place to get a taste of this exclusive foodie fest is Twitter. Turn to these nine local chefs, sommeliers, and foodies to get a backstage pass to their piece of Austin’s culinary empire.
Paul Qui tweeted this pic of masaba escabeche, slow scrambled eggs, and collard greens—served at his new restaurant, Qui
Why: James Beard Award-winning chef Paul Qui barely has time these days to compose an original tweet, but who can blame him? GQ recently named his latest restaurant Qui (@QUIAustin) number one on its 25 Best Restaurants in America, 2014 list, and this month the man was crowned one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs. But his Twitter feed is definitely not one to ignore—anything Paul touches right now seems to turn to gold…and he’s an active retweeter.
Scheduled for the #AFWFest: Fire Pit (April 26, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.); Panel | Sound Bites: Music & Cooking (April 27, 11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.)
Why: The chef de cuisine at the W Austin’s TRACE shares a peek inside his kitchen as he prepares for the fest, creates new dishes and charcuterie for his restaurant patrons, and hunts for local ingredients in his hometown of Austin.
Scheduled for the #AFWFest: Chef Showcase (April 27, 11:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m.)
Why: Professional boozehound David Alan released his first book, Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State, last summer, but he’s been chronicling the bartending habits of the Lone Star State for years.
Scheduled for the #AFWFest: Book Signing (April 26, 2:30–3 p.m.)
Why: The James Beard Award-nominated pastry chef shares the love among his fellow foodies—watch his Twitter for updates on the happenings of his chef friends; his pastry chef wife (Callie Speer of Swift’s Attic); and his upcoming pizzeria/bakery concept restaurant, St. Philip, in South Austin.
Scheduled for the #AFWFest: Taste of Texas (April 25, 7–9:30 p.m., Republic Square Park); Panel | Let’s Do The Timewarp (April 26, 2–2:45p.m.)
Deana Saukam (@DeanaSaukam) shared this edible art from La Condesa.
Why: If Paul Qui is too busy winning awards and opening new restaurants to tweet, it’s a good thing his fiancé and manager Deana Saukam is a social media guru. The “East Side Queen” tweets artful pictures that would satisfy any foodie, and on occasion gives us a peek inside the Austin power couple’s life.
Why: In 2010 acclaimed chef David Bull opened the popular downtown restaurant family of Congress, Second Bar + Kitchen, and Bar Congress. One of the presentations Bull will be giving at the festival is a flavor profile demonstration with cocktail aficionado Jason Stevens, the genius behind the counter at Bar Congress.
Scheduled for the #AFWFest: Demo | Both Sides of the Palate (April 26, 11:15 a.m.–12 p.m.); Rock Your Taco (April 26, 7–9:30 p.m., Republic Square Park)
Recent Tweet: #morcilla prep for #rockyourtaco by @stephenalantrevino the morcilla master! 500+ tacos and counting. @congressaustin #deliciousness - come by @austinfoodwine fest and get ur taco on next Saturday!
Why: This Austin-based academic, media consultant, and blogger is a Jane of all Trades—she’s even a Google Glass Explorer—but she has a true passion for food. Chen’s witty commentary and inquisitive nature has helped her snag interviews with the town’s top chefs for her blog, MisoHungry.
Recent Tweet: I just found out there will be ping pong at the @austinfoodwine festival this weekend. Who challenges me to a ping pong throw down? #afwfest
Why: As one of only two Master Sommeliers residing in Austin, Craig Collins—beverage director of Elm Restaurant Group (@arroatx, @easytigeratx, @24dineratx)—sees the city’s culinary world in a way only an oenophile could.
Recent Tweet: Attending @austinfoodwine? Check out 'Hop Aboard' w/@jesterkingbeer @AustinBeerworks @hopsandgrain nxt Sat. http://www.austinfoodandwinefestival.com/schedule/ #afwfest
Why: As Executive Director of the Austin Food & Wine Alliance, Mariam Parker is out and about experiencing all Austin has to offer when it comes to food and wine. As the beneficiary of the festival, the Alliance will give back to the town’s culinary community with a grant that funds projects focused on culinary innovation.
A throwback to last year’s Austin Food & Wine Festival: Momofuku Milk Bar’s chocolate chip passion fruit fantasy cake.
Why: Follow the official Austin Food & Wine Festival Twitter account or #afwfest to stay up-to-date with the best of the fest.