Some of Austin's best chefs teamed up with the Austin Food & Wine Alliance to raise money for culinary grants this Sunday. The annual Wine & Swine fundraiser was held at Star Hill Ranch, featuring pigs roasted by chefs from Austin and around Texas, including Steve McHugh from San Antonio's Cured and Dallas's John Tesar. Read on for the restaurant previews and boozy goodness on display.
- The festival completely dodged the bullet of Saturday's heinous weather -- the day was clear, sunny, and warm
- Some participating chefs were not quite as lucky -- the crew from Second Bar + Kitchen arrived in the pouring rain to start their pig roasting
- The ranch features a number of restored historic buildings, where inside the wine was flowing freely. Though this made stepping in and out of the wine buildings feel oddly illicit.
- Ben Runkle of Salt & Time previously received a grant from the Alliance to help support the shop's efforts to wholesale their salumi, and he confirms plans are moving forward on that front.
- The crew from Olamaie served up pimento cheese on their cultishly loved biscuits, one of the biggest hits of the afternoon.
- Laura Sawicki and Rene Ortiz previewed more dishes from Launderette, the East Austin project which is getting closer to opening after construction delays.
- Lawrence Kocurek was on hand with a preview his new project Counter 3. Five. VII, a tasting menu only restaurant in downtown Austin. They're on track to open in early 2015.
- Red Star Southern's Erica Waksmunski was blown away by the bottle opening skills of a dude named Gary -- he popped open several cider bottles with a knife.
- A happy attendee marveled on the way out: "It's just cinder blocks, some metal plates, pigs and lots of wine."