Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes this year’s Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival. This year, for the first time, festival organizers Culinaria and Visit San Antonio are partnering with the James Beard Foundation to bring 4 days of culinary extravagance to San Antonio. The event will be held at historic Travis Park in the heart of downtown San Antonio and will showcase more than 100 chefs.
This is your chance to experience a vast array of foods prepared by distinguished, award-winning chefs as well as new rising culinary stars from all across Texas. National celebrity chefs from around the U.S. and Mexico will also be in the Tasting Texas spotlight.
According to Culinaria president and CEO, Suzanne Taranto-Etheredge, the company’s mission is to promote San Antonio as a premier destination for food and beverages while fostering community growth. As one of only two cities in the country with creative city of gastronomy UNESCO status, San Antonio is one of the foremost culinary centers in the country.
The Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival is one of the ways the city works to promote San Antonio’s culinary excellence and shine the spotlight on the creative chefs that call the city home.
Some of the information in this piece was obtained via a press trip. All opinions are my own.
A Culinary Festival With A Purpose
The pandemic was devastating to the restaurant industry, and while things are improving, there’s still a long way to go. Culinaria and Visit San Antonio are partnering with the James Beard Foundation to put chefs back to work and provide financial aid to culinary students.
This year, proceeds from the festival will benefit the James Beard Foundation’s scholarship programs, allowing opportunities for minority students to pursue their culinary dreams. The festival will also provide established and up-and-coming chefs from Texas and the entire country with a vehicle to showcase their culinary talent and gain exposure.
Tasting Texas Festival Events
The 4-day festival will be held from October 27–30 and includes a variety of events, dining experiences, historical tours, and more — centered on the Texas culinary experience. At the center of it all is the Grand Tasting at The Collective. It will include different types of chef-prepared foods, wine, cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, CBD wines, wine & cocktail seminars, cooking demos, wellness trends, a variety of musical performances, shopping, and more.
Tasting Texas Ticket Packages
Three different ticket packages are available: The Collective, The Weekender, and The Super VIP.
Tickets for The Collective — a market-style experience held at Travis Park from Friday through Sunday, noon–6 p.m. — include all food and beverages as well as the entire immersive experience on all 3 days.
Tickets for The Weekender include admission to Southern Hospitality at Pearl, Celebrate Agave, and general admission to The Collective for all 3 days.
The Super VIP includes your choice of one dinner on Thursday night plus Southern Hospitality, VIP Access to all 3 days of The Collective, Celebrate Agave, VIP parties, and VIP-only seminars.
A la carte tickets are also available.
Weekend Activities At Tasting Texas Food + Wine
Themed Dinners On Thursday
An array of venues around town will be hosting themed dinners Thursday night. Dinner options include Four Brothers at Omni, A Journey Through BBQ in Texas at Botika, Ain’t Your Average Steak Night at Hotel Contessa, Canary Island Basque Exchange, and more.
Friday: Wine, History, And Southern Hospitality
Events on Friday include lunch at one of the premier vineyards in the Texas Hill Country, Becker Vineyards, where you’ll enjoy a chef-prepared meal and expert wine pairings. Also on Friday is a tour of the historical San Antonio Missions, one of only 24 sites in the U.S. to be named a World Heritage Site. Friday night, head to Pearl for the fantastic Southern Hospitality culinary experience.
Saturday: A Spooky 5K Run And Day Dining
Start your day with a spooky run. The 5K Hallowine Run at The Shops at LaCantera is where you can run in costume and be greeted at the finish line with adult beverages and scrumptious bites from some of San Antonio’s best chefs. Later, dine the day away with local chefs while discovering some of San Antonio’s hidden gem restaurants.
Sunday: Brunch Plus Live Fire At Travis Park
Enjoy Southern cuisine at the Gospel & Grits Brunch where you’ll dine on quintessential southern specialties. Fried chicken, okra, biscuits, grits, and greens, along with peach cobbler and pecan pie, will be on the menu. Or, tour the San Antonio River with a glass of bubbly and settle in for a culinary and historical tour of the area. At Travis Park, things heat up with all sorts of hot cooking techniques including grilling, smoking, and more.
Tasting Texas Hotel Partners
Festival organizers have partnered with three hotels to accommodate your stay. VIP Host Hotel, Mokara Hotel and Spa, Marriott San Antonio River Center, and Grand Hyatt San Antonio River Walk are all offering special pricing and packages for festival goers.