First-Ever Statewide Culinary Festival to Partner with the James Beard Foundation
Tastes from more than 100 chefs, including Rick Bayless, Steve McHugh,
Esaul Ramos, Emiliano Marentes, Alex Raij and Finn Walter
San Antonio, Texas (March 22, 2022) – A first-of-its-kind partnership with the iconic James Beard Foundation, Texas and San Antonio’s unique culinary draws are coming to the forefront of national attention with the launch of Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival. The four-day festival “with a purpose” will showcase renowned and up-and-coming chefs from Texas and the city of San Antonio, as well as national all-stars. Debuting October 27-30, 2022, Tasting Texas will entice foodies from around the globe to experience the vast culinary offerings of Texas and the festival’s hometown, San Antonio.
The festival’s highlight will be the “big-as-Texas” Culinary Market October 28-30, featuring more than 100 award-winning chefs at the historic Travis Park, in the heart of colorful downtown San Antonio. The three-day event, running from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, will have mouths watering at the tastes to be had. On October 29, Tasting Texas will feature a made-for-San Antonio top-shelf tequila tasting on the banks of the San Antonio River Walk. The festival continues nightly with a variety of curated collaborations by visiting chefs in San Antonio’s top restaurants. These ticketed experiences will showcase the chefs’ creativity and delight guests’ palates with combinations that can only happen in Texas.
Tasting Texas’ A-list roster of culinary headliners includes:
- Rick Bayless (Chicago), Michelin star-, Top Chef Master- and James Beard Awards-winning celebrity chef
- Steve McHugh (San Antonio), four-time James Beard Award Nominee for Best Chef: Southwest and James Beard Finalist for Best Chef: Texas
- Esaul Ramos Jr. (San Antonio), Texas Monthly’s 50 Best BBQ Joints Honoree and James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best Chef: Texas
- Emiliano Marentes (El Paso), James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best Chef: Texas and featured on Hulu’s “Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi” and Texas Monthly’s “The Ultimate Texas Tacopedia”
- Alex Raij (New York), James Beard Awards Semifinalist for Best Chef in America, and Nominee for Outstanding Restaurateur
- Finn Walter (Lubbock), James Beard Award Semifinalist for Best Chef: Texas
Tasting Texas’ full roster of esteemed chefs and full festival schedule will be announced this summer.
Realizing a shared vision with the James Beard Foundation to make good food for good™, and spotlight historically marginalized communities, a partnership between the Foundation, Visit San Antonio, and Culinaria was a natural progression. Proceeds from Tasting Texas will benefit the James Beard Foundation’s scholarship programs, which in turn, provide opportunities for underserved culinary talent to develop their skills and experience. Further, by providing high-level exposure to chefs from Texas, the city of San Antonio, and others across the country, Tasting Texas aims to help the restaurant industry, locally and nationally, grow from the devastating financial effects of the pandemic.
Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival is powered by a partnership between Culinaria and Visit San Antonio. Culinaria has deep experience of more than 20 years operating successful food and wine events in Central Texas. Signature events have included the Culinaria Wine + Food Festival, which celebrated two decades in 2019, Restaurant Weeks, the 5k Wine + Beer Run and the Women & Whiskey series. The festival will be homed in the heart of the Lone Star State, the recognized leisure travel destination in Texas and one of two UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy in the U.S. The birthplace of Tex-Mex cuisine, San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in the country and is quickly growing and evolving in both population and cuisine offerings, while honoring its roots as a cultural and culinary capital of Texas.
“Texas and San Antonio offer unrivaled culinary experiences and with Tasting Texas we invite everyone to see for themselves what makes the Lone Star State truly great and delicious,” said Marc Anderson, President & CEO of Visit San Antonio. “We are thrilled to unite with Culinaria and their expertise of first-class culinary events. Partnering with the James Beard Foundation on this first-time festival is a great honor. The work we will all do collectively during this weekend to further highlight local talent and provide networking opportunities for Texas and national chefs will create mouth-watering benefits for Tasting Texas festival-goers.”
“It’s no secret that San Antonio is a phenomenal food destination, being the birthplace of Tex-Mex Cuisine and recently named a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy,” said Suzanne Taranto Etheredge, President & CEO of Culinaria. “Tasting Texas is a natural evolution of our more than 20 years promoting San Antonio’s talented chefs and hidden culinary gems and we welcome the James Beard Foundation to highlight the high caliber of chefs from all backgrounds.”
“Joining Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival aligns so well with the Foundation’s mission of Good Food for Good,” said Clare Reichenbach, CEO of James Beard Foundation. “Our commitment to provide scholarships for rising talent, as well as recognition and support for chef-driven restaurants, is strengthened by all the festival-goers who will enjoy Tasting Texas.”
Ticket prices, full schedule and list of participating chefs will be announced soon. Learn more, and be the first to receive news and advance ticket purchase opportunities, visit CulinariaSA.org.
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Visit San Antonio
David Gonzalez, David.Gonzalez@VisitSanAntonio.com
Evie Reichel, EVGR@ATT.Net
About Visit San Antonio
Visit San Antonio is a 501(c)6, and serves as the sales and marketing arm of San Antonio as a leading leisure and meetings destination. In 2019, San Antonio welcomed approximately 41 million visitors. Hospitality is one of the top five industries in the city, contributing $15.2 billion into the local economy annually and employing 140,000 in 2019. More information about Visit San Antonio and the city’s vast offerings can be found at VisitSanAntonio.com.
Culinaria is an independent, not-for-profit organization, committed to promoting San Antonio as a premier food and wine destination, while fostering community growth and enrichment within the city we call home. For the past 22 years, Culinaria has been promoting locally sourced food and wine experiences in the San Antonio region through community events and culinary education opportunities, including Restaurant Weeks, a festival, and many others. Proceeds from events directly support this mission, enabling Culinaria to be a largely self-sustaining organization. For more information, visit culinariasa.org or @culinariasa on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
About the James Beard Foundation
The James Beard Foundation celebrates and supports the people behind America’s food culture, while pushing for new standards in the restaurant industry to create a future where all have the opportunity to thrive. Established over 30 years ago, the Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives and is committed to supporting a resilient and flourishing industry that honors its diverse communities. By amplifying new voices, celebrating those leading the way, and supporting those on the path to do so, the Foundation is working to create a more equitable and sustainable future—what we call Good Food for Good™. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the James Beard Foundation launched the Open for Good campaign to ensure that independent restaurants not only survive, but that the industry is able to rebuild stronger than before. For more information, subscribe to the digital newsletter Beard Bites and follow @beardfoundation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Clubhouse. The James Beard Foundation is a national not-for-profit 501c(3) organization based in New York City.