Austin's Evolving Food, Wine Scene a Sign of the Times

As the skyline above the Austin Food and Wine Festival changes, so does the atmosphere underneath the white tents – local chefs catering to a new crowd that calls Austin home.

“How people have moved here from all over the country, it’s really allowed the restaurants and the farms and the food community to grow,” Shawn Cirkiel with Olive & June said. “People are more educated, they’re willing to try new things and it’s become a really exciting time to be a part of Austin.”

One of the new things is new foodies moving in. Celebrity chef Tim Love is bringing his Lonesome Dove restaurant to town. He says change is in the details.

“You start seeing really good design people come in. You’ll see the restaurant’s design changes start happening. Then after the design changes, the food starts changing,” Love said. “Better food."

Fine wine isn't just a west coast thing anymore. It’s the Central Texas tie that binds.

“It’s a really young wine industry, so it's taken some time to figure out what grapes grow here really well and what grapes won’t grow here well,” Ray Isle with Food and Wine Magazine said. “When you’ve got good, talented people – which you now have here – it’s pretty cool.”

But even with a changing skyline and food to match, the buck stops with Jack Gilmore. The owner of Jack Allen's Kitchen says even in the "new" Texas, he'll keep doing what he does best.

“I’m an old dog and people look up to me for whatever reason, and I respect the people that are coming in,” he said. “What does it take to thrive in this changing city? More than anything, I think a good glass of wine and a good smile.”

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