Spring weekends in Austin are typically jam-packed with activities, and last weekend was no exception, with the Austin Food & Wine Festival and the Moontower Comedy Festival in town. Both festivals required badges and, for the most part, did not sell tickets to individual events. Probably a few hardy souls attended both, but most of us had to choose between stuffing our faces or tickling our funny bones for the weekend.
But Food Republic, a men-focused webzine, took advantage of both festivals by taping many hours of interviews with both chefs and comedians at their Interview Lounge in the W Hotel. We arrived late and missed many of the interviews, but really enjoyed the ones we saw. The W’s staff treated everyone to fancy food and drinks during each interview. Even the popcorn was gourmet.
Reggie Watts told us that his show Comedy Bang! Bang! has been renewed for a second season. He talked about how much he loves Austin, which must be true because he is coming back again in mid-May for two more shows. Reggie was also sighted at Eeyore’s Birthday Party the next day.
On the foodie side, we listened to interviews with pastry chef Pichet Ong and Harlem chef/restauranteer Marcus Samuelsson. Local celebrity chef Paul Qui and his fiance, Deana Saukam, talked about the preparations for their new restaurant, Qui, and how they manage their combined work and personal lives.
The interviews should be posted on the Food Republic website soon. Austin’s own FeedMagnet software was displayed on the wall, combining social media input from those in the room and adding another cool dimension to a very interesting afternoon.