Austin Food & Wine Fest: Meat, pray, Love

By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 04.29.12
The sun cut through the morning clouds just as Tim Love raised his first tequila toast. A coincidence? He might argue otherwise. But there’s no arguing that the Fort Worth chef rallied the Austin Food & Wine Festival congregation like Joel Osteen if the Rev. Joel worked for the other side.
The Saturday morning hands-on demonstration was the holy grill of festival events, a chance to win back some of that $250 or $850 ticket money by cooking and eating a marbled New York strip on your own Weber Kettle as Love called the shots from the stage. “I feel like I’m taking 200 kids to Six Flags and I’m the only one watching them,” he told the grillers, each wearing a Tim Love apron and chopping on a Tim Love cutting board as they shook Tim Love seasoning on their carnivore’s breakfast.
Beyond the branding — no small thing for a man whose empire embraces the Woodshed and Lonesome Dove restaurants and a burger chain called the Love Shack along with a growing TV presence — Love kept his grilling sermon simple. Use peanut oil not olive oil, keep a spray bottle of water handy, pull the meat and let it rest before it’s finished cooking, then give it one last high-temp sear so it hits the table hot. And remember, the devil doesn’t grill with gas.
The demo started 40 minutes late and ate up almost two hours of the festival’s first full day, but as they say: Give a man a steak and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to grill and you feed him for a lifetime.
(Photos by Mike Sutter / Fed Man Walking)