Austin Food + Wine Festival Weekend Recap


Delysia Chocolatier owner Nicole Patel chatting with Gail Simmons during the 2015 Austin Food + Wine Festival
2015 Austin Food + Wine Festival highlight: chatting with celebrity chef Gail Simmons.

Usually three-day weekends are a time for staycations and relaxation. For Delysia Chocolatier, last Friday through Sunday was all about benefits, networking with other foodies, dishing out hundreds of tasty chocolate truffles and polo. If you attended the Austin Food + Wine Festival or The Victory Cup you may have saw us.

If not, here’s a recap of the amazing events around Austin last weekend.


Friday Night Sips and Sweets

We’re so proud that Delysia Chocolatier was named one of the 2015 Austin Food + Wine Festival Talent members. It was an honor shared by the likes of Andrew Zimmern, Graham Elliot and Hugh Acheson.

Delysia Chocolatier chocolate Eiffel Tower display at the Austin Food + Wine Sips and Sweets VIP event
Chocolate Eiffel Tower centerpiece

As Talent for 2015 we were invited to participate in the VIP Sips and Sweets event, which got our weekend off to a great start on Friday evening.

The sold-out event featured desserts from five of Austin’s top pastry chefs along with a selection of cocktails, champagne and beer to pair with the sweets. This type of event is where Delysia Chocolatier really shines! Our eight-foot, truffle-filled table was active all night long as we helped guests discover how well different chocolates pair with a wide variety of refreshments. Our selection included the White Peach Balsamic Truffle, Smoked Salted Bourbon Pecan Truffle, Honey Chipotle Truffle, Mole Truffle, Cabernet Cherry Truffle. And of course, there were many, many requests to try our Ghost Pepper Bark.

The beautiful table display was adorned with a 3lb solid chocolate, one-foot-tall Eiffel Tower as the centerpiece. We couldn’t think of a better event to get the exciting, chocolate-filled weekend underway.


Saturday VIP Polo Benefit and Day 2 of the Austin Food + Wine Festival

Samples of our new Ghost Pepper Cacao Nib Caramel Corn at the 2015 Austin Food + Wine Festival
Our new Ghost Pepper Cacao Nib Caramel Corn was a hit at the 2015 Austin Food + Wine Festival

Right away, we knew the Austin Food + Wine Festival was going to be better than ever. The new and improved layout as well as the overall organization of the event was excellent. Along with some of our favorite truffles, we brought two new products for people to sample – the Pecan Cayenne Praline and our Cacao Nibs Caramel Corn with Ghost Pepper. It was a fun-filled busy day for the entire team.

That afternoon we also spent time at the Austin Classic Pro Tournament handing out chocolate truffles, Pecan Cayenne Pralines and a variety of truffle ganache samples. Hundreds of spectators came out to see Texas A&M take on the University of Texas in The Victory Cup polo match. Even though Texas A&M inched out a 4-3 win, the real winners were the kids at the Dell Children’s Medical Center. The event benefited this worthy organization by donating 70% of the ticket sales to the medical center.

The Austin Classic Pro Tournament was an absolutely fabulous, one-of-a-kind experience. Gorgeous, grand hats, beautiful clothes and two polo matches on a perfect spring day in Austin. Every year there is a special philanthropic partner and plenty of sporting excitement, so mark your calendar for next year’s event.


Sunday Fun Day With Tons of Food & Gail Simmons

The Delysia Chocolatier team gets ready for the second day of the 2015 Austin Food + Wine Festival
Delysia Chocolatier gets ready for the second fun-filled day of the 2015 Austin Food + Wine Festival

The day started off with showers while we were loading everything in at the Food + Wine Festival, but that didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits! The foodie crowd was in abundance and ready to try our truffles. The new Ghost Pepper Caramel Corn and Pecan Cayenne Pralines were a big hit.

We took a little time to step away from the table and taste the wares of other top Austin chefs. A few of our favorite foodie moments included:

  • The JW Marriott Meet the Makers Tent – Bar experts shared their knowledge and cocktails made with Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
  • The Fire Pit – Jack Gilmore, from Jack Allen’s kitchen, roasted a pig on a spit atop a fire truck.
  • The chefs from Frank had a wonderful kangaroo sausage with peach jalapeño chutney and goat cheese.
  • The Top Golf crew served braised rabbit on jalapeño cheddar biscuits with watermelon gazpacho.
Delysia Chocolatier's Nicole Patel chats with celebrity chef and author Gail Simmons at the 2015 Austin Food + Wine Festival.
Delysia Chocolatier’s Nicole Patel chats with celebrity chef and author Gail Simmons at the 2015 Austin Food + Wine Festival.

But the biggest highlight of the day was having culinary expert Gail Simmons stop by to visit with us! Delysia Chocolatier’s founder, Nicole Patel, had the opportunity to meet Gail in Aspen last year when the Ghost Pepper Bark caught her attention. It was such a great experience visiting with her and her husband in our hometown!

We may be a little tired, but the weekend couldn’t have been better. Thank you to everyone on our team that helped to make it possible and all the amazing folks that we had the opportunity to meet.

Nicole Patel

Nicole Patel is the proprietor of and chocolatier for Delysia Chocolatier. In 2006 while pregnant with her first son, Nicole made a batch of chocolate truffles as holiday gifts. To the delight of friends and family, she continued to create chocolates as a way to relieve stress from her corporate engineering job. In 2008, a chance trip to Becker Vineyards led to Nicole being the first in Texas to make truffles using local wines. Within five years, what started as a hobby turned Delysia into one of the Top Ten Chocolatiers in the Americas, as selected by the International Chocolate Salon.