This past weekend I had the privilege of attending (and photographing) the Charleston Wine and Food Festival's (CHSWFF) 10th Anniversary. It was quite a spectacle, and honestly I was very impressed by the quality of the event and also the engagement from the attendees. Day one was cold, overcast and windy, but by Saturday, the sun was shining bright on Marion Square and the city of Charleston. One of my favorite moments from the festival was when I stopped and realized I was sipping a glass of red wine and shooting down oysters in between between taking pictures...this was my kind of event. This being my first time attending CHSWFF, I tried to see as much as I could, and in honor of 10 years, I'm going to half 10 and give you my top 5 favorite people and places I enjoyed from the weekend.
1. Zero George
There's not really a way around this one. I marked down this event the moment I first looked at the schedule. On Saturday, Zero George hosted an event featuring incredible wines from Virginia and food prepared by three amazing chefs, featuring some incredible lamb, beef, oysters and fresh cheeses. All of this complemented by the gorgeous courtyard, sunshine and 60 degree weather. Perfection.
2. BBQ Tent Revival at Jim 'N Nick's
In honor of pitmaster Rodney Scott and his family, this was a must-attend event. Between the 4, 5 or 6 cocktails I had (lost count) plus some unreal pulled pork, pea salad, cornbread mac and cheese, fried potato salad, and Sean Brock's fired chicken, I almost couldn't walk out of the building. But I did. In all seriousness, you should look up Rodney and Ricky Scott and research their family. Incredible story. It's very inspiring to see how cooking has stayed in this family for generations. After the food, we wrapped up the evening with a shot of 15 year old Pappy Van Winkle...that was a first.
3. On The Rocks ('N Roll) featuring Marc (Freakin') Broussard
After little bit (a lot a bit) of BBQ we headed down to the Memminger Auditorium to catch some tunes by Louisiana native, Marc Broussard. He's an incredible talent singing and playing a blend of Soul, Blues, Funk, Rock and R&B. There were more free drinks inside the show, but I didn't have any. I sat, and listened.
4. Peter Nappi
Yea, it's a food and wine festival, but Phillip Nappi was in attendance with his crew and hosted the On The Rocks event. It was a pleasure running into them. Something to note is that their quality of leather boots is just as good as Phillip and his team. Grateful to know these guys (and gals).
5. Tap Your Inner Mixologist featuring Charlotte Voisey
I had never heard of Charlotte prior to this event, but she grabbed my attention (and the rest of the audience) not just with her eloquent British accent but with her incredible knowledge of spirits and ingredients. She also shared the background and history of cocktails and punches, something I had never heard before.
All photos by Kirk Robert