The Tastemakers at Charleston Wine & Food

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In just a few days is The Charleston Wine and Food Fest, a celebration of the culinary scene here and beyond.  With cooking demos to extravagant soirees all over town, this is a foodie paradise.  My fellow blogger Venita Aspen and I wanted to highlight some of the participants who work tirelessly in their field to give us the best dining and drinking experience that Charleston is known for.  These people are usually seen and photographed in their apron, chef jacket, crocs, and the women with their hair pulled back.  We wanted to work with these participants and enhance their already great style.  Cannon Green graciously let us shoot in their beautiful restaurant and we ended up having a fun day of fashion and made some new friends.

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Carrie Morey of Callie’s Biscuits is pretty much a household name in Charleston.  Her buttery biscuits are sold nationwide in most major grocery stores and even in the Caribbean.  With the best media coverage you could ask for – NBC Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Saveur, Food & Wine, Southern Living, The New York Times, The Food Network, and even Oprah has been loving on her southern staple.  If you want a piece of Callie’s to go with toppings that change daily, then Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit on Upper King is biscuit heaven.

Carrie wears a top and pants and ring by Elizabeth & James from Beckett Boutique // Cuff by Elizabeth & James from Croghan’s Jewel Box // Earrings by Heather Key Tiller at Filigree // Golf bar ring by Christina Jervey

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Vinson Petrillo who is the head chef at Zero George Cafe + Bar begun his culinary training at Johnson and Wales in Charleston and continued his career at some of the top restaurants in New York.  No stranger with brushes of fame, he has appeared on Chopped, Top Chef Masters, and recently cooked up a meal so good for Bill Murray that he sat on Vinson’s lap and snuggled with the chef post meal.  Specializing in fine dining, Vinson always keeps local and seasonal ingredients in mind when he’s cooking up one of his works of art.

Vinsons wears a shirt by Stone Rose from Mosa Boutique // Leather tie and jeans from Worn // Sunglasses by SEE

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Vonda Freeman, the beverage director of Indigo Road Group is one busy woman.  The sommelier juggles her schedule between their six restaurants/bars – Oak Steakhouse, O-Ku, The Macintosh,  The Cocktail Club, Indaco, and Bar Mash.  Vonda will be sharing her vast knowledge of wine pairings at Wine + Food this year.  She’ll be demonstrating the art of wine and food pairings at Wine + Food alongside Jessica Little, Co-Owner of Sweet Grass Dairy for a WINE + CHEESE + CHARCUTERIE seminar.

Vonda wears a dress by JLinSnider at Holy City Haven // Earrings by Alexis Bittar from Croghan’s Jewel Box // Ring from Beckett Boutique

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Chef BJ Dennis brings the flavors of his roots to every tasty dish he prepares.  Scroll through his Instagram and you’ll start salivating over all of the Gullah Geechee fare he’s cooking up.   He’s worked at some of  Charleston’s award winning restaurants including Carolinas, Anson’s, Oak Steakhouse, Hank’s Seafood, and 82 Queen, and is now focusing on his catering and personal chef services.

BJ wears a vintage smoking jacket from Holy City Haven // Shirt, jeans, and pocket square from Worn // Hat from Goorin Brothers

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Amalia Scatena is the executive chef at Cannon Green and loves cooking up her local fare dishes with a Mediterranean twist.  She started her impressive journey graduating with Head Chef honors from the Culinary Institute in Florence, Italy.   Her training and commitment has given her award winning status, cooking at some of the top fine dining restaurants in the U.S.  The rustic and romantic Cannon Green is the perfect setting for her to present her farm to table cuisine.

Amalia wears a floral net dress by See U Soon from House of Sage // Earrings and bracelets from Beckett Boutique

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Dantera Richardson of Swank Desserts can satisfy the most insatiable sweet tooth.  Her background started at Magnolia’s then moving on to the Ocean Course Clubhouse at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort.  Finding her passion in sweets more than savory, the chef started Swank Desserts in 2015.  Her delectable desserts include brownies with nutella, & salty caramel fudge, Lucky Charms Cookie Sandwiches with whisky marshmallow fluff, and out of this world flavors for her macarons and cupcakes.

Danetra wears a dress by JLinSnider at Holy City Haven // Slip from 7 Gypsy // Tusk necklace by Empire State Finery from Beckett Boutique // Druzy necklace by Mickey Lynn from Mosa Boutique //  Cuff by Elizabeth & James from Croghan’s Jewel Box

Photography by Libby Williams, Hair & Makeup by  Kalena Doo at Stella Nova Charleston // Production, Styling by Andrea Serrano assisted by Venita Aspen // On location at Cannon Green

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In the Mood for Love

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Black lace dress by Charlie Jade $210 from 7 Gypsy PH: 843-388-2464 // Buddha lapis earrings $275, encrusted mini cuff $115, compass rose white topaz bracelet $350, vermeil stackable bands $245, and vermeil deco garnet agate ring by Freida Rothman $115 from Croghan’s Jewel Box  PH: 843-723-3594 // Rhinestone leaf necklace $74 and brass plate necklace $102 by Circa 1910 // Carroll Pump in suede by Corso Como $137.95 from Nordstrom //  Laqa & Co. Cheeky Lip in Mixtape $22 and  LAQA & Co. Nail Polish in Plonk $13 from Birchbox

Photography by Clifford PateHair by Kalena Doo at Stella Nova Charleston, on location at LeeLee’s Hot Kitchen 

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The Living Dress with Miele Events


I’m kicking off of 2016 with one of my favorite shoots and collaborations from 2015 with Miele Events.  What I love most about my job is being able to create beautiful images with an amazing team of people.  This shoot was extra special because Lori DeNicola and Toni Reale of Miele Events already had a master plan of creating a dress made entirely out of plants. The upper portion of the dress was made out of banana leaves and the bottom was made out of Iris flowers.  My other favorite part of the shoot?  Getting to pose next to the sweet vintage 1957 Chevy by Lowcountry Valet + Shuttle.


When Lori, who also happens to be my yoga teacher, asked me to wear the dress I asked her – “Don’t you want to use a real model?”  Now, I’m so glad I yes to the dress, because it was such an honor to wear!!!


 With so many event planning companies in Charleston, what sets Miele Events apart?  Lori and Toni produce stunning events and floral arrangements with an eco-conscious mind by using sustainable materials and limiting their waste.  I’m so happy I had the opportunity to collaborate with them and bring in my glam squad – Lauren Sykes Photography, Mac Does Hair who also did an amazing makeup job, and my trusty assistant Quinton Stewart.


A special thanks to  Shoes on King  for the Kate Spade heels and clutch,  Bridals by Jodi for the bird cage veil, and North Charleston Waterfront Park for letting us shoot in front of one of their historical houses.

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Holiday Glam

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Black marabou chubbie jacket $68 from The Trunk Show  PH: 843-722-0442 // Dress by Amanda Uprichard // Rhinestone Earrings $32 and Rhinestone Cuff from Lulu Burgess PH: 843-405-1221 // Clutch by Santi $205 from Berlins  // Custom diamond and amethyst rings by Ash Hoffman // Jeffrey Campbell boots $285 from Shoes on King  PH: 843-718-2190 // Sunglasses $99 by See Eyewear

Beauty:  Laqa & Co. Fat Lip Pencil in Palate Cleanser $24 from Birchbox // Laqa & Co. Cheeky Lip in Mixtape $22 and Laqa & Co. nailpolish in Chubs $13

Photography by Clifford PateHair by Kalena Doo at Stella Nova Charleston, Style Assistant – Quinton Stewart

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Let the Fringe Fly

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Black Sleeveless Faux Suede Turtle Neck by Sheri Bodell, $195, Black Faux Leather Leggings by David Lerner NY $138, and Clutch by Garb Designs $128 from Ro Sham Beaux  PH: 843-789-3478 // Fringe jacket by Rachel Zoe $570 from Berlins  // Heels by Vince $375 from Shoes on King  PH: 843-718-2190 // Sunglasses by Le Specs $69 from Beckett Boutique PH: 843-405-1105 // Ara earrings $40 and Aveo ring $42 from Dandy Boutique PH: 843-475-3927

Beauty:  Laqa & Co. Fat Lip Pencil in Palate Cleanser $24 from Birchbox // Laqa & Co. Cheeky Lip in Mixtape $22 and Laqa & Co. nailpolish in Chubs $13

Photography by Clifford PateHair by Kalena Doo at Stella Nova Charleston, Style Assistant – Quinton Stewart

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The Celebrate Collection from Candy Shop Vintage


“Celebrate” the holidays with the new festive collection from Candy Shop Vintage.  Inspired by retro cocktails and accoutrements, the new designs are the perfect statement pieces to get the party started.  Everything from a champagne bottle necklace, champagne coupe earrings and necklace, gin pendant necklace, cocktail shaker, and a charm bracelet with all the ingredients to make a French 75 cocktail are a part of this whimsy collection.  Designer Deirdre Zahl even added a new twist to her Charleston Rice Bead collection with a bib style necklace and a 3 strand rice bead earrings.

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Join designer Deirdre Zahl as she hosts a Shop Small Saturday event at her flagship Candy Shop Vintage store today.  From 2 – 5pm at 9 Cannon Street, her sister-in-law Cate West Zahl will showcasing her abstract art inspired by the Celebrate Collection and fashion illustrator Daniel Velasco will be back doing live portraits.

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Photography by Amanda Greely, Model – Adrienne O’Docharty, Makeup by Dannon Collard

Modern Luxuries

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Life’s little luxuries don’t always have to break the bank.  This week I round up some of my favorite items from local boutiques starting under $40.

Clockwise:  Kilsmos goatskin chair, light $600 from Elizabeth Stuart Design PH: 843-388-3892 // Cabochon blue topaz and diamond starburst earrings $1,250 from Croghan’s Jewel Box PH: 843-723-3594  // Fringe boots by Sam Edelman $175 from Shoes on King  PH: 843-718-2190 // Vintage crystal clasp pearl bracelet $36 from Lulu Burgess PH: 843-405-1221  //  Marie Jo Alessandra Shapewear Bodysuit $207 from Bits of Lace PH: 843-531-6625 //  Criss Cross Ring $55 from Gold Creations PH: 843-577-4862 // Barocko candle $65 from Lily Charleston 843-577-7633 // Lilac purse by Meli Melo $517 from Beckett Boutique PH: 843-405-1105

About Charleston Shop Curator

Charleston Shop Curator serves as a fashion blog and shopping guide to showcase the incredible diversity of style in Charleston, South Carolina. We continually strive to expose local creative talents from designers to stores. Here you can find all of the treasures Charleston has to offer, and more.

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