Nothing brings people together like great food, and of course drinks. The ultimate social event that does this on a whole other level is Charleston Wine + Food, and I was so honored to be a part of their #CHSWFFStreetteam. Sampling food from world renowned chefs is what I do best, and learning about the story behind the food was the cherry on top.
One of my favorites was literally a farm to table experience at the Fresh Future Farm Lunch. This non-profit urban farm and fresh market is located in North Charleston in the middle of a food desert. Visionary Germaine Jenkins created an urban oasis to grow organic food and independent grocery store for her community. The four-course feast was veggie heavy which I loved, and created by chefs across the U.S. – Executive Chef Todd Woods of The Oak Table (Columbia), Lionel Vatinet of La Farm Bakery (Cary, NC), Stuart Brioza of State Bird Provisions and The Progress (San Francisco), and Jason Vincent of Giant (Chicago).
The SFA Dockside Supper was a family style three-course meal held at the charming Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation. When I walked down the Oak lined pathway to the beautifully renovated barn I knew this dinner was going to be spectacular. The SFA (The Southern Foodways Alliance) celebrates the diversity in Southern food and featured Angie Bellinger of Workmen’s Cafe. This soul food neighborhood restaurant is right down the street from my house in James Island and I can’t believe I’ve never been there before. After trying her famous Mac n’ Cheese and Lima Beans, I know I’ll be regular. Angie worked alongside a host of other chefs to create a meal to remember.
Just when I thought I’ve been everywhere in Charleston I discovered Runnymede Plantation for the From the Ashes event. I felt like I was transported to another time when the only way to cook food was over fire, hence the name From the Ashes. The exception was the food was gourmet and ran the gamut of oysters to woodfire oven pizza. I sipped and ate the night away while listening to live music and watched fire jugglers by the marsh.
Charleston Wine + Food is right up there as one of my favorite Charleston events, alongside of course Charleston Fashion Week. If only we could overlap the two so I can get my food on in between runway shows.
Photography by Libby Williams