Charleston Wine + Food is excited to announce the official 2019 festival schedule offering more than 100 events over a five day span, March 6 – 10, 2019 including signature events, dinners, lunches, brunches, excursions, beverage workshops, hands-on classes, and the festival’s mainstay tasting experience- the Culinary Village.
The annual festival features “homegrown flavor” with notable local and guest chefs, mixologists, winemakers, storytellers and artisans from around the world. Participating star talent include Gavin Kaysen, Jeremiah Bacon, Mike Lata, Michelle Weaver, Vivian Howard, Seamus Mullen, Gail Simmons, Maneet Chauhan, Steven D. Greene, David and Anna Posey, Nina Compton, Jody Williams and Rita Sodi, Vishwesh Bhatt, and more.
“One thing that makes Charleston Wine + Food unique compared to other wine and food festivals, is that we reprogram 85% of our schedule year after year,” says Gillian Zettler, Executive Director. “There are a few differences that I think you will notice on the 2019 schedule compared to past festivals, including an expanded wellness event series, excursions that offer guests exclusive + unique culinary storytelling experiences with a sense of place, and a renewed focus on diversifying our talent line-up.”
Here is a taste at just a few things we have on the 2019 menu:
Mepkin + Mushrooms: We’re transporting you to an area that has been known as Mepkin for centuries. Now this estate, peppered with stunning live oaks and situated alongside the Cooper River, is home to a monastery rooted in history and farming traditions. Mepkin Abbey is offering an exclusive opportunity to tour the mushroom farm, which is not open to the public, and learn about the oyster + shiitake mushrooms that flourish at the abbey. To round out the afternoon, you will hear the monks’ songful prayer and partake in a picnic lunch in a garden along the Cooper River.
Neighborhood Dinner Series: Taking place in a private homes + drawing inspiration from the distinct flavors of our neighborhoods, we’re stacking the deck with some of the country’s most renowned chefs and a few surprise guests that we have up our sleeve. While these chefs are known for their culinary accolades and world-famous cuisine, this meal will be prepared in an environment that is casual and laid back – right down the the winemaker pouring the wine into your glass. These dinners will take place Thursday through Saturday evenings.
Corkscrews + Campfires: We’re sure you’ve heard of glamping – the trend that has made camping more accessible to those who think “roughing it” sounds like zero fun. While we aren’t spending the night anywhere – there will be glampsites, there will be live fire cooking, there will be wine, and fun will be had without sacrificing even an ounce of comfort. Imagine a picturesque Lowcountry backdrop as you relax at a luxurious campsite complete with top-notch winemakers + award-winning chefs around a cozy fire.
RetrEAT: Join us for an experience that is anchored in health-centric foods, techniques and restorative ingredients that will nourish your body + soul. From guided meditation, to sound baths, to blending essential oils, we’re offering an up-close and interactive approach to wellness.
Namaste Bubbly: Roll out the yoga mats and let’s get fizzical! We’re flexin’ into Sunday Funday with yogi + health enthusiast, Kathryn Budig, who will take us on a journey that will explore + challenge our bodies. Following the flow, delight in local healthy fare + imbibe in all things bubbly. Get down dog with ya’ bad self!
All Hail the Queen(s): It’s safe to say that this dragtastic brunch sashayed its way right into our prideful hearts. So, we’re bringing back the ladies of the court for one more strut, this time at the beautiful Lowndes Grove Plantation. Dine among century-old oak trees as the Queens entertain while you sip bubbles and nosh on delectable brunch fare.
Southern Renaissance: The South is experiencing the emergence of a new spirit and at this event we are excited to tell the stories of the movers + shakers who are carrying the torch. Inspired by a diversity of flavors, cultures and persons, Southern Renaissance will feature chefs who are pushing the boundaries of what has been called “traditional southern” cuisine, artists whose voices + sounds fill your soul with a spirit that is electrifying, and artisans + makers who are share their talents through bespoke items that are inspired by our landscapes + people. Embark with us on this journey as we introduce you to our south. Change is a comin’.
“This year we challenged our Signature Dinner hosts, who help us create the foundation for our talent line-up, to tip the scale and cultivate a lineup that is more diverse for the 2019 festival by identifying a guest chef to invite that is someone that doesn’t ‘look like them’”, says Gillian Zettler, Executive Director for Charleston Wine + Food. “Additionally with International Women’s Day falling on the Friday of the festival, our team rose to the challenge of having all programming on March 6, 2019 feature women in some way.”
You will see this reflected in many ways on the schedule – from female winemakers + guest chefs collaborating with Signature Dinner host chefs on Friday to highlighting female farmers, purveyors, artisans, chefs, mixologists, winemakers, and musicians at various events throughout the weekend, to specific events built around the celebration of women.
#LunchSquad: Our favorite hostess with the mostess, Ellen Bennett of Hedley & Bennett, is back to bring you an interactive cooking experience inspired by the one and only culinary queen herself, Julia Child. Prepare to roll up your sleeves and go elbow-to-elbow with some of the nation’s most celebrated chefs as you prep, make, and of course, eat a stellar + healthyish lunch. Our line-up of chefs are riffing off Julia Child classics, and they will teach you that food can be both delicious and approachable. Ending in a family-style meal, this hands-on cooking experience will leave you feeling ready to throw your own epic lunch bash for your squad.
Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room: Thankfully for us down south, BBQ is having more than a moment. And while the BBQ scene may be known as a boy’s club, women all over the country have been working hard to carve out a place among this smoke-filled industry. For this event we are featuring a ton of ridiculously talented women who are cranking out some top-notch ‘que. With smoky meats, delicious treats and thoughtful beverage pairings, this one is sure to cut through the haze. All hail the queens of ‘que who are spreading the gospel of smoked meat!
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (WTF): Alright ladies now let’s get in formation…behind the bar that is. This International Women’s Day, we’re shaking the glass [ceiling] in quite a literal way. Behind the bar + on the grill, ladies will take center stage to prove that we got some coordination. Highlighting a bounty of American Whiskey – the U.S. of A’s most potent, rip-roaring liquor, this event will leave you feeling spirited to say the least. From sweet Tennessee whiskies to spicy rye and age-old bourbon, you’ll be sippin’ the best from sea to shining sea.
By the numbers:
400+ local and guest chefs
150+ local and guest beverage experts
27 Beverage Workshops
19 Brunches and Lunches
21 Signature Events
More than 25 events under $100
Charleston Wine + Food is a non-profit organization with its giveback focused on supporting Charleston and the Lowcountry’s diverse culinary + hospitality community. Its priority is to create an annual economic injection that fuels Charleston’s vibrancy and growth and during just 5 days, the 2018 festival yielded an economic impact of $15.3 million, more than quadruple the organization’s annual budget.
A preview of the full schedule is available at charlestonwineandfood.com today, and tickets are available for purchase tomorrow, August 29th, 2018, at 8:00AM EST.
ABOUT CHARLESTON WINE + FOOD
Charleston Wine + Food is a catalyst for connections that inspire curiosity through thoughtful storytelling + meaningful experiences with a sense of place. Fueled by a contagious passion for the people and places that make Charleston worth celebrating, the annual festival infuses homegrown flavor with top chefs, winemakers, authors, storytellers, artisans, and food enthusiasts from around the globe for a five-day event that spans the first full weekend each March. Charleston Wine + Food is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports the Lowcountry’s diverse culinary + hospitality community through financial contributions to organizations or persons that directly benefit our local foodway initiatives and efforts to strengthen our local community.