Allright people. It’s almost time for us to be 10-8.
It’s Charleston Wine and Food Festival Week. Unless you live under a rock or are from off, you already know this. It’s always a hectic week, an energetic whirwind of culinary excitement. Old friends, new friends, chef crushes, burning the candle at both ends because while you’re making those appearances, hosting events and attending afterparties, you still have to be in your operation, working the line.
Unless you’re one of those types…
But not everyone works in F&B, so if attending the 2016 CW&FF, here are my hits-
Foie Gras Mafia:
There was this one restaurant a ways back that was not only awesome, but also proved to be a tremendous incubator for future chefs. The “Foie Gras Mafia” moniker was applied after foie gras sharpie tags began showing up in the facilities of popular OG F&B watering holes back in the day (Old Vickerey’s, Griffin, AC’s, Red Hot Tomatoes.)
These guys are still movers and shakers-
Jacques Larson, Graham Dailey, Joseph Lenn, H Sean Brock.
Does it look like Joseph Lenn is growing out a Cumberland Waterfall?
Second, the Passion Piece:
These are some participating chefs who I think have their fingers on the pulse of what continues to make not just Lowcountry but Southern food as a whole relevant. I look forward to working with BJ Dennis as always, and to finally meeting Travis Milton and Paul Fehribach in person
Third, the Tarheels:
Our brothers and sisters to the North of us have been doing great things for a while, now they’re getting noticed for it. Remember, it was Bill Neal who put shrimp and grits on the national radar at Crooks Corner!
Joe Kindred, Katie Button, Kim Floresca , Steven Devereaux Greene, Sam Jones, Scott Crawford
The Charleston O.G’s:
Some, though certainly not all of the Charleston Old School. These were the influencers, leaders and early adapters back when Upper King meant King St. Skates and Miss Alice’s.
Roberth Stehling, Michelle Weaver, Mike Lata, THE BOB WAGGONER, Chef Frank Lee
The Shameless Bid For Brand Promotion:
Duh. Russ Moore, Shawn Kelly, Matthew Niessner
Your SC Chef Ambassadors:
Of course this goes without saying.
Me, Ramone Dickerson, Orchid Paulmeier, Teryi Youngblood
And Finally, the One Single Desert Island CW&FF Event I Would Attend If I Couldn’t Do Anything Else (and yes, tickets are available):
NORTH + SOUTH + EAST + WEST: LE TOUR DES FEMMES
In addition to the already mentioned Michelle Weaver and Kim Floresca, this dinner will also feature Mashama Bailey of Savannah’s white hot restaurant The Grey, Melissa Perillo of San Francisco’s Octavia, Suzanne Cupps of The Whitney Museum‘s untitled in NYC, Nicole Krasinski of San Francisco’s State Bird Provisions, and Master of Ceremonies Mickey Bakst.
I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if some Bad Bitches showed up for this one and crashed the party, kids.
That said, hope you all have a great festival- I’ll check in along the way.
I gotta hurry up and get it- shit’s about to get real!
DOH! I’d be seriously remiss if I didn’t at least also throw in a quick link to the event with Nico Romo and Gavin Kaysen –
SOIRÉE À LA BELLE ÉTOILE: DINNER UNDER THE STARS
Shortly after opening last year, Gavin was kind enough to let me shadow in his kitchen at Spoon and Stable while visiting family. I was excited to be there, and his team was excited to have a Chef up from Charleston (I made them BBQ and Hoppin’ John for family meal) and even more excited to know that we dig on the Rhymesayers Sound in our kitchen.