And we’re off. Another year in Charleston, another action packed schedule of events where foodies can eat, drink and be merry. Most people either start the year with unrealistic resolutions or vow to stay inside and out of the cold. However, these events give plenty of reasons and options to enjoy the finer culinary things that this city offers.
Here is our list of not to miss winter events in Charleston:
Rodney Scott Exile Tour: Final Stop: We were there at the first stop and look forward to being at the last. For this fundraising event, friends Sean Brock and Sam Jones will cook with Rodney to serve a special BBQ dinner on February 4 from 6:00-9:00pm at No. 5 Faber (behind Slightly North of Broad). The dinner is part of the Rodney in Exile BBQ Tour that is raising funds to help rebuild his pit house that burnt down in November. Tickets are $100 and can be purchase by calling McCrady’s Restaurant at 843.577.0025 ext. 4 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cork Shuckin Festival: This event had us hook with the name and as we got more details we were even more excited about it. Charleston’s one and only winery, Irvin House Vineyards, will host their third annual oyster roast on Saturday, February 8 from 1:00-5:00pm at their grounds and it’s free to attend. Attendees can then purchase oysters by Holy City Seafood or other foods available onsite by Coastal Crust, Stono Café and Dulce (food) Truck. Wine and Firefly spirit tastings will be offered and they invite you to perch down on a BYO blanket or chair to listen to the music of One Kool Blow. Best of all, if you do not want to drive, there is a trolley service offered to and from the event with pick up locations in Mt. Pleasant and downtown Charleston.
Gourmet & Grapes: If you can afford to do so, head down to Kiawah Island Golf Resort for the annual food and wine Gourmet & Grapes event. The weekend provides a variety of chances to eat great food and drink exceptional wine. The resort brings in some regional and local talented chefs like Scott Crawford of The Umstead Hotel & Spa, Colin Bedford of the Fearrington House and Mike Lata of FIG. Ticketed options include an opening night black-tie dinner, a gourmet luncheon, wine seminars, a Wine Odyssey Gala benefiting the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center and a Farewell Bunch. Prices start at $75 and go to $250 per person for the events. The best way to experience it all is with a weekend package staying at The Sanctuary but it will costs you for sure.
Brewvival: On your mark, get set….drink! On February 22, drink lots and lots of great beer at Brewvival, “the” beer event of the year in Charleston. Organizers are the owners of The Charleston Beer Exchange and Coast Brewing Company and these two companies invite the best in the world of beer to come and pour their best. Places like Allagash Brewing Company, Stone Brewing Company, Foothills Brewing Company and all the local breweries in town. Tickets are $65 per person and the event typically sells out. There is a shuttle to take you responsibly back and forth and other events are expected to be added to the schedule.
Alton Brown Live: The Edible Inevitable Tour: We are always a little skeptical of celebrity chef tours but we know firsthand that Alton Brown is worth the ticket. He is extremely sharp and knows almost every odd thing about food, which is why once he begins to talk you don’t want to stop listening. He makes things incredibly entertaining and the new show—The Edible Inevitable Tour provides non-stop fun. You laugh, you learn, you might get dirty and you rock out (when he sings and strings his guitar). Alton will make his Charleston appearance on Tuesday, February 25 at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center and tickets start at $30 per person.
Charleston Wine + Food Festival: It’s almost here! The one weekend people look forward to coming to Charleston to eat and drink really well. With more than 80 events and 100 guest chefs, authors and beverage professionals, there is no reason not to find something during the Charleston Wine + Food Festival that is affordable or to your personal liking. Some of the new events that are going to be worth the consideration include Stacked: A Sandwich Showcase, new dinners at places like Xiao Bao Biscuit and Butcher & Bee, and the Pluff Mud Oyster Roast. Another exciting change that we cannot wait to explore will be the newly designed and expanded Culinary Village. Word is inside the Tasting Tent will be some outstanding national and local chefs and winemakers serving some incredible options and the Open Air Artisan Market is expected to be reminiscing of the one at last year’s Jubilee. We are also big fans of the Southern Foodways Alliance and were excited to see them back on the lineup. The opening Potlikker Film Festival and their tent inside Marion Square featuring discussions and treats throughout the weekend are not to be missed. Get your tickets soon, March will be here before you know it.
Charleston W+F Festival “unofficial events”: It seems like there are more than there have ever been this year, but we have to admit there are some good things to go to during the Charleston Wine + Food weekend that are not on the official Festival schedule. The one that grabbed us instantly was the Anson Mills Grain Dinner at Circa 1886. Hosted by legendary rice farmer Glenn Roberts, the dinner on Saturday, March 8 will be five courses of grain-centric items and each course will “tell a story”. Chef Marc Collins did his research for this event and is pulling some 19th century Charleston recipes out of places such as Rose P. Ravenel’s personal cookbook. Courses include items like Pigeon Pie with Virginia Ham, a rustic aromatic Buckwheat “Beggars Purse” with Crab n’ Shrimp Newberg and Braised Beef Short Rib with fried Antebellum Grits. The dinner is $150 per person and includes wine pairings.
Another “unofficial” event that looks great is what is being called “SloCuts at Elliotborough Mini Bar.” If you have not made your way to this tucked away bar, it is worth the exploration. Located a block down from Trattoria Lucca, it is a small, rustic space that has a cozy bar and serves as a great place to meet up with friends. SloCuts, set for Friday, March 7 from 6:00-11:00pm, features Chef Alex Lira of The Lot and independent cook Mark Andrew Gravel who will offer a special menu featuring house-made charcuterie, smoked meats, seasonal treats and more. The event is only $15 in advance and space is extremely limited.
So get out and eat and enjoy the winter months in Charleston!