What's New In Charleston: Must-Do Food Events This Summer And Fall

It seems like there is never a dull culinary moment in Charleston, S.C., these days, with dinners, tastings, and restaurant openings galore. This summer and fall are no exception. Many of the events feature big-name chefs who are heading into town. There are also events that allow you to get out and enjoy unique, hidden settings like farms and historic parks such as Charles Towne Landing. Here are some of The Daily Meal's favorites of the coming season. We encourage you to mark your calendar today and buy tickets soon before these events sell out!

Louie's Kids Guest Chef Dinner: An organization dedicated to fighting childhood obesity, Louie's Kids' annual fundraising dinner at Circa 1886 is always one not to miss. Chef Marc Collins welcomes Atlanta-based chef Ford Fry (JCT. Kitchen & Bar, The Optimist, King + Duke, No. 246) to be the featured guest for this fundraiser dinner on Aug. 15 at 6:30 p.m. The two will collaborate on a five-course dinner paired with wines from Charleston native Jamey Whetstone and Whetstone Wine Cellars. Menus items include Ashley Farms chicken, roasted fish "of the moment" and "1855" strip steak. Cost is $80 per person, $50 of which goes directly to Louie's Kids. 

Chef Edward Lee Brings the Bourbon: One of the South's most recognizable and beloved chefs, Edward Lee from Louisville, Ky., will be sure to roll in with some bourbon when he hits Charleston on his whirlwind book tour for Smoke & Pickles. Lee's first stop is the U.S. headquarters for Le Creuset (based in Charleston) to be part of L 'Atelier Guest Chef Series on Thursday, Aug. 29, where he will do a cooking demo and tasting for $60, which includes a copy of the book. He then visits chef Ken Vedrinski, a longtime pal, where the two will collaborate on a family-style lunch at Trattoria Lucca that features items from the book, some with an Italian flare. The lunch costs $75 and also includes a copy of the book.

Domestic Diva Classes: Suzanne Pollack and Leigh Manigault are not your average Charleston ladies. They are some of the most gracious, polished domestic divas around (hence the name). The two have created a school of sorts, the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits, to teach people how to be better at any kind of domestic affair. With a new book on the way and a recent feature in The Washington Post, they are on a role. This fall they plan to host several classes perfect for any one ready to hone in on their skills for topics like "what to do with all that silver," "brunch is better at home," and "everyday cooking." Classes are already selling out for some sessions, but the duo can provide private classes as well. 

Southern Ground Music & Food Festival: Zac Brown is not only one of the country's hottest musicians, he is also a big time food lover and a fan of Charleston. Brown will once again play host to his Southern Ground Music & Food Festival in the city Oct. 19 and 20, where he along with artists like Willie Nelson, Trombone Shorty, Band of Horses, and Nathalie Maines will come perform during the two-day concert. Rusty Hamlin, executive chef for the Zac Brown Band, will once again curate a lineup of elevated food vendors (including Home Team BBQ) and will feature some of the city's top chefs part of the Front Porch Stage Box package. This ticket features dinner on stage mere feet from the performers, beverages throughout the show, dedicated waitstaff, and private restrooms, which makes for all the difference at a show. Chefs are still to be finalized but stay tuned for the details. 

Lowcountry Field Feast: This annual fundraiser for Lowcountry Local First (LLF) always offers a great, enchanted evening. The setting is always one that most guests would normally not be able to access on their own accord, and the food and beverages are executed flawlessly. This year's event on Oct. 13 will take place on Andrea and Jack Limehouse's property in The Barn at Walnut Hill on Johns Island (also home to LLF's Dirt Works farm). Chef Josh Keeler of Two Boroughs Larder is the featured chef and will be welcoming chefs Ryan Smith and Ryan Hidinger (of soon to open Staplehouse and the Giving Kitchen restaurants) from Atlanta to assist with the menu. Joe and MariElena Raya, owners of The Gin Joint will also be pouring drinks featuring their new line of artisanal mixers Bittermilk. All proceeds from the event benefit LLF's initiatives to aid local and sustainable farming. 

Chef's Collaborative 2013 Summit: Charleston will play host to one of the most important conferences for the culinary industry as it relates to sustainability when the Chef's Collaborative holds its annual summit from Nov. 2 to 5. Attendees can go on a series of field trips to places like St. Stephen to visit knife maker Quentin Middleton, Thornhill Farms and nearby Clammer Dave's oyster and clam operation, and the Clemson Agriculture Research and Education Center to name a few. The real focus during the weekend summit will be hearing from the likes of chef Rick Bayless, Michel Nischan, Michael Ruhlman, and Kim Severson. Culinary industry types and supporters will want to sign up soon to attend. 

Garden & Gun Jubilee: Lucky for Charleston, the folks at Garden & Gun have selected the city as the backdrop of their first annual Jubilee — a Made in the South Celebration. During this lively weekend Dec. 6 to 8, guests can come to the site of the state's original settlement, Charles Towne Landing, for sporting, shopping, food, music, and art. There will also be a good mix of special dinners including one with chef Mike Lata and music by Junior Brown, an event touted as the Ultimate Oyster Roast and a Pit Master's Pig Roast hosted by John T. Edge. A Southern Pantry Food Tent will be filled with purveyors and tastemakers featuring their small-batch and hard-to-find food and beverage items. Tickets are already on sale and hotel packages are available. 

The Lee Bros Cookbook Boot Camp: Anything brothers Matt and Ted Lee host is worth its weight in gold, especially as it relates to writing a book. The two have written two successful cookbooks, are James Beard Foundation Award-winners, and are writers for a series of major national publications. Their first cookbook book camp was an instant success and led to their announcement of another. The camps, which take place Jan. 12 tp 14 and 19 to 21 and are part of the Chef Development Institute, are two-day working retreats for professional chefs raring to write a book. Classes focus on creating a personalize action plan and a foundation of a cookbook proposal. Space is limited to only six chefs, which is why we encourage you to book immediately! 

Other Notables: There are other outstanding food events to consider (too many to list actually) including the SweetWater Charleston Pub Crawl benefiting Charleston Waterkeeper on Aug. 24, Charleston Wine + Food Festival's Launch Party at Mixson Bath & Racquet Club on Sept. 18, Taste of Charleston at Boone Hall Plantation on Sept. 27 to 29, and Les Dames of Charleston's Autumn Affair on Oct. 3.