While partygoers noshed on squab gnocchi from FIG and MiBek beef from the Ocean Room, the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival was racking up a record day of ticket sales. Tickets went live at 9 a.m. on Thursday morning, and it didn’t take long for them to reach $200,000 (last year, it took them the entire opening weekend to hit that number.) Can’t say I’m too surprised. The 2012 lineup is pretty stellar.
The ticket launch party was pretty stellar too. A who’s who of chefs, wines, and restaurants that will be participating in the 2012 festival were on hand with delicious plates of food and lovely glasses of wine. A signature cucumber cocktail made with Hendrick’s Gin greeted us at the entrance; a refreshing way to get the party started.
Once we had drink in hand, we scouted the food tables, which were scattered around the venue. Chef Ken Vedrinski of Trattoria Lucca had a lovely octopus dish, while Fred Neuville of the Fat Hen had a bountiful salad made from local beans. His mise en place was quite pretty in and of itself. It seemed like the Halls Chophouse table had a perpetual line 20-people deep, proving that red meat will always attract a crowd.
The event was held on the beach at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina, where guests sunk their toes in the sand and stuffed themselves silly and were treated to cool sea breezes and a picturesque sunset. All in all, it was an enjoyable kickoff party that left us looking forward to the big festival in March.