This Sun. Sept. 13 tickets go on sale for the 2016 Charleston's Wine + Food Festival (March 2-6). You can attend the ticket launch, a Boozy Brunch
, this Sunday for more details. But for now, here's our first look at the event lineup. The classics, like the signature dinners and Waffle House Smackdown, are all there, but here are a few events savvy ticket buyers should consider:
The Roasted Goat
Thurs. March 3
The Charleston Nasty may be his signature dish at Hominy Grill, but a little known secret is that Robert Stehling makes some mean goat. I tried it at a Hominy Goat dinner a few years ago, and it made me question my pork allegiance. You may have second thoughts too at this open-flame event. "Heritage Foods will supply the goats," says new W+F Marketing Director Laura Kate Whitney, "and they'll have a live fife and drum band."
Fri. March 4
OK, so this isn't a new event, but it's a cool one. Twelve guests will board a boat and fish for their supper with Fish Chef Nico Romo. That night they'll eat their catch prepared by Romo, a Sustainable Seafood Ambassador of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Doesn't get more fresh than that. If you can't finance the boat trip, additional tickets will be sold to the Fish signature dinner for $175 per person.
Gifts of Gullah
Fri. March 4
Having just released our Gullah Geechee Dish Dining Guide
, we're pretty damn pleased the festival added an event all about this signature Lowcountry cuisine. For this excursion, guests will be led by Dr. Ade Ofunniyin (the grandson of famed Charleston blacksmith Philip Simmons) as he discusses the history of Gullah foodways. Then Chef BJ Dennis will prepare a lunch in the Cooper River Room with cocktails from Proof's Craig Nelson. Having tasted Dennis' okra stew, we can safely say this is not one to miss.
Chicken Sh*t Bingo
Fri. March 4
Leave it to pitmaster John Lewis to come up with this idea. Friday night things will get a little bit plucky over at Lewis' new venue, Lewis Barbecue (464 N Nassau St.). An outdoor bingo board will be set up, chickens let loose, and, well, you can figure out the rest. No word on prizes (or potential health code issues), but we do know there will be plenty of barbecue and beer for this late night party.
Sat. March 5
If you have the Esquire Network, then you might be familiar with this concept. On the show Knife Fight
chefs duke it out over mystery ingredients to see who can come up with the best dish. Host Chef Ilan Hall, owner of L.A. and Brooklyn's The Gorbals and season two winner of Top Chef,
is bringing this battle to Charleston.
Of course there are loads of other events — 30 under $100 — to check out. The full schedule will be released later this month, but for now you can get more information at charlestonwineandfood.com