This weekend it's the barbecue festival at Boone Hall and the Craft Brew Festival in Savannah. And in coming weeks and months, a host of regional festivals will celebrate our collective love of eating and drinking.
Greenville will play host Euphoria on Sept. 18-20. The upstate food festival that promises "a higher state of food, wine, and music" will feature plenty of guest chefs from all over the country, including several with Charleston connections.
International epicure Guy Savoy, of Restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris and Vegas, is the headliner with his son Franck on the Saturday night dine around event at Devereaux's in downtown Greenville. Other chefs participating at various restaurants include our own Chef Anthony Gray who helms the High Cotton in Greenville as well as the one in Charleston. He'll be cooking with Frank Stitt from Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham and Michael Paley from Proof in Louisville.
Sean Brock's pal Tyler Brown from Capital Grille at the Hermitage in Nashville (he was as part of the McCrady's recent Share our Strength dinner) will team up with Tim Graham from Tru in Chicago and host chef Joe Clarke at American Grocery.
Two former Charleston chefs will be at Rick Erwin's West End Grille. Scott Crawford, formerly of Woodlands and now at the Umstead Resort in N.C., joins former McCrady's exec. chef Michael Kramer, who's now at Voice Restaurant in Houston. They'll be hosted by West End Chef Jason McCarthy.
Greenville's Lazy Goat teams up their Chef de Cuisine Victoria Moore with the brothers Rathbun: Kent from Dallas and Kevin from Atlanta.
Euphoria kicks off Friday night with Edwin McCain performing at the Taste of the South event, which will feature plenty of food and music on the banks of the Reedy River. Saturday morning brings the farmers market followed by a tasting showcase, wine seminars, and cooking demonstrations. And Sunday wraps it all up with a jazz brunch and a cook-off. Sounds a lot like our own BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival, just on a smaller scale. I'll be heading up there to check it out and report back.
Elsewhere this month, Pawley's Island — a hop, skip, and a jump to the north — will host a wine gala with fine wines from more than 60 wineries that will be available for purchase below retail. Tickets are $100 per person and benefit the Pawley's Island Festival of Music and Art. For more information, pawleysmusic.com or (843) 626-8911.
In November, celebuchef Tyler Florence returns to the Lowcountry to host his annual event at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton. Music to Your Mouth will take place Nov. 18-22 with cooking demos, live music, tastings, and dinners.
Some of our own celebrity chefs will be on hand, including Donald Barickman of Magnolias and the Hospitality Management Group. Florence has long acknowledged Barickman as an important mentor and influence in his development as a chef, so it's not too surprising to see him make an appearance.
Jason Houser of Muse Restaurant, Frank Lee from Slightly North of Broad, and Robert Stehling from Hominy Grill will also be participating. Events range from a yacht cruise to a hair of the dog road race with plenty of house events, parties, tastings, and progressive wine dinners to make the $700 Ultimate Weekend Package ticket worth it. Or you could just head up for the Saturday afternoon Culinary Festival, a collection of chefs, growers, vintners, and brewers showcasing their products and dishes along with live cooking demos by Tyler Florence. The cost is $200, but $25 from every ticket goes to Second Helpings, a Lowcountry nonprofit that helps battle hunger.
If you haven't been to the Inn at Palmetto Bluff, this might be a good chance for a weekend getaway. The resort on the May River feels like a charming Southern village and was recently deemed the No. 1 resort in the U.S. and Canada by Travel + Leisure readers.
Or, if you're just not in that tax bracket, you could wait for October's Taste of Charleston at Boone Hall, a highly-anticipated event that's always a good time.