Dallas Morning News....
CHARLESTON FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL
EXPANDS ITS REACH
Many of those who attended the inaugural Charleston Food + Wine Festival knew they had taken part in something special and thatd be back for an even more savory second course (with their friends). Thus, this years Festival, March 1-4, is set to deliver a bigger bite and sip of Charleston.
Few cities are better suited to host this type of event. Blending Lowcountry cuisine and culture with a cornucopia of creative chefs and restaurants makes for a platter of events sure to please any foodie or wine snob.
In our second year, the Festivals focus and emphasis continues to be on everything that makes Charleston so distinctive, says Nathalie Dupree, chairwoman of the board of directors. Weve added more events, more vendors, and more tasty details.
The four-day schedule expands and enhances several events that were hits last year, as well as adding several new offerings. Heres a sampling of this years activities:
Charleston Cooks! Culinary Village. This was the heart of last years event and is shaping up to be even more popular. The mostly outdoor village (open March 3rd and 4th) will again feature more than 70 culinary-related businesses, including top restaurants, food purveyors (such as Teds Butcherblock) and wineries from around the world.
Visitors will receive a commemorative glass for tastings and have access to many cooking demonstrations, author discussions, and the Charleston Cooks! tent, which features a large selection from the nearby culinary store and cooking school.
Ben Arnold Beverage Company Presents Salute to Charleston Chefs: 2007 Opening Reception. The opening party March 1 will feature 24 of Charlestons top chefs preparing dishes that will be paired with wines presented by winemakers from around the nation.
Southern Wine & Spirits Presents the Restaurant Dine-Around. Participating in the event March 2 will be noted Charleston restaurants such as Circa 1886, High Cotton, Oak Steakhouse, Slightly North of Broad, Peninsula Grill, Cypress, Magnolias, McCradys. They'll feature four-course meals (with wine pairings) prepared by both the host chef and a guest celebrity chef.
Moet Hennessy and Charleston Magazine Present Bubbles & Sweets. As an add-on after the dine-around March 2, this event offers fine champagne and delectable desserts prepared by several pastry chefs.
Wild Dunes Resort Kids Village. This new offering will include cooking classes and food-related activities for children younger than 12. Kids can make bread, churn butter, plant an herb garden, or make art out of food.
Wine-oriented events include winemaker receptions in private historic homes March 3 at which participants will meet a top winemaker and enjoy hors doeuvres from local restaurants; wine seminars covering a variety of topics and wines; and an Art & Wine Reception at the Gibbes Museum of Art.
Other highlights include Good Food Caterings Saturday Night Celebration (a Lowcountry party); Piggly Wigglys Lowcountry Gospel Brunch; and BBQ Blues & Brews (Southern barbeque, music by Chef Fatback and the Groove Band, and adult beverages).
Festival tickets and details: www.charlestonfoodandwine.com. Single and multiple ticketing options for various events are available, including the Grand Weekend Pass ($550). Travel information: www.charlestoncvb.com.