The Charleston Wine + Food Festival is always one of the biggest and best culinary events in the region, and as is usually the case, there’s a large Nashville connection to this year’s festival. The event includes tastings, special dinners and chef demos at venues all around Charleston from March 6 through 10. With more than 100 culinary experiences available for ticket-holders, there’s no better opportunity to meet and eat with some of the best chefs from the Holy City and their guests from around the world.
This year, chefs from six Nashville restaurants and a local distillery owner will be participating at several events throughout the festival. Carey Bringle of Peg Leg Porker and his wife Delaniah will be busy during the week, cooking at a signature beer and barbecue dinner event at Poogan’s Porch on Thursday, March 7, participating in a big cookout the next day titled “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” and then finishing up Saturday with a cooking demonstration at the expansive Culinary Village set up around historic Marion Square.
Chef Brian Riggenbach of popular North Gulch eatery The Mockingbird will also be participating in Saturday’s Culinary Village tasting events where he’ll showcase his unique international style of modern diner food. He’ll also be cooking at the extremely popular Sunday drag brunch event at the beautiful Lowndes Grove Plantation in a party they’re calling “All Hail the Queen(s.)”
Bryan Lee Weaver from Butcher & Bee will be returning to Charleston, home of the original outpost of “The Bee” to cook at the Culinary Village on Friday. Considering how delicious the small plates at his home restaurant are, you can count on something special from chef Weaver’s table under the tasting tents.
Maneet Chauhan is involved with four Nashville restaurants, Chauhan Ale & Masala House, The Mockingbird, Chaatable and Tànsuǒ. She’ll be participating in three signature events at this year’s Charleston Wine + Food Festival beginning with Thursday night’s Sorghum & Salt dinner with host chef Tres Jackson. Friday night, Chauhan will be one of the headliners at the Holi City Shakedown, a late night salute to the food and culture of India that should be one of the best parties of the week! Chauhan will finish up her busy week with the Southern Renaissance event at one of the most striking venues in town, The Cigar Factory. The evening event will feature a group of chefs that are pushing the boundaries of “traditional Southern cuisine” telling their stories through words and their cooking.
Richard Jones runs the culinary program at Green Door Gourmet in West Nashville where he educates customers with cooking demos and develops recipes that participants in the farm’s CSA program can use to cook up the bounty of produce that arrive in their baskets every week. A repeat invitee to CHSWFF, Jones will participate in the Boys Room event on Friday and in the Culinary Village on Sunday. He’ll also be cooking at a Saturday morning program called RetrEAT, a presentation of food-related health and wellness products and services.
Matt Bolus of 404 Kitchen spent some time working in Charleston, so his dance card is filled up every year during the festival, and this year is no different. In addition to back-to-back appearances on Friday at the Culinary Village and at the Smokin’ in the Boys Room event, Bilus will be the featured guest chef at a signature dinner at Tradd’s, one of Charleston’s hottest new dining spots under the direction of chef Brandon Buck. Any event that chef Bolus is cooking at is sure to be delicious and entertaining.
Fawn Hall has been a sought-after speaker in the past year since founding Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey and spearheading efforts to recognize the contributions of Nearest Green to the distilling industry back when he taught a young apprentice named Jack Daniel how to make whiskey. Weaver will be a part of two events on Thursday, the first a beverage workshop called Whiskey Warriors featuring women leading the way in the spirits industry. That will be followed by BURNED, a series of short speeches from members of the culinary community that share their stories about what is important to them. Weaver’s final event will be Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (WTF) on Friday where she’ll join talented chefs and mixologists as they prepare drinks and snacks in honor of America’s most beloved spirit, whiskey.
If you’re interested in attending the Charleston Wine + Food Festival March 6 through 10, visit the festival website to see which tickets are still available or to join the wait lists for the most popular events.