Recap: Charleston Wine + Food Festival 2024

By: The Local Palate

Despite record rainfall in Charleston the weekend of Charleston Wine + Food in 2024, there was abundant laughter, undeniably delectable bites, pristine pours, and many memories formed. In typical Charlestonian fashion, a little rain can’t dampen our spirits. While many events had to pivot or shutter due to flooding, there were ample opportunities to learn, share, and participate in the numerous events celebrating the culinary culture of the South. To our friends who planned, shifted, navigated, traveled, and participated in Charleston Food + Wine this year, thank you for standing with us and proving that Southern culinary culture can withstand whatever is thrown our way. 

Our Team’s Favorite Bites, Sights, Sips + Takeaways

Ricky Moore at Charleston Wine + Food

Erin Byers Murray | Editor in Chief

  • Best Bite: Palmira BBQ + Khoi Barbecue Collab dinner – the sovieto-style whole hog served with arroz con gandules, Vietnamese crepes, and fresh herbs – obsessed with this mashup of Puerto Rican and Vietnamese flavors layered into traditional whole hog methods.  
  • Wildest Sight: Miss Charlotte Jenkins and her daughter Kesha teaching Gullah cooking skills to Amethyst Ganaway (and all of us) during the Gullah Geechee cooking class – also, Amethyst’s “Bring on the Matriarchy” sweatshirt (side note: merch goals!)
  • Best Sip: French 75 as poured by Tiffanie Barriere, aka The Drinking Coach, to kick off our panel talk with Toni Tipton-Martin at High-Wire Distilling Co.
  • Top Takeaway: Ricky Moore, known for his seafood shack in NC, sort of blew my mind  by making a vegan Sea Island White Rice and Pea dish at Catch of the Day – he told me he did it because he knew no other chef would but that we all needed a little vegan that day. It was the best bite I had all afternoon.

Emily Havener | Managing Editor

  • Best Bite: Marcus Middleton‘s jollof nori roll with shrimp, escovitch, dill, and tahini aioli from opening night…mind-blowing and utterly delicious combination of flavors I’ve never had together before, and an incredible way to start off the festival.
  • Wildest Sight: Ladies in gorgeous floral dresses who must have been cold at the Culinary Village on Friday dancing at the silent disco. I love the Southern determination to show up dressed to kill and determined to have a good time no matter the weather!
  • Best Sip: Silice rosé that Femi Oyediran paired with the second course of the Bintu Atelier signature dinner…unlike any rosé I’ve tried, with a finishing note of parsley.
  • Top Takeaway: There’s nothing like getting to meet in person or catch up with chefs we’ve written about from all over the US—notably Blair Machado the wandering chef, Dominick Lee with spots in New York and now Houston—and to try places in my own city I haven’t managed to get to yet—like Bintu Atelier, which lived up to every expectation I had and more. Thank you, Charleston Wine + Food, for making this possible!

Amber Chase | Digital Editor

seafood pasta at Lowland part of their signature dinner with Charleston Wine + Food
  • Best Bite: I had the notable pleasure of attending the signature dinner at Lowland hosted by Jason Stanhope and André Mack. The second course featured a housemade oblong-shaped conchiglie pasta nestled between bites of fresh shrimp and crab, balanced with a light, creamy sauce. When I say I could spend the rest of my life eating this pasta, it’s not an exaggeration. 
  • Wildest Sight: Aside from my submerged Blundstones on the downtown streets, the most notable sight was the breathtaking chandelier in the upper room at Lowland: a twisting, sculptural chandelier that mimics blooms about to burst and captured the essence of the historic tavern with subtle nods to art deco design. 
  • Best Sip: Yes, I have to tip my hat once again to the Lowland dinner here. My excitement nearly bubbled over when I realized the event was hosted not just by Jason Stanhope but also André Mack as the sommelier. Mack has an effortless way of capturing a room and making wine feel both approachable and exciting. He poured four of his Maison Noir wines throughout the courses, but his “Bottoms Up” Riesling was the showstopper. As someone who typically avoids Rieslings at all costs, this pour was an unexpected favorite, balancing notes of peach and citrus with a powerful acidity that harmonized effortlessly with Stanhope’s starters. 
  • Top Takeaway: Listening to the panel of Erin Byers Murray, Toni Tipton Martin, Tiffanie Barriere, and Rhonda Mitchell at the Hospitality Hub Happy Hour on Saturday was deeply inspiring to me. As someone with a love for food, the industry, journalism, and female entrepreneurship, seeing women not only rooting for one another, but structuring their success around the success of other women felt like the best way to honor and celebrate Women’s History Month.

Tate Jacaruso | Associate Editor

  • Best Bite: This one’s tough, but I think I’ll go with Co-Hog food truck’s shrimp roll during Catch of the Day at Bowens Island Restaurant. The roll was loaded up with South Carolina shrimp in a tangy sauce on toasted, buttery bread and I ate it while enjoying the waterfront view on the dock. 
  • Wildest Sight: I spotted a line out the door early on during Opening Night at Festival Hall, with music playing and crowds of guests chatting away happily. I love how excited everyone was for the festival to begin, rain or shine, myself included. 
  • Best Sip: ​​Sèchey’s zero proof margarita at Culinary Village was a sweet and sour sip that took me by surprise, since I’m not usually a margarita drinker. The lime flavor was delicious and it was fun to try something new after having wine during the rest of the festival. 
  • Top Takeaway: There are so many talented people in the industry and it’s important to celebrate them. I met Blair Machado at Catch of the Day, Dominick Lee at Culinary Village, and Sam Fore at Street Eats. I got to try their (amazing) food, put faces to names, and see firsthand how much they love what they do.

Olivia Cooper | Marketing Manager

dim sum brunch for Charleston Wine + Food
  • Best Bite: In a sea of deliciousness, singling out a top pick is like choosing a favorite pet, but a standout for me was the Cha Shao BBQ Pork Bao at Jackrabbit Filly’s Hangover Dim Sum Brunch, featuring chefs Shuai Wang, Jordan Rubin, and Robby Merchant. Even without a hangover, this bao bun is the ultimate pick-me-up.
  • Wildest Sight: There’s nothing like taking in the view and salty air from the postcard-perfect boathouse at Bowens Island restaurant. At our Catch of the Day event, supported by The Local Palate, guests maneuvered around puddles from the previous day’s rain. In a stroke of ingenuity, they repurposed discarded oyster shells to create impromptu walkways, sidestepping the mud with a touch of Southern resourcefulness!
  • Best Sip: Let’s talk about Tiffanie Barriere’s zero-proof berry spiced tea at our happy hour with Toni Tipton-Martin at High Wire Distilling Co. This jewel-toned drink, served up in a tall glass, was more than just a pretty face; it was the perfect, light refreshment I needed after a full day on the go.
  • Top Takeaway: Delving into the rich history of Gullah cuisine during the Gullah Geechee Goodness class with chefs Charlotte Jenkins and Amethyst Ganaway was a masterclass in Southern culinary traditions. Jenkins shared nostalgic stories of her upbringing surrounded by the freshest Lowcountry seafood, and we tried our hand at chef Ganaway’s foolproof method of cooking stovetop Carolina Gold Rice. For the grand finale, we savored steaming bowls of Chef Jenkins’ famous conch stew paired with sips of Sweetgrass Wedding Punch.

Ready to join us next year? Watch for updates from Charleston Wine + Food!

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