BayHaven Food & Wine Festival 2023
Celebrating cuisine, diversity, and community
The wildly successful BayHaven Food & Wine Festival returns to Charlotte, North Carolina, from October 4 to 8 for its third iteration. The festival—planned and executed by J. Leigh Events—takes place throughout the city; however, this year, the festival features new venues in the city’s Uptown and Historic West End neighborhoods. Despite new additions, the tried-and-true festival still proudly—and loudly—celebrates Black food, culture, and traditions, in addition to all of the industry members who make this event possible.
This year’s festival theme pulls inspiration from prominent culture movements in the 1960s and ’70s. Hence the title, “Wild & Free 2023.”
“We set out to create a festival that honors the diaspora, fosters education and creates meaningful and joyous moments of celebration,” says Subrina Collier, festival co-founder and co-owner of BayHaven Restaurant Group with her husband, chef Gregory Collier. “Charlotte has become a true melting pot, drawing folks from around the world. We envision a world where that diversity and representation is equally visible in the arena of elevated food conversation and food festivals.”
The 2023 BayHaven Food and Wine Festival lineup includes:
Wednesday, October 4
It’s a Family Affair Community Feast
The festival kicks off with a delicious family-style dinner event featuring James Beard-nominated chefs Gregory Collier and Cleophus Hethington. The not-to-miss feast will celebrate the community while highlighting unique styles of cuisine.
Thursday, October 5
Make Food, Not War Food & Beverage Symposium
Last year’s most popular event, the Symposium, presents festival-goers with thought-provoking information on food, education, and culture. Among the numerous chefs, food media, and farmers, food activist Dara Cooper is a highlighted participant in the panel discussions. In addition, a delicious lunch is provided by chef Elena Lundy and the Johnson & Wales University culinary student team. What makes this event even better: a portion of proceeds from this event will benefit two Johnson & Wales University scholarships.
Au Naturale’ Spirits-Free Dinner
Led by chefs Brandon Staton of Uptown Yolk and Chayil Johnson of Community Matters Cafe, this family-friendly event will feature fun, delicious mocktail pairings with each course. Johnson’s Community Matters Cafe, an active member in the Charlotte community, prides itself on providing recovery services to people who are combating homelessness and substance abuse—hence the meaning behind the omission of alcoholic beverages at the event. A portion of the event’s proceeds will go directly to this mission.
Carolina Dreamin Dinner
“Top Chef” James Beard nominee, Keith Rhodes, leads this Carolinas-themed celebratory dinner that features traditional, classic dishes made by Carolinas-based chefs.
Friday, October 6
Up in Smoke: Pig Pickin and Oyster Roast
This Southern whole hog roast lunch features barbecue favorites such as oysters, traditional sides, and desserts! The event was created by James Beard-nominated chefs Josh Lee and Adrian Lipscombe, among others.
Mother Earth: All Ladies Chef Dinner
This female-led dinner celebrates women as drivers of growth and revolution in the culinary industry. The dinner features chef Quientina Stewart and Leah & Louise’s Courtney Evans.
Saturday, October 7
Everybody Is A Star: Tasting Tent
This battle of Southern food cities features more than fifty food and beverage talents from Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte, North Carolina, and the DMV area. Featured chefs include Ederique Goudia, Jerome Grant, Jamie Barnes, and Lamar Moore, among many others. Tickets include all food, wine, and spirits tastings.
Love, Feast & Soul Gala and Afterparty
This dress-to-impress gala features live entertainment and a cocktail hour followed by a family-style dinner led by chefs David and Tonya Thomas of H3irloom Food Group.
Sunday, October 8
Boogie Down Brunch and Day Party
Ready to boogie and brunch? Bid farewell to the action-packed festival with this mid-day party. This final event features dishes created by twelve notable chefs, live entertainment, and plenty of wine and spirits!
The event website is live, and ticket prices start at $100 for single events; multi-event tickets start at $202.