The Food + Wine Festival descended on Charleston last week, resulting in four days of boozy, bloated fun. The city was alive with bright-eyed tourists, I-recognize-you-from-somewhere celebuchefs, and locals looking to indulge. We here at the City Paper tried our best to cover every event (both official and non). It was a bit like preparing for an acting role where you’re required to gain 20 pounds. We resisted the gluttony initially, but quickly embraced and enjoyed pigging out (see for extensive coverage). Between the Salute to Charleston Chefs and the Bobby Flay Burger Demo, the Dine-Arounds, Bubbles & Sweets, and the Culinary Village, our BACs stayed high all weekend while our bellies stayed full. The after-parties — at places like Trattoria Lucca, Charleston Grill, and FIG — were probably the best part of the festival. It was like a red-carpet event for the foodie set, as local and visiting star chefs — Robert Stehling, Ken Vedrinksi, the Lee Brothers, Sam Mason and Wylie Dufresne (pictured), and yes, Bobby Flay, among many others — relaxed and celebrated after a long day. We’ll be keeping to a strict diet this week while we dream of all the food we ate and look forward to F+W 2010.

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