We’d heard that Chef Mike Lata recently moved into a new home on James Island, but we never thought there’d be an opportunity to have dinner there with him. Well, wish granted. Cathryn Zommer, director of communications for Charleston Wine + Food Festival says Lata will host a clam bake and fish fry at his home as part of the fest’s big events this year. ¿Su casa es mi casa, Mike?! You shouldn’t have.

The cost of the clam bake has yet to be released, but we expect those lucky enough to attend will come away with some good stories to tell. Which is appropriate as this year’s festival theme is storytelling. And to collect tales, Southern Foodways Alliance will be on hand with its new SFA Oral History Bus, which will be parked at the Culinary Village. We wonder if they’d like to hear about the time we watched one local chef face-plant in drunken, giggly delight at a 2012 festival after-party? 

That’s just one bit of news Zommer shared today. In addition, Southern food expert and author Nathalie Dupree is on board to host a high tea, and the festival has something called a “Cross Cultural BBQ” on tap, which’ll pair pit masters and chefs in a combined effort to update a few Southern staples.

This year Zommer also says there will a more intimate approach with smaller events. And locals, as usual, will continue to receive slightly lower admission to the culinary village on Sunday — tickets will be $70 for Charlestonians (as opposed to $80 for those unlucky folks from off). Each ticket will give attendees six hours of village access.

In other news, Jonathan Green’s Loaded Rice Barge painting was selected as this year’s poster. Prints of the painting will be available for purchase online beginning Aug. 27; that’s the same day festival tickets go on sale and the kickoff ticket launch, Party @ the Power House, happens at the Navy Yard. We expect more festival news will be announced then. Stay tuned for updates.  

This year’s Charleston Wine + Food Festival is March 4-8. 

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.