[embed-2] Charleston Wine + Food events are dominating the Lowcountry this weekend, meaning there are countless out-of-town chefs in the Holy City for the festivities. The Wine + Food main attractions are generally worth the price of admission, but the fringe events happening throughout the city are part of what makes this weekend so special for food and beverage enthusiasts.

Maricela Vega, the executive chef of locally-focused eatery 8ARM in Atlanta, is making time for two such events at Charleston establishments where there’s also a commitment to sourcing responsibly. On Friday, Vega will team up with Monarch Wine Merchant’s Justin Coleman before popping into Tu the following evening to serve up some late night eats.

Vega made a name for herself in Atlanta with her tamale-themed pop-up before taking over the executive chef position at 8ARM last March. Since joining 8ARM, Vega has put an emphasis on local ingredients — her work earned her a nomination for a James Beard Award in the “Rising Chef of the Year” category. 

Starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Vega will be shucking oysters while also offering some other cold seafood dishes. Accompanying the seafood will be Pet-Nat pours from Monarch owner Justin Coleman, who described the wine as a “cold, frothy, fizzy, less serious version of champagne.” Tickets for the evening can be purchased at the door for $25.

The following night at Tu, Vega will feature dishes that highlight her Mexican roots and commitment to plant-based dishes. Much like Tu executive chef Josh Walker, Vega serves globally influenced cuisine, as she incorporates flavors highlighting the heritage of members of her culinary team. According to Walker, Vega will serve a menu that “encompasses creative takes on seafood and seasonal vegetables in the form of tostadas, tamales, and more.” Vega will take over the kitchen from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. following Tu’s regular dinner service.

Wine + Food is a busy weekend, so if you’re tied up during these times, check out one of these other fringe events.