[image-1]Forget to buy your tickets to the Charleston Wine + Food Festival? You have just a little over a week (it’s March 4-8) to get to it, but tickets are going fast. To help you out, we’ve created some itineraries based on availability. Pick your personality for the best option for you
The Good Ol’ Boy Tour
Like your meals like you like your Southern rock: loud and messy? Then put on your trucker hat and cruise to these venues.
Thursday: Bring your appetite to Royal American’s Cross Culture BBQ at 7 p.m. Pitmasters and chefs will team up to deliver the best pulled pork from Mississippi to Korea. Firefly Vodka is handling the drinks, and Pierce Edens, SUSTO, and Cranford Hollow will provide the tunage.
Friday: Punch it up a notch with the bourbon boys of Charleston Brown Water Society. At 11 a.m. (never too early for drinking) the group will take guests on a liquid tour of Classic Charleston Punches. But this is no Sunday school punch situation. We’re talking about a four-quarts-of-brandy-one-quart-of-rum-and-a-half-pint-of-peach-brandy-just-to-make-one-batch-of-Light-Dragoon punch. That’ll make you call in the cavalry.
Saturday: Given you started the previous day with a belly full of liquor, we suspect you’ll be ready to take the edge off Saturday morning and the best way to do that is the Waffle House Smackdown Finals. City Paper’s signature event brings in the most skilled short-order contenders — The Ordinary’s Mike Lata and Chris Shepherd of Underbelly — to fight for the title of this year’s MasterBlaster. Grab a Bloody Mary and Waffle House faves as you cheer on the competitors.
The Wannabe Charlestonian
Hate to break it to you Ohioans, but the majority of this city doesn’t live in 19th-century mansions South of Broad. Shocker, right? But you can still get your voyeur on with these food events.
Friday: Now you’ve got a tough call here, you have two choices: dine with a local culinary hero or throw back some cocktails from the exclusive confines of some of the city’s fanciest private residences. Your call. If you choose the former, you’ll join culinary grande dame Nathalie Dupree at High Cotton for her 50 Shades of Earl Grey: High Tea with Nathalie Dupree ($125). The author of 12 cookbooks knows her biscuits from her gravy, and at 1 p.m. she’ll dish up some of her favorites from her Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking (each guest will leave with a signed copy too).
If your yen for interior design is on par with your passion for food then it’s off to Sip + See (Two) ($125). There you’ll nibble goat.sheep.cow. cheese and sip wines from Mira, Scribe, Elk Cove, Miner, and Krutz wineries as you try to peek inside the medicine cabinets of a few trusting South of Broaders.
Saturday: Get up early and join Carrie Morey, owner of Callie’s Biscuits, for a little biscuit-making tutorial at Wake & Bake ($100). Guests will all get a copy of Morey’s book, Callie’s Biscuits and Southern Traditions: Heirloom Recipes from Our Family Kitchen.
Tired of pimento cheese and boiled peanuts? Want a little more culinary adventure than you’re used to? These events bring a little bit of exotic flavor to Charleston, allowing you to explore areas of gastronomy you might have previously been unaware.
Friday: Jump aboard a shuttle to follow Duolan Li of Xiao Bao Biscuit on an Asian Market Excursion ($100). A tour introducing participants to Asian ingredients will be followed by a lunch that will allow you to taste the kinds of dishes that only a finely tuned eye at the market can produce.
Saturday: Anytime you mix alcohol and entertainment you’re bound to have a good time, especially if the entertainment is mixing alcohol. Watch four of the best bartenders in the city create three rounds of the most imaginative cocktails they can in order to take the crown at the seventh annual Iron Mixologist Competition ($55). The contest is hosted by Charlotte Voisey of William Grant & Sons USA and judged by a well-qualified panel.
Saturday: Finish the weekend with a live performance from Marc Broussard who brings his New Orleans soul vibes to the On the Rocks (N’ Roll) concert ($95). The Tarlatans will open the show while you enjoy cocktails, beer, and food from local bartenders and chefs.
Laidback Local Package
If you love living in Chuck, this tour of neighborhood eats and drinks will surely fill you with pride. Join your fellow Charlestonians in a celebration of 843 cuisine.
Thursday: Twilight Burgers + Beach ($75) may sound like just dinner at Poe’s Tavern, but with the addition of Chef Linton Hopkins of Atlanta’s beloved Holeman & Finch as well as New Orleans Chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery, we suspect it’ll be much more. Grab a seat on the porch and enjoy burgers like “The Raven” and “Annabel Lee” and wash it down with Stone Brewing Co. beer — post-dinner skinny dipping not included.
Friday: For those of us with a shorter attention span, head to Pecha Kucha + Wine + Food ($40). The night of quickly rotating speakers includes some of Charleston’s finest, from Chef Frank Lee to certified cicerone Brandon Plyler. Each speakers gets to present for six minutes and 40 seconds, and tickets include food and drink.
Saturday: Is the booze that’s cranking out of your home brewery missing something you can’t put your finger on? Let the pros from the best local breweries offer you advice to improve the technique you use at home. Hopheads – The Art of Brewing ($50) brings together Charleston’s best brewers who will offer insider tips on how to create a flawless homemade brew.