It’s the 12th year for Charleston Wine + Food and they’re not playing around in the big name guest department this year. Today the full schedule went live on the festival’s site and an initial scan reveals that Danny Meyer, Ruth Reichl, Nancy Silverton, Vivian Howard, and Daniel Boulud will all be in attendance.
The first three make a stop at the Business of Food event. For $70 on Thurs. March 2, you can hear Indigo Road’s Steve Palmer interview Union Square Hospitality Group’s (of Shake Shack and Gramercy Tavern fame) CEO Danny Meyer; listen to Park Cafe and Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen owner Karalee Fallert grill the esteemed cookbook author and baker Nancy Silverton; then watch Charleston Mag‘s EIC Darcy Shankland talk shop with renowned food critic and author Ruth Reichl.
Reichl-ites can get even more facetime with her and other power women chefs at the $225 Stories from Her Kitchen event. Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner and Death & Taxes, Vivian Howard of Chef & the Farmer and PBS’s A Chef’s Life, FISH Pastry Chef Jessica Grossman, and biscuit badass Carrie Morey of Callie’s Biscuits will provide a coursed lunch with pairings of Veuve Clicquot and a selection of Moët Hennessey. And to top it all off, Reichl will be interviewed by Kerry Diamond, co-founder and editorial director of Cherry Bombe Magazine.
Superstar chef Daniel Boulud makes his return to Charleston as well for the $70 Descendants of Daniel: Impact of an Icon event. For this one, recent Charleston visitor Gail Simmons of Top Chef will interview Boulud and some of his best pupils including Michael Anthony of NYC’s Untitled, Gavin Kaysen of Minneapolis’ Spoon and Stable, Jean-Francois Bruel, executive chef of Boulud’s Daniel, and Andrew Carmellini of NYC’s Lafayette.
Of course, if you really want to get up close and personal with Boulud, it’ll cost you — $1,500 to be exact. That’s the price tag of W+F’s People’s Building penthouse dinner with the chef.
The Signature Dinners are all there as well. This year tickets to those will cost you $175 a pop. Or you can skip the formal meal and for $90 hop on your hog to join the Chefs Who Ride event. According the festival’s website, “On this particular Sunday, we’re inviting the chopper congregation to trade in their aprons for leather. The ride will end at Charleston’s pub grub hub, The Royal American, and we’ll have a healthy spread of palate-pleasing flavors, including incredible bites, craft beer, red wine, cocktails, and music by Whiskey Diablo.”
Another event I’d strongly encourage people to attend is the $135 Fresh Future Farm Lunch. Fresh Future Farm CEO Germaine Jenkins has worked tirelessly to bring locally grown fresh produce to the food desert of North Charleston, and at this luncheon, guests will get a chance to talk to the people helping her cause.
Each year we complain about how the festival never quite seems to put together an event that appreciates and celebrates African-American contributions to Charleston’s culinary heritage, but it looks like this year they’re doing a better job of it. On Sun. March 5, guests can take a deep dive into the life of former slave and famed caterer Nat Fuller who, you may remember, was honored in Charleston last year at an historic reconciliation dinner. For this $135 event, participants will tour the Aiken-Rhett House Museum to begin the discussion of 19th century life. From there they’ll visit Fuller’s home, the Gatewood House, to get a picture of Fuller’s life as a butler before enjoying food prepared by Chef Matthew Raiford and Jovan Sage of Brunswick, Ga.’s The Farmer and the Larder, Kevin Mitchell, as well as locals Chef BJ Dennis, and Chef April Robinson of Butter Tapas.
Tickets for the 2017 Charleston Wine + Food Festival (March go on sale tomorrow, Sept. 15, at 8 a.m. The official Grand Slam Jam ticket release party is tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. at The Citadel’s College Park Field (735 Rutledge Ave.) Tickets are $65 and include food and drink. To purchase a ticket, visit charlestonwineandfood.com.