If you didn’t make the kick-off party for the Charleston Food + Wine festival yesterday afternoon, then you missed out on a grand time, perfect weather (considering the rain lately), and some really fine, well, food and wine.  The best dish of the night by far was a “Shrimp BLT” concoction put out by Craig Diehl, executive chef at Cypress.  Featuring a house-made “lamb bacon”, ripe tomatoes, and poached shrimp on a toast point, it has some deep, deep soul.  It’s not on the menu over there yet, but it should be — in some sort of way, because it was just that good.  Grass Roots importers poured  a stellar new rose to complement the dish as well.

I also ran into Chef Aaron Deal from Tristan, who recently earned a trip to the fabled El Bulli in Roses, Spain.  Good news is, he has agreed to chronicle his experience right here on the Eat blog so that we can all live vicariously as he experiences something most  can only dream of…

A few pics from the event —  a couple good drinking buddies and some stellar chefs, Donald Barrickman (Magnolias) and Craig Diehl (Cypress) :

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