[image-1] In what had to be an incredibly difficult moment, Shannon Whiddon, the wife of slain Virginia’s Chef Shane Whiddon, accepted the Marc Collins Chef Award on behalf of her deceased husband at the Charleston Wine + Food festival kick-off Friday morning.

Holding back tears, Shannon thanked the festival and the Charleston community for remembering her husband who was shot last August in his restaurant following a standoff with a disgruntled employee. Whiddon was 37.

“This award will help my sons see how amazing their dad was,” Shannon told the crowd.

Others were also honored during the kick-off and those included:

  • Outstanding Beverage Contribution for High Wire Distilling’s Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall.
  • 2018’s Frank Stitt National Chef Award to Sean Brock of Husk, McCrady’s, and Minero.
  • Laura Hewitt Culinary Legend award to philanthropist Terri Henning

[image-2] Highlights of the awards included Mike Lata remembering Henning for her gracious hospitality including the time she invited him and a select group of other chefs, including Brock, to her People’s Building pied-à-terre via with a baby pig and jar of lard by way of an invitation.

Brock also had the crowd laughing when he accepted his award from Alabama restaurateur Frank Stitt. Apparently the first time he met Stitt was in 2006 when the chef came to dine at McCrady’s. Nervous and eager to impress him, Brock was worrying with his crew in the kitchen when he turned around there Stitt all smiles and compliments … with a huge piece of cilantro in his front teeth. “So it’s amazing to be receiving this award today,” Brock added.

Following the awards, champagne was sabered and the Culinary Village gates opened.