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Let's call this day at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, around Charleston in 80 plates. From Marion Square to Lowndes Grove, biking up and down King Street and back, it's been a whirl. Here are a few of my favorite moments:

  • Watching Joe Riley welcome visitors to the seventh annual festival in Marion Square
  • Seeing Angel Postell hand Mickey Bakst a $25,000 check for nonprofit Feed the Need—incredible!
  • Of course, seeing the chef Sean Brock accept the Marc Collins Chef Award
  • Entering the Grand Tasting tent and having the vendor behind Palmetto Brewing hand me a Ginger Slap beer and say, “A ginger for a ginger!”
  • Hoping on my bike and pedaling in the delicious 78° degree weather to Lowndes Grove for Taco Turf Wars
  • Eating an incredible szechuan chicken taco from Anita Lo of Annisa in New York City
  • Meeting Kim Bowling and Adam Lawrence, a couple from Cincinnatti, OH, who travel around the U.S. visiting food festivals (they're like food groupies. Froopies?)
  • Actually eating a chocolate and mango dessert from pastry chef Michael Laiskonis, formerly of Le Bernardin, who I interviewed for the festival back in 2008. Wow!
  • Getting back to Marion Square just in time to hear Matt and Ted Lee along with John T. Edge discuss the future of Southern food, namely Edge saying, “The rest of the nation sees the South as a redoubt of tradition. They want our ham and they want our whiskey.”
  • Watching Carrie Morey of Callie’s Biscuits not only instruct guests on how to make her pimento cheese at the Charleston magazine demo booth, but also hear her put to bed the myth that all biscuits must be jumbo size. “My grandma would say it’s not lady-like to eat a huge biscuit,” Morey said.
  • Hearing power women, Martha Hall Foose, Nathalie Dupree, Virginia Willis, and Barbara Lynch break down the realities of being leading women in the culinary world. According to Lynch, reality food TV is not all it’s cracked up to be.
  • Seeing masses of people not only lust after incredible samples but also sing the praises of our fair city—priceless.


TONIGHT: It's off to the Grocery Perfectly Paired dinner with chef Kevin Johnson, guest chef Aaron Deal of The River and Rail and wine pro Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat.