The Culinary Village is the heart and soul of the Charleston Wine and Food Festival, and one that has grown in size over the past nine years. To help you navigate the assemblage of tents, we've compiled a list of the highs and unavoidable lows.
The Pop-Up Biergarten will be the top spot to visit today. It's a gorgeous day and the vendors are pouring some exquisite brews, like the Pere Jacques at Goose Island or the brand new Upheaval IPA at Widmer Brothers. The space includes nine breweries and bites like biscuit sliders with pimiento cheese and andouille provided by Bay Street Biergarten. Best of all, it's right next to the Southern Season Artisan Market. This emporium of craft food items includes vendors eager to sample their products. Charcuterie fans should head over to the Creminelli Fine Meat stand, while dessert fans should stop by the Black Mountain Chocolate table for a sip of their divine cayenne cinnamon drinking chocolate.
The Southern Foodways Alliance Culinary Hub provides a tent revival setting for those who worship Southern food. Billed as "The Front Porch of the Festival," they're hosting three panels this afternoon, but we're most looking forward to the discussion "Interpreting the South Through Place" with Anne Quatrano and Michelle Weaver.
On Friday, the SCE&G sponsored Celebrity Kitchen tent was so cold during Mindy Segal's cooking demo that the chef's breath was visible during much of her presentation. It was a strange coincidence that the coldest tent sported the name of our local electrical utility. Today's weather is better, but be warned: if you're attending a cooking demo today, dress in layers.
In the Grand Tasting Tent, the Baker Blue Room Cadillac Club is a confusing little lounge at the center of the expo. It's not particularly blue nor does it house a Cadillac. Redemption lies in the Tito's Tasting Bar within the Cadillac Club, where they are pouring cocktails made with the Texas-made vodka. Try the Charleston Sipper with St. Germain and forget about the lack of furniture in this draped white haven.