You could not of asked for better weather on Sunday, March 10, 2019. The temperature was pleasant and the sky featured a happy sun.
This was the day we attended the Charleston Wine & Food's Culinary Village.
And to call it a village is hitting the nail on head. It's a melting pot of chefs, flavors, personalities and all-around excitement.
Located in Marion Square, the Culinary Village is the heart + soul of Charleston Wine + Food, and the 2019 menu is bigger and better than ever before. Opening Friday of festival week at Opening Ceremony and continuing through Sunday, an all-inclusive daily ticket guarantees five hours of tasting, sipping, chef demos, live music, retail therapy, and more. Whether a first time attendee or a Wine + Food veteran, the Culinary Village must be on your festival week itinerary.
It truly was the heart and soul of the event. Looking at the map doesn't do it justice.
But, it does provide the essential layout for you to plan your culinary attack of the food and wine offerings.
There were many features we appreciated. The sectioning of the park, the wristbands, the main stage. But, there was one feature we loved.
The chefs were given intervals. The booths remained the same, however, the chefs interchanged after 2-3 hours to allow them not to burn out and to give all chefs a role and attendees the chance to taste an abundance of flavors.
And the time frame was perfect. There's a lot to enjoy, but you do have time to see it all.
And we did.
Like meeting Chefs Dan Jacobs and Dan Van Rite from three successful restaurants in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, one being DanDan. These guys were a hoot. Their tasting was a mouthful of scream. Excellent flavor combinations.
While there were quite a few guest chefs outside South Carolina participating, the state had its best of the best representing, too, with outstanding tastes.
Marc Collins Chef Award Winner Kelly Franz, executive chef of Charleston's Magnolias, was presenting smiles along with her comforting food offering. It it was homey, fitting for the village theme.
(For a full listing of chef awards given out at the opening ceremony, visit here.)
The village is a run like a well-oiled machine. It has a great flow and although the sticker shock of pricing and massive amount of activities may intimidate, rest assured the tickets are worth the price and you'll leave wishing you had more time - even if you been to all the village had to offer.
We highly recommend this annual event to any foodie looking to add a culinary adventure to their portfolio outside of Georgetown County. You'll love the food, smiles and friendly faces from all over the culinary map.
Plan now. March 4-8, 2020.