The 11th installment of Charleston Wine + Food was a delicious weekend full of beautiful weather and tremendous flavor, and much sipping + savoring happened right in the middle of downtown Charleston at Marion Square, the site of our Culinary Village.
Village festivities began Friday morning, March 4, at our Opening Ceremonies, with remarks from Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, Charleston Wine + Food Executive Director Gillian Zettler, and festival Board Chair Randall Goldman. Our three annual chef awards were also presented: the Frank Stitt Award, the Marc Collins Chef Award, and the Laura Hewitt Culinary Legend Award.
The Frank Stitt Award is awarded to a chef who is exceptionally devoted to quality and to the pursuit of knowledge; it is given to one who posses a genuine reverence for the craft and art of cooking. This year Board President Randall Goldman presented the 2016 Frank Stitt Award to Chef Frank Lee, of Slight North of Broad.
The Marc Collins Chef Award honors an outstanding chef in the Charleston community who shows leadership, dedication and innovation in their field. Chef Marc Collins presented this year’s award to Charleston Grill Executive Chef, Michelle Weaver.
The Laura Hewitt Culinary Legend Award acknowledges an individual or organization every year that has positively impacted Charleston’s culinary community. Chef Mike Lata, presented North Carolina chef Andrea Reusing, of Lantern, with this year’s award.
After all of the 2016 awards were presented, Goldman recognized the 2016 Charleston Wine + Food scholarship beneficiaries: The College of Charleston’s Department of Hospitality + Tourism Management, The Art Institute of Charleston, and the Culinary Institute of Charleston.
Special thanks were given by Zettler to this year’s poster artist, Whitney Kreb, and all those who make the festival possible, including festival partners, talent, volunteers, and festival goers.
The Opening Ceremonies closed with a champagne saber toast, which officially opened the 2016 Charleston Wine + Food Culinary Village. Nearly 9,000 people moved through Marion Square throughout the weekend, making it an incredibly successful (and endlessly tasty) year for CHSWFF!
Cheers to 2016, and to all of this year’s award recipients!
To see more photos, check out our Facebook album: 2016 Opening Ceremonies.