March 4-8, 2020, Charleston Wine + Food celebrated its 15th annual festival, consisting of over 130 unique events over the course of five delicious days. Events spanned the greater Charleston area and welcomed over 28,000 guests. You might be wondering how all of this comes together. One of the many fundamental pieces of the festival landscape is the commissary kitchen hosted at One80 Place, a local shelter.
The One80 Place prep kitchen is an integral part of the execution of the festival. This is the space where food is prepped + routed for distribution to 22 signature events, 10 hands-on cooking + wellness classes, 8 experiential meals, and 8 excursions. Over 50 chefs hailing from Ghana to the US Virgin Islands and California visited + utilized the prep kitchen space throughout the weekend.
In order to create a positive economic impact for our local culinary + hospitality community, Charleston Wine + Food is proud to align its support to One80 Place Training. During the 2020 festival, 13 paid One80 Place externs assisted participating chefs both in the prep kitchen and on-site during the execution of events. They had the opportunity to learn different techniques, skills, and cooking styles from chefs all over the world. These externs were not only integral in prep work in the kitchen with chefs, but they also supported the Culinary Operations team off-site at events by facilitating food to events, equipment set-up and breakdown. We have seen a 95% direct hire rate from this externship program. This partnership not only helps combat staffing shortages in our local culinary community, but provides trainees with potential sustainable job opportunities, which is key to One80 Place’s mission of ending + preventing homelessness.
Along with amplifying the One80 Place Training program, use of the commissary kitchen for festival prep helps to support the Charleston Wine + Food’s food rescue initiatives and reduce food waste. One80 Place serves an average of 175,000 meals annually from its community kitchen to shelter guests and local community members in need on a food budget of zero dollars. Charleston Wine + Food’s Culinary Village serves as the largest food donation that the organization sees annually, and any leftover food prepared at the One80 Place kitchen is utilized to serve meals to residents and train program enrollees. At the conclusion of the 2020 festival, 2,780 lbs of food was donated to One80 Place, which will provide approximately 3,500 meals.
Charleston Wine + Food exists as a cultural entity that unifies our city through culinary experiences, and this partnership has significantly impacted the strength + sustainability of our culinary community. It takes a village to feed a community, and we are proud to partner with One80 Place.
Interested in learning more about our partnership with One80 Place? Learn more here.