March 6 - March 10, 2019

Charleston Wine + Food

Tasting Notes


A Whole Lot More Than Getting Coffee

When you start an internship, you always wonder if the horror stories are true.   Am I going to be getting coffee for the office everyday? Will anyone know my name? Luckily for me, interning at Charleston Wine + Food turned out to be the complete opposite.   When I accepted an internship with CHSWFF’s Marketing + Communications department, I was ecstatic. I was going to be able to combine my love of food with my passion for public relations. But, regardless of my excitement, the nerves were still there when I walked through the door on my first day. With almost no experience prior to the internship, I was certain no one would take me seriously and I would be relegated to coffee duty before the first week was up.   Instead, I met a team of amazing professionals who welcomed me with huge smiles and a willingness to let me learn from them, especially my supervisor. From the first staff meeting I attended, the CHSWFF team treated me as a peer and made sure I wasn’t just an intern. By the second month of my internship, I was writing press releases, drafting blogs, and interacting with some of Charleston’s top culinary and media professionals.   Leading up to the festival, I truly felt as though I had become a member of the team. Not only was my input valued, but I was given responsibilities most interns could only hope for. The biggest of these was the opportunity to take the lead on a series of Facebook Live videos before and during the festival, featuring some of the culinary world’s biggest names. And, yes, I was starstruck when I met Gail Simmons.   By the time the festival ended and my internship was winding down, eight months of hard work and learning seemed to have gone by in the blink of an eye.   During a lunch conversation with a friend, I was asked what it was like being an intern at Charleston Wine + Food. That got me thinking, and I realized that intern isn’t really the right word. In my opinion, the word “intern” makes you seem less-than and trivializes your importance to the organization. My experience with Wine + Food was certainly not those things. As a member of the CHSWFF team, you know you are going to be surrounded by some of the brightest and most talented people in the business. Not only are they talented, but each staff member is extremely willing to share their knowledge with you. I have learned from every single person at Charleston Wine + Food and now have an arsenal of skills I would have never gotten in a classroom.   More importantly, my time at CHSWFF taught me a lot personally. Witnessing a staff who are so passionate and dedicated to what they are doing day-in and day-out showed me the meaning behind the phrase, “Do what you love.” The staff at Charleston Wine + Food inspired me to always work my hardest and give each task 110 percent. But, even more than hard work, the CHSWFF team taught me the importance of treating each other with kindness and supporting those around you. College has a way of emphasizing individual achievement, but I learned that no one can ever be successful without the support of an amazing team.   So, looking forward, I’m not sure what my next step is. But, what I do know is that my time with CHSWFF has allowed me to grow both professionally and personally. I have strengthened my writing skills, bolstered my strategic thinking, and grown into a real public relations professional. Outside of the pages of a resumé, though, I am leaving as a better person thanks to my time at Charleston Wine + Food. I now know what it means to work as a team and how to find the value in every person. With that said, I will always be grateful for the time I spent with Charleston Wine + Food. The people I met and the experiences I had are unparalleled by any other internship. It is my hope future interns find the experience as rewarding as I did and help this amazing organization continue to grow. Until then…   Cheers!  
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Recruitment Event

Calling all patient, gentle, + kind souls that have a passion for our local culinary + hospitality community. Charleston Wine + Food is currently hiring for several full-time, part-time, contract and intern roles. We are excited to regroup after a successful 2018 festival and begin to plan an epic 2019 festival. Interested in joining us on this beautiful, crazy exciting journey? Join us at our Job Recruitment Event on Thursday, June 7th at Charleston Wine + Food HQ. At this event you will get to hear more about our organization, our tribe of passionate + creative humans, and what gets us up out of bed every morning. We will then break up into small groups where a Charleston Wine + Food staff member will lead a group interview session.      
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A Gift to One80 Place

On Friday, April 20th, Charleston Wine + Food's Executive Director, Gillian Zettler, presented an Award for Outstanding Community Partner along with a check for $30,000 to One80 Place Training at their Donor Appreciation Breakfast.   One80 Place Training is a 5-week crash course culinary program that teaches basic kitchen skills and readies individuals for a job in the culinary industry.   Overseen by Angela DuPree, Director of Training, One80 Place Training features guest chefs that teach enrollees culinary skills like egg cookery, knife skills, mise en place and more. The 5 week course concludes with an externship in a local restaurant where enrollees get on the job training. Since last April, 95% of program graduates have been placed in jobs.   The program has grown organically and garnered much support from the local restaurant industry. Chefs can engage with the program by becoming guest lecturers, providing an externship opportunity, becoming a mentor or providing a job.   One success story that was shared at the Appreciation Breakfast was that of Stefan DeArman, affectionately called "The Revered." Roland Feldman, owner of Smoke BBQ and Stefan's employer, shared that it was at Toasted during the festival that he first met Stefan. As soon as the band came on, he lit up and started signing. His joy was contagious, Feldman explained. The two also shared The Reverend's new cornbread business and some of the attention they have received for it. Read more about his latest venture here.   Charleston Wine + Food is excited and honored to support One80 Place Training. This program not only gives so much to our community, but makes our staff feel excited to produce an event that can support a way to change people's lives for the better.
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2018 Charleston Wine + Food Street Team

Calling all social media mavens + digital aficionados! This year experience a fresh, new way to see and taste the festival with the #CHSWFFStreetTeam. This fabulous group of social media savvy bloggers + Instagrammers are prepped and ready to bring you the most delicious sights and sounds of the 13th annual Charleston Wine + Food festival. Get to know our street team below, and make sure you’re following along on their accounts and #CHSWFFStreetTeam for the juiciest scenes + sips happening February 28 - March 4.

Andrea Serrano:


Andrea is a freelance Wardrobe Stylist and blogger. After spending time working in New York developing her clientele and working as the in-house stylist for Dennis Publishing, she decided to settle down in Charleston. After spending some time in retail and opening a few of her own boutiques, Andrea became the Freelancer she is now and started her blog Charleston Shop Curator.

Ashley Brown: 


Ashley is the proud mother of four with a love for all things fashion and family. She created her blog Sweet Southern Prep, in 2010 as a way to share lifestyle tips and fashion. The blog grew and soon she was working with brands like Kate Spade and Lilly Pulitzer. She's been running the blog since its start 8 years ago and still going strong.

Candice Herriott:


Lover of good food. Candice Harriott started Charleston Food Writer to share her culinary adventures. The simple things like entertaining friends, cooking  and learning new things inspired her to create a place where she can share her stories and connect with other food lovers along the way.

Jai Jones:


Jai Eats, a blog created by Jai Jones as a way to share his favorites. Writing from Charleston SC, there's never a shortage of good restaurants and drinks to share. Inspired by the way everyone comes together because of food, Jai's blog shares favorites in hopes of making them yours too.

Johnny Caldwell + Taneka Reeves:


The dynamic duo Johnny + Taneka, creators and writers of Cocktail Bandits talk about food and beverage from a feminine, urban perspective. Their blog shares their own cocktails, their favorites from bars all over, and food as well.


Liz Martin:


The Charleston Weekender, Liz Martin started her blog in 2015 creating a space that gives you that weekend getaway vibe. Her site features travel guides, Charleston guides, and an online shop full of Charleston apparel, weekend essentials and everything you need to make you life a little brighter.

Miguel Buencamino:


Miguel grew up in Orlando, FL. His background stems from a love for cooking with his grandmothers. Learning from family and his time testing recipes in the kitchen, Miguel created Holy City Handcraft as a way to share his adventures in the kitchen either cooking or mixing cocktails.

Natalie Mason: 


Natalie, creator of Designer Bags & Dirty Diapers, is a lover of all things family, fashion and food. Her blog highlights day-to-day outfits and where you can find some great sales. You'll also find delicious recipes and entertaining tips on her site.

Sydney Gallimore :


A lover of food, Sydney Gallimore founded Queen of the Food Age back in 2011. Her blog was a way of sharing the two things she loved most: food and writing. She's also a freelance writer for Charleston Grit, Thrillist, Where Traveler and more. Her love for what she does shows through all her work.

Sydney Turnquist :


Sydney Turnquist is the co-writer for Queen of the Food Age. The adventurous food critic has continued to explore Charleston since she moved here in 2009. She's broadened her palate and ventured into trying various foods outside of her comfort zone by tasting her way through the Holy City.

Christian Senger:


The Charleston news go-to, Christian Senger created Holy City Sinner in 2011. His blog has been voted as one of the most popular in Charleston, dishing day-to-day news and happenings within the Holy City. He talks about all sides of the city, giving readers a better understanding of Charleston.

  Photos by : @libbywilliamsphotos  Transportation by: @lowcountryvalet
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Continuing Education

Charleston Wine + Food strives to bring people together each year through storytelling and food. Continuing Education is a project that does just that. What started with a native strain of watermelon, The Bradford Watermelon, quickly created the opportunity for local chefs to meet local farmers. It is a project that allows those who attend to better understand where their produce is coming from while learning about produce native to South Carolina.   The first event took place on The Bradford family farm, where chefs and guests were taken through the fields to learn more about the Bradford Watermelon. After a quick demonstration they got to taste the produce and take home some of the sweet molasses made from the rhine of the watermelon. The second event of the project brought on a new group of chefs along with returners to go back to the Bradford family farm to learn more about the Carolina African Runner Peanut. This peanut was first used in soup by Africans in North America. This is the first year that this strand of peanut has been available to the public since the late 1920’s or early 1930’s.   This event allowed those who attended to see the smaller details, to better understand the time and effort it takes to revitalize a crop. Continuing Education gives local chefs and farmers a chance to meet, share stories and be creative.    SaveSave
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Food Rescue

Every year, Charleston Wine + Food strives to be better than we were before. Working with One80 Place has helped CHSWFF improve our impact on our community and our environment.   On average, One80 Place serves 175,000 meals from its community kitchen to shelter guests and local community members with a budget of $0. To make this happen, food is collected from local food drives and their food rescue truck that collects $330,000 worth of food from local grocery stores, restaurants, businesses, individuals.Last year, the food rescue truck was able to collect 3,128 lbs of food from the CHSWFF Culinary Village.   If you’re interested in donating food or would like to find more ways to help head over to One80 Place’s website!
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CHSWFF Going Green

In the past decade, we’ve witnessed a stunning transition as corporate social responsibility evolved from a nice-to-have silo to a fundamental strategic priority for businesses large and small. “ - Forbes, 2017. At Charleston Wine + Food (CHSWFF), we believe that this trend stemmed from good people hoping to leave a positive, lasting impact on future generations. Some companies use their influence to support specific foundations, or advocate volunteer time to help those in need. Others enable positive change through food, combating poverty on a local/regional level. For other groups, climate change and sustainability have become an increasingly important initiative.   Companies and people alike are taking steps to reduce the amount of waste they produce and change the impact they have on the planet. In an attempt to join the global movement of going green, CHSWFF is taking a step back and looking at how we can provide a more eco friendly experience.   Event Director, Ali Bechtel, recently took time to talk to me about how CHSWFF is working to be more eco friendly during the  2018 festival, and it seems like we have found several ways to make our festival more environmentally friendly. We’ve developed a great relationship with VerTerra, a company that specializes in sustainable dinnerware, to supply compostable serving dishes and utensils. In the Culinary Village we also have “weigh stations,” or strategically positioned areas for all guests to throw out trash, recycling and compost in separate bins. Throughout the festival local, regional, national and international chefs are encouraged to use reusable or compostable materials and have compost bins at their workstations as well.   “Ultimately, CHSWFF hopes to inspire those at the festival and other festivals to have a great time, enjoying fantastic drinks, phenomenal food and all the while, become more eco friendly,” says Bechtel. “We’ve been inspired by progressive and sustainably-minded cities like Vancouver and Denver, and plan to work with the city + county of Charleston to create a sustainable festival guide for similar events of our scope to plan responsibly. This guide will likely include a list of local resources, insight into intuitive directional signage and how to communicate your efforts at scale.   For those who have tickets to our Culinary Village, this year we ask that while you enjoy all that the Village has to offer, and look out for our stations and the signs so you can toss your waste appropriately. If you have any questions our team members at the Village are more than willing to help!   Through working with the city, county and all those who make our festival possible (chefs, staff, attendees, etc), CHSWFF is looking to pave a more sustainable path for future festivals and leave our mark by not only connecting others, and sharing stories between sips of wine and bites of heart-filled cuisine, but through inspiring those around us to continue making a difference whenever we can.  
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Girl Power is the Best Power

  Charleston Wine + Food has really given me more than I could have ever asked for. Two years ago, I applied for the Charleston Wine + Food School of Business Scholarship after finding it on a long list of scholarships and realizing this was one I fit the bill for. When I found out that I received the scholarship, I was ecstatic. I got it right before going abroad, so once I got back to the U.S., my internship advisor at the College of Charleston connected me with Nysa, the Development Director, and I was hired as the Development Intern for the upcoming spring 2017.   Through being a scholarship recipient, I was able to begin my relationship with Charleston Wine + Food and get to know the organization that so graciously awarded me for my academic successes. I started my internship in the spring of 2017, and if you are not aware, the spring is a crazy time to jump into this process. I was there for just two months before the actual festival occurred. Even in those two months though, I learned and accomplished enough to make the completion of the festival feel so rewarding. Also, I loved working there so much that I decided to come back the following fall 2017.   Even though I was in the same internship role as I was in the spring, my responsibilities were very different, since the festival was not looming right in front of our faces. I worked backwards - working in the thick of the event for the first part of my internship and then on the behind-the-scenes part in the second part of my internship. Through my internship both semesters, I got to experience what it is like to strategically plan for a whole year to put on a festival that spans just five days. I have to say, seeing a year’s worth of planning come to life is one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced.   I not only learned how the world of development and partnerships operate, but I also learned what it’s like to be a part of an amazing team. Each person on the staff welcomed me with open arms and supported me throughout my internship. Charleston Wine + Food team- you set the bar really high for what I expect in an office culture from now on. Gillian Zettler, Executive Director, and her staff have taught me that girl power is the best power, and kindness is the key to life. Charleston Wine + Food has given me work + life skills to take with me as I move forward in my career. If it were not for the scholarship, I’m not sure I would have found this amazing opportunity, so for that, I am eternally grateful.
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Lunch is Served

This year Charleston Wine + Food is starting the holiday season off with a 12 Days of Giving blog series highlighting our ties in the local community. To start off this series we first would like to highlight a recent team outing to One80 Place.   A few weeks ago six members of the Charleston Wine + Food team spent an afternoon with our friends at One80 Place to serve lunch to the guests of the shelter.   The One80 Place kitchen serves three meals a day totally approximately 170,000 meals to its clients and anyone who is hungry.   That day in the kitchen our team helped to serve 120 meals thanks to pizza donated from Whole Foods, along with fresh salad, warm bread + more. It was a truly enjoyable experience for the team to engage with the One80 Place staff and a great way to give back to our community and support the mission of One80 Place.   Interested in learning more about volunteering at One80 Place? Learn more here.
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Local Love: Elevating Recycling + Compost Efforts This Festival Season

Reduce, reuse and recycle - a familiar eco-friendly mantra that we are putting a bigger emphasis on this festival season. Recycling has always been a priority of Charleston Wine + Food, but this valiant endeavour has not been an easy task. While the City of Charleston assists in disposing cardboard + glass after events, this year, we are also partnering with Smart Recycling to elevate our recycling efforts through a compost, recycle + trash initiative. Our shared mission is to reduce trash and generate creative ways to upcycle food waste from the festival. A significant amount of waste is unavoidable as a food + beverage festival, but we are excited to leave a greener legacy, one that recycles smarter, reduces the carbon footprint, and prioritizes Charleston’s environmental future. This year’s compost program will serve as a trial run to establish best practices for sorting festival waste. Our guests will see three bins this year, one for recycling, one for trash, and one for compost. Volunteers will staff each station to assist guests in disposing everything from merlot-stained plastic cups to remaining morsels of food. The majority of festival waste comes from the Culinary Village, so for this first year our recycling program will live in the village. And the best news?  We use biodegradable products, so almost everything will be able to be composted or recycled. Composted products take just a short 30-40 days to turn into rich viable soil, so within a month's time local farmers will be utilizing compost produced directly from the festival. The effectiveness of the Smart Recycling partnership will be tracked through the number of times each bin is dumped, with the hope that this effort will result in a significant reduction in the amount of garbage produced and an increase in compostable materials. Smart Recycling will train festival volunteers and help facilitate the trash + composting process. Our very own Erin Connolly and Lauren Turgeon are championing our recycling program, and shared this secondary goal of training volunteers to understand the difference between the items for compost, recycle, and trash to not only reduce festival waste but also help educate and motivate guests to continue recycling + composting at home. We are proud stewards of the land, protecting + preserving the beauty of the #1 city in the world. So we ask you to join our eco-friendly initiative and help us #PourIntoCharleston.
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Need Assistance?

We totally get it. The 2018 festival has a lot going on. Let us guide you through the ticketing process, answer any questions, and help point you in the right direction.

Here's how to reach us:

843 727 9998
635 Rutledge Avenue, Suite 101, Charleston, SC 29403