March 6 - March 10, 2019

Charleston Wine + Food

Tasting Notes

CHSWFF Blog

Chef Profile: Marc Collins, Circa 1886

In this season of thanksgiving, there are so many people we think of with gratitude - people who have helped shape and grow Charleston Wine + Food into the world-class event it is today. There is one individual, though, whose fingerprint can be found on the very foundation of the festival. Chef Marc Collins, Circa 1886, played a significant role in founding Charleston Wine + Food more than eleven years ago. It was Collins who believed that this community, steeped in rich culinary tradition and full of incredible talent, was ripe for an event that would showcase Charleston as a notable culinary destination. Alongside other committed individuals from the culinary and hospitality communities, Collins helped to build the concept into reality, and in 2006, the inaugural Distinctively Charleston Food & Wine Festival was introduced. Several years later, Collins was recognized with a namesake award, and each year since, an outstanding chef in the Charleston community who shows leadership, dedication and innovation in his/her field is honored with the Marc Collins Chef Award. Recently, we caught up with the busy chef for a quick chat, and we must tell you - not only is Collins talented in the kitchen, he's also an incredibly nice guy, with a down-to-earth energy that is both warm and welcoming. Ladies and gents, it's our pleasure to introduce Marc Collins, Circa 1886 Executive Chef: Tell us about Circa 1886.
Circa 1886 is a beautifully restored carriage house set behind the grounds of the Wentworth Mansion, a luxurious 21-room inn. Circa 1886 means “of the year 1886” which happens to be the year the Mansion was finished. We are a small, 50 seat white tablecloth restaurant that specializes in creating dishes rooted in the south but with different parts of the world woven through it, just as Charleston was 200 years ago when it was the largest port city on the east coast, even larger than New York City. 
How would you describe your cooking style?
I am very grounded in French Classical cuisine and you will see that but I have adapted the great cooking styles of the southern U.S. to go right along side of it. I’ll add a dash of the islands and of course Africa plus a bit of creole. My goal is to push you to the culinary edge but not over it.
Who/what are your influences as a chef?
I’m influenced by creativity itself. I am the son of an artist and that seems to have had an impact on me. I get excited writing new menus. To me it’s a lot like walking down a trail and looking for unique things you might not see if you didn't take the time to look. I also love browsing cookbooks and looking at how chefs compose plates and bring flavors together.
You were one of the founders of Charleston Wine + Food. What are your thoughts on how the festival has grown and evolved?
You really can’t help but get a kick out of watching something so small, like an idea, grow into a nationally recognized Wine and Food festival! Each year it gets more amazing. The lineup of chefs, events, winemakers, and the list goes on and on. The Festival has had a great team each and every year that put a lot of thought and creativity into it. That’s no easy task, too. Trying to top what came last year is always a challenge but the team is very engaged in the Food & Beverage community both here and across the U.S., and they try to think outside the box when coming up with events. I truly feel that Charleston has solidified itself as a food town and will continue to play off of that reputation showcasing itself in the years to come. We have so much talent here in all aspects of the dining experience from the farm to the table that I can envision guests from all over coming to see why this city is so special and what it’s history has to do with it.
What would you go back and tell your younger self (just starting your career as a chef)?
Don’t change a thing. Life is truly a journey and in such it is full of so many ups and downs and I have learned from both of them. Besides, I don’t think I would have listened to myself anyway!

We're curious: what do you snack on, Chef?

Good question! I love pita chips and that Carrot Hummus with dried apricots. Chobani yogurt flips are addictive, too, and then there is peanut butter and jelly which reminds me of being a kid. I miss being a kid.
Just for fun: what would your theme song be?
The Best is Yet to Come by Frank Sinatra.
Want more? You can catch Collins in action during Charleston Wine + Food at Opening Night: Cheers to Charleston!, Life of the Party: All Things Entertaining with Tara Guérard, Circa 1886 Signature Dinner, and Bubbles + Truffles Dinner @ Circa 1886. Collins' legacy is strong and we are beyond thankful for the contribution he's made to the festival and Charleston's ever-growing culinary community. Recently, Circa 1886 was named #13 Best Fine Dining Restaurant in the U.S. by TripAdvisor's 2015 Traveler's Choice Awards. We can only imagine what's next for this accomplished chef.
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Pop + Fizz + Clink. Join us 10.13!

Veuve Clicquot is headed to Charleston! Charleston Wine + Food is proud to co-host Veuve Clicquot: Clicquot en Route on Tuesday, October 13, at downtown’s historic William Aiken House. The eponymous brand will make a stop in Charleston as part of the 15,000-mile #ClicquotMail national tour with visits in over 20 cities. Let's talk about what you can expect:
  • Endless Veuve Clicquot
  • Veuve Clicquot care packages (perfect to send to lovers and friends) available for purchase, compliments of Bottles
  • Photo booth, calligrapher and festive lawn games
  • A champagne-inspired playlist by DJ Natty Heavy
“We are so very excited about the partnership between Veuve Clicquot and Charleston Wine + Food,” says Cassondra Hall-Bushey, local Market Manager for Moet Hennessy. “Not only is the Clicquot en Route tour the perfect precursor to the upcoming Food and Wine festival in March, it is also a great opportunity to showcase the synergy between our quality Champagnes and out-of-the-box pairings from talented local chefs.” Event festivities will kick off at 4:30p.m, and the $125 all-inclusive ticket can be purchased right here. See you there!
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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
info@charlestonwineandfood.com
635 Rutledge Avenue, Suite 101, Charleston, SC 29403

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