The Party: There was a palpable buzz downtown prior to the Opening Night of Charleston Wine + Food as Holy City residents and visitors alike strolled towards a transformed Marion Square. Guests grabbed a glass of wine or the competition-winning signature cocktail from Home Team BBQ bartender Anna Lazardis before perusing the chefs’ stations where familiar faces like James Beard semifinalist Kevin Johnson of The Grocery and Shaun Brian of Parcel 32 prepared their dishes in plain view. Industry folk like Shuai Wang of Short Grain (and the upcoming Jackrabbit Filly) and Steve Palmer of Indigo Road could be seen taking in the action, and many attendees saddled up by the fire outside the main tent for a break from the hustle and bustle inside. Towards the end of the night, guests picked up a dessert and hit the dance floor, grooving to tunes from The Majestics band before calling it a night.
Highlight: Nico Romo’s gorgeously displayed oysters with pickled fennel were such a hit that the chef was cleaned out less than two hours into the event.
Overheard: “I packed up my kid and dropped him off at his grandmother’s house—it is Wine + Food after all!”