Southern cooking is a big tent, and the Charleston Wine + Food Festival allows attendees to stroll through (and eat) much of it. While focused on the long grain rice, oysters, and gumbos of the Low Country, it makes space for the many influences that weave in and out of Southern food. There’s a Waffle House Smackdown in which chefs compete to make the best breakfast, a Gullah-Geechee cooking demonstration — a West African-influenced cuisine and Low Country speciality — led by the Gullah Girls, an Asian food Night Market that features locally-beloved Sarah’s Dumps Korean dumplings, and many, many wine lunches. And bourbon pairings. And Gins. Events take place up and down the Charleston waterfront, the biggest of which is the Culinary Village. It gathers local and international makers, bakers, and more on a lawn where attendees can sample their wares. At night, the Village becomes NightCap, an outdoor food party with a lineup of DJs and the festival’s headlining musical acts.
The 2022 Charleston Wine + Food Festival attracted more than just shy of 35,000 attendees according to an annual report.