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Bill Murray, Squirrels, and Waffle House Surprises Made Charleston Wine + Food Pop

How was 2016's festival?

Erin Perkins
Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas, covering the food and restaurant scene across North and South Carolina.

Pleasant surprises kept popping up at Charleston Wine + Food this year, like the beautiful weather, celebrity sightings, and unexpected bites. While you recover from hangover, take a look around here to see the highlights.

The Opening Night Gala brought together Charleston's finest chefs for the festival's first time in the newly-renovated Gaillard Center. While there were many amazing bites from culinary greats like Jason Stanhope (FIG) and Ben Berryhill (Red Drum), chef Craig Deihl's bresaola fat candle stole the show. As the aromatic fat rendered, Deihl spooned the hot lard over beef tartare for guests.

• Cannon Green looked extra posh decorated in the Veuve Clicquot colors for its champagne and fried chicken lunch.

• Kelly Chu of Cirsea ice cream wowed the crowds with cones of her locally-crafted creations. The lines for a sample wrapped around the tent.

• Chefs Sean Brock and Danny Bowien cooked burgers for a Waffle House full of food enthusiasts. Post and Courier reports that the event was a success for anyone who lined up at least an hour before the 6:00 p.m. start time.

• New Orleans-based chef Alon Shaya brought babka to the Lowcountry at the Mediterranea with Mike Lata + Friends event.

• There were plenty of celebrities.

• And then there was the ultimate celebrity. Ghostbuster Bill Murray showed up to the Texas BBQ Tent Revival.

• Chefs Josh Keeler and Kevin Johnson tried to make squirrel appetizing at Knife Fight.

• Southern Soul BBQ served squirrel at the Up in Smoke event.

• Pitmaster John Lewis and Picnic Durham made hot gut corn dogs for the final event.

• Shout out to this Charleston Wine + Food staffer who donned this giant helmet all weekend to achieve the look of the festival's gastronaut. Everyone wanted a selfie with him.

What was your favorite part?