Eater photographer Robert Donovan took on this year’s Charleston Wine + Food with his camera and hearty appetite. Here, he recalls the opening event and shares pictures of all the festivities.
Charleston Wine and Food Festival kicked off last Wednesday in the big tent on Marion Square. A chance for the festival to bombard tastebuds and sanity with an overwhelming array of chefs and booze. Despite the trench warfare of elbow-to-elbow crowds and chilly temps, everyone survived.
The call to arms began with a gathering of VIPs and lowly food writers at the swanky new Hotel Bennet. Bluegrass and prosecco lubricated the machine, prepping all for the onslaught of fat, salt, cocktails, and standing in lines for the next four days. In the tent the funky covers of Stevie Wonder urged the crowd out of gridlock — somewhat successfully.
Even with the marshaled chaos there were plenty of good bites and rationed sips. Michael Toscano of La Farfalle and Tank Jackson of Holy City hogs put out a gnocchi with a ragu of Constance the hog topped with Pecorino Romano and Kevin Johnson of The grocery’s lamb on grill flatbread with tahini yogurt and carrot salad won the war. the Morale amongst the crowd was high though claustrophobic. A good start to the annual festival of indulgence.