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charleston wine and food

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Fab Femme Foodies: A CHSWFF Recap

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Since March was Women’s History Month, I kind of think I want to keep the lady love going strong! I also have a Girliest Spots in Charleston post you might like so be sure to check that one out, but first I wanted to share some great ladies with you. I either met or encountered all of these ladies at the Charleston Wine & Food Festival, and they are doing some amazing things in the Food + Beverage industry! I’ll share the events they were involved in, too, so you can try to catch them next year.

1. Elli Richter & Caryn Ohara from RetrEAT

Holistic Life Coach Elli Richter always delivers a dose of good vibes at any event she participates in. She led a beautiful guided meditation during “RetrEAT”, where we also dished on our relationship with food with Ayurvedic Health Counselor Caryn Ohara. The concept of healing through food is novel for some despite it’s ancient beginnings; I truly believe you can “heal your gut & change your life”!

2. Carrie Morey of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit from Lunch Squad

kill.ing.it.

Um yeah, Callie’s founder Carrie Morey is pretty much the queen the biscuits! She’s also been churning out a bunch of fun collaborations (recently teamed up with A Packed Party & topped her biscuits with sprinkles). Callie’s also recently added a gluten free option to their market location, so I can’t wait to check that out!

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During CHSWFF, we got to make biscuits with her for our family style dinner at an event called “Lunch Squad”. Carrie usually does a biscuit making event where I’ve picked up LOTS of pointers, so keep an eye out for that for next year as well!

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3. The @WeOnlySmokeWhenWeDrink squad from Smokin’ in the Boys Room

There are plenty of names you have heard of when it comes to bbq. Most of those names are men, but do you understand what is happening here folks? The ladies are taking over! Yasssss. The gang of gals that dubbed themselves “We Only Smoke When We Drink” took charge of the smokers and their gents hung back to sous chef for them! How cool is that?! Local lady Christian Jackson Holy City Hogs & Delaniah Bringle of Peg Leg Porker in Nashville are two gals to keep on your radar!

But also, many of these ladies love and respect their husbands in a really cool way. And visa versa. But, it’s just their time to shine right now so watch out for what’s to come with this gang. I predict we will also continue to see more ladies involved in the craft beer and bourbon scene as well!

4. Tiffany Thiessen; yep, the lady formerly known as Tiffani AMBER Thiessen and now cookbook author!

For the past few years, Tiffani has been hosting a Cooking Channel show, and recently released her own cookbook, Pull Up a Chair. Thanks to my friends at Le Creuset & I Love That For You, I got to meet this fantastic woman! Her autograph in my cookbook reads “Liz, you’re not one to forget”. Bahahah I’ll take it!!

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5. Andrea Serrano, my gal pal and fellow #CHSWFFStreetTeam member (we were also partners in crime at Daps Wine + Punch Brunch)

Andrea of Charleston Shop Curator & I just got back from a trip to Palm Springs together for a whole week, so go see what we were up to at @TheCuratedWeekend! There is usually lots of food involved regardless of when or where we get together, and we are some serious Meg Ryan dinner dates (a la When Harry Met Sally). Well, not THAT scene from WHMS, more like the scene where she’s being a little particular when she orders her food. We can’t help it we have complicated dietary restrictions slash preferences ok?! But for real, this lady is a super duper inspiration to me and is such a great cheerleader when I need it most! We feed off of each other’s energy and lift each other up. If you don’t have a friend that does that for you then keep looking!

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Each year, the Charleston Wine & Food Festival seriously gets better and the featured chefs/talents get even cooler, so make sure you follow them on Instagram to stay in the loop about the 2020 festival! Thank you so much to the CHSWFF for letting me be part of it as a 2019 #CHSWFFStreetTeam member- it’s truly my favorite local gig of the entire year.


images c/o Kim Graham Photo

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My 2018 CHSWFF Picks

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This post is in partnership with the Charleston Wine & Food Festival and Holy Spokes Bikeshare, but all opinions are my own.

It's super easy to get overwhelmed when you see the vast array of awesome events that The Charleston Wine & Food Festival offers each year.  I wanted to share my top event picks, as well as some insider pointers I learned from last year!   Here are the events I'll be going to and/or my favorites from last year:

1.  Pecha Kucha, $45 // March 2, 7-11pm // There will be food from local food trucks and plenty of libations, then 8 speakers will inspire you with their 7 minute presentations.  Choir! Choir! Choir! is doing a special performance this year, too.  Ellen Marie Bennett from Hedley & Bennett is the emcee, and I just can't wait!

2.  Namaste Bubbly, $65 // March 4, 9:30-12 // Sarah Frick of Charleston Power Yoga will lead an energizing yoga class in the Cedar Room, and then you'll enjoy lots of bubbly and healthy bites.  This event was one of my favorites last year!

3.  Brunch Squad, $100 (for locals) // March 3, 11-1:30 // We'll be helping prep our own brunch alongside The Apron Lady, Ellen Marie Bennett, and some guest chefs.  There will be a DJ churning out fresh beats and we will possibly be churning some butter!

4.  Queens on King, $125 // March 4, 11-1 // The William Aiken House is going to be super wild and fun when Monica Van Pelt and friends dazzle us with a drag show to accompany a delicious brunch!

5.  Bowen's Fish Camp, $135 // March 1, 3:30-6 // The views on Bowen's Island are the perfect compliment to all the awesome food you'll get to try.  There will also be live music playing, so this will be sure to be an entertaining evening!

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Insider Tips:

Bike or Walk.  Finding event parking will not be fun!  I highly recommend getting around on foot or on bike.  Did you know Charleston has a bike share program, Holy Spokes?!  I've ridden their bikes a few times, and not only are they cute, the system is really user friendly.  Read more about how it works here. They have a bike corral on nearly every corner, and you can find one near you on this map.  You'll want to indulge in all of the fabulous food you'll encounter, so adding a little extra exercise this week is a nice way to balance all of the delicious festival eating!

Pace Yourself!  There is a bite or sip everywhere you turn, so last year my best friend was something I dubbed a "water sandwich".  Wine, water, wine, water.  Repeat!  This will keep you from over-imbibing, which is easy to do and takes all the fun out of an event before you know it!

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Bring a Buddy! The events are such a great way to give your significant other the gift of a great experience.  I know it adds up when you have to buy 2 tickets, but it's SO much more fun when you can bring another friend or your boo along with you to experience all the fun!  We've gathered a whole group to go to Pecha Kucha Friday, and my awesome friend Andrea of Charleston Shop Curator will be at most of the other events with me.  I hope she keeps me in line!

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I'll be catching the festival along with the rest of the 2018 CHSWFF Street Team, so I hope to run into you!  Follow us via the hashtag #CHSWFFStreetTeam on Instagram so you can see all the fun!

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Charleston's Best Burger Spots

I've hardly ever met a burger I didn't love, and in a place like Charleston a good burger is a dime a dozen.  I figured it was high time I shared some of my favorites, so here is my top 5!  Does anyone else love adding a fried egg on top!? YUM.

My Top 5 Favorite Charleston Burgers

1.  Best Overall: Hom (Hom Wrecker)

2.  Best Double Patty: Little Jack's Tavern (Double Tavern Burger)

3.  Best Build Your Own Burger: Sesame Burgers 

4.  Best Veggie Burger: Rarebit (Vegan Burger)

5.  Best Turkey Burger: Big John Burger (Jive Turkey)

Comment if you have other noteworthy favorites!  I'm always down to try a new spot.  Check out my Charleston Guide and follow along on Instagram to catch my other Charleston recommendations. 

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Weekends & Wine: Champagne is my Campaign!

This $60 bottle gives 15 meals to hungry children!  Make a purchase with a purpose  HERE .

This $60 bottle gives 15 meals to hungry children!  Make a purchase with a purpose HERE.

I'm loving that one of the latest trends right now is to DO GOOD.  More and more companies are popping up that are giving back, even right here in Charleston.  Ibu supports world wide female artisans who are often otherwise undervalued for their work & Be The Change Boutique offers clothing and accessories that all give back in some way.  While many of their products give a percentage to various causes, others use profits to teach new skills to women so they can support themselves.  Both stores carry a variety of clothing, jewelry, & home accessories,  so check out their online stores and physical storefronts if you're in Charleston. 

Who wouldn't prefer to make a "purchase with a purpose"  (the mantra of Be The Change) if they had the option?  That's why I was immediately hooked on One Hope Wine when I discovered them through my co-host at a local market.  Not only was each varietal delicious (it's actually Robert Mondavi wine), but 50% of profits from each bottle get donated to charity!  Each varietal is associated with a different cause (brut puchases support Why Hunger to feed children, and cabernet sales help provide ABA therapy to children with autism).  I decided to become a rep for them in January, which was kind of a no-brainer; I can get an awesome discount on great wine while still supporting charities.  Plus, if I can spread the word about One Hope, a simple thing like drinking wine can make an impact for many people.  You could buy a bottle of Veuve to congratulate a friend or celebrate a loved one, but for the same price you can buy a glitter bottle of champagne that will give 15 meals to a hungry child. That, my friends, is why champagne is my campaign!

Rachel Red Photography 

Rachel Red Photography 

Rachel Red Photography |  Cheers to making more purchases with a purpose!

Rachel Red Photography |  Cheers to making more purchases with a purpose!

Follow One Hope Charleston to learn about wine sales, and email me @ CharlestonWeekender@gmail.com if you would like to feature One Hope at your next event.  I can also give you more info about becoming a "cause entrepreneur" for One Hope.  Stay tuned for more photos from the above shoot I styled with Paper Meets Pearl!

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