Tag Archives: mike lata

Holy Wine + Food Batman! Plus a sweet little video to ‘Idol’ize

Last night’s Opening Night Party kicked off the 7th BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival.  It was more food than you could possibly eat, more to see than you could possibly see…in short, a stellar event in true “Wine + Food” style.

Everyone was in a great mood, from Festival executive director Angel Postell to the chefs and the volunteers.  People seemed to really be in the mood to celebrate and that goes a long way to making an event successful.

I can’t really comment on the move to the Aquarium since this was my first year to attend opening night party, but it was a super fun setting.  More events are being moved off site this year, to encourage and allow visitors to see more of Charleston.  While that can present a logistical challenge, it’s also a great way to really sell the city.  Good thinking, guys.

The Food (just some highlights):

Chef Nico Romo of Fish (thanks @FishCharleston for the photo)

Fish Restaurant (@FishCharleston) served up a crab-filled egg roll with a bean salad and some avocado mousse type thing.  De-lish.

Tristan‘s Chef Nate Whiting served a lobster and bone marrow tortellini with a foam that was absolutely divine.  So divine I ate the whole thing in one giant bite.

Trattoria Lucca served tuna topped with a pickled octopus concoction that was fresh and light as it was delicious.  Chef Ken Vedrinski was in the zone, turning out hundreds of plates for hungry guests.

While I missed whatever delicious dish that (my personal favorite) FIG Restaurant (@FIGrestaurant) was serving up, did get a minute to catch up with Chef Mike Lata and hear about his upcoming new venture.  In October, or September if all goes well, Lata is opening a new restaurant on upper King, another step in the revitalization/gentrification of Upper King.

Local wine distributor Grass Roots had a stellar pinot noir from Pietra Santa Winery in Cienega Valley, California that was my personal favorite of the evening.  You can bet I’ll be looking for that bottle locally.

The band was killing it.  Charlton Singleton, Quentin Baxter, Kevin Hamilton, Mark Sterbank, Tommy Gill, and more gave a great performance.  Thankfully you could hear the music in most of the aquarium.

Okay, that’s about all the time I have for now…got to do actual work before heading out for Taco Turf Wars at the beautiful Lowndes Grove Plantation and Shop, Sip + Savor on King Street this afternoon!

and to send you off with a little love, check out this video from our very own Elise Testone, who is killing it on American Idol season 11.  Congrats to Elise, she’s made it into the Top 10!

Wine + Food Festival Images

While we are little late on this post, mother always said ‘better late, than never,’ yes?  Here are some notes and images from the Charleston Wine + Food Festival 2010 Culinary Village and BBQ, Blues and Brew on Sunday, March 7th.

We sipped wines from across the country and beyond… sampled food from restaurants, mostly near, some a little further.  The Four Moons restaurant in Orangeburg, SC served pork belly that was good enough to make you hop right in the car & drive up there!

We spotted celebrity chefs like Marvin Woods at the Culinary Village, and Matt & Ted Lee graciously signing their Lee Brothers cookbook at Blue Bicycle Books.  There were some of Charleston’s own celebrity chefs like Craig Deihl from Cypress wandering around too.  We spotted Mike Lata of FIG and James Beard award fame dining at Trattoria Lucca later that night, looking like he’d given all he had to the Festival.

BBQ, Blues & Brew featured inventive bbq recipes, new takes on traditional sides, and everyone’s favorite mac & cheese like you’ve never tasted.  The Blue Dogs entertained and people were having a good time.  But you could definitely tell the vendors were tired & it was the end of the festival.  Next year we are saving our pennies for the Thursday night opening party tickets!  See you there!

Inside the tents at the Culinary Village

Looks crowded, I know, but everyone had such a good time it didn't matter!

Festival Attendee Nicole Casanova

Winemakers came from all over to pour their wines...

Festival Attendees got the chance to talk with vendors

Sampling wine from around the world...

getting a taste...

Crosby's Seafood & Aaron Siegel from Home Team BBQ

BBQ, Blues & Brew

Art Mag's own Olivia Pool with Photographer Andrew Cebulka

Fearless Wine + Food Festival Leader Angel Postell on the mike