Tag: Charleston Food and Wine Festival
Charleston’s culinary scene is booming, and chefs from across the country are flocking here to put down their roots. If food is your passion, then Charleston is your dream destination.
Who can blame them? Charleston’s food scene is hot right now. Restaurants are popping up everywhere, featuring both traditional and modern dishes bursting with flavor from farm-fresh ingredients. The city’s diverse neighborhoods and unbeatable hospitality only enhance the culinary experience.
Charleston is a vibrant dining destination that is luring food enthusiasts from all over with its delicious food and southern charm. Here is a deeper look into why the Holy City’s expanding food scene is causing chefs to pack up their knives and move to Charleston in droves.
A Diverse Food Scene
As a historic port city, Charleston was destined to become a mecca for aspiring chefs. Spurred by the Spoleto Festival in 1977, the Holy City quickly became a prominent food destination to accommodate the influx in tourists drawn by the performing arts scene.
Today, many chefs, bakers, craft brewers, local food artisans, and more have found their perfect home in Charleston. This has made the city not only the ideal setting for aspiring chefs to flex their creativity, but also a great place to live and explore the diverse food scene.
A Taste of Lowcountry Cuisine
Whether you’re ordering shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, oysters, okra, or Frogmore stew, you won’t be disappointed with Charleston’s traditional Lowcountry cuisine. With its fertile lands, coastal location, and varied cultural influences, Charleston was destined to stand out with its own exceptional culinary dishes.
Traditional Lowcountry cuisine draws from African, French, English, and European influences to create a one-of-a-kind comfort food that locals and tourists can’t stop craving. Here, you can find local chefs cooking up Lowcountry classics, while others branch out and put their own unique spin on traditional dishes.
Foodies come from all around the globe to taste the flavors of the many award-winning restaurants in Charleston. From fine dining to casual restaurants, Charleston has made a name for herself by offering some of the best food in the country.
Husk, FIG, and Hominy Grill are culinary hotspots in Charleston, and all are winners of the James Beard Award. Many restaurants in the city have also been featured in prominent food magazines, such as Bon Appetit and Food & Wine.
Want to take your culinary skills to the streets? Food trucks are expanding in Charleston, as both locals and tourists demand greater variety in their street food.
Whether you’re looking to nosh on Caribbean Creole, Southern BBQ, gorgeous Greek food from the beloved Platia food truck or a tasty dessert from Sweet Lulu’s Bakery, there are some amazing food trucks here—and room for more if you act quickly.
The Tourism Industry Continues to Thrive
Each year, Charleston attracts more than 5 million visitors for its historic downtown, bustling art scene, and culinary offerings!
In fact, South Carolina’s tourism is now a $19.1 billion industry, driven largely by the Charleston metro region. According to the 2016-17 Outlook Forecast from the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, the city’s economic forecast shows continued growth in the tourism industry over the next two years.
The thriving tourism industry is great news for chefs in Charleston. Locals and tourists alike are hungry for a taste of Charleston cuisine, and they have no shortage of options when it comes to exploring the city’s eclectic food scene. From guided food tours to the highly-anticipated Charleston Wine and Food Festival, the Holy City provides many reasons for foodies and chefs to visit year after year.
You know you’ve reached culinary success when your restaurant is one of the stopping points on a Charleston food tour. The city’s burgeoning food scene has grown so much over the past decade that tasting tours are a must for people visiting the area.
Charleston is a walkable city, making food tours extremely popular here. Give your taste buds a thrill and take a culinary tour on historic Upper King Street to sample the city’s finest food offerings.
Legendary Oyster Roasts
Ready to shuck some oysters? The Lowcountry Oyster Festival is the world’s largest oyster festival and attracts people from all over to devour steaming pots of oysters.
Of course, it isn’t the only oyster roast that is popular in Charleston. From Kiawah Island to Folly Beach, there are plenty of legendary oyster roasts scattered around the peninsula.
The Charleston Wine and Food Festival
Each year, foodies descend upon Charleston to attend the annual Charleston Wine + Food Festival to sample the rich flavors from the area’s best chefs, beverage makers, and artisans.
Now in its 35th year, the festival brings people from around the globe to celebrate and experience Southern culture and cuisine. This five-day event is just one of the many festivals that attract tourists to America’s Best City, with the Spoleto Festival drawing approximately 70,000 visitors each year.
Food Inspiration Is Everywhere in Charleston
If you need a bit of inspiration to fuel your passion for food, you won’t have to look far in Charleston. Inspiring figures are everywhere you look, from prominent chefs to local food artisans and Lowcountry farmers.
Top Chefs in Charleston
Charleston has already attracted the top culinary talent from across the country and currently boasts many famous chefs, including James Beard Award-winning chefs Sean Brock of Husk, Mike Lata of FIG, and Robert Stehling of Hominy Grill.
Other notable chefs include culinary legend Nathalie Dupree, Michelle Weaver (executive sous-chef at Charleston Grill), and Frank Lee of S.N.O.B. (Slightly North of Broad Restaurant). Each of these culinary experts has left a lasting mark on Charleston and has helped shaped the city’s food scene.
Local Food Artisans and Farmers
Nothing beats the taste of freshly caught seafood and farm-to-table ingredients. The local food artisans and farmers in Charleston take pride in providing locals and visitors with ingredients that are locally sourced and bursting with flavor.
Visit the Charleston Farmers Market held at the beautiful Marion Square on Upper King Street, and this passion will be on full display. Charleston locals are fiercely dedicated to supporting the community, and it’s an inspiring sight to see.
A Taste of History Through Gullah Cuisine
There is something special about eating a dish that was passed down in someone’s family for generations. Many restaurants in the Lowcountry have kept the recipes of their ancestors near and dear to their hearts, including the Gullah people, the direct descendants of the West African slaves.
Traditional Gullah restaurants are hard to find in Charleston, but places such as Bertha’s Kitchen in North Charleston still offer traditional Gullah dishes, such as stewed greens, okra soup and fried pork. Gullah recipes have been passed down for centuries, reflecting their collective memory through their delicious cuisine and preserving the Palmetto State’s rich culinary heritage.
The Perks of Living in Charleston
Whether you are an aspiring chef or not, Charleston is an undeniably attractive place to live, work, and play. In addition to its booming food scene, the city offers residents a wide variety of perks that makes living here a dream come true.
History Is Everywhere You Look
With over 300 years of storied history, Charleston is a history lover’s paradise. Many of the neighborhoods in Charleston are easily walkable, allowing you to stroll along cobblestone streets and view the stories etched in stunning works of art and architecture.
From its original settlement by English colonists in 1670, Charleston has been home to patriots, artists, and pirates. The city has also survived wars, fires, and natural disasters, making its history particularly diverse and enthralling.
In addition to its historical architecture, Charleston residents also get to enjoy mild weather for most of the year. While summers can turn uncomfortably hot and humid, winters are mild, and residents love how sunny it is year-round.
If you plan to visit Charleston, consider coming in the spring. Not only are temperatures perfect this time of the year, but its food, architecture, and culture are on full display with the Wine and Food Festival in early March and the Spoleto Festival USA in May.
A Great Place to Raise a Family
With its beautiful communities, friendly atmosphere, thriving economy, and excellent schools, it’s not surprising that Charleston is consistently named one of the “Greatest Places to Live” by Outside Magazine. If you’re looking to raise a family, you couldn’t ask for a better place to settle down.
In fact, that’s exactly what former NYC chef Michael Toscano did when he left Manhattan for Charleston and opened Le Farfalle in 2016. The Holy City’s reputation for Southern hospitality does not disappoint.
Big City with Small Town Vibes
Despite being the second biggest city in South Carolina, Charleston has managed to retain a charming, small-town feel. This is partly due to the friendly nature of the locals, but also because Charleston’s historic architecture makes you feel as though you have been transported back in time.
Charleston has managed to preserve much of its history and is bursting with culture. This is a source of pride for residents, many of them actively trying to preserve the many qualities that make the Holy City a unique place to live.
After working hard all day in the kitchen, chefs can unwind on one of stunning barrier islands and beaches that surround Charleston. Whether you are looking to catch some waves on Folly Beach, have fun with the family on Isle of Palms, or take a day trip out to Sullivan’s Island, there is a Charleston beach that will fit your mood.
Thriving Art Scene
One of the biggest reasons why Charleston’s food scene is so remarkable is because of the city’s thriving art scene. Although the city has been making delicious food for centuries, it wasn’t until the rise of the Holy City’s vibrant art scene that foodies began descending upon Charleston.
Spurred by the Spoleto Festival in the 1970s, Charleston’s art scene has been growing steadily ever since, bringing in both international artistic talent and local artists. Today, visitors and residents can catch a performance at the Dock Street Theatre or find a piece of fine art in one of the many art galleries in historic downtown Charleston.
Food and culture have always been intertwined, and this connection has never been more prominent than in Charleston. With over 300 years of culinary history, the Holy City has made the national press in recent years, thanks to its eclectic mix of new and old dishes. From traditional Lowcountry favorites to modern takes on classic dishes, you will delight in every dish.
Charleston is full of culinary opportunities. With its Southern charm, mild temperatures, and historical beauty, it’s not difficult to see why so many chefs are putting down roots in the Holy City.
We at Dunes Properties and The Real Estate Studio are honored to become a part of
Lowcountry Local First, a community alliance that educates the public on the importance of supporting the local economy, and encourages businesses and consumers to be environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. Lowcountry Local First created the 10% Shift campaign which asks local residents and businesses to shift just 10% of their existing purchases from non-local businesses to Local Independents (locally owned and independent businesses). By doing so we would see thousands of new jobs created and millions of dollars of new economic activity in the Lowcountry. We as a company, and as individuals, are committed to exploring ways we can 10% Shift, whether it be by locally sourcing a service we previously outsourced, or by going to one of our great local coffee shops rather than a national chain.
Dunes Properties is one of only two real estate companies in the Lowcountry that is part of Lowcountry Local First, joining 250 other locally-owned companies of all kinds.
Lowcountry Local First has minimum criteria that must be met to join:
- Business is privately held.
- Business owners who have a controlling interest of more than 50% live in the Lowcountry.
- Business make independent decisions regarding the name and look of your business, as well as all business purchasing, practices and distribution.
- Business pays all their own marketing, rent, and other business expenses.
We are proud to be able to meet this criteria and more, as since the company’s inception more than 20 years ago, we have always supported our local economy in ways that go beyond helping people to buy and sell homes in the Charleston Area:
1. More than 70% of our business purchases and services are sourced locally for the Real Estate Division and for our Vacation Rental side, over 90% – from marketing and printing to linen services, insurance, architecture and beyond, we believe in working with the people you know, and your neighbors around you. Just some of our local vendors include: JR Rowell Printing and Knight Press, Precision Mail, E-Group, Wulburn Koval, Neil Stevenson Architects, South Atlantic Contractors, Lowcountry Linen and Lighthouse Cleaning Services, Wynn & Associates and Crosby and Co.
2. All of our banking is done with local and regional institutions – We like the local touch and feel, and we like that over the years we’ve formed not only business relationships with our local banks, but also friendships. Some of the great ones we work with include: Bank of South Carolina and Atlantic Bank and Trust.
Setting up for Guerrilla Cuisine
3. Support local artists – in our Real Estate Studio space downtown, we offer gallery space to local and regional artists free of charge in an effort to help them promote their art. In addition, we have held numerous art openings here over the past two years including Rhett Thurman, Carol McGill, Kevin Harrison, and Brownie Harris (in conjunction with Guerrilla Cuisine), and Billy Cone.
4. Support local non-profit organizations – we donate our Real Estate Studio space to local non-profits so they can host events and raise money to benefit their organizations. We’ve helped Wings for Kids, The Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Bloom’ in Art among others. We also donate 3-night weekends in a Folly Beach vacation rental home to auctions that benefit local organizations:
- Addlestone Hebrew Academy
- American Cancer Society
- BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival
- Charleston Symphony Orchestra
- MUSC Storm Eye Institute
- Low Country Senior Center Festival of Wreaths
5. Concierge Service – through our concierge service, we help locals and visitors alike enjoy their time in Charleston by making dinner reservations at local restaurants, tee times at local golf courses, even setting up a kayak or jetski rental.
6. Partnership with Charming Inns of Charleston – through our partnership with Charming Inns, we support each other with business referrals, share our downtown map and allow their guests to utilize our wireless network and computers.
7. Adopt-a-Highway – Dunes Properties has adopted part of Palm Blvd for more than 10 years. Every quarter, our agents and employees don their beat up old clothes to clean it up and make this beautiful place we live in, even better.
8. Doin’ the Dunes on Isle of Palms – for several years our agents
and employees have helped to preserve the IOP beaches by putting up sand fencing and planting sea oats.
9. Volunteer at the Annual Boone Hall Plantation Oyster Roast – each year in January a team of agents and employees rolls up their sleeves to serve hot steaming oysters to this events 1000s of attendees.
10. Adopt-a-Family – Each year we adopt a local family in need for the holidays and collect funds and shop for and wrap presents for them through Families Helping Families
11. Support the Folly Turtle Protection Program – In addition to providing a link to the program’s website from ours, for each of our Vacation Rental guests, we provide information about our Folly turtles and the local efforts to protect them.
These are just some of the ways we work with the local community as a company, and of course our agents and employees get involved in any way they can. We are proud of all the amazing things they have done over the years!
We at Dunes Properties consider ourselves a family, and an integral part of this Lowcountry community. For 20 years, we have pursued the ideal that to have a strong economy that creates wealth, stability and buying power for our Charleston citizens, we must keep it local in any way we can. We must support each other both as individuals and businesses, because in doing so, as we like to say, ‘the rising tide lifts all boats.” So thanks Lowcountry Local First, for having the vision to create this movement and the resources to pull us all together in one incredible, entrepreneurial, Charleston-lovin’ powerhouse of people.
It’s that time of year again when Charleston is filled with droves of hungry and thirsty revelers that run the gamut from culinary adventurers to true gastronomes. The annual BB&T Charleston Food and Wine Festival got underway on Thursday evening and is going strong at venues all over town. Last night, we were once again the proud sponsors of the King Street Sip + Stroll, an event that combines two fun activities… wine tasting and shopping. It was a huge success with hundreds of folks stopping in to enjoy the wine and conversation in our gorgeous King Street Studio. The Crimson Wine Group‘s Mariano Oliver hosted the festivities, offering 2 featured Winemakers from their portfolio. Stacy Clark provided a Chenin Blanc, a Cabernet, and a Chardonnay from Pine Ridge Winery in Napa Valley and Leigh Bartholomew was pouring a Pino Noir from Oregon’s Archery Summit Winery. A fun time was had by all.
Also… an interesting little side note: We won the King Street Sip + Stroll Window Display Contest. Stop by the Studio at 214 King Street to take a look at our award-winning artistic creation!
Now that the holidays are behind us and we have recovered from our reverie, let’s take quick look at some of the wonderful things 2009 promises. We know for sure that it is and will continue to be a FANTASTIC time to buy that home in Charleston that you’ve always dreamed of. So come for a visit! Charleston promises good times, friendly people, and unparalleled natural beauty. Once you spend a little time in our fair city, we’re sure you’ll never want to leave. Here are our top ten reasons to visit Charleston this spring:
1. SEWE : Now in its 27th year, Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) is the largest wildlife art and nature event in the nation, one that you have to experience first hand to understand and truly appreciate. Held each year in the weekend preceding President’s Day, SEWE attracts 35,000+ attendees to beautiful Charleston, SC, to enjoy world-class original art, diverse exhibits, interesting presentations and lectures, not to mention Southern hospitality and lots of fun! February 13-15, 2009
2. Charleston Food and Wine Festival : Guests of CF&W have the opportunity to indulge in the unique flavors of the Lowcountry while tasting the epicurean delights of the country’s best chefs, authors and wine professionals. This year celebrity chef Bobby Flay is among the participants. Learn about and get a taste of Southern cuisine and the Lowcountry’s unique food styles, heritage and recipes at various events and venues throughout the weekend. March 5-8, 2009
3. 62nd Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens: Explore the interiors and gardens of some of the finest private residences in America during the 62nd Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens. Renowned for three centuries as “a city set in a garden,” Charleston welcomes the return of spring each year with its annual Festival tours, which offer guests the rare opportunity to glimpse beyond the facades of these magnificent properties and into their resplendent interiors and gardens. March 19 – April 18, 2009
4. Charleston Fashion Week : Charleston magazine presents the third annual Charleston Fashion Week, a five-evening celebration of fashion and the area’s burgeoning retail community. Special tents will be set up in Marion Square, similar to New York’s fashion week at Bryant Park. March 24-28, 2009
5.Cooper River Bridge Run : The Cooper River Bridge Run is the best organized and the best conducted 10-K race in the world. It includes world-class competition in a unique setting with unparalleled participant satisfaction. The views from the Arthur Ravenel Bridge, which spans the Cooper River, are amazing, making the experience even more rewarding. April 4, 2009
6. Family Circle Cup : Bringing world-class championship tennis to Charleston is the springtime results in a win-win situation. Nothing beats this time of year in our fair city, and the superstars of women’s tennis turn out for an unforgettable experience. Family Circle has been a proud sponsor of the Family Circle Cup since 1973, and as the longest running single title sponsor in women’s tennis, the magazine has continued to set the standard for other women’s professional sporting events. April 11-19, 2009
7. Folly Beach Sand and Sea Festival : The 19th Annual Sand and Sea Festival promises loads of family fun on Folly Beach. Last year boasted more than 60 vendors, six bands, a 5K race, and two jump castles. This year will have all that and more. Family activities include face-painting, a climbing wall and ponies for children to ride around the Folly Beach Park. Adult activities will include the “world-famous” beer-bottle toss put on by the Folly Beach Anglers, food and crafts for sale and a silent and live auction. Visit our website to book your vacation rental and ask about our specials. April 19-20, 2009
8. Charleston International Film Festival : This festival is dedicated to showcasing the art and talent of emerging filmmakers from around the globe in an amazing city known for its deep-rooted American history. There also is a screenplay competition. Over the four day event, attendees will see the latest sneak previews and premieres of some of the best new films. April 23- 26, 2009
9. Spoleto Festival USA : For 17 days each spring, this internationally renowned arts festival fills Charleston’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with over 130 performances of opera, dance, theater and music. These performances combine to create without a doubt the year’s most important artistic and cultural event. This year the festival has boasted record-breaking sales, despite the economic recession. May 22- June 7, 2009
10. Dunes Properties : Last but not least, we believe we are one of the best reasons to visit Charleston, especially if you’re planning to relocate, looking for an investment property, or are interested in a second home. Our strength and the key to our success has been a continued commitment to exceptional knowledge. We look at it this way, real estate is always an important purchase, and it deserves the attention of a dedicated professional. Our agents are proud to call Charleston home. We love living here. So come for a visit! We know you will want to make this your home too, for a week…. or for a lifetime.