Find us at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival

Linn Lesesne, Marc Collins, Rick Widman

Chef Collins with Circa 1886 Owners Linn Lesesne + Rick Widman

Nearly a decade ago, the idea of a food-focused festival in Charleston was just a glimmer in the eye of our Executive Chef Marc Collins. To make this dream a reality, he and a group of Charleston enthusiasts banned together and got the first Wine + Food Festival got off the ground. That was in 2006. Now entering its eighth year, the festival is a world-renowned event with the entire Charleston community pulling out the stops to produce an incredible, action-packed weekend.

In a recent interview with The Food Travel Company, the festival’s Executive Director Angel Postell recounted the festival’s beginnings:

“Marc Collins had just been a part of the Texas Hill Festival and came back with a mission to start one in Charleston. He was right when he said that there was no better place than Charleston to have this kind of an event. At that point, our culinary scene was alive and several up and coming and some fairly well established chefs had moved here and opened restaurants of their own. The City itself is such an amazing place and it was already a top travel destination. It had all the ingredients to make it happen—except the manpower.

At the time Marc approached me, I was working at the South Carolina Aquarium and after initial research knew the Aquarium could not organize an event of that scale. However a year or so later, I left the Aquarium to start my own PR firm working mostly with local and regional chefs. Collins called me again and asked if I could help form an exploratory meeting. I did and the rest is essentially history.”

Looking for us at next weekend’s Wine + Food Festival? Here’s where we’ll be:

All Weekend Long – JetBlue Grand Tasting Tent in Marion Square’s Culinary Village

Sip on Spicy Tomato Soda with Basil Powder and learn more about our fine dining restaurant.

Friday Night – A Perfectly Paired Dinner at Circa 1886

Chef Collins will welcome special guest Jesse Schenker of New York City’s Recette Restaurant into the Circa 1886 kitchen. Joining the two with expert wine pairings – Melissa Burr from Dayton, Oregon’s Stoller Family Estates.

This dinner is sold out, but if you’re a lucky ticket holder you can expect to feast on dishes like Cuttlefish Tagliatelle and Fried Frog Legs. Chef said, “It’s an honor to be working with Jesse Schenker — a super talented Chef who knows a thing or two about the Southeast because he grew up in Florida!” Get excited, y’all.

Saturday Afternoon – Cooking Demo in the Siematic VIP Lounge

A festival VIP? Take a break from the action and stroll over to Siematic on King Street at 1 pm. Chef will give a little cooking tutorial in Siematic’s dreamy demo kitchen.

Post-Festival- Lowcountry Legends Salute the James Beard Foundation

On Tuesday, March 18th, The James Beard Foundation will make its Charleston debut for a dinner at Fort Moultrie. The evening will showcase Charleston’s finest chefs, including our own Chef Collins. Under Hominy Grill’s James Beard Award Winner Robert Stehling, Chef and his team mates will serve a three course dinner.

According to our friends at the Visitor’s Bureau, “the menu will reflect foods that were popular during the fort’s heyday, starting with the American Revolution (1770s) and lasting through the American Civil War (1870s.)” Snatch up tickets to this once in a lifetime event.

Late to the Game? If you weren’t able to snag festival tickets this year, you can still grab a table at Circa 1886 and nosh on our new spring menu. Make reservations here.

*Circa 1886 will be closed during regular dinner service on Friday, March 1st

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