Today would have marked the start of the 16th annual festival for Charleston Wine + Food, but the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to that. In lieu of an in-person event this year, the organization is hosting virtual and hybrid programming.
On Thursday, March 4th at 8 pm, the festival will host the Waffle House Smackdown, a fan-favorite event. This All Star Special virtual event emceed by Ashley Christensen will feature past Master Blaster winner, Chef Chris Shepherd of Houston’s Georgia James and UB Preserv and Top Chef’s Claudette Zepeda of the highly anticipated Vaga Restaurant in Encinitas. The two will compete against one another as they make signature Waffle House dishes. The winner will take home bragging rights and the coveted title of Master Blaster.
Ticket holders will help pick the winner along with local Chef Mike Lata. Plus, Alba Huerta of Houston’s Julep will join in on the fun to teach viewers how to make the perfect Bloody Mary. Tune into Charleston Wine + Food’s Instagram channel on Thursday for your chance to win several Waffle House gift cards as they gear up for the event that evening.
Throughout the remainder of the month Charleston Wine + Food will host several free virtual events including a cocktail class with Frank Arevalo of The Obstinate Daughter, a cooking class with Carrie Morey of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, and a baking class with Rashaunda Grant of The Carolina Cookery. More information about each class can be found on Charleston Wine + Food’s social media accounts and its website.
Later this spring fans can expect a hybrid version of the festival’s Signature Dinner series where local chefs collaborate with an out-of-town chef on a unique, coursed menu. Additionally, Charleston Wine + Food will host a month-long Takeout Tuesday campaign that encourages consumers to order takeout weekly for a chance to win local restaurant gift cards. Both campaigns will launch later this spring.