Tastemakers at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival

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Get ready to sink your teeth into the annual Charleston Wine + Food Festival March 1-5, 2017. From the first cork popped to the last drop poured, the chefs, sommeliers and personalities of Belmond Charleston Place create a passionate group dedicated to great food, amazing wines and of course, Charleston. Read more to learn where you can find the Belmond team members at the 2017 CWFF this year.


Join Steven Manall, Executive Chef of The Palmetto Cafe at the Culinary Village. Here, you’ll enjoy favorite foods and beverages, delightful tastings and an Artesian Market that will be stocked full of incredible local and regional makers showcasing their masterful creations and unique flavors. Chef Manall uses classic dishes as an inspiration and adds unique flavors, preparations and presentations. You’re in for a wonderful treat when tasting what Chef Manall has cooked up.


Known for redefining Southern cuisine, you’ll find Executive Chef Michelle Weaver of the Charleston Grill at the Culinary Village and Iron + Oak. Enjoy a trip to the stunning private venue, RiverOaks, for an intimate lunch amid grand live oaks and European-inspired elegance. The menu is veggie-inspired, prepared in cast iron skillets and cauldrons, and will be served alongside a collection of magnificent wines. Don’t take our word for it.


You’ll see Femi Oyediran everywhere at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival. A member of “The Faces Behind the Campaign” for CFWW, he loves that the festival brings great talent to Charleston. Femi is an Advanced Sommelier at Charleston Grill and someone you don’t want to miss this year.


The consummate host, Mickey Bakst, General Manager of the Charleston Grill, will welcome Daniel Boulud back to Charleston for a namesake Legacy Dinner. Mickey will bring the dinner to life, along with acclaimed chefs from all over the world, with the table being set at the city’s most elegant private dining room. The dinner is sold out, and partial proceeds benefit Teach the Need, a program that pairs professional mentors with at-risk high school students to learn front-of-house employment skills.


Be the judge of who takes home the ultimate bragging rights at the Sumo Sommelier competition. Rick Rubel, Wine Director at Charleston Grill will show off his palate by pairing the best white and red of the year with two wine-challenging dishes. Taste the pairings on your own, then you decide.

You’ll be able to experience the best of the Southern food scene while wrapping yourself in luxury at Belmond Charleston Place with the “Beauty and the BBQ Beast” package. Enjoy two nights’ luxurious accommodations in historic Charleston and two of the premiere events of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Enjoy Iron + Oak and Toasted, the festival’s Southern BBQ finale event. This epic bash features fourteen chefs, a pit master, wine and beer, cocktail pairings as well as rocking live music. Call 843-722-4900 to book.

Charleston Wine + Food is a can’t miss festival that champions the region’s unique foodways through world-renowned culinary experiences. Fueled by a contagious passion for the people and places that make Charleston worth celebrating, the annual festival infuses homegrown flavor with top chefs, winemakers, authors and more from around the globe for a five-day event.


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The South’s Sugary Indulgence

Take a walk around the Holy City and chances are your senses will lead you to the sweet scent of pralines wafting down the street.

King and market street signPralines can be traced back to early 17th century French history when a diplomat’s personal chef happened to create this tasty sweet treat.

The diplomat had Praslin in his name, which is where the treats’ name comes from, legend has it.

Some say the chef stumbled upon his apprentice just as he knocked over a container of almonds into a vat cooking caramel. Others claim Praslin asked his personal chef to create an irresistible treat that ladies would not be able to deny. He packaged the sugary nuts into little parcels marked with his name, and the name pralines stuck.

In America, pralines first came to Louisiana from the French in the early to mid 1700’s. Almonds were in short supply in the area, and the nut was substituted with pecans, which are local to the region.

Whatever the story, the praline is a sweet confection of pecans and sugar that we can’t get enough of in the South. Pecan pralines spread rapidly throughout the port city of New Orleans and quickly to other Southern cities like Charleston, becoming a popular treat.

We asked Executive Pastry Chef Chris Ryan of Belmond Charleston Place to share his traditional recipe for this Southern indulgence.  These sugary, nutty sweets are the perfect treat to make when you’re missing Charleston.

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Chef Ryan’s Traditional Pecan Praline Recipe

Butter, unsalted 4 tablespoons
Heavy cream ½ cup
Bourbon (or liquor of choice) Splash
Granulated (white) sugar ½ pound
Brown sugar ½ pound
Pecans, pieces 1 pound


Combine all ingredients except pecans in a pot, with liquid ingredients in bottom of pot. Cook over high heat. Once ingredients come to a boil, bake pecans in oven at 350 degrees to toast for approximately 8 minutes. Using a candy thermometer, measure

praline mix temperature. Remove from heat when mixture reaches 240 degrees. Add pecans to pot. Stir lightly. Use wooden spoon or ice cream scoop to portion pralines onto parchment paper. Allow pralines to cool.

Tip: If you have a sweet tooth and are visiting Charleston, pick up a pound of your favorite pralines from one of the local candy shops and take a piece of the South home with you!

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Two Days in Charleston for the History Buff

For the history buff, the American south, specifically Charleston, is a treasure trove of discovery. As one of the United States’ most strategic naval and logistics sites on the East Coast, it has played an integral role in every major American conflict from the Revolutionary War to the Cold War. Here’s our two-day guide to Charleston for the history buff.

Fort Moultrie


Start your first day with a trip off the peninsula to nearby Sullivan’s Island where you’ll find one of the most war-weathered military locations in the country, Fort Moultrie. In the Revolutionary War, it stood as the final defense of the city from invading British troops and helped American forces win a major victory due to its clever construction of shock-absorbent palmetto logs. It was a key strategic defense point in every major American conflict until World War II. The beach head beneath the fort offers one of the most spectacular views of the Charleston Harbor. Afterwards, grab lunch at Poe’s Tavern, named after the famous American writer who stayed at Fort Moultrie during his brief stint in the army.

USS Yorktown


If you’re looking for some large-scale military history after lunch, drive over to Patriot’s Point for a tour of the USS Yorktown. Named after the famous ship that sunk during the Battle of Midway in World War II, this Essex-class (very large) aircraft carrier takes a prominent and eye-catching spot in the Charleston Harbor. Permanently docked across the river from downtown, this National Historic Landmark now serves as a military museum. Here you’ll see some of America’s most popular aircraft and learn about naval operations from World War II to the Korean War. Also at Patriot’s Point are the Vietnam Experience Exhibit and Medal of Honor Museum, as well as several decommissioned battleships and a submarine.

Fort Sumter


Start your second day off with a sea voyage to Charleston’s most famous fort, Fort Sumter, from which the first shots of the Civil War were fired. The fort remains an iconic sight in the center of Charleston’s bustling harbor. Reachable only by ferry, Fort Sumter is an excellent place to commemorate our nation’s most divisive conflict while viewing the city from its most unique location.

The Battery


To finish your travel through time, walk through Charleston’s historic French Quarter neighborhood to the Battery, also known as White Point Gardens. This public park south of Broad Street offers immaculate sunset views of the Charleston Harbor. Explore the arrangement of cannons and statues commemorating Charleston’s tumultuous yet fascinating past. Once the sun has set, scurry down to East Bay Street where a host of restaurants and bars line the avenue from fine dining to cocktail joints.

With its impressive military history and vital role in some of America’s most important conflicts, Charleston is sure to leave the history nut in you eager to explore.

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