Monday, March 8, 2010

Charleston Wine + Food: Pinot Envy Uncorked

This past weekend, I've had the pleasure of volunteering at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival.  What an experience it has been!

On Thursday, I assisted in the prep kitchen by chopping vegetables for the Tyler Florence demo..... Scary enough for a Pastry Student with very rudimentary knife skills to be chopping vegetables (Thank you Chef  Alexander for teaching us to chop onions in Artisan Bread Class).  Even scarier when those vegetables are for TYLER FLORENCE!!!  

Then on Friday, I was a chef assistant in the SCE&G Celebrity Tent and assisted several chefs, including Linton Hopkins from Atlanta's Restaurant Eugene (and also an Iron Chef competitor); Brian Malarkey from San Diego's Seersucker  (and also a Top Chef Miami Season 3 Finalist);  & James Peterson, author of Cooking, as well as Baking.  Being a chef assistant mainly meant that I cleared dishes during the demo and then cleaned up after demos & set up for the next ones.  Not as glamorous as it sounds, but I enjoyed helping.  Since I've had some demo experience from working that the  UND Wellness Center Culinary Corner Demo Kitchen, it was quite interesting to observe demos from well established chefs who are well versed in giving demos.  Demos are a lot harder to do than people imagine......   I loved the fact that these Chefs were intent on showing the audience super delicious dishes that were also very feasible for the home chef.

Pinot Envy Uncorked Festivities! 

And that brings me to Saturday's Pinot Envy Uncorked event.  Pinot Envy Uncorked was sponsored by the Culinary Institute of Charleston and featured a variety of national Vintners (aka wine makers) who exhibited extrordinary Pinot-variety wines.

Preparing one of the buffets

Along with the wines,  delicious local sustainable seafood was provided (prepared by Crew Carolina and CIC Chefs & Students), and chocolates, prepared by the Candies & Confectionaries class at the Culinary Institute of Charleston, were also served.

Mmmmmm..... chocolates! 

Don't you know Chocolate pairs well with Pinot? 

Since I'm currently enrolled in the Candies and Confectionaries class, I helped serve beaucoup de truffles to the masses.  And wow did people eat truffles!!  I'm happy I was able to specifically with this service because I knew what was in each one and how to explain what they tasted like. 

Talking about chocolates all while sporting a super lovely bow tie 

Other students assisted the featured vintners. 

Pouring a taste

Examining a bottle

Everyone seemed to greatly enjoy the wines, the food and, of course, the chocolates!  We were fortunate to have such beautiful weather for the event, although still much cooler temperatures than is usual for this time of year.  

People mingled, and ate, and relaxed, and tasted the amazing wines.  

What a great afternoon at the Mount Pleasant Waterfont Park!  

Stay tuned for several more Charleston Wine + Food Festival-themed posts.  The Bubbles & Sweets event is up next!  


  1. Laura, I didn't know I could be hungrier than I was already, but congratulations, you have made me need to go to the Boulangerie right. effing. now.


  2. Your excitement has rubbed onto me! I would totally go there and have truffles from you! And congrats on the super awesome and rewarding day!