Randi Weinstein Leaving Charleston Wine + Food Festival

randi2Randi Weinstein, who spent seven years with the Charleston Wine + Food Festival and became its most recognizable face after the resignation of founding director Angel Postell, today announced her departure.

“There is a short window for me to depart for a smooth transition, and that’s now. I’m sad to go, but excited for new opportunities,” Weinstein, director of events, is quoted as saying in a release from the Festival. “My heart will always be with the Festival, and I believe it will grow and do great things in Year 10 and beyond.”

The Festival’s executive staff has been in flux since Postell stepped down from her position in March 2013. The current executive director, Gillian Zettler, was hired last November after an extensive search, although she didn’t assume the full scope of her duties until this year’s Festival was completed. And director of communications Cathryn Davis Zommer last month replaced Ashley Zink, who held the job for three years before relocating to Washington D.C. Continue reading

A Quartet of Unofficial Events

In addition to the dozens of events on the official festival schedule, a number of venues are throwing their own special events while they have a captive culinary audience. Here is an overview of some of the breakaway fun:

Rioja Wine Dinner

Who: Dhane Chesson of Wines of Rioja

Where: The Macintosh, 479B King St.

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday

Cost: $85

More info: Chesson has chosen the wines for this three-course dinner, for which the menu includes roasted tilefish and duck galantine. For reservations, call 789-4299. Continue reading

Today’s Menu of Activities for Food Day

Wondering how to mark Food Day today? Two schools have scheduled events in conjunction with the annual celebration of healthy, affordable food, which now unfolds in cities nationwide:

At the MUSC Urban Farm, which last year hosted one of 3200 Food Day events across the U.S, the 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. party’s all about the sweet potato. In addition to self-guided tours of the farm at the corner of Bee and President streets, the agenda includes a 11:30 a.m. talk on a new sweet potato breed; a 12 noon cooking demo and a 12:40 p.m. sweet potato head contest starring local celebrities, including the Post & Courier‘s own David Quick. All events are free.

And at the College of Charleston, students, faculty and staff members are invited to the campus’ Liberty Fresh Food Company for an all-local lunch; the menu includes zucchini sliders and turnip chips.

Check Out the Menu for Kevin Johnson’s Outstanding in the Field Late Lunch This Thursday

Jeremy Fenske

Jeremy Fenske

There are still tickets available to Kevin Johnson’s imminent Outstanding in the Field appearance at Maria Baldwin’s Thornhill Farm, a situation which confounds the organization’s spokesperson.

“I’m not sure why it’s not sold out (yet),” Lisa Supple writes. “Maybe it’s because it’s a Thursday and folks are waiting until the last minute to see if their work schedules allow them to come?”

Outstanding in the Field (OITF) was founded in 1999 by California chef Jim Denevan, who aimed to deepen eaters’ connections with the land and its cultivators by hosting a series of farm dinners. The group held its first event beyond California in 2003, and now annually stages as many as 90 meals on farms from Maine to Oregon. OITF last visited Thornhill Farm in 2010, when Sean Brock’s dinner was nearly disrupted by a tornado. (The chance of rain on Thursday is 10 percent.)

Despite charging triple-digit prices, OITF has a knack for selling out its events: Of the 21 events scheduled through the end of November, only nine still have available seats. Continue reading

Cupcake Camp’s Call for Bakers



Cupcake creators are a dime a baker’s dozen these days, but Cupcake Camp Charleston’s on the hunt for pastry artists willing to serve up at least 24 cupcakes for free.

Now in its fourth year, Cupcake Camp is a community benefit for the South Carolina Youth Advocate Program. Originally created in 2008 by a San Francisco populist scientist, the event’s since spread to cities around the world. There’s no charge for the cupcakes – organizers describe the Camp as a chance “for people to share and eat cupcakes in an open environment – but donations will be accepted online and during the event at The Alley on Nov. 10 from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Continue reading