If the gluttonous array of food and beverages at the Euphoria Food Festival in Greenville, South Carolina is a sin, then count me a sinner … again and again and again.
Created by platinum-selling singer and songwriter Edwin McCain and South Carolina based restaurateur Carl Sobocinski, Euphoria is a weekend-long event including exclusive tasting events, cooking demonstration, wine seminars, as well as multi-course dinners and live musical performances. Proceeds also help fund Local Boys do Good, the 501(c)(3) created to benefit local non-profit organizations.
Tickets range from $165 to $795 for the VIP pass, but in reality all you need is the “Headliner” pass for $275. This includes the Friday night, air-traffic-control-needed “Taste of the South,” an orgiastic overflow of food, more food and then more food.
A note of caution regarding this opening night event: it is a bit difficult to find ENOUGH food since there are so many people in attendance. If attending, do not dare show up late as I did. Come early and eat your full. Personally, I would head straight to the Nosedive stand, and if they have it back on the menu the Frito Pie with pork cheek, queso blanco, pickled jalapenos and tomatoes were delightful.
Also, included in the Headliner pass is Saturday and Sunday’s the “Tasting Showcase” featuring truly gourmet food sampling cooking demonstrations from some of the premier chefs in the South, the well-stoked Beer Garden, and even the Beer Seminar and Grand Wine Tasting.
Basically, Euphoria let’s you spend 72 straight hours eating and drinking as much as your body is able. How is that not worth just the $275 covering the cost of the entire weekend? And, what’s great about downtown Greenville, is everything is within ten blocks of each other so you don’t even need a car – which might not be the best idea anyway, if you imbibe all this lusciousness.
Actually, if your stomach can make it, the best part of the Headliner pass is the Sunday “Jazz Brunch.” I couldn’t eat very much after sampling all of Friday and Saturday’s goodies, but I did find the most moist, sweet cake I have eaten in my life: Brick Street Café’s Sweet Potato Cake. So good, I went back for three huge slices and then walked the mile to the store to order myself an entire cake. I mean, in reality, I could have just stood there and kept eating and eating, but I thought it might be nice to take home a cake. Calories not included.
Another wonderful item at the Jazz Brunch was The Local Taco Smoked Brisket with Mole Sauce, Pickled Onions and Fresh Cilantro. Fun to eat and just as fun on the tastebuds.
Finally, if you do want to branch out and get the VIP ticket, I will say the “Euphoria Guest Chef Dinner” hosted by Bacon Bros Public House featuring Executive Chef Jeremiah Bacon of The Macintosh in Charleston, South Carolina was the best food I had all weekend. Of particular note was the Braised Rabbit featuring potato cake, ricotta salata, and roasted tomatoes. The rabbit was incredibly tender, so perfectly cooked it melted at the simple feel of the tip of my fork, and the flavors were full and colorful, accompanying the earthy potato cake and roasted tomatoes very elegantly. I clamored to ask for seconds but it would have been unseemly so I savored every bite.
Tickets to go on Sale in March. You can find a full list of the itinerary here: http://www.euphoriagreenville.com/events-and-tickets.