Euphoria takes southern cuisine to a new level
Take 17 gifted chefs from across the Southeast, glasses of fine wine, beer and cocktails, music and a stunning South Carolina sky, and you have the perfect start to fall. This is what Euphoria Greenville is all about and it really kicked into high gear on Friday night.
Along the banks of the Reedy River in Downtown Greenville the evening sun shines through the large arched windows of the Wyche Pavillion (a shell of a former textile mill). Inside the walls, the chefs are turning out culinary creations aimed at giving guests a unique “taste of the South.” This is one of Euphoria Greenville’s biggest stages and in 2017 it played to a sold out crowd.
When you have so many dishes to discover, it’s difficult to decide where to start, but at an event like this, even if you skip something there will be plenty of other dishes to please your palate. V.I.P. (Very Important Plate) guests got an early start on the tasting frenzy which filled the perimeter of the pavilion.
In one corner, Chef Adam Hayes of the Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley in Cashiers, NC served up his take on an old Southern classic, Country Fried Steak made with tender Brasstown Beef and a smooth white gravy.
Chef Kenneth Gilbert of Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen in Jacksonville,FL had folks lining up for a taste of his Fernandina Beach Hot Quail, served up on a melt in your mouth bun.
East Tennessee chef, Erik Niel from the Easy Bistro and Bar in Chattanooga had one of the most colorful dishes of the evening, West Indies Shrimp with Sugar Baby Melon and Currant Tomato.
And finally, in what was likely the most talked about dish of the evening, Chef Teddy Diggs of Il Palio in Chapel Hill dished out Octopus Spiedino with Shelling Beans, Pickled Hot Pepper and Celery with a sprig of rosemary to make the dish even more delightful.
And dinner wouldn't be complete without dessert, would it? Of course not, and this year there were half a dozen choices in a special tent set up beside the stage at the amphitheater. One of the most memorable was the Apple Slab Pie with Buttermilk Glaze, Cranberries and Aged Gouda from Erick Wolitzy of the Fifth Group of Restaurants in Atlanta.
On the concert stage Kakalaki Jones, a band from Myrtle Beach, warmed up the crowds before the main act, Edwin McCain, a Greenville, SC native and co-founder of the Euphoria Festival. While he pleased the crowds with his top tunes, “I Could Not Ask For More” and “I’ll Be” his daughter likely stole the show when she joined him on stage after he began telling stories about his kids.
The blend of music with stellar foods and beverages worked to make this event one of the most popular during Euphoria. And while this year, local restaurants weren’t in the spotlight, it did help provide a more comprehensive taste of what brilliant chefs throughout the region are creating.
The dates for Euphoria Greenville 2018 are September 20th through 23rd. Visit www.euphoriagreenville.com and sign up for the event newsletter. You can also get updates and a true taste of this fantastic festival on social media #EuphoriaGVL .