Achieve Euphoria in Greenville, South Carolina
Places like New Orleans and Charleston are known as culinary destinations and each of those cities love to have big festivals to show off what their chefs can do. Luckily, there is a city with a festival in the fall where you can often try dishes from both of these Southern cities and many more. It’s a place where over four days you can #AchieveEuphoria.
Back in 2006, singer/songwriter Edwin McCain (@TheEdwinMcCain), a Greenville, South Carolina native teamed up with local restaurateur, Carl Sobocinski (@CarlSobocinski) to create a charity event showcasing a bit of what the city has to offer. Flash forward several years and Euphoria Greenville draws top chefs from across the country along with thousands of people anxious to spend a weekend eating, sipping and listening.
From intimate dinner settings to grand showcases of food and beverage, there’s a little something for everyone at Euphoria. You can choose separate events to attend or take it all in like a V.I.P. with special package deals so there are plenty of ways to Achieve Euphoria and here are a few of my favorites.
Taste of the South
Music, wine and some of the best dishes from across the South come together for the first “big” event of Euphoria Greenville. It’s an event where I’ve tried grilled octopus and rosemary, had a cup of rabbit soup and filled my plate with paella served up in a giant skillet lovingly made by one of Greenville’s top chefs at the time. Taste of the South is where I also discovered Sea Island Java Rum.
Several times, Euphoria co-founder, Edwin McCain had the crowds singing along to “I’ll be” and “I Could Not Ask for More.” One year, Kim Carnes graced the stage bringing us “Crazy in the Night” and the quintessential 80’s super hit, “Bette Davis Eyes.” And although the rest of the band wasn’t on hand, Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish still wowed the crowd with “Only Wanna be with You.”
Feast by the Field
What started as a simple food and wine “Tasting Showcase” has grown into a full fledged feast at Fluor Field, Greenville’s minor league baseball stadium. This is an event that really gives guests big bang for their buck. Dozens of chefs, wine vendors, distilleries and breweries fill massive tents with a seemingly endless array of things to sample and savor. There are also some more intimate chef demonstrations and if you want, there are several culinary “classes” available in the afternoon.
Guest Chef Dinners
Greenville, South Carolina’s culinary scene rivals that of much larger cities and during Euphoria, star chefs from across the country make their way to the South Carolina Upcountry. One of THE best ways to enjoy the talents of top chefs is the Guest Chef dinners held throughout the city. These are the most exclusive events of Euphoria and often sell out fast. In my years of attending Euphoria, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a few of them and they are certainly a unique part of this festival.
Party in the Park
In recent years, the picturesque town of Traveler’s Rest just outside of Greenville has served as the setting for Euphoria’s big Saturday night event. With the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop guests at this party in the park have enjoyed an authentic cajun seafood boil, dishes from Joe and Heidi Trull of Grits n’ Goceries in Belton, SC and the sounds of a New Orleans style jazz band. There was even a little bit of second line action going on too. The event is changing in 2019, but it will still be filled with great food, drinks and music.
Many of the events at Euphoria are for adults only, but on Sunday mornings, the whole family can come out for the best barbecue dishes in the Southeast. More than a dozen chefs offer up unique and traditional barbecue dishes while bartenders keep the Bloody Marys and Mimosas flowing. And while folks are chowing down, there’s plenty of music coming from the stage.
There are many ways to enjoy Euphoria Greenville. To check out the current lineup of talent and to buy tickets visit Euphoriagreenville.com . Since its inception, one of the main purposes of the festival is to give back to the community. Proceeds from Euphoria Greenville go to various local charities through direct grants from its 501(c)(3) organization, Local Boys Do Good.