Four events at Euphoria Greenville you should not miss
On the verge of something big
Seven years ago, when I visited Greenville, South Carolina I sensed the city was on the cusp of something big. Reporters and travel writers in places like Atlanta and Charlotte were starting to take notice of the growing culinary and arts scene in this Upcountry South Carolina city. At the same time, the revitalization of Greenville’s downtown gave the city plenty of reasons to tout itself as a destination.
A few years earlier, Carl Sobocinski (@CarlSobocinski) a local restaurateur and hometown musician Edwin McCain (@TheEdwinMcCain) launched an event aimed at showcasing the city’s burgeoning culinary and arts scene. The food, wine and music festival called Euphoria is still going strong as it enters its 12th year in 2018.
Here are four Euphoria events you should not miss.
Taste of the South
Along the Reedy River in the heart of Downtown Greenville, a stunning shell of an old factory provides a glimpse into the city’s past. The Wyche Pavilion, as it is called today, housed a carriage paint shop and later the first ever factory producing Duke’s Mayonnaise. So, as it seems, this is really a perfect setting for showcasing the talents of chefs from around the South.
During the first few years I attended Euphoria, the focus of Taste of the South was on Greenville restaurants and its incredibly talented chefs. Now, the scope has broadened a bit and chefs from all around the region dish out incredible culinary creations giving people a chance to watch them work up close. At the same time, the folks from Firefly Spirits pour creative Carolina cocktails while wine and beer vendors do what they can to keep folks from going thirsty. (There's also plenty of bottled water to help beat the SC heat).
Just outside the Wyche Pavilion is the Peace Center Amphitheater where a host of talented musicians have taken the stage over the years. Euphoria co-founder Edwin McCain, (I’ll Be, I Could Not Ask For More) has been the headliner of the event many times, Kim Carnes (Bette Davis Eyes) took the stage in 2013, and this year Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish is the headline entertainment at Euphoria’s Taste of the South.
(Check out the gallery below from Taste of the South.)
Feast by the Field
A few years ago, the big white tents emblazoned with the Euphoria logo, wine glass, fork and guitar headstock were lined up along Main Street near the Westin Poinsett Hotel, a centerpiece of Downtown Greenville's renaissance. The star of the show then was called the “Tasting Showcase,” a place to sample great wine and beer as well as dishes from local restaurants.
Flash forward a few years and what began as a simple “tasting” is now a full fledged feast, an event that is now held at the home of the Greenville Drive, Fluor Field. This Saturday afternoon outing is definitely a home run. You can spend hours walking through the maze of great food and beverages, take a time-out to check out the culinary demonstrations or join the Chef’s Table for an unforgettable multi-course meal.
My family loves our trips down to New Orleans, so it’s great when NOLA can be a little closer to us (3 ½ hours instead of 10). In 2017, Euphoria moved Saturday night’s main event out to the charming town of Traveler’s Rest, in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Spread out along the grounds of the city park, guests feasted on New Orleans favorites like red beans and rice, muffulettas, a mouth watering seafood boil and beignets to curb that craving for NOLA's Café du Monde. Special New Orleans inspired cocktails and the sounds of the Soda City Jazz Band also helped bring you close to the Big Easy without leaving South Carolina.
Sunday is a time to get “Fired Up!” and sample some of the South’s most savory BBQ. Guest pitmasters join more than a dozen chefs from around Greenville for an event the whole family can enjoy. In fact, it’s one of the most affordable events throughout Euphoria Greenville. And this year while you’re enjoying the great food, grab a mimosa or Bloody Mary and unwind with the sounds of My Girl, My Whiskey and Me.
These four events aren’t all that you’ll find at Euphoria. The feasting actually begins on Thursday with special dinners, the Songwriter’s Recipe and the Greenville Kick-off Party. On Saturday you can also learn a few things about food and beverages at the Euphoria Classrooms and if you want to skip the Bayou Bash, you can attend one of the guest chef dinners. And one of the most coveted spots on Sunday is in the Wyche Pavilion for the Sunday Supper, which once again is sold out this year.
You can achieve Euphoria when you make the drive to Greenville, South Carolina, September 20th – 23rd. For ticket information visit euphoriagreenville.com .
Check out the interview I did with Chef Heidi Trull in 2017 about her experience as a chef in New Orleans and her preparations for the Big Easy Bash.
Check out 5 reasons you'll fall in love with Greenville, SC.