Columbia Food and Wine Festival’s 2023 Event LineupFebruary 7, 2023
Tickets now on sale for eight festival events happening April 19-23
The Columbia Food and Wine Festival has released its full event schedule featuring eight unique dining experiences happening Wed., April 19 – Sun., April 23 at various locations across the greater Columbia, S.C. region. From intimate chef dinners to hands-on culinary activities, the festival will convene thousands of food enthusiasts from across the Southeast. The annual event, presented by Certified South Carolina, is now in its sixth year. Tickets are on sale, and details are available online at columbiafoodandwinefestival.com.
“Columbia’s food scene has blossomed over the past several years and consistently produces high-quality chefs and mixologists,” said Chase Heatherly, festival organizer and Publisher of The Free Times. “Our team has worked hard to create one-of-a-kind experiences that lift up the incredible culinary talent in our region. We hope the festival will spotlight Columbia on a regional scale and garner well-deserved attention for our talented and hardworking culinary community.”
Details for the 2023 Columbia Food and Wine lineup
From historic homes to hidden gems, longtime culinary staples and Lexington County airfields, the 2023 Columbia Food and Wine Festival event schedule takes guests across the greater Columbia region to experience the tasty creations of nearly 100 local chefs, mixologists, brew masters, sommeliers, and more.
Kickoff Dinner at Motor Supply — Wed., April 19, 6 – 9 p.m.
Motor Supply Co. Bistro will host the kickoff dinner with a multi-course menu from its executive chef Wes Fulmer, Frank Bradley of Hendrix and Blake Fairies of Loosh Culinaire. A prime mover in Columbia’s progressive upscale dining scene, Motor Supply is known for its ever-changing menu that features slow food from local farms. This event will carry on that tradition, serving sustainably sourced dishes alongside cocktail and wine pairings.
“I have been involved with Columbia Food and Wine Festival since its inaugural year, and I always look forward to collaborating with local chefs and friends,” said Wes Fulmer, executive chef of Motor Supply Co. Bistro. “I am excited to host the kickoff dinner at Motor Supply — we’re going to have fun with this menu highlighting fresh, spring flavors.”
Pasta & Pairings — Thurs., April 20, 6 – 8 p.m.
Learn the tricks of the trade as Dorsia Pasta Co. Chef/Owner Pierce Bowers shares the art of pasta making. Imbibe with hand-picked wine pairings from local wine guru Mike Wine-Guy accompanied by bites from Bowers and Lula Drake Chef Rachel Harrison. This pasta and pinot-filled event takes place at the historic Pastor’s Study. Yes, you can make your pasta and eat it too!
Desserts & Digestifs — Thurs., April 20, 7 – 9 p.m.
The ultimate nightcap, this event will pair dessert wines, aperitifs and more after-dinner libations with a selection of pastries and treats, from savory to sweet. Tim Gardner, owner and head sommelier of Lula Drake, will lead the beverage portion of the evening in collaboration with local pastry chefs (soon to be announced). Live jazz from local musicians will set the mood for a stellar evening in the lobby of Hotel Trundle, a charming and vibrant locally-owned boutique hotel. This event is sponsored by Hotel Trundle.
Mixer on Main: The Remix! — Fri., April 21, 6 – 9 p.m.
Returning for a second year, a new lineup of Main Street mixologists will participate in the ultimate cocktail competition. Guests and judges will taste and vote on more than 10 handcrafted cocktails to discover the most innovative and tasty sipper. The libations will be paired with live music, local art and inventive eats from Main Street District restaurants. Mixer on Main will take place on Boyd Plaza in front of the Columbia Museum of Art and is sponsored by The Main Street District.
Brunch & Bungies — Sat., April 22, 10 a.m. – noon
Work out and work up an appetite at Brunch & Bungies. Hosted at Fit Columbia and sponsored by Publix, guests will learn the local gym’s approach to sustainable fitness through bungee demonstrations, assisted stretching and a restorative shavasana. The wellness-centered event will feature smoothies, plant-forward bites from Tasty As Fit, and inventive and health-forward brunch cocktails.
Mezze on the Menu — Sat., April 22, noon – 2 p.m.
Columbia’s beloved Mediterranean masterminds are joining forces for this meal full of flavor and culture. This event will take taste buds on a trip to Aegean Sean with a family-style menu that features Greek, Lebanese and other Middle Eastern flavors as well as wine pairings at each course. Hosted at Pita’s, the restaurant will collaborate with Mediterranean Tea Room, Arabesque and Always Original Bakery to create a menu that will leave guests saying, “mamma mia!”
CAE Concert on the Runway — Sat., April 22, 7 – 10 p.m.
By popular request, Columbia Food and Wine Festival is returning to Columbia Metropolitan Airport’s Eagle Aviation hangar in a brand-new way! Attendees can enjoy a night under the stars and on the runway with dishes from Columbia’s thriving food truck scene. Stay tuned to Columbia Food and Wine’s social media channels for the announcement of the regionally acclaimed musical act that will headline the event. The Concert on the Runway is sponsored by Columbia Metropolitan Airport.
Grand Tasting — Sun., April 23, 1 – 4 p.m.
The grand finale to Columbia Food and Wine Festival’s lineup, hundreds of foodies will revel in the flavors of Columbia at the Grand Tasting. Plates will be filled with creative samples from local chefs while glasses clink to farm-to-shaker cocktails, craft brews and spirit-free sippers. From live music to live chef demonstrations, artisan pop-up shops and more, festival goers will explore and discover the best of Columbia’s culinary scene.
Again this year, the event will take place at the historic Robert Mills House and Gardens with bites, sips and sites from more than 60 local restaurants, breweries, mixologists and culinary artisans. VIP and Early Access ticket holders receive one-hour early entry to the festivities at noon.
Supporting the Local Hospitality Community
Columbia Food and Wine Festival supports and prioritizes the needs of its culinary partners through chef stipends and profit sharing with local business owners.
In partnership with Certified South Carolina, the festival also highlights the connections between chefs and farmers as well as the importance of sourcing local foods. Additionally, the festival works with multiple nonprofit volunteer organizations to provide behind-the-scenes support at the events — every volunteer organization receives a donation from the festival.
To further the impact on local hospitality, the festival has two beneficiaries — the Charitable Plate and the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Foundation (SCRLF).
The Charitable Plate provides scholarships to fund the advancement and growth of future chefs, farmers, heritage foods, and educational pursuits to strengthen our local food system. SCRLF benefits the state’s hospitality industry by administering education and workforce development programs, industry certifications and more. Learn more about the festival’s nonprofit partners at columbiafoodandwinefestival.com/about.
The 2023 Columbia Food and Wine Festival, presented by Certified South Carolina, is generously sponsored by and would not be possible without Beam Suntory; Blue Marlin; Carolina Fine Jewelry; Carolina Gold Construction; Columbia Metropolitan Airport; Cool Care Heating, Air, Plumbing & Refrigeration; Delta Dental of South Carolina; Discover SC; Don Julio Premium Tequila; East Bay Deli; Events by Snow; Grace Outdoor; Hilton Columbia Center / Hampton Inn Downtown Historic District; Historic Columbia; Hotel Trundle; J. King Real Estate; Jim Hudson Automotive Group; Kombi Keg; Lexington Medical Center; Mauldin and Jenkins; NIA; Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union; Peak Drift Brewing; Hotel Trundle; SSOE; Main Street District; Mauldin and Jenkins; Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union; Publix; The COMET; The Stanley Law Group; Uptown Cocktails; US Foods; Valet Technologies; Waxing the City; WLTX News 19; Yellowstone Bourbon.
Since its debut in 2018, Columbia Food and Wine Festival has brought over 7,000 guests together at 26 events featuring more than 150 culinary partners at locations across the greater Columbia, S.C. region, from Northeast Columbia to downtown to Lexington. In 2022, 48% of attendees came from outside the City of Columbia. Out-of-town guests have doubled in the past three years — in 2022, 14% of festival goers came from outside the Midlands region (up from 7% in 2019).
As always, Columbia Food and Wine Festival will celebrate the diverse and delicious dishes, views, brews of Soda City and beyond. Plan your ultimate #ColaFoodandWine weekend at columbiafoodandwinefestival.com.
About Columbia Food and Wine Festival
Columbia Food and Wine Festival highlights the thriving culinary scene throughout the greater Columbia S.C. region through events that spotlight diverse talent and elevate local businesses. The multi-day festival brings thousands of festival goers and community members together for a one-of-a-kind experience featuring Columbia’s finest plates and pours. Since 2018, Columbia Food and Wine Festival has highlighted the “Real Southern Hot Spot” as a destination for food-filled experiences. Plan your #ColaFoodandWine itinerary at columbiafoodandwinefestival.com.
About Post and Courier, the event host
The Post and Courier, founded in 1803 in Charleston, is an award-winning newspaper including the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. In 2020, The Post and Courier expanded statewide and now operates newsrooms in Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, and Spartanburg.
Since 1987, Free Times has served as Columbia’s entertainment publication providing local coverage on politics and government, arts and entertainment, food and nightlife. Free Times has long been a staple of the media landscape in our region. In 2016, Free Times was acquired by Evening Post Industries, owner of The Post and Courier. Since that time, the two sister brands, both firmly committed to local journalism, have shared content in print and online to reach readers across South Carolina. Together, Free Times and The Post and Courier employ 18 full-time journalists living and working in the city of Columbia. In addition to producing Columbia’s largest and most-read weekly publication, Free Times has grown a reputation throwing incredible events including Best of Columbia and A Free Times Halloween.