Charleston Wine + Food

Lindsay Holler's Western Polaroids had some festival goers feeling the music on Friday, Mar. 2, 2018. Charleston Wine + Food bills its daily Culinary Village in Marion Square as "five hours of tasting, sipping, chef demos, live music, retail therapy, and more." Wade Spees/Staff

Men who asked to participate in the headlining barbecue event at next year’s Charleston Wine + Food Festival were accommodated, festival spokeswoman Alyssa Maute Smith says. But “since women are taking center stage for this one,” the men were told they’d be serving as pit crew.

Local pitmaster Anthony Dibernardo and local farmer Tank Jackson will be supporting the likes of such national talent as Leah Cohen of New York’s Pig & Khao, Annie Pettry of Louisville’s Decca and Tiffani Faison of Boston’s Tiger Mama at Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room, one of 114 programs on the 2019 festival schedule.

“This is going to be a very cool event,” Smith says of the barbecue party planned for The Bend.

Tickets to the event will be available starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday, when all festival tickets go on sale. A complete schedule will be posted to the festival’s website at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

According to Executive Director Gillian Zettler, “a renewed focus on diversifying our talent line-up” accounts for many of the more notable schedule updates in 2019, along with an increased emphasis on excursions and wellness activities.

“One thing that makes Charleston Wine + Food unique compared to other wine and food festivals is we reprogram 85 percent of our schedule year after year,” a press release quotes Zettler as saying.

Among the new additions to the festival are a field trip to the mushroom farm at Mepkin Abbey; a tasting event at The Cigar Factory featuring musicians and crafters; a salute to glamping at Old Towne Creek County Park; a hip-hop dance class and cooking experience themed around healthy interpretations of Julia Child recipes.

The lineup of confirmed chefs at this point includes Gavin KaysenJody Williams and Rita SodiFrank StittAshley Christensen and Katie Button. Smith says the festival anticipates signing up 400 chefs and 150 beverage professionals.

Charleston Wine + Food will again forgo throwing a ticket kick-off party, instead cultivating a festive atmosphere at its headquarters on Wednesday. The office at 635 Rutledge St. will be open to the public from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. for ticket sales, with food trucks Dough Boyz Pizza, Roadside Seafood and Life Raft Treats parking in the adjoining lot from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Prospective ticket buyers are encouraged to drop by the office for help plotting their schedules, Smith says. For more information, or to buy tickets online, visit charlestonwineandfood.com.

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.

Food editor and chief critic

Eating all of the chicken livers just as fast as I can.