euphoria 2017 (Bites of the Weekend)

Every year euphoria delights our taste buds with delicious bites from esteemed chefs around the southeast. Unfortunately, we will have to wait another 363 days for this event to roll back around next September, but until then I’ve highlighted my best bites from five euphoria events to hold you over.

Greenville Kick-Off Party: What better way to kick-off euphoria weekend than with a festive celebration filled with food crafted by Greenville chefs, a killer band, and drinks that keep on flowing? Held in The Old Cigar Warehouse, this event showcased all that Greenville has to offer, including my bite of the night coming straight from Coastal Crust food truck. I’m sure all of their wood-fired pizzas were amazing, but I had 2 favorites: Fig & Prosciutto and Butternut Squash & Red Onion. Simply put, Chef Matt knows good pizza and the quality of ingredients speaks for itself.

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Taste of the South: This event is for all the true foodies out there. Featuring celebrity chefs from all over the southeast, you’ll get to taste inspired dishes from renowned restaurants you’ve never been to…but may have always wanted to. Held in the picturesque Wyche Pavilion, complete with live music and charming strings of twinkle lights, Taste of the South is a winner. My favorite, and first, bite of the night was the Hot Quail Sweet Roll courtesy of Kenneth Gilbert of Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen in Jacksonville, Florida. Upon arriving at Taste of the South, I asked a few foodie friends which dishes had been their favorite so far. Every single one said this sandwich, so of course I all but ran to stand in the long line to see what all the hype was about. This sandwich was simple, but perfectly executed. All starting with a crispy piece of fried quail, placed on a sweet Hawaiian roll (which, let’s be honest, is the way to go) and topped with a Datil pepper remoulade and dill pickles. If they hadn’t run out of this sandwich, I would have gone back for seconds, or maybe even thirds.

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Feast by the Field: All craft beer lovers, wine-o’s and foodies unite at this daytime event that features not only endless samplings of tasty bites, but also chef demos, a craft beer garden, wine sampling tent and more. Presented by GVLtoday, this event gets you in true party mode and has a little something for everyone. My favorite bite was hands down the Pulled Duck Confit by The Bistro Topsail in Surf City, North Carolina. The tender, flavorful duck alone could’ve been my favorite bite, but why stop there when you can serve it atop a corn cake, braised collards and top it all off with duck skin cracklin’? This is one of those bites I will keep craving time and time again.

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Big Easy Bash: Being the new kid on the block, the Big Easy Bash was a highly anticipated event that took place at Trailblazer Park in Travelers Rest. The theme of the night was all things New Orleans, including a New Orleans style jazz band, dirty rice for days, and of course beignets. My bite of the night had to be the beignets from Grits and Groceries and Chef Kevin Belton. I’ve never been to Café Du Monde to try the crème de la crème of beignets, but I bet you these were pretty darn close. Served piping hot, this beignet was melt in your mouth delicious with a dusting of powdered sugar to top it off.

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Sunday Brunch: Brunch is good enough as it is, but throw in some barbecue made by infamous pit masters and you’ve got an event that can’t be beat. We’re back downtown for this family-friendly event that welcomes local chefs, barbecue geniuses, and boozy brunch cocktails. My first stop was Lewis Barbecue where last year John Lewis served the most incredible brisket that I still think about to this day. His dish stole my heart again this year with fall-off-the-bone tender ribs, a piece of smoky sausage, spicy barbecue sauce, and pickled red onions. When barbecue is this good, there’s no need for all the sides and sauces.

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Now, the countdown begins to euphoria 2018! Be sure to follow @euphoriagreenville on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with all your favorite chefs and restaurants, and to be the first to know when tickets for next year’s festival go on sale! #isitseptemberyet ???

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