The inaugural year of Columbia Food & Wine set the tone for a high-energy, vibrant festival that will celebrate our city's culinary scene for years to come. The sold-out event treated 1K+ attendees to tastes from ~50 local eateries, including Mr. Friendly's, The War Mouth, Cantina 76 and more.
Thanks to Hickory Nut Gap Farms, Chef Wes Fulmer created a bite-sized steak salad. On Instagram, Eatingherwords, FreetimesSC + more raved about the Vietnamese-inspired dish. Another crowd-favorite was Wes's Wadmalaw Island butterbean fritter with pumpkin seed pesto, local feta + tomato jam. Just ask ColaTownFoodie.
Hickory Nut Gap Farms grass-fed flatiron over peanut, arugula & mint salad with Nước chấm (Vietnamese vinaigrette)
Head Barman Josh Streetman crafted two specialty cocktails for the event, thanks to Breakthru Beverage S.C. Josh used Don Julio Blanco to create a coconut milk punch and Blade and Bow bourbon + strawberry cider to make a refreshing mint julep variation. The two drinks were a hit — guests went through ten gallons of cocktails in 2.5 hours — that's ~1K drinks!
Don Julio Blanco coconut milk punch, garnished with nutmeg, cilantro + orange slices.
Attendees had the chance to learn culinary techniques directly from some of Columbia's top chefs via chef demonstrations throughout the event. Chef Wes showed the crowds how he likes to cure + smoke salmon — this time cured with Josh's leftover Blade and Bow bourbon. Check out his demo on our Facebook page and see the recipe below.
Our team is already counting down the days until next year's festival!
Bourbon cured and smoked salmon by Chef Wes Fulmer
3-4 lbs. of Atlantic salmon with skin on. Yields six servings.
1 tbs. kosher salt
1/2 cu. bourbon
2 lemons zested and juiced
2 limes zested and juiced
With cold water, rinse side of Salmon off and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle salt evenly over the whole side. Next massage the bourbon into the flesh of the salmon, then apply the citrus zest and juice.
1 1/2 cu. kosher salt
1/4 cu. smoked paprika
1/4 cu. ground fennel
1/4 cu. ground coriander
1 lb. brown sugar
1 tbs. chili powder
Mix all ingredients together and apply to the side of salmon. Be sure to use all of the cure and pack it down with your hands. Place in a tray or baking dish and refrigerate for 48-72 hours.
12 oz. hickory wood chips
Grill or smoker with a top
Rinse cure off salmon under cold water and pat dry. Load smoker with wood chips and smoke at 250 degrees for 15 min. Check for desired finish [Wes likes his cooked a little under with the fish remaining a bit translucent]. Let cool and refrigerate for 45 min to an hour before serving.