The City Magazine Since 1975

The Visiting VIPs

The Visiting VIPs
March 2016
The Holy City becomes an even hotter culinary hot spot when Charleston Wine + Food invites dozens of acclaimed chefs and beverage specialists to town. Get to know some of the festival’s most exciting guests

Katie Button
Asheville, North Carolina
Executive chef/owner, Cúrate & Nightbell

Events: Wine Lunch at Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen & Lana Signature Dinner

Your culinary style in three words: “Precise, flavorful, product-focused”

Proudest moments: “When I was named a James Beard Rising Star Chef finalist in 2014 and one of Food & Wine’s best new chefs of 2015—though the birth of my daughter trumps all work accolades by far.”

Which ingredient couldn’t you live without? “Olive oil. It’s the backbone of my kitchen.”

What’s your perfect meal? “One prepared by my husband, Felix, when he decides to get his hands dirty in the kitchen and lets me relax with a glass of wine”

If you weren’t a chef, you’d be… “a neuroscientist—which almost happened! I took the plunge into the professional culinary world after dropping out of my PhD program.”

Alon Shaya
New Orleans, Louisiana
Executive chef & co-owner, Shaya, Domenica, & Pizza Domenica

Event: Mediterranea with Mike Lata + Friends

On catching the culinary bug: “I was seven. I came home from school and my grandmother was cooking in the kitchen. I spent the rest of the day with her peeling peppers and eggplants. I was sold.”

Favorite part of cooking: “Applying heat”

Proudest career moment: “Winning a James Beard Award for my work at Domenica in 2015”

Go-to bar order: “A Negroni”

If you weren’t a chef, you’d be… “an architect.”

What about the festival are you most looking forward to? “Cooking at Mike Lata’s house”

Mashama Bailey
Savannah, Georgia
Executive chef & partner, The Grey

Event: North + South + East + West: Le TourDes Femmes

Your culinary style in three words: “Simple, Southern, soulful”

Proudest career moment: “When my grandmother told me I was ready to open a restaurant”

What couldn’t you live without? “Pork! I’d put it in everything I ate if I could.”

If you weren’t a chef, you’d be… “a writer.”

What’s your perfect meal? “A Lowcountry boil out on a marsh with a fire and a big wooden table covered with freshly caught seafood—especially some big shrimp you peel yourself”

Preston Van Winkle
Louisville, Kentucky
Marketing manager, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery

Events: Big Daddy Bourbon & Smoke + Barrel

Your career in three words: “Life-long dream”

On trying bourbon for the first time: “I was too young to remember my first sip—but I do remember sneaking some of my dad’s drink now and again. As a kid, I didn’t realize you could buy cough medicine at the store—we always used bourbon, honey, and water.”

What couldn’t you live without? “Barbecue”

Go-to bar order: “An old-fashioned”

Proudest career moment: “Seeing our brand grow”


Charleston magazine is a proud supporter of Charleston Wine + Food’s opening night, Cheers to Charleston! The March 2 soirée at the Gaillard Center features Lowcountry-inspired dishes and the debut of the official 2016 cocktail. We’re giving away a pair of tickets—enter to win here