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Gourmet and Grapes toasts its 10-year anniversary with special events

Past Gourmet and Grape attendee during live auction
Wine Odyssey Gala attendee Karen Allen was delighted to win an amazing getaway to Italy during the 2017 live auction. Photo by Justin Falk
Staff Report | | January 16, 2018

Gourmet and Grapes will toast its 10-year anniversary with events ranging from a barbecue and bourbon mashup to a black-tie soiree.

The fundraiser brings together renowned chefs and winemakers to support cancer care and research at the Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. The weekend-long culinary extravaganza will be held February 1-4 at The Sanctuary at the Kiawah Island Golf. Since its inception in 2009, Gourmet & Grapes has raised more than $2 million for cancer research programs at the Hollings Cancer Center.

Chef Jonathan Banta, who is the event’s culinary chairman, says it’s a fun-filled weekend for a good cause. “We want everyone talking about cancer and supporting research. Hollings is unique because they are a partner with us, working hard with us as we fight for the same cause, with doctors and researchers doing world-class work right in our backyard.”

Events can be purchased separately or in a package. Festivities start with a barbecue and bourbon mashup on February 1 at Mingo Point, where pit masters and local mixologists show off their specialties, like award-winning brisket and pulled pork, and you can dance the night away with the Bluestone Ramblers. You’ll also have the chance to bid on rare, hard-to-find Pappy Van Winkle 23-year-old bourbon.

The tone shifts to formal on Friday with a black-tie, four-course dinner featuring premiere culinary talents, including chefs Colin Bedford, Steven Greene, Ken Vedrinski and Ryley McGillis. These four chefs have been selected as guests’ favorites during past Gourmet & Grapes events.

The culinary demonstration and luncheon Saturday showcases the talents of Chef Frank Lee, a Charleston legend who retired from the kitchen in 2016, but is returning to share his favorite recipes and tips. Following lunch is a fireside chat, providing an inside look into the lives of two chefs who are also cancer survivors. Joining them are experts from Hollings who will discuss the latest breakthroughs and advances in cancer research, prevention and therapies.

Saturday night’s signature Wine Odyssey Gala pairs 24 celebrated chefs from the south and 17 wineries from around the world. A silent and live auction gives guests the opportunity to take home specialty items including O.F.C. Bourbon, an African safari, a collectable Rolex and more.

Wine Odyssey Gala attendees

Chef Ryley McGillis of The Dewberry prepares his signature dish at the Wine Odyssey Gala and shares his tips with a guest. Photo by Justin Falk

Sunday, February 4, which is World Cancer Day, a farewell brunch will be hosted in The Ocean Room as guests close an amazing weekend over champagne toasts.

Chef Banta says that Gourmet & Grapes is more than a dazzling weekend, as it primarily focuses on raising much-needed support for cancer research and care at the Hollings Cancer Center. The Hollings Cancer Center is South Carolina’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center and the largest academic-based cancer research program in the state.

“It’s amazing to see how things have changed since we began our efforts. You walk through Hollings and see labs full of scientists working hard on the latest answers and doctors who really care. When you show up at Hollings, they want to fight for you, and they want you to succeed,” says Chef Banta.

Chef Kevin Richardson of Cherrywood BBQ and Alehouse, agrees, adding that he likes being part of a bigger cause. “Just like millions of people across the country, I have lost several family members and friends to different forms of cancer. Without research to support treatments and cures, there isn’t much hope. With it however, it gives everyone hope.”

For more information, call 843-792-9335 or visit

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