Gwen Fowler



Euphoria filled with great food, wine, beer and songs

Posted 9/25/2011 7:50:00 AM

A nationally recognized chef demonstrates how to cook a salmon while an Upcountry musician sings a song about love gone wrong, all while people sample hundreds of wines or beers.

That’s what it’s like at the Tasting Showcase at Euphoria, the four-day food, wine and music festival in Greenville Sept. 22-25. The event includes a wine tasting, a beer garden, food samplings, wine seminars and cooking demonstrations.


When Washington, D.C., chef Robert Wiedmaier took the stage to demonstrate how to make salmon encrusted in fennel and coriander seeds, he had a distinguished “sous chef” nearby. He was assisted by David Guas, pastry chef of Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar and Eatery in Arlington, Va., and author of “DamGoodSweet.” And perched on a stool on the edge of the stage was singer/musician Jacob Johnson of Taylors.

Wiedmaier started his presentation by giving props to Greenville, saying he’d never seen so many restaurants in one area. Restaurants line Main Street and intersecting streets downtown.

The chef started by toasting the fennel and coriander seeds and passing a cup of them through the audience for everyone to smell.

“Just the smell gets your saliva glands going,” he said.

He demonstrated how to make a sauce by combining the juice of navel oranges with a vanilla bean and then reducing. And while he worked on the sauce, Johnson performed his song, “Try,” a funny tale of someone trying to get over a lost love.

“This is the reason I don’t get asked to perform at weddings,” he said.

Earlier, New York chef Justin Bogle of Gilt had demonstrated how to make an heirloom tomato sorbet.

Meanwhile, in the adjoining tent, festival-goers sampled wines from more than 35 wineries and wine companies. The beer garden, a new addition this year, featured six breweries, including Thomas Creek Brewery and RJ Rockers in the Upcountry.