On a Tuesday, precisely 30 days before the start of euphoria, Morgan Allen, the festival’s executive director, is sitting in the team’s office surrounded by boxes of plastic forks. There are about 40,000, all of which will be sorted into neat 200 pack bags for the participating chefs. Spoons, knives and plates will be divvied up as well, all delivered and in place for the start of the festivities Thursday, Sept. 20.
This little ritual, while mundane, is very important, and it is one of the many things that the public may not see.
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Chances are, you’ve probably heard of euphoria. The 13-year-old food, wine and music festival that involves some 200 chefs, wine, beer and spirits experts and musicians and 52,000 disposable forks, spoons and knives over the four-day event. But there are things you may not know, and for those, please read on.
Euphoria: Here’s where the leftovers go
- Leftovers: Every festival or major event often has lots of food that goes uneaten. Euphoria is one of the rare cases where that is not common, but there are certain events that are hard to predict, namely the Sunday Brunch: Fired Up!. So three years ago, Randall Knight, owner of Nard’s Backyard BBQ here in Greenville started collecting the food and taking it to Project Host. Some years, Knight has donated hundreds of pounds of food, including pulled pork, brisket, cakes, muffins and bread.
- Sean Brock: euphoria was one of the first festivals Sean Brock participated in as a member of the Husk team, and it will be one of the last festivals the chef cooks for as a member of the Husk team. Brock, who helped bring Southern food and cooking to the fore with Husk, announced earlier this year his plans to step down as executive chef of Husk to pursue his own projects in Nashville.
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Euphoria: 6 Michelin chefs coming
Michelin chefs: This year, euphoria will have the most number of Michelin starred chefs participating ever. In the past, the number has been around three, which is prestigious in itself. Six is almost unheard of, particularly for a city that is not one of the Michelin Guide cities. (Wanna know more about Michelin Guide, click here).
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Giving back: euphoria is a non-profit organization. Each year, the festival donates money to local agencies. To date, euphoria has donated $315,000 to local agencies. This year’s recipients are Camperdown Academy, Feed & Seed and Harvest Hope Food Bank.
Next year, the board plans to launch a scholarship that will be awarded to a local culinary student, Allen said.
Diversity: In the future, euphoria will be more diverse and more sustainable. The board already is looking at a lineup next year that will highlight a wider range of cuisines and chefs. This year, the festival boasts an increased number of female chefs, a concerted effort, Allen said. The goal is to broaden the conversation of the festival beyond just classic French training.
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Euphoria: Tickets for some events still available
You can still attend some events: While certain events, like the Sunday Supper and the Michelin dinner, sell out quickly, there are still tickets available to the Greenville Kick-off party on Thursday night, the Feast by the Field event on Saturday and the Sunday brunch on Sunday. In addition, the all-vegan dinner with Southern Pressed Juicery chef, Xavier Bonnafous still has some spaces, as does the Cycling with Hincapie session Thursday. You also can still get tickets to many of the opens events like the Songwriters Recipe, Feast by the Field and the Sunday Brunch.