The name for euphoria’s annual springtime ticket-release party, “Roast & Toast,” was just as accurate a description of the weather as it was the steamed oysters and melt-in-your-mouth brisket.
On a blindingly sunny and 80-degree day, this year’s event was held April 28 inside Larkin’s newest event venue, “L,” and outside on the neighboring Wilson Associates and North Hampton Wine + Dine patio and parking lot.
Representing the “roast” part of the menu, oysters from White Stone Oyster Co. were the main event, with shucking tables outfitted with knives, towels, and the usual lemons, saltines, and hot sauce. The flavor of the still-steaming bivalves didn’t need any help or masking from the provided training wheels.
Nearby, pitmaster Anthony DiBernardo, whose personality and physical presence are larger than life, showcased Charleston’s Swig & Swine with succulent beef brisket and fixin’s.
Both White Stone Oyster Co. and DiBernardo will be back in the fall for the festival that runs Sept. 19-22.
For the “toast” component, our rosy cheeks and shoulders aside, Larkin’s bar offered cocktails, made with Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Larceny Bourbon, a selection of mocktails, wines from Crazy Beautiful Wines, and cold beer from Quest Brewing, Sierra Nevada, and Stella Artois.
Indoors, five food stations representing local chefs and providers who also will participate in September presented a variety of dishes, from foie gras to beef heart.
First was chef Haydn Shaak of Restaurant 17 with a corn and legume succotash topped with a shaved foie gras. Chef Craig Kuhns of Greenbrier Farms showcased his whole-animal approach to cooking and offered guests a savory boudin of beef heart. Shaun Garcia of Soby’s brought the heat with an etouffee.
Newly named director of culinary Adam Hayes of Larkin’s introduced himself to the Greenville market with six different bites of varying proteins and vegetables on crostini, toast, focaccia, or pita. Toppings ranged from hummus and pimento cheese to braised short rib and crab salad.
Greenville County Schools Food and Nutrition Services under the direction of Shawn Torres proved they can stand up to the level of culinary expertise represented, with local children benefiting, with a Certified Angus Beef short rib slider and pickled red onion.
For dessert, and, thankfully, in the outdoor shade, Slush Buddies helped tame the heat with a variety of frozen sangrias.
Look for all of these chefs and purveyors on the September schedule. Tickets are available now at euphoriagreenville.com.