Get fired up ... 302 Artisan’s Smoke on the Water Invitational BBQ Cookoff is Friday and Saturday at 302 Senate’s End. Friday night’s event starts at 6 p.m. with a Wing Fling competition sponsored by Whole Foods, family fun and live music. Saturday will have 22 BBQ teams competing for prizes, and lots of food and beverages. Tickets $5 adults and $2 children. There is a VIP Pink Elephant Reunion 5-9 p.m. Friday, tickets $75, include exclusive wine tasting. Tickets for all events and more information, contact Gina or Percival Dupree, 302 Artisans, 302 Senate Street, (803) 351-1786 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Growing Food & Opportunities in S.C.: Economic & Community Development through Healthy Food Access is a workshop hosted by the S.C. Food Policy Council, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sept. 25, which will focus on exploring the challenges and opportunities leading to the decrease in food deserts in the state. Food deserts are areas (urban and rural) where access to fresh fruit and vegetables are limited. The goal of the workshop is to create a written set of guiding principles and recommendations (including economic, environmental, food distribution and health aspects) for conquering food deserts and providing economic growth opportunities in South Carolina. Workshop is free, more information at http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/events
Get healthy Girlfriends! The Women’s Club of the Midlands presents a morning of healthy cooking classes and presentations at the State Farmers Market on Sept. 29. Classes start at 10 a.m. and include “Green Goodness” with Donna Bundrick, W.P. Rawl & Sons; “Cancer-proof Your Life” with Certified Health Coach Cindy Schwalb; a cooking demonstration by Henry’s Restaurant; Zumba demonstration and comedienne Cheri Nettles. Information at scfarmersmarket.com
Viva La Vista! Come and enjoy samples from the best of the Vista area’s restaurants during the annual celebration of food and fun noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 29. New this year will be three live music stages, a wine garden and a VIP offering for a pass to the Vista Room at Blue Marlin with cocktails and tailgating food from Blue Marlin and football on the big screen. Admission is free, $1 tokens used to purchase food and beverages will go on sale Sept. 8. VIP tickets, $35 in advance, $50 at gate. Wine garden tickets, $10 at gate, allow you to sample more than 20 unique wines. More information at VivaLaVistaSC.com or call (803) 269-5946
The Southern Living Taste of Charleston is set for Sept. 28-30. This three-day celebration of Lowcountry cuisine, co-hosted by Southern Living Magazine and the Charleston Restaurant Association, will include an Iron Chef Competition featuring some of the best local chefs on Sept. 28; Sweet and Southern on Shem Creek, a singer/songwriter showcase, on Sept. 29; Dine Around, special prix fix menus at participating Charleston-area restaurants, Sept. 28 and 29; and the main Taste of Charleston event at Boone Hall Plantation on Mount Pleasant on Sept. 30.
Central Carolina Community Foundation announces the first event in the 19th annual Central Carolina Food and Wine Festival. The Maker’s Mark Cocktail Party, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 3 at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough on the 17th Floor of the Meridian Building at 1320 Main St., will feature a special bourbon tasting of Makers Mark and the new Maker’s 46. Tickets $100 per person includes tasting and reception featuring Maker’s Mark cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. All proceeds assist the Foundation in awarding grants to nonprofits in the Midlands. More information, tickets at yourfoundation.org
Bubbie needs you! Cooks and bakers are needed for traditional Jewish foods for Bubbie’s Brisket and Bakery event at Beth Shalom Synagogue on Nov. 18. Showcase your special recipe or help out behind the scenes. Contact Terri Hodges, (803) 331-5643, Terri.Hodges@PalmettoHealth.org, Suzi Stark, (803) 799-1987, email@example.com or Tonya at Beth Shalom, (803) 782-2500.
Travel to Wine Country in North Carolina. The first ever Sip Trip chartered tour through North Carolina wine country is scheduled for Oct. 13-14. Starting in Clemmons, N.C., the trip includes an overnight stay at a hotel and tour of five local vineyards, barbecue lunch, Italian dinner and continental breakfast, commemorative T-shirt, tote and a N.C. Vine Card Wine Country Pass that can be used at more than 40 wineries and wine-related businesses in North Carolina. Packages start at $165 per guest. More information or reserve your space at visitncwinecountry.com/sip-trip-2012
Lake Carolina Wine & Food Festival is set for Oct. 13. Enjoy the area’s best cuisine and wine samplings with proceeds from ticket sales and donations to benefit Children’s Charities of the Midlands. More information at http://www.lakecarolina.com
Learn about farming at the Sustainable Agriculture Conference on Oct 26-28 in Greenville. A weekend packed with workshops, farm tours and hands-on classes focusing on sustainable farming methods, community gardening, food policy activism, a whole track for beginning farmers and specialty classes on topics such as permaculture, farm marketing, organic beekeeping, livestock, aquaponics and more. For more information, schedule at http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/events
Girls with Grills! Ladies mark your calendars for the ladies-only BBQ and grilling class hosted by Master Barbecue Champion JT Handy and award-winning pit master Mark Busbee of Smokin’ Cole’s Sauces and Rubs. This all -day class at the S.C. Farmers Market Demo Kitchen will give you grilling tips and techniques guaranteed to impress with a combination of lecture, demo and hands-on instruction. Learn the proper methods of grilling over charcoal and the safe and proper use of gas grills and “low and slow” techniques. You will prepare baby back ribs, BBQ chicken, grilled sides and dessert. Class is 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 10, $125 per person includes lunch and a take-home half rack of ribs. Contact Tim Handy (843) 214-3736 or Mark Busbee (803) 513-6087. Download the Girls with Grills form from thestate.com, complete and mail to Mark Busbee, dba Q Fore U, 180 Berry Hill Lane, Gaston, SC 29053
Want to know if your freshly caught fish is safe to eat? DHEC’s “Fish Smart, Eat Smart” campaign provides you with a statewide map with the latest advisories, information and other materials to help anglers determine whether to keep or release the fish that they catch in South Carolina waters. www.scdhec.gov/fish
Sandhills Farmers Market along Clemson Road, across from Village at Sandhill, is open 2-7 p.m. every Tuesday through November. Master gardeners will be available to answer questions. Information at http://www.clemson.edu/sandhill or (803) 699-3719, (803) 788-5700
Healthy Carolina Farmers Market, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Greene Street in front of the Russell House at USC Sept. 25 and Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Vista Guild Farmers Market 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays, Lincoln Street in front of Blue Marlin Restaurant
Farmers in the Forest, the Forest Acres Farmers Market at Richland Mall, is open 3-7 p.m. Wednesdays through October.
Northeast Farmers Market at Lake Carolina is open 3-7 p.m. Thursdays at Town Center.
All-Local Farmers Market Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon, 701 Whaley St.
First Market at First Nazareth Baptist Church, 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays, 2351 Gervais St.
Town of Lexington Farmers Market is open 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 27 at 206 N. Church St.
Chef Francois Fisera hosts cooking classes at Fleur de Lys Home Culinary Institute. Friday, wine tasting with paella; Sept. 25, 28 and 29, sea bass; Oct. 2, French Cooking Goes to the Dogs; Oct. 5 and 9, lobster bouillabaisse; Oct. 12 & 15; steak Dianne; Oct. 19, rose wines; Oct. 30, seafood shepherd pie. Fleur de Lys is at 3001 Millwood Ave. (803) 765-9999 or fleurdelyscolumbiasc.com
Let’s Cook Culinary Studio events: Friday, couples class; Sept. 24, Eye on Food with Chef Larry Platt; Sept. 25, Wild Women. Detailed listings at letscookculinary.com. Let’s Cook is at 1305 Assembly St. (803) 348-5874
McCutchen House on the USC Horseshoe. See complete schedule and sign up for classes at http://webapps.csg.sc .edu/McCutchen.
Have an upcoming food event? Email details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is 5 p.m. Friday.