Viva la Vista! A celebration of good food and beverages from Vista-area restaurants returns Sept. 7. The Wine Garden is back by popular demand and craft beer from Columbia’s Conquest Brewery will be available. VIP tickets to the Vista Room at the Blue Marlin are available: $65 per person includes cocktails and food by the Blue Marlin, a meet-and-greet with reggae group The Wailers and the day’s football games on the big screen. General admission tickets $10 in advance, $12 at the gate, do not include cost of food or beverages. www.vivalavistasc.com
The State Fair is now accepting entries in the Home & Craft category (includes baked goods, canning and special baking contests). Enter now through Sunday with no entry fee; late registration Sept. 2-13 with $25 late fee. http://www.scstatefair.org
Bourbon & Bowties celebrates the final days of the Between the Springmaid Sheets exhibit at the S.C. State Museum. Join in the fun and specialty cocktails and cuisine from Bourbon Columbia 6-9 p.m. Sept. 5 at the museum. Tickets $40 per person, $30 per person for State Museum members; available online at scmuseum.org or at the State Museum.
Also at the State Museum, Fall Heritage Festival & Pickin’ Party featuring live music, family fun and great barbecue, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 21.
A Fine Affair: Colored with Care, part of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Columbia’s annual fundraising event, will be held 7-10 p.m. Sept. 26 at the DoubleTree Columbia, 2100 Bush River Road. This event will feature live music, silent auction and samplings from the area’s finest chefs. Participating restaurants include The Oak Table, Travinia, Magnolias, Columbo’s, Taziki’s, Basil, The Melting Pot, MoMo’s Bistro, The Happy Cookers, Aberdeen Catery, Joi’s World and Pearlz. Tickets, $75 per person, $125 per couple at afineaffair.event brite.com; more at http://www.rmhofcolumbia.org
Did someone say whiskey? The Great American Whiskey Fair, a giant tasting dedicated to bourbon and American whiskies, is scheduled for 6-10 p.m. Oct. 17 at 701 Whaley. Meet the whiskey makers, see master mixologists face off in a cocktail challenge and sample some of the finest American spirits. Tickets $75 and $125 (VIP), available at experiencewhiskey.com. Sponsored by Bourbon Columbia (Kristian Niemi), Hampton Jaguar and Heritage Farms. All proceeds go to Columbia Museum of Art’s ongoing educational programs.
The Southern Living Taste of Charleston is Sept. 27-29. Events include Sweet & Southern on Shem Creek Sept. 27; Iron Chef Competition Sept. 28; and the main event at Boone Hall Plantation Sept. 29 featuring local cuisine from more than 50 of Charleston’s finest restaurants, live music, children’s area, beer garden and Southern Living magazine’s exhibition area. Tickets available at charlestonrestaurantassociation.com or follow the link on Facebook at Charleston Food Festivals and Events.
Speaking of Charleston, the first Cook It Raw event in the United States will be at Bowens Island in Charleston October 26. More than 40 local and internationally acclaimed chefs will come together and prepare their interpretation of Lowcountry barbecue, focusing on using local regional ingredients native to the Charleston area. Called “BBQ Perspectives,” some of the local chefs include Sean Brock (Husk, McCrady’s), Michelle Walker (Charleston Grill), Mike Lata (FIG, The Ordinary), Craig Deihl (Cypress), Jeremiah Bacon (The Macintosh and Oak Steakhouse) and Frank Lee (S.N.O.B.). Rodney Scott (Scott’s Barbecue) will act as Pitmaster. International chefs include Albert Adria (Tickets, Barcelona), April Bloomfield (Spotted Pig, NYC), Andre Chiang (Restaurant Andre, Singapore), Alejandro Ruiz (Casa Oaxaca, Iazaca) and Matthew Duffy (Cafe Boulud). Tickets and more information at cookitraw.org
Again with the pork ... Make Your Own Bacon workshop at Motor Supply Co. Bistro is Nov. 11. Reserve your spot early. (803) 256-6687
Inaugural Savannah Food & Wine Festival is Nov. 11-17. This first-time event will feature wine dinners at area restaurants, wine strolls and more throughout the week. Special guest is Rob Mondavi Jr., of Mondavi Family Estate in Napa, California. A Celebrity Chef Tour, benefiting the James Beard Foundation and featuring chefs Hugh Acheson, Chris Hastings and Steven Satterfield, will be Nov. 13 at The Mansion on Forsyth Park. See www.savannahfoodandwinefest.com for information, tickets on sale now.
Chef Francois Fisera hosts cooking classes at Fleur de Lys Home Culinary Institute. Sept. 4 and 5, beef tongue; Sept. 10, 12 and 13, sea bass with champagne sauce; Sept. 17, 18, saddle of lamb; Sept. 20, sweet wines with cheese; Sept. 23, 24, calamari; Oct. 1 and 4, French cooking goes to the dogs. Fleur de Lys is at 3001 Millwood Ave. (803) 765-9999 or fleurdelyscolumbiasc.com