Euphoria: A Celebration of Food, Wine and Music in Greenville
By Lynne Brandon
Greenville, SC- Food, wine and music lovers get a sensory overload when Euphoria rolls into town every September. The four-day event showcases the best-of-the-best in an artistic smorgasbord that has something for every foodie, wine lover and music fan. The event was started in 2005 by award-winning singer/songwriter Edwin McCain who lives in Greenville, and restaurateur Carl Sobocinski, owner of the Soby’s, the five-restaurant group. Combining food, wine and music draws record crowds to the small city with a European-like downtown.
Euphoria is not just about eating, drinking and being merry. It is an event with a heart and funds the “Local Boys do Good” Foundation created to benefit local non-profit organizations. “We started this event for charity,” said Sobocinski. “It has evolved into tourism and put us on the map. People used to drive right through Greenville. Now, we are starting to be a weekend destination for folks from Atlanta and Charlotte.”
McCain noticed the change in the food scene when Soby’s opened and embraced the concept of music, food and wine as vehicles to raise money for needs in the community. The two have grown the event with the help of many volunteers who work tirelessly to bring in acclaimed chefs like Frank Stitt, Master Chef Whitney Miller, and famed wine experts for cooking demonstrations, wine seminars, and other events.
At the 2011 event, local chefs were showcased at the “Taste of the South” food event where Upstate culinary artists wowed all with masterful presentations at the Peace Center Amphitheatre. Regional fare from Soby’s, The Plaid Pelican, The Lazy Goat, and others served up shrimp and grits, seafood paella, pork and steak which pared well with regional rum and other drinks, beer and wine. Decadent desserts like carrot cake cupcakes with goat cheese icing from Stella’s ended the tasting on a sweet note. Afterward, diners enjoyed listening to the tunes of Edwin McCain, Maia Sharp and Will Hoke while lounging on the banks of the Reedy River under the stars.