A Weekend to Savor

The Skinny

Our 2023 Headliner


Five-time James Beard Foundation Award nominee Katie Button is the CEO/co-founder of Asheville, North Carolina's beloved Cúrate, a collection of restaurants, online marketplace, wine club and culinary journeys designed to create exceptional and experiential access to Spanish culture. A Southern chef with a scientific mind, Button honed her craft in the kitchens of some of the world's best chefs, most notably Ferran Adrià and José Andrés, before venturing out to open Cúrate Bar de Tapas with husband Felix Meana and her family. Since, they have grown the Cúrate brand to include Cúrate Trips, Cúrate Spanish Wine Club, Cúrate at Home and most recently, La Bodega by Cúrate. Cúrate is part of the Katie Button Restaurants family, which includes Katie Button Media and Magnolia Network’s From The Source, a series exploring the origins and stories behind different ingredients.

Among her many accolades, chef Katie Button was featured as one of Food & Wine's 2015 Best New Chefs. Cúrate was named as one of the "40 Most Important Restaurants of the Past 40 Years" by Food & Wine and one of the "Most Important Restaurants of the Decade" by Esquire. In 2016, Button released her first cookbook, Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen.

In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated Katie for a 2022 Best Chefs in America: Southeast award and Cúrate Bar de Tapas won the Outstanding Hospitality award. Throughout it all, Katie continues to challenge the industry standard, steadily building comprehensive benefits to create a sustainable work environment for her living wage- certified restaurant group. She also is an active participant in the James Beard Foundation's Impact programs and is currently serving on the Independent Restaurant Coalition's leadership team.

2023 Featured Vineyard & Winery

For the past 30 years, under the guidance of Ken and Grace Evenstad, Domaine Serene has been focused on excellence in a never-ending quest to produce world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their mission is to produce outstanding quality through continuous improvement and a commitment to extremely high internal standards. Domaine Serene’s wines represent the achievement that is possible in Oregon, one of the finest regions in the world for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Read More


Hunger hurts, and Help4Kids Florence is making a direct impact in our community by feeding at-risk elementary school-age children in Florence County. Throughout Florence County, there are a high number of elementary-age children that depend on free or reduced breakfast and lunch meals as their primary source of nourishment during the week. Unfortunately, this means that many of these children are hungry on the weekend when schools are closed. Help 4 Kids is dedicated to providing bags of single-serve, nutritional foods to these at-risk children, directly reducing their weekend food insecurity and helping to ensure that these children are able to return to school on Monday rested, fed, and ready to learn.

Help 4 Kids Florence currently provides weekend meal packs to approximately 2,500 children in Florence County elementary schools and Head Start program during the school year. Help 4 Kids also provides meal packs in the summer months to the year-round school program at Timrod Elementary School and the Head Start programs. Help 4 Kids also partners with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Florence County, East Florence Mission, and the City of Florence to distribute bags of food to hungry children throughout the year.

Purpose- Executive Director- Tamara W. Kirven

Tamara Kirven

For 2023, the Florence Wine & Food Festival is introducing an all-new, marquee event—The Grand Tasting—that presents a new venue for sponsors to get their name out in front of a discerning clientele of festival-goers. The Grand Tasting will be:

  • The largest event the Festival, at 500 ticketed guests, happening Saturday afternoon Downtown from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
  • A tented, full city-block’s worth of delicious bites and sips, with winemakers, craft-brewers and distillers, pouring and pairing alongside the region’s best restaurants, farmers, and specialty-food vendors—offering guests an exciting all-you-can-sample taste of the PeeDee’s tantalizing food culture!
  • A performance stage, featuring live music, chef-demonstrations and competitions.
  • A VIP-tier ticket giving guests early access to the Grand Tasting and to an adjacent VIP area furnished with premium accommodations and elite culinary treats.

Board of Directors

  • Holly Beaumier
  • Frank Chisholm
  • Paula Efird
  • Brian Falcone
  • Lane Gilpin
  • Rick Havekost
  • Bryan Holt
  • Marianne Hoylen
  • Thomas Kennedy
  • Jill Lewis
  • Tim Norwood
  • Cooper Thomas
  • Tamara W. Kirven, Executive Director

Producers- Matt Lee and Ted Lee

Lee Brothers

Siblings Matt and Ted grew up and learned to cook in Charleston, South Carolina, in a townhouse on the city’s fabled Rainbow Row. They attended colleges in the Northeast and so missed the foods of their hometown they founded The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue, a mail-order source for southern pantry staples in 1994. When a magazine editor asked them to write a story about traveling around South Carolina, they embarked on a second career as food journalists and cookbook authors.

Since 2000, they have written hundreds of food, wine and travel features for magazines and newspapers and their three cookbooks have, combined, won two James Beard Awards and four IACP Cookbook Awards. They were on-air commentators for seven seasons of The Cooking Channel’s hit series Unique Eats, and hosts of Southern Uncovered with The Lee Bros. on Ovation

More recently, Matt and Ted created Cookbook Boot Camp, a two-day seminar that shows aspiring cookbook authors how to complete and sell their cookbook proposals to national publishers. Their most recent book, Hotbox: Inside Catering, the Food World’s Riskiest Business, was named one of 2019’s best books by Amazon and The New York Times Book Review called it “The Kitchen Confidential of big-ticket catering.” They are currently working to transform Hotbox into a documentary series for TV.

Matt, his wife Gia, and their three sons live in Charleston, SC. Ted lives with his wife, the artist E.V. Day, in Brooklyn, NY.

Schedule of Events

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.


Grilled, smoked, marinated, or slow-roasted, this event is all about the meat! Enjoy cooking demonstrations and tastings paired with sumptuous wines and craft beers at this causal event. Local chefs, sommeliers and brew master will be present to guide the way!

4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Wine Class: Oregon 101

Ray Isle, Food & Wine Magazine’s Executive Wine Editor and one of the world’s most dynamic wine personalities, will lead this entertaining tasting, introducing guests to everything they need to know about the wines of the Beaver State. First lesson: it isn’t all Pinot Noir! Sparkling wines are increasingly Oregon’s strength, along with white varietals like Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. And there will be red Pinots galore! If you thrill to the sight of eight stemmed glasses arrayed in front of you, then hurry to secure a seat at this rare wine experience at the Hotel Florence.

5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.


This downtown grand tasting features a myriad of downtown businesses serving as tasting rooms for a large selection of expertly paired wines and unique brews. Local chefs, in collaboration with sommeliers, will pair small bites to complement featured wine regions to please the palate. Enjoy a spring evening in downtown Florence as you stroll from venue to venue.

7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.


The VIP Add-On grants access to a private party in Victors courtyard that evening, with exclusive bites prepared by Victors and wines paired by long-time Morning News “Bottle Talk” wine-columnist Dennis Fraley!

7 p.m.


These exclusive, multi-course ticketed wine dinners will take place as special events at area restaurants, giving each chef the opportunity to tell a compelling story about his or her cooking to regulars and newcomers alike, and to involve guest-chefs and guest winemakers (or wine importers), who will pair exquisite wines with each course. For 2023, we are happy to announce there will be two Signature Dinners: one at Il Buongustaio, hosted by chef-owner Alessandro Salaris, and the other at Town Hall Restaurant, hosted by executive chef Ryan Dalton, with special guest Jeremiah Bacon, Executive Chef and Partner of Indigo Road. Very limited number of tickets available!

12 p.m. - 3 p.m. (VIP opens 11 a.m.)


Debuts the Festival's all-new marquee event - The Grand Tasting - a tented city-block's worth of delicious bites and sips, with wine-makers, craft brewers, and distillers, pouring and pairing alongside the region's best restaurants, farmers, and specialty-food vendors. The tent's CertifiedSC Kitchen Stage will host cooking demonstrations and competitions with a focus on Palmetto State farms, offering guests an exciting, all-you-can-sample taste of the Pee Dee's tantalizing food culture! V.I.P. ticket holders will receive early access to the Grand Tasting and an area furnished with premium beverage offerinas and culinarv treats.

6:30 p.m.


Saturday evening of the Festival, the lawn of the FMU PAC becomes an authentic Spanish fiesta for The Final Pour, a glittering, glamorous tribute to Chef Katie Button, with Florence's top chefs bringing their own spins to her award-winning cookbook, Cürate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen. Each course of the multi-course meal will feature wine pairings from Domaine Serene's cellars. The evening's entertainment includes wit and wisdome from Chef Katie Button, a live auction, and a concluding toast to the Festival and its beneficiary, Help 4 Kids Florence.

2023 Ticket Sales Are Now LIVE!!!
(Sponsorships Still Available!)

Meat & Meander

Thursday, March 30, 2023

$50/1 Person or $90/2 Person

The Grand Tasting

Saturday, April 1, 2023

$75/1 General Admission or $125/1 Person VIP

Wine Class: Oregon 101

Friday, March 31, 2023

$50/1 Person

Signature Dinner- Town Hall

Friday, March 31, 2023

$140/1 Person

Our Sponsors

Thank you to our corporate sponsors for your unmatched generosity, enthusiasm, and unwavering support. We express our endless gratitude to you for making this a memorable and educational weekend and allowing for the showcasing of the South’s very best!

Become A Sponsor

Without you, this festival would not be possible!

Carolyn and Rocky Pearce
Nicole and Jay Hupfer
Anne and Tim Norwood
Lane and Al Gilpin
Paula and Howard Efird
Sarah and Frank Chisholm
Candice and Jim Brown
Kerstin and Mike Abbott
Anne and Richard Walker
Marianne and Billy Hoylen
Kaye and Julius Parris

Venue Information

Where to find us!


PLEASE NOTE: All Florence Wine & Food Festival events will be held in Downtown Florence's recently redeveloped historic district.


Find ample parking in the FREE City of Florence Parking Garage accessed via 150 S. Irby Street (next to King Jefe). Surface lot parking is also available behind Hotel Florence (126 W. Evans Street), at the County Complex Building (180 N. Irby Street), and in the lot next to Edible Arrangements on North Dargan Street. Additional free on-street parking (first-come, first served) is available along West Evans, South Dargan, and North Dargan Streets.


Lodging & Accommodations are available throughout the city. Hotel Florence & Hyatt Place Florence Downtown are located immediately adjacent to all of the action.