Bovinoche Travelers Rest is a hit!
Bovinoche moved to Travelers Rest this year. It was a smaller venue than their previous Simpsonville spot. They sold less tickets, they grilled less meat, but they totally proved that sometimes less is a hell of a lot more. Jeff Banister has reframed his “I Cook Whole Cows” event. Instead of a once-a-year event featuring pitmasters and chefs from all over the United States, and more than a thousand people standing in line for food, he’s taking Bovinoche on the road around the country. The new format means a few talented featured chefs and pitmasters at each location, and more than enough food for attendees. It’s more interactive, more intimate, and way more fun.
The Grove at Upcountry Provisions is officially open!
Steve and Cheryl Kraus have been working on The Grove at Upcountry Provisions for months to ready for their big reveal. The venue is nestled under tall, swaying shade trees on State Park Road, a quick walk from their popular Travelers Rest bakery. Outfitted with a stage, haybale seating, tables and benches made from logs and slats of wood, the venue came to life for the first time, and was a perfect match for the smaller Bovinoche Travelers Rest format.
The Guest Chef Lineup.
Guest chefs Greg McPhee of Restaurant 17 and Steve Goff of Standard Foods and The Blind Pig Supper Club and visiting Texas pitmaster, Arturo Ramon joined Bannister tending the animals splayed over fires: 550 lb. cow, a llama, goats. Chickens sizzled in the smoker. Food stations were set up featuring rotating dishes like a Bacon and Tomato Chutney BLT, Grilled Halloumi Cheese with Pesto, Bacon Brothers Public House Pulled Pork with Hummus and BBQ Sauce.
Ramon (second from left) and Jeff Bannister (far right) competed against each other on Travel Channel’s American Grilled Competition. The two are challenging each other again for the upcoming series SMOKED. Their episode airs Wednesday, June 22 with guest judges Brad Orrison and Robert From Shell. They’ll compete over three rounds, cooking everything from whole duck to whole cow leg. The winner takes home the Smoked trophy and $5,000. (Loser cleans up the mess left behind at Jeff’s next Bovinoche event. Gross.) Ramon and Bannister have a few more projects up their sleeves, too, so stay tuned.
Bannister works hard to make Bovinoche events happen. Volunteers and visiting grill masters unload trailers of particularly sourced local meat, and start smoking more than 24 hours before the first guest arrives. Each event is months of prep, and three days of boots on the ground hard labor. Bovinoche is the equivalent of meat performance art, and has become a much anticipated annual event for meat lovers all over the Carolinas. Jeff Banister has managed to make something great, even better. This year’s Bovinoche Travelers Rest food was fabulous and the beer and wine were spot on for pairings: 864 Weizen and Quittin’ Time from Brewery 85, and a Tempranillo and Verdjo from El Cortijillo, and Greenville musician Darby Wilcox (one my local faves) was one of the bands that played the event.
Let’s talk kool-aid pickles.
Let’s talk about kool-aid pickles. I don’t know where Jeff came up with this, but Kool-Aid Pickles have been a staple of Bovionche for years. Jeff inevitably ends up walking around with the white bucket full making converts all over the place. Highly recommended for your 4th of July cookout. Kool-Aid Pickle recipe here.
Bovinoche draws the local foodies.
The one thing I love about Bovinoche is that it brings the foodies. I’m guaranteed to run into food community pals! This year’s who’s who list who got the hugs were Mike McGirr (Feed and Seed project coming to Greenville), Adrienne Hawkins (Executive Director of Travelers Rest Farmers Market), Patrick McInerney (Due South Coffee), Desirae Kissell (fellow foodie gal), Vanessa De La Vina (Scene on 7)… I know I’ve missed some peeps. It was a fantastic day of stuffing face and socializing until my brain was absolutely exhausted.
Bovinoche hits the road.
Bannister’s Bovinoche event is headed to Atlanta’s Piedmont Park this June, where he’ll be joining forces with the folks from Fox Brothers BBQ. You can follow Jeff Rhino Bannister on Facebook for more details.