Checking in with the Locals: Shannon Gillen

Posted on July 8, 2014 by


It’s been one year since we started checking in with the local-loving people of Charlottesville, featuring the faces of Cville and their top picks every week.

For this special occasion, we’re checking in with the Cville Niche Team! This group of locals is passionate about what they do in this great city. So far we’ve checked in with founder Katerina Diplas, editor Linnea White, arts writer Elizabeth Casey, and tunes and lifestyle writer Erin O’Hare.

Check out our past year of local check-ins!

Shannon Gillen

Photo Credit: Linnea WhiteFrom in town and outta town wine destinations to chocolate lovin’ and sandwich tastin’, Shannon is an explorer of all things food and wine. You can probably spot her downtown at a show snapping pictures, or running along the Saunders-Monticello Trail like a champ.

Describe what you do in town.

I work for WorldStrides Capstone Programs as a Program Development Specialist, coordinating study abroad trips for universities. Every once in a while, I photograph some shows at The Jefferson Theater, as well as The Southern Café and Music Hall. I am also a food and wine writer for Cville Niche Magazine. I love food, wine, and culture, so I’ve loved getting to know more about these aspects of Charlottesville through this writing and photographic experience!

Describe yourself in 5 syllables or less.


Top Picks

A favorite dish in town.

I recently discovered the Local Grilled Asparagus at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyard, and my mouth is watering as I reminisce this delightful culinary experience. A sunny side up farm egg, Surryano ham, Everona Farm’s pecorino cheese, pine nuts, and a grilled baguette. Holy yum.

Oh, and if you haven’t tried the Grilled Cheeses at The Southern, you haven’t lived. I personally recommend the Walter (Turkey Breast, Bacon, Apple, Cheddar & Onion Jam on Wheat). I mean, have you ever known a Walter you didn’t like?

A favorite weekly or monthly drink special.

$6 Martini Wednesdays at Bang!. I recommend The Joe – ginger, a splash of white cranberry juice, and bourbon or gin. Perfectly refreshing to enjoy on Bang!’s patio in the summertime.

A favorite local musician.

Gotta give a shout out to Moby and the Dicks and Adam’s Plastic Pond. Talented and awesome fellas, great music, and guaranteed fun shows!

A favorite local fitness class or fitness event.

Strength Challenge at ACAC on Monday nights, taught by Chris Collins. It’s intense and you’re sore for the rest of the week, but it’s the perfect way to sweat off the weekend!

A favorite local shopping destination.

BitterSweet – Their jewelry collection is beautiful, their boots are awesome, and I tend to buy the dresses right off of the mannequins in their window display.