March 15: Toast of the Town raises money for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra

The Fourth Toast of the Town is going to be best yet, said Sara Ketcham, executive director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, who will benefit from the evening of wine and food.

It's going to be March 15 at 7 p.m. in the RiverMill Event Centre, 3715 First Ave. Tickets are $85 for the Grand Tasting and $150 for the Chef's Tent sponsored by Garden & Gun magazine. The deadline to buy tickets is 5 p.m. March 13, but the tickets for the Chef's Tent are selling quickly, which also allows entry into the Grand Tasting. As of press time, fewer than 100 tickets were left.

The Chef's Tent features Kevin Gillespie, a contestant on Bravo's Season 6 of "Top Chef," and was voted as the fan favorite. He's set to open his restaurant, Gunshow, in Atlanta, and has an acclaimed cookbook, "Fire in My Belly: Real Cooking."

The Grand Tasting features a silent auction, which includes a trip to Tuscany, Italy; more than 200 lots of wines and trips to American vineyards.

"Not every bottle of wine is expensive," said Becky Young, the CSO marketing director. "There is a variety in the wines and the levels of prices. We even have magnums and 1.5 liters."

Andrea Miller of the National Distributing Co., will be working her magic with craft spirits from Southern distilleries. Another popular area was the craft breweries.

Other special guests include Christiana Miller of Lazy Magnolia Beer Co., Kiln Miss.; Erik Vonk of Richland Rum Distillery, Richland, Ga.; Ken Doyle, Frank Family Vineyards, Calistoga, Calif.; Leeann Maxwell of Vixen Vodka, Roswell, Ga., and Susan Lamb Zahniser of Fisher Vineyards, Napa, Calif.

Restaurants, including Meritage, Buckhead Steak and Wine, Ben's Chophouse Steak and Seafood, Lulu's Sweet Expectations, the Cantina Bar and Grill, Old Siam, Jimmy's of Opelika, Kimble's Events by Design of LaGrange, Maestro 2300 of Auburn and Callaway Gardens' Gardens Restaurant, will offer samples of their best dishes.

Ketcham said to remember that seating is limited. In fact, she calls it a "standing event."

Young reiterated that Toast of the Town is not just for foodies and wine lovers.

"Last year, we had a whole fraternity come," she said.


What: The fourth annual wine, beer, spirits and food event raises money to benefit the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.

When: 7 p.m. Friday, March 15

Where: RiverMill Event Centre, 3715 First Ave.

Cost: Tickets are $85 for the Grand Tasting and $150 for the Chef's Tent. The deadline to buy tickets is 5 p.m. March 13.

Information: www.toastcolumbus.com/