The Synovus Toast of the Town is back for it’s eighth year and it promises to be better than ever. With pre-events all over town in the weeks leading up to the main event, Toast is the talk of the town. Drawing culinary vendors, craft beers and spirits, and fine wine from across the Southeast, Toast has gained notoriety across the region with each event.
Benefiting the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Synovus Toast of the Town is continuing the CSO’s tradition of bringing the extraordinary to our city. Founded in 1855 by Mendelssohn’s student, Herman S. Saroni, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra became the second orchestra formed in the United States. In 1949, the organization as we know it today, was formed and has performed for 64 consecutive years. Long recognized as one of the southeast’s finest musical ensembles, the CSO currently performs at RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. “This is an exciting time for our organization and our event,” said Cameron Bean, executive director of the CSO. “We are steadily growing our audience with each concert and we are thrilled with the addition of new vendors for Toast this year! It’s a great time to be a part of the the Columbus Symphony.”
Aflac has returned with gusto as a sponsor, claiming the the title sponsorship for the sellout VIP Chef’s Tent. Past featured celebrities include Chefs Kevin Gillispie, The Lee Brothers, and Adam Evans, and mixologists Paul Calvert, Nate Shuman, Greg Best, and Roderick Hale Weaver (Husk Bar). This year’s celebrity chef is Ford Fry.
A three-time James Beard Foundation Restaurateur of the Year Nominee, Ford is the chef and managing partner of ten restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia and one in Houston, Texas. He has been featured in several publications such as Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, Every Day with Rachel Ray, Esquire, Garden & Gun, and Southern Living.
Outdoor Events, Inc. continues to manage the event for the third year in a row. Christian Johnson is the event director and is leading the recruiting of vendors. Johnson says the community is in for a real treat. “We have new restaurants popping up all over town and it’s exciting that we are getting to debut so many of them at Toast!”, he says. New restaurants include River and Rail, Yola, My Boulánge, Wheelhaus Provisions, and Bareroots Farmacy. In addition, new to Toast this year include Zombie Pig, White Oak Pastures, Ezells, Charleston Mix, and The Farmhouse. Green Island Country Club, Columbus Country Club, and The River Club are all participating this year and Columbus staples like Country’s BBQ, Meritage, 11th and Bay Southern Table, Wicked Hen, and Epic are all returning.
Uptown Wine and Spirits, The Bottle Shop, and Columbus Beverage Superstore have joined the list of sponsors, donating exceptional items to this year’s silent auction and helping to ensure that patrons are able to find their favorite wines, beers, and spirits after the events ends.
Guests will be treated to CSO musicians playing throughout the event, as well as the opportunity to meet Orchestra regulars. Kristen Urbanski, the marketing director for the Symphony has recruited the orchestra’s musicians to volunteer at the event and says they are excited to meet and thank those who help ensure the future success of the CSO.
Events leading up to the Grand Tasting include Circa Craft on February 21, 11th and Bay Southern Table on February 22, Wicked Hen on February 28, and Epic on March 1. All events start 5:30. Each restaurant will feature a signature cocktail and appetizer for patrons to taste and vote on and “Celebrity Bartenders” will be vying to raise the most money via tips for the CSO. The winning restaurant will have a spotlight location at the Grand Tasting and feature their winning items on their menu. Celebrity Bartenders include John Pyle, Terry Bell, Baili Morrison, Mark Morrison, Dr. Christine Senn, Dr. Jeff Kingsley, Dave Arwood, and Mark Immelman.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
The Aflac Chef’s Tent
Date: Friday, March 10, 2017
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Tickets: $175 per person
Venue: RiverMill Event Centre Garden
Date: Friday, March 10, 2017
Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Tickets: $95 per person
Venue: RiverMill Event Centre
Rivermill Event Centre
3715 1st Avenue, Columbus, GA 31904