Columbus Symphony Orchestra Presents Synovus Toast of The Town Friday, March 1st

Staff Report From Columbus CEO

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce the return of one of the premier events in Columbus, the Synovus Toast of the Town. The Tenth Annual Synovus Toast of the Town is scheduled for Friday, March 1, 2019 at the Columbus Georgia Convention and Trade Center. Savor world-class wines, handcrafted beers, and delicious Southern spirits while dining on food prepared by some of the region’s most celebrated chefs. In addition to sampling their wares, guests will meet and mingle with the contributing brew-masters, vintners, master-distillers and culinary luminaries, all of whom will be on hand to share their unique tastes and toasts.

“The Synovus Toast of the Town has been serving the Columbus Symphony Orchestra for the past ten years as the CSO's premiere fundraising initiative,” said Eric Thomas, Executive Director of the CSO. “I’m always impressed by the tremendous support from our diverse community members and collaborative partners surrounding this event. Last year we had over 1,500 attendees and 100 vendors from all over the Southeast region,” said Thomas. "This year we’re excited to be featured as a Friend of James Beard Foundation Event.  For more than 30 years, the James Beard Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture and we think Synovus Toast of the Town helps to cultivate that message. This is the fifth year of our partnership with Synovus as the event's Title Sponsor and our third year with Aflac as our Culinary Experience Sponsor, formally known as the Aflac Chef’s Tent. The CSO, Synovus, and Aflac are all major community advocates and maintain a deep commitment to the enrichment of Columbus and the surrounding region.”

While the Grand Tasting is the main event of the Synovus Toast of the Town, the CSO is excited to continue the pre-Grand Tasting event, the Aflac Culinary Experience.

This year, the Aflac Culinary Experience will feature the tastes and flavors of 2017 James Beard Award Winner Kevin Nashan, Owner of Sidney Street Cafe in St. Louis, Missouri and The Peacemaker in St. Louis and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin won the 2013 Cochon 555 Barbecue Competition and that same year his restaurant, Sidney Street Cafe, was named Restaurant of the Year by St. Louis Magazine. He was also a featured competitor on Esquire Network’s show “Knife Fight.”

“Aflac is delighted to support the 10th anniversary of the Synovus Toast of the Town, Columbus’ preeminent event for local food and wine enthusiasts,” Aflac Senior Vice President, Chief Brand and Communications Officer Catherine Hernandez-Blades said. “We look forward to bringing the community together for a wonderful night of celebration with world-class culinary arts, all in support of our beloved Columbus Symphony Orchestra. This year, Aflac is pleased to present the brilliant tastes and flavors of 2017 James Beard Award Winner Kevin Nashan as the featured chef for The Aflac Culinary Experience.”

The Synovus Toast of the Town will feature vintners from around the world as well as regional chefs,
restaurants and suppliers of spirits and beer. Guests will taste samplings from Columbus restaurants including 11th and Bay Southern Table, My Boulánge Bakery and Café, Wicked Hen, Bare Roots Farmacy, EPIC, Parker’s Pantry, Clean Eatz, and Mabella. Caterers, Crème De La Crème, Divine Dinners, It’s Your Day Catering, Girlfriends, and the Rothschild-Pound House Inn will be at this year’s event. Local favorites, Country’s BBQ, Hudson’s, The Office, Ezell’s, The Simple Greek, Chicken Fried and Zombie Pig BBQ will be back, as well as regional favorites, 219 Food & Spirits, Acre, The Depot, The Farm House, Warehouse Bistro and Lillie’s Q; in addition, local and regional clubs including: The Chattahoochee River Club, the Country Club of Columbus, Callaway Gardens and the Green Island Country Club. This year’s event will feature several specialty vendors: CIRCA Craft Cocktails, Goldens’ Foundry & Machine Co., Goodson Pecans, Midtown Cakes, Southern Straws, High Cotton Cashews, How Sweet It Is Cake Studio & Dessert Shop, SuperCharged, and Tru Truffle Oil.

There is truly something for every palette to taste!

Regional winemakers, Five Points Berries Winery and River’s Bend Winery and Vineyards, as well as wines distributed by Georgia Crown, B&B Beverage Company, Empire Distributing, Winebow Fine Wines & Spirits, Prime Wines & Spirits, Eagle Rock Distributing Co. and United Distributing will be featured at the event. Back by popular demand are the wines from Bronco, Sol Stars, Family Coppola, 1000 Stories and Z. Alexander Brown Wines. New this year, we welcome Babe Wines, Charles Krug Wines, Cooper and Thief, Joliesse Vineyards and many more. The Synovus Toast of the Town will also highlight the spirits of ASW Distillery, Thirteenth Colony Distillery, Blade & Bow Whiskey, Cathead Distillery, Fruitland
Augusta, and local spirits, Jimmy’s Sea Beverages, Richland Rum and John Emerald Distillery. We welcome new distillers, Swamp Fox Distillery, Stolen Whiskey & Smoked Rum and Lit Vodka. Preferred Package Stores, Uptown Wine & Spirits and The Bottle Shop will be pouring several of their favorite wines and spirits at the event as well. Additionally, guests will be offered tastings from breweries including Atlanta Hard Cider, Sweetwater Brewing, Terrapin Beer Co., Modela Beers, Wild Heaven Breweries, Line Creek Brewing Company, Monday Night Brewing and Pacifico.

Regional brewers, Pretoria Fields Brewery, Macon Beer Company, Three Taverns Brewery, Cannon BrewPub, Omaha Brewing Company and WildLeap Brew Co. will be sampling their beers as well.

In addition to an evening of many amazing tastes and toasts, the Synovus Toast of the Toast will feature a silent auction filled with unique and hard-to-find items. In celebration of the event’s 10th anniversary, we are offering a raffle for an amazing trip for two to New York City. Valued at $5,000, this trip includes:

• Round-trip airfare for 2 on Delta Airlines from Atlanta to LaGuardia Airport.

• Round-trip private transfers from the airport to the hotel.

• 3 nights accommodations for 2 at the iconic Plaza Hotel located at Central Park South. Daily continental breakfast included.

• 2 tickets to an unforgettable culinary experience at the prestigious James Beard House.

• 2 tickets to a Broadway Show.*

• Dinner for 2 at a James Beard award winning restaurant.*

Black-out dates apply. Tickets are non-refundable/non-exchangeable. Trip must be fully redeemed by March 1, 2020. *Dates, location and show subject to availability. Raffle tickets are $50 each and may be purchased at

The Aflac Culinary Experience is from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and the Grand Tasting is from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Columbus Georgia Convention and Trade Center. For tickets and information visit Tickets to the Aflac Culinary Experience are $175 per person. Grand Tasting tickets are $95 per person.