The Gahanna Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing for the 11th annual Taste of Gahanna, slated for 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, at the Aladdin Shrine Center.

The Gahanna Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing for the 11th annual Taste of Gahanna, slated for 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, at the Aladdin Shrine Center.

The theme for this year's event is "Treat Yourself."

Chamber director Leslie Blake said themes for Taste of Gahanna have been all over the board. When the chamber first offered a Halloween theme, the event grew in size, she said.

"People get excited," she said.

This year's event features a costume party. Looking for a way to connect with families, Blake said, the chamber decided to offer the costume contest.

"We have always had the ability to bring children," she said. "We needed to make it family-oriented."

Again this year, Taste of Gahanna will feature the Chef's Challenge. Ten chefs will be given a bag of mystery ingredients and 30 minutes to create a culinary sensation.

"They don't come with anything utensils, condiments, just their knowledge and expertise," Blake said.

Chefs come from all walks of life, including assisted-living facilities, grocery stores and area restaurants.

"There is an eclectic mix of chefs coming in," Blake said. "The chefs are very versatile in what they do. They enjoy having a challenge."

This year's Taste of Gahanna features 30 food purveyors from businesses ranging from hotels to restaurants and grocery stores. The chamber is still looking for several vendors.

This year's participants include Costco Wholesale, Methodist Elder Care/Wesley Ridge, Rotelli, Sunrise Assisted Living of Gahanna, Regal Beverage Concepts, Greek Island Gyros & Subs, Kroger Co./Gahanna Marketplace, Fado Irish Pub, City Barbeque, Kensington Place at Lutheran Village, King Gyros Greek Restaurant, Catering by Design, Pomegranate Mediterranean Cuisine, O'Charley's, Longhorn Steakhouse, Buck Mulligan's Irish Pub, HomeTown Buffet, Fastlane Diner, Columbus Airport Marriott, Johnny Bucelli's and Sam's Club.

Awards will be given for best display, people's favorite, Chefs Challenge and best seasonal dish (this year with apples, Blake said.

The cost for the event is $25 for tickets purchased by Oct. 10; $30 for tickets purchased the week of the event and at the door; and $10 for children 10 and under. A $5 discount will be offered at the chamber offices, 181 Granville St., from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 1 -- walk-in only.

Last year, 650 people attended the event. Organizers are anticipating 700 this year. Reserve seating is not required but recommended.

For more information, call the chamber at 471-0451 or visit www.GahannaAreaChamber.com.