Guests will be able to enjoy music by the Greater Columbus Community Orchestra while sampling some of the finest foods from Gahanna-area restaurants and businesses during the 16th annual Taste of Gahanna Halloween Party.
The Gahanna Area Chamber of Commerce's signature event, slated for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, is designed to feature the city's restaurants and businesses in the food industry before the holidays.
Taste of Gahanna will be held at the Aladdin Shrine Center, 3850 Stelzer Road.
Ticket cost is $20 through Sunday, Oct. 6. The price increases to $25 on Oct. 7 and at the door. Admission for children ages 4-10 is $10 and is free for those ages 3 and younger. Reserved tables are available and highly recommended. For tickets and additional information, go to Taste.GahannaAreaChamber.com or call the Gahanna Area Chamber of Commerce at 614-471-0451.
Leslee Blake, chamber director, said large crowds are expected as ticket sales are ahead of the 2012 record-breaking attendance of more than 840 participants and guests.
"The Columbus Community Orchestra is new, and we're extremely excited about that," Blake said. "I think there could be as many as 60 of them on stage playing two sets."
She said six or seven spots remain open for food vendors.
"This is designed to give visibility to our restaurants and food (businesses)," she said. "It helps them with their customer base."
Highlighting the event is the audience favorite, "Chefs' Challenge," modeled after the popular television show, Iron Chef.
In only 30 minutes, eight local chefs prepare their own signature dish, incorporating a mystery ingredient for a panel of culinary experts who will determine the winner.
Blake said one spot still was open in the Giant Eagle-sponsored activity as of Sept. 30.
Seven chefs already schedule to take the challenge are Todd Goodwin, The Embassy Suites Columbus Airport; a chef to be named from Giant Eagle; Mark Kopp, The Golf Depot -- Barry's Grill and Pub; Will Mendez, King Gyros Greek restaurant; Carolyn M. Taylor, National Church Residences on Stygler Road; Kevin Gross, Old Bag of Nails; and Kevin Stuhldreher, Wesley Ridge Retirement Community.
"These are not only restaurant chefs but chefs in senior housing," Blake said. "Kevin Stuhldreher is back defending a three-year title."
New food vendors include Jet's Pizza and The Golf Depot -- Barry's Grill and Pub.
"Koko's (Tea Salon) is back again," Blake said. "Max & Erma's has been in the event (but) then wasn't in it the last several years. We're delighted to have them back."
She said a Halloween costume contest also would be held.
"This is a family-friendly event for families, kids and adults," Blake said.
Food vendors and the smorgasbord of samples they will offer include the following:
* Catering By Design-Aladdin Shrine -- stuffed shrimp and miniature pastries.
* Creekside Conference & Event Center -- grilled artichoke hearts.
* City Barbeque -- beef brisket, peach cobbler with real whipped cream and olive and sun-dried tomato tapenade, crispy shallots and micro basil.
* Edible Arrangements -- fruit salad and strawberries, bananas, oranges and apples in chocolate.
* Embassy Suites Columbus Airport -- pumpkin penne cotta with spiced chantilly cream and mini bison burgers.
* Fado Irish Pub -- smoked salmon bites and slow braised lamb sliders.
* Gigi's Cupcakes -- cupcakes and cookie sandwiches.
* The Golf Depot -- Barry's Grill and Pub -- savory chicken salad in pita bread with Concord grapes, antipasta skewers with house balsamic vinaigrette and apple cobbler.
* J. Gumbo's -- voodoo chicken, Bourbon Street chicken, bumblebee stew, drunken chicken and a seasonal special.
* Jet's Pizza -- deep-dish pizza: cheese and pepperoni.
* KDB Easton -- Bavarian pretzel with toasted pumpkin seeds and spicy cheese dip.
* Kensington Place -- cream puffs.
* King Gyros Greek Restaurant -- hummus with pita bread and strawberry cheesecake baklava.
* Koko Tea Salon & Bakery -- mini cupcakes and Parisian macaroons.
* Longhorn Steakhouse -- chicken-wrap appetizer, salmon and key lime pie.
* Max & Erma's -- tortilla soup and chocolate chip cookies.
* The Melting Pot -- chocolate fondue.
* National Church Residences at Stygler Road -- sausage sliders with cran-apple slaw.
* Ohio Herb Education Center -- winter spice tea.
* Old Bag of Nails -- scratch-made clam chowder and carrot cake.
* Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers -- chicken fingers, toast and sauce.
* Three Creeks Coffee Roasters -- coffee, pastries and tea.
* Wesley Ridge Retirement Community -- purple Peruvian potatoes filled with cream cheese and dill, with a sprinkling of caviar.