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Annual Taste of Town event to feature 24 local restaurants

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By Julie Turner

If your idea of a perfect night out includes good music, supporting a good cause and incredible food, then you don’t want to miss this year’s 16th annual Germantown Chamber’s Taste of the Town Benefit and Auction. The event will be held this Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Guests will be able to sample food from 24 area restaurants at the event, which is presented by Southland Park Gaming and Racing. The chamber website describes Taste of the Town as “an enjoyable culinary and social experience that’s guaranteed to satisfy any palate.”

Janie Day, who has been the executive director of the Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce for more than three years, encourages people to come out and take advantage of everything these restaurants have to offer.

“It’s a very big foodie event,” Day said. “People really enjoy the event because of the high-end food and the variety of food that is there. That’s why the restaurants want to be there, and that’s why the people want to come.”

Day believes it’s a “win-win situation” for both the restaurants and the event attendees to get to know each other.

Participating restaurants include Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Babalu, Sammy Hagar’s Red Rocker Bar & Grill, Interim, Sweet Grass, One & Only BBQ, Huey’s and two wine and liquor stores. Wine, vodka and some signature drinks from the restaurants will also be served.

A jazz band from The University of Memphis will perform, and there will be a live auction benefitting Memphis Oral School for the Deaf.

“We always have a beneficiary of the live auction, and people come because they want to support that particular non-profit,” Day said. “This year auction items include: fine jewelry from several jewelers – Mednikow, Bob Richards and Sissy’s Log Cabin – a trip to Boston, trip to New Orleans, a wine-tasting trip to Sonoma, one night at The Peabody Memphis, a River City Pedalers’ 10-person tour and two tickets to the Memphis Symphony Orchestra plus dinner at Seasons 52.”

Janice Hamil, a long-time Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce member, and two other women started the event 16 years ago.

“We knew from the beginning that we wanted to have part of this event benefit a charity,” Hamil said. “And this year we are raising money for the Memphis Oral School for the Deaf.”

Hamil said that a group of volunteers helps pull off the labor-intensive event each year. People come from all over the area to attend.

“We get 400 or 500 people to come,” she added. “We never dreamed that big but we should have.”

Taste of the Town will be held at the Great Hall and Conference Center located at 1900 South Germantown Road. Event attendees must be at least 21 years old.

“Taste of the Town exposes you to places you may have never been, and then you want to go,” Hamil said. “You get to come out and taste some of these restaurants’ yummiest dishes.”

Tickets are sold in advance and at the door. Purchase tickets online at germantownchamber.com/events, by visiting the Germantown Chamber of Commerce office at 2195 S. Germantown Road, or by calling 755-1200.