FLORENCE, S.C. – The Florence Symphony Guild’s 19th annual Taste of the Symphony will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. on April 25 at Roseneath Farm at 1102 Cherokee Lane.
Restaurants and businesses are donating their time and talent in support of music in the Pee Dee to make this event spectacular.
With “Springtime in Paris” as this year’s theme, there is sure to be a variety of French cuisine among the culinary creations from more than 20 area chefs participating. There will also be cocktails and live music.
Southern Hops Brewing Company will be among the restaurants participating.
Jolie Deaton, operations and special events coordinator, said she and chef Jason Dean have been working to come up with something creative for their signature item for the event and have decided on brioche toast points topped with pork belly salmon roe and black truffle aioli. They also will have gazpacho shooters (chilled tomato soup) and two different styles of beer.
Deaton said that for the Taste of the Symphony, the restaurant tries to offer something different to showcase what it can do.
Last year Southern Hops served Prince Edward Island mussels on French bread with Béarnaise sauce.
The Florence Symphony Guild provides the paper products, setup and electricity. The food is donated by the restaurants and chefs, Deaton said.
Four members of the staff will attend this year, she said.
“We don’t do a lot of these events, but we really like this one,” Deaton said. “This is my fourth year.”
Deaton is married to brewmaster James “Jimmy” Deaton, co-owner with Christian Gibson, general manager. They are both local entrepreneurs.
She said they worked together in the restaurant business before pursuing a dream of opening their own restaurant and “bringing handcrafted beer, great food and quality service to Florence.”
“We serve pub food,” she said. “Everything is handmade, even the dough for the pizzas and pretzels."
Dean came to the restaurant in November, right after Thanksgiving, she said. He is originally from Florence, but he obtained a lot of his culinary knowledge and skills from working in Savannah, Georgia.
Deaton said they try to use as many local ingredients as possible. South Hops is Certified Fresh on the Menu and Certified South Carolina Grown. The restaurant serves cage-free chicken breasts and Carolina Plantation rice. It uses Pee Dee honey.
“We like to keep it family friendly,” she said.
Tuesday is family day, and Thursday is Trivia night.
Southern Hops Brewing Company opened on Dec. 31, 2010. It is at 911 Sunset Acres Lane in Florence on land owned by Jimmy’s grandfather. The GPS address is 2824 W. Palmetto St. Hours are 4-11 p.m. Monday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. It is closed on Sunday.
The Florence Symphony Guild was started in 1970. It is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the growth of the symphony and encouragement of young musicians.
All of the money from the Taste of the Symphony goes back to support Florence Symphony Orchestra, said guild member Sarah Sweeney.
“We support FSO every year with a major donation, as well a donor and board member reception after the February concert,” she said. “Also the Guild pays for refreshments for the musicians for FSO's Sunday rehearsals. Recently, a scholarship was created and funded by the Guild for a music industry major at Francis Marion University, and part of the funds raised goes toward that as well.”
Tickets for the Taste of Symphony are $75 per person. Tickets can be purchased at First Reliance Bank (Palmetto Street branch), Fisher Jeweler’s or Talbots in the Florence Mall or on Eventbrite. Attendees must be 21 years or older.