CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In the spirit of friendly competition, the second annual FestivALL fundraiser, appropriately titled FeastivALL, is set for Feb. 22 at Berry Hills Country Club, beginning at 6 p.m.
"The whole evening is an entertainment in itself, with a performance by the cast of 'Godspell' and one or two other performances as well between courses," said Ashley Showen, FeastivALL event chairwoman.
"The proceeds go to support the main FestivALL, which is in June, and provides low-cost and free art experiences to the entire community. It really is one of Charleston's best events," she added.
FeastivALL will include a cocktail hour, a silent auction, live entertainment and two local celebrity chefs preparing a five-course gourmet dinner. It also features a "battle of the beverages," in which each course will be paired with a fine wine and craft beer chosen by John Brown (wine) and Rich Ireland (beer), Charleston's top beverage consultants and Gazette-Mail columnists.
After each course, guests will vote for the beverage pairing they like best. By the end of the night, one will emerge the winner -- perhaps with some gentle persuasion from the columnists.
"Beer's good, but it's a lesser beverage," Brown laughed. "Some beers are very heavy, but the key with wine and food is that the two together have to be greater than either one of them individually."
"A well-stocked beer cellar is truly the Swiss Army knife for enhancing the dining experience," Ireland said. "It's up to the person selecting and pairing the beer with food to use the right combination of the many elements a specific beer can offer. If beer wins or loses, the result rests upon me, the person pairing the beer."
Tickets cost $110 per person, $50 of which is tax-deductible, and can be purchased at www.festivallcharleston.com, or at Taylor Books.
Reach Maria Young at maria.yo...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5115.