So, there we were, Lonnie Player, Wade Duggins, Bill Bowman and me, all gorging ourselves with one delectable dish after another.
“Hmmm,” Duggins was saying as he sank his teeth into an appetizer with some kind of sauce.
Bowman’s eyes would brighten as, one dish after another, all of us were serving as food judges at last year’s March of Dimes Signature Chefs’ Auction at the Embassy Suites on Lake Valley Drive.
We’re sampling everything from appetizers to main courses to desserts prepared by some of our finer chefs in town, and scoring all of the fine dining on presentation, creativity and, of course, taste.
Scrumptious, it all was.
MOD folks have opted not to bring us back for this year’s 22nd Annual March of Dimes Signature Chefs’ Auction, which is scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday at the hotel.
We’re not complaining.
Duggins looked a bit queasy, Bowman’s eyes were dilated, Players’ curly hair was flopping by the time we were done with our judging, and I wasn’t feeling so nifty myself.
These are fabulous chefs, but one can only handle so much at one time.
Chefs competing Sunday will be Beth Shearin-Smith of Hilltop House, Mustafa Somar and Oscar McMillan of Sherefe, Bill Pannhoff of B&B Catering & Event Planning, Tommy Hinshaw of Morgan’s Chop House, Julio Camberos Jr. of the Holiday Inn Bordeaux, Daniel Fair of Pierro’s Italian Bistro, Kirk Blue of the Blue Moon Cafe, Preston Cravey of The Mash House Brewery and Chophouse and Corey Owen of Embassy Suites.
“I am extremely proud of the event the committee has put together,” says Van Gunter, the Chefs’ Auction committee chairman, who is anticipating more than 250 people. “This year’s event will include food prepared by nine area chefs, signature cocktails created by five local bartenders, a live auction, a silent auction and a wine garden.”
Included in the live auction is a Florida or mountain vacation package, along with numerous golf outings, and approximately 60 items will be in the silent auction.
“In addition, the evening’s program will offer a truly heartwarming story from our ‘Ambassador Family’ and time to ‘Fund the Mission’ of the March of Dimes,” Gunter says about Chris and Deanna Poulk, parents of premature twins who credit the March of Dimes with two healthy children.
This is such a fun evening in this city, where folks dress to the nines and have such a good time for such a worthy cause – preventing genetic birth defects in babies and providing research and help for these innocent lives.
Limited tickets remain available at $75 each, Gunter says. Go to marchofdimes.com/northcarolina or call Community Director Andrew Porter at 778-5670.
Auction officials are going with real cuisine connoisseurs this time around as noted television chefs Judy Cage, Keith Rhodes and Corey Brinson will be among celebrity judges.
“I truly am proud of the event that has come together,” Gunter says. “And I am excited to see how everything comes together on Sunday.”
If you go, bon appetit.