Tuesday, October 13, 2015

March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction

Attending the Signature Chefs Auction to benefit the March of Dimes was one of the most enjoyable evenings I've had since I moved to Greensboro three years ago. It was my first auction ever, which proved to be highly entertaining as well as beneficial for the March of Dimes, raising thousands of money for the organization. The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, permature birth and infant mortality. Dining for a cause, any cause, is a terrific way to spend your evening, but this one was especially memorable.
With two of my favorite bloggers, Nikki (NikSnacks) and Jennifer (The Onyx Plate)
LaRue: Sweet Potatoes for days.
10 of Greensboro's most beloved and popular chefs presented small plates as the silent auction got underway. Autumn Creek Vineyards sponsored the wine - the Cabarnet Franc was light and easy to sip! My favorite plate of the night was from LaRue, the new French-inspired restaurant in downtown Greensboro. Chef Trey Bell did justice to the Sweet Potato, presenting a Sweet Potato Bisque, Sweet Potato Risotto with tender Quail Confit and Chocolate Shell candies with a Sweet Potato Mousse filling. This plate was perfection and certainly appropriate for the incoming fall weather. (The after party continued at LaRue following the event - post coming soon!)

B. Christopher's: Surf and Turf
Another favorite of the evening, and winner of the People's Choice Award, was Chef Chris Russell of B. Christopher's Surf and Turf - tender braised beef with a Red Wine reduction, creamy Lobster Bisque and the best Horseradish Mashed Potatoes I've ever had in my life. Chef Anders Benton from Gia was another highlight, with his Pulled Pork and Caramlized Pears on Naan, alongside smoked Caramel Corn.
Gia: Pulled Pork and Pears on Naan
Mark's: Duck Liver Pate and Duck Confit Cassoulet
Chef Bruno Catuhe of Mark's Restaurant gave me my first ever sampling of Duck Confit Cassoulet. I'd like this every night during the winter, please. Unfortunately, their Duck Liver Pate had a pink peppercorn flavoring that was too overwhelming, and ruined what could have been a perfectly good pate. Starmount Country Club's Chef Todd Jones smoked Beef Brisket for 6 hours, resulting in a flavorful BBQ sandwich, topped with Mustard Onions and spicy White Slaw. These flavors made me miss summer, bad.
Starmount CC: Smoked BBQ Brisket Sandwiches

I haven't been to Giovanni's Italian Restaurant, but after sampling Chef Robert Holden's Bruschetta and Chicken Saltimbocca, I can't wait to go! The freshness of the tomatoes and herbs in the bruschetta, with the acid from the Balsamic Vinegar is a wonderful balance to the richness of the White Wine, Proscuitto and Mozzarella Cheese in the Saltimbocca. Chef Michael Harkenreader's reputation at Undercurrent goes almost unmatched, but his Sticky Rice Cake with Hoisin Bacon was a departure from what I typically see from him. I applaud the risk though, and it worked in my favor because I love anything with an Asian flare.

Painted Plate: Banh Mi and Crab Fried Rice

Chef Brad Semon of The Painted Plate took a chance presenting a Banh Mi sandwich - Pork Belly is pretty unforgiving, and if it's overcooked, you can kiss it goodbye. Luckily, their Crab Fried Rice was the bomb and made up for a pretty tough piece of Belly. Southern Lights Bistro's Chef Matthew Adams presented beautifully pink Duck Breast atop a Cornmeal Cake with pickled Red Onions, resulting in one of the prettier presentations.

Sedgefield CC: Sweet Potato Waffle

Sedgefield Country Club's Chef James Patterson went all out, presenting a 5-star dish of a Braised Chicken Leg with Mashed Potatoes, Carrots, Chanterelle Mushrooms and a nice jus, but a sprinkling more of salt would have made this exceptional. Their Sweet Potato Waffle with Spiced Candied Pecans is among one of the best I've ever had, but I could have done without the Smoked Whipped Cream. It was supposed to be reminiscient of a toasted marshmallow, but it took away all the delightful sweetness of the waffle.

Sedgefield CC: Braised Chicken Leg
Angel Konfections
Photo Courtesy The Onyx Plate
A box of truffles from Angel Konfections by Krecek Kakes in High Point was at each of our seats, a lovely way to cap off the evening. They were more of a cross between a cookie bar and a candy bar than an actual truffle, which I appreciated. My favorite were the Smores and Chocolate Caramel with Sea Salt, but the Dark Chocolate Raspberry and Caramel Apple were decadent too. A trip to High Point is in the works, specifically for more of those truffles.

Tons of tasty bites, raising awareness as well as money, and time with friends made for such a special evening. I'm honored and thrilled that I got to be part of it. And if you're feeling generous, make a donation to support the March of Dimes!

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