It was our second year attending the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction, and we were thrilled to be back. This time, we were prepared. It requires focus, dedication, and an empty stomach to get through all those tastings!
The event is fabulous. It’s held in the downtown Ritz-Carlton, and more than 500 people fill the massive ballroom and outside lobby. Inside, there are culinary tastings, fine wine and cocktails from more than 30 of our area’s best chefs, mixologists and wineries, including Chef Geoff and Chef Jamie Leeds of Hank’s Oyster Bar.
Special guests included March of Dimes Ambassador Family, Tiffany and Stephen Bowen, who is a Defensive End with the Washington Redskins, and other Washington notables. WJLA-TV news anchor Leon Harris served as master of ceremonies. Bar Pilar’s Executive Chef Justin Bittner and Occidental’s Bar Manager Jo-Jo Valenzuela served as honorary event chairs.
There were also amazing silent auction lots lining the walls. Everything from trips to sports games to winery tours—you name it. It was just a taste before the big live auction that was to come later.
The Signature Chefs Auction supports the work of the March of Dimes, whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. Proceeds will fund research to find answers to premature birth and support local programs such as the Mama & Baby Bus, Stork’s Nest and NICU Family Support programs at Children’s National Medical Center, Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children, Inova Loudon Hospital and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
To bring attention to the serious problem of premature birth, the Bowens raised over $60,000 for the event, where they shared their story and dedication to the cause which aligns closely with their own foundation.