This year, we were proud to be sponsors of the March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auction, which benefits the Maryland National Capital chapter of March of Dimes, a nonprofit that promotes prenatal health and works to prevent premature babies, birth defects and infant mortality.
Held at the Ritz Carlton in Foggy Bottom, the event is a dream come true for food aficionados, featuring 25 of the D.C. area’s best chefs on-hand serving up their best dishes in tasting sizes. All this amazing food is punctuated by local mixologists and vineyard representatives, pouring cocktails and wine to your heat’s content.
This year, the participating chefs were Wes Morton, Art & Soul; Karida Celestine, B. Smith’s; Michelle Garbee & Christophe Poteaux, Bastille Restaurant; Victor Albisu, BLT Steak; honorary chef Robert Wiedmaier, Brasserie Beck, BRABO, Marcel’s, The Tasting Room and Mussel Bar (whom Becca interviewed before the event); Amy Brandwein, Casa Nonna; Geoff Tracy, Chef Geoff’s, Chef Geoff’s Downtown, Lia’s and Chef Geoff’s Tyson’s; Jeff Tunks, DC Coast, Ceiba, Acadiana, PassionFish, District Commons and Burger, Tap & Shake; Dean Gold, DINO; Sophie Lamontagne & Katherine Kallinis, Georgetown Cupcake; Jamie Leeds, Hank’s Oyster Bar (whom Becca interviewed before the event); Jackson 20/The Grille at Morrison House; Raynold Mendizabal, LIMA; Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle; Ris Lacoste, RIS; DeShayes Xavier, Ronald Reagan Building; Rock Harper, Stratford University; Javier Romero, Taberna del Alabardero; Howard Foer, The Manor House at Poplar Springs; Joe Palma, Westend Bistro; Tracy O’Grady & Kate Jansen, Willow Restaurant, and Cafe Saint Ex.
And participating bartenders Jo-Jo Valenzuela of Old Glory BBQ, Rachel Sergi of Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Micah Wilder of its upstairs neighbor Black Jack and Jamie Mac Bain of Bourbon Steak.
The event began with two hours of tastings, where guests mixed and mingled and visited the dozens of chef’s tables, followed by a seated auction. For the Bitches, we were excited to visit some chef friends—both old and new—and nosh on all their goodies.
As soon as we walked in, we saw our Twitter pal Chef Geoff, who was serving up Cori Sue’s very favorite appetizer of tuna tartare. Later, we said hello to the lovely Chef Ris, and slurped down her delicious clam chowder.
Becca enjoyed mini grilled cheese sandwiches dipped in mushroom soup, while Cori Sue sampled all four (don’t judge) types of sashimi from Lima, a nightclub with surprisingly edible food.
We went back for seconds of Dean Gold of Dino‘s delectable deviled eggs.
Then, we popped over to Art & Soul to say hello to Southern gentlemen Chef Wes, who, again, was serving up his house-made charcuterie—but, this time, Bitch Becca was there to enjoy.
Then, for more carnivorous delights, on to West End Bistro, which served up ever-so-lovely miniature BBQ briskets on cornbread.
Equally interesting was the shrimp chorizo from Cafe St. Ex, which made Cori Sue, carnivore-turned-pescetarian ecstatic. “I can have chorizo, that’s seafood! It’s like in Argetina, but better!” she squealed, a bit over-excited and perhaps over-intoxicated. The fellas behind the table were bemused.
We concluded the evening with some quality time with the man of the hour, the honrary chef himself, Robert Wiedmaier of Brasserie Beck, BRABO, Marcel’s and Mussel Bar. He convinced us to try the cocktails from new bar Black Jack. As we scooted out—early to bed—Chef Wiedmaier had jumped on stage, working the crowd and getting auctioneers to raise their bids on the fabulous live auction lots that were to benefit the March of Dimes.
As no evening is complete without dessert, we surreptitiously snatched a few Georgetown cupcakes to go, red velvet and brandished with the logo of E-Trade, one of the evenings generous sponsors. We left full, happy and proud to be involved; it was a spectacular evening.