From the Kitchen

March of Dimes holds 14th annual Signature Chefs Auction

Courtesy of March of Dimes

The Signature Chefs Auction started with about five chefs, the lineup has since grown to 13 chefs from local restaurants including Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.

Syracuse’s March of Dimes branch, a national nonprofit that provides families with information on healthy pregnancies, will host its annual Signature Chefs Auction on March 20 to raise money for the organization by auctioning off prizes.

The event will happen at The Oncenter at 5:30 p.m.

Each year, March of Dimes picks a theme. This year’s is “The Farmer and the Chef,” which encourages creative and innovative chefs from Syracuse restaurants to use local and seasonal foods as a way to promote healthy eating. It also provides a rare culinary experience while raising money and awareness for its cause. March of Dimes hosts events like this one in Syracuse all around the country.

Participating chefs pick a menu item or make a special meal to sample for dinner.

“The event is really great at bringing local businesses together for a greater cause, really paring it with people that support the March of Dimes,” Julianne Allman, development manager and event organizer for March of Dimes, said.

Long-time participating eateries include Empire Brewing Company, the Sherwood Inn and Lincklaen House. Some new restaurants joining this year include Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Peppino’s Restaurant & Catering Co. and Willow Rock Brewing Co.

“(We) wanted to reach a different market of people and incorporate the farmer’s market feel,” Allman said.

Starting with about five chefs in its lineup, the organization has grown now to 13. Its main recruitment method is going out and talking to restaurant managers or being referred by a current restaurant.

The auction is March of Dimes’ second largest fundraiser in the area, the first largest being Syracuse March for Babies held in November. Last year’s event raised $120,000 and this year’s goal is to hit $130,000, according to Syracuse Woman Magazine. General admission tickets are $100, and after the silent auction a live auction and evening program will follow from 7:30-9 p.m.

In New York state, one in 11 babies is born too soon or anywhere before 39 weeks, not allowing them to fully develop, Allman said. These statistics are based on area income level and job status.

Allman said using local farms and local chefs is a move toward a sustainable and healthy future.

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