Lindsey Becker, Rebecca Loveridge, Chef Robert Wiedmaier, Josie Taylor, and Cori Sue Morris. Photographs by Jeff Martin
What: March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction of DC
Where: The Ritz-Carlton, Washington DC
When: Wednesday, November 16, from 6 to 9:15 PM
Tickets: $200 for individuals; $2,000 for reserved tables of 10
Who: The night boasted a lineup of all-stars from the Washington restaurant scene. Chefs Ris Lacoste of RIS and Jamie Leeds of Hank’s Oyster Bar presided over tables laden with sought-after small dishes, while Jo-Jo Valenzuela of Old Glory BBQ served up signature cocktails. Chef Robert Wiedmaier, the master behind Brasserie Beck, the Tasting Room and Mussel Bar, graced the ballroom as the event’s signature chef, and ABC7 anchor Leon Harris served as the evening’s emcee. Lauren Fleming, seven-year-old March of Dimes ambassador, and her mother, Nikki, warmed the room with their touching story and heartfelt thank-you.
Scene: Top DC chefs served up good eats for a good cause to a post-workday crew. Fresh from the office, foodies meandered among tables graced with bountiful amounts of local delectables. They mingled and ate, but mostly ate. On occasion, they took breaks to recover from overfull stomachs to bid on silent auction items. During the night’s live auction, Signature Chef Wiedmaier stole the show, interrupting auctioneer Jim Miller to up the ante on his own donation. Instead of auctioning off a single five-course tasting for ten people at Brasserie Beck, he offered up two for $2,000 a piece.”That’s the way it’s done,” Wiedmaier said.
Food and drink: Delectable seared scallops from Hank’s Oyster Bar rested on beds of creamy cauliflower fondue, indulging seafood lovers. Bastille Restaurant’s hearty Jerusalem artichoke soup greeted taste buds with hints of garlic and pieces of chicken confit, while B. Smith’s shrimp and grits spiced things up. Michel Richard Citronelle offered the sweet-toothed crowd a dessert they couldn’t refuse: crêpes suzette garnished with orange zest. Burger, Tap & Shake appealed to the kid in everyone, as regular chef-auction attendee Rob Stern pointed out. There’s nothing like seeing men in business suits unwinding with miniature root beer floats and brownies after a long day at the office, he joked.