Signature Chefs Auction of D.C.

The March of Dimes Foundation | 10/21/2010, 10:51 a.m.

Ingredients for a delicious evening: more than 20 chefs, bartenders, breweries and wineries under one roof at the 2010 Signature Chefs Auction of D.C.

With only one reservation, event guests will sample signature dishes of 20 area restaurants

More than 20 of the area's best chefs will serve samples of their signature dishes at the 2010 Signature Chefs Auction of D.C., which will be held at 6:30 p.m. October 26 at the Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC Hotel, 1150 22nd Street, NW. Breweries, wineries and local bartenders will also participate in this culinary event. The evening will include live and silent auctions of unique dining packages, hotel stays and weekend getaways.

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 and Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children.

The 2010 Honorary Chef is Ris Lacoste, executive chef and owner of Ris. The event chair is Cherie Pleasant, CEO of Associated General Contractors of Metro D.C. Special guests include 2010 March of Dimes National Ambassador Joshua Hoffman of Weston, Fla. WJLA-TV news anchor Leon Harris will serve as master of ceremonies.

Chef Geoff Tracy and his wife, MSNBC Chief Washington Correspondent Norah O'Donnell, will sign copies of their new cookbook, "Baby Love: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals for Your Baby and Toddler," at the VIP reception.

Sponsors of this year's event include Infinitive, Netezza, Leading Edge Design & Systems, Stratford University, Washington Life, The Washington Informer, The Washington Examiner, 630 AM WMAL and Yelp.

Reserved tables of 10 are $2,000. Individual general admission seats are $200. Tables and seats can be purchased online at marchofdimes.com/marylandmetrodc.

Evening timeline: 5:30 p.m., VIP reception at Ris; 6:30 p.m., tastings and silent auction; 8:15 p.m., live auction. According to the latest figures, 16 percent of live births in Washington, D.C., were preterm. Preterm birth rates were highest for black infants (18.5 percent), followed by Hispanics (13.6 percent), Asians (11 percent) and whites (9.7 percent).

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.