Chefs cook for March of Dimes

Good deeds never tasted so good.
Many of the Foothills' leading chefs will gather Nov. 4 to cook up gourmet food for a good cause. The annual March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction will be held at Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Conover at 6 p.m. to promote the health of babies.
Elizabeth Franklin, March of Dimes Foothills Division director, said proceeds from the event will be used "globally and locally" for research and education to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
The Signature Chefs Auction is a gourmet food tasting and auction. Area chefs will serve their speciality creations for guests to sample at the event. Guests can also bid on more than 100 items, including travel packages, jewelry and autographed items, during a silent auction.
Thomas Clayton, executive chef at Youssef 242 in Hickory, participated in March of Dimes events in Charleston, S.C., but this is his first year participating in the event in Catawba County.
"It's for a super-awesome cause," Clayton said of his involvement in the Signature Chefs Auction. "We're glad to do anything we can to help out."
At the event, Clayton will prepare Sous Vide Duck with roasted mushrooms and a spiced pumpkin consomme.
Another chef, Josh Phillips, from Josh's On the Square in Hickory, said the Signature Chefs Auction is about helping a worthy organization.
"It helps people, and it helps get our (restaurant's) name out," he said.
Phillips said the auction will give him a chance to receive feedback from the community about the food he prepares, which will be his signature short ribs for the auction.
Other local chefs include Matthew Miller from Bistro 127 in Hickory, George Kastanias from Santorini Grill in Hickory, Chuck Spaller from Kingston Residence in Hickory, Hope Tallas from Mosteller Mansion in Hickory, John Arsenault from Pincrest Assisted Living in Hickory, Terry Finger from the Peacock Inn in Newton, and Josh Wagoner from Alexander's at Rock Barn Golf and Spa.
Chefs from Blowing Rock, Taylorsville and Mooresville will also be at the event.
After chefs serve their gourmet creations, guests will sample dessert from eight area bakers. Guests will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite food and dessert, later awarding a people's choice award for the night.
Starting at 8 p.m. during the Signature Chefs Auction, guests will participate in a live auction to bid on several different gift packages.
One of the items is a Girls Night Out package, which includes hair, makeup and skin pampering, as well as a dinner and a limousine ride for four people.
About 300 people are expected to attend the event.
Locally, the March of Dimes funds are used for education campaigns for women of child-bearing age. One campaign, called the 39 Weeks Initiative, which raises awareness about the dangers and potential complications of performing a scheduled cesarean section or inducement on a woman fewer than 39 weeks pregnant.
The program was implemented in 44 hospitals throughout North Carolina, and after the implementation, cesarean sections and inductions on women not yet 39 weeks pregnant decreased by 44 percent, Franklin said.
Tickets for the event are $100 per person or $150 per couple. To purchase a ticket for the Signature Chefs Auction, contact the March of Dimes office at (828) 464-8905 or e-mail Katie Tocci at