Tess on the Town: Oct. 28-Nov. 3

I had the pleasure of attending a charity event for the March of Dimes last weekend at the DoubleTree by Hilton.

It was an evening of fun, food and largesse, and nearly every bit of the magic came from community spirit.

Billed as Signature Chefs Auction, the fall fundraiser is the sixth such event for the Western Slope organization, said Terri Jones, March of Dimes division director.

Nearly a dozen restaurants and food-and-wine businesses from the Grand Valley were represented at the dinner, which raised $66,200 and counting.

For free, every one of the chefs provided their time (not easy on a busy Saturday night in the restaurant business), their talent and all the ingredients for their creations.

The information for a number of charity dinners crosses my desk and I’m constantly amazed at the generosity of local restaurants in response to community needs. Sure, charity work is good exposure in a moneyed crowd, but their contributions seem especially generous, compared to, say, anywhere else I’ve lived.

Here are a few of the contributors at the March of Dimes event:

Theo Otte and Brenda Wray of 626 on Rood prepared duck confit meatballs with miso pomegranate sauce, which were very popular with the diners, and roasted Palisade sweet corn with buttermilk and jalapeño croquettes. Otte and Wray are in the core group of Signature Chefs. Their dinner and wine pairing for eight in the silent auction fetched a whopping $3,500.

Owner Jerry Sica and sommelier Monty Haltiner of Crossroads Wine & Spirits kept the party lively with a variety of fine wines and cranberry pesto crostini, white bean croustade and mushroom risotto.

Fifth-generation Colorado native Josh Niernberg of Bin 707 foodbar cleansed the palate with beet carpaccio salad.

The DoubleTree by Hilton and chef Tiffany Nash of Bistro 743 were hosts of the event. Nash served pork loin stuffed with roasted red peppers, prosciutto and goat cheese.

Chef Randy Jones of Red Canyon Grill veered south for his muse, using such ingredients as sweet potatoes, spicy chow chow, butter beans, fried catfish, buttermilk biscuits and fabulous Irish cheese grits.

Christopher Boyd and Josh Roberts of No Coast Sushi, also longtime volunteers for the event prepared sushi rolls and pan-seared rare tuna. For the silent auction, the pair contributed a seven-course Kaiseki dinner prepared for eight at your home. The winning bid for that came in at $2,500.

One of my favorites of the evening came from Miles Blackford, chef of The Irons at Tiara Rado. He served a perfectly crusted square of pork belly with plantains and peanut sauce.

Topping off the event was Deb Henderson of The Cake Cottage, whose macaroons, blood orange mouse and chocolate bombe were a sweet touch to an indulgent evening.

Lee Mathis of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes mixed up sweet and savory with El Diablo, a cake with jalapeños, habanero and ghost peppers. If that weren’t spicy enough, he added pepper jack cheese and sriracha sauce.

Kudos to the chefs at this event and all the many others who contribute regularly to the benefit of the community.

The chefs at this event are “absolutely amazing to work with,” said Terri Jones, who came to March of Dimes seven years ago after her son was born premature. The March of Dimes helped save his life, she said.

QUOTE: “Fun-sized Snickers? Who’s this fun for? Not me. I need six or seven of those babies in a row to start having fun.” — Jeff Carlin

Send tips and ideas to Tess.Furey@gj sentinel.com.


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