Monday, November 10, 2008

bids and squids

The March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction has become one of my favorite events to attend. My wife and I got to experience it on Sunday night. As I wrote last year, it's up there with Feast With the Beasts as a great night of food and fun.

While all the other guests headed to the various serving stations around the room for roast beef, lamb and seared tuna, I went straight to the Sugarbuzz Bakers table and grabbed a slice of their Chocolate Toffee Cake. Why not have dessert first? The Caramel Apple Cake looked good but I waited too long to get some. There were only crumbs left when I returned to the Sugarbuzz table later in the evening.

The cakes from Sugarbuzz got third place overall from the judges. The Crown & Goose came in second with a duck cake (think crab cake) with pickled fall root vegetables. Sapphire rightfully took first place with an outstanding Ika salad -- ginger marinated squid with Asian vegetables and a sweet eel sauce -- and Caribbean tuna nigiri -- sashimi tuna served with pineapple calypso sauce and topped with toasted coconut.

Although they didn't make the top three, my wife and I agreed that the chicken Marsala and lobster ravioli from Carrabba's Italian Grill were excellent. We eat a lot of chicken and know a delicious chicken breast when we taste one.

Chef Walter was one of the judges. I was very impressed by his successful weight loss. He's been following a dietary program through the UT Medical Center. We caught up with him as he was leaving with some takeout containers for his wife, Miss Anne.

My wife and I also had nice conversations with Maestro Lucas Richman and Russell Biven. We especially enjoyed talking with former WBIR reporter Jim Ragonese and his wife Jaime. She said that I really need to read a book about cadavers called "Stiff." I recalled that the same author had written a book with a one-word title about sex and that it wasn't called "Stiff."

In addition to the live auction for big-ticket items like an emerald and diamonds ring from Lamon Jewelers, there was a silent auction in the lobby before dinner was served. My wife bid on a basket full of Thanksgiving items but was outbid. I was temped to place a bid for a custom website package until I saw that they offer "professioanl graphic design."

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Anonymous Jere said...

The caramel cake was still delicious, crumbs or not.
But, oh my, that toffee cake was the best cake I have tasted in a while.
At first I thought the Starbucks table was just a throw away contestant, but they had a gingerbread flavoring to add to the coffee, and with a bit of half-n-half, that was really good (and I am not a coffee drinker).

Anonymous Sandy Weaver Carman said...

Frank, I love that you ate dessert first. And speaking of "first" I doubt that slinky things with suckers covered with a snakey sauce and served with raw fish would have gotten my vote for first place!! Sounds like a fun night, and good for you not to bid on that professioanl graphic and web design package!!

Anonymous antique china replacement said...

that chocolate tofee cake sure does look good! :D

Blogger Amelia said...

Walter has a lot of perseverance to have done this diet. He makes all that great, sometimes unhealthy, food on the noon show but manages to not cheat most of the time.

Blogger chris said...

I found myself starting the bidding on many of the silent auctions- I won two bottles of wine for the starting bid, which I was very happy with. I also stalked the table where I was bidding on the stadium walk-through with the Vols, and for only fifty dollars I will now be meeting next years team (and coach). Oh, and the food was excellent! :)


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