Monday, November 09, 2009

shouted out with glee

Before getting dressed for the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction, I had a thought. What if I accidentally wore the exact same thing as I did at last year's event? I happened to be on the phone with my daughter at the time. She went to my blog entry from 2008 and described the red tie and striped shirt I had on. I knew to wear the blue tie and a solid shirt this year.

Once again, the delicious food made it a night to remember. As much as I wanted to, I couldn't possibly taste everything that was offered. My wife and I got there early enough to see the elaborate Cabot Cheese and fruit tray before anyone disturbed it.

I got to chat with talented young singer Logan Murrell and her parents before the ballroom doors opened. Logan did a great job performing during dinner. She sang four or five songs including "A Kiss to Build a Dream On" and "Over the Rainbow." Julie Murrell emailed me recently to say they had seen some of my previous blog mentions of her daughter. She gave me a copy of Logan's Christmas CD to review.

No offense to Logan or to energetic auctioneer Bear Stephenson, but the main attraction at the Signature Chefs Auction is the food. 19 chefs from different businesses set up shop at tables around the perimeter of the ballroom in the Knoxville Convention Center. I found it funny that The Inn at Christmas Place was serving goose (seared foie gras over roasted corn polenta with port veal broth) while The Crown & Goose was serving reindeer (seared porcini dusted venison on top of pumpkin mash with candied pecans with apple cider spice glaze). The venison dish was my favorite entrée of the night. Not all the food was hoity-toity. The pork BBQ from Chandler's Deli had a delicious seasoning that I liked but couldn't identify.

Dessert was no slouch either. There was a long line for ice cream from Marble Slab Creamery. They brought a portable slab and offered two flavors. Their Double Dark Chocolate with Fudge was as good as it sounds. Rosa's Catering Service provided an End of the Rainbow cake with different flavors of icing.

My favorite overall dish was also a dessert. The Bananas Foster from Club Le Conte was so good I went back for seconds.

As in past years, I was there as a volunteer. My contact at the March of Dimes asked me to solicit donations from three tables. My wife made a small contribution when she heard that it would be doubled if we used our MasterCard. I also worked as a spotter at the live auction again this year. I saw some local celebrities in the room. WVLT anchor Alan Williams was as gracious as always. The event emcee was WATE anchor Kristin Farley who was representing Fox 43, where she does the 10:00 p.m. news. Kristin asked my wife if she could ham it up for the camera.

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