Food and philanthropy will make merry at the 12th annual March of Dimes Signature Chef Auction.
The gourmet tasting and auction on Monday at the Blair County Convention Center will feature 15 area chefs.
It's the only annual area event where chefs come together and "show off their stuff," said chef honoree Bill Sell of Bill Sell's Bold in Altoona. "I love it."
Along with helping the March of Dimes, he said the event gives those attending the chance to sample the culinary creations of many local restaurants.
Sell, who has cooked for the event since its inception, will be making sous vide pork tenderloin with a rum-molasses glaze and pineapple-coconut sauce over green-apple slaw. He will also offer flank steak crostini with chimichurri and Vidalia onion relish.
Other participating chefs come from presenting sponsor Sheetz Culinary; The Altoona Hotel - An American Bistro; Blair County Convention Center; Raphaels Steak House; The Grape Leaf Mediterranean Restaurant; The Ramada; Sweet Marie's Sweets; Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center; The Casino at Lakemont Park, all of Altoona; Parkhurst Dining at St. Francis University, Loretto; and Bell Mansion Tea House in Bellwood.
If you go
What: March of Dimes Signature Chef Auction
When: 5:30 p.m. Monday,
Where: Blair County Convention Center, 1 Convention Drive, Altoona
Admission: Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased by calling 696-9691 or visiting www.marchofdimes
.com/pennsylvania and clicking on "upcoming event."
The event also features a live and silent auction.
The live auction is a fun part of the evening, according to Lori Remis, area March of Dimes director. Auction items up for bid include private dinner parties, cooking classes, jewelry and trips to Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas and Florida.
One of those who will attend is Dalton Igoe, this year's area March of Dimes ambassador and his family.
"Go wash your hands," Dawn Igoe told her children Delaney, 12, and Dylan, 9, as they trouped into their house in Altoona. "You need to wash your hands," she said.
Dawn and husband, Scott's, oldest child, Dalton, 15, was born with six congenital heart defects,
Dalton received a new heart on May 19, 2012, at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. He is currently being cyber-schooled because his immune system is vulnerable to infections. Otherwise, his mother said, he is doing well.
He and his parents hope he will be able to return to Altoona Area High School in 2013 for his junior year.
"I am happy to be this year's ambassador for the March of Dimes. I hope that no other child has to go through what I went through. I had my first open heart surgery at 8 days old," he said.
One of 100 babies is born with a birth defect. The mission of the March of Dimes is to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
The bulk of donations go for research, Remis said.
Because of March of Dimes research, a blood sample that is tested for some 30 different birth defects is routinely administered to newborns, she said.
Along with honoree chef Sell and ambassador Igoe, Donald and Nancy Devorris of Blair Companies will be honored for their years of active service and dedication to the Signature Chef Auction.