By Don Chareunsy, Vegas DeLuxe editor
Caesars Palace executive chef Eric Damidot served as the host chef of the 12th Annual March of Dimes Signature Chefs fundraiser in the Palace Ballroom at Caesars Palace last night. The annual wine-and-dine event, presented by Farmers Insurance Group, included a cocktail reception and silent auction, fine dining samplings from some of the finest chefs in Las Vegas, wine from Southern Wine and Spirits and a spirited live auction.
At the end of the evening, it was announced that Signature Chefs had raised $200,000 to go to the March of Dimes and its mission to improve the health of babies. The live Fund a Mission donation drive, which asked the attendees for monetary donations, raised $35,000, including a $10,00 matching donation from Farmers Insurance, while the Super Silent Auction and Live Auction were matched 100 percent by MasterCard.
A few of the noteworthy Live Auction items included a staycation at Caesars Palace, jewelry from Michael E. Menden Diamond Jewelers, exquisite black coral works of art from Bernard K. Passman Galleries and a jersey autographed by the reigning NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, and a Palms resort package, tickets to Monday Night Football between the reigning Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos and trips to Alaska, Hawaii and Arkansas (for duck hunting!) were among the Super Silent Auction items.
The cocktail reception and silent auction before the dinner, wine and live auction included an extensive sports and entertainment section, with memorabilia and autographs from LeBron James, Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Tiger Woods, USC, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart and Jack Nicholson, among many others. Dinners and bottle service at Tao, Lavo and Pure, wine baskets and artwork also were up for bids.
This year’s ambassador family, the family of Todd Clore of Todd’s Unique Dining & Catering, received a standing ovation and, for the first time all evening, complete attention and silence from the attendees during an emotional and heartfelt speech. MMA fighter Frank Trigg and Rain Andreani, owner of Las Vegas-based Rain Cosmetics, were spotted at the event, and Delgado Dance Studio and L.V. Latin Nights provided the evening’s entertainment.
James Boyer of Canyon Ranch Cafe, Roberto Hernandez of Dos Amigos, Michael and Wendy Jordan of Rosemary’s Restaurant, Percy Oani and Ryan Ross of Roy’s Restaurant, Abe Tsaualakaglou of John Cutter, John Zamarchi of Sedona Restaurant, Tom Moloney of Aquanox, Dan Rossi of David Burke, Laurent Pillard of Burger Bar, Marco Porceddu of Ago, Mark Purdy of Alize, Linda Rodriguez of Hachi, Mark Sandoval of Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio, Jonathan Snyder of Rare 120, Simon To and Olivier Dubreuil of Zine Noodles Dim Sum, Todd Clore of Todd’s Unique Dining & Catering, Eric Lhuillier of Pinot Brasserie, Paul Del Favero of Mesa Grill, Josette LeBlond of Josette’s Bistro, Mimmo Ferraro of Mimmo Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant, Daniel Waked of Neros, Todd Williams of Bradley Ogden, Kuldeep Singh of Origin India and Pieter Van Staden of Creative Catering and their staffs were this year’s generous Las Vegas culinary kings and queens.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter HERE.
Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter HERE.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter HERE.