March of Dimes will present world-renowned chef Dominique Crenn with the 2019 MOD ICON Award for her culinary excellence and her relentless push for innovation, sustainability and equality at the Signature Chefs Auction, L.A.'s premier charity tasting event. The philanthropic evening will take place on Thursday, October 17, 2019 at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. Culinary celebrities Brooke Williamson, Timothy Hollingsworth, Aarti Sequeira and Nancy Silverton, the 2018 March of Dimes ICON Award honoree, are joining forces with more than 12 local master chefs to raise critical funds to benefit the March of Dimes' mission to lead the fight for the health of all moms and babies. Tony Hale, Emmy-award winning actor who plays "Forky" in Toy Story 4, will host the evening.
Dominique Crenn is the co-owner and chef of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Atelier Crenn in San Francisco. Crenn was featured on the second season of the popular Netflix series "Chef's Table," and is one of the most acclaimed chefs in the United States; she was awarded the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: West in 2018 and Best Female Chef in 2016 by World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards. "I am so happy to support March of Dimes – an organization which drives innovation and works for equality to improve the health of moms and babies for more than 80 years," says Ms. Crenn.
Mark Owens, CEO of Rogers & Cowan and chair of this year's event, says, "We are thrilled to be able to recognize one of the world's greatest chefs! We are so grateful to Dominique for her support; it makes a huge difference and helps us raise much-needed funds to address the health crisis moms and babies are facing in our country. The United States is the most dangerous developed nation in which to give birth. Pregnancy-related death has more than doubled over the past 25 years."
The United States is in the midst of a maternal and child health crisis with more than more than 50,000 women experiencing life-threatening complications as a result of pregnancy and childbirth and 380,000 babies born prematurely each year. Chronic inequities and unequal access to quality health care have a negative impact on these rates. For example, these are among the factors that contribute to the reality that women of color are up to 50 percent more likely to deliver prematurely and their children can face a 130 percent higher infant death rate compared to children of white women. March of Dimes is working in communities across the country to reduce the rising rates of premature birth, as well as maternal mortality and morbidity.
"These disparities are unjust and unacceptable," says Tim Duffy, Co-President Ugly Brother Studios and co-chair of the Los Angeles Signature Chefs Auction. "We are raising funds to help March of Dimes tackle these urgent health issues and work to level the playing field so that all moms and babies are healthy through pioneering research, advocating for policies at the national, state and local level and to empower families with programs, knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies."
"I am delighted to be part of this incredible evening to help raise funds for this important organization that supports women before, during and after pregnancy to ensure all moms and babies are healthy," says Aarti Sequeira, award-winning journalist/producer and Food Network celebrity chef. "I support the work March of Dimes is doing to create a space for us to share our stories about the less than savory side of parenting – from postpartum depression to loss to the day-to-day struggles to be a mom and being a mom."
"We are grateful to work with these talented chefs who are artists, innovators and philanthropists," says Amy Dittmore, Senior Development Manager for March of Dimes Greater Los Angeles. "This exclusive evening is a great opportunity to experience the carefully curated menu designed to taste the diverse epicurean talent in Los Angeles, while celebrating and supporting this great cause."
Twelve of Los Angeles's most innovative chefs are bringing their passion to this year's Signature Chefs Auction: Chef Holly Jivin of Bazaar by Jose Andres; Chef Travis Strickland of Baltaire; Chef Nyesha Arrington -- new restaurant opening soon; Chef Evan Funke -- Felix Trattoria; Chef Curtis Stone -- Gwen; Chef Timothy Hollingsworth -- Otium; Chef Nancy Silverton -- Mozza,chi Spacca; Chef Sang Yoon -- Lukshon; Chef Sushi Nozawa -- Kazunori by Sushi Nozawa; Chef Kuniko Yagi -- Pikunico; Chef Phillip Frankland Lee -- Scratch Bar and Kitchen; Chef Jason Neroni -- The Rose Venice; Chef Raphael Francois -- Tesse; Chef Brian Dunsmoor -- Hatchell Hall; Chef Jonathan Aviles -- Salazar.
The evening begins at 6:00 p.m. with an extraordinary tasting of the most desirable cuisine, prepared and served by culinary masters from top local establishments, followed by a seated dessert program and a rousing live auction, offering an opportunity to bid on insider packages and unique experiences. Billy Harris returns as auctioneer. Table of 10 for the event is $5,000. For more information, including sponsorship opportunities, visit marchofdimeschefsla.com or contact Amanda Butler at 818-296-6882 or by email at email@example.com.
Local sponsors generously supporting March of Dimes include: Silver Sponsors: First Legal, Radius Bank, Rogers & Cowan, and Verizon; Bronze Sponsors: Adventist Health White Memorial, AEG, Anne Jarmain and Dan Lukas, Todd Christopher, Ergobaby, Wells Fargo, UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital and Wedgewood.
Honest stories of pregnancy, parenting and loss are too often left unshared. To fill this void, March of Dimes launched #UnspokenStories, a supportive community that gives voice to all experiences around these topics. This initiative aims to provide women, men and families a platform to connect and speak honestly. For more information and to share your story, please visit UnspokenStories.org.
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