Chef’s Auction Brings Out the Best in OBX

Chef Donny King, Ocean Boulevard, at the 16th Annual Signature Chef's Auction.
Chef Donny King, Ocean Boulevard, at the 16th Annual Signature Chef’s Auction.

As a reminder of how great it is to be associated with the Outer Banks, the 16th Annual Outer Banks Signature Chef’s Auction is perfect.

Held on Sunday at Duck Woods Country Club, there’s a little bit of glamour, some great food, it’s for a great cause and the generosity of the Outer Banks is on full display.

A fundraiser for the March of Dimes, the Chef’s Auction featured 12 area chef’s at their creative best. That alone is a great reason to come to the event, but there is also the auction.

There’s a silent auction as everyone is sampling the food, but the fundraising highlight has got to be the Live Auction Items. Seventeen packages were bid on this year, and there were some spectacular packages.

A week on Ocracoke for six; personal chef service for a 25 person party; dinner and a sunset cruise on a yacht—there was something for everyone. And the bid reflected that, ranging all the way up to $6500.

But the evening was really all about the Outer Banks families who have children who may not have survived if it wasn’t for the March of Dimes and the research the organization has been doing.

The Nola Bryne was this year’s ambassador. Nola and her mom went through a tough time at birth and three-and-a-half years later Nola still has some issue, but she is an active, cheerful child with a smile that can light up the largest room.

That’s what the Chef’s Auction was all about. After the food has been eaten—and it was great food; after the auctions and everyone goes home and hugs their kids, the evening really is about hope and the generosity of the Outer Banks community.

Participating restaurants

Aqua Restaurant and Spa-Chef Cory Bryant

Black Pelican-Chef Jason Jordon

Cravings Steak and Seafood-Scott Foster

Duck Woods Country Club-Chef Joey Russo

Eastside Restaurant-Chef Jeff Readman

Mike Dianna’s Grill Room-Chef Mike Dianna

Ocean Boulevard-Chef Donny King

Red Sky Cafe-Chef Wes Stepp

Kimball’s Kitchen, Sanderling Resort-Chefs Tyler Powell, Brian Riddle

Steamer-Chefs Chris Braswell, Michael Blanchard

Stripers Bar and Grille-Chef Alfredo Landzuri

The Saltbox Cafe-Chefs Randolph and Amanda Sprinkle

15th Annual Chefs Auction at Duck Woods Country Club

Chef Donny King of Ocean Boulevard with his sweet potato and tenderloin steak.
Chef Donny King of Ocean Boulevard with his sweet potato and duck tenderloin.

The food was so good it defies description; the auction items were amazing; the evening of the 15th Annual March of Dimes Chefs Auction at Duck Woods Country Club a wonderful memory.

It was also, though, a chance to reflect on the miracle of birth and what it mean to families when something goes wrong—and how precious and important that child becomes as it struggles to breath; struggles to survive, and then against all odds it does.

That was the story the Gray family told—a story of ultimate triumph in spite of the set backs and continuing medical issues. That was the story of the Pitts family who 11 months after their twins were born prematurely have a healthy children.

The event was truly memorable. We toasted 15 years with champagne; we sampled some of the best food imaginable; the generosity of the Outer Banks community was on full display with bid paddle after bid paddle rising time and time again.

Yes the auction items were worth bidding on—the Cabo, Mexico vacation package for a beachfront stay seemed to get the high bid at $2400, but as great as the auction packages were, the excitement in the room was for the bids, the money that was being raised . . . and the hope that it represents.