Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A "Jewel" Of An Evening

"R" and I had the pleasure of attending The Best Cleveland Chefs Cooking to Bring Jewel Home from China on Monday night at the Sight Center to benefit the Jarrett family. Local chef Jeff Jarrett and his family are trying to adopt their second special needs child from China, and the price tag is hefty. Did you know that it can cost over $20,000 to bring an adopted child over from China?

Well for just $25, guests did their part to contribute to this worthy cause. You can help too by making an online donation here.

We dined our way through 19 chef stations and thoroughly enjoyed sampling the dishes from some of our area's best. For photos and descriptions of each, check out my fellow blogger Nancy's post. Our favorites of the evening were Ky-Wai Wong- Lucky's Cafe: Mac & Cheese and Matt Mathlage- Light Bistro: Pork Belly Sandwich. The good news is that the heavenly macaroni and cheese can be found on Lucky's regular menu. This dish seriously made us want to jump in the car and drive there immediately! Also, Nancy discovered that Light Bistro's sandwich is featured on the Happy Hour menu. I know where we are headed next Friday! A close third was Matt Baber from Naya Bistro. Naya was our discovery for the evening. I've never heard of this restaurant, located in Highland Heights, but after trying their jerk pork dish we can't wait to check it out.

Of course the food was fantastic and we really enjoyed almost everything that we tried, but what really struck me about the evening was not necessarily the food. It was so nice to look around the room and see such an eclectic crowd- all there to support the Jarrett family. I saw many of my fellow foodies and bloggers (all tempted by the promise of fabulous samplings), supporters of the Sight Center, and then many extended Jarrett family members and friends. Family members all had on name tags identifying themselves as "Jewel's Aunt", "Jewel's Grandpa", etc. and I thought that it was a sweet touch.

Also, we all know that our area's chefs are fabulous and give so generously throughout the year at local tasting events and charity benefits. But to see them all rally behind one of their own was inspiring. As we made our way through the room and spoke with almost all of the chefs, they commented on what an honor it was to be there and that they were happy to help this family unite. It truly made me proud to be a Clevelander. It was a "jewel" of an evening, and we wish the family the best of luck at reaching their fundraising goal.