Deneb Williams, Chef Partner of Allora, Is the 2019 Culinary Honoree

Sacramento, CA | Thursday, September 12, 2019

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Eiko Arashiro
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March of Dimes is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Signature Chefs Auction, one of Sacramento’s most anticipated charity farm-to-fork food events. Sacramento’s top chefs are joining forces to raise critical funds to benefit the March of Dimes’ mission to lead the fight for the health of all moms and babies. The philanthropic evening will take place on Thursday, October 24, 2019 at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento.  Gulstan Dart, award- winning KCRA anchor, will host the evening.

Deneb Williams, Chef Partner of Allora, is March of Dimes 2019 Culinary Honoree. Chef Williams will be recognized for his passion and commitment to excellence in hospitality, his exceptional food and his contributions to March of Dimes and the Sacramento Community. 

In 2015, Chef Deneb was voted “Best Chef” by readers of Sacramento Magazine. He has earned numerous awards like the coveted DiRona, the AAA Mobile Four Star/Four Diamond Rating and this summer, he received recognition by the Michelin Guide. “We are pleased to honor Chef Deneb Williams for his culinary contributions to our region and for his vital role with starting the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction Sacramento 10 years ago,” says Jennifer Ottolini, March of Dimes Executive Director, Greater Sacramento. “Because of his hard work and dedication to our mission, we have raised more than $1.7 million to aid in the fight for the health of all moms and babies!”

Dr. Amy Rahm, UC Davis Children’s Hospital Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon, who is co-chairing this year’s event with her husband, actor Kevin Rahm, says, “We are so grateful to Chef Williams for his 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.” Dr. Rahm continues, “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 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.

“We are grateful to work with these talented chefs who are artists, innovators and philanthropists,” says Eiko Arashiro, Development Manager for March of Dimes Sacramento Valley. “This exclusive evening is a great opportunity to experience the diverse epicurean talent in Sacramento while celebrating and supporting this great cause.” 

Sacramento’s most innovative chefs are bringing their passion to this year’s Signature Chefs Auction including: Deneb Williams – Allora; Taro Arai – Mukuni Sushi; Michael Grande – Dawson’s Steakhouse; Oliver Ridgeway – Camden Spit & Larder; Ryan Rose – Zocalo; Jonathan Clemons – The Porch Restaurant & Bar; Wes Nilssen – DeVere’s Irish Pub; Sam Marvin – Echo & Rig; Vincent Alexander – Sheraton Grand Sacramento – Morgan’s Restaurant; Tim Benham – Sacramento RiverCats; Michael Hagerty – Classique Catering; Santana Diaz – UC Davis Health.

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, including a dinner for eight at the Michelin-Star restaurant, The Kitchen. Table of 10 for the event is $2.500. For more information, including sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact Eiko Arashiro at 916-576-2832 or by email at [email protected].

Local sponsors generously supporting March of Dimes include Gold Sponsors: AKT and UC Davis Health; Silver Sponsors: Sutter Health, Utilligent and Celebrations; Bronze Sponsors: McGuire Hester, Perinatal Associates of Sacramento, Navajo Pipelines, Inc., SMUD, Tricounties Bank; Honoree Sponsor: California Restaurant Association Sacramento Chapter; Media Sponsors: KCRA and Sacramento Magazine.

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

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

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