Home Culture Members of Congress don toques to raise funds for moms’, babies’ health

Members of Congress don toques to raise funds for moms’, babies’ health

Members of Congress don toques to raise funds for moms’, babies’ health
Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) and his wife Ann Scott prepared wild rice chicken salad.

Sarah and Chris Kinling delivered a healthy baby after a years-long struggle with infertility.

Shortly after delivery, however, Kinling experienced health complications that were dismissed by healthcare professionals in the hospital. She was discharged but was rushed back to the hospital two days later after suffering multiple seizures caused by postpartum eclampsia.

The 42nd Annual March of Dimes Gourmet tells the stories of families like the Kinlings, whose lives have been  touched by March of Dimes programs.

“I support the March of Dimes because they advocate for mothers before, during and after pregnancy and stories like mine need to be heard,” Sarah Kinling said in a 2023 video for the nonprofit.

The March of Dimes has worked for the past 85 years to end preventable maternal health risks and death, end preventable preterm birth and infant death and close the health equity gap for all families. It does so by  supporting research, lead programs, and providing education and advocacy.

In the United States, 700 women die each year because of pregnancy or delivery complications, but half of these deaths are preventable, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The gala at the National Building Museum on May 15th featured the Congressional Chef Competition, where more than 700 guests and more than 40 members of Congress donned chefs’ toques and prepared their favorite recipes as they competed against each other.

Competitors included veteran members of Congress like Sen. Angus Stanley King, Jr. (I-Maine), Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), all of whom support the nonprofit’s mission.

The congressmen were judged by chefs Gabe Thompson of Thompson Italian, Matt Baker of Gravitas and Michele’s, Pepe Moncayo of Cranes, and Robbie Meltzer of the Jose Andrés Group. The following toques came out on top:

  • Judge’s Choice – Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY) and Mrs. Corinne Goldman, Challa
  • People’s Choice – Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA) and Mrs. Vivian Bishop, Grandma Betty’s Yellow Corn Grits & Southern Style Spicy Shrimp
  • Best Presentation – Rep. Greg Landsman (D-OH) and Mrs. Sarah Landsman, Shrimp Louis
  • Hometown Hero – Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), Tater Tot Casserole
  • Healthiest Recipe – Rep. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Mrs. Ann Scott, Wild Rice Chicken Salad
  • Easiest Preparation – Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) and Dr. Marcia Latta, Oreo Victory Dessert

Paddles flew as guests vied for exclusive experiences and luxurious items in a live auction to raise money for the March of Dimes. Altogether, $1.4 million was raised to help the organization.

Sen. John Cornyn from Texas and his wife Sandy Cornyn served mini pigs in a blanket with different sauces for attendees and judges.
Rep. Bob Latta from Ohio’s 5th district and Dr. Marcia Latta won Easiest Preparation with their Oreo victory dessert.

Stella Canino-Quinones