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Signature Chef participant will cook as her daughter chairs the event

October 10, 2018

SIOUX CITY -- A few days before the 15th annual Siouxland March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auction, Soho American Kitchen & Bar’s Julie Schoenherr is thinking of high concept ways to publicize the event with her daughter Amanda Dannenbring.

“What do you think of this one?” Schoenherr, one of the participating chefs asked Dannenbring, a family physician with Family Health Care of Siouxland’s Dakota Dunes clinic and the chairwoman of the event. “This mother and daughter may be wearing two different coats but they are working for the same cause.”

Noticing that Schoenherr was wearing her black chef’s coat while she was in a white lab coat, Dannenbring nodded her head.

“I think we have a winner,” Dannenbring said with a smile.

A much-anticipated annual event, the Signature Chef’s Auction brings some of Siouxland’s culinary talent together for an event which raises funds for the March of Dimes’ local research and education programs.

This year, the program is taking place at 6 p.m., Thursday, at Delta Hotels by Marriott in South Sioux City.

In addition to Schoenherr, who has participated in the past six events, the 2018 Signature Chef’s line-up includes the Sioux City Country Club’s Montana Childress; the Sugar Shack Bakery’s Claudia Hessa; WinnaVegas Casino Resort’s Jose Luis Hernandez Sr.; Crash! Boom! Bang! Whiskey Hole’s Rick Swanson; Minervas Restaurant & Bar’s Matt Jacobson; Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Nick Goodwin; Kahill’s Steak-Fish and Chophouse’s Andrew Berger; McCarthy & Bailey’s Irish Pub’s Kory Irwin and Mi Familia Mexican Restaurant’s Bereto Guevara.

“I’m really excited because we have chefs who’ve never participated before,” Schoenherr said. “It will be very interesting to see what people come up with.”

Since past Signature Chef’s Auctions allowed participants to complete against each other for the People’s Choice designation, how does Soho’s top chef view the competition?

“Oh, didn’t you know? We’ve done away with the competition,” Dannenbring said. “This will simply be a celebration of the best chefs in Siouxland.”

Plus it will support a worthwhile cause.

In Iowa, more than 39,400 babies are born every year and the work of the March of Dimes touches each one of them, whether they are born healthy, prematurely, with birth defects or other complications.

Approximately 3,563 babies are born prematurely in Iowa every year. That’s about one in 11 babies. Around 1,196 Iowa babies are born with a birth defect and 166 babies die before reaching their first birthday.

March of Dimes research, education and advocacy programs will help more moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies.

As a family physician, Dannenbring understands the importance of the March of Dimes. As the mom of Ali, 9, Sophie, 6, and Ben, 4, she has first-hand experience.

“Ali was born prematurely but she’s happy and healthy nowadays,” Dannenbring said.

Knowing she wanted to become a doctor since kindergarten, Dannenbring always excelled in the study of science.

“That’s probably why Amanda is such a good cake maker,” Schoenherr suggested. “There’s plenty of science in baking.”

Dannenbring is quick to concede her mom is the more creative cook.

Still, Schoenherr is looking forward in seeing what types of dishes her fellow Signature Chefs will be making this year.

“We really do have some of the best culinary talents lined for this year’s event,” she said. “We may not be competing against each other but we will all be bringing our A game.”

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