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Risch Team Wins Celebrity Chef Award

Senator and Wife Take Home Honors in March of Dimes Event

May 7, 2009

Washington, D.C.- Serving as celebrity chefs for a March of Dimes Gourmet Gala, Senator Jim Risch and wife, Vicki, walked away with the Best Presentation award for their hors d'oeuvre, Idaho Potato Lollipops. The gala was a fundraiser for the March of Dimes with the theme, "Have the Heart, Brains & Courage to Help Save Babies."

"It was a great charity event and it was our pleasure to participate. I have to confess that my wife, Vicki, was the creative one, and she deserves the credit for us winning this award," said Risch. "It was just like at home in the kitchen - I had plenty of advice to give, but she ignored it and it turned out great."

"Jim and I had a wonderful time, especially when you know it raises money for a great cause like the March of Dimes. It also gave us opportunity to showcase Idaho potatoes. It was a pleasant surprise that we won. I was worried that we were going to run out of potatoes before the judges came. Jim kept saying he had to do a taste test every so often," said Vicki Risch.

The recipe, Idaho Potato Lollipops, was one recommended by the Idaho Potato Commission. "The theme for this event was the Wizard of Oz and I really appreciate the Idaho Potato Commission for their help on a recipe. Jim and I knew we wanted to feature Idaho's famous potatoes, but fitting it into the theme was a challenge. I asked them for help and they really came through with this recipe," Vicki Risch said.

Over 50 celebrity chefs, ranging from Capitol Hill couples to Washington, D.C. notables, turned out for the 27th annual March of Dimes dinner at the National Building Museum. Each celebrity chef served a sample of hors d'oeuvres from a recipe of their choice. Awards were given for the best hors d'oeuvres in five different categories: Best Presentation, Health and Happiness, American Regional Cuisine, Easiest Preparation, and Best in Show.

The Gourmet Gala provides funding for the Mama & Baby Bus program, which offers free prenatal and dental care to pregnant women throughout Washington, D.C. The event raised $660,000 for the program. The March of Dimes is the leading national nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health.