Dining By the Bay Returns May 19

Great food for a great cause

Five talented chefs and five courses will make for one incredible meal during Dining by the Bay, returning Thursday, May 19, to Maxwelton Braes in Baileys Harbor. 

“After an extremely successful event in 2019, which raised nearly $30,000 for the YMCA’s annual campaign, the pandemic caused the [event’s cancellation] in 2020 and 2021,” said Alyssa Dantoin, the Door County YMCA’s annual giving director. The event assists more than 1,200 YMCA members with their fees. 

The five chefs have created a menu that’s cohesive, but far from ordinary. 

“[It’s] not something you will see anywhere or anytime else,” Dantoin said. “Each featured chef is responsible for one course of the overall meal, which highlights their own style and specialty.”

As the courses are served, the chefs will step out of the kitchen to describe what they’ve made and share their cooking philosophy. 

This year’s chefs include two who are returning from the 2019 event – Karl Bradley of Thyme Restaurant + Catering and Sara Doherty of Roots Inn & Kitchen, both in Sister Bay. Gretchen (GiGi) Geurts of Ohana Hospitality, Mauricio Martinez of DC Fresh Personal Chefs, and Kim Jensen of Pink Bakery are the three newcomers who will round out the roster.

“Each year we select a different variety of chefs to ensure that the event experience is unique,” Dantoin said. “We chose these chefs this year based on their creative menu planning and the contribution they have made to the Door County food landscape over the past several years.”

For the chefs, the event is an opportunity to flex their creative muscles to create a dish they might not get to showcase on their respective menus. 

“Collaborating with like-minded food people is always exciting,” said Martinez, who will be preparing a whitefish dish using local whitefish from Henriksen’s Fisheries. 

“I wanted to stay as local as possible [with the ingredients],” he said. “I love the creativity of cooking and that I can bring my background into my dish. I’ll be adding a bit of a Mexican twist, which is my heritage.”

For Geurts, the opportunity to participate in the event is a way to give back to an organization that has meant a lot to her. 

“My thoughts were, ‘Wow. This could be a really fun opportunity for me to give back to a place that really helped me when I first moved back to DC from Hawaii 10 years ago,’” she said about being asked to be one of the featured chefs. 

Some of the ingredients for the salad – Guerts’ contribution to the meal – will be sourced from Hidden Acres Farm in Sister Bay, and the salad will also feature a special ingredient from Hawaii. 

Wine provided by Twelve Eleven Wine and Provisions in Sister Bay, a featured beer from One Barrel Brewing in Egg Harbor, and craft cocktails from Hatch Distillery in Egg Harbor will also be highlights this year, along with a live auction. Diners can bid on items such as a three-night dove-hunting trip for two to Cordoba, Argentina; a seven-night stay for up to 16 people in Breckenridge, Colorado; and Green Bay Packers regular-season tickets.

“Each [live-auction item] is an experience for a group of any age, interest or background to enjoy,” Dantoin said. 

Event tickets are $150 per person. Individual registration is available, and groups of eight can also reserve their own table. Space is limited. 

Questions? Call Alyssa Dantoin at 920.743.4949.