Autism Speaks Annual Celebrity Chef Gala

Events / Giveaways / Partnerships

Angelo Sosa, Michael Symon and Jonathan Waxman!

Last week, I had the great honor of covering the Autism Speaks 6th Annual Celebrity Chef Gala.  While the majority of events I cover usually all about the food, this event combined both spectacular cuisine with a great cause; I felt absolutely privileged to attend!

The event, hosted by Michael Symon of “The Chew,” and featuring celebrity chefs such as Tom Colicchio, Angelo Sosa, Mike Isabella, Masaharu Morimoto and so many more, it is no wonder that Autism Speaks raised over $1.6 million  with this event alone, funding research and advocacy initiatives for individuals with autism.

The event took place at Cipriani Wall Street, an absolutely gorgeous venue:

More than 90 top chefs – one chef per sponsor table – prepared and served a four-course meal table side exclusively for their guests.  It was so fascinating and surreal to see full ovens and ranges interspersed between every table – the set-up was quite elaborate!

I had a lot of fun attending the cocktail hour preceding the dinner, where several chefs presented hors d’oeuvres that were seriously amazing.  I’d like to believe they *meant* for me to try 6 of each, and I was just being compliant.

Some amazing highlights included this fois gras custard – call me uncouth but I would eat a big tub of this. So addictive..


This Wellington crostini with charred strip steak, foie gras and marrow mustard was an exquisite combination of numerous flavors and textures:

I love anything with beets (and hello, goat cheese!), so this Ohio honey infused goat cheese mousse, beet gelee, ganache and pistachio dacquoise was a sweet and tangy fave:

My eating buddy especially favored the Ohio maple caramelized lobster with brown butter miso vinaigrette, and I’d have to agree:

And how about a runny quail egg? Yes please!  This beef tartare with chef-grown pickled ramps on shiso with quail egg was delicate yet intensely flavorful:

I took a break from stuffing my face to catch Morimoto mugging for the camera:

And posing with Michael Symon – they seemed to be having such a great time!

Here Chefs Symon and Morimoto pose with Autism Speaks co-founders Suzanne and Bob Wright:

Why hello, Angelo Sosa!

And much more mingling, snacking, and watching the experts do their thing!



The Autism Speaks 6th Annual Celebrity Chef Gala was, once again, a huge success in raising money for autism research and advocacy, and a truly spectacular event.  It was heartwarming to see so many chefs come together for one evening, sharing the mastery of their skill for a great cause and having fun in the process!


Julian Alonzo, Brasserie 8 ½           

Nate Appleman, Chipotle

Tyler Atwell, Mandarin Oriental

Wolfgang Ban, Seasonal

Aaron Bashy, The Water Club

Franklin Becker, Executive Chef and Event Co-Chair

Jonathan Benno, Lincoln Ristorante

Jamie Bissonnette, Coppa and Toro

Wayne Brachman, Porterhouse New York

Terrance Brennan, Picholine and Artisanal

Ed Brown, Ed’s Chowder House

Ryan Butler, Whitehall

Joey Campanaro, The Little Owl, Village Belle and Market Table

Marco Canora, Terroir and Hearth

Richard Capizzi, Lincoln Ristorante

Floyd Cardoz, North End Grill

David Carmichael, New York Palace Hotel

Cesare Casella, Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto

Jansen Chan, Oceana

Tom Colicchio, Colicchio & Sons

Stephen Collucci, Colicchio & Sons

Kate Cowan, Delicatessen

Traci Des Jardins, Jardinière

Jennifer Domanski, Crosby Street Hotel

Shaun Doty, Bantam + Biddy                       

Brian Doyle, SOW Food Catering and Prepared CSA

Brad Farmerie, PUBLIC and Saxon + Parole

Michael Ferraro, Delicatessen

Neal Fraser, The Rectory at Vibiana

Katsuya Fukushima, Daikaya Restaurant

Michael Gabriel, The Sea Grill

Michael Ginor, Hudson Valley Foie Gras and LOLA

Marcus Gleadow-Ware, Aureole

Laurant Gras, Executive Chef

Lee Hanson, Minetta Tavern

Rusty Hamlin, Zac Brown Band

Amon Hayon, LOLA

Brooks Headley, Del Posto

Kerry Heffernan, South Gate

Manabu Inoue, MORIMOTO

Mike Isabella, Graffiato

Johnny Iuzzini, Sugar Fueled INC

Tommy Juliano Jr., ON20

Romuald Jung, Bagatelle

Mark Ladner, Del Posto

Chris Leahy, Lexington Brass

John Lee, Marseille and Nice Matin

Christina Lee, Recette


Which of the above chefs would you love to have cook dinner for you?

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  • Reply
    October 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    oh wow! everything looks so amazing. i love morimoto. I would try the foie gras custard b/c it intrigues me but not sure I could eat a tubful like you…

  • Reply
    October 16, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Because of my sweet tooth, I would like a full dinner made up of desserts prepared by Johnny Iuzzini. I would also like to touch his hair 🙂

  • Reply
    October 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    So cool!! And, of course they meant for you to have 6 of each!

  • Reply
    October 19, 2012 at 11:11 am

    runny quail eggs? mmm

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