It was beyond flattering to be asked to participate in this years Autism Speaks Celebrity Chef Gala at the beautiful Cipriani Wall Street.

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The level of talent gathered in this room was enough to make anyone chef star struck. Each team of chef and pastry chef cooked for one table of 10 guests, donating their time, talent and ingredients to make a one of a kind dining experience and raise a lot of cash for a great cause.  Look really close and you’ll see Ted Allen, the evening’s host at the first table, Chef Morimoto making sushi at the second…

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Crazy how I ended up front and center in the class photo!

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The dining room was lined with guest tables, prep tables and 52 ovens all going at once to create a one of a kind event, with chefs cooking table side just for you.

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I was paired with Chef Andrew Zimmerman  of Sepia in Chicago.  The smell in the air was amazing.  He cooked, we waited….

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And finally, I was up…  plating my Pumpkin Fig Cheesecake, adorned with 24K gold leaves.  There may or may not have been a request for second helpings…. can a chef ever ask for a better compliment?

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And never wanting to send people away empty handed, we made these beautiful gift boxes filled with Concorde grape chocolates, macerated figs chocolates, smoked peanut butter cookies, pecan pralines and orange sugar cookies so the sweetness could last and last.

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And I couldn’t have done it without the support and talent of my lovely friend and fellow chef Anina Schulman!

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Looking forward to 2015, and dreaming of what I’ll make then…