When patrons of this year’s Chef’s Charity for Children shelled out their $55 for a ticket, they were certainly in for a treat with just how much fun, food, art and prizes were packed into it! Benefitting St. Michael Special School in the Garden District, the fundraising event drew in a crowd of nearly 1,500 people to the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. The festivities began at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, February 3, as students showed off lovely crafts and works of art, including hand-painted streetcar replicas, Mardi Gras decorations, note cards, aprons and decorated home goods. All art was available to the crowd. Amazing door prizes and raffled goods went to lucky recipients, including a weekend stay at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino, a signed Hornets basketball, a signed Saints football, $1,000 in cash and beautiful jewelry and home furnishings. But the highlight of the day was definitely the food, as major players on the local culinary scene served up a 10-course small plates menu to lucky diners. This year’s participating chefs were Andrea Apuzzo, John Besh, Frank Brigtsen, Leah Chase, John Folse, Geoffredo Fraccaro, Emeril Lagasse, Gunter Preuss, Lazone Randolph, the Wong Brothers and Hilton’s own David Woodward. Each chef prepared a signature dish for hungry guests, and these sensational bites contributed to the outstanding success of the day. The Chef’s Charity for Children raised nearly $80,000 for the school, much to the joy of chairladies Debbie Cronin and Stephanie Donovan.