by Ian McNulty
Once again this year, a diverse collection of a dozen well-known local chefs will host the Chefs' Charity for Children, a luncheon and fundraiser for St. Michael's Special School for developmentally disabled children.
The chefs will conduct cooking demonstrations, and the list of participants includes some New Orleans restaurant empire-builders (Emeril Lagasse and John Besh), a culinary legend (Leah Chase) and even a veteran of one of the area’s lost restaurants (Goffredo Fraccaro of Metairie’s La Riviera, which did not reopen after Hurricane Katrina).
The event is scheduled for April 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Hilton Riverside Hotel, and it usually sells out well ahead of time. Tickets this year cost $65 and include a banquet lunch and a cookbook featuring 35 recipes from the chefs who have volunteered for the event. To order tickets, call 524-7285.
In addition to the chefs named above, the event features chefs Andrea Apuzzo of Andrea’s; Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen's and Charlie’s Seafood; John Folse of Chef John Folse & Company, and the forthcoming Restaurant R’evolution; Gunter Preuss of Broussard's; Lazone Randolph of Brennan’s; Frank and Tommy Wong of Trey Yuen; and David Woodward of the Hilton Riverside Hotel.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Chefs’ Charity for Children, which was originally conceived by the late New Orleans culinary icon Warren LeRuth and the late journalist Phil Johnson of WWL-TV. Since its start in 1978 the event has raised more than $1 million for St. Michael’s Special School. Last year, the school dedicated a statue of LeRuth at its Uptown campus to honor his legacy of generosity, which lives on with the Chefs’ Charity event each year.