Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS -- In the kitchen at Dooky Chase Restaurant, renowned Creole chef Leah Chase is planning a big order, dessert for 1,500 people at the Chefs' Charity For Children next Tuesday.

'I'm doing Praline Pudding,' said Mrs. Chase.

The Chefs' Charity For Children on Jan. 14 is a combination 10-course brunch, cooking school and comedy act. Ten renowned chefs give participants a cookbook and show some of their kitchen secrets, and then everyone samples each dish.

In addition to Mrs. Chase, the chefs featured include Emeril Lagasse, John Besh, John Folse, Donald Link, Tory McPhail, Greg Reggio, Andrea Apuzzo, The Wong Brothers and David Woodward of the Hilton.

The $65 tickets support St. Michael Special School, which serves 200 children and adults with developmental disabilities, from age 6 to 56, teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic to students, and job skills for adults.

'We promote our students to do their very best to reach their highest levels of achievement,' said Principal Susan Munster.

'No matter what your capacity is, they give you a way to earn a living, to live a normal life,' said Chef Leah.

Now the students are working on items that are sold at the Chefs' Charity. But there is also a raffle and an auction that includes a signed print by the late artist George Rodrigue.

But they're still 100 tickets short of selling out. That's $6,500 badly needed dollars at St. Michael Special School.

'For every child that I accept into this school, we have to raise $6,000 every year to keep the doors open,' said Munster. 'So in order for us to sell those last 100 tickets, that's essentially keeping a child in this school this year.'

'I hope we do well, because that is one charity that I will do until the day I die,' said Mrs. Chase.

Fot ticket information, call St. Michael Special School at 524-7285, or visit their website at

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