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WRITTEN BY CHARLES THORP!!!!!!!!!! 

Tonight's Chefs for Scher was arguably the finest tasting event of this year. The event presented an all-star lineup of chefs, a fantastic atmosphere and a worthy cause, all benefiting a scholarship in memory of the late Steven Scher.After a quick check-in at the door attendees were launched into a glamorous culinary gala that brought out the likes of Matt Dillon, Lauren Graham, Jill Hennessy and many heavy hitters in New York's gastronomic community. The Bowery Hotel made the perfect venue with multiple rooms filled with chef stations and a summer patio where guests could enjoy their sampling plates in the evening sun.Host for the night was Chef Laurent Tourondel of BLT Restaurants, whom had worked with Scher for his restaurants BLT Prime and BLT Steak.Another featured chef, Rocco Dispirito, had also worked with Steven Scher earlier in his career. Rocco collaborated with Scher's company Main Street Restaurant Group to open the 3-star Union Pacific in 1997, before he took his cooking and charisma to television.DiSpirito, with mother Nicolina nearby of course, was helping plate and serve Taylor Bay Scallops with Uni and Mustard Oil at his table. Fantastic presentation with the scallops in shells and the oil was addicting. The chef is hosting a culinary demonstration during this year's NYC Wine and Food Festival which I'm sure will be both educational and delicious. For tickets for his event click here.Another sought out dish was the one prepared by Food Network talent and celebrity chef Bobby Flay. The Throwdown star and his culinary team were representing the Mesa Grill with Smoked Shrimp in Coconut-Key Lime Sauce. The dish was served in a coconut shell and the flavors combined excellently.Chef Flay's burger concept, BBP (Bobby's Burger Palace), is experiencing some success and just opened a new location in Connecticut. When asked when BBP was coming to the city, the chef said there were no plans to do so. Guess Manhattan will just have to "settle" for hotspots like Mesa Grill and Bar Americain.With sixteen tasting stations to visit there was no time to waste. The chefs were friendly and accessable to all the patrons, fielding questions while posing for the occasional photo. All the dishes were worthy of note, from Chef John DeLucie's savory Mini-Chicken Pot Pies (The Waverly Inn) to Chef Hugo Reyes's sweet Mini Cajeta Sundae (Dos Cominos).The other top chefs who took their valuable time to contribute to this fantastic cause were: Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (Jean-Georges), Chef Scott Conant (Scarpetta), Chef Paul Liebrandt (Corton), Chef Ed Brown (Eighty-One), Chef Franklin Becker (Abe & Arthur's), Chef John Fraser (Dovetail), Chef Marc Murphy (Landmarc), Chef Alex Garcia (Calle Ocho), Chef Michael "Bao" Huynh (BarBao), Chef Stephen Kalt (Fornelletto) and Chef Nancy Olson (Gramercy Tavern).A special prayer goes out to Gramercy Tavern's pastry chef Nancy Olson, who's truckload of in season strawberries were carjacked en route! It a loss for the chef and for the tasters as well.The tickets were $225 for the VIP Pass, which got you in an hour earlier to find your dish and chat with the chefs, while the General Admission ($150) got you in at 7:30. There were also live and silent auctions going on at the event with some pretty impressive items up for bid. To see some of the charity items visit here.Chefs For Scher is the collaboration of Steve's colleagues and loved ones who are keeping his spirit alive by celebrating his contributions to the industry he loved. They do this by hosting culinary events in his honor for charity. In partnership with the James Beard Foundation proceeds from Chefs for Scher benefit the Steven Scher Memorial Scholarship for Aspiring Restauranteurs. To learn more about the scholarship and future events visit their website here.

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Carolyn Zweben, Licensed Associate RE Broker
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