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Not Your Everyday Potluck Dinner

Dozens of celebrity chefs and rising stars prepared some of their favorite dishes Monday night at the 20th annual chefs' tribute to City-Meals-on-Wheels, which raised more than $1 million for the charity.

NEW YORK — Dozens of celebrity chefs and rising stars prepared some of their favorite dishes Monday night at the 20th annual chefs’ tribute to City-Meals-on-Wheels, which raised more than $1 million for the charity.

Dubbed “Starry, Starry Night,” the event was held outdoors on a steamy evening at the Rockefeller Center rink and gardens. It featured tasting stations offering gourmet food prepared by 33 top chefs from New York and across the U.S., including Daniel Boulud, Charlie Trotter, Larry Forgione and Charlie Palmer.

Among the longest lines were those for a sampling of sashimi salad and hand rolls from Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu, and charred eggplant with Indian-spiced braised short ribs and cilantro-mint vinaigrette from Wolfgang Puck of Spago.

More than 1,200 business and civic leaders, socialites, food enthusiasts and restaurateurs wound their way from station to station, including John and Laura Pomerantz, Abbey Doneger, Ruth Finley, Ruth Reichl, Lally Weymouth and Ashley Charron — daughter of Liz Claiborne chairman and chief executive officer Paul Charron — who works for Donna Karan International.

After a late afternoon downpour, the weather cooperated until about 9:30 p.m., when the chefs came on stage to thank everybody and the skies again opened up. Fortunately, the optimistically named “Starry, Starry Night” was just winding down.

This story first appeared in the June 8, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.