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Nice birthday present: Oprah gives Art Smith's charity $250k

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Mario Santiago (May St. Cafe), Art Smith, me 

Last night, Chicago chef Art Smith celebrated his 50th birthday in style. Several of the nation's top chefs cooked up their signature dishes for a crowd of Chicago celebrities. Chefs included Ming Tsai, David Burke and Boston's Barbara Lynch, as well as Gavin Kaysen from Cafe Boulud in New York and "Top Chef" winner Stephanie Izard. Birthday revelers included Mayor Richard Daley and former White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers.

The night was capped by the news that Oprah Winfrey (Smith's old boss) donated $250,000 to Smith's charity, Common Threads.

Here are some more pictures from the event:

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Nigella Lawson and me

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Bruce Seidell (Food Network), Nigella, me

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Michael Johns (American Idol, Season 7) singing before dessert
 

You can find more real-time pictures from last night's event on my Twitter page.

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