Celebrity chefs from around the country were showcased at the Autism Speaks to Wall Street fundraising gala hosted on October 13 by Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. It’s the ninth annual dinner party with a twist: Cooking tableside, 50 pairs of head chefs and pastry chefs created signature four- course meals for small groups of guests, under the dome of the landmark Cipriani Wall Street.
This year’s event marked ten years of progress since Suzanne and Bob Wright co-founded Autism Speaks. ABC News Correspondent Bob Woodruff and his wife Lee Woodruff, a best- selling author and CBS News contributor, hosted the evening. Honorees included U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York for his strong support of the autism community and Google for its commitment to advancing autism research.
Two young musicians with autism who made national headlines performed and earned standing ovations: Christopher Duffley, 14, performed the national anthem as he did at Boston’s Fenway Park. Duffley also sang in five languages during Philadelphia’s festivities for Pope Francis. And Jacob Velazquez, an 8-year-old pianist, performed the Taylor Swift medley that became a huge hit on social media last summer – when Jacob even got a Tweet (and concert invitation) from Taylor Swift herself.