Scenes from the 'Chefs' Playground' at Terzo Piano

[Photograph: Chelsea Ross]

Last week, Terzo Piano and the Bon Appètit Management Company hosted a Chefs' Playground to benefit the Academy for Global Citizenship, which is a charter school on the southwest side of Chicago. To bring a playful, child-like theme to the (dinner) table, celebrity chefs cooked right in front of the guests. Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill) served up pork shoulder and beef tongue tacos; Top Chef finalist Sarah Grueneberg (Spiaggia) plated gnocchi with asparagus to eager guests; and Food Network host of Mexican Made Easy, Marcela Valladolid, handed out burritos de Machaca. Need I say more?

There were at least ten other celebrity chefs serving their mouth-watering meals in a buffet-style lineup; it reminded me of a chic and upbeat version of my childhood cafeteria back in grade school. But instead of eating rubbery chicken nuggets from our styrofoam trays, this venue used white square plates and offered meats and fish such as roasted pork shoulder, beef tongue, smoked whitefish, and crispy fried oysters.

During the event, children from AGC showed us bystanders "garden yoga," while a full band performed on the rooftop overlooking downtown Chicago. Beverages included special cocktails made from Aviary's mixologist, Charles Joly. Not only did the AGC children benefit from this event, but we as guests and supporters did by filling our plates with decadent meals that you'll never find in a tin lunchbox.

Check it all out by clicking on the slideshow.