Bon appétit! Mario Batali and Mariska Hargitay at the chef's children's foundation benefit. Photo: Getty Images

Mariska Hargitay, Isabella Rossellini, Stanley Tucci, designer Isaac Mizrahi, and Jimmy Fallon were among the celebrities helping Mario Batali raise money for his children's foundation on Oct. 6 at the famed chef's New York City restaurant Del Posto.

"He has great taste in every way, and he always puts his money where his mouth is," Hargitay, wearing a Lela Rose cocktail dress, said.

The "Law & Order: SVU" star (favorite Batali dish: "Sweet potato lune. It's like a pumpkin ravioli, I'm addicted to it") added, "Making a difference in a child's life is the most important thing you can do."

Mizrahi, whom we last saw at his Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week show in September, said it had taken him almost this long to recover.


"I thought maybe I wouldn't be dramatic and take time off, but I just couldn't do it. I got a cold and an ear infection, I was a mess for two weeks," the designer told us.

His Bravo reality competition, "The Fashion Show," returns Nov. 9, "which is a Tuesday and it's opposite 'The Good Wife,'" noted Mizrahi, "so I think everyone should DVR my show and watch 'The Good Wife.' Just kidding! Watch my show and DVR 'The Good Wife.'"

The show's new format has two fashion shows a week rather than one, and will be co-hosted by Iman. "She's out of her mind," Mizrahi said. "So elegant and so funny, and so major."

And his favorite Batali dish? "The pistachio semifreddo at Babbo. I worship ice cream -- it's my favorite thing in the world."

Batali himself told us his foundation intends to help children face all the challenges of their future. "And they cant do this if they're hungry, they're sick, or they can't read," he said. "So the entire foundation is devoted to those three causes: children's hunger, children's disease research, and literacy."

The celebrity chef, who has lost 40 pounds, was looking healthy in his trademark orange Crocs, a Brooks Brothers shirt, and "a duct-tape tie made by my 12-year-old son Leo."

The Magic Martinis & Mario event, co-sponsored by Vanity Fair magazine, is accepting donations at MarioBataliFoundation.org.

"The beauty of a children's cause is that it's so simple," Batali said of persuading his famous friends to help out. "Raising money to give a bunch of wealthy and talented kids a new trombone is far less compelling than giving them a book."

One celebri-pal who was not able to attend, however, was Gwyneth Paltrow, with whom Batali made the food documentary series "Spain... On the Road Again" in 2008.

"I saw her three weeks ago, I walked her through Eataly," he said, referring to his new large-scale Italian food hall in Manhattan's Flatiron District. "She cried."

Why did she cry -- because she doesn't eat carbs?

"She was just so happy about it," he said, "because it's so beautiful."

Speaking of Paltrow, check out the actress and Jennifer Lopez in the same Victoria Beckham dress.