EMERIL LAGASSE FOUNDATION’S FIFTH ANNUAL “CARNIVALE DU VIN” RAISES $1.9 MILLION FOR CHILDREN’S CAUSESPosted by: Jeff Hinson
Emeril Lagasse Foundation Joins Fight to End Hunger in Las Vegas with Funding for Three Square Food Bank “Kids Cafe®”
LAS VEGAS (November 17, 2009) – At the Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s fifth anniversary “Carnivale du Vin,” a crowd of 700 guests gathered for an evening of food, wine and revelry on Saturday, November 14, 2009 at The Venetian in Las Vegas and helped raise $1.9 million for children’s causes.
Building on the Foundation’s mission to support children’s culinary arts, nutrition and education programs in communities where Emeril Lagasse has restaurants, Lagasse announced his Foundation’s partnership with Three Square food bank and a grant to establish Kids Cafe® – a program of Feeding America – in three Las Vegas area pilot schools, to provide nutritious afterschool meals to more than 500 students. In addition to serving meals, the program will teach students healthy eating skills so they can make smart choices about food.
Other projects funded by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation include the new Edible Cafeteria & Teaching Kitchen at Edible Schoolyard New Orleans and a four-year Culinary Arts Program for high school students at New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA).
To kick off Carnivale du Vin, Lagasse was joined on the red carpet by fellow chefs and celebrities including Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali, Charlie Trotter, Daniel Boulud, Michael Mina, Bradley Ogden, Kerry Simon, Charlie Palmer, Joe Bastianich, Karina Smirnoff, Rob Goldstein, Sammy Hagar, and Aaron Neville.
Mario Batali was given a special tribute by Lagasse and named as the 2009 Carnivale du Vin Honoree, commemorating his long-time support of Emeril Lagasse Foundation and his participation in Carnivale du Vin for the past five years.
An all-star lineup of “Krewe du Vin” chefs created the ultimate grand tasting – 21 cooking stations serving haute New Orleans inspired cuisine, such as Mario Batali’s Muffeletta, Daniel Boulud’s Boudin Noir, Michael Mina’s Ruby Red Shrimp Po’boy, Wolfgang Puck’s Shrimp “Louie” Salad, and Kerry Simon’s Shrimp and Grits.
Each chef was paired with a master vintner pouring exquisite wines, including a special bottling of Carnivale du Vin Pinot Noir by Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat, Domaine Serene, Gemstone Vineyard, Kosta Browne Winery, Pride Mountain Vineyards, Schrader Cellars and Williams Selyem.
Lagasse and the chefs de cuisine from his restaurants served a special selection – Tequila & Lime Marinated Fish Tacos with Shrimp Salsa and “Diablo Tea,” a cocktail made with Cabo Wabo Reposado tequila infused with tea, prickly pear and fresh lemonade – to honor his musician-friend Sammy Hagar.
Patrons experienced the soulful spirit of the Big Easy with entertainment by Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue and New Orleans icons The Neville Brothers.
The live charity wine auction featured highly sought-after private dining experiences prepared by celebrity chefs, rare and deep wine collections and unique travel experiences. One of the top auction lots was a last minute addition by Charlie Trotter, who took the stage and offered to prepare a private dinner for ten guests, assisted by chefs Mario Batali, Gale Gand and Norman Van Aken, with priceless wines from Trotter’s and master sommeliers Larry Stone’s and Kevin Vogt’s personal cellars, which brought in two bids of $180,000 each.
Other popular lots included a lunch with Martha Stewart, a beachside retreat with Emeril Lagasse at Sammy Hagar’s home in Cabo San Lucas, and an original painting by distinguished Louisiana artist George Rodrigue – who also contributed his famous “Blue Dog” to the event’s theme.
About Emeril Lagasse Foundation and Carnivale du Vin:
Established in 2002 as the realization of Chef Emeril’s dream to improve the quality of young people’s lives, Emeril Lagasse Foundation supports children’s education and non-profit organizations with culinary, nutrition, garden, arts and life skills programs. Projects funded by the Foundation include an outdoor classroom & garden and Edible Cafeteria & Teaching Kitchen at Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, a learning kitchen for special needs students at St. Michael Special School, a four-year culinary arts program for high school students at New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, and a culinary learning center for hospitality training for at-risk youth at Café Reconcile. As of November 2009, Emeril Lagasse Foundation has given over $3.2 million to children’s causes in New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast. The Foundation’s primary annual fundraiser, Carnivale du Vin, has consistently ranked among the “Top Ten U.S. Charity Wine Auctions” in Wine Spectator magazine and has raised over $9 million for children’s charities since 2005. The sixth annual Carnivale du Vin will take place on November 13, 2009 in New Orleans. For more information, please visit www.carnivaleduvin.com or www.emeril.org.
About Three Square:
Three Square was established to end hunger in the valley by providing wholesome, nutritious food to non-profit organizations that serve a wide range of Southern Nevadans in need. A national model project inspired by Eric Hilton with a grant provided by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Three Square is a community collaborative partnership with the gaming industry, businesses, non-profit agencies, food distributors, UNLV, the CCSD, governmental entities, the media and hundreds of volunteers to efficiently and effectively serve hope to those in our community struggling with hunger. Three Square currently provides 14 million pounds of food – the equivalent of 11 million meals – per year to more than 260 non-profit and faith-based organizations, 170 schools and 11 summer food service sites throughout Southern Nevada. Three Square is a member of the Feeding America network of foodbanks. For more information, please visit www.threesquare.org.
About The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino:
The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino, the largest property in the country to receive AAA’s Five Diamond Award and Mobil Four-Star, is one of the world’s most luxurious resort and convention destinations. Re-creating Venice’s legendary landmarks, the resort offers unmatched service and quality for leisure and corporate guests. Located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, The Venetian features The Grand Canal Shoppes, an indoor streetscape complete with gondolas and singing gondoliers, the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, world-class gaming, exquisite restaurants, and a wide variety of entertainment such as Phantom-The Las Vegas Spectacular, Blue Man Group and Wayne Brady on its premises, as well as extensive convention and corporate services. For additional information, visit The Venetian website at www.venetian.com.