Emeril’s Raises Nearly $50,000 for New Orleans Culinary Arts High School with “A Dish That Makes a Difference”Posted by: Jeff Hinson
With 6,027 Dishes Sold, Proceeds Will Go To Helping Build New Culinary Arts Teaching Kitchen
NEW ORLEANS (November 10, 2010) – In the first of its kind Emeril Lagasse Foundation fundraiser, guests dining at Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants in October helped raise an unprecedented $46,950 through purchasing dishes created by high school students. The money raised will go to establishing a new culinary arts program with the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) and the design and construction of a new state-of-the-art commercial teaching kitchen to house the school’s culinary program.
During the month, several of Lagasse’s restaurants throughout the country featured three dishes that were created by aspiring young culinary students at NOCCA. The dishes were: Creole Rabbit with Roasted Butternut Squash & Spicy Corncakes by Victoria Farmer, Apricot Glazed Roasted Duck with Butternut Squash Risotto by Chayil Johnson, and Louisiana Surf and Turf, Grilled Ribeye with Seafood Mashed Potatoes and Cajun Crab Boiled Asparagus by Janeé Taylor.
“The quality of these students’ recipes was so inspiring. Their enthusiasm and creativity showed just how interested our youth can be in cooking and the valuable life lessons they can take with them,” said Emeril Lagasse. “I’m thrilled that so many of our guests enjoyed these delicious creations. Their generosity helped in our goal of making NOCCA one of the best culinary programs for high school students in the country.”
In September, the finalists prepared their dishes for a special tasting at Emeril Lagasse’s test kitchen in New Orleans. Lagasse and local chef/restaurateurs Leah Chase of Dooky Chase; Joel Dondis of Sucré and Grand Isle; Chris Wilson, culinary director of Emeril’s Homebase; David McCelvey, vice president of operations and culinary of Emeril’s Homebase; and culinary preservationist and cooking instructor Poppy Tooker selected the winning dishes based on taste, presentation, creativity, use of fresh, seasonal ingredients, and best representation of Louisiana’s cuisine. Diners were able to order the dishes with $2 for each appetizer and $10 for each entrée sold benefitting NOCCA’s culinary arts program.
Emeril Lagasse Foundation is the founding partner in the effort to establish a four-year culinary arts program for high school students at NOCCA and has granted over $600,000 to develop curriculum for the program through a partnership with Chef Emeril’s alma mater Johnson & Wales University. NOCCA is expected to admit its first students to the culinary arts program in spring 2011.
For more information on Emeril Lagasse Foundation, please visit emeril.org.
About Emeril Lagasse Foundation:
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, gardens, fresh foods cafeteria and teaching kitchen at Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, an accessible 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. Each fall, the foundation hosts its primary annual fundraiser, Carnivale du Vin, which ranks third among the “Top Ten U.S. Charity Wine Auctions” in Wine Spectator magazine. Since 2005, Carnivale du Vin has raised $10 million for children’s charities.
About NOCCA Culinary Arts Program:
NOCCA is adding a four-year culinary arts program to its specialized arts conservatory curriculum. Emeril Lagasse Foundation funded four NOCCA culinary arts pilot summer sessions in 2007 through 2010 led by a guest instructor from Emeril Lagasse’s alma mater Johnson & Wales University. Since 2007, 70 Louisiana high-school aged students have graduated from the culinary arts program.