EMERIL LAGASSE FOUNDATION’S “CARNIVALE DU VIN” RAISES $1.4 MILLION TO BENEFIT CHILDREN IN NEW ORLEANS
Michael McDonald Performs New Orleans Tribute with Sammy Hagar and Emeril Lagasse
LAS VEGAS, NV (November 29, 2005) – Carnivale du Vin, a culinary event and fundraiser for the Emeril Lagasse Foundation raised $1.4 million dollars to benefit children in the New Orleans area whose lives were affected by Hurricane Katrina. The evening featured a musical performance by Michael McDonald who performed a song that he wrote as a special tribute to New Orleans, especially for the evening’s performance, for which he was joined on stage by Sammy Hagar on guitar and vocals and Emeril Lagasse on percussion. Musician Jimmy Buffett was also on hand to lend his support, while Andre Agassi auctioned off a private tennis lesson with himself and wife Stefi Graf during the evening’s live auction. Over 600 guests attended the inaugural event which took place on Saturday, October 29, 2005 at Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
“We are truly honored to have the support of so many wonderful vintners and chefs, the inaugural “Krewe du Vin,” who came together so quickly to support our organization during this time. We are also very thankful to our sponsors and guests, as well as to our many friends, partners and colleagues, that helped make Carnivale du Vin a tremendous success,” says Kristin Shannon, Executive Director of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation. “We never imagined such an outpouring from so many caring people to help make this night a reality, and we are so grateful to everyone for their support.”
At the event, Chef Emeril Lagasse was joined by fellow chefs including Mario Batali, Sam Choy, Daniel Boulud, Todd English, Nobu Matsuhisa, Michael Mina, David Robins, Joachim Splichal, Julian Serrano, Charlie Trotter and Norman Van Aken. The event featured a reception with 20 food and wine pairing stations with each chef paired with a winemaker from one of the country’s top wineries including Au Bon Climat, Bastianich Vineyards, Bonny Doon Vineyards, Caymus Vineyards, Chappellet, Domaine Serene, Gemstone Vineyard, Hundred Acre Vineyards, Lewis Cellars, Qupe Vineyards, Pahlmeyer Winery, Schrader Cellars, Spottswoode Estate Vineyards, and William Selyem. The event also featured a live and silent auction with offerings in rare wines, culinary adventures, luxury travel, and one-of-a-kind experiences. Top auction lots included Emeril’s Food Network Experience which brought a very generous $150,000 winning bid, the highest bid of the evening, from a New Orleans businessman, Ray Wooldridge; as well as a Trip to Italy with Chef Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich which raised $100,000. The auction highlight was tennis legend Andre Agassi, long time friend of Emeril Lagasse, arriving in person to help auction off a private tennis lesson with himself and wife Stefi Graf, which went for $140,000, after Andre offered to cook steaks and make margheritas for the lucky winning bidder, Larry Ruvo of Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada.
About the Emeril Lagasse Foundation (ELF): The Emeril Lagasse Foundation seeks to inspire, mentor and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive and creative individuals. The foundation supports and encourages programs creating developmental and educational opportunities for children within communities where Emeril’s restaurants operate.
The Emeril Lagasse Foundation was established in the Spring of 2002, and is the realization of Chef Emeril’s dream to improve the quality of young people’s lives. His continuous efforts to support and be actively involved with children’s charities allows him the opportunity to not only raise funds for his Foundation, but to create partnerships that help others with their own charitable endeavors. The Foundation combines the energy and passion of Chef Emeril, along with that of his many friends and partners, in order to have greater impact on the communities where Emeril’s restaurants operate, and to benefit the charitable recipients it supports.
Through innovative partnerships, programs and special events, along with support from corporate and individual donations, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation embraces a unique opportunity to grant funds to children’s organizations that have a culinary and/or educational component, and to eventually enrich the lives of many young people through the creative art of cooking so that they may look towards a future of creativity, opportunity and hope.
For more information on the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, please visit www.emeril.org.
# # #