After nearly two years of social distancing and virtual meetings, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation reunited with a team of top-notch chefs for a fun weekend. The New Orleans-based non-profit organization hosted its 19th annual Carnivale du Vin on November 5 and 6 in an effort to give back to the city's at-risk youth.
The weekend kicked off with a beneficiary luncheon at the New Orleans Board of Trade and a patron celebration at The Sazerac House on Friday. The next evening, the actual celebration got started at the Fillmore, where 400 guests enjoyed a wine auction and a four-course gala dinner created by the Emeril's team and a group of aspiring culinary students from NOCCA. Culinary talents such as Frank Brigsten, Nina Compton, and Frank Syzmanski provided an assortment of delicious food and wine for the event.
"[My wife] and I remain ever grateful for the generosity of our donors, sponsors, participating chefs, and the New Orleans community," Chef Emeril Lagasse said.
Sold at the wine auction was a bottle of The Setting Wines's 2019 Glass Slipper Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, which was purchased by one of the members of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation's Advisory Committee Don Steiner. In fact, it surpassed the record for the most expensive bottle of wine ever purchased at an auction.
"We are humbled to be able to offer $1 million to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation and its efforts to support youth," Steiner said.
According to co-founders Jeff Cova and Noah McMahon, and winemaker James Katz, The Setting Wines set a world record in 2017 when they sold a bottle of wine for $350,000. They said that inspiring others is part of their "brand ethos."
"We are truly honored and amazed to make history again, especially as part of an event that means so much to us," McMahon said.
The foundation raised a total of $3.75 million, which will go towards creating educational and developmental programs for children living in New Orleans. Organizations such as Visit South Walton, Ocean Reef Community Foundation, and Center for Restorative Breast Surgery helped make the event possible.
"Their continued support changes the lives of vulnerable children in our community," Lagasse said.
Since 2002, The Emeril Lagasse Foundation has been dedicated to "creating opportunities to inspire, mentor, and enable youth to reach their full potential through culinary, nutrition, and arts education." So far, they've donated more than $13.5 million to schools and charities, introduced Emeril's Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen to over 2,600 students, and supported more than 35 non-profit organizations benefitting children.
To learn more about the Emeril Lagasse Foundation and their past work, visit emeril.org.