The Carnivale du Vin event is the Emeril Lagasse Foundation's annual fête for fundraising and festivities, but this year's circumstances rendered such an event implausible in-person. It was still held this year, though virtually, and achieved another momentous feat. Having raised a whopping $1 million for various charities dedicated to the enrichment of young children, this year's virtual Carnivale du Vin was an undeniable success, despite its displacement. Over 300 supporters were viewing the livestream at its peak. While the event in past years was themed around tasting and enjoying luxuries such as fine wine and great food as well as making friends, this year's improvised iteration kept the spirit alive even in isolation.
The president of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Brian Kish, co-hosted the virtual festival with Chef Emeril as they livestreamed from Miramar Beach in Florida. Tickets were sold in advance for online attendance, and many of those involved participated in the range of auctions available. All proceeds earned from these auctions were in support of the charities the Foundation supports, and the auctions alone brought in over $350,000 in aid. Those who purchased tickets in advance were also treated to a care package filled with a smorgasbord of wines, sweets, and other delectable victuals.
It is a strange but heartwarming sight to see events such as this, which, in years past, have been deeply rooted in interpersonal communication and closeness, succeed in the era of social distancing. The million dollars raised speaks to both the resilience of the hosts in the Emeril Lagasse Foundation as well as the generosity of the auction participants and donors. President Brian Kish mentioned his surprise and gratitude at the great triumph the event brought around and reinforced the notion that enriching children for brighter futures remains their topmost priority.