Founded in 2002 by Chef Emeril Lagasse and his wife Alden, Emeril Lagasse Foundation is a 501c(3) public charity headquartered in New Orleans. The Foundation’s mission is to create opportunities to inspire, mentor and enable youth to reach their full potential through culinary, nutrition and arts education.
Since its inception, Emeril Lagasse Foundation has granted more than $9.5 million to children’s charities to support culinary, nutrition and arts 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, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Hospitality Center at Café Reconcile, and hospitality training at Liberty’s Kitchen for at-risk youth preparing healthy school meals
Fundraising is a crucial part of the Foundation’s efforts and essential to achieving it's mission, as is the case for most non-profits. Funding for the Foundation’s programs is provided through individual and corporate donations, as well as annual fundraising events. Each fall, the Foundation hosts its signature annual fundraising weekend, which includes the black tie gala and top ranked charity wine auction, Carnivale du Vin, and the outdoor food and musical festival, Boudin, Bourbon & Beer. The 2015 events raised $3 million for the Foundation’s beneficiary programs and grants.