Established in 2002, Emeril Lagasse Foundation supports non-profit organizations and educational initiatives that create new opportunities for children, especially for those from disadvantaged circumstances, in the communities where Emeril’s restaurants operate.
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, and a culinary learning center for hospitality training for at-risk youth at Café Reconcile. As of fall 2012, Emeril Lagasse Foundation has granted $5.3 million to children’s education and culinary arts programs in New Orleans, Las Vegas and the Gulf Coast.
In March 2011, Emeril dedicated the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Culinary Arts Studio at New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA), a four-year culinary arts program for high school students with the first of its kind master-apprentice curriculum developed in partnership with Johnson & Wales University.
Through innovative partnerships, programs and special events, along with support from corporate and individual donations, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation embraces a unique opportunity to 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.
Chef Emeril personally contributes his time, passion, and resource to the Foundation, and is able to directly reach the hearts and minds of young people through participating in Foundation sponsored outreach programs, special projects and signature Foundation events.
Based on the core values of the hospitality business – education, mentorship, passion, creativity, self-discipline, and pride – the Foundation will leave a legacy for future chefs to be inspired for years to come.