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, to realize their full potential as productive and creative individuals, and to make a lasting impact on their lives.
ELF has distributed $6 million in grants for children’s charities. 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. Each fall, the foundation hosts its signature annual fundraiser, Carnivale du Vin, which ranks among the “Top Ten U.S. Charity Wine Auctions” in Wine Spectator magazine. The Foundation introduced charity indoor/outdoor food and music fest, Boudin, Bourbon & Beer in 2011. In 2013, Emeril Lagasse was honored as James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year.
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.