Young Chefs Make Change

Inspiring Brighter Futures
Inspiring Brighter Futures
At New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts Emeril helped create a state of the art teaching kitchen and high school culinary arts program that has mentored students from across south Louisiana.

Download the free NOCCA Recipe Book.

Emeril challenged these talented students to dream up an original seasonal dish showcasing New Orleans’ signature cuisine. Four finalists were chosen. Now Emeril invites you to vote on which of these delicious dishes will go on the menus at his New Orleans restaurants.

Meet the Student Finalists

Victoria Farmer

Creole Rabbit with Roasted Butternut Squash and Spicy Corn Cakes
16 years old, 10th grade, Northshore High School
Victoria attends NOCCA, is a New Orleans Saints fan and loves country music. Her grandmothers inspired her in the kitchen. Her dream for the future is to attend college, and one day open her own restaurant. Her favorite dish to cook at home is meatloaf.

Chayil Johnson

Apricot Glazed Roasted Duck with Butternut Squash Risotto
14 years old, 9th grade, Homeschool
Chayil attends NOCCA and is a fan of the New Orleans Hornets, New Orleans Saints and New York Yankees. His dad inspired him, and all men in his family cook, and they have taught him all he knows. His dream for the future is to get a college education and one day work at a restaurant. His favorite dish to cook at home is roasted chicken and collard greens.

Janeé Taylor

Louisiana Surf and Turf with Grilled Ribeye, Seafood Mashed Potatoes and Cajun Crab-Boiled Asparagus
18 years old, Freshman, Johnson & Wales University
Janee graduated from Warren Easton High School in New Orleans. She loves smiling, helping others and making people laugh. Her grandmother inspired her growing up in the kitchen, but her idol is Emeril Lagasse Her dream is to own multiple restaurants, travel and hopefully write a cookbook one day. Her favorite dish to cook at home is pasta.

Grace Treffinger

Chipotle Braised Pork with Poblano Succotash and Satsuma Marmalade
17 years old, Senior, Ben Franklin High School
Grace attends NOCCA, was the youngest student in the first summer program at age 13. Her interests are learning other languages, studying different cultures and playing soccer. Her mom inspired her in the kitchen, but she admires Emeril Lagasse, Susan Spicer and Tory McPhail – all New Orleans chefs who have mentored her. She dreams to attend culinary school, eventually working in the culinary industry with the main goal of giving back. Her favorite dish to cook at home is chile rellenos.

Emeril Lagasse Foundation is honored to be part of FOOD & WINE’s Chefs Make Change. We’re working to create new opportunities for underprivileged kids through the power and possibility of food. Learn more about FOOD & WINE’s campaign, and download the free Chefs Make Change Recipe Book.