Aspiring Young Chefs Take Part in FOOD & WINE’s “Chefs Make Change” Campaign
NEW ORLEANS (March 1, 2012) – Today Emeril Lagasse Foundation announced the winner from its “Dish that makes a Difference” recipe contest: Louisiana Surf and Turf with Grilled Ribeye, Seafood Mashed Potatoes and Cajun Crab-Boiled Asparagus, created by 18 year-old culinary arts student Janeé Taylor. After receiving over 2,000 votes, her recipe will be served this month in Lagasse’s restaurants in New Orleans, Orlando and Las Vegas; $5 from each dish sold will be donated to Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support the culinary arts.
Taylor, one of four finalists in the contest, is a 2011 graduate of Warren Easton High School in New Orleans and New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). She is now a freshman studying Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University – Lagasse’s alma mater – in Providence, RI.
“My grandmother inspired me in the kitchen, but my idol is Emeril Lagasse. My dream is to one day own a restaurant, travel and hopefully write a cookbook,” said Taylor.
“I’m so proud of what these students have accomplished at NOCCA. All four dishes were absolutely delicious,” said Emeril Lagasse. “Now our guests can have a taste and share in the success of this amazing program by ordering the very talented Janeé Taylor’s dish.”
The recipe contest and charitable promotion is part of FOOD & WINE magazine’s “Chefs Make Change” campaign, a coalition of 10 star chef-philanthropists working to create new opportunities in their communities through the power and possibility of food. Emeril Lagasse Foundation was featured as one of the “Chefs Make Change” charities in the magazine’s February issue.
For the recipe contest, Emeril challenged NOCCA’s culinary arts students to compose an original, seasonal dish showcasing New Orleans’ signature cuisine. The three other finalists and their dishes are: Victoria Farmer’s Creole Rabbit with Roasted Butternut Squash and Spicy Corn Cakes; Chayil Johnson’s Apricot Glazed Roasted Duck with Butternut Squash Risotto, and Grace Treffinger’s Chipotle Braised Pork with Poblano Succotash and Satsuma Marmalade. Supporters from across the country were invited to vote online for their favorite recipe – and over 6,000 voters selected the winner featured on the menu and served in Emeril’s restaurants.
Since 2007, Emeril has helped establish a high school Culinary Arts program at NOCCA that has mentored aspiring students from across south Louisiana. Emeril Lagasse Foundation has granted over $700,000 to create a state-of-the-art professional quality teaching kitchen, develop curriculum and grow this first-of-its-kind educational program.
For more information on Emeril Lagasse Foundation, please visit emeril.org.
For more information on FOOD & WINE’s “Chefs Make Change,” please visit foodandwine.com/articles/chefs-make-change.
About Emeril Lagasse Foundation:
Established in 2002 as the realization of Chef Emeril’s dream to improve the quality of young people’s lives, Emeril Lagasse Foundation supports children’s education and non-profit organizations with culinary, nutrition, garden, arts and life skills 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, and a culinary learning center for hospitality training for at-risk youth at Café Reconcile. 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. Since 2005, Carnivale du Vin has raised $14 million for children’s charities.
About NOCCA Culinary Arts Program:
NOCCA added a four-year culinary arts program to its specialized arts conservatory curriculum. Emeril Lagasse Foundation funded five NOCCA Culinary Arts summer pilot sessions in 2007 through 2011 led by a guest instructor from Emeril Lagasse’s alma mater Johnson & Wales University. Since 2007, 70 Louisiana high-school aged students have graduated from the culinary arts program.