My F&W
quick save (...)

Chefs Make Change: Emeril Lagasse

Known worldwide as a TV chef, Emeril Lagasse is also a local hero at home in New Orleans. Learn about the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, which helps at-risk kids through educational programs, life-skill development and culinary training.

Donate to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation


Emeril Lagasse has created an extraordinary number of ways to help at-risk children in the areas where his restaurants operate: educational programs, life-skills development, culinary training and cultural enrichment. A recent success is the culinary arts program for high school kids at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). emeril.org.

His Philosophy “If you think big, then it’s going to be big.”

On Launching his Foundation “I was on the board of Andre Agassi’s foundation, and seeing the way it operated blew my mind. In 2002, I told my wife, I want to start a foundation to give back, I want it to be for kids in hard circumstances, and I want it to be culinary-driven, because that’s who I am.”

His Recipe Contest “This was for kids at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. We tested all the recipes, then brought in a panel to judge the final three. They were so good we had three winners; all three went on restaurant menus throughout the city. For every order, a dollar went to the foundation. We raised $60,000 for the school’s kitchen and culinary-arts studio.”

Inspiring Story “Twenty-eight years ago, a boy came to see me when I was chef at Commander’s Palace. He had dropped out of school and was probably an eighth of an inch from going over the cliff because of all the drugs and crime in his neighborhood. I made a deal with him: I told him, ‘If you get your high school diploma, I’ll teach you how to cook.’ Today, he’s one of my culinary directors.”

What’s Next “We’re setting up an urban farm for kids on more than 20 acres in New Orleans. We want to make this a world-class educational center for the community.”

His Radish Recipe for F&W “Radishes grow just about anywhere. People think, ‘Oh it’s just a radish.’ But radishes are delicious, and people don’t think of cooking them.”

Video Video: Emeril Lagasse in the Kitchen

« Read More About Chefs Make Change

You Might Also Like

Comments

Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    advertisement
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
    American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
    How we use your email address
    advertisement
    Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

    Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.