Emeril and Carnivale du Vin Raises $1.9 Million

725 Patrons Raised Glasses and Paddles at Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s Sold Out Charity Event
NEW ORLEANS (November 17, 2010) – For the 6th annual Carnivale du Vin, over 725 guests from across the country gathered in New Orleans for an evening of food, wine and music for children’s causes on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at Hilton New Orleans on the city’s scenic riverfront.
The efforts raised $1.9 million dollars to enable Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s year-long efforts to transform education in New Orleans and brighten children’s futures – promoting mentorship, education and the arts with an investment of more than $4 million for underserved children’s causes. Next year’s Carnivale du Vin will take place on November 12, 2011 in New Orleans.
Highlights of this year’s Carnivale du Vin include:
— Chefs, Celebrities and Musicians Spice Up the New Orleans Scene:
Emeril Lagasse welcomed guests as they arrived along with esteemed chefs and celebrities including the “Krewe du Vin” Mario Batali, Gale Gand, Kevin Rathbun, Norman Van Aken, Blythe Danner, and the honorable mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu.
Adoring fans and supporters snapped photos in front of a glittering Carnivale du Vin fleur-de-lis backdrop hand screened by New Orleans based designer wallpaper company Flavor Paper.
This year’s guests witnessed the soulful spirit of New Orleans with performances by some of New Orleans’ cultural icons – Mardi Gras Indians, trumpeters Kermit Ruffins and Jeremy Davenport, the Hornets Drumline and the prestigious McDonough #35 Gospel Choir.
A “Bacchus” Celebration of Food and Wine:
To kick off Carnivale du Vin, Chef Emeril and Alden Lagasse toasted Bob and Heather Cabral of Williams Selyem Winery as they uncorked the 2010 Carnivale du Vin “Bacchus” special bottling Pinot Noir.
Lagasse recognized winemaker Jim Clendenen as the 2010 Carnivale du Vin Honoree, commemorating his role in the charitable works of Emeril Lagasse Foundation and participation in Carnivale du Vin since its inception in 2005. Mario Batali later joined Lagasse on-stage and immortalized Clendenen by donning a blonde wig in his likeness and offering a rousing tribute of their friendship. The wig was later auctioned for $3,000.
For the Carnivale du Vin gala dinner, Lagasse and the 2010 “Krewe du Vin” chefs and vintners served a five-course tasting dinner paired with remarkable wines. Highlights from the menu included:
  • Kevin Rathbun’s Parsnip Bisque and Citrus Bacon Gastrique paired with G.H. Mumm Cordon Rouge
  • Mario Batali’s Cavatelli with Homemade Red Wattle Sausage and Pesto di Rapini paired with Clendenen Family Vineyards Nebbiolo “Punta Esclamativa” Estate Grown Santa Maria Valley 2003
  • Norman Van Aken’s Louisiana Drum paired with Rubicon Estate CASK Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
  • Emeril Lagasse’s Salt Roasted, Dry-Aged Ribeye with Black Truffles paired with Grace Family Vineyards Blank Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
  • Gale Gand’s Chocolate Pot de Crème with Salt and Pepper paired with Quinta do Crasto Unfiltered Late Bottle Vintage Port
A Tribute to Aspiring Young Chefs and the Gulf:
Guests donned commemorative “shrimp” lapel pins in a tribute to Louisiana’s resilient fishing community and seafood industry. A portion of the proceeds from the Carnivale du Vin live auction will go to assist children of fishing families in South Louisiana as the region continues to recover from the Gulf Coast oil spill.
At the “Bacchus” reception, Lagasse and the chefs from his restaurants created a grand seafood bar as a special tribute to our Gulf bounty. A 50 foot-long carved ice bar served as the centerpiece with shrimp, oysters, crab, and other fresh seafood. Guest feasted on Creole boiled Gulf shrimp, several varieties of oysters, including a “squealing mary” – bacon vodka bloody mary shooter with candied bacon, Cajun stone crab claws, Scallop crudo on the half shell with pickled watermelon rind, and specialty Carnivale cocktails made with Cabo Wabo reposado tequila.
High school students from New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts who participated in culinary arts summer sessions through Emeril Lagasse Foundation helped serve and assisted the “Krewe du Vin” chefs with preparations for the evening’s dinner.
Earlier this fall, Lagasse hosted a charitable giving campaign called “A Dish That Makes A Difference” as his restaurants throughout the country featured three special dishes created by aspiring young culinary students at NOCCA. The dishes were: Creole Rabbit with Roasted Butternut Squash & Spicy Corncakes by Victoria Farmer (age 16), Apricot Glazed Roasted Duck with Butternut Squash Risotto by Chayil Johnson (age 13), and Louisiana Surf and Turf, Grilled Ribeye with Seafood Mashed Potatoes and Cajun Crab Boiled Asparagus by Janeé Taylor (age 17). Lagasse invited the students on stage during the dinner to reveal that 6,025 dishes had been sold, raising nearly $50,000 for NOCCA’s culinary arts program and the construction of a new teaching kitchen at the school.
A Rising Wine Auction and “Celebration”:
A silent auction gallery of 95 lots featured rare, deep wine collections and unique luxury items – raising an unprecedented $134,000. Popular items include:
  • Commemorative Carnivale du Vin 2009 poster by famed Louisiana artist George Rodrigue featuring five “blue dog” chefs
  • Bottles of Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Cabo Uno Anejo tequila and the pre-release Beach Bar Hawaiian Cane Rum, both signed by the rocker
  • An authentic autographed number 9 jersey from the leader of the Superbowl Champions New Orleans Saints, Drew Brees
  • A trip to New York to the view the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
The live wine auction featured 17 lots of highly sought-after wines, private dining and unique travel experiences via private jet on Flight Options and first-class air sponsor American Airlines.
To start the charity wine auction, auctioneer Jack Williams compelled Mario Batali to auction his trademark orange clogs right off his feet, sparking fierce bidding and bringing in $6,000. Top lots of the night included:
  • Few Bites of the Big Apple” – a night of gourmet eats with Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali, with a progressive tasting dinner and personal tour at Eataly, Batali’s new gourmet market and food emporium – raising $110,000.
  • Weekend retreat in Destin, Florida with a beach bbq “throwdown” cookout and Gulf fishing trip hosted by Emeril Lagasse and winemakers Bob Cabral and Dan Kosta – raising $40,000
  • For the fifth year in a row, rock-in-roll legend Sammy Hagar and Emeril invited one lucky bidder to Sammy’s beachside home to help celebrate their birthdays in style in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – raising $145,000.
  • “Who Dat 101” – to ring in the New Year in New Orleans and to watch the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints in a private VIP suite in the Superdome – raising $31,000.
  • Custom demi-barrel of wine created by superstar winemakers Philippe Melka and Thomas Brown with a grand barrel unveiling dinner by Michael Chiarello at his Bottega Restaurant – raising $52,000.
Headlining entertainers sponsored by Bill Edwards Presents – disco-soul icons Kool & The Gang – kept the crowds dancing until after midnight. The group performed some of their biggest hits and was joined on stage by Lagasse, who made a guest appearance on drums, as they closed out the gala affair with the finale song “Celebration.”
A Week of Growing and Giving:
During the week, Carnivale du Vin attendees and members of the “Krewe du vin” visited with local school children at Emeril Lagasse Foundation beneficiaries’ projects around the city. A few of the projects made possible through the help of Carnivale du Vin include:
  • New Orleans College Prep – a leading charter elementary school with an innovative school lunch model which serves nutritious meals to 550 students per day
  • Liberty’s Kitchen – a local social-justice entrepreneurship program providing employment skills training to at-risk youth through hospitality service
  • Edible Schoolyard New Orleans – a charter K-6 elementary school with an outdoor classroom, gardens, fresh foods cafeteria and teaching kitchen
  • New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts – a four-year culinary arts track for high school students with first-of-its-kind master-apprentice curriculum and a commercial teaching kitchen
For more information on Carnivale du Vin and Emeril Lagasse Foundation, please visit www.carnivaleduvin.com or www.emeril.org.
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