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Growing More than Grapes

Everyone’s favorite celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse held his foundation’s fourth Annual Carnival du Vin November 15, 2008 to the delight of excited party patrons and serious oenophiles alike. The Hilton New Orleans Riverside was buzzing with the best of the country’s chefs and vintners, showcasing their creative cuisine and amazing wines for the evening’s gala and wine auction. Culinary extraordinaires Mario Batali, Thomas Keller and of course Mr. Lagasse himself were all in attendance, as were representatives from Caymus Vineyard, Ferrari-Carano, Gemstone Vineyard and Rubicon Estate. The theme of the evening was “Come Grow with Us,” a nod to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s commitment to the improvement of youth in the Gulf Coast. Entertainment by Sammy Hagar and the Wabos kept people on their feet all night, but the highlight of the star-studded evening was by far the highly anticipated “Seeds of Love” wine and lifestyle auction, emceed by Lagasse. Up for bidding pleasure were rare wines and once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences, with all proceeds benefiting funding for educational programs, life skills development for youth and the revitalization of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region. Along with Chef and Edible Schoolyard founder Alice Waters, Lagasse also emceed the “Fund a Need” auction which supports the Edible Schoolyard’s new kitchen and cafeteria project. To date, the foundation’s signature annual gala has raised nearly $6 million to inspire, mentor and enable young people across the Gulf Coast region.

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