Emeril Lagasse has had a tremendous impact on this city and our food culture. Most people know him as a celebrity chef, but he's also a philanthropist. This is the second year that he's hosting Boudin and Beer as a component of his annual fundraiser Carnivale du Vin. Here's an excerpted version of the press release describing the events that will take place on Friday, Nov. 2, and Saturday, Nov. 3:


Emeril Lagasse and the country’s food, wine and entertainment elite come to New Orleans for the Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s 8th Annual Carnivale du Vin, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. Named one of the Top Ten U.S. Charity Wine Auctions by Wine Spectator the Foundation’s signature annual fundraiser benefits children’s causes. The Emeril Lagasse Foundation is now celebrating its 10th anniversary, and since its inception, the Foundation has invested more than $5 million in non-profits that support children’s causes focusing on culinary arts, school food and nutrition, and arts and education programs. Last year’s Carnivale du Vin raised nearly $2 million.

The weekend celebration kicks off on Nov. 2 at The Foundry with Abita Beer Presents Emeril’s Boudin and Beer sponsored by Buffalo Trace, an indoor/outdoor food and music festival celebrating all-things Louisiana. The charity bash is hosted by chef Lagasse and honorary co-chairs Mario Batali and New Orleans’ own Donald Link. Fifty of the country’s hottest chefs from San Francisco to New York, with several of New Orleans’ top chefs represented, will be cooking up their take on boudin, with plenty of craft brews from Abita Beer. Guests will also enjoy live musical entertainment by popular Cajun, New Orleans, and alternative country acts, including Drake White, Feufollet and Red Stick Ramblers.


It's a great party, and a pretty good cause as well. Go to the website to learn more or to purchase tickets.

Boudin, Beer and BaruOn another note, I had a chance to stop in for lunch at Baru recently, and I was very happy with the meal. I started with the Causa – chilled seafood over a purple potato puree and garnished with crab claws, quail eggs and a black olive aioli. It was a beautiful dish on the plate, and pretty tasty as well. I think it could have used a bit more olive slices, but that's a minor quibble.

Next I had an arepa – a thick corn tortilla stuffed with your choice of fillings, then heated on the griddle. My arepa was a bit dry, but the filling of black beans and pork belly was excellent.

If you haven't been to Baru lately, give it a shot. They've even got their liquor license these days. The restaurant is located at 3700 Magazine St., and is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., for dinner from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. and for Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 895-2225 to learn more or to make a reservation.