The Emeril Lagasse Foundation serves to help kids in the locales where the famed chef has restaurants. This year, the fifth annual Carnivale du Vin was held at the Venetian in Las Vegas with New Orleans flair. On the evening of November 17, 2009, a star-studded group wined and dined while helping raise $1.9 million.
The 2009 Carnivale du Vin Honoree was Mario Batali who was joined that evening by fellow guests Joe Bastianich, Daniel Boulud, Rob Goldstein, Sammy Hagar, Michael Mina, Bradley Ogden, Charlie Palmer, Wolfgang Puck, Kerry Simon, Karina Smirnoff and Charlie Trotter. Musical guests The Neville Brothers and Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue represented our city of Saints in Sin City.
Emeril wasn’t kidding around: there were 21 cooking stations of New Orleans-worthy dishes. Party people feasted on Mario Batali’s Muffeletta, Daniel Boulud’s Boudin Noir, Michael Mina’s Ruby Red Shrimp Po’boy, Wolfgang Puck’s Shrimp “Louie” Salad and Kerry Simon’s Shrimp and Grits all paired with glorious wines. The popular auction included private dining experiences with top chefs, wines from Trotter’s personal cellar and one-of-a-kind travel opportunities like a beach vacation with Emeril at Sammy Hagar’s home in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
From this event of gigantic proportions comes a lot of good. Here in New Orleans, Emeril’s Foundation supports the Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, St. Michael Special School, a four-year culinary arts program at NOCCA and a culinary learning center for hospitality training at Café Reconcile.