Emeril Lagasse Foundation Raises Record $3.75M for Charity

The Emeril Lagasse Foundation celebrated its 19th annual fundraising weekend on November 5th and 6th in New Orleans, raising a Foundation record $3.75 million to support its mission to create opportunities to inspire, mentor, and enable youth to reach their full potential through culinary, nutrition, and arts education, with a focus on life skills development. 

"After missing our live event last year, we were happy to come back together in person and celebrate with an amazing lineup of chefs and auction items," says Chef Emeril Lagasse. "Alden and I remain ever grateful for the generosity of our donors, sponsors, participating chefs, and the New Orleans community. Their continued support changes the lives of vulnerable children in our community."

The Emeril Lagasse Foundation's annual fundraising weekend kicked off with events at the New Orleans Board of Trade and The Sazerac House. The Fillmore hosted Carnivale du Vin 2021, the foundation's nationally recognized wine auction and gala dinner. Culinary greats Frank Brigtsen, Nina Compton, Ken Frank, Ken Lum, Ronnie Rainwater, and Frank Szymanski brought together the best in wine and food for a night of charitable giving. Four hundred guests experienced a four-course meal created by Chef Emeril's team and culinary students from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.  Hospitality students from Café Hope, Café Reconcile, and Pro-Start received training from Emeril's front-of-house staff, and together, they formed the service team for the special evening.

The live auction highlight was a six-liter bottle of The Setting Wines 2019 Glass Slipper Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon that sold for $1 Million—shattering the World Record as the most expensive single bottle of wine ever sold at auction. "We are humbled to be able to offer $1 million to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation and its efforts to support youth," said Don Steiner, purchaser of the world record breaking lot.

Co-founded by Jeff Cova and Noah McMahon, who both come from philanthropic backgrounds, and famed winemaker Jesse Katz, The Setting Wines first broke world records when a 750-ml bottle of their wine sold for $350,000 at Carnivale du Vin in 2017.

"We are truly honored and amazed to make history again, especially as part of an event that means so much to us," says McMahon, who serves on the Advisory Committee of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation. "Inspiring others in meaningful ways is a huge part of our brand ethos, so we couldn't be more thrilled to know this record-breaking sale will have such a big impact on the Emeril Lagasse Foundation's mission to create uplifting educational and developmental programs for children." 

The Setting Wines 2019 Glass Slipper Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from the prestigious Glass Slipper Vineyard, located in Napa's renowned Coombsville AVA. Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, this bottling is the first wine ever to be released from this vineyard, which is owned by long-time vintners, Paul and Suzie Frank. Marrying meticulous farming, of which the Franks are known for, with the world-class winemaking skills of Katz, the 2019 Glass Slipper Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is an exquisite wine that showcases finesse and age-ability while perfectly encapsulating the elegant nuances of the region. Only 75 cases and one six-liter bottle were produced.

The Emeril Lagasse Foundation continually provides capital and programmatic support to eligible non-profit organizations across the nation through its Community Grants Program. The signature program of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation is Emeril's Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen. It reflects the foundation's mission to inspire, mentor, and enable youth while broadening its reach nationally. 

Sponsors for the weekend included Visit South Walton, Wicks Family Foundation, All Charities Ocean Reef, The Solomon Family, Buffalo Trace, Abita, GHMumm, Center for Restorative Breast Surgery, Jones Walker, Shipt, Bradshaw, GoodCook, Sands Cares, Marquee Brands and James G. Fifield Family Trust. 

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