Emeril Lagasse Foundation donates half a million for school enrichment by Alyssa Braden
The Emeril Lagasse Foundation announced a $500,000 grant to Seaside School Foundation to implement Emeril’s Culinary Garden and Teaching Kitchen, a signature program of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation that enriches the lives of kids through a fun, fresh perspective on food.
The grant will provide Seaside School the funds to integrate a culinary garden and teaching kitchen to create an interactive learning environment centered on food. The program uses a one-of-a-kind K-8 gardening and cooking curriculum that is integrated across all core subjects and aligned with national academic standards.
“My wife Alden and I are honored to see these funds go toward such a well-deserving school and its community,” says chef Emeril Lagasse. “We’re so excited to watch Seaside School implement and grow this invaluable program that will empower youth through food for many years to come.”
Funds raised during one of Seaside’s premier events, Taste of the Race and the Seaside School Half Marathon and 5K Run, benefit the Seaside School Foundation, which allows students to participate in elective classes including culinary arts, gardening, music, art, technology, Microsoft Office and QuickBooks, yearbook and an award-winning robotics program.
In addition to the Taste of the Race event, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation hosted the 12th annual Chi Chi Miguel Weekend presented by Isagenix in April. Founded in 2006 by co-chairs Valerie and Mike “Chi Chi Miguel” Thompson as a small backyard gathering, the Throwdown Benefit Auction & BBQ has since expanded to a three-day event and one of the most successful fundraisers along the Emerald Coast. The celebrated event, a star-studded outdoor barbecue competition, features world-class vintners, pitmasters and acclaimed chefs including Chefs Emeril Lagasse and Chris Wilson, musical entertainment and live and silent auctions.
The 2018 event weekend raised $2 million for Gulf Coast charities including Alaqua Animal Refuge, Camille’s Art for Autism, Children’s Volunteer Health Network and Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, among others.
Chef Emeril Lagasse along with other local chefs are confident the Seaside School donation will spark the love for food in children across Northwest Florida. Once the new culinary kitchen is up and running, the school plans to invite the public to use the venue during school session breaks. The goal for construction to begin is slated for September.