Emeril Lagasse & All-Star Judges Announce Winners Of The ‘Dish That Makes A Difference’ Contest

Janeé Taylor, Chef Emeril Lagasse, Chayil Johnson, Victoria Farmer

NOCCA’s Summer Culinary Students Dream Up Next Emeril’s Dish

Proceeds from each dish sold will help build a new teaching kitchen at NOCCA
$100,000 grant from Emeril Lagasse Foundation will help complete Culinary Arts Center

UPDATE: Check out Poppy Tooker’s interview with the winning students, which aired on her WWNO radio show, Louisiana Eats. The segment starts about 11 minutes in.

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Emeril Lagasse Foundation invited aspiring young culinary students at NOCCA to create an original dish inspired by the traditions of Louisiana’s Creole cuisine. Chef Emeril Lagasse and a panel of New Orleans food experts — including Chef Leah Chase, restaurateur Joel Dondis, and food historian/radio host Poppy Tooker — selected the winning dishes from three finalists based on taste, presentation, creativity, use of fresh, seasonal ingredients, and representation of Louisiana’s cuisine.

But Lagasse had a surprise up his chef’s coat: instead of picking just one winner, he announced that the judges had chosen to honor all three dishes by placing them on Emeril’s restaurants across the country! And for each dish sold, Emeril’s restaurants will make a donation to fund the construction of a new culinary arts teaching kitchen at NOCCA. Each of these truly is a “Dish That Makes A Difference”. Here’s a quick rundown of the winners:

Appetizer: Creole Rabbit with Roasted Butternut Squash & Spicy Corncakes
Created by: Victoria Farmer (Slidell High School/Slidell)
$2 per dish will be donated to an Emeril Lagasse Foundation fund for NOCCA’s Culinary Arts Program.

Entree #1: Apricot Glazed Roasted Duck with Butternut Squash Risotto
Created by: Chayil Johnson (homeschooled/LaPlace)
$10 per dish will be donated to an Emeril Lagasse Foundation fund for NOCCA’s Culinary Arts Program.

Entree #2: Louisiana Surf and Turf – Grilled Ribeye with Seafood Mashed Potatoes and Cajun Crab Boiled Asparagus
Created by: Janeé Taylor (Warren Easton/New Orleans)
$10 per dish will be donated to an Emeril Lagasse Foundation fund for NOCCA’s Culinary Arts Program.

All three dishes will be featured on the menu at Emeril’s restaurants October 1 – 31. Participating restaurants include:

New Orleans: Emeril’s, NOLA, Emeril’s Delmonico
Orlando: Emeril’s Orlando, Emeril’s Tchoup Chop
Miami: Emeril’s Miami Beach
Las Vegas: Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House, Delmonico Steakhouse, Table 10

Emeril Lagasse Foundation also announced a $100,000 grant to The NOCCA Institute, which will fund the final stages of developing a four-year Culinary Arts program at NOCCA. That brings the Foundation’s total contributions to over $500,000. NOCCA is expected to admit its first students to the culinary arts program in spring 2011.

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