Boudin, Bourbon, and Beer 2014

November 11, 2014

It’s been 4 years since Emeril Lagasse and friends launched Boudin, Bourbon, and Beer in support and benefiting the Emeril Lagasse Foundation. Since it’s my first year attending, I thought it would be perfectly fitting to launch this site with BBB 2014 as the inaugural post. First and foremost, I’ll say that it’s quite possibly one of the best events I’ve attended this year, and because of it’s sheer impact, maybe ever.

The most enduring part, and the moments that made a lasting impression on me,  was the morning of BBB.

I was fortunate to attend the foundation’s beneficiaries’ Cafe Reconcile Luncheon where The Emeril Lagasse’s foundation mission statement truly came to life.

If you’re not aware of their mission, here it is…

“Boudin, Bourbon & Beer and Carnivale du Vin benefit Emeril Lagasse Foundation, which seeks to inspire, mentor and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive and creative individuals.”

The foundation’s mission is alive and thriving at not only Cafe Reconcile, but with many other organizations in and around New Orleans. Moving and inspiring would be the best way to describe the real-life folks who were honored and introduced. The difference that’s being made is tangible and real, and evident in those gathered around us. With a heavy heart and wide-eyed smiles, I couldn’t help but to be motivated and inspired to get more involved.

With that said, it was a special night for sure. There was a comforting chill in the air whirling around Champions Square, which made it’s debut as BBB’s new home. With over 50 chefs in attendance, a virtual who’s who in the culinary arts decended upon the land of my 3 favorite B’s and all things related.

So for those of you who have not attended before, this is how it worked. For $99, you get to eat high on the hog (punny right?), drink as much booze as you’d wish from the likes of Abita Beer and Buffalo Trace, and melt away happily to the music of Sweet Crude, Pine Leaf Boys, The Lone Bellow, and returning headliner Grace Potter. Each chef, regardless of their stature, was approachable and were thrilled to be there and get involved. Many booths sold out quickly and was a testament as to how popular the event has become. The chefs and their teams pulled slayed it, and poured their hearts into their offerings. I was certainly impressed and astounded by the choices available to us. You’ll see some of our favorites from the night below.

Monday morning, after everyone shook off the rust from the weekend, the foundation made this exciting and inspiring announcement : 

“The Emeril Lagasse Foundation (ELF)  celebrated the 10th anniversary of its fundraising weekend on November 7 and 8 in New Orleans, raising over $2.25 million for children’s charities.  The weekend kicked off at Champions Square in downtown New Orleans as 4,000 people attended the Louisiana-inspired Emeril Lagasse Foundation’sBoudin, Bourbon & Beer, which was co-chaired by Emeril Lagasse and Donald Link.  The following evening, the Foundation hosted the 10th annual Emeril Lagasse Foundation’sCarnivale du Vin, its premier wine auction and gala dinner. Ty Pennington  served as master of ceremonies, with Broadway star Michael Cavanaugh providing musical entertainment. Funds raised at both events go to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation  which supports children’s educational programs, life skills development initiatives, culinary training, and cultural enrichment.

Coming off the heels of two successful fundraisers, on Monday, the Foundation announced a $1.5 million pledge to the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) and today announces another $50,000 in grants to children’s organizations in New Orleans including Covenant House, Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) and Kingsley House.”

Based on the positive and emotional moments I witnessed last Friday, I have no doubt those pledges will change and enrich the lives of those who really need it and are yearning for it. Below you’ll see the highlights from the night and all that I fawned over. It was a stellar day and night, and I cannot wait for next year, truly. Without further adéu, you may proceed.

The Best of event

 Chef Michael Gulotta of Mopho in Mid-city, and his offering Boudin Noir Stuffed Tapioca Dumplings lifted me off the ground. Seriously wasn’t expecting the intense and never-ending flavors. It was the sleeper and my favorite dish of the night.

I’m pretty sure it stopped me in my tracks in front of the table as throngs of folks flocked and waited in line behind me. Truly a diverse and rich little nugget.

THE MUSIC

A diverse crowd always calls for entertainment that moves everyone. Each of the 4 acts brought something unique and special to the night.

Sweet crude started it all off, while The Pine Leaf Boys and The Lone Bellow, warmed the crowd up for Grace Potter, who returned for her 2nd time headlining. It was so awesome to be able to move around from tents, bar, stage, and then repeat.

In the end, the night proved to be a huge success in so many ways. New venue, more chefs involved than previous years, and millions of dollars raised to benefit the foundation and the kids it supports. As I close out this first post on GrubNola, I’m reminded just how lucky I’ve been in my own life. Emeril and his team did an amazing job involving and sharing it’s vision for the future with us.

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