We all share a passion for helping children realize their full potential.

Giving kids the knowledge and tools to grow and become their best selves is our true purpose. That’s why we created a signature program that allows us to make a direct, lasting impact on the lives of young people. Emeril’s Culinary Garden and Teaching Kitchen reflects our mission to inspire, mentor and enable youth while broadening our reach nationally.

Alden and I wanted to reach and impact kids in a positive manner, and we knew the best way to do that was through food.

Emeril Lagasse

By integrating gardening and cooking concepts in school curriculums, we offer an engaging experience that connects kids to the world of food and nurtures skills that benefit them not only in the kitchen but also throughout life. Through a growing network of like-minded schools, Emeril’s Culinary Garden and Teaching Kitchen enriches the lives of kids through a fun, fresh perspective on food.

The Four Pillars

  • Appreciation for the source of food

    To instill in children a respect for and understanding of the source of their food.

  • Development of Life skills through food

    To develop life skills, confidence and a sense of respect in children through the rigors of growing and preparing food.

  • Nutrition Education

    To import the values of healthy eating in children, who in turn can influence their families and community to adopt healthy lifestyles.

  • Development of Culinary Skills

    To teach culinary skills to children to enable them to cook for themselves, enriching their self-reliance skills.

How to Apply

Applicant must be a 501c3 K-8 public, private or charter school. Consideration will also be given to a school foundation applying on behalf of a non-profit K-8 public, private or charter school if the foundation exists solely to benefit and support the named school on the application.

Interested Schools should submit a letter of interest to Emeril Lagasse Foundation demonstrating its willingness and ability to implement Emeril’s Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen. Upon consideration, the foundation will contact qualified schools with further application instructions. Unsolicited applications will not be accepted.

Learn More

School Partnerships

As a school-based program, Emeril’s Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen is implemented in elementary and middle schools around the U.S, with a preference for schools serving middle to low income students from rural, suburban and urban areas.

Belle Chasse Academy

Belle Chasse, LA

Belle Chasse Academy (BCA) is a pre-K through eighth grade public charter school serving over 900 military dependent children from the five parishes of Greater New Orleans.

Emeril’s Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen at BCA will allow the school to expand its current gardening program, renovate the existing culinary classroom, complete its hydroponic lettuce system, develop the school’s vegetable production garden, and build an outdoor culinary learning center that will serve as the heart of the school’s infrastructure.

Cunningham Elementary School

Austin, TX

Cunningham Elementary School is a pre-K through fifth grade public charter school within Austin Independent School District serving over 400 students with diverse backgrounds.

Emeril’s Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen at Cunningham Elementary will allow the school to enhance its current gardening program and renovate one of the school’s existing classrooms into a 1,500-square-foot teaching kitchen. In this space, students’ imaginations and minds will be activated when they interact with the food they have grown using the program’s curriculum which features more than 100 of Chef Emeril’s recipes modified for the classroom

DC Bilingual Public Charter School

Washington DC

DC Bilingual Public Charter School offers an innovative, dual immersion, Spanish and English learning program for all students, regardless of their home language. Through its rigorous academic curriculum; comprehensive arts, food and wellness, and family engagement programs; and celebration of diverse cultures, DC Bilingual students learn the skills and values they need to become influential members of their community. As ranked by the DC Public Charter School Board (DC PCSB), DC Bilingual is a Tier 1 school serving 453 pre-K through grade 5 students. At the core of DC Bilingual ’s school culture is an emphasis on the value of learning within a diverse community. Sixty-one percent (61%) of DC Bilingual students are Latino, 20% are African American, and 15% are white. The majority of its students (63%) qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and 14% receive special education services. Diversity creates an environment where students learn from one another, learn to respect each other, and develop the skills and habits to excel in a diverse world. In partnership with the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, DC Bilingual seeks to grow its student leaders to address societal injustices through food and environmental stewardship; build its community’s understanding and empathy for the environment and how it connects to the food that we eat; further opportunities for community members to explore new flavors and relate to each other through the language of food; and elevate the importance of food and well-being toward the academic, social, and emotional growth of its students local and nationally.

Acknowledgements

Thank you to our thought partners and sponsors who support Emeril’s Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Emeril’s Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen?

Established by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Emeril’s Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen is a nationwide education initiative created to enrich the lives of elementary and middle school children through a fun, fresh perspective on food. Funded through a grant from the Foundation, the program fully integrates gardens and teaching kitchens in schools as interactive learning environments.

Why was the program created?

Chef Emeril Lagasse and his wife, Alden, have worked to impact youth through the universal language of food since establishing the Emeril Lagasse Foundation in 2002. This program reflects our mission to inspire, mentor and enable youth while broadening our reach nationally. By integrating gardening and cooking concepts in school curriculums, we offer an engaging experience that connects kids to the world of food and nurtures skills that benefit them not only in the kitchen but also throughout life.

Which schools are best suited for this grant opportunity?

The program seeks to serve 501c(3) K-8 public, private or charter schools throughout the U.S. with a preference for schools serving middle to low income students from rural, suburban and urban areas. Schools are evaluated on several attributes to determine their abilities to adopt and scale the program over time, including:

  • Grades kindergarten – 8th with 500-700 students.
  • Existing operational school garden with on-site space to construct a teaching kitchen.
  • At least 12 months experience with experiential teaching.
  • Dedicated development staff member or committee with proven fundraising capabilities.

What does the program provide children?

The program provides children an opportunity to make meaningful connections between their core subjects and the world of food. The key pillars of the program are:

  • Appreciation for the source of food.
  • Understanding of nutrition & healthy eating.
  • Development of life skills through food.
  • Development of culinary skills.

What does the program include?

Schools that are awarded a grant to implement Emeril’s Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen receive:

  • A five-year grant to assist schools with implementing the program.
  • A K-8 gardening and cooking curriculum that is aligned with national academic standards.
  • Over 100 of Chef Emeril’s recipes that have been modified for the classroom.
  • Garden & cooking education best practices & guidelines.
  • Teacher trainings on how to use the tools provided with the program.

How does the curriculum align with current academic standards?

The unique curriculum was developed by a national task force of educators, culinary professionals and farm-to-school experts. School sites are provided with grade-level standards for gardening and cooking classes that are integrated across all core subjects and aligned with national academic standards.

How can I donate to Emeril’s Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen?

Corporations or individuals interested in becoming donors can learn more at Emeril.org.

What is the Emeril Lagasse Foundation?

Founded in 2002 by Chef Emeril Lagasse and his wife Alden, Emeril Lagasse Foundation is a 501c(3) public charity headquartered in New Orleans. The Foundation’s mission is to create opportunities to inspire, mentor and enable youth to reach their full potential through culinary, nutrition and arts education. Since its inception, Emeril Lagasse Foundation has granted more than $10 million to several children’s charities to support culinary, nutrition and arts programs. To learn more about the Foundation and its beneficiaries, visit Emeril.org.