Celebrity Chefs, Actors and Musicians Walk Red Carpet at Carnivale du Vin

RestaurantsDining and DrinkingLifestyle and LeisureSammy HagarEmeril Lagasse Mario Batali

"Hey did you rent that suit?  Hey, did you rent that suit?"  Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse calls out guitarist Sammy Hagar on the red carpet of the Lagasse Foundation fundraiser, Carnivale du Vin.  The event features world-renowned chefs like Lagasse, Mario Batali, Marc Forgione and Tyler Florence.  "Carnivale du Vin, this is our 9th year," says Lagasse, "So it's all about tonight.  This is kinda where we hope to make and raise our money to run the foundation."  His foundation benefits the residents of New Orleans through rebuilding after hurricane Katrina and developing culinary programs in local schools.

"I'm so proud of him and besides being an incredible chef, an incredible personality, an incredible ambassador for New Orleans, he gives back," actor Bryan Batt tells WGNO on the red carpet.  New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu agrees.  "He just really comes from a great New Orleans tradition of really acknowledging how blessed he is and then always giving back."

Sammy Hagar told the guests to, "Get your wallet out!" and plenty of folks did just that, raising $2.1 million over the weekend with live auction items reaching $200k.  The event featured a $1,000 per plate wine-paired, 5-course dinner perpared by the celebrity chefs.  The meal started with Pride wine and a spread of Italian appetizers by TV chef and restauranteur Michael Chiarello.  "I'm doing mozzarella, pulled right in front of everybody so as they come off the red carpet and come inside, you can come inside and watch me do it right in front of your very eyes."

Lagasse's director of cuisine, Chef Chris Wilson, organized the elaborate menu for the event.  Wilson said the celebrity chefs held up their end of the deal, working throughout the day to prepare their dishes.  Iron Chef Marc Forgione created veal-wrapped black boudin, which he called a "Fun play on blood sausage and mashed potatoes."  Even Sammy Hagar contributed to the meal explaining, "I have a restaurant with another chef.  Tyler Florence, another chef friend.  And I just kinda put my name on it.  I'm going along for the ride!"

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