The Austin Food & Wine Alliance (AFWA) announced today that it will host legendary chef Emeril Lagasse onWednesday, October 7, 2015 for a day filled with culinary programming, including a tour of Springdale Farm with local culinary high school students, a cocktail party and book signing at Hotel Ella, and a Wine & Dine dinner at Olamaie, one of Eater’s 2015 “21 Best New Restaurants in America” and home to FOOD & WINE’s 2015 “Best New Chefs” Michael Fojtasek and Grae Nonas. Ticket sales start today for the cocktail party and book signing as well as the limited seating, five-course dinner and can be purchased online.

“We’re deeply honored and grateful that Chef Lagasse has chosen the Austin Food & Wine Alliance to host his visit to Austin,” said Mariam Parker, Alliance executive director. “As a tireless supporter of youth education, his philanthropic efforts align perfectly with one of the Alliance’s key initiatives—the Culinary Arts Career Conference that enables more than 750 high school students get a jump start on culinary careers.”

The Meet & Greet at Springdale Farm will host Austin-area culinary high school students selected from an “Emeril & Me” contest to engage with Chef Lagasse. Students will be asked to recreate recipes from Emeril’s website, photograph the dishes, and submit a short essay to AFWA on why they should be chosen to meet Chef Lagasse. The 12 winners, chosen by Chef Lagasse’s team, will receive a signed Essential Emeril book and photo opportunity with the chef, in addition to being highlighted on the Alliance’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels.

At the Essential Emeril Cocktail Party & Book Signing from 5 to 7 p.m., guests will arrive at Hotel Ella with the opportunity to purchase a book and to have it signed by Lagasse at the event. Tickets for this event are $35, benefitting the Austin Food & Wine Alliance. From September 10 to 14, the public will have a chance to win tickets to the cocktail party by sharing reasons to raise a glass to the legendary chef on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #EssentialEmeril.

To wrap up the day, Olamaie will host the AFWA’s Wine & Dine Dinner featuring Chef Emeril Lagasse from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Chefs Fojtasek and Nonas will present a menu inspired by Lagasse’s just-released cookbook, Essential Emeril, including appetizers and drinks followed by a five-course meal paired with premium wines. Tickets are $175 per person and include a signed, personalized book. Recipes selected from the book by Fojtasek and Nonas along with Chef Alain Joseph, Lagasse’s culinary director, will incorporate ingredients from local farms.

To have a chance to win two tickets to the signature dinner at Olamaie, fans can share an “Emeril moment” or recipe that has inspired them most by posting the story or video on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #EssentialEmeril from August 19 to September 2.

All proceeds from the Essential Emeril programming in Austin will benefit the Austin Food & Wine Alliance, a culinary nonprofit dedicated to fostering awareness and innovation in the Central Texas food and beverage community. Proceeds from these exciting events will help the AFWA give back to the local culinary community through a vibrant grant program for chefs, farmers, artisan producers, and nonprofits by funding projects focused on culinary innovation, as well as producing the Culinary Arts Career Conference for high school culinary students, next scheduled for January 2016. The AFWA hosts engaging culinary events such as Live Fire! and Wine & Swine throughout the year to raise funds to support the grants, the nation’s first grant program based on culinary innovation.

For more information about Essential Emeril or more information on Emeril Lagasse, visit For more information about the AFWA, visit, call 512.348.6847, or email Stay up to date with Austin Food & Wine Alliance happenings on Facebook and Twitter


The Austin Food & Wine Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering awareness and innovation in the Central Texas culinary community through grants, educational programming and events. Guided by an all-volunteer board of directors and committees made up of culinary-and-community-minded professionals, the Alliance’s commitment is to promote Texas food, wine, spirits and craft brews and to increase appreciation of Texas’ culinary impact. The AFWA is the designated beneficiary of the Austin FOOD & WINE Festival. For more information about the Austin Food & Wine Alliance, visit

About The Author

Hayden Walker
Executive Editor | Co-Publisher

Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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