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Tchoup, Chop Duck

November 23, 2010 - Phyllis Sigal
When I dined at Emeril Lagasse's Tchoup Chop restaurant last month while visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, little did I know that I was enjoying a recipe created by a 13-year-old culinary student.

I also helped in the raising of $46,950 when I ordered my Apricot Glazed Roasted Duck with Butternut Squash Risotto, that was created by Chayil Johnson.

Thanks to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, money raised will help to establish a new culinary arts program with the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and will go toward the design and construction of a new commercial teaching kitchen for the school's culinary program.

Along with the duck I had that night, the other recipes that were featured at Emeril's restaurants included: Creole Rabbit with Roasted Butternut Squash and Spicy Corncakes by Victoria Farmer; and Louisiana Surf and Turf, Grilled Ribeye with Seafood Mashed Potatoes and Cajun Crab Boiled Asparagus by Janee Taylor.

$10 of each entree went toward the foundation's fundraising efforts.

Lagasse's foundation was established in 2002 as an effort to improve the quality of young people's lives. The foundation supports children's education and non-profit organizations with culinary, nutritition, garden, arts and life skills programs, according to Jeff Hinson, public relations manager at Emeril's Homebase in New Orleans, La.

According to a press release from NOCCA, Lagasse said, "The quality of these students' recipes was so inspiring. Their enthusiasm and creativity showed just how interested our youth can be in cooking and the valuable life lessons they can take with them. I'm thrilled that so many of our guests enjoyed these delicious creations. Their generosity helped in our goal of making NOCCA one of the best culinary programs for high school students in the country."

Good job, Emeril. Congratulations for giving back.

Knowing all this makes that duck taste even better.


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