NEW ORLEANS – Emeril Lagasse Foundation (ELF), Ochsner Health, and Discovery Schools announce a partnership to implement a national “ground-to-plate” education initiative. The $500,000 Emeril Lagasse Foundation grant will provide capital to build and operate a culinary garden and teaching kitchen at the Dr. John Ochsner Discovery Health Sciences Academy.
“We appreciate the generosity of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation for sharing our vision of creating a transformative learning environment in our community,” said Warner L. Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health. “This will provide Ochsner Discovery students with an opportunity to learn skills they will carry throughout their lifetimes and discover new ways to learn and explore creativity.”
Established by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation in 2016, the Emeril’s Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen program integrates gardening and cooking concepts into school curriculums, creating an interactive, food-centered learning environment. Emeril’s Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen relies on four key pillars to guide implementation: appreciation for the source of food, understanding of nutrition and healthy eating, the development of life skills through food, and the development of culinary skills.
Chef Emeril Lagasse, founder of the program, says, “We are inspiring kids to learn through food and giving them the resources, tools and knowledge to do so. There is so much need to reach kids outside of the traditional classroom. Preparing a meal, understanding where it comes from and sharing it with others is an experience that grounds and connects us all.”
Construction of Dr. John Ochsner Discovery’s new campus will be complete this summer and ready for students in August 2021. The Emeril’s Culinary Garden and Teaching Kitchen are located at the heart of the campus and a main feature of the new facility.
“We are beyond thrilled to launch Emeril’s Culinary Garden and Teaching Kitchen program at Dr. John Ochsner Discovery this fall. The program is a perfect partnership for a health sciences school as it supports our mission and complements our emphasis on good nutrition and farm to table meals. A culinary garden and kitchen is a learning lab for children that can make math, science, social studies, or an art lesson come to life through experiential learning.” – Dr. Patty Glaser, CEO of Discovery Schools.
To learn more about Dr. John Ochsner Discovery Health Sciences Academy, please visit https://www.discoveryhsf.org/o/djod.