NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Emeril Lagasse has a new cookbook and new season of TV's "Top Chef" premiering in a week, but what really got the chef talking was boudin and beer.
Lagasse says more than a dozen chefs from across the country are heading to New Orleans this week to serve up some of their favorite dishes using or inspired by boudin, a pork and rice sausage commonly used in Louisiana cuisine.
"It's a staple in what we do in Louisiana, but lots of cultures have their own versions of boudin," Lagasse told The Associated Press. "Italians make it one way, the French make it another. In other parts of the South they have different ways of making it."
Chefs from San Francisco and elsewhere are expected to join two dozen from New Orleans for Lagasse's "Boudin and Beer" street party at The Foundry, where on Friday they'll dish out their fare among live music and Louisiana-brewed Abita beer.
The Foundry is the site of a former brewery dating back to the 1850s.
Chefs Mario Batali and Donald Link are co-hosting the event with Lagasse. It kicks off a two-day celebration of Louisiana food and culture to benefit the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, a charity established in 2002 to support children's education programs in culinary arts and nutrition.
To date, the foundation has granted more than $5 million to programs in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast. Recipients include the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and Cafe Reconcile, a nonprofit eatery where New Orleans youth are trained to work in the food and hospitality industry.
The fundraiser continues Saturday with Carnivale du Vin, a gala and wine auction that will include wine paired with a five-course dinner prepared by chefs Mario Batali, Marc Forgione, Tyler Florence and others.