Chef Emeril Lagasse to host GLOW fundraising luncheon, dinner in Wilmington is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Chef Emeril Lagasse will serve up some signature dishes to raise money for The Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington. Courtesy photo.
Chef Emeril Lagasse will serve up some signature dishes to raise money for The Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington. Courtesy photo.

A celebrity chef is whipping up some culinary creations for a good cause in the Port City later this month.

Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse will prepare lunch for 200 ticket holders on Friday, Jan. 29 at Pembroke’s, 1125 A Military Cutoff Road in The Forum. The night before, he’ll serve an intimate private dinner at an area home for up to 30 guests.

Lagasse – who first gained fame as executive chef of Commander’s Palace in New Orleans before opening his own restaurant – is known for his emphasis on creole and Cajun dishes and his signature seasoning, Emeril’s Essence. While his corporate office and flagship restaurant remain in New Orleans, he is executive chef and proprietor of 12 other restaurants across the country.

The legendary chef’s visit is a fundraiser for the non-profit foundation behind the Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington (GLOW). Approved by the N.C. Board of Education in June, GLOW will open in August 2016 as the state’s first all-girl charter school.

Plans for the new school got underway in 2013 through the efforts of Judy Girard–a Wrightsville Beach resident who presided over the Food Network from 1998-2004 and later headed up HGTV–and a team of volunteers.

It was Girard who was able to bring Lagasse, a longtime colleague and friend, to the area for this unique fundraiser. The cause also appealed to Lagasse, who runs the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, a non-profit committed to educational initiatives for children, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances.

GLOW is modeled after the successful schools in the national Young Women’s Leadership Network, which is dedicated to a rigorous, hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) approach to education for at-risk female middle and high school students. The goal, according to a release from the school’s foundation, is to create future leaders and break the “destructive cycle of poverty.”

Tickets to the luncheon, which will feature a menu of Lagasse’s recipes, are $200 each and seating is limited to 200. Lagasse will be on hand during the event to supervise the kitchen and circulate and socialize throughout the restaurant.

Dinner on Jan. 28 will be hosted in a private home, where Lagasse will prepare the menu, pair the wines and engage with up to 30 guests. Tickets are $10,000 per couple.

A limited number of tickets remain for both events. For more information, call GLOW, (910) 338-5258, or email foundation president Todd Godbey,