Emeril Lagasse, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and local leaders celebrate grand opening of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House and Culinary Garden
From curly kale to juicy tomatoes to fragrant rosemary, Orlando’s newest culinary garden is ready to debut with a stunning, state-of-the-art kitchen for hands-on learning.
Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse joined Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando Commissioner Robert F. Stuart, and leaders with the Edible Education Experience, Florida Hospital and the Orlando Junior Academy on Wednesday to celebrate the grand opening of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House and Culinary Garden.
“My wife Alden and I are so proud to be a part of this project and look forward to seeing the impact it will have on children’s lives for years to come. We are thankful for the support of the Orlando Junior Academy, our dedicated board, donors and local community partners who have played a key role in bringing the Foundation’s vision to life through this initiative,” said Lagasse.
Located in College Park on East King Street, the Kitchen House is designed to help the community learn about healthy lifestyles, and offer students seed-to-table fun and learning.
“The Kitchen House project is a shining example of the types of innovative community efforts that are transforming our City's culture for the better, engaging all our residents through unique and edible education experiences to live healthier, more prosperous and sustainable lives,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We're delighted and grateful to see Emeril Lagasse's Foundation choose Orlando to develop this unique model that combines urban agriculture and culinary education for all ages, an initiative that furthers our efforts in providing more environmentally-friendly lifestyles for residents in Orlando.”
The Kitchen House will host students, families, teachers, and community members for hands-on edible educational experiences.
“We’re proud to model the nation’s first stand-alone community teaching kitchen, located in a culinary garden, connected to a school, partnering with celebrity chefs and a children’s hospital. So many people and partners came together to turn the Kitchen House vision into reality. We thank God for opening the hearts of our community throughout this three-year journey and are grateful to each person who played a part,” said Janice Banks, executive director of Edible Education Experience, a nonprofit that connects children with seed-to-table, garden-to-classroom learning experience to build a healthy future.
A sprawling kitchen is the center of the 3,500-square-foot structure, which will also share space with Florida Hospital for Children’s Mission — Fit program.
The adjacent garden, planted in 2013, has already benefited students at the nearby Orlando Junior Academy, as well as the larger community. Volunteers have tended to the garden and children have participated in special events and edible education experiences.
“It’s wonderful to see children engaged and excited about gardening and healthy living. The Kitchen House will help foster awareness of whole-person health in not just children, but hopefully, their entire family,” said Florida Hospital President and CEO Daryl Tol. “It is our hope that someday, every child will live to be 100, and every community will be healthy. We are thankful for Emeril, the Edible Education Experience, Orlando Junior Academy and other partners who are helping make that a reality.”
To learn more about the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House and Culinary Garden, visit http://www.EdibleEd.org/media
For media inquiries only, call the Edible Education Experience at 407-625-7770 or Florida Hospital Corporate Communications at 407-303-8217.