The chef was chosen for his charitable work including the Emeril Lagasse foundation which since 2002 has donated over $5 million to educating children in culinary arts in New Orleans, Las Vegas, and the Gulf Coast.
In a statement the chef thanked JBF for the award:
“I’m humbled and honored to receive the Humanitarian Award from the James Beard Foundation,”
“Over ten years ago, I founded the Emeril Lagasse Foundation with the hope of giving back by exposing young people to the culinary arts—especially those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Over the years we've stayed true to our core values of education, mentorship, passion, creativity, self-discipline. I'm incredibly proud of the work we've done, the lives we've touched, and I’m deeply grateful to my many friends who have contributed their support along the way. I look forward to continuing on this path for years to come.”
Lagasse will receive the award at the annual JBF ceremony held in New York on 6th May 2013.