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Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse has hosted popular cooking TV shows, opened critically acclaimed restaurants and has become one of the most recognizable chefs of all time, but that’s not all he has accomplished. In 2002, Emeril and his wife Alden founded the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, a public charity based in New Orleans that has granted more than $7 million to children’s charities in support of culinary, nutrition and arts programs. Recently, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation organized its inaugural Line, Vine and Dine event at Pier Sixty-Six in Fort Lauderdale - a unique sailfish tournament that includes events like a seafood cook-off and a live performance by Sammy Hagar. Lucky participants got to try premium wine, chat with celebrities, and of course, enjoy the amazing fishing that South Florida has to offer.
As an avid fisherman, Viking yacht owner and professional chef, hosting a charity sailfish tournament and culinary cook-off is certainly a fitting fundraiser for Emeril's foundation and as it turn's out, their first year was a major success with a total of $650,000 raised. As a leading sponsor of the tournament along with Viking Yachts and Sales Professionals Will Noftsinger and Tim Gredick, HMY Yacht Sales was there to experience all the food, fun and fishing at Emeril's Line, Vine and Dine 2017.
The first annual, first-class Line, Vine and Dine event kicked-off on Thursday evening with Champagne and Ceviche, a Captain’s Reception by G.H. Mumm and Monty’s Seafood, sponsored by HMY Yacht Sales and Viking Yachts. On Friday morning the friendly competition began with 17 teams making their way out to sea to contend for tournament champion. HMY Yacht Sales Professional Tim Gredick fished the tournament on board Lucky 24, a 2015 Viking Yachts 55 Convertible. They had a great first day with 9 sailfish releases, tying Lucky 24 for fourth place. On day number two the Lucky 24 went 2 for 2 and they came in as a top boat for the day.
Emeril Lagasse and his crew participated in the sailfish action on board his 2012 Viking Yachts 70' Enclosed Bridge, Aldente. Emeril purchased the sportfish brand-new and customized it with his captain.
Friday evening was set aside for Tacos & Terroir, a dockside weigh-in celebration sponsored by Jimmy John’s, featuring cuisine by Celebrity Chef Aarón Sánchez and entertainment by Grammy award-winning artists Locos Por Juana. Also on Friday, guests who were not fishing enjoyed a fashion show and luncheon presented by Neiman Marcus Fort Lauderdale.
The two-day charity sailfish tournament resulted in a total of 113 sailfish caught and released. In the end, III Amigos, a 86' Merritt reigned supreme with 17 sailfish releases. The weekend came to a close on Saturday evening with the Vine & Dine Seafood Cook-Off. Chefs Emeril Lagasse, Clay Conley, Angelo Elia, Cindy Hutson, Sean Brasel and Greg McGowan prepared a variety of seafood dishes paired with wine from some of Napa Valley and Sonoma's top winemakers. Tournament awards, a silent and live auction, and intimate performances by Sammy Hagar and surprise guest Kenny Chesney were additional highlights of the awards evening. "Line, Vine & Dine is as much a world-class sporting event as it is a culinary event and we are very pleased with its success in our inaugural year” said Brian Kish, president of Emeril Lagasse Foundation. “We are proud to be able to give back to the deserving causes that make such an impact in the Fort Lauderdale community". Proceeds from the tournament benefited two local charities; ARC Broward Culinary Institute and theDan Marino Foundation, both of which are dedicated to improving the lives of people with developmental disorders and other life challenges.
Line, Vine and Dine Tournament Results
First Place: III Amigos, 86' Merritt Boat Works – 3200 points, 17 sailfish.Team: Captain: Jody Whitworth, Jimmy Liautaud, Todd Crosley, Trace Ayala, Kevin Keller, Greg Liautaud
Second Place: Cutnail, 35' Seahunter Team: Captain: Ken Stiles, Patrick Nutt, Nick Caito, Eric Croft, Ryan Wolf, Dave Olsen
Third Place: Sandbob, 66' Viking YachtsTeam: Captain: Norm Welter, Chad Moss, Daniel Walsh, Javier Cruz, Jerry Fernandez, Mike Gagliano, Mike Bondurant, Ted Bohne
Top Angler: Rob Genord, Miss Victoria – 1200 PointsTop Lady Angler: Jane Solomon, One MoreFun Fish Division: Emeril Lagasse, Aldente–Wahoo – 37 lbs
When planning out your sailfish tournament committments for next year, be sure to keep the Emeril Lagassee Foundation's Line, Vine and Dine charity tournament in mind. Catching fish, eating good food and drinking the best wine, all for a good cause - what could be better?
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