Emeril Lagasse is probably best known for exclaiming "BAM" each time he seasons a dish with his Essence of Emeril® spice. He may, in fact, be the most well known chef in the world. His two shows, Essence of Emeril and Emeril Live reach over 75 million homes daily, and have been nominated for a total of 4 Emmy Awards. Essence of Emeril has even won the coveted Cable Ace Award. Emeril can also be seen each friday morning as the food correspondent for Good Morning America, on ABC.
Born on October 15, 1959, Emeril John Lagasse grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts and still carries his New England accent today. As a young man he
worked at a Portuguese bakery. It is there that he mastered the art of bread and pastry making.
Upon graduation from high school, he was offered a music scholarship. Emeril declined, and chose to pursue his doctorate at Johnson and Wales University. Once that was accomplished, Emeril traveled to Paris and Lyon where he polished the skills he had learned. From France he traveled to New York, Boston, and Philidelphia to practice his art.
When asked by friends, Dick and Ella Brennan, to join them at their legendary restaurant in New Orleans, Emeril gladly went. He then spent 7 years as the executive chef at Commanders Palace. Today he is the owner/executive chef for 6 restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas and Orlando. Emeril is planning to open a second restaurant in Orlando in 2002. In 2003 he will be opening his first restaurant in Atlanta.
Emeril has been awarded such prestigious honors and praise by having his restaurants recognized nationally by Travel & Leisure, Traveler, and Southern Living magazines. Recently Emeril's Restaurant earned the Ivy Award and Emeril's New Orleans Fish House was named the "Best Restaurant in Las Vegas" by Zagat.
For those who are big fans of Emeril, there is also a complete line of cookware (including a children's line), sauces, spices, and clothing. Emeril has even collaborated with Fetzer Vineyards to create his own, distinctive line of wine.
Perhaps one of the least known facts about Emeril Lagasse is his love of children. As many who watch his shows know, he keeps a freezer full of "those frozen things" for the young ones in the audience. Emeril is also very involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. During public appearances he makes it a point to seek out and speak to the children present.
Emeril Lagasse Timeline:
- Emeril's Restaurant opens in March in the Warehouse District in New Orleans
- Emeril's Restaurant is chosen by John Mariani of Esquire Magazine as the "Best Restaurant of the Year"
- Emeril's Restaurant receives a "five bean" rave from restaurant critic Gregory Roberts
- Emeril's Restaurant is dubbed "Restaurant of the Year" in Esquire magazine by John Mariani.
- He opens his second restaurant, Nola, in October in the historic French Quarter in New Orleans
- He publishes his first cookbook, New New Orleans Cooking in April
- During the summer Emeril goes on his first national book tour
- In July he is asked to host a pilot show for the new cable station, The Television Food Network (this launches his career as a television cooking host)
- His restaurant, Nola, achieves the status of "Best New Restaurant" by Esquire magazine
- In May, Emeril's Restaurant is awarded the prestigious Ivy Award by Restaurants and Institutions
- The "Essence of Emeril" begins taping in August, and becomes one of the network's highest rated shows
- He publishes his second cookbook, Louisiana Real & Rustic, in September
- The "Essence of Emeril" is voted one of the "Top Ten Shows" by Time Magazine in December
- "Emeril Live" begins production in January
- He publishes his third cookbook, Emeril's Creole Christmas, in September. It becomes a national bestseller
- "Emeril Live" wins a Cable Ace Award for "Best Informational Show" of the year
- Emeril becomes food correspondent for ABC's "Good Morning America" in January
- He is awarded the "Salute to Excellence Award" by the National Restaurant Association in May
- His fourth restaurant opens in June, Emeril's Delmonico Restaurant and Bar, in the historic Garden District in New Orleans
- he publishes his fourth book, Emeril's TV Dinners in September. It becomes a national bestseller
- He is chosen as the "Chef of the Year" by GQ Magazine in October
- People Magazine chooses him as one of the Most Intriguing People of the Year
- His fifth restaurant opens in February, Emeril's Restaurant Orlando, at Universal Studios City Walk
- His sixth restaurant opens in Las Vegas in May, Delmonico Steakhouse, in the Venetian Hotel/ Resort/Casino
- Emeril's Restaurant wins the Grand Award by Wine Spectator Magazine in October
- He publishes his fifth cookbook in September, Every Day's a Party. It becomes a national bestseller
- All of Emeril's books published by Harper Collins bypass the 2 million sold point in September
- Essence of Emeril is nominated for 2 Emmy awards
- The 1000th episode of his show for the Television Food Network is filmed in February
- The sitcom, Emeril premieres on NBC starring Emeril himself in September
- In January the announcement is made that Emeril's seventh restaurant, Emeril's Tchoup Chop at Universal Orlando's Royal Pacific Resort, will open in the fall
- Emeril releases his first kids cookbook in March, "Emeril's There's A Chef In My Soup!" It becomes a New York Times best-seller within two weeks of its release
- In May the announcement is made that Emeril's eighth restaurant, Emeril's Restaurant Atlanta, will open in the summer of 2003
- In July Emeril's Classics, his own line of wines with Fetzer Vineyards is introduced
- Essence of Emeril is nominated for 2 Emmy awards
Books by Emeril Lagasse:
- Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking, published by William Morrow & Co. April 1993, ISBN: 0688112846
- Louisiana Real & Rustic, published by William Morrow & Co. September 1996, ISBN: 0688127215
- Emeril's Creole Christmas with Marcel Bienvenu, published by William Morrow & Co. October 1997, ISBN: 0688146910
- Emeril's TV Dinners, published by William Morrow & Co. September 1998, ISBN: 0688163785
- Every Day's a Party, Louisiana Recipes for Celebrating with Family and Friends, published by William Morrow & Co. 1999, ISBN: 0688164307
- Prime Time Emeril, More TV Dinners from America's Favorite Chef Emeril Lagasse, published by William Morrow & Co. September 2001, ISBN: 0060185368
- Emeril's There's A Chef In My Soup, Recipes for the Kid in Everyone, published by Harpercollins Juvenile Books March 2002, ISBN: 0688177069
The information above was gathered, in part, at the following websites: