Chef Emeril Lagasse’s passion for food was ignited as a young boy growing up in the small town of Fall River, Massachusetts, where he spent time in the kitchen with his mother, Hilda. As a teenager, he worked at a Portuguese bakery where he mastered the art of bread and pastry baking. Upon high school graduation, Lagasse turned down a full scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music to pursue his dream of becoming a chef. He earned a degree from the respected culinary fortress, Johnson and Wales University, and later received an honorary doctorate degree from the university.
Wanting to broaden his culinary horizons, Lagasse then traveled to Paris and Lyon, France, where he honed his skills and learned the art of classic French cuisine. Returning to the United States, Lagasse practiced his art in fine restaurants in New York, Boston and Philadelphia until a job offer from Dick and Ella Brennan lured the young chef to New Orleans, where Lagasse helmed the kitchen for nearly eight years at their legendary restaurant, “Commander’s Palace”.
As a national TV personality, he has hosted more than 2,000 shows on the Food Network, and is the food correspondent for ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Lagasse has appeared as a guest judge in four seasons of Bravo’s hit food series, “Top Chef,” served as co-host for TNT’s first cooking series, “On the Menu,” and the tenth season of the “Rachael Ray Show.” In January 2016, Lagasse entered his fourth season of “Emeril’s Florida” on the Cooking Channel.
2013 – Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation for his dedicated efforts to further the culinary arts in America, as well as his philanthropic work supporting children’s educational programs through the Emeril Lagasse Foundation.
1991 – Emeril’s Restaurant wins Wine Spectator “Grand Award”
2007 – “Restaurateur of the Year” by New Orleans City Business
2006 – inducted into the Menu Masters Hall of Fame by Nation’s Restaurant News
2005 – “Distinguished Service Award” from Wine Spectator for his significant and long-lasting contributions to the wine industry.
2004 – “Executive of the Year” by Restaurants & Institutions magazine
2004 – Delmonico Steakhouse received the Grand Award from Wine Spectator magazine, and has continued each year since.
2002 – Delmonico Steakhouse was named “Best Steakhouse” by Las Vegas Life magazine
1999 – One of People magazine’s “25 Most Intriguing People of the Year.”
1998 – “Chef of the Year” by GQ magazine
1993 – NOLA received “Best New Restaurant” by Esquire magazine.
1991 – Emeril named “Best Southeast Regional Chef” by James Beard Foundation