Emeril Lagasse

Kick it up a notch with one of the biggest names in cooking

Emeril John Lagasse (best known as simply Emeril) was born in 1959 in Fall River, Massachusetts. Today, he is one of the most famous of all celebrity chefs. He got his start in the culinary arts when he decided to enroll in the Johnson & Wales University culinary arts program (a decision that disappointed his parents, who wanted Emeril to pursue a scholarship opportunity in music).

Upon graduation, Emeril traveled to Paris and Lyon in France to learn about classic French cuisine. He then returned home to the US and worked as a cook in New York, Philadelphia and Boston before moving south to New Orleans. It was there that he found his true inspiration: developing what he calls "new New Orleans cuisine" or "real New Orleans cooking." Despite his fame, Emeril still spends a good portion of every year working in the kitchen of his flagship restaurant, called "Emeril's Restaurant."


The 1990 opening of Emeril's Restaurant was a big success, and soon Emeril had opened eight more dining establishments: two more restaurants in New Orleans; Emeril's New Orleans Fish House in Las Vegas; Emeril's Tchoup Chop in Orlando; Emeril's Atlanta; and Emeril's Miami Beach. Emeril’s restaurants have garnered over 40 awards.

In the Media

More than anything else, Emeril is best known for the flamboyant personality he portrays on his television shows. He’s most popular with fans of the Food Network’s hugely successful show "Emeril Live," which began production in 1997. Prior to that, he had hosted a beginners’ cooking show called "How to Boil Water" on the network. He has also hosted a show called "The Essence of Emeril" and even had a failed sitcom on NBC in 2001 called simply "Emeril." On his cooking shows, he often makes a recipe using his own "essence," which refers to a special blend of spices he has created. To date, he has starred in more than 1,500 episodes of "Emeril Live" and "The Essence of Emeril".

Emeril has also written a number of best selling cookbooks, including Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking and Emeril's Delmonico.


On his food network shows, Emeril became famous for a number of unique catchphrases. While cooking, he’s known to shout out "BAM!" when mixing spices and to claim that he’s going to "kick it up a notch." He’s also known to recommend using genuine lard, claiming that "pork fat rules."

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