Emeril Lagasse Biography

(Celebrity Chef & Restaurateur Known for His Show 'Essence of Emeril' on The Food Network)

Birthday: October 15, 1959 (Libra)

Born In: Fall River, Massachusetts, United States

Emeril Lagasse is a noted American restaurateur, chef, a well-known television personality and also a cookbook author. He is a specialist at Cajun and Creole cuisine and also known for his self-developed cooking method namely ‘New New Orleans’ style. Emeril is a regular personality on TV cooking shows including many appearances on long-running cooking programs on the popular ‘Food Network’. He found his fondness for cooking at a young age when he was working in a bakery and following that passion he joined a culinary arts program. After graduation, he began his career as an Executive Chef, and within the span of a few years, he opened his restaurant. His recipes were also a part of the meal selection for astronauts of the ‘International Space Station’. At present, he owns twelve restaurants across Las Vegas, Orlando, Bethlehem, and New Orleans. He also a knack for acting, and other than hosting cookery shows and presiding over competitions has done a few guest appearances in drama series and other related programs. Till date, the star chef has authored nineteen cookbooks; the latest one published around three years back.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Emeril John Lagassé III

Age: 64 Years, 64 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Alden Lovelace (m. 2000), Elizabeth Kief (m. 1978–1986), Tari Hohn (m. 1989–1996)

father: Emeril John Lagasse Jr.

mother: Hilda Lagasse

siblings: Delores Lagasse, Mark Lagasse

children: Emeril John Lagasse IV, Jessica Lagasse, Jillian Lagasse, Meril Lovelace Lagasse

Born Country: United States

Chefs Restaurateurs

Height: 5'7" (170 cm), 5'7" Males

Ancestry: Portuguese American

Notable Alumni: Johnson & Wales University

U.S. State: Massachusetts

More Facts

education: Johnson & Wales University

  • 1

    What recipes is Emeril Lagasse known for?

    Emeril Lagasse is known for his signature dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, and his famous "Essence" seasoning blend.

  • 2

    What restaurants does Emeril Lagasse own?

    Emeril Lagasse owns several restaurants including Emeril's New Orleans, Emeril's Orlando, and Emeril's Chop House in Pennsylvania.

  • 3

    What cooking techniques is Emeril Lagasse known for?

    Emeril Lagasse is known for popularizing the technique of "bam!" where he adds a flavorful ingredient to a dish to enhance its taste.

  • 4

    What TV shows has Emeril Lagasse been on?

    Emeril Lagasse has been on popular TV shows such as "Emeril Live," "Essence of Emeril," and "Emeril's Florida."

  • 5

    What is Emeril Lagasse's cooking philosophy?

    Emeril Lagasse's cooking philosophy revolves around using fresh ingredients, layering flavors, and creating dishes that are both comforting and delicious.

Childhood & Early Life
Emeril Lagasse was born on October 15, 1959, in Fall River, Massachusetts, to Emeril John Lagasse, Jr, and Hilda Medeiros. He is of French-Canadian ethnicity from his father’s side and of Portuguese ethnicity from his mother’s side.
The passion for cooking began all at home at a young age when he imbibed the art of food preparation from his mother, Hilda. Soon he was seen mastering bakery skills at a Portuguese bakery where he worked as a teenager.
Upon completing high school studies, Lagasse joined the elite Johnson and Wales University, in 1978, to pursue his passion, which earned him lucrative offers from classic restaurants in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.
To broaden his culinary skills he travelled to Lyon and Paris, France, from where he picked up the art of standard French cuisine. Soon after, he joined the renowned ‘Commander’s Palace’ in 1982, as the Executive Chef and served there for almost eight years.
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After serving at the Commander’s Palace, Emeril Lagasse decided to set up his first restaurant named ‘Emeril’s’, in 1990, in New Orleans, which was followed by ‘NOLA’ restaurant two years hence.
In 1995, Lagasse started the ‘Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House’ in Las Vegas, inspired by his ‘New New Orleans’ cooking style.
In 1998, Lagasse set up another eatery, ‘Delmonico’, in the historic Garden District of New Orleans. A year on, he added two other to the chain of his restaurants including one at the Universal Studios CityWalk and another at Las Vegas.
On June 8, 2000, Lagasse stepped into the domain of grocery products with a deal with B&G Foods, introducing a wide range of dry grocery items – pasta sauces, salsas, marinades under the brand ‘Emeril’s’.
’Emeril’s Gourmet Produce’ introduced in 2004, is another among his brands of fresh food items offering fresh herbs, mix salad blends, and heirloom tomatoes, exclusively prepared by Pride of San Juan
He expanded his eatery business further and opened ‘Emeril’s Chop House’ on May 22, 2009 at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Pennsylvania and a few months later, he opened ‘Lagasse’s Stadium’; a sports entertainment zone coupled with a restaurant.
In 2016, he opened, ‘Emeril’s Fish House’, his third restaurant at Sands Bethlehem. At present, he is the proprietor of 12 restaurants across the United States, with the most recent one opened in Florida.
Awards & Achievements
His hard work and zeal for mastering culinary skills have earned him several accolades including critical acclaims and best ratings; making his restaurants a top choice for food lovers across America.
The ‘Emeril’s’ restaurant won the first of many recognitions way back in 1990 when it was awarded the Restaurant of the Year’ in ‘Esquire’ Magazine‘ by John Mariani.
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In 1991, the James Beard Foundation awarded him the title of ‘Best Southeast Regional Chef’.
His commitment and culinary expertise led him to win the ‘Executive of the Year’ award by Restaurants & Institutions magazine in 2004.
The ‘Food Network’s’; South Beach and Wine Festival rewarded him with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’, in 2009, for his contributions to the culinary industry.
The ‘James Beard Foundation’ acknowledged Lagasse’s contributions to enhancing culinary arts in America and his charitable efforts by awarding him the coveted title ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ in 2013.
He has penned down 19 best-selling cookbooks. The newest one being the ‘Essential Emeril: Favorite Recipes and Hard-Won Wisdom from My Life in the Kitchen’ launched in 2015.
Some of his other coveted works include ‘New New Orleans Cooking’, ‘Emeril’s TV Dinners’, ‘Emeril’s There’s a Chef in My Soup!: Recipes for the Kid in Everyone’. ‘Emeril’s Potluck: Comfort Food with a Kicked-Up Attitude’.
TV Appearances
He is a popular figure in the TV industry with over two thousand appearances on ‘Food Network’s’ shows and is also the food correspondent for ‘ABC’ program ‘Good Morning America’.
In 1996, Lagasse showed his acting skills on ‘Space Ghost Coast to Coast’; an animated parody talk show in which he acted as a chef preparing meals for the fictional character ‘Space Ghost’.
In 2009, he joined ‘Top Chef’ as a judge and had several appearances on the show as a guest judge too.
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Amazon launched a documentary series, ‘Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse’, in September 2016, featuring Emeril Lagasse and other eminent chefs, in which they embarked on food-fueled global exploration to discover popular food movements and local culinary traditions.
Personal Life & Legacy
Emeril Lagasse’s first marriage was to Elizabeth Kief in 1978. The marriage lasted eight years and the couple had two children together.
He married Tari Hohn a fashion designer in 1989. This marriage lasted seven years before they divorced in 1996.
On May 13, 2000, he married Alden Lovelace; a real estate broker. He has two children from this third marriage; a son named Emeril John Lagasse IV and a daughter; Meril Lovelace Lagasse.
Philanthropic Works
His foundation named the ‘Emeril Lagasse Foundation’ established in 2002; supports economically disadvantaged children in pursuing educational interests. The ‘Emeril Lagasse Foundation’ offers support to educational initiatives for children and till date has granted around $6 million for children’s projects.
Facts About Emeril Lagasse

Emeril Lagasse is known for his catchphrase "Bam!" which he popularized during his cooking shows, adding flair and excitement to his dishes.

Emeril is a talented musician and has released several albums showcasing his love for jazz music, playing the guitar and singing.

He is a passionate philanthropist and has been involved in various charitable efforts, including supporting culinary education programs for underprivileged youth.

Emeril is a dedicated family man and enjoys spending time with his children, often sharing his love of cooking with them in the kitchen.

In addition to his successful culinary career, Emeril is also a best-selling author, having written numerous cookbooks that have inspired home cooks around the world.

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