Emeril Lagasse: Using the Power of the Culinary Arts to Make a Change

Emeril Lagasse: Using the Power of the Culinary Arts to Make a Change

by Olivia Tacelli
CulinaryEd Columnist
February 8, 2011

Emeril Gives BackIt's not difficult to appreciate the culinary arts talents of professional chefs like Emeril Lagasse. But when all's said and done, it's Lagasse's commitment to the health and sustainability of his restaurants' communities that continues to impress and inspire us.

Culinary Arts Childhood

Raised in Fall River, Massachusetts, Lagasse was taught to cook and bake under the tutelage of his Portuguese mom and French Canadian dad. Though caldo verde (kale soup) and roasted pork and clams are two dishes his parents cooked regularly, it was repeatedly making a simple vegetable soup till it pleased his mom that was a defining moment in his early development as a chef.

Chef Status

Starting as a talented teenager at a Portuguese bakery, and moving on to graduate from culinary school at Johnson and Wales, Lagasse is now counted among world famous chefs with 12 award-winning restaurants in four states including his latest Burgers and More by Emeril at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. Part of the Martha Stewart family of brands since 2008, Lagasse also writes a weekly magazine food column, hosts a radio talk show, and stars as the food correspondent for ABC's Good Morning America.

Giving Back Through the New Orleans Culinary Arts Scene

Despite all of these remarkable accomplishments, Lagasse's legacy is most deeply felt by the work the Emeril Lagasse Foundation accomplishes for young people in New Orleans. Programs include a summer arts camp (with cooking lessons), Carnivale du Vin, raising money for oil-spilled affected Gulf Coast families, and Cafe Hope and Liberty's Kitchen, businesses that feed, teach, and raise money for disadvantaged youth.

Famous Flavor

Culinarily speaking, Lagasses is most famous for his down home New Orleans cuisine, and uses a spice mix called Essence (made from paprka, salt, garlic, pepper, thyme, onion, cayenne, and oregano) as the flavor base for his most popular recipes, including Chicken and Rice Soup and Creole Fried Chicken.

About the Author

Olivia Tacelli is a freelance writer specializing in all things culinary. She has been a chef and caterer for 18 years, and has run her own whole foods cooking business, The Olive Tree, for 8 years.

Culinary Art Schools
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Showing schools in your area

            Matching School Ads
            Culinary Arts Diploma
            Good for Working Adults
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Pastry & Baking Arts
            • Named a Culinary School of Excellence by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) in 2015.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at famous and respected New York City and Los Angeles restaurants.
            • New York campus is located in downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the World Trade Center.
            • Los Angeles campus is located in Pasadena, California’s Playhouse District, 10 miles from Downtown Los Angeles.
            Show more [+]
            Search Schools Near You
            Subject :
            Degree :
            Zip Code :
            Culinary Articles
            10 Colleges with Delicious Dining Hall Food
            Forget boring college cafeteria dining: campus food can be both healthy and delicious. Here's a look at 10 colleges where you might actually enjoy getting your grub on.
            Four International Cuisines Influencing the American Foodscape
            Ethnic cuisines are an integral part of America's culinary landscape, and none more so than these perennial favorites.
            5 Ethnic Cuisines for Serious Foodies
            Love food? Want to broaden your culinary horizons? These five international cuisines might be an excellent starting place.
            Healthy home cooked meals can improve health, longevity and family social community
            Read how cooking at home rather than eating out can help you live longer, reduce the risk of cancer and improve family dynamics. Not only has cooking at home become the hip choice, it's also become the smart choice.