Episode 174: E.J. Lagasse Presides Over a Reimagined Emeril’s

After closing this summer for a major renovation and redesign, one of the city’s most iconic restaurants is back in business with a new look, a new format and a new Lagasse at the helm. On today’s podcast, Emeril Lagasse’s 20-year-old son E.J. talks about how he prepared for his leadership role, his boldest menu updates and his vision for the future of fine dining.

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E.J. Lagasse fell in love with food at a very young age. As the son of Chef Emeril Lagasse, he spent most of his early years in kitchens and at home where the family table was a central part of daily life. Cooking with his dad at home and exploring new culinary experiences were fundamental to his childhood, and instilled an appreciation and respect for seasonality and nature that has led to his dedication to culinary artistry.

At 13, he started working in the kitchen at Meril Restaurant in New Orleans, and throughout high school he continued working for his father at Emeril’s Coastal in Florida. During summer breaks, E.J. had an opportunity to stage at highly acclaimed Café Boulud in New York City where he gained invaluable experience training under Daniel Boulud. He went on to spend nearly two years training at the celebrated Le Bernardin with Eric Ripert. After graduating from culinary school at Johnson & Wales, he spent time refining his skills in some of the world’s most renowned kitchens including Core by Clare Smyth in London and Frantzén in Stockholm.

In 2022, E.J. returned to New Orleans to take the helm as Chef Patron where he leads the day-to-day culinary development. Following an extensive renovation in 2023, the flagship will reopen this autumn with a refined menu that pays homage to the restaurant’s rich culinary heritage while incorporating new and innovative techniques and modern adaptations of Chef Emeril’s classics. Chef E.J. draws inspiration from the bounty of Louisiana’s produce from the area’s most dedicated farmers, fisherman and producers to craft an evolved menu that tells a story through food and nature.

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