Emeril Lagasse was born on October 15, 1959, in the small town of Fall Rivers, Massachusetts.
Emeril was born to people of different cultures, his father was French Canadian, and his mother was Portuguese, and took their cultural differences to heart.
At a young age, Emeril was interested in food and music as well. He got a full music scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music which he turned down to attend a cooking school instead.
Emeril recalled, “I started cooking when I was about 10. I have memories of when I was six or seven with my mom and when I was 12 I started getting real serious about cooking. And doing both: I played music and cooked and baked. I started in a bakery.”
“What I did is that I respected [traditions]. I submerged myself into it. So on a lot of days off, I would go and fish with the fishermen and the families that ran the boats. I would go work the fields with farmers. I would go and talk with farmers about growing particular products for me. What that did was — and now that years have gone by and I look back at it and I can put one and one and two together — it was my childhood memories and cultural feelings and beliefs in the whole tie-in of the French Canadian/Portuguese thing,” He explained.
In 1978 he graduated with a degree in culinary arts and his next plan was to head to Europe to learn from the best.
He took a big leap in his career after working for 8 years in a cultural restaurant as an executive chef.
Emeril Lagasse went on to create over 21 restaurants in New York over the last 31 years and his restaurants were soon winning awards.
In 1993 he released his first – and now best-selling – cookbook, Emeril’s New Orleans Cooking, and became well known and also a TV personality.
He started his cooking shows and became a judge of the cooking competition Top Chef for two seasons and also appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America.
Emeril Lagasse has been married three times and has four children.
In 1978 he married his first wife, Elizabeth Kief and they had two children Jessica and Jillian. Their marriage ended in 1986. The American chef got married the same year to Tari Hohn and they divorced in 1991.
He got married to his present wife Alden Lovelace, a real estate broker in 2000. Three years after their marriage, they welcomed their first child Emeril John “EJ” Lagasse IV, and in 2004, daughter Meril was born.