CHICAGO — Chef-restaurateur Emeril Lagasse, whose culinary skills, engaging smile and “BAM!” persona have made him one of the most recognizable culinary celebrities, has been selected as the 2006 inductee into the Nation’s Restaurant News MenuMasters Hall of Fame.
The television personality-author-restaurateur was honored on May 20 during the MenuMasters Awards ceremony at the Drake Hotel here. MenuMasters winners in a range of other special culinary categories also will be recognized at the ceremony.
“Emeril Lagasse is an incredible personality who honed his culinary skills in top restaurants in France and the United States,” said NRN publisher Alan Gould. “He has combined his extensive food knowledge with a lively, upbeat style to become a fantastic worldwide ambassador for the food industry. We are thrilled to have him as part of our MenuMasters program.”
Lagasse is the chef-proprietor of nine restaurants, including three in New Orleans, two in Las Vegas, two in Orlando, Fla., one in Atlanta and one in Miami. In 1990 he opened Emeril’s restaurant in the Warehouse District in downtown New Orleans. Two years later he opened Nola restaurant in the French Quarter. Both were closed last August by Hurricane Katrina but reopened in December. Emeril’s Delmonico, in New Orleans’ Garden District, is scheduled to reopen this fall.
“It has been such an unbelievably difficult time for everyone in New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast,” Lagasse said. “We are very happy to reopen our doors, reuniting with our friends, and all of our loyal customers through the years. I love this city, and I look forward to working together to build an even better New Orleans.”