Emeril Handpicks Team of Seasoned Veterans for New Restaurant in Uptown Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, NC (Jan. 11, 2012) – Chef Emeril Lagasse’s new restaurant, e2 emeril’s eatery, opens Thursday, Jan. 26 at the Levine Center for the Arts in uptown Charlotte. The casual American eatery will serve dinner Monday - Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Starting Jan. 16, reservations may be made by calling the restaurant at 704-414-4787 or visiting e2emerils.com or emerils.com.
Emeril selected Justin Sells, a veteran of his kitchens in New Orleans and Orlando, as chef de cuisine for e2 emeril’s eatery. Jeff Wakem, formerly of Emeril’s Tchoup Chop in Orlando, is general manager. Working alongside Sells and Wakem is sous and pastry chef Stephanie Nikolic, previously Emeril’s pastry chef at Delmonico Steakhouse in Las Vegas.
“It means so much to have Chef Justin, Jeff and Chef Stephanie joining me in Charlotte. They have worked with me for many years and share my passion for creating good food and pairing it with a fun and memorable dining experience,” said Emeril Lagasse. “We are looking forward to working with local food purveyors, bringing on some of the great new culinary talent coming out of Johnson & Wales and sharing the warm Southern hospitality found here in Charlotte.”
Sells trained as a cook and saucier under Emeril at his flagship Emeril’s Restaurant in New Orleans. He was most recently chef de cuisine of Emeril’s Orlando. Sells also held executive chef positions at other top restaurants in the South, including chef de cuisine at contemporary Japanese and sushi restaurant Uchi in Austin, Texas.
Wakem hails from Providence, R.I., and his family has deep ties to food and hospitality. He attended Chef Emeril’s alma mater Johnson & Wales University and previously managed restaurant and entertainment operations at Walt Disney World’s Pleasure Island and Seasons 52 in central Florida.
Also joining the team is bar manager Miki Nikolic, who joined the Emeril’s family from Mario Batali’s Carnevino in Las Vegas; Sous Chef Brian Mottola, who worked at Emeril’s New Orleans flagship and most recently at Charlotte’s Carpe Diem restaurant; and a staff of 60 from the Charlotte area.
The e2 menu will feature an eclectic selection of appetizers, salads, seafood and steaks, as well as some of Emeril’s New Orleans and Southern-style dishes, homemade desserts and modern American classics with a twist, including:
● Emeril’s Chicken & Waffles – Fried Ashley Farms Chicken Thigh with “Old Mill” Buckwheat Waffle, Slaw and Sorghum Molasses
● Shrimp Pizza with Artichoke, Fontina and Herb Pesto
● Baby Spinach Salad with N.C. Wildflower Honey Vinaigrette, Radish, Chapel Hill Creamery “Pheta” Cheese and Duck Cracklins
● Herb-roasted Ashley Farms Chicken with Baby Carrots, Peanut Potatoes, Sea Island Red Peas and Rosemary Jus
● New Bedford Sea Scallops with Crab Fumet, Fennel, Leek, Honey Cap Mushrooms and Scott Farms Mini Potatoes
● “Ham-cured” Niman Ranch Pork Loin with N.C. Purple Sweet Potatoes, Collard Greens and Chocolate Mole Sauce
● Chocolate Pecan Pie with Warm Chocolate Fudge and Cocoa Nib Brittle
The eatery will feature several ways to enjoy Emeril’s cooking, sip cocktails or watch the action up close, including:
● Chef’s food bar: the centerpiece of the eatery features counter seating for 18 guests bordering the open kitchen; guests can interact with the chefs as they work at their various cooking stations – the grill, plancha and wood-burning oven
● Seafood & raw bar: featuring raw and chilled seafood including seasonal crudo, ceviche, fresh shucked oysters, clams and crab
● Common table: large bar-height table seats 12 guests, perfectly suited for group dining at lunch or happy hour after work
● Cocktail bar: with seating for 10 guests, you can watch the bartender mix up handcrafted vintage and modern cocktails using housemade infusions, syrups and bitters; two signature house punches are served; four local microbrews from Charlotte and the Carolinas are on tap; “big bottles” from craft brewers across the country; a separate bar menu with snacks is available
● Main dining room: seats 125 guests including comfortable banquettes near the entrance; semi-private dining areas in the rear of the restaurant; wine storage walls showcase carefully chosen and affordable selections, and Emeril’s reserve list is also available
● Street-level outdoor patio: seats 28 guests bordering Levine Center for the Arts Avenue
Complimentary valet parking is available in front of the restaurant. Self parking is also available in the Levine Center for the Arts parking garage, which is accessible via South Church Street or Stonewall Street.