Chef Emeril Lagasse is the chef/proprietor of 12 restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando and Bethlehem, Pa. As a national TV personality, he has hosted more than 2,000 shows on the Food Network, and is the food correspondent for ABC’s "Good Morning America.” In 2014, Lagasse participated in his third consecutive season as a main guest chef in Bravo’s hit food series, “Top Chef,” and joined TNT as co-host for their cooking series, On the Menu. Most recently, “Emeril’s Florida” entered its third season in January 2015 on the Cooking Channel.
Lagasse is the best-selling author of 18 cookbooks, with his 19th, Essential Emeril, slated to release in October 2015. Emeril Lagasse joined the Martha Stewart family of brands in 2008; Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO) acquired the assets related to Emeril’s media and merchandising business, including television programming, cookbooks, the emerils.com website and his licensed kitchen and food products.
In 2002, Emeril established the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support children’s educational programs that inspire and mentor young people through the culinary arts, nutrition, healthy eating, and important life skills. To date, the Foundation has distributed $5.7 million in grants for children’s charities in New Orleans, Las Vegas and on the Gulf Coast. For his philanthropic efforts, Emeril was named the 2013 Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation.
Chef de Cuisine
Ronnie Rainwater was born and raised in Southern California outside of Los Angeles. He grew up in the kitchen, shadowing his Southern grandmother at the stove; anxious to taste anything he could get his hands on.
Chef Ronnie attended Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon and obtained a Culinary Arts Degree in 1999. One of his early jobs in the industry was an internship in the kitchen at The Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, where he helped prepare dinners and private events for guests.
In June 1999, Ronnie was offered a position as a cook at Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steakhouse at The Venetian and moved to Las Vegas. In 2007, he was promoted to executive sous chef at the restaurant.
In January 2011, after working with Emeril for over 11 years at his restaurants in Las Vegas and on the East coast, he was tapped to become the next chef de cuisine of Delmonico Steakhouse.
Today, he leads the kitchen at Delmonico and oversees all facets of its culinary operations, from sourcing products, to managing the restaurant’s in-house dry-aging program for prime U.S.D.A. beef, to crafting ambitious nightly tasting menus for guests at his kitchen table. His love of simple fresh ingredients has helped him cultivate close relationships with local farmers who supply the restaurant with their best products including beets, heirloom tomatoes, squash blossoms and seasonal herbs. A local orchard provides him with fresh apples and cider, along with the apple wood used to brine and smoke the restaurant’s house cured bacon.
One of his favorite dishes on the menu, Delmonico’s dry aged bone-in ribeye, may best represent his cooking philosophy and style in the kitchen: taking top quality products, preparing them simply and expertly, and pairing them with the comfort and hospitality that makes Delmonico Steakhouse’s guests feel right at home.
Tuan Tran has worked with renowned Chef Emeril Lagasse for 23 consecutive years, working his way up from busboy to general manager of Lagasse's popular Delmonico Steakhouse in The Venetian Resort, Hotel & Casino. When asked why he enjoys his job, he simply replies: "I love working for Chef Emeril."
Tran was born in Vietnam but moved to New Orleans as a child with his family in 1979. He got his start in the restaurant industry as a teenager, working as a busboy at a restaurant on New Orleans' West Bank. When Chef Emeril Lagasse opened his first and eponymous restaurant in 1990, Tran applied for a busser position. "I had heard Emeril was a good chef at Commander's Palace," Tran says, "so I wanted to try out a new restaurant."
And he hasn't looked back. Starting at Emeril's, Tran moved through the ranks and Lagasse's other restaurants, helping to open NOLA Restaurant in 1992 as he worked through college. Tran attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, working at NOLA on weekends. He graduated with a degree in sociology in 1997, but stayed with the restaurant, still loving the energy and excitement of the bustling French Quarter outpost.
Tran was promoted to Dining Room Manager at NOLA in 1999, before moving to Las Vegas in 2001 to work at another one of Lagasse's restaurants, Delmonico Steakhouse. Tuan became Delmonico's Assistant General Manager in 2008, and was promoted to General Manager in October 2012. Tran's mother, affectionately known as "Mama," continues to work at NOLA Restaurant, where she's the sole crafter and creator of the restaurant's famous appetizer, Miss Hay's Stuffed Chicken Wings.
Master Sommelier Kevin M. Vogt has been working with Chef Emeril Lagasse since March of 1996 when he became the Wine Director/Sommelier at Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. He started in this organization at Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House at the MGM Grand as the first sommelier at that property, and nurtured that wine program until Delmonico Steakhouse opened in 1999. Since the beginning, the Delmonico Steakhouse wine list has followed Chef Emeril’s vision and evolved into the award-winning list. In 2004, Delmonico Steakhouse became the 88th restaurant in the world (and the second restaurant in Emeril's company) to achieve the esteemed Wine Spectator’s Grand Award. Delmonico Steakhouse’s has received the prestigious award every subsequent year.
Vogt has been recognized both nationally and internationally for his skill in pairing wine with food, his tasting abilities and for his expansive wine knowledge. In 1999, Vogt successfully passed the Master Sommelier Exam from the American Chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers to become the 38th American and the 89th person in the world to achieve this prestigious honor. Vogt now leads the wine programs for three of Lagasse’s Vegas restaurants: Delmonico Steakhouse, Table 10, and Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House.
In 2005, Vogt started producing his own wine named Mastery which is a Napa Valley Cabernet blend. He graduated from the University of Nevada - Las Vegas with a degree in Hotel Administration in 1993. He and his wife, Lynda, are the proud parents of two daughters, Madison and Juliana.
Max Solano, Beverage Manager and Mixologist for Chef Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steakhouse, began his career with Emeril’s restaurants in March 2006 as a bartender at Emeril’s Tchoup Chop in Orlando. He moved to Las Vegas in 2007 to help open Emeril’s Table 10 restaurant, and has since become one of Vegas’ most exciting and creative mixologists, as well as a student and teacher of the history and development of spirits and cocktails. He is currently pursuing both a master certification of mixology and a master of whisky certification. Solano also created a Book of Whisky for Delmonico Steakhouse—one of the largest restaurant whisky selections in the country, offering more than 550 selections from eight countries. In addition to numerous accolades and awards through his career, in 2011, Solano was named Bartender of the Year by the Nevada Restaurant Association and also Best Restaurant Bartender by Vegas Seven magazine. Delmonico Steakhouse has been named one of the Top 10 Cocktail Bars in the U.S. by Gayot and was inducted into the Bar Hall of Fame in 2013 by Vegas Seven magazine.