Chef Emeril Lagasse received his first culinary experience from his mother, Hilda, when he was a boy growing up in the small town of Fall River, Massachusetts. As a teenager, he worked at a Portuguese bakery where he mastered the art of bread and pastry baking. Upon high school graduation, Lagasse was offered a full scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music, but decided to pursue a career as a professional chef.
Chef de Cuisine
Growing up in Tobyhanna, Pa., Stacy Calles wanted to cook for as long as she can remember. She learned the basic culinary techniques from her mother, testing out her skills on willing friends and family. As soon as she turned 15, she began working as a dishwasher, soaking up the kitchen culture and eventually learning to prep dishes with the chef.
After high school, Calles earned an associate’s degree in culinary arts from the prestigious culinary school, Johnson and Wales University. She was then recruited by the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to help open the Voodoo Steakhouse. Calles spent three-and-a-half years working as a line cook and pastry cook at the Rio before taking a position as pastry chef for Bix’s restaurant in Las Vegas. During her tenure as pastry chef, Calles worked with some of the world’s best chef’s in her field during the World Pastry Championship.
After moving back to Pennsylvania, Calles joined Chef Emeril’s team in 2009 as a cook at Emeril’s Chop House in the Sands Bethlehem Resort, quickly being promoted to sous chef in 2010. Her focus on local, top-quality meats and produce, coupled with her sense of “passion on the plate,” helped propel Calles to be tapped as chef de cuisine in May 2012. Calles brings a creative approach to traditional steakhouse fare, finding inspiration in her Hawaiian heritage and love of Asian cuisine, as she continues Chef Emeril’s tradition of flavorful, yet approachable, fine-dining.
Born and raised in New Orleans, general manager Jason Lonigro grew up in the restaurant industry watching his family run a successful hospitality business that catered to area restaurants. In 2002, he began his professional career at Emeril Lagasse’s flagship restaurant, Emeril’s as a server. Through hard work and dedication, he quickly climbed the chain of command from captain to dining room manager. In 2005, he was promoted to manager at Emeril’s Delmonico, and played an integral part in the restaurant’s reopening after Hurricane Katrina.
In June 2007, Jason moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to help open Emeril’s Gulf Coast Fish House. He served as general manager for two years, playing a strong role in the rebuilding efforts on the Gulf Coast. He returned to Emeril's Delmonico in 2008 and served as sommelier, until he was named to lead the opening team of Chef Emeril’s first restaurant in the Northeast - Emeril’s Chop House.