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
Anthony Scanio has a “love affair,” as he terms it, with New Orleans. A New Orleans native, Scanio has been immersed in the city's culture and cuisine. In fact, his earliest childhood memory is uniquely New Orleans: Riding down Canal Street—in a high chair—during the Elks Orleans parade on Mardi Gras day in 1973.
Scanio infuses these New Orleans experiences, coupled with his world travels and love of history, into the creole-inspired food he creates for Emeril's Delmonico restaurant in the Lower Garden District.
Scanio didn't begin his culinary career until he was in his late '20s, when he decided to shift his career path from English teacher to chef, enrolling in Delgado Community College's culinary arts program in New Orleans. He cut his chops in the industry at New Orleans restaurants Café Indo followed by Herbsaint, where he studied under James Beard award-winning chefs Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski. He and his wife then moved to Italy, where he spent about a year studying the country's cuisine and staging in Rome.
Scanio joined the Emeril's family at Delmonico in 2005 as a line cook. Following Hurricane Katrina, he moved to Emeril's Orlando before returning to Delmonico as sous chef in 2006. He was promoted to executive sous chef in 2009. 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 beef, duck and charcuterie, to working with local farmers, and crafting ambitious nightly tasting menus for guests at his kitchen table.
Scanio's vision and flavor for Delmonico is expressed through his creole heritage and fresh, clean, ingredient-based approach to cooking. He's returning to the roots of creole cooking—homey, approachable, fresh and diverse—and including ingredients and techniques that have been long forgotten to reinterpret the dishes for today's tastes, keeping in tradition with Chef Emeril's signature “new New Orleans” cuisine.
Saleem Nawaz was born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan. His studies took place in Nicosia, Cyprus where he received his Associates degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism (HRT) Management from Americanos College and his Bachelors degree in HRT Management from the University of Cyprus. In January 1997, Saleem arrived in the United States for the first time and settled in the great city of New Orleans where he began his advanced HRT courses at the University of New Orleans. During this time, he began working part-time at Emeril’s Restaurant as a valet. In January 1998, Saleem was hired full-time as a reservationist. After two years, he was promoted to Reservations Manager and then Dining Room Manager. In October 2004, Saleem accepted a position as Private Event Manager at Emeril’s Delmonico, and quickly advanced to the position of Assistant General Manager. In August 2005, Saleem was promoted to General Manager. Saleem oversees all daily operations of the century old New Orleans landmark, Emeril’s Delmonico.