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
An Allentown, Pa. native, Mace Makowe leads the kitchen at Emeril’s Italian Table, one of renowned chef Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. Makowe rejoined Emeril’s team in May 2013 after more than a decade of experience in the culinary arts, working at Michelin star-rated restaurants worldwide. Makowe spent 10 years cooking and working in Europe for several fine dining restaurants, including Restaurant Moo in Barcelona, Spain, under head chef Felip Llufriu. He also previously worked as a sous chef at Emeril’s Chop House during its first year of operation. Makowe earned a special diploma in the Culinary Arts from Northampton County Community College.
A 20-plus-year veteran of the restaurant and hospitality industry, Todd Pasini was named General Manager for Emeril’s Italian Table at the Sands Bethlehem in 2013. As general manager, Pasini is responsible for all front-of-the-house operations for the restaurant, including leading its extensive team of servers, hostesses and reservationists, as well as private party operations. Originally from Detroit, Mich., Pasini began working as a dishwasher at a local restaurant while in middle school. After high school, he moved to New York City, where working at the Italian restaurant Noodle Pudding exposed him to the fine art of Italian cooking and piqued his interest in hospitality. He spent 10 years at the restaurant, eventually serving as its floor manager, before moving to Pennsylvania. Pasini joined the opening team at Emeril’s Chop House in 2009 as a server before being promoted to a shift manager at Emeril’s Italian Table and then back at the Chop House. “I like showing people a good time,” Pasini says about his career. “We don’t just give [our guests] a meal, we give them an entire experience.” Pasini lives in Moore Township with his wife and two young children.