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.
Born on the island of Lesvos, Greece, and growing up in Allentown, Pa., George Nisiotis has been in the restaurant business since he was 12 years old. He started his lengthy career as a dishwasher at a family friend’s diner, moving his way up to bus boy and line cook throughout his teenage years. After graduating high school, Nisiotis embarked on a new challenge: buying and operating his own restaurant. He and his wife owned two restaurants in the Lehigh Valley for nearly 25 years before he joined the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa., as a food and beverage buyer in May 2009.
Nisiotis met Chef Emeril Lagasse during his tenure as director of purchasing for the Sands. There he was in charge of buying the food and beverage products for the resort’s restaurants, including Emeril’s Chop House, Burgers and More by Emeril, and Emeril’s Italian Table. In early 2012, Nisiotis was hired as general manager of Emeril’s Italian Table, which opened in June 2011. Nisiotis’ wealth of experience and love of superb service continues Chef Emeril’s tradition of excellence while serving creative yet rustic Italian-inspired fare.