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
Chef David Slater was named chef de cuisine at Emeril's restaurant in New Orleans in January 2008. After graduating from the Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach, Fla., in 1998, Slater arrived in New Orleans, working in the prestigious kitchens of the Windsor Court Hotel and Restaurant Cuvée. He joined the Emeril's family in 2001 at Emeril's Orlando, working alongside Emeril's Culinary Director Bernard Carmouche. By 2005, he returned to New Orleans to work at Emeril's as a sous chef.
Forced to evacuate to New York after Hurricane Katrina, Slater worked in a number of popular Manhattan restaurants until the restoration and reopening of Emeril's New Orleans in December 2005. Slater then became the executive sous chef under chef de cuisine Christopher Lynch in 2007, assuming full command of the kitchen by 2008.
Slater spent his youth exploring one of the most cosmopolitan and multicultural cities in the world-Toronto, Canada. He cites his grandparents, who were of Russian and Romanian heritage, as a significant culinary influence on his lifelong passion for the kitchen. As a child, he was intrigued by the blending of cultures in their cuisine and absorbed their love of food and cooking traditions.
With a passion for New Orleans food, local products and culture, Slater continues to inspire New Orleans locals and visitors daily with his creations in the style of Chef Emeril's signature "New New Orleans" cuisine. Slater's fresh expressions of Chef Emeril's bold cooking philosophy have produced many local and national accolades, including "Best Executive Chefs" by New Orleans CityBusiness in 2009. He has also been featured in Food & Wine Magazine's list of critic's best recipes for 2010.
Kevin Delaune joined Chef Emeril Lagasse's restaurant company in 1990 as a server at the flagship restaurant, Emeril's in New Orleans. He quickly rose through the ranks and has held management positions within the company in both Orlando and New Orleans since 1998. Delaune has served as Assistant General Manager at Emeril's Orlando at Universal CityWalk, and Emeril's Delmonico in New Orleans. In July 2002, he was promoted to General Manager at Emeril's Tchoup Chop, located at Universal Orlando's Royal Pacific Resort. In June 2004, Delaune was offered the opportunity to return to Emeril's in New Orleans as General Manager. He accepted the challenge and currently oversees all daily operations of the famous Warehouse District restaurant.