Chef Emeril Lagasse is the chef/proprietor of 12 restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando and Bethlehem, Pa. As a national TV personality, he has hosted more than 2,000 shows on the Food Network, and is the food correspondent for ABC’s "Good Morning America.” In 2014, Lagasse participated in his third consecutive season as a main guest chef in Bravo’s hit food series, “Top Chef,” and joined TNT as co-host for their cooking series, On the Menu. Most recently, “Emeril’s Florida” entered its third season in January 2015 on the Cooking Channel.
Lagasse is the best-selling author of 18 cookbooks, with his 19th, Essential Emeril, slated to release in October 2015. Emeril Lagasse joined the Martha Stewart family of brands in 2008; Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO) acquired the assets related to Emeril’s media and merchandising business, including television programming, cookbooks, the emerils.com website and his licensed kitchen and food products.
In 2002, Emeril established the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support children’s educational programs that inspire and mentor young people through the culinary arts, nutrition, healthy eating, and important life skills. To date, the Foundation has distributed $5.7 million in grants for children’s charities in New Orleans, Las Vegas and on the Gulf Coast. For his philanthropic efforts, Emeril was named the 2013 Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation.
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.
Growing up just outside New Orleans in Metairie, Ray Gumpert’s first exposure to the restaurant world came in the fall of 2000, when he joined Chef Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant NOLA in the French Quarter as a bus boy. The restaurant’s fast pace and lively atmosphere came as a surprise, but Ray quickly became intimately aware of what it takes to operate a first class restaurant operation.
Ray was particularly interested in the popularity and art of wine service, continually chatting with then-NOLA Sommelier John Hoff for wine knowledge and staying late to learn about wine after service hours. Ray was soon promoted to Captain, showcasing the nightly degustation and wine pairing, while honing his wine service skills.
In September 2002, Ray moved to Miami and assisted with the opening of Emeril’s Miami Beach restaurant. He soon became Assistant Sommelier at Emeril’s Miami, and developed strong connections with the wine community and top vintners, and experienced a new level of appreciation for the profession. In April 2008, Ray was promoted to Sommelier at Emeril’s Delmonico in New Orleans. In November 2008, he became the Sommelier at Emeril’s New Orleans, where he currently shares his passion for wine with the staff, guests and presides over the restaurant’s Grand Award-winning cellar of nearly 1,900 selections and 10,000 bottles. Ray holds a first-level Court of Master Sommelier’s certification.