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
A long-time member of the Emeril’s family of restaurants, Brian Mottola comes to NOLA by way of Charlotte North Carolina, where he served as chef de cuisine at e2 emeril’s eatery.
Chef Mottola’s passion for cooking and great food was ignited as a child in New Jersey where Italian family meals served as the centerpiece of the day. After graduating from Johnson & Wales in 1997, Mottola began working as a line cook for renowned Chef Emeril Lagasse at his award-winning flagship restaurant Emeril’s New Orleans. In 1999, Mottola moved to Las Vegas to help open Chef Emeril’s Delmonico Steakhouse in the Venetian Casino and Resort, where he served as the butcher and saucier. He then moved to San Francisco to work under Chef Nancy Oaks at her prestigious restaurant, Boulevard.
Chef Mottola eventually moved back to New Jersey to work as a sous chef at Café Matisse, and later opened his own restaurant, Pop’s, a Cajun-Creole-Barbecue restaurant named in honor of his grandfather. In 2008 he moved to Charlotte where he worked as the sous chef at Carpe Diem under Chef Paul Ketterhagen before rejoining Emeril’s team to open e2 emeril’s eatery in January 2012, first serving as sous chef and later, chef de cuisine.
At NOLA Restaurant, Chef Mottola will showcase his creative edge and culinary finesse, putting his own touch on the New New Orleans fare the restaurant is renowned for – a fusion of traditional Creole and Southern cuisine with a twist of ethnic flavors.
Averriel Thomas has been at the forefront of New Orleans’ most prestigious restaurants for the past 25 years. He now brings his passion and understanding of the authentic New Orleans Creole traditions to NOLA – Chef Emeril’s eclectic outpost in the historic French Quarter.
Thomas began his career in 1980 at the same establishment where Chef Emeril Lagasse made his mark on New Orleans cuisine – the legendary Commander’s Palace. After more than 13 years with Commander’s, Thomas rejoined Lagasse at his flagship restaurant Emeril’s New Orleans as dining room and back-house manager. In 1998, Lagasse acquired Delmonico Restaurant and Bar, and enlisted Thomas to help re-establish ownership, supervise dining room operations and plan memorable events as assistant manager and private party coordinator.
In 2000, Thomas assumed the position of General Manager with one of New Orleans’ most well-known chefs, Susan Spicer, at her newest joint venture Herbsaint. In 2003, Thomas joined Smith & Wollensky as General Manager.
In June 2009, Thomas rejoined the company as Chef Emeril Lagasse appointed him to oversee all aspects of his Emeril’s French Quarter outpost NOLA Restaurant; the culmination of years of service inside the city’s best fine dining establishments.