Welcome to the Emeril Coast

January 23, 2013 by admin

Welcome to the Emeril Coast: Q&A with Destin’s newest resident, celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse

I recently had the opportunity to “kick it up a notch” - I mean talk with, the chef extraordinaire, and newly minted Destin resident Emeril Lagasse about his newest show Emeril’s Florida, his love for the Sunshine State, and his family’s recent move to Destin. I think you’ll be enlightened by what I found out about the BAM! Master and I think you’ll understand even better why those who can vacation and live anywhere they want, often choose Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Congratulations on your new show, Emeril’s Florida. What can you tell us about the program fans will be seeing beginning in January?
It’s about what this great state offers; it’s not just about cooking. It’s about the beaches, it’s about fishing, it’s about agriculture and farming, and it is about restaurants too. It’s not just about restaurants, but that’s a big part of it.

Now, I understand from my conversation with Visit Florida’s CEO that each episode will be filmed in and include information about a different city in the state, is that correct?
Yes, we are filming all over the state of Florida. When people think about Florida, of course, they think about sunshine and how beautiful it is, but there’s so much more than that all over this state; it’s incredible.

With your recent move to the Destin area, and the fact that you have 13 restaurants spread across the country, I’m curious as to if you have any aspirations of bringing your brand to Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast?
Let me put it to you this way, for the past eight years my family and I had lived in New York, and a large portion of my business is there, but I don’t have a restaurant in New York City. I just prefer to keep my family and my restaurant business separate.

What originally drew you to the Emeril…(laugh), I mean Emerald Coast?
My wife, Alden (Lovelace Lagasse) has family ties to the gulf coast; her dad was a developer who had condo projects in Destin. I’ve been visiting the area for over 25 years, since back when I was the chef at Commander’s Palace (in New Orleans). I’m also a big fisherman and I love to fish the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast as often as I can.

I saw your big catch (a 49.7 pound Wahoo, fishing out of his home port at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort this June) at the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic; Congratulations on that.
Thank you, I appreciate that. I try to fish as much as I can and I love fishing the gulf coast. It’s relaxing to me, and that was a great day, but you should’ve seen the one that got away!

Why did you decide to move your family here full time?
We also have houses in New Orleans and New York, and first bought a house in Destin eight years ago to vacation and spend summers at. We began to spend a lot of time in Destin about a year ago, and we just decided this past summer that it is where we all wanted to live full time, and I would just commute so we could live here and my children could go to school here.

So I take it you think the Destin area is a good place to raise children?
Well, my children had been living in New York for the past eight years, and you can’t very well ride a bike in Midtown Manhattan. The schools are great, the Walton County sports are good; the fishing and watersports are wonderful. You could not ask for a better place to raise kids.

Emeril Lagasse is likely the best known male chef in our country, due in part to his strong presence as a growing television media icon over the better part of two decades. In addition Lagasse is the owner and chef of thirteen restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando Charlotte, and Bethlehem.

The awards, accolades, and positive recognition he has received over the past years have made Emeril Lagasse one of the most well known chefs around the globe, and he shows no signs of slowing down in his quest for culinary perfection.

From national titles such as, Esquire, Southern Living, Wine Spectator, People, and many others, to restaurant industry publications, Lagasse has for years been revered as being at the top of his game, both as a chef and as an entrepreneur. People magazine once named him in their “25 Most Intriguing People of the Year” feature; a description that after talking with the energetic chef makes perfect sense.

As a television personality, Emeril has hosted well over 2000 shows on the Food Network, and is the food correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America. He is also the host of Fresh Food Fast and The Originals with Emeril, both airing on the Cooking Channel, as well as serving as the host of other past and present series, such as Discovery Channel’s Planet Green.

Since 2008 Emeril Lagasse has been a part of the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO) family of brands where he shows no signs of slowing down his zest for creating new informative and entertaining television programs, books, and media projects.

His newest program, Emeril’s Florida is in production as of this writing, and airs on the Cooking Channel beginning in January, 2013. This one, of course follows Destin’s newest celebrity resident in his travels all over the Sunshine State as he enlightens viewers on everything from restaurants and recipes to the fishing, farming, and fun in the sun offered by this great state.

In addition to his sixteen years of being highly involved in television, Emeril is also the author of 17 bestselling cookbooks including his newest, Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches, which was published in October of 2012, and is available in better booksellers nationally.

When not filming, cooking, or writing, Lagasse is often doing his part –and more- to give back. He established the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support children’s educational programs that inspire and mentor young people through educating them in the culinary arts, as well as other needed skills.

In March 2011, Emeril dedicated the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Culinary Arts Studio, a four-year culinary arts program for high school students with master-apprentice curriculum at New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts. Carnivale du Vin, their primary fundraiser, is ranked among the “Top Ten U.S. Charity Wine Auctions” by the affluent Wine Spectator magazine. Since 2005, the event has raised over $14 million for various children’s charities.

Though he now calls Destin, Florida his family’s home, Lagasse’s restaurant company is located in New Orleans and houses his restaurant and recipe operations, as well as his boutique store for the extensive line of Emeril branded products.

Myself and all of us at Beaches, Resorts & Parks magazine would like to give a big welcome to Emeril and his family in joining the ranks of the growing number of everyday people and celebrities alike, who are making the decision to call this piece of paradise home.

You can read more about Emeril Lagasse, his restaurants, books, recipes, and more at his official website,, and remember to look for the 30-minute episodes of Emeril’s Florida to begin airing weekend mornings on the Cooking Channel this January.


Story courtesy Will Estell,

Will Estell is the Founding Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the nationally distributed, Beaches Resorts & Parks magazine. A multi published writer with over 100 magazine articles to his credit, he is also the author of 2009's "Wisdom & Wisecracks For The Aspiring Business Owner", named as a top 10 entrepreneurial book. He lives in Oxford, Alabama with his wife and children, and splits his time between his publishing partnerships there and in Destin, Florida.

[video is from Emeril's Florida in South Walton, which premiered Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013.]

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