|Emeril Lagasse and Valerie Phillips. Photo by Kim Phillips|
He knew my name ... at least for a minute.
In a press release, Lagasse is quoted as saying, "Some of my most fulfilling memories have been in the kitchen preparing a meal with my family and friends, and 'Emeril's Table' creates that same kind of connection. Food brings us all a little closer together and I hope that as we’re gathering around my table each day everyone will invite us in to their kitchens and be inspired to cook along."
Lagasse is the culinary icon who put the Food Network on the map. Two years ago, I was able to meet Lagasse at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans.
I was attending a Taste of New Orleans event at the The Southern Food and Beverage Museum. A half-dozen or so prominent restaurants were stationed throughout the museum, serving a "tasting" portion of a signature dish.
And His Royal Bam-ness was there, offering Pork Cheeks with Dirty Rice from Emeril's Delmonico, one of three new Orleans restaurants he owns.
"Hello Valerie," he said as he shook my hand.
"Oh my gosh! Emeril knows me!" was my first elated thought. Then I realized he had simply read my name tag, as he was doing with everyone else. Still, this small gesture went a long way in charming people, and perhaps indicates how Emeril has gotten where he is today.
.We had a few minutes to chat, and he said he splits a lot of his time between New York and New Orleans, where his corporate office and three of his restaurants are located. And, he visits his restaurants in Florida and Las Vegas, too. He now has 12 restaurants and 15 cookbooks under his belt.