Emeril Lagasse: From JWU to World-Famous

Johnson & Wales University alum Emeril Lagasse has been a foundation of the culinary industry for more than a decade.

He has a veritable empire of restaurants, cookbooks and cooking products — not to mention his shows on the Food Network and the Fine Living Network. 

JWU graduate Emeril Lagasse

Emeril J. Lagasse '78, '90 Hon., Trustee,
Emeril’s Homebase, New Orleans, La.
President and founder, Emeril Brand, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, New York, N.Y.

When Emeril opened his first restaurant in New Orleans in 1990, few would have predicted the level of success that he would achieve. 

But today, he’s a household name for millions of food-loving Americans throughout the country. 

He's the chef-proprietor of ten restaurants located throughout the United States. His books have sold millions of copies throughout the country, and his TV shows appear in more than 85 million homes everyday.

Cooking Up an Empire

In 2008, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia acquired the assets related to Emeril Lagasse’s media and merchandising business, including the popular Emeril Live!, in a transaction that paired one of the biggest brands in food-related content with the established leader in “how to” lifestyle information.

Emeril focuses on and sustainable, local cuisine on “Emeril Green,” his series for the upstart Planet Green Network. In 2011, Emeril also joined “Top Chef” as the show's latest celebrity judge.

Giving Back to JWU: Emeril Scholarship
Through his endowed scholarship program, funded by the annual Emeril Lagasse Golf Tournament, Emeril has raised more than $2.5 million for JWU students, a number that will undoubtedly continue to grow.

His hope for the scholarship is to not only influence our students professionally, but to also have a positive and lasting impact on his alma mater through tireless philanthropy. He also contributes his time, resources and passion to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation for numerous children’s organizations.