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Bam! Emeril Lagasse on Kicking Your Business Up A Notch Interview with celebrity chef and restaurateur Emeril Lagasse about his new Roku TV series, putting relationships first, and creating media with a purpose.

By Shawn P. Walchef

Key Takeaways

  • A Full Tank of Hospitality - Emeril Lagasse has extensive training as a chef that dates back to attending a culinary high school. But once he experienced the hospitality of the Brennan family in New Orleans, he knew he had found a home.
  • Relationships First - Emeril Lagasse has had many TV shows over the years. And like the ones before, his latest shows "Emeril Cooks" and "Emeril Tailgates" on Roku TV lean into relationships over strictly business.
  • Elements for Creating the Right Content - Emeril Lagasse's television career is legendary. In this phase of his career, he is intentional with all the elements that must be included into each show.
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From restaurants to media, Emeril Lagasse has had a remarkable career. Through it all, the famed chef and humanitarian has been able to grow his business empire by prioritizing hospitality.

From his many restaurants to his Roku TV streaming series Emeril Cooks, everything that Emeril does is about putting people at the forefront.

"That show (Emeril Cooks on Roku) happens to be about relationships. Whether it's the oyster guy that's doing Louisiana oysters or whether it's the two ladies that are making sake with Louisiana-grown rice," explains Emeril Lagasse on the Restaurant Influencers podcast hosted by Shawn P. Walchef of CaliBBQ Media.

The new show and all shows the chef is involved in need specific elements to uphold the values that the Emeril legacy is built on. When recording up to four shows in a day, it is important that work includes pillars.

"You know, when we were writing those shows and even the shows that we're writing right now, it's about what is the meaning?" Lagasse expresses. "It has to have an educational perspective, as well. And it has to have some sense of love, some sense of giving back."

The prioritization of relationships has always been the hidden ingredient to Emeril's success. In fact, his relationship with Dickie and Ellen Brennan and the hospitality they showed him in New Orleans, coupled with the soul and culture of the city, played a large role in him making that city his home.

"Until I landed in '82 at Commander's Palace to work for the Brennan family, is when I truly – truly – understood what hospitality in the restaurant business really is," says Lagasse. "I was brought in to be the chef there, but to see that it was more than just being a chef, it was more of giving people an experience. And part of that experience rubbed off as hospitality.

So that's why I haven't left New Orleans, because I got that full sense, that full tank, if you will, of hospitality, of music, of agriculture, architecture. And to me it was like, okay, and this is really feeling like being at home."

As Emeril Lagasse pushes forward with his new streaming shows at Roku TV, he is passing the torch to his son, and current chef patron at Emeril's. After a short hiatus from television, Lagasse and son are set to tackle new shows and new restaurants by embracing relationships, employing supreme hospitality, and building new connections. Bam!


NOMINATE A RESTAURANT INFLUENCER — Do you know someone who is killing it on social media? Let us know by emailing or sending the @calibbqmedia team a DM on social media.


Restaurant Influencers is brought to you by Toast, the powerful restaurant point of sale and management system that helps restaurants improve operations, increase sales and create a better guest experience.

Toast — Powering Successful Restaurants. Learn more about Toast.

Restaurant Influencers is also supported by DAVO. Never worry about sales tax again. Try DAVO and get your first month free. And AtmosphereTV - TV to Enhance Your Business. Try AtmosphereTV.

Shawn P. Walchef

Founder of Cali BBQ Media

“Be the show, not the commercial.”

Cali BBQ Media Founder Shawn Walchef helps brands and leaders leverage the new Business Creator Economy with strategic Smartphone Storytelling and Digital Hospitality.

His Cali BBQ restaurant company has generated more than $35 million since opening in 2008. They operate numerous locations in San Diego and beyond.

Shawn’s weekly video series Restaurant Influencers (published by Entrepreneur Media and produced by Cali BBQ Media) has been seen by over 25 million people.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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