Lehigh Valley

Emeril Lagasse shares his secret to success

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Everybody knows Emeril Lagasse. He's a chef, restaurateur, and one of the first Food TV stars.

His road to TV was a classic case of good timing.

"I got approached by a group that wanted to shoot a pilot, because there was this network going to start that was all about food," he told WFMZ. "And I said, 'You're kidding me. A food channel?'"

He's got more than a dozen restaurants now, spread across the country and he manages every corner of his empire.

"I'm totally plugged in, when I go to each property I'm in the kitchen," he said. "I could show you what every restaurant did last night, what every menu was. That comes to me in the afternoon, and if there's something that's not on course, then they immediately get a phone call from me."

So what's the secret to his success?

"I look at it like I'm the quarterback and that I have really surrounded myself with a great team," he said. "The other thing is I've had really great support from my family."

When he opens a restaurant, he doesn't just slap his name on it. They train for weeks and perfect recipes.

"Just testing, re-testing, testing, re-testing, bring in farmers, having a panel. Who has the best lettuce? Who has the best sprouts? Who has the best beef?" he said.

He's also learned from his failure.

"Failure happens when you don't pay attention. Failure happens when you don't have the right deal," Emeril said.

Overall, Emeril has an intensity that's recognizable among successful people.

"I have a responsibility. I have 1,450 employees," he says. "It's not a joke. I'm not in this for an ego trip. I'm in this to run a business, to have a career, and to be the best that we can possibly be."


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