The 20-episode show debuts next Saturday.
"The cool thing is that now that people have made this evolution where cooking is cool, people are doing it on weekends, they're doing their own challenges," Lagasse told USA Today while marketing and filming in New York City. "It's back to cooking. And it's real cooking."
Lagasse owes his name to a French-Canadian father and had his first professional food experience working in a Portuguese bakery in Fall River, Mass., as a teenager. But he became a celebrity in New Orleans, first at Commander's Palace and then at his own restaurant, Emeril's. His base now is an office in Martha Stewart Omnimedia Headquarters in New York.
Under his current agreement with Stewart's company, Lagasse's licensed products and television shows are part of the Stewart empire. His restaurants remain his own.
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