Friday, June 9, 2023

Hotshots in the restaurant biz (part two)

1.   Emeril Lagasse

What is he known for?

Born in Massachusetts, Emeril Lagasse started his culinary career by working in a Portuguese bakery. It was there that his passion for the culinary arts was realized and he proceeded to apply to Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School. He would later turn down acceptance into the New England Conservatory of Music to attend Johnson and Wales University where he studied the culinary arts and was awarded an honorary doctorate. Eventually, he became a head chef and held that position for years before eventually opening his own restaurant in New Orleans, Emerils. Emeril also made appearances in several Food Network shows and eventually hosted his own.

He is largely regarded for his French, Portuguese, creole, and cajun recipes.

Emeril Lagasse
Denise Gould, according to File:Emeril Lagasse, USAF.jpg / Public domain

What are his secrets to success?

Emeril explains his secret to success in one of the best ways I have ever read. In an article about Emeril he says the following:

“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.” Emeril then adds ”Failure happens when you don’t pay attention. Failure happens when you don’t have the right deal,” Emeril said.

2.   Mario Batali

What is he known for?

Another famous American born chef, Mario Batali, was born in Washington state. Like Emeril, Batali attended school and eventually worked his way through the culinary world becoming a television personality on the Food Network and others. Batali was well-known for his simplicity cooking style which was popular with American households. Unfortunately, Batali would later become a newspaper headline featuring sexual harassment charges.

Mario Batali
Pete Souza / Public domain

What are his secrets to success?

Batali has 3 tips for success:

  • ”Lose yourself in your work, in a good way”. This tip generally highlights the thought ”if you love what you do then you’ll never work a day in your life”.
  • ”Embrace the chaos of teamwork”. This tip talks about working together as a team to support a single goal even if you do not personally like everyone you’re working with.
  • ”Know you can break the rules if you have high-quality people”. With this tip, he talks about not following the typical business school rules. Instead, he believed in only opening a new restaurant when a current sous chef was ready for an executive position.

3.   Julia Child

What is she known for?

Julia Child
Elsa Dorfman / CC BY-SA

Julia Child is possibly the mother of the culinary arts here in America. She introduced American households to French cooking through her French cookbooks and cooking shows. Julia Child was born in California in 1912 and passed at the age of 91 in 2004. I find Julia so interesting because she came from a family with money. She was tall for a woman (six feet two inches), she played sports, and she earned a degree in history. Her family had a cook but her passion for cooking didn’t come around until Julia met her husband, Paul.

Aside from her culinary influence, Julia is also known for her foundation which supports gastronomy and the culinary arts.

What are her secrets to success?

“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”

-Julia Child Julia Child came from a family with money, drive, and possibilities. She admits that her life didn’t really begin until her 30’s. She grew her passion for cooking from her husband’s interest in it and then she attended culinary school and the rest is history. The point is, she had the means to do anything, to be anything or to do nothing at all and still be well off. What did she do? She found something she was passionate about and continued to find ways to stay interested in it.

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Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!


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