Chef Emeril Lagasse Talks New Shoe Line, the Best City For Food and More

When celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse was preparing to add kitchen-friendly footwear to his product lineup, he got some good design advice.

“My son is an athlete and told me there’s always some bounce in his athletic shoes,” said Lagasse, who worked with New York-based licensing partner Jack Schwartz Shoes to create an extra-cushioned men’s and women’s collection, launching in November.

While Lagasse is mindful of what he wears on the job, he admits he’s not a shoe guy: In his downtime, he’s typically in a pair of flip-flops. “They’re probably the most terrible thing for your feet, but I hate wearing socks,” he said.

Aside from footwear, Lagasse has several other projects on his plate. In September, he opened a new restaurant in New Orleans named Meril, after his daughter. That follows the debut of his new Amazon series, “Eat the World,” which has him circling the globe in a search of new cuisine. “I had a blast doing the show,” Lagasse said, “not only because of my colleagues and the team shooting, but the places, the cultures and the people.”


At the end of the day, he added, “Making people happy with food is the hook for me.”

Here, Lagasse shares the best city for food, the chefs he admires most and what his wife likes him to cook.

Celebrities I’ve cooked for: “Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine. But it was super-cool to cook for Julia Child.”

In my free time…“I love to fish. There are times I sport-fish and other times I fish to eat.”

Favorite set of wheels: “An old Range Rover. I will drive it until the wheels fall off.”

Best city for food: “Stockholm. I was blown away by the amount of Michelin-star restaurants and what chefs are doing with Nordic cuisine.”

Dishes my wife likes me to cook: “She loves simple roast chicken, spaghetti Bolognese and shrimp scampi.”

Most admired chefs: “I like Mario Batali’s Italian food, Daniel Boulud’s French food and George Mendez for Portuguese.”

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