Emeril Lagasse Doesn't Plan On Retiring Anytime Soon

Looking back on an enviable career lauded with hit restaurants and TV shows, one might expect Emeril Lagasse to be slowing down and eyeing his golden years. But that's just not the case, as the 63-year-old chef explained on an episode of Tasting Table's "Shared Tastes" series alongside his son, chef EJ Lagasse. "I'm not retiring anytime soon ... we've got some cool things happening on the drawing board," said Lagasse. And that's not even referring to the chef's ongoing TV series on Roku, "Emeril Tailgates," and "Emeril Cooks."

The culinary master's eponymous New Orleans restaurant Emeril's is currently undergoing major renovations, he explained, and he has even more irons in the proverbial fire. With his son, Lagasse is planning a new eatery called 34, so named for the fact that the elder Lagasse is the third to bear his name and his son is the fourth. The restaurant will be a fusion of Spanish and Portuguese cuisines, with which Lagasse is quite familiar. His mother, Hilda Medeiros, was from Portugal, and he grew up in the large Portuguese community in Fall River, Massachusetts. One of Lagasse's first culinary jobs was working in a Portuguese bakery where he learned to make traditional breads and pastries.

Always on the road

Additionally, Lagasse says that he and EJ are working on still another new restaurant in New Orleans, though he didn't elaborate on a cuisine or name. If all goes as planned, the two new restaurants will join Lagasse's others located in New Orleans, Miramar Beach, and Las Vegas.

The renovation of Emeril's looms large for both of the chefs. It was the first restaurant Lagasse owned after making a name for himself as the chef at New Orleans institution Commander's Palace. Opened in 1990, Emeril's helped launch Lagasse into culinary stardom and served as his home base and a mecca for fans during the runs of his popular shows, "Essence of Emeril" and "Emeril, Live!" When the restaurant reopens, EJ, who followed in his father's footsteps by receiving his culinary education from Johnson & Wales University, will be running the show. But that doesn't mean the elder Lagasse will be taking a back seat. "The one thing, doing this for a while now, is that ... I've been on the road for a long time," Lagasse explained. "I'm just hoping to keep driving on that road and never see the end."

Emeril's New Orleans is currently closed. Stay tuned for a fall renovation reveal of the NOLA Flagship restaurant, with EJ Lagasse at the helm.