EJ Lagasse's Favorite Childhood Meal Made By His Dad - Exclusive

EJ Lagasse is following in his father's footsteps — his father, of course, being the renowned chef, cookbook author, and TV personality Emeril Lagasse. Today, you'll find EJ in the kitchen of his dad's flagship restaurant, Emeril's New Orleans, where he took over as the head chef earlier this year. His refined cooking chops, honed at quite a young age, are no doubt thanks to countless nights watching, helping with, and tasting his dad's food. 

Naturally, EJ grew up in the kitchen, seeing as it was his dad's workplace, and the father and son opened up about those memories, and how they inspired EJ's career in a recent episode of Tasting Table's "Shared Tastes." During the discussion, Emeril asked which meals EJ remembers his dad making for him — and one meal came to mind immediately. EJ said, "One that always circles back is when we would go to Mikey's to get fish on First Ave. You would always grab salmon and you would do Lentils du Puy with cumin and carrots and the whole deal, with either green beans or something on the side."

The young chef then added that he still finds himself craving roasted salmon and lentils every other month and so, leading him to go get the ingredients to make it for himself — all thanks to his dad's influence. 

EJ also remembers getting to witness the many facets of his dad's career

As one may expect, the younger Lagasse has a lot of food-related memories when it comes to his childhood, which he was more than willing to share during the "Shared Tastes" discussion. EJ got his own start in the kitchen quite early on, first by helping his father cook. He recalled, "I remember very fondly making chicken noodle soup very early on, and peeling carrots. I think there's family pictures of that. That's probably one of the earliest cooking memories that I have, [along with] eating and tasting everything under the sun that you would make when you were home."

Additionally, EJ got to try a range of meals, as he noted that Emeril would make different meals at home than the ones that he served in his restaurants. "I can never remember you making barbecue shrimp or something like that at home unless we were having people over to the house. You were never on a random Sunday like, 'We're going to do barbecue shrimp tonight.' You were trying to be a bit more out of the box." And as he told his dad, all of these delicious memories played a big role in EJ's decision to follow in Emeril's legendary footsteps and pursue a culinary career. 

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.