Alton, Giada, Rachael: Before They Were Food Network Stars (Slideshow)

Credit: Emeril Lagasse

Emeril Lagasse

Emeril Worked in a Portuguese bakery in Massachusetts as a teenager, after which he attended Johnson & Wales University. In 1982 he took over for Paul Prudhomme as head chef at New Orleans’ Commander’s Palace, which won him plenty of local renown and an invitation to guest-host a couple episodes of the Food Network show How to Boil Water. That led to him getting his own show, The Essence of Emeril, and the rest is history. Bam!