Emeril Lagasse is a household name when it comes to chefs, but he certainly hasn’t let his fame get to his head. He’s deeply involved with one of his favorite charities, the March of Dimes, and until June 21, diners can add a special March of Dimes donation to their bills at his restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Orlando.
“It’s a great organization, and this is a great way to help out and do whatever we can do,” Lagasse told us when reached by phone. “I’ve worked with the March of Dimes in the past, and it’s just a great organization.”
The organization works to improve the health of mothers and babies through research and programs. Lagasse’s own foundation, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, is also child-focused, working to inspire, mentor, and enable disadvantaged kids to realize their full potential.
“I started the Emeril Foundation 12 years ago as a way to give back,” he told us. “We’ve seen amazing success, and it’s focused on keeping kids healthy and strong. Children are the future, and it’s amazing to see what can happen when you give kids the opportunity to do great things.”
With Father’s Day coming up, Lagasse has also developed a handful of recipes in honor of the March of Dimes’ imbornto campaign to raise awareness and funding. These recipes, which are all available on their website, are inspired by his father, who Lagasse lovingly refers to as “Mr. John,” and include Mr. John's Chorizo Frittata and Portuguese Sweet Bread French Toast.
Lagasse is one of the hardest-working chefs in the business; his other current projects include a new cookbook, Essential Emeril, coming out in October; renovations in several of his restaurants; and “as always, trying to be a better chef.”