Celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse Kicks Off Eighth Annual Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival in Pennsylvania

Lagasse opened the festival with a demo of New Orleans-style dishes

Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse opened the eighth annual Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival in The Foundry Room at the Sands Hotel in Bethlehem on Friday June 2, 2017.

In a small pan, chef Emeril Lagasse toasted grouper bones that would later provide flavor for a chowder.

As a silent crowd of about 125 people listened, Lagasse explained that building flavors, such as first browning the bones, was a lot like building a house.

"Without layers, you don't have a strong house," he said.

One of the country's most recognizable chefs, Lagasse wowed the nearly sold-out crowd gathered for his cooking demo Friday, which kicked off the eighth annual Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The festival — which showcased cuisine from the region's top restaurants and wine from around the world — ran through Sunday.

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Read more on how the James Beard Award-winner wowed the crowd at the festival on The Morning Call.