Big Star, Small Screen: A Live Chat with Emeril

The superstar chef shares how he's keeping busy during the pandemic and how his team is serving those in need

Big Star, Small Screen: A Live Chat with Emeril
Emeril has been spending the pandemic cooking with family and planning for when his restaurants can reopen. (Sara Essex Bradley)
May 20, 2020

Emeril Lagasse may be a superstar chef, television icon and powerhouse restaurateur with two Wine Spectator Grand Award winners, but when it comes to his experience staying home during the coronavirus crisis, he’s just like many of us.

“It’s not a lot of fun being locked down, but it’s a lot of fun that we’re spending a lot of time as a family,” Lagasse said May 19 on Straight Talk with Wine Spectator, an Instagram Live series sponsored by Wine Access. “You’ve just got to make the best of it.”

Lagasse told Wine Spectator executive editor Thomas Matthews that life at home has involved plenty of cooking and eating, while working daily with his team to support the employees out of work at his restaurants, all of which are still temporarily closed. “In these tough times, we’re just trying to keep as much of the staff as we can,” he said.

Lagasse noted that a small group from his team is in New Orleans feeding doctors, nurses and first responders at a rate of 1,200 to 1,800 meals per week. “We’re not on a grand scale, but we’re doing our part to do what we can do in the community.”

In discussing the crisis, Lagasse conveyed longing for an end, while emphasizing the importance of patience. “We’re all ready to get back to work … but at the same time, we also have to be smart and we have to be safe,” he said. “Like you, I’m tired of talking about it! I want to talk about wine.”

Watch the full episode with Lagasse, and tune in to Straight Talk on Wine Spectator's Instagram page, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. ET. Coming up May 21, senior editor Bruce Sanderson talks with Rocco Lombardo, the president of wine importer Wilson Daniels.

More COVID-19

See More

As Spain Reopens, Its Wineries Forge Ahead

Jul 6, 2020

Dry Skies Ahead

Jul 1, 2020

Sommelier Roundtable: Wine Service During Reopening⁠—What’s Changed

Jun 17, 2020

Italy’s New Normale

Jun 16, 2020

Auction Houses Shift Online but See Continued Demand for Collectible Wines

Jun 10, 2020

News COVID-19 Dining Out Disasters Economy Restaurant Awards

You Might Also Like

As Spain Reopens, Its Wineries Forge Ahead

As Spain Reopens, Its Wineries Forge Ahead

The pandemic hit the nation hard, and vintners know reopening will be slow. They're trying …

Jul 6, 2020
Charlie Palmer’s Aureole Pivots to To-Go, Plans Next New York Home

Charlie Palmer’s Aureole Pivots to To-Go, Plans Next New York Home

The landmark restaurant might return to the Upper East Side in 2021. Plus, the team behind …

Jul 2, 2020
French Wine Firm EPI Buys Majority Stake in Michael Mondavi's Folio

French Wine Firm EPI Buys Majority Stake in Michael Mondavi's Folio

The luxury goods firm, which owns Piper-Heidsieck, Charles Heidsieck and Biondi-Santi, …

Jul 1, 2020
From Napa to Burgundy: A Live Chat with Diana Snowden Seysses

From Napa to Burgundy: A Live Chat with Diana Snowden Seysses

The Snowden Vineyards and Domaine Dujac winemaker discusses her Napa roots, emmigrating to …

Jul 1, 2020
Dry Skies Ahead

Dry Skies Ahead

Some major U.S. airlines have restricted alcohol service during the COVID-19 pandemic, but …

Jul 1, 2020
Constellation Brands Buys Gary Vaynerchuk's Empathy Wines

Constellation Brands Buys Gary Vaynerchuk's Empathy Wines

The wine and spirits giant is looking to the $20 brand, sold entirely through e-commerce, …

Jul 1, 2020