Chef’s Jacket, Emeril Lagasse

Chef’s Jacket, Emeril Lagasse

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This white, long-sleeved chef’s jacket with green trim was worn by Chef Emeril Lagasse at his restaurant, “Emeril’s,” in New Orleans, Louisiana. It has been signed by Emeril and includes his tag-line “Bam” written in black marker on the front of the jacket.
Chef jackets are the uniform of choice for many culinary professionals. The double-breasted design makes them easily reversible to conceal stains and the thick cotton material can be bleached clean. It also insulates chefs from hot grills, ovens, and stovetops, protecting them from hot liquids and splatter. Emeril typically wears chef jackets while working in his restaurants, during his cooking shows, and for public appearances. The restaurant Emeril’s in New Orleans is located in the Warehouse District on Tchoupitoulas Street in a renovated pharmacy warehouse. The menu features Lagasse’s variations on classic Creole and Cajun dishes and techniques such as gumbo and étouffée.
Emeril Lagasse grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts working in a Portuguese bakery; he then pursued a degree at the Johnson and Wales University culinary program, turning his passion into a career. After working in fine restaurants throughout the Northeast, Emeril made the move to New Orleans to become the executive chef of the legendary Commander’s Palace. Emeril went on to open his own restaurants including his first, Emeril’s in New Orleans, in 1990, followed by NOLA in 1992, Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House in the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas in 1995, and Emeril’s Delmonico in 1998. Emeril’s successful career in the restaurant industry was complemented by his television stardom.
Emeril appeared with Julia Child on her program Cooking with Master Chefs, and the episode, which featured a crab and crawfish boil, was a hit. Producers thought Emeril’s culinary talents and ease in front of the camera would make him an ideal host on the Television Food Network, which launched in 1993. His first show, How to Boil Water, was designed for viewers new to cooking. During the show Emeril read from a script, following the existing format of educational public television programs. The show was unsuccessful, and in response the Food Network re-imagined the type of programming it would broadcast, placing Emeril at the center of this transformation. New programming, like Emeril Live, relied on the host’s personality to win over audiences. With a signature slogan of, “Bam!,” a studio audience full of fans and a live band, Emeril Live represented the beginning of a new era of food television, and a model for future Food Network programs.
Currently not on view
Object Name
cook's jacket
chef's jacket
Physical Description
cotton (overall material)
white (overall color)
overall: 33 3/4 in x 47 1/2 in; 85.725 cm x 120.65 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Emeril Lagasse
See more items in
Work and Industry: Food Technology
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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