I first met Emeril Lagasse when we were both very young, I was lucky enough to be sitting at the kitchen bar across from him as he prepared our meals in his first restaurant, Emeril's in New Orleans. It wasn’t until years later when I received a call to shoot for All-Clad Cookware that I would have the opportunity to work with him.
I had followed his amazing career and was pretty excited to meet him. A little intimidated as to how he would be to work with. I‘ve shot a few celebrities and had been pretty lucky making sure they were respected, comfortable and pleasant to work with. But Emeril, a local hero!
The shoot took place at his restaurant in the Island View casino in Mississippi, he was doing his part to help bring back fine dining to the Coast after Katrina. We were prepared to shoot an environmental portrait of Emeril in two areas of his restaurant, natural shots of him cooking in the restaurant kitchen, setups with him and the cookware and some food items. A fairly busy day.
When Emeril entered the room that morning, it was like we were old friends, he complimented me on my food photography and said he looked forward to working with me….he even asked if wanted a drink, since it was 8:30am, I declined. He made the shoot effortless!