Whether it's grits and gravy or filet mignon and caviar, food can lift our spirits and fuel our hearts—especially food prepared with love, Dr. Angelou says. She talks to celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse about the importance of family meals, connecting with others through food, and his latest book, Emeril's There's a Chef in My World!.
As the chef/owner of several critically acclaimed restaurants, and the host of the Food Network's Emeril Live and The Essence of Emeril, Emeril says food is at the center of not only his career, but his life. "For me, it's the most important thing to reach the heart and soul, and maybe end a good day and maybe begin a better day," he says.
Growing up, Emeril says mealtimes were especially important for the whole family. Gathering loved ones together to cook and share a meal is a tradition he continues with his own family
"It's not about eating," he says. "People have to just stop for a minute and just say, 'Am I eating to live? Or should live to eat?' I like living to eat. It's a wonderful way of making all sorts of folks happy, and it makes my children happy and it makes my family happy, and then it makes me happy."
Emeril has also authored several books, and has been actively involved in various outreach programs for children. He says his enthusiasm for teaching young people inspired him to write his latest title, Emeril's There's a Chef in My World!: Recipes That Take You Places.
For Emeril, food has been both an educational tool and a way to bring people together. "Cooking is not only just cooking, it's about math and reading and it's about family time, and the end result is hopefully encouraging more of that family table," he says.