Emeril Lagasse Starts New Dining Consulting Company, Debuts Greek Restaurant In New York

By Ian McNulty

A generation of food enthusiasts turned to Emeril Lagasse’s cookbooks and cooking shows for inspiration and insight. Now the New Orleans-based celebrity chef has started a new venture to consult other food and hospitality businesses.

Lagasse’s company today announced the launch of We Love Food Hospitality. It’s aim, spelled out in a release, is to “consult with both existing and new concept restaurants on menu development, culinary training and other restaurant operations.”

At the same time, We Love Food Hospitality unveiled its first project, a collaboration with a New York-based restaurant group on a Greek restaurant called Rodos.

The company intends to use the new division as an umbrella for similar future projects around the country.

Rodos is owned and operated by Mykonos Blue Group and led by Yiannis Chatiris, who hails from the restaurant’s namesake island of Rhodes. It opened early in January in the Hotel Henri in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood (37 West 24th St.).

The new restaurant serves a mix of traditional Greek flavors and more contemporary dishes. Some examples: tamara, a whipped fish roe dip, finished with Cajun Caviar, a Louisiana product made with roe from local choupique (a.k.a bowfin); octopus beignets; whole roasted artichoke with blue crab vinaigrette; and “Miss Hilda’s pork chop,” named for Lagasse’s late mother and finished with the Portuguese-style sauce molho cru.

This collaboration with We Love Food Hospitality was a revamp of Chatiris’ earlier restaurant at the same hotel, called Mykonos Blue Grill. Chatiris and Lagasse traveled to Greece together and toured the chef’s New Orleans restaurants before officially partnering on the Rodos project.

“I have been operating restaurants for over 30 years now, and it’s truly my passion and something my team and I take great pride it,” Lagasse said in a release. “This is about using what we’ve learned and perfected over the years and sharing our craft in a thoughtful and strategic way to have a positive impact through food and service in established restaurants looking to reach the next level.”

Other high-profile restaurant groups have developed sidelines in consulting, including Danny Meyer’sUnion Square Hospitality Group and Chicago’sLettuce Entertain You.

Lagasse’s company has 11 restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Miramar Beach, Florida and at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Pennsylvania. Closer to home, recent moves include opening Meril in the Warehouse District in 2016 and a revamp of NOLA in 2017.

This article provided by NewsEdge.