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LAist looks back fondly on that sleepy morning a few years back when we reluctantly rolled out of bed and sat down to a breakfast made for us by celebrated chef Emeril Lagasse. Lagasse was the perfect gentleman, making us two different dishes so we could have our choice of flavors, and he did his trademark "Bam!" spicing right before our very eyes. But, before we could eat, the press was right there in our face, asking us prying questions. They even shoved a microphone in our face as we took our first bite, and let out a muffled "mmm!" of approval. Ah, what a day!

Okay, okay, we know this sounds a little suspect, but it actually happened to us one morning when we were desperately hungry at an early hour, and had stumbled our way into the IHOP in Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard. From the kitchen we heard someone saying "Bam!" and we shook our head, thinking one of the chefs overdosed on Emeril Live repeats. But from the kitchen emerged a whole pack of folks with boom mics, shouting "Who here loves Emeril Lagasse?" No one budged. So we shot up our hand; it wasn't a lie, We too tended to overdose on Emeril Live repeats. Suddenly KLOS's Mark & Brian were in front of us, asking if we wanted our breakfast made for us by Emeril Lagasse, who was in the kitchen right then and there. Well that explained the "Bam!" Sure, we said. And the rest is history. And a poloroid of us with Emeril. And probably some rotting audio archive of the segment in the KLOS vaults.

Emeril Lagasse definitely has a flair, and an engaging personality. We love to watch him cook (although, admittedly, not as much as we used to) no matter what he's cooking, because he clearly is a man who loves what he does. Meeting him was a blast. This week, Emeril is in town, and he'll be at the Borders in Pasadena on Tuesday night to sign copies of his latest book, Emeril's Delmonico here, due on the shelves this Tuesday, October 4th. Lagasse has made his own empire, and this son of New Orleans is committed to providing disaster relief from Katrina for not just his own restaurant staff from his three Big Easy restaurants, but the entire community that he loves so much. Stop on by and say hello...who knows what might happen with Emeril around!

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Emeril Lagasse Book Signing
Tuesday October 4th, 7:00 p.m.
Borders Books
475 South Lake Avenue, Pasadena
(626) 304-9773

Photo: Daniel Lincoln