Editor in Chief, EIC note May 2024, vie magazine, vie, lisa marie burwell, lisa burwell, Emeril Lagasse, EJ Lagasse, Emerils, Jordan Staggs, Kelly Curry, Susan Lovelace


Editor-in-Chief Note – Life Is Good

Bon appétit!

As a young child, I would watch my mother watch The French Chef, a cooking show hosted by the legendary Julia Child. It was produced and broadcast at WGBH, the public television station in my hometown of Boston. As an American chef, author, and television personality, Julia had enthusiasm, a distinctive accent, and a love of using copious amounts of butter while she taught viewers how to cook delicious, easy French meals. She would close her show with, “This is Julia Child. Bon appétit!” in a lyrical speech pattern described as a mid-Atlantic accent she developed while attending Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Bon appétit simply means “enjoy your meal,” and it’s so important to do just that. Enjoy the time of peace, nourishment, and, if you’re lucky, good conversation. Julia fell in love with French cooking when her husband joined the United States Information Agency and was assigned to the embassy in Paris in 1949. Julia enrolled in French cooking classes at Le Cordon Bleu, then brought French cuisine to the American public in 1961 with her debut book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which preceded her television show. The cookbook was a New York Times Best Seller, met with rave reviews, and a quote by James Beard about it—“I only wish that I had written it myself”—spoke volumes. He had published twenty books on cooking by then and started the James Beard Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate, support, and elevate the people behind America’s food culture. Many know the coveted James Beard Awards as a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity, and sustainability.

Julia Child is credited with changing how Americans cooked and, to some degree, viewed food forever, ushering in the celebrity chef craze that shows no signs of slowing down. This is a great segue to mention the next great chef to emerge in pop culture—Emeril. Emeril Lagasse became a household name in the 1990s and remains a prolific chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, TV host, culinary genius, and disruptor, doing things differently as he grows his empire.

And, in case you didn’t know, VIE, when translated from French, means “life,” which is what we aim to celebrate!

A multiple James Beard Award recipient, Emeril is known for his mastery of Creole and Cajun cuisine, which inspired the development of his “New New Orleans” style. He has hosted over two thousand episodes on the Food Network and was a food correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America, appeared as a guest judge in four seasons of Bravo’s Top Chef, served as cohost for TNT’s first cooking series, On the Menu, and appeared on multiple episodes of Rachael Ray. In 2016, Amazon launched an original series called Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse, and the Cooking Channel aired five seasons of Emeril’s Florida.

editor in chief, lisa marie burwell, lisa burwell, kelly curry, jordan staggs, emeril lagasse, ej lagasse, emerils, vie magazine

Kelly Curry, Jordan Staggs, Lisa Marie Burwell, and Susan Lovelace with Chef Patron E.J. Lagasse on a special backstage look at the kitchen of the newly reimagined Emeril’s restaurant in New Orleans. Look for more in an upcoming issue and our luxury coffee-table book, COOK: Cocktails. Cuisine. Culture. by VIE.

I am lucky to know Emeril and his family, including his son, Chef E.J. Lagasse. After reimagining and renovating their landmark restaurant in New Orleans last summer, E.J. now helms the kitchen as chef patron of one of the finest restaurants I’ve ever dined in—on so many levels. Recently, members of VIE’s team and friend and longtime advertiser Susan Lovelace, owner of Lovelace Interiors, had dinner there while we were on assignment for an upcoming article on Susan and her legacy. To say the meal did not disappoint is an understatement. We were speechless over what I call “new food”—what I mean by that is food that tastes out-of-this-world good! Chef E.J. curates an elevated menu in a sophisticated but comfortable setting that makes you want to go out to dinner again in a big way. Dining room guests choose from two seven-course tasting menus: the Classics, featuring Emeril’s favorites from its thirty-four-year history, and the Seasonal menu of E.J.’s latest creations. It’s a dining event. Don’t walk; run to experience a new level of dining at Emeril’s New Orleans, and check out Emeril on VIE Speaks: Conversations with Heart & Soul podcast, available on YouTube and all listening platforms!

As a self-described Francophile since childhood, I have an affinity for all things French and wanted to name this culinary-focused issue Bon Appétit. Its cover star is the legendary Chef Jim Shirley, whose South Walton, Florida, restaurants are unforgettable. He and his team continue to open fantastic concepts with creative menus and events, including the latest, 87 Central Square in Seaside. In good company with the celebrity chefs listed above, Jim has authored multiple food columns, released a cookbook, appeared on television, and cooked at the James Beard House numerous times. Catch my interview with Jim on VIE Speaks podcast and read all about it in our feature story, “Southern Man Cooks: The Evolution of Chef Jim Shirley” by Jordan Staggs.

And, in case you didn’t know, VIE, when translated from French, means “life,” which is what we aim to celebrate! And so the story continues . . .

—To Life!

Lisa Marie Burwell

CEO/Editor-in-Chief/Creative Director

VIE Magazine Editor In Chief, Lisa Marie Burwell Signature

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