EMERIL LAGASSE
'I'm eating a lot of protein, and on the course there's nothing better than sunflower seeds as long as you don't make a mess out there.'

Emeril Lagasse



Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse lives on a golf course in Sandestin, Fla., but he doesn't get to play nearly as often as his 10-year-old son, E.J. "He's taking lessons, and I don't put any pressure on him," Emeril says.

"I don't try to give him pointers, but I love that he's enjoying the game." A huge sports fan while growing up in Massachusetts, Lagasse watched a lot of golf but never played. Once established as the top chef in New Orleans in the 1990s, Emeril got involved with the PGA Tour event there and learned the game well enough to play in the Wednesday pro-am. "Lee Westwood wondered who I was, signing more autographs than him," he recalls from their pro-am pairing one year.

Emeril's annual golf classic in Rhode Island has raised $5 million in 11 years and benefits a scholarship fund for students to attend his alma mater, Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. Additionally, the Emeril Lagasse Foundation has distributed more than $5.5 million to children's charities and to inspire at-risk youths. "It's all about the kids," he says. "If you don't give back to them, how can anything evolve?"

• Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Emeril Lagasse Endowed Scholarship Fund

December 2013