Emeril Lagasse
Air Force Master Sgt. Alonzo Watson, background, waits to assist, while chef Emeril Lagasse scoops chopped onions into a pot during a cooking demonstration, June 27 at Fort Belvoir's Exchange. Lagasse prepared a full meal of braised chicken, carrots, and steamed rice for special guests.

Fort Belvoir, Va. (July 3, 2014) - Lines wrapped around the kiosk area of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service complex as Fort Belvoir employees, servicemembers and their Families waited patiently to meet Chef Emeril Lagasse of Food Network fame, Friday.

The super chef signed books and presented a cooking demonstration.

With more than 15 books to the best-selling author's name, everyone had something for him to sign.

Hundreds of people watched Lagasse give a cooking demonstration in the AAFES food court. The chef had several helpers available from the Air Force and Army to assist him with food preparation, taste testing and clean up.

Lagasse characteristically tasted food as he was preparing it and the audience watched with rapt attention as he tilted his cookware so they could see how the food should look. As Lagasse sliced and diced he rattled off some savory suggestions, to include not stirring rice until its done and using sugar when cooking carrots.

To the audience's amusement, while preparing the food Lagasse tasted the sugar several times to ensure someone hadn't switched it with salt.

"They like to play jokes on me," he said with a wink. After adding a little of this and a little of that, the charismatic chef nearly brought the house down when he uttered his world-famous catch phrase "Bam!"

The food was then plated and served to special guests who were the benefactors of the chef's culinary prowess. The guests sat at three dining tables set up in front of the demonstration table.

In addition to a homemade watermelon drink, Lagasse served up braised chicken, carrots and steamed rice, along with a berry-topped corn cake for dessert.

Among those dining was Barbara Zimmerman, Fort Belvoir's Enlisted Spouse's Club, president.
"It's no surprise why he's famous," said Zimmerman. "The food was delicious!"

Page last updated Fri July 11th, 2014 at 00:00