FORT LEWIS, Wash. (Army News Service, Oct. 23, 2006) - In a show of support for troops, the man who coined the terms "kicked up" and "Bam!" held a book-signing event at the Post Exchange Oct. 12 as part of his current book tour.

More than 3,500 people comprised the line that snaked around the building to have Chef Emeril Lagasse's books signed, including his most recent release, "There's a Chef in my World," a children's cookbook.

"It's more than a cookbook - it's about reading, it's about mathematics, it's about weights and measures," said Lagasse, who wrote the book to introduce children to ethnic dishes.

It took months for PX Manager Patrick McGhee to get Lagasse to visit Fort Lewis, and he was excited about the event.

"What are the chances of a servicemember or family member seeing a chef of this magnitude'" McGhee said.

But "it's a two-way street. Family members get to see a celebrity, and the celebrity gets to see real Soldiers up close and personal," he added.

Lagasse said he has a genuine interest in giving back to those who sacrifice to keep this country free.

"I look at what they are doing for us, first of all, and how do I say thank you'" Lagasse said.

"How do I say thanks to people who are daily putting their lives, their families' lives on the line' For me, I haven't met many more kind, respectful people than I have in my experiences with military.

"For me to do this is nothing compared to what they are doing for us on a day-to-day basis, so I say thank you. I say God bless, and I'm happy to be here," said Lagasse.

Lagasse's book signings are normally two hours, but he spent five hours signing more than 3,000 books and greeting servicemembers and families.

Lagasse recently ended the first ever Military-Only Emeril Cooking Contest. Lagasse's favorite entries will be used in an upcoming show on the Food Network.

Page last updated Thu May 3rd, 2012 at 12:46