The Sweet Childhood Cooking Memory EJ & Emeril Lagasse Have In Common

Favorite childhood meals is a topic guaranteed to elicit nostalgia from even the most cynical among us, whether it be a Happy Meal from McDonald's, a PBJ you slapped together yourself, or waffles whipped up by your big brother. 20-year-old chef EJ Lagasse, too, has a dish that brings back fond memories of his not-so-long-ago childhood, a seemingly simple-sounding chicken noodle soup. That soup, however, was a lot more highfalutin than anything that comes out of a can, as it was not only homemade but also created by a world-famous chef.

You won't need three guesses as to who that chef was, particularly once you learn the name of the restaurant where EJ is now employed. It's Emeril's, of course, the namesake eatery established by Papa Lagasse. Lagasse père et fils recently spoke on Tasting Table's "Shared Tastes," and among the topics they dished about was one of EJ's early food-related memories. "I remember very fondly making chicken noodle soup very early on," says the youthful cuisinier, calling it "probably one of the earliest cooking memories." As the younger Lagasse asserts, "Things like that were definitely instrumental in me becoming a chef."

Interestingly enough, both father and son share a similar backstory as well as a profession. In the interview, Emeril Lagasse says to EJ, "My first inspiration was with my mom, Hilda, making a soup," so he may have felt that things had come full circle when EJ, too, took inspiration from their own shared soup-making.

Emeril's chicken soup recipe provides quite the workout

Even if you grew up in a household where homemade chicken soup was everyday fare, the work involved might not have been quite as extensive as that being done at Chez Lagasse. Emeril's chicken soup recipe contains 18 different ingredients, many of which require some type of prep work. There is an entire chicken to be boiled and shredded, as well as parsley leaves and stems to be separated, mushrooms and celery to be sliced, and onions and carrots that require both peeling and chopping.

As EJ revealed on "Shared Tastes," his first kitchen job involved peeling carrots. Although, he admits, "You're not going to give a four-year-old a knife to cut some carrots with," and adds that "the peeling was about as good as I could get at that point." In time, however, he learned to take on more complicated tasks and, by the age of eight, was set on pursuing a culinary career. In fact, back then, he told his dad, "'Hey, this is really what I want to do,"' and now — 12 years later — he's well on his way.

Static Media owns and operates Mashed and Tasting Table.