After several appearances on several other FoodTV programs, he hosted his own show, The Essence of Emeril. "Essence" in the title refers to the name of a spice blend of his own concoction that he frequently uses in his cooking. Emeril also often suggested that viewers of his show create their own spice blends that reflect their personal tastes and be unafraid to use them to customize the dishes he would teach.
Emeril is known for his light and jovial hosting style as well as several catchphrases, including "BAM!", "Kick it up a notch", "Feel the love", and "Oh yeah, babe", usually said before or after adding something spicy to a dish, or after the reaction to adding something (respectively). For instance, often when he adds garlic to a dish, the audience cheers enthusiastically. When frying or making dishes like sausage, Emeril advocates using genuine lard, boasting "Pork fat rules!" He is also known for the unusual sentence constructions he uses on his show, such as "And now we're going to beginning to start."
He graduated from Johnson & Wales University  and later received an honorary doctorate from the same school. 
Lagasse initially gained fame in the culinary world as Executive Chef of Commander's Palace. After leaving Commander's he opened his first restaurant, Emeril's, in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1990. It was designated "Restaurant of the Year" in Esquire magazine of that year. Emeril is mainly known for his emphasis on Creole and Cajun cooking styles. Indeed, many of his restaurants as well as his corporate office, Emeril's Homebase, are located in New Orleans. Lagasse is the executive chef and proprietor of nine restaurants.
Emeril has written several best-selling cookbooks, from Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking, his first book which was published in 1993, to Emeril's Delmonico, published in 2005.
Emeril briefly starred in a self-titled TV sitcom on NBC during the fall 2001 season with Robert Urich, but it was canceled after a few episodes and widely panned by critics. Recently he has appeared in Crest toothpaste commercials yelling his trademark catchphrase, "BAM!".
Emeril also appeared on Shop at Home Network (which like Food Network was owned by Scripps Networks), on the show From Emeril's Kitchen from 2005-06. The program was discontinued after Scripps liquidated Shop at Home's assets to Jewelry Television in June 2006.
Emeril Lagasse also has a line of kitchen knives made by Wüsthof and cookware made by All-Clad as well as a line of kitchen electrical appliances made by T-Fal.