Chef Tommy Wachter grew up in Pennsylvania near a farm where he learned the appreciation of seasonal ingredients. He got his start in kitchens at age 16, working in a family friend’s restaurant through high school. In 2007, Chef Tommy moved to Orlando and joined the Emeril’s restaurants family as a sous chef at Emeril’s Orlando. Today he is the Chef de Cuisine of Emeril’s Coastal, bringing his 21 years of industry experience. Chef Tommy is passionate about putting his spin on classic dishes. He enjoys working closely with Chef Emeril on rotating specials and changing the menu seasonally.
Originally from Turkey, Doruk Gurunlu was born and raised in Istanbul and moved to the United States in 2005. In 2017, Gurunlu received his first level Sommelier certification and in 2020 received his advanced certification. He started his career in the hospitality industry in 1996 when he attended Hotel and Tourism Vocational High School before going to college in Istanbul. Since moving to the United States, Gurunlu has worked in restaurants in Austin, Texas, and on the Emerald Coast and was a part of the opening team at Emeril’s Coastal.
In May 2021, Gurunlu returned to Emeril’s Coastal as the Sommelier. Gurunlu perused becoming a Sommelier because it is challenging and endless learning. He enjoys learning about history, geography, food, and language and sharing his knowledge with guests to enhance their dining experiences. Gurunlu and his wife, Heather, love to travel together, taking road trips around wine regions. They’ve visited Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone Valley, Provence, Piedmont, Penedes, Rías Baixas, Greece, California, and Oregon, to name a few.
Emeril Lagasse is the chef/proprietor of 8 restaurants, including three in New Orleans (Emeril’s, Meril, and Emeril’s Table at the MSY Airport); two in Las Vegas (Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House and Delmonico Steakhouse); one in Miramar Beach, Florida (Emeril’s Coastal); and his most recent and his first restaurants at sea, Emeril’s Bistro 1396 on Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras and Emeril’s Bistro 1397 on Carnival Cruise Line’s Celebration.
As a national TV personality, he has hosted more than 2,000 shows on the Food Network and was a food correspondent for ABC's "Good Morning America." Most notably, Amazon launched an original series featuring Lagasse called Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse. The series received five daytime Emmy nominations and won Outstanding Culinary Program. The series was also a James Beard semifinalist in the category Outstanding Personality of Host. Lagasse has appeared as a guest judge in five seasons of Bravo’s hit food series, “Top Chef,” and two seasons of “Top Chef Jr”. He was named a co-host on three seasons of the “Rachael Ray Show.” Most recently, The Roku Channel released two original series, "Emeril Tailgates" and "Emeril Cooks." Lagasse is the bestselling author of 19 cookbooks, the latest titled Essential Emeril: Favorite Recipes and Hard-Won Wisdom from My Life in the Kitchen.
In 2002, Lagasse established the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support children’s educational programs that inspire and mentor young people through the culinary arts, nutrition, healthy eating, and important life skills. To date, the Foundation has distributed over $18 million in grants benefitting children’s charities in New Orleans, Las Vegas and on the Gulf Coast. In 2013, Lagasse was named the Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation for his dedicated efforts to further the culinary arts in America, as well as his philanthropic work supporting children’s educational programs through his Foundation.
Lagasse's restaurant company, The Emeril Group, is located in New Orleans and houses culinary operations and a test kitchen for recipe development. For more information visit emerilsrestaurants.com.