Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, owner of nine popular restaurants from Florida to Pennsylvania and New Orleans to Las Vegas, hopes to whip up a deep-pocketed buyer for his elegantly appointed mansion near the posh resort community of Destin, Fla., on the Panhandle’s Gulf Coast, which has popped up for sale at $5.25 million.
The Massachusetts-born entrepreneur, who has written more than a dozen cookbooks and licensed a warehouse worth of food and kitchen products, and his wife, Alden Lovelace, came to own the home in a rather unusual way. Designed by Florida architect Thomas Christ and completed in the late 1990s, the Flemish-inspired pan-Mediterranean villa was owned by Lovelace’s cousin, local decorator Susan Lovelace, who was seeking to downsize and in 2010 swapped the Lagasses for a smaller home (and a bit of money) about a mile and a half away.
According to listings held by Clayton Bonjean at Mainsail Realty Co., the tastefully designed home cuts a casually refined coastal statement with a beachy neutral color palette and an organic mix of sand-colored coral stone and pale hardwood floors. Stately columns stand between the double-height foyer and ample formal living room, and the dining room easily seats 10 or 12 around a mirrored table. Not only does the just over 8,000-square-foot manse have an eat-in family kitchen chockablock with just about every premium-quality culinary bell and whistle known to humankind, there’s also a second kitchen replete with deep fryer, indoor barbecue and pizza oven.
The mansion’s five bedrooms and five and a half baths include a primary suite with an opulent bathroom as well as a self-contained guest or staff suite with exterior entrance.
The house spills easily out to a backyard that offers a swimming pool and spa, lots of coral stone terracing and a serene view of the smooth waters of Choctawhatchee Bay across the rolling, manicured fairway of a private golf course.