sammy Hagar, Rocker, Chef

Sammy Hagar Resteraunt

Image courtesy of Sammy Hagar's Beach Bar & Grill

Sammy Hagar, Rocker, Chef
| Published March 18, 2014 |

By Earl H. Perkins
Thursday Review associate editor

Sammy Hagar and Emeril Lagasse. Oh, what a pair. If you thought that their celebrity status was the only thing they had in common, then you'd be mighty wrong, according to the Associated Press.

"He loves music as much as I love cooking," Hagar said before a recent concert at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival in Miami. One's a rock star and the other a rock star chef, and they thrilled a crowd by celebrating classic guitar tunes and rum.

They've often vacationed together through the years, with Lagasse cooking at Hagar's wedding more than 20 years ago, long before the Food Network came calling.

"Sometimes he cooks for me in the house," Hagar said. "I have an acoustic guitar and play and goof off while he's cooking. And I will jump up and say, 'Emeril, let me cook one dish.' And I'll bang something out."

The Red Rocker, primarily known as Van Halen's sometime front-man, owns Cabo Wabo restaurants and recently turned his interests to rum. Hagar is now hawking Sammy's Beach Bar Rum, near one of his homes in Hawaii.

"The only white rum you can drink straight," he said, taking a healthy sip of mojito for an observant journalist. "You can do shots like tequila. Put it over the rocks. It's so pure."

Hagar currently owns three restaurants, one in Hawaii, one in Las Vagas, and one in New York inside the British Air Terminal at JFK Airport. All three are surf and beach themed, with colorful surfboards mounted on ceilings and walls, autographed electric guitars, and a huge red logo in the shape of a guitar pick.

Hagar's grandfather was a real Italian chef, and he often cooks at home, although not for too many people. Then there's his best-selling autobiography, along with several restaurants and bars, but he's always looking for new projects.

A coffee table book with cocktails and food pairings is on the front burner.

"I would just like to be the real most interesting man in the world," he joked. "I want to do so many things. And I want to do them good."

Hagar's restaurant website also indicates that some of the profits go toward non-profit organizations, such as Feeding America, food banks in several cities, cancer research, and youth organizations in Hawaii.