Clothier has it right. I have known the guy, in a causual professional relationship for a very long time. I am very good friends with a number of his staff, both restaurant and business. Emeril, in person outside of his stage persona, is a very self effacing guy who cares a great deal about the people who work for him and is deeply interested in food and food service and the restaurant business in general.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I don’t like his TV persona much and
I don’t have alot of appreciation for food shows where the food is akin to glop and generally something that I already know how to cook but……don’t fool yourselves. Anybody who can follow P. Prudhommes act at Commander’s Palace and keep a long term job working for New Orleans Restaurant Maven Ella Brennan has got to have all of his ducks in a row(and know how to nicely crisp the skin on those ducks, as well[:)]).
Incidentally, while it may be full of bam yelling sycophants and tourists who have made reservations months in advance, Emeril’s in New Orleans is the real deal. Great food, well served, by an incredibly loyal and attentive staff. I live in a town full of great places to eat (probably, on a restaurant to population ratio the greatest eating town on the planet) and I still find myself going back to Emeril’s pretty regularly. It doesn’t get old and I am rarely dissappointed.
Slag his clown like tv persona all you want, but be careful when you start getting into his cooking chops and restaurant management ability, the guy knows what he is doing.
While Emeril has done a lot to get Americans to cook food other that that which comes out of cans, I am not a fan of his shows or cooking. His cooking is ham-handed (no pun intended) and is really focused on up-front flavors, rather than nuance and balance. It may be the time constraints due taping a show before an audience, but he never quite gets it right when he’s cooking. Breading is over browned, things are under-mixed, etc… Technique, which would help American kitchens enormously, is virtually non-existent. Audiences should be cheering at the inclusion of half a clove of garlic, not half a cup… I also think his cooking is at its best when he does the R.I. Portugese cooking of his youth.
Emeril, the chef and celebrity, is however a remarkable and inspiring success story.
EliseT & clothier: I completely understand, and by and large agree. He absolutely is a showman; I don’t watch the "BAM" show much, but I like the one where he cooks for just a couple of folks. Check the link I posted above–it’s enlightening. Nevertheless, if we all agreed on everything life would be pretty dull, wouldn’t it? [:)]
One thing I don;t think we brought up yet is that a person’s kindness, patience, etc., has nothing to do with their showmanship, watchability or cooking skills. I guess in the grand scheme of things everything is inter-related, but I myself LOVE Emeril’s food, admire him as a person, and would rather chew tin foil than watch his show. If she had one, I probably wouldn’t watch Mother Teresa’s cooking show either.
I don’t know Emeril, so, I can’t speak for my feelings about him. I don’t like his show. I can’t put my finger on it, but I don’t care for it.
In the mid 1980’s, I worked as a program director for an occupational skills program which taught people with varying degrees of ability skills for the purpose of getting a job. Many of my students, and I before I became a teacher, didn’t know how to behave when in the company of somebody "different’ than ourselves.
Emeril is a showman, but you can’t act the part of someone interacting with this special population. I am impressed and feel I know something about him now.
Rick, thanks for the heads-up. I’ll give him another shot.
"Every now and then I mess up. Have you ever done that? Here’s my best of all mistakes:"
I don’t understand. Was that whole post a mistake, or was the mistake that you thought badly of Emeril to begin with (and the NYC thing changed your mind)? It kind of looks like you think the entire post was a mistake, and you were wrong to think he was nice because of how he acted with those NYC people?
Rick, nice to see your post. I think Emeril is a stand-up guy, true to his roots, it’s just that his success even baffles his audience, who seem like mindless sheep who clap and gawk at anything he says/does. Eek!
We’ve got a couple of his cookbooks, but are in a tiny apartment. We’ll really begin to cook in 2004. There goes the neighborhood!
I’ve been to Emeril’s twice.
First, at Universal Studios Orlando, where my (then future) wife and I had an anniversary lunch. Deep gumbo, sea bass and tuna entrees, and off-the-map bread pudding—all excellent! (And I suppose for $135 with tip, it should be). Even so, a great great meal!
Second, this past Thanksgiving weekend at Delmonico in Vegas (a quick stopover from Hawaii on our honeymoon). The atmosphere was a bit stuffy, yet loud—I could hear people across the room more clearly than my wife sitting across from me. The tables were too close together too. The tenderloins were just OK, nothing special, the shoestring fries abundant but a little boring after awhile. I can’t even remember the dessert. On the whole, dollar for dollar, it was the worst meal of a two week honeymoon.
Still, it’s the last experience you recall more vividly, so maybe we’ll be back…or maybe not.
It’s definitely one of my favorites in my collection. You may despise or admire Emeril, but one thing for sure——he has really livened up the cooking scene.
I have never been much of an Emeril fan. I find him and his shows way over the top and he is on way too much. Having said that, I saw him interact with youngsters at an elementary school where he was preparing them lunch. He couldn’t have been more charming. He was kind and really related to them. I still don’t enjoy watching his show, but my opinion of the man has changed.
Afraid I’ll have to disagree with you on that one…there’s one thing Mario does that drives me to distraction…if he says "extra virgin olive oil" once during a program, he says it five hundred times. I know that’s picky, but it’s also nerve-wracking.
paul and louise
the boy finds people
i’m not gonna watch the cookin’ show, but the cookbook
the wife and i are enamored of "louisiana real and rustic"
the other emeril books i’ve seen were left on the retailers shelf
how much "real and rustic" is emeril, and how much MARCELLE BIENVENU..?
I SUSPECT MORE MARCELLE BIENVENU
As a consumer of food and not at all a preparer (unless it can be burned on a backyard grill), I enjoy Emeril a lot more than some stuffed apron in a white chef’s hat trying to teach aspiring chefs. Emeril isn’t about trying to show the viewer or audience how to prepare a meal, he is showing us how to be adventurous in what we eat. He sure isn’t bland. I seldom watch (unless I am surfing and there are no sporting events, "Law & Order", "Mash" or "Andy Griffin" re-runs) but I don’t even slow down my clicking when a chef or faux chef shows up on screen behind a cook island and some mixing bowls. Emeril and the late Justin Leonard are the only ones I have ever watched–strictly for entertainment.
I went along to Emeril’s restaurant not exactly against my will, but not of my own voilition. I am often irked by the grandstanding, mugging, and the weird "Knock knock…who’s there?" predictible call and response with the audience on his show. I also feel like he mixes too many unusual clashing ingredients and sauces together. I have to say, I had the best meal of my life there, which is really saying something. The tasso pasta, double-cut pork chop, and banana cream pie will always have a special place in my heart.
I didn’t see the show with the developmentally disabled students, so I can’t comment on that.
RickF, I have always liked Emeril. I have ate at his restaurant close to the convention center in NO many times and it was always great. It is called "Emerils"
I enjoyed watching him do the cookout at someone’s residence doing BBQ and all the sides and then with the winners of his cooking contest.
I sort of like his "BAM" and "kick it up a notch" It is just a trademark remark.
He was in Knoxville a few years ago and the people who worked for the show indi cated that he was very precise with his structure.
Great story Rick and I wish I had seen that particular show.
Will be in Nack-a-Tush??? in a couple of weeks
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