Award-winning chef Emeril Lagasse is back with the latest addition to Hallmark's daytime lineup, Emeril's Table, in which the flavorful foodie shares his love of cooking with five guests, offering advice, swapping memories, and celebrating life in one of the most intimate spots in the world — the table.
In a recent interview, Lagasse dished with reporters about everything from his new series, to his "healthy" relationship with boss Martha Stewart, his role on the upcoming season of Top Chef, and what else he's got cooking.
Here's what Chef Emeril had to say....
On the importance of the family table:
I know personally with writing and producing Emeril’s Table, the “table” part of it was really sharing food and memories and different experiences with this table, with these five folks. Whether it’s at a restaurant or on television or how I’m writing books these days, it’s all about encouraging that family table.
I think that we’ve all become very busy, particularly Monday through Thursday, as families. I think we have to rethink the food plan and have a food plan so that by the end of the day we’re not ending up in some concrete parking lot trying to order from the window.
The family table in my house is very, very important. As a matter of fact my kids have a joke that when we get up in the morning I usually ask them what they want for dinner or what we’re having for dinner before I even ask them what’s for breakfast.
On the difference between his other hit shows and Emeril’s Table:
This show is really back to serious cooking, but it is fun because with the audience, five people, the ranges of life bring a lot of realism to the show and to the programming. And I think what you'll see is real food cooked in real time. We really cook most things every day in real time to show that realism not only to the five people there, but hopefully to the folks at home.
I've been doing this for a little while, I've done a lot of television, I've shot a lot of shows. I've got to tell you, I'm super, super proud of Emeril's Table. It's going to be an awesome show.
On having Martha Stewart as a boss:
Martha and I have a very, very healthy relationship personally and work-wise as well in the environment.
I think the thing that really stands out that makes it a great partnership is that Martha is Martha and Emeril’s Emeril; and Emeril’s not trying to be Martha or Martha’s not trying to be Emeril. We run two very separate entities and have two very different styles. Sometimes they’re on the same page and sometimes they vary, but the relationship is healthy.
On the most memorable dinner guests who’ve sat at his table:
One immediately comes to mind and that would be Julia Child. I have a very strong tie, love, almost addiction to music and so there have been a lot of music people who have come into my life because of food and some of them have just been really incredible. Billy Joel is an example, a true lover of food, a great cook. Sammy Hagar is another one; a terrific palate, has a garden, cooks most of the meals for his family and I could go on and on and on. I’ve had professional experiences where I’ve had colleagues, I’ve had mentors that have come I and I’ve cooked for so those were always not only a challenge, but also quite memorable as well.
On his upcoming stint on Top Chef:
I’m involved with pretty much the entire show. I can’t really give you any details of [it] yet, but I’m in ten of the 13 episodes and the finale, so I’ve been very involved with Padma [Lakshmi] and Tom [Colicchio] this season. Gail has sort of branched out a little bit for Top Chef [Just] Desserts although she’s still involved with the show. But I was also there as a great support system for all three of them.
On what else he’s got cooking, his newest book, Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders (available September 27):
As a cook and talking with cooks and being around cooks, I’ve kind of come up with the six cooking vessels that people love to cook with: a skillet, a casserole, a crock pot, a wok, a pot, etc., and basically all of the recipes are in those six categories of those six different cooking vessels.
Pull up a chair at Emeril’s Table, weekdays, starting Monday, September 26 at 11am/10 central on the Hallmark Channel.