Food Network Maraton: 4-4:30, The Essence of Emeril


Ragging on Emeril is a favorite past-time of foodies. Anthony Bourdain calls him an Ewok. eGullet has entire divisions devoted to Emeril bashing. I’m a former Emeril basher myself. It’s fun to hate him.

I mean all that “bam!”-ing and audience mugging, it’s like watching some weird creature in some weird studio in a galaxy far far away. The whole phenomenon eludes me.

But, ya now, watching him now I don’t feel the same hate I feel towards Rachel Ray. I don’t want to drown him like I want to drown the Family Circle woman. I just don’t want to be trapped in an elevator with him and I mostly don’t want to eat his food. Some of it looks fine, but honestly lentil crackers (which he’s making now) just isn’t my thing.

What is charming about Emeril, I suppose, is his old world qualities. He just seems like he is who he is, completely unaffected by modern times. He’s clearly not pretentious, and that’s admirable. And, ya know, he is the lifeblood of the Food Network. So I’ll leave Emeril alone and say, simply, that his show is not my cup of bam.

7 thoughts on “Food Network Maraton: 4-4:30, The Essence of Emeril”

  1. I like the Essence of Emeril, it’s like the calm before the storm of Emeril Live! And I like the cute little cosy music of the show, tatata tatata ta…

  2. Essence of Emeril is much less annoying than Emeril Live. You don’t have to hear the audience go crazy every time he adds gahhlic. Once I heard one lone soul start to clap and give out a little whoop when Emeril added some completely banal ingredient, like yogurt or something, but the rest of the audience didn’t join in. I guess that guy didn’t get the memo that you only cheer when Emeril is kicking it up a notch. Also, why a chef needs a live band while he cooks is beyond me.

  3. Emeril bugs the crap out of me just on general principal. He’s no longer a chef, or even a real person, he’s a cultural phenomenon. He has his own line of cookware (made by all clad, which like Emeril, is pretty enough, but not terribly functional) his own line of knives, his own line of spices, not to mention his quazillion restaurants and books and now multiple TV shows and toothpaste commercials.

    And why oh why oh why is it so damned exciting when he says BAM??

    I feel dirty when I watch Emeril, like I’ve somehow betrayed my kitchen. I want to wash the TV whenever he comes on. I want to say to people: GET A LIFE! IT’S GARLIC!

  4. I lost interest in Emeril Live when he had the 2 wedding proposals on his “chocolate” show for Valentine’s Day.

  5. I’m sort of ashamed to admit it, but I did stalk Emeril Lagasse at a couple booksignings he did. I had this strange attraction to him at the time, and now, he just looks like a loud, overgrown Eddie Munster to me. I don’t know what I was thinking.

    I do love Essence of Emeril because it’s like watching early audition tapes of very famous actors. He’s sort of insecure in front of the camera, his timing’s a bit off and he lacks the cheesy panache he’s so famous for now. I can’t wait for the E! True Hollywood Story…

  6. I HATE, I HATE, I HATE Emeril!

    He always “BAMS!” and “kicks it up a notch” with that damn cayenne pepper that the audience frenzies over like a bunch of wild monkeys!

    His style leaves much to be desired but his recipes are always BAMMED with cayenne!

    I just want to get some hot pepper cayenne spray and spray it at Emeril and the audience!!

    It bad enough that his style, persona, BAM, cayenne, crazy audience, and his stupid music band gets in the way, but he has weird or dull recipes that lack much culinary skill or food history!!

  7. Thank God I found you guys.

    I can’t stand Emeril with his repetitive phrases like “I don’t know where you get your ___but mine doesn’t come seasoned” or “oh yeah, babe” I hate that one with a passion. The way he rubs his hands together when he talks creeps me out. I feel like he’s going to do something nasty to the audience. And why they got to cheer every time he adds garrrrlic is beyond me. His plate presentation sucks. Why can’t he leave the food plate cleans instead of sprinkling the damm “Essence” all over it? He talks down to the audience like they’re idiots by saying “that’s what the knob is for on the stove so you can turn the heat to medium” Oh and I can’t stand the high pitched humming he does whenever he seasoned something. It’s like nails on a chalkboard.

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