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Emeril in person

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  • haapi May 27, 2008 05:53 AM
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Hi-I know this may be a pie-in-the-sky quest but I will be taking my 9 y.o. daughter, a budding cook & foodie and, thanks to the Ratatouille DVD, Emeril fan, to NOLA in late June-early July for one week. (We live in France.) Her one request is to see Emeril. And I mean the MAN and not just the restaurant. Does anyone have any idea whether he still puts in an appearance now and then at his nola places (given his multi-media empire) and/or who I could contact for this special request? I appreciate any advice.
Cheers--
haapi

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  1. Perhaps this.

    http://www.emerils.com/information/co...

    Or maybe try to contact (By phone) one of his restaurants directly.

    DT

    1 Reply
    1. re: Davwud

      Might want to check out this page too: http://www.emerils.com/newsroom/categ...

      Down a bit, there is at least one contest to appear *with* Emeril.

      Hunt

    2. Make your reservation for seats at the food bar. Emeril was present on one particular visit. He stood in the kitchen on his cell the entire time we were there. Between calls, he managed to sign a few cookbooks that he passed off to the waiters to deliver. He did however venture out to serve one plate to a birthday diner. I think it's basically it or miss. He may be there but he certainly isn't cooking. BTW, IMO the flagship is his best.

      1. I had the same experience as Jazzy. The last time I was in there (Emeril's), Emeril was in the kitchen. He wasn't cooking, but he was checking plates as they went out. However, I have no idea how to find out if he will be in the restaurant. Good luck with that. I would also suggest going to Commander's Palace. They are super friendly and she will undoubtedly be able to go in the kitchen and meet Tory McPhail. Also, John Besh might be a little more accessable than Emeril. He was in August last time we were there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: N.O.Food

          i lucked out one evening and had one of the best dining experiences of my life at emeril's. the doctor we were dining with had secured the chef's table. it started out to be a fairly unique experience but in my head i thought "these big name fella's with 15 restaurants are probably never in any of them." soon as i thought that low and behold who did i see saute'ing as well as picking up garbage but the man himself! he was tasting sauces and vegatables, cooking and cleaning. out of nowhere he served us a dish. the dinner consisted of about 15-17 courses. totally opulent and over the top. an incredible evening. he did stop to take numerous pictures with us. it was a once in a lifetime event as i do not think the chef's table can be bought there but only secured through knowing someone. meeting him though? i bet it would be tough. from these other stories it sounds like he does pop in when in town but the question is when is he in town? good luck!

        2. I would think that the best way to assure a view of Chef Lagasse, in the flesh, would be via tickets to his TV show. I just glanced as Davwud's link, but did not see mention made of tickets to "Emeril Live." I would guess that there is a link from *that* link someplace, but did not see it. I believe that the show is produced in NYC. Where are you flying into the US?

          You might wish to also look at www.foodchannel.com, as I believe that they produce that show. Do not know if they handle the tickets for the shows, or if those are done via a service.

          Good luck with your endeavor. Wife was celebrating her birthday in NOLA, when he was still at Commander's and he presented an autographed cookbook to her. She got the same cookbook, from the late Jamie Shannon. I do not know which one she treasures more.

          Hunt

          [EDIT] The URL should be: http://www.foodnetwork.com/ sorry for my mistake.

          13 Replies
          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Hey Bill,

            Emeril Live was cancelled recently. Just FYI.

            1. re: N.O.Food

              Whoa. I did not know that. I did see that "Emeril Live" was going to appear on the Fine Living Network, and maybe this is the reason. Unfotunately, we do not get FLN on our cable system, so I have not seen it. Thanks for the H/U . Personally, I was a bigger fan of his old show, as it had more cooking, and less acting. Still, the Food Network ran "Emeril Live" about 6x per day, every day, so I assumed that it was bigger with others, than with me.

              Thanks,

              Hunt

              1. re: N.O.Food

                If I read correctly, it was cancelled by FTV and MSO has decided she'll run it on FL. I think it's an all new show on FL.

                DT

                1. re: Davwud

                  Post the dates of your visit. I think I can at least find out if he's in town at the time.

                  1. re: VodkaWithOlives

                    Hi--first of all I would like to thank everyone who answered and gave advice. Much appreciated!!
                    We are flying into nola on June 28 and staying for roughly 5-7 days before leaving on a leisurely drive through the south.
                    Cheers-
                    haapi

                    1. re: haapi

                      Even if your daughter does not get to meet Emeril Lagasse in person, I hope that you have a wonderful trip. New Orleans is a world-class dining city, and is not to be missed.

                      Good, and safe trip,

                      Hunt

                      PS, might want to check out the South Board, for other dining options, as you travel.

                      1. re: haapi

                        in which direction of the South? South Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida Panhandle???

                        1. re: edible complex

                          Hi--I think I will drive up north to Memphis, then Nashville, then over to North Carolina, up to Pennsylvania Dutch country and then NY. Nothing is set in stone yet, except for the trip to nola! I am happy to hear of anyone's suggestions (and will undoubtedly post some queries as I get closer to my departure.) Thanks again.

                          1. re: haapi

                            While you are in New Orleans area, haapi, don't miss a side trip out west to Lafayette and Cajun country!

                    2. re: Davwud

                      Martha bought Emeril for $50m
                      WhamBam thank you Ma'am

                      1. re: Davwud

                        Davwud .... No it is not. There were six or eight shows shot not aired (aka "new"). When it went over to Fine Living, both the rereuns and the few "new ones" will be shown there. (Which will run out quickly.) Production ended in December with zero plans to ever resume again at this stage.

                      2. re: N.O.Food

                        Emeril Live was canceled last September, 07. However they had enough new shows in the can to run for another whole year.

                        1. re: N.O.Food

                          that they actually canceled this show blew my mind.

                      3. I had a weird, uncomfortable experience when I met Emeril. In 1997, before his show went live, but after he had been on t.v. for a few years I sat at the food bar while Emeril stood right in front of me reading orders to the chefs cooking meats and fish. He had already started the "Bam" thing on t.v. so in order to be friendly I said to him "I have not heard you say Bam yet." He just looked at me without saying a word with a very stern look. A few minutes later he asked me in a very subdued, unfriendly voice if my food was ok. That is all he said to me. I have been to a number of Emeril's restaurants in different cities and enjoy them very much. To this day, I do not know if I offended him or if he was just so into what he was doing that he did not feel it was important to be friendly. I am from Oklahoma where friendliness is considered important and restaurant owners are expected to be friendly and talk to customers. I have met other famous chefs including Paul Prudhomme who were very friendly. What bothers me about Emeril is the fact that he hams it up so much on t.v. but was the opposite when I made an effort to be friendly. I still like his restaurants and will still eat at them.

                        Bigray in Ok

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: Bigrayok

                          Bigray,

                          I understand what you're saying, but think of how many times Jerry Seinfeld meets people who greet him with a Newmanesque "Hellooo, Jerry", or George Wendt gets greeted with shouts of "Norm!". The first 100 times it's kind of flattering, the next 1,000 times it's "OK, thanks", and the next 100,000 times, it's old - very old.

                          If someone's serious about what they're doing, they don't want to be reduced to a catch-phrase. Obviously, I can't say for certain, but I think if you'd said "I'm a fan of your show, and I'm really looking forward to this dinner", you'd have gotten a better reaction.

                          1. re: Bigrayok

                            My son, who is a chef, met Emeril in New York. It was a chance meeting at a manicure place of all things. His impression of Emeril was that he was cold, distant and unfriendly. When my son introduced himself, Emeril was curt and turned away to his cell phone.

                            I am only mentioning this so that the OP can prepare his/her daughter for what may be a delightful experience, but also may be somewhat unpleasant. Probably something that is arranged in advance would have a better chance of going well.

                            1. re: chicgail

                              Your son introduced himself to someone out of the blue when they were on their cell phone and was surprised at receiving a curt response?

                              1. re: ccbweb

                                Just to clarify, my understanding of the encounter was that Emeril was sitting and waiting for his wife when my son introduced himself. The cell phone only came out after their encounter.

                                I can totally understand a celebrity wanting to keep his privacy in public places. I can totally understand a person being shy or having something on his mind or not feeling like talking to strangers.

                                My point was that it seems like there is a pattern of Emeril not wanting to be particularly friendly with people he doesn't know and that if the OP's child is excited about meeting him, her parents should prepare her in advance so that she is not disappointed.

                              2. re: chicgail

                                FWIW, Emeril is very shy. His on camera persona is not who he really is.

                                Shy people often come across as cold when meeting people out of the blue.

                                Martin Yan is also painfully shy. Amazing to think of when you see him on tv.

                                1. re: chicgail

                                  I met him once and found him surprisingly gracious and charming. Not all that, er, eloquent, but totally nice.

                                  Which means he's probably just like everyone else. Pleasant sometimes, cranky others.

                                2. re: Bigrayok

                                  The granddaughter of one of my mother's friends was stricken with cancer (at age 10). She made a request to see Emeril's show (Emeril Live) from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I heard from her dad that he was very nice and friendly and the whole family had a great time and they were treated very well. And he made a 10-year old girl forget about her illness (and hair!) I think that says a lot about him (and I'm not exactly the hugest fan of his food).

                                  BTW, the girl is recovering nicely.

                                  1. re: nofunlatte

                                    So what you are saying is that Emeril is a miracle worker??

                                    DT

                                    1. re: Davwud

                                      It's the pork fat :-)

                                      1. re: nofunlatte

                                        Mmmm porkfat can cure all.

                                        1. re: Phaedrus

                                          So it's agreed we should all eat more pork fat then.

                                          DT

                                          1. re: Davwud

                                            I'll make the reservations for Cochon in NOLA. How many can make it?

                                3. All you have to do is ask. Find out before you go whether he will be in town.

                                  Call Emerils and ask for him. They will ask you what it's about, so tell them, and then ask for his personal assistant. Explain who you are and where you are coming from and your daughter's desire to meet Emeril. Odds are good she will get to meet and chat with him, if he's in town. He may be a "big star," but he's also a genuinely nice person.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                    Thanks ChefJune. I never thought about a "personal assistant" actually. I worked in restaurants in college. The restaurant biz has changed so much but, obviously, my instincts haven't! Great idea.
                                    I have spent time in Lafayette/Cajun country and I definitely want my daughter to know it but probably not on this trip. She'll want to hang out with the adults as we dine and dance into the night...but she's a bit too young yet ;-)

                                  2. If you live in France you should try to get her excited about the chefs there.

                                    I sat at the bar at Emeril's back in '96 before he was 'Emeril'. He just happened to be cooking that night. In fact he was the one who cooked my dinner. He was very pleasant and personable. It was interesting to see him work the room. One could not help but realize that he was going to be successful. But It certainly was hard to imagine just how successful.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                      I would like to thank everyone for their posts.
                                      His private persona aside, I have no delusions that I am buying into Emeril's public persona. I am also happy to read that many posters have such nice things to say about him. (Frankly, I would never be able to maintain a chipper public persona 24/7 so I can't fault him there....) And Withnail42: you are absolutely right about getting my daughter excited about French chefs but she already has pretty good role models with her parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents, all good cooks. To tell you the truth I think her original idea was to compare Emeril's ratatouille to her grandmother's ratatouille. I explained that we may not find it on the menu and that opened a discussion about Cajun food and what we are bound to eat in nola, so we've already accomplished something.
                                      Cheers

                                      1. re: haapi

                                        Lucky kid sounds like she has the best of both culinary worlds.

                                        I just remembered a year or so a ago went to Daniel's in NYC we were at the table to open up and there next to us was Emeril with, what I assumed to be his wife, also waiting. Didn't say anything though.

                                        Good luck on you trip. Hope things fall into place!

                                        (At the very least I am sure you would be able to score your daughter a tour of the kitchen.)

                                    2. I don't think that many people realize how hard it is to be a celebrity in this day and age. Where I used to work, we had a hall of fame baseball player who would show up periodically for a light dinner. This guy was a fan favorite and was the type who would talk with the fans at length and would sign autographs for a while after the games.

                                      However, when he was in a restaurant, he did not appreciate people shoving baseballs in his face while he was trying to enjoy a meal with his family.

                                      I have met quite a few of the Food TV chefs and founf them to be very friendly when interacting with fans. However, to show up at a restaurant and planning for much more than a glance may be asking a lot.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: jlawrence01

                                        There is such a thing as being in front of the cameras, and family time. People should learn to respect this. A smile, a nod, sending a bottle of wine to the table, but let them all enjoy, what little private time they have.

                                        My poor wife cannot dine, in our home city, without people stopping by the table to talk to her. Usually, they want her to support their cause, their legislation or buy a table at their next charity. She's gracious, but I can tell that she'd rather just have a nice, quiet dinner.

                                        BTW, back when Chef Lagasse was at Commander's, it was wife's birthday. I asked our server to please get a copy of their cookbook for her, and just hand it to her. She already had a previous copy, but Chef Lagasse came out with the book, signed it for her, and spent a half hour talking to our table about his menus. This was not what I had expected, or even anticipated. The late Chef Shannon did the same, on a later birthday. Maybe it's the Southern graciousness and charm. Yes, this was before Chef Lagasse was the personality, that he is now, but I cannot imagine an exec. chef at a major restaurant being more warm, and accommodating. Only meeting, but he scored major points. He, and Chef Shannon, were perfect examples of gentlemen.

                                        Hunt

                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                          Good points and great story Hunt.

                                          DT

                                      2. This is so funny cause you'd used to be able to see him come and go every weekday in the spring and fall outside Chelsea Market in manhattan

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: attractivekid

                                          You'll find Emeril-today-at the Whole Foods in Fairfax, VA where he is filming a new show for the Green Network during the week. Having said this my wife and I sat at the Food Bar on Tschoupolitas street two nights in November in the mid '90's with Emeril on the other side. By the second night we felt like he was a friend, a good friend. He worked his heart out in that restaurant, all one hundred hours of every week it was open before he began to commute to New York. When he became successful on the Food Network I felt that there not a more deserving person on earth who had earned the rewards. He paid his dues.