For several decades, there’s been many famous tv chefs on television. But Emeril Lagasse is the first “celebrity” chef that I liked listening to, and enjoyed watching.
It wasn’t that long ago that Emeril was all over the still fledgling Food Network, entertaining viewers with good cooking, and turning “bam!” into a catch phrase for cooks of all ages and abilities.
After the network abruptly cancelled “Emeril Live” in 2007, Emeril has been seen as a judge on “Top Chef,” a frequent guest on “Rachael Ray” and any morning show with a kitchen.
Emeril Lagasse has had a lengthy television career, but his new series, “Eat the World With Emeril Lagasse,” may be his best show yet! The Amazon original series debuted its six-episode first season on September 2. And me and the wifey binge watched the entire season on Saturday.
In “Eat the World,” Lagasse is thoughtful and very enthusiastic, as he sets out to learn about cuisine in six major food meccas. He is joined by chef friends on his journeys — Jose Andres in Spain, Marcus Samuelsson in Sweden, Mario Batali in China, Danny Bowien in South Korea, Nancy Silverton in Italy and Aaron Sánchez in Cuba.
Clearly, these are people he cares for, and the affection is mutual in every episode. Not only do we get to learn about food, but we also get glimpses into each specific frienship and what brought them to that particular city or country.
Each episode feels like an adventure, and each one has a moment that makes Emeril emotional. Take for instance the trip Lagasse takes with Danny Bowien to South Korea. Here, he and Lagasse take a trip high into the mountains to meet, cook, and eat with, Buddhist nun Jeong Kwan, considered one of the world’s great vegan cooks.
But my favorite episode would have to be the trip to Cuba with Aaron Sánchez. In this episode the chefs go from eating at a fancy restaurant in Havana, to a small cafe in a little town that grows its own ingredients. The trip finishes in a pig farm, where Sanchez and Lagasse are warmly welcomed by the family that own it.
“Eat the World” is for anyone who ever wanted to travel the world and learn about cooking. But even if you don’t know anything about food, this show is worth watching for the stories alone. And if you’re not hungry after every episode, then there’s something wrong with you.