"Let’s kick it up a notch!" "Bam!" If you watched the Food Network in the 2000s, you’re probably familiar with Emeril Lagasse’s loud and famous catchphrases. Often cooking for an enraptured audience, he was an inescapable presence in the wider world of cuisine. But then Emeril disappeared from the Food Network for more than a decade. Where did one of America’s favorite celebrity chefs go? Well, here's the stunning truth about why the larger-than-life chef went AWOL.
When Emeril Live was canceled in 2007, it was the beginning of the end of the famous chef's Food Network career. The show was then picked up by The Cooking Channel in 2008 — but it only lasted until 2010. Emeril’s other Food Network show, Essence of Emeril, also came to an end in 2008 after 18 seasons. It wasn't looking good for him.
A little break
"When [Emeril Live] ended, everybody felt like it was time for a little break," the chef said in a 2016 GQ interview. "I didn't necessarily think that, but that's what everybody else thought, that maybe it was time for a break from Emeril." Still, the Food Network had a plan for him.
Let’s get real
Executives at Food Network approached Emeril about transitioning into reality shows. The mid-2000s were the rise of the cooking reality show, remember. Food Network even had hits with seasons of Cake Boss and Man v. Food. But this particular celebrity chef wasn’t interested in the format.
"I'm old-fashioned, and I want to teach people how to cook, how to eat, how to serve, how to shop, how to drink wine, how to mix a cocktail properly," Emeril told GQ. "I didn't necessarily at the time want to get into this competition stuff." The chef instead focused on Discovery's Emeril Green, which ran for three seasons.