How do some restaurants not only survive, but thrive for multiple generations to become the icons they are today? Which Hollywood restaurant has served martinis to everyone from Humphrey Bogart to Johnny Depp? And why does Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami count celebrities like Madonna and Jennifer Lopez amongst its fans?
Hear about all this and more, as chef, restaurateur, author and television personality Emeril Lagasse pays tribute to iconic food establishments that have helped shape America’s culinary landscape in THE ORIGINALS WITH EMERIL.
Most eateries fail within a few years of opening but every city has cherished institutions that have stood the test of time, outlasting wars, prohibition, and ever-changing tastes. Follow Emeril as he visits various cities and goes behind the scenes at some of its most timeless establishments to reveal the secrets of their enduring success, and of course to sample their famous dishes – with a serving of history on the side.
From San Francisco and Los Angeles to New York City and Boston, check out THE ORIGINALS WITH EMERIL and discover the origins of famous dishes like Boston Cream Pie and the French Dip Sandwich. Find out where celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, JFK, and Dr. Martin Luther King liked to dine, and which speakeasies used to be the hottest mobster hangouts.
THE ORIGINALS WITH EMERIL premieres Wednesdays at 9:30pm (8:30pm BKK/JKT), from 6 February.
Chef Emeril Lagasse is the chef/proprietor of 13 restaurants including three in New Orleans (Emeril’s, NOLA and Emeril’s Delmonico); four in Las Vegas (Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House, Delmonico Steakhouse, Table 10 and Lagasse’s Stadium); two in Orlando (Emeril’s Orlando and Tchoup Chop); three at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Pennsylvania (Emeril’s Italian Table, Emeril’s Chop House and Burgers And More by Emeril) and one in Charlotte, N.C. (e2 emeril’s eatery).
As a national TV personality, he has hosted more than 2,000 shows and is the food correspondent for ABC’s "Good Morning America.” He is also the host of Fresh Food Fast and THE ORIGINALS WITH EMERIL. Most recently, Lagasse joined Top Chef Seattle – season 10 of hit food series Top Chef – as the show’s newest chef and restaurateur at the judges’ table. In 2012, he also began filming a new TV show Emeril’s Florida, slated to air in early 2013.
Lagasse is the best-selling author of 16 cookbooks including Emeril’s New New Orleans Cooking which introduced his creative take on Creole cuisine. His 17th cookbook, Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches, debuted in October 2012.
In 2002, Lagasse established the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support children’s educational programmes that inspire and mentor young people through the culinary arts, nutrition, healthy eating, and important life skills. To date, the Foundation has given over USD$5 million to children’s causes in New Orleans, Las Vegas and on the Gulf Coast. For his contributions to the American culinary industry, Lagasse was featured in the 2012 Smithsonian exhibit “Food: Transforming the American Table 1950–2000.”
Lagasse's restaurant company, Emeril's Homebase, is located in New Orleans and houses culinary operations, a test kitchen for recipe development, and a boutique store for his signature products.
Emeril Lagasse joined the Martha Stewart family of brands in 2008; Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO) acquired the assets related to Emeril’s media and merchandising business, including television programming, cookbooks, and emerils.com website and his licensed kitchen and food products.
Chef Emeril Lagasse travels to the City of Angels to visit three classic eateries. He munches on a Hickory burger and apple pie at the Apple Pan, a roadside shack whose stools and counter were the supposed inspiration for the Johnny Rockets hamburger chain. He also checks out one of Walt Disney's favourite restaurants, the Tam O' Shanter, where he samples their Scottish beef pie, Toad in the Hole. Plus he discovers the secrets behind Phillippe's, where the French dip sandwich was born over a hundred years ago.
Emeril samples some celebrated San Francisco treats as he visits the City by the Bay. His trip takes him to the Buena Vista Cafe, the eatery that introduced Irish Coffee to America, and learns to mix the classic drink. He discovers a wide variety of fresh seafood from cracked crab to calamari salad at the Swan Oyster Depot, where generations of Sicilian recipes reign supreme. And he ends his cook's tour by visiting the longest-running restaurant in California – the Tadich Grill. There, he samples a unique California creation, The Hangtown Fry, so named because this tasty frittata was the favoured "last meal" by convicts awaiting the hangman's noose.
Emeril heads to Beantown to check out three of Boston's timeless restaurants. Emeril visits the Union Oyster House, the oldest, continually-running restaurant in America, where he samples their renowned stuffed lobster, filled with whitefish, scallops, crab and shrimp. He also samples the city's namesake baked beans. Then it's on to Doyle's Cafe, where the beer has been flowing and the regulars have been debating politics and sports since 1882. It was the first bar in the world to serve Sam Adams beer and was featured prominently in the movie Mystic River. Finally, Emeril returns to the place where he began his career as a sous chef in 1979: Parker's Restaurant. It's just like old times as Emeril and the house chef whip up some Boston scrod and a batch of their famous Parker House rolls. And no trip would be complete without indulging in their legendary Boston Cream Pie, which was invented at Parker's Restaurant in 1855.
Emeril explores the landmark restaurants that made Dallas great, stopping at Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse, the rib joint that perfected hickory-smoked Texas barbecue. Then he heads to the roadside diner called The Mecca where he sinks his teeth into a catcher's mitt-sized cinnamon roll and "migas," a southwestern egg-and-tortilla specialty. He completes the trip with a stop at El Fenix, whose original owners introduced Tex-Mex cuisine almost a hundred years ago.
Emeril ventures to Atlanta to sample some classic Southern food and hospitality. He stops by Mary Mac's Tea Room, where spicy Cajun shrimp and grits complemented with an irresistible backrub from Mary Mac's "ambassador" have been bringing back customers for nearly 70 years. Emeril then visits the Busy Bee Cafe, one of Dr. Martin Luther King's favorite restaurants in his hometown, and indulges in the moist and crispy goodness of the Busy Bee's "beelicious" fried chicken. Then he heads to Atlanta's longest-running restaurant, the Horseradish Grill. With ingredients from the restaurant's own organic garden, the chef makes Emeril a plate of braised greens and fried green tomatoes. Emeril revels in the simplicity of one of its signature dishes, char-grilled Georgia mountain trout.
NEW YORK CITY
Emeril takes a bite out of the Big Apple's classic restaurants. First, he strolls into the Silk Stocking district for some authentic Northern Italian food at Il Vagabondo. After tasting their world famous Veal Parmesan, he competes in a bocce ball match on a court that was built a hundred years ago. Then it's off to King Yum in Flushing's Chinatown to try their butterfly shrimp and savory Wonton Soup, topped off by King Yum's Tiki-themed Zombie, their mind-bending house beverage. Finally, it's off to Keens Steakhouse for their popular Porterhouse steaks and timeless mutton chops under an amazing ceiling covered in old antique tobacco pipes. The pipes are signed by legends such as Babe Ruth and Michael Jackson, and Emeril adds his own autographed pipe to their ninety thousand piece collection.
Emeril makes his way down to South Florida to explore three original establishments in Miami. He sits down at Joe's Stone Crab in South Beach and learns the history behind the restaurant's signature crustacean dish. He stops by the kitchen to see how Joe's makes its famed Key Lime Pie and discovers why the place was a favorite of G-Men and mobsters alike. Emeril also travels to northwest Miami to taste a true Cuban original, Casa Larios. Find out why a dish translated into English as "fried cow" actually makes Miamians' mouths water. Then Emeril pulls up a stool at the bar that received the very first liquor license in the city -- Tobacco Road. Emeril is in food heaven as he samples ribs and chicken that have been in the Road's own smoker for hours. In fact, he's so happy he sits in on the drums with a local blues band playing at Tobacco Road.
Emeril uncovers the classic culinary charms of the Windy City. On his first stop in Chicago, he tastes real German food at Chi-town's oldest restaurant, The Berghoff. He assists in the creation of their popular Reuben sandwich which is made from scratch with freshly baked bread and specially prepared sauerkraut. Then he samples a Deutschland delicacy, apple strudel, and tops it off with some family-brewed Berghoff beer. It's, in a word, wunderbar. Twin Anchors is Emeril's next destination. He helps in the kitchen with their Chicago-style ribs and most popular side dish, creamed spinach, cooked in a style Emeril has never seen before! Touring the restaurant, he sits in the booth Sinatra squeezed into with his Rat Pack cronies and learns why the bar has a sign that reads, "Positively no dancing!" His final leg takes him to the legendary Gene and Georgetti's. A restaurant that showcases its history in a painted mural on the walls, Gene and Georgettis is Chicago's longest running steakhouse. Emeril munches on their humorously named "garbage salad" and samples a dish called "Chicken Ala Joe," named after a waiter. It's a mouthwatering look at the restaurants that define the Chicago Way.
Join Emeril as he returns to New Orleans - the city that made him famous - and stops by three of his favourite classic restaurants. He ventures to Casamento's, a restaurant renowned for its fresh oysters and Italian tile walls and floors. Emeril hits the kitchen to help make their oyster stew and whips up some cocktail sauce for diners at the oyster bar. He also visits Cafe Du Monde, where donuts do not have holes and go by the fancy name of beignets. Find out why locals and tourists alike visit the cafe 24/7 for the simple joy of these beignets and a cup of chicory coffee. Plus, Emeril heads to the heart of the French Quarter to dine at one of the country's grandest restaurants, Antoine's. He tours Antoine's 15 dining rooms and learns the history behind one of its most famous dishes, Oysters Rockefeller. Want to see how they make a Baked Alaska dessert? Emeril has you covered as well.
NEW ORLEANS 2
Emeril Lagasse returns to his favorite old haunts in his hometown, New Orleans. First on his tour of big tastes in the Big Easy is the very first Po boy shop in the uptown New Orleans area, Domilise. He'll sample their famous fried shrimp and roast beef sandwiches and pitch in behind the counter during the lunch rush. Then it's off to Angelo Brocato's Italian Ice Cream Parlor in Mid-town, for a trip back in time. He'll meet the third and fifth generations of confection makers and learn exactly what goes into their famous cannolis and famous ices. Finally, it's homecoming time for Emeril as he revisits the restaurant where he rose to prominence, the Commander's Palace in the Garden District. He'll check out their remodeling efforts for the first time and learn a few new tricks in their kitchen when he helps make their signature Turtle soup.
LOS ANGELES 2
Emeril travels to Los Angeles to visit three long-standing restaurants frequented by the stars. First stop: El Cholo, where Emeril is thoroughly impressed with their amazing green corn tamales and chile relleno. Next, it's off to an iconic hot dog stand that might be the best place to spot celebrities in all of L.A.: Pink's. Emeril samples a Three Dog Night (a hot dog with three franks, naturally). But the biggest treat occurs when he is presented with a special "Bam" dog featuring cheese, coleslaw and jalapenos. Then Emeril ventures to Hollywood's oldest restaurant - Musso & Frank - where he samples their charbroiled steaks and a martini that has quenched the thirst of everyone from Humphrey Bogart to Johnny Depp.
NEW YORK CITY 2
Emeril heads to New York, home to some of the country's most storied restaurants. He visits Lombardi's Pizza, which has the distinction of being America's original pizzeria. Emeril learns that fresh ingredients and a piping hot coal oven set Lombardi's apart from the imitators, as he samples their famous White Pizza and Clam Pizza. From there Emeril makes his way to Katz's, a world famous deli founded by Russian immigrants back in 1888. Emeril tastes their legendary Corned Beef and Pastrami, then goes behind the deli counter to serve some of New York's most demanding customers. Finally, Emeril travels to the 21 Club, a former 1920s speakeasy that has become a haven for the city's movers and shakers. Emeril helps the Chef prepare their signature Dover Sole, and explores the Prohibition era wine cellar.
NEW YORK CITY 3
Emeril is in the City That Never Sleeps to visit three classic restaurants not resting on their laurels. First, Emeril takes the hungry train to the Grand Central Oyster Bar in the world-famous Grand Central Terminal. Fresh oysters in a train station? Emeril shucks his way to paradise. Another question facing Emeril: do healthy, freshly-made fruit juices go together with frankfurters? They do if you're Papaya King, one of New York's longest-running hot dog stands. Finally, Emeril learns the painstaking process of quality meat selection at one of New York's most celebrated steakhouses, Peter Luger.