One of the awesome things I still remember about my early days in blogging was writing two posts about my experience cooking with Emeril on his show “Emeril Green” on Discovery Network’s Planet Green channel. Too bad that show no longer airs, but it was one of those moments in my career where I questioned everything I did, from the dumbing down of my cooking knowledge and skill to teaching him how Cubans make beans.
The things one will do for a boost in their career. I don’t regret any of it, but definitely have to look at the clip with a sense of appreciation and just laugh. Otherwise, I’d want to slide onto a flying rug and take a trip overseas somewhere. Far, far away where on-demand viewing isn’t even an option. The most memorable piece of filming was the actual personal engagement with him. From the minute we were introduced at Whole Foods at ungodly hours of the morning, we hit off and got to chatting in some French and touched on the Spanish language. We exchanged notes on attending culinary school vs. Julliard and touched on the art of pressure-cooking while my mother woo’d him with her charm and jewelry line. He was observant like that.
Nothing slid past him. Hawks every move anyone on his team makes. That’s what makes him a really special chef.
I wanted to stay in touch with him for obvious reasons but it never happened. The closest I got to engaging with him again was during an appearance on a Martha Stewart radio show where I called in and asked about some Thanksgiving options. I’d like to say he remembered me when I told him who I was, but his blasé reaction was suggestive of the disconnect. Still, working with him for a full day has been one of the best moments in my line of work. And, he remains to be one of my fave chefs.
When I got hip to his involvement with the Macy’s Culinary Council through my girlfriends over at Bee Everywhere, I was more inspired to keep up with his moves. The relationship with Macy’s (where I love to get my perfumes and buy my dad certain ties and shoes) underscored that genius business acumen. After selling the bulk of his biz to Martha, he stayed on top and just continued to do this thing… with lots of cash in hand! Part of the gig with him allows him to move around the country promoting the council and doing fun cooking demo’s… not to mention contribute to the annual cookbook, which I love, love, love. Remember this apple cocktail I did last year when I reviewed the book?? Can’t wait to do it again in a few weeks! Anyhoo, his tour commitments this year took him to Honolulu just a few days ago and Cali this past Sat in Macy’s demo kitchen. Both times he cooked it up with Chef Ming Tsai, whose work I’m only recently becoming familiar with.
The close of the cooking tour is this coming Thursday in Orlando, FL… 3 weeks too early as I’ll be there then and not now. He’ll be assembling some sandwiches for the crowd. Just when I think I can reconnect with him…. ahh. One of these days. Maybe he’ll read this. Yes, Emeril, I’d love to cook with you again. This time we can really attack the pressure cooker and hook up some oxtail. Because the pork still isn’t happening!
If you’re in the area and go, let him know a Cuban gal named Bren is looking for him!
Enjoy for me. And grab the Council’s cookbook if they have it. You’ll love it. I hear one of the recipes he’ll be sharing this year is The Cuban! A ver como va eso! And if that’s not avail yet, spend $75 on All Clad and you’ll walk away with his new books “Emeril’s Kicked Up Sandwiches”….
**The event on 10/25 will be with Chef Emeril Lagasse
Home Department, 3rd Floor 4298 Millenia Blvd
Orlando, FL 32839
Emerils Kicked-Up B.L.T. Sandwiches with Avocado and Chipotle Mayonnaise (c/o Food Network)
- 8 thick slices brioche bread, toasted
- Chipotle Mayonnaise, recipe follows
- 16 slices thick cut bacon, cooked
- 12 leaves red leaf lettuce, washed
- 16 thin slices ripe tomato
- 1 avocado, sliced
On a clean work surface lay out the toasted bread slices and spread 1 side of each slice with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the ChipotleMayonnaise (or less to taste.) Build the sandwiches by placing 4 slices of bacon, 3 lettuce leaves, 4 slices of tomato and 1/4 of the avocado slices onto the spread side of 4 of the bread slices. Top with the remaining slices of bread, spread sides down, and press downward slightly before slicing each sandwich in half.
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, seeds removed and roughly chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
- 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
- 1 lemon, juiced
Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a clean container and refrigerate until ready to use or serve.
Yield: about 3/4 cup