13-Episode Series Explores Florida’s Restaurants, Beaches, Lifestyle and More
Chef Emeril Lagasse digs deeper into the rich cuisine, stunning scenery and diverse culture of the Sunshine State in Cooking Channel’s returning series Emeril’s Florida, premiering Sunday, January 5th at 2:30pmET/11:30amPT. In the second season, Emeril travels from the Atlantic to the Gulf to parts in between in his quest to discover the best local cuisine as well as the stories and people behind them. From farm-to-table purveyors in Orlando to the laid-back beach bars, grills and restaurants along Florida’s coasts, Emeril highlights the unique lifestyle and varied cuisines that make the state a magnet for travelers from near and far.
“I’m thrilled to bring Emeril’s Florida back for its second season on Cooking Channel,” said Lagasse. “We discovered that we only scratched the surface of the fantastic food, history and physical beauty that make Florida such an incredible state and that there’s much more to explore.”
In the premiere episode, “Coming to America,” Emeril explores some of Florida’s most treasured imports: restaurateurs and chefs who have immigrated from around the globe. Emeril first meets up with Hari and Jenneffer Pulapaka, owners of the Cress Restaurant in DeLand. Hari, who was born and raised in Mumbai, India, is a tenured math professor; Jenneffer is a world traveler and podiatric surgeon. Emeril finds out how the couple manages two successful full-time careers while still running one of the best restaurants in the state.
He also visits with Chef Jose Martinez, who relocated from Paris to Longboat Key on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Emeril tries some of the delicious signature dishes at Martinez’s critically-acclaimed Maison Blanche restaurant, which serves French cuisine with an American twist.
Emeril then speaks with BT Nguyen, who was evacuated, along with her sister from South Vietnam during the fall of Saigon in the mid-1970s. Now the owner of the highly-acclaimed Restaurant BT in South Tampa, Nguyen shares the tale of her journey to America while Emeril samples some of her distinctive French-Vietnamese cuisine.
Lastly, Emeril talks to Tampa teenager Guillermo Quezada, who was named Top Florida High School Chef in the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association’s ProStart 2013 Competition. Originally from the Dominican Republic, the high school senior talks with Emeril about his background and cooking influences, and gives the famed chef a taste of the dishes that wowed the competition judges.
Chef Emeril Lagasse is the chef/proprietor of 13 restaurants nationwide, with acclaimed restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando, Bethlehem, Penn., and Charlotte, N.C. He has hosted more than 2,000 episodes on Food Network, and is the food correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America. Lagasse also hosted Cooking Channel’s Fresh Food Fast and The Originals with Emeril. He is the best-selling author of 17 cookbooks, and his latest cookbook, Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches, debuted in October 2012. In 2002 he established the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support children’s educational programs that inspire and mentor young people through the culinary arts, nutrition, healthy eating, and important life skills. To date, the Foundation has given over $5 million to children’s causes in New Orleans, Las Vegas and on the Gulf Coast. 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, the website emerils.com, and his licensed kitchen and food products. You can also find Emeril on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Emeril’s Florida is produced by MAT Media, LLC.
About The Cooking Channel
Cooking Channel is an entertainment brand dedicated to today’s passionate food lover. For food people, by food people, Cooking Channel is the answer to a growing hunger for more content devoted to food and cooking in every dimension from global cuisines to international travel, history and unconventional how-to’s. Cooking Channel is part of the media portfolio of Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), which also includes Food Network, HGTV, DIY Network, Great American Country and Travel Channel.