Point of View


THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHEF: EMERIL
January 12, 2010, 9:11 pm
Filed under: Celebrity Chef

I’ve been there on a thousand other Saturday nights.  A large pot of water boiling on the stove in anticipation of the crowd walking in, taking their seats, ready to be fed, to be comforted, to be satisfied and to be full.  I keep thinking its Saturday night, always the busiest night. Will the crowd be pleased? Will the gratification be instant? Can we keep up the pace?  I wonder why I am anxious.   This isn’t my kitchen!  To a chef though, all kitchens are their kitchens, familiar turf.  All the excitement and anticipation and preparation are common among us.  Pleasing people is what we do, what we strive for, what keeps us loving being back behind the line, pressured, hot, and moving at a frantic pace. 

I’m excited as Emeril Lagasse takes the stage at the Adrienne Arsht Center.  Emeril is a hero in this chef’s world, someone who has made his own success– restaurants, television shows, best-selling cookbooks, and product lines. I have to ask myself, success at what expense? I relate to his shy, introspective nature.  I cook, I create, I ‘m not a story teller, well only in the kitchen.  I too was influenced as a child by my mother’s cooking and found it difficult to find a job without French training.  He and I have a lot in common.

Into his element, Emeril steps behind the stove.   It was amazing to watch him move around an impromptu kitchen—albeit a highly theatrical stage kitchen—with such comfort and ease.  I start to relax, sit back in my seat knowing that he was in his comfort zone and quintessential Emeril.  In the kitchen he is home. 

Emeril’s message was simple and one that every water boiler can take away with them.

We are busy people and good, local, fresh, healthy and tasty doesn’t mean slaving in a kitchen for hours. 

As Emeril cooked and the show came to a close that ingrained Saturday night tension slowly dissipated as it did each and every week. I could relax, the crowd was pleased and I was full.

The writer owned and operated restaurants in the New York City area for over 25 years and is now retired and living in South Florida.

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I usually dont post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, great post.

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