Inside Emeril's New Orleans Test Kitchen
|The lobby At Emeril's Homebase|
Emeril went on to open Emeril's in New Orlean's Warehouse District. NOLA restaurant in The French Quarter followed shortly and the ball started rolling. Emeril is now the chef-proprietor of 12 restaurants, including Emeril's Miami Beach. With all these restaurants, Emeril is probably best known as a colorful television personality and author. His punctuated yells of "Bam!" have shot him to food celebrity stardom. On a recent visit to New Orleans, Short Order was invited to tour Emeril's Test Kitchen.
Emeril's Homebase, as its called, is located on Historic St. Charles Avenue, right on the Mardi Gras parade route and streetcar line to the Garden District. Homebase is an old brick building, renovated to a modern loft style space that houses the people that make Emeril's empire work. Inside are the administrative and executive offices, the fulfillment warehouse for Emeril's online store and the Emeril test kitchen.
Jeff Hinson, public relations manager for Emeril's Homebase noted that most of the recipe testing at the kitchen was for Emeril's cooking appearances, shows and cookbooks and not necessarily for his restaurants. He then led us off to the kitchen, which was designed to be more like a home kitchen than an industrial kitchen.
As we left the test kitchen to grab a bite at Emeril's flagship restaurant, I was shown Emeril's office, which is occupied only part of the time, since Emeril spends much of his time in New York taping his shows and introduced to some of the staff. Everyone was friendly and really seemed to love Emeril -- but not in a creepy "drink the Kool-Aid" sort of way. I asked Jeff if there were any people - any at all -- who worked at Emeril's who were "nasty". "No. We've been Emeralized." Bam!
Emeril will be appearing at The South Beach Wine & Food Festival this weekend. He'll be co-sponsoring the sold out Let Them Eat Cake event with none other than Martha Stewart and will be doing cooking demonstrations at the GTV Saturday and Sunday. Double Bam!