EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 6, 2013

Essence of first star on Food Network

Book chronicles channel's rise; recipe for Emeril's spice rub

What are the secrets of Emeril Lagasse’s success? Is it his passion for food, his buddy- next-door demeanor, his contagious excitement, his teddy bear appeal ... or could it be a secret combination of those and many more?

In his recent book “From Scratch: Inside the Food Network,” author Allen Salkin states how Emeril brought in “… men, young women, and millions of viewers who had never dreamed they’d ever tune in to a cooking show.” Emeril was the chef that launched the success of the Food Network.

At a launch party for the history of the Food Network, former executives give us some insight into Emeril’s personality and how he evolved into the food icon we all know and admire so well. Among those who worked with Emeril from the beginning 20 years ago, Founding President Reese Schonfeld provides the insightful analysis that Emeril was a regular guy. Others, including on-air host Bill Boggs, give their impressions of this amazing chef and the effect he has had on our ideas about food.

His illustrious culinary career evolved along with his Food Network shows. He went from “How to Boil Water” to “Emeril & Friends” to the “Essence of Emeril,” and finally to “Emeril Live,” his last show for the Food Network which was cancelled in 1997.

One of Emeril Lagasse’s most famous recipes is this one — for his own spice mixture, Emeril’s Essence. Use it in your recipes to “kick it up a notch.”

Emeril’s Essence

Yield: 2/3 cup


2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon oregano

1 tablespoon thyme


Mix ingredients.

Store in an air-tight container away from heat.

Use to make blackened chicken or fish, as a pork rub, or to season salads, vegetables, soups and pasta.




Text Only | Photo Reprints

Photos of the Week