Emeril Lagasse has long owned a vacation place in South Walton in the Panhandle.
But a little more than a year ago, Lagasse moved his family from Louisiana to the Sunshine State full-time. It was his new home state that inspired the celebrity chef to take on “Emeril’s Florida,” a 13-part series on the Cooking Channel, premiering 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
His first stop is the Orlando area, where he cooks cobia at the Ravenous Pig in Winter Park before stopping in at his namesake Emeril’s Orlando restaurant to prepare black grouper with sofrito, rock shrimp and avocado toast.
The new series covers the entire state, from Orlando south to St. Petersburg and Clearwater and across the peninsula to Miami and Palm Beach. Lagasse not only explores the local cuisine, but also cooks alongside well-known chefs and creates dishes of his own. Recipes from each episode will be featured on CookingChannelTV.com.
Lagasse’s business operation remains headquartered in New Orleans, where three of his 13 restaurants are located.
Kathy Torian, corporate communications manager at the state’s Visit Florida agency, says Lagasse came to them for advice on where to find the authentic Florida he was searching for as a new resident. Visit Florida is both a sponsor and advertiser of what Torian calls a “lifestyle show.”
“The show is about what this great state offers,” Lagasse told Visit Florida. “So it’s not just about cooking, it’s not just restaurants, although that’s a nice chunk of it. But it’s about the beaches, it’s about fishing, it’s about farming, it’s about the agriculture.
Lagasse won’t film the South Florida episode until next month.