Review: Fresh Food Fast with Emeril Lagasse
I finally got a little more quality time with the Cooking Channel so I am attempting to review several of the shows I have not seen. This time around Fresh Food Fast with Emeril Lagasse.
There are four kingpins that are responsible for the success of food-based television – James Beard, Julia Child, Graham Kerr (check out my interview with Kerr HERE) and Emeril Legasse. Legasse was one of the chefs who formed the core of the Food Network’s early days and it was his show Emeril Live that made Food Network. Without Legasse’s energy, humor and every-guy appeal the network probably looks different today if it survived at all.
Unfortunately, the catch phrases and schtick on Emeril Live eventually became its downfall. The show had become a charecature of itself. A few years back FN took it’s marquee show off the air. For a while it moved over to the Fine Living Network in hopes that Legasse could kick up FLN’s ratings a notch. It wasn’t enough. Last year FLN became the Cooking Channel. The change has proven a wise one.
There’s room on Cooking Channel for Legasse and it is not having to re-create the Emeril of old. Fresh Food Fast is Emeril in a kitchen (a real kitchen not a set) putting together amazing recipes. Gone are the cries of BAM! and Pork Fat Rules! This Emeril is more under control, his recipes are healthier, most likely a byproduct of his Planet Green series dedicated to healthy, organic and sustainable food, Emeril Green.
While Emeril Green seemed like Legasse was being stuffed into a world that didn’t quite suit him, it did help him to find a happy medium between the calorically challenged recipes of Emeril Live and the über-wholesomeness of the recipes of Emeril Green. Fresh Food Fast is that happy medium. Sure the food is healthier than his old FN days but not as uninspired as the Planet Green show.
Best of all it is Emeril being Emeril. He is congenial and entertaining without being over the top. He’s doing a show for foodies again – people who don’t have to have a danceable beat and repetitive lyrics so they can blurt the chorus after just two listenings. It’s a serious cooking show by one of the master’s of the genre.