Chef Emeril Lagasse was in town last week, cooking up a storm for the Kahala Food and Wine Classic. Lucky for us, he found some time to talk about his love for Hawaii, his new show and the origin of "bam." The interview is transcribed below:
"I've been coming here for 25 at least years. I try to get here at least once, if not twice a year. And the folks here at the Kahala have been wonderful. When I came here last year for this event, I couldn't believe not only the beauty but also the incredible hospitality of the staff here and the people here. That just enticed me to want to come back. I try to do something Hawaiian on my shows at least six times a year, just so I don't lose the spirit.
Sam Choy has been a friend for a long, long time, Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi. This is a wonderful place, it's a great palate because the ingredients are so vibrant here, no matter what island you go to. People think, when they think Hawaii on the mainland, they just think of maybe pineapple or coffee, right? But there's such a wonderful array of product.
I had loco moco for breakfast this morning with very fresh fish and traditional. I tell you what, in all the years that I've been coming to Hawaii, I've never had a bad meal. So that's saying something because the food is so fresh, the ingredients are so fresh, so exciting.
I have a brand new show premiering next Sunday the 18th of April on ION. It's called the Emeril Lagasse Show. It'll be Sunday nights 8 o'clock Eastern time. And it's more than cooking. It's a big party basically. Of course I have my band, my music band, not Doc Gibbs though. I have a new band. I have Dave Koz, some very talented musicians from New York. We have great guests on every show and a lot of great food but it's fun. It's like a big party. I think it's going to be a great show.
(Where did "bam" come from?) You know "bam" actually came from - I always kicked it up a notch when I was doing television, which was really my expression of elevating spices or decreasing or elevating spices. Where "bam" came from was in the beginning of Essence of Emeril days, which was like 15 years ago. Because of my restaurant schedule, I'd have to do a lot of shows at one given time. So I was taping eight shows a day. You do three, four, five shows and then as a food show you'd break for lunch for a half hour or an hour. And of course everybody wants to eat what you cooked the last four or five shows. So you would cook it and they would come back and we would get ready to work. And everybody was sleepy because they just ate a lot of food. So "bam" came from kind of waking everybody up. That was sort of my message for waking everybody up and that's where it started. And as people caught on to it, it just became and evolved more and more.
I'm still bamming."
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