Advertising Age’s interview with Emeril Lagasse so perfectly encapsulates everything people hate about celebrity chefs that we are wondering if it shouldn’t be printed up, hermetically sealed, and deposited at the Smithsonian. Ad Age interviewing a chef at all is worthy of a knowing snort on the part of a cynical observer. A good portion of the interview is about Lagasse's $50 million sale of “the Emeril brand” to Martha Stewart Omnimedia, earlier this year. But the piece has so much more, including Emeril referring to himself in the third person. Some highlights follow.
• “For me it's not only about selling the product; it's really about believing in what it's all about. I've had a lot of different ones all over the board come to me from fast food to, you name it, stomach medicine. That's not really what I'm really about. [With Crest], I've used the product…”
• “What a lot of people don't realize about Emeril is that, with Emeril Live in particular, there's a lot of bantering about pork fat and butter and stuff, but really, truly, for over 30 years, I've been growing organic foods.”
• “I really wasn't shopping my company, it just sort of happened that the chairman of MSLO's grandchildren, who were huge fans of Emeril Live, ended up coming to a show. We ended up talking, Martha and I ended up speaking. She was looking for a platform to really take it to another level. The Martha brand will stay the Martha brand, and the Emeril brand will stay the Emeril brand.”
• “For me, my focus is what my existing partners and I have a really incredible relationship with and a serious obligation to, whether it's cutlery or my farm or my food products.…I consider myself very loyal, and I really want to reassure the relationships we've built in the licensing world.”
Bringing Brand Emeril Beyond the Food Network [Advertising Age]