Emeril Lagasse, Food Network's most famous chef personality, kicked his
tenure with the channel up a notch and beyond Tuesday morning.
Lagasse agreed to continue his Food relationship through 2008 under a
He'll handle 90 new hours per year of Emeril Live, the channel's
flagship primetime program, plus 26 half-hour Essence of Emeril segments
and assorted specials annually. Other contract terms were not disclosed.
With the pact in hand, Lagasse remains Food's "cornerstone," president Judy
Girard said in a prepared statement. "His energy and enthusiasm are incomparable
and his connection to viewers is unparalleled."
"I am thrilled to continue my long relationship with Food Network," Lagasse
said in his own released statement. "I am looking forward to developing some
great programming in the years to come."
Lagasse launched his national TV presence with Essence when Food
premiered in 1993. The series was retired when he started Emeril Live
four years later, but it came back with new editions in 2000.
Emeril Live, produced with a live audience and house band, is the
network's top-rated show.