Update: Our appearance on Emeril's Florida will be rebroadcasted on June 22nd, 23rd and 26th of 2014 for those of you who have missed it. A full program guide can be found here: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/shows/programweekly.weekly.2014-6-23E.html
Last September, celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse visited restaurateur Sean Murphy, at the Beach Bistro. He was filming a segment for his Cooking Channel show, “Emeril’s Florida,” which aired Sunday, March 23rd.
“Emeril has played a substantial role in the development of the Beach Bistro and the philosophy of its food and service,” Murphy says. “It was a great experience to show him around the Bistro.”
A regional James Beard Award winner, Lagasse first took the spotlight as the executive chef at Commander’s Palace. In 1990, he opened his Emeril’s in New Orleans and Esquire magazine named it “Restaurant of the Year.” He is the executive chef and owner of 13 restaurants and is beloved for his Creole and Cajun cooking.
Lagasse’s New Orleans has always been a city near and dear to Murphy’s heart, too. The Big Easy was Murphy’s first stop in the United States upon emigrating from Canada, and Lagasse quickly became one of his main culinary influences in America.
Murphy worked as a waiter at Arnaud’s while his wife, Susan, tended bar at Le Booze on Bourbon Street. This experience shaped his Murphy’s later approach to launching the Beach Bistro, which would grow into a sought-after fine dining hub on Holmes Beach. For nearly three decades, it has been awarded the highest ZAGAT scores in the state, and Murphy’s three Eat Here restaurants throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties have also received multiple awards.
In its early years of the Beach Bistro, at a time when cuisine minceur was the trend, Murphy was sometimes criticized for his rich, substantial portions (bouillabaisse in large bowls, steaks with mashed potatoes and demi-glace, and rich sauces and butters).
“Around that time, I attended a cooking demonstration in Sarasota featuring a young kid out of New Orleans named Emeril Lagasse. He cooked a rich and lush chicken stew served with buttery, creamy mashed potatoes,” Murphy says. “I approached him as he was tidying up from the demonstration and thanked him for reinforcing my belief that flavors should be full and bold.”
Murphy still owns the autographed cookbook he bought that day; he showed it to Lagasse when he visited. The two reminisced as Lagasse tasted chef Peter Arpke’s Beach Bistro fare, such as Roberto’s Farm Salad with artisanal cheeses and fruit sorbet. Lagasse and Murphy shared a bottle of wine, and Lagasee even prepared his own dishes. Then, he went on his way, exploring the rest of the Sunshine State, meeting chefs, cooking and filming episodes. Stay tuned for more!
For more information on the show, visit cookingchanneltv.com/shows/emerils-florida.html.
About the Beach Bistro: For nearly three decades, the Beach Bistro has consistently been awarded the highest ZAGAT scores in the state of Florida for “best food” and has been honored with inclusion in ZAGAT’s “Top Restaurants in America.” The Bistro also boasts a long-standing Wine Spectator Award and is enthroned in Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon Hall of Fame. Beach Bistro is located at 6600 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach, 941-778-6444, beachbistro.com.