Emeril Lagasse's cameo on Sunday night's installment of New Orleans drama "Treme" showed a darker, more time-worn side to the seasoned celebrity chef -- not that it takes much to darken up a man whose catch phrase is "BAM!"
In the episode, penned by Anthony Bourdain, Lagasse doles out wisdom to chef Janette Desautel, played by Kim Dickens, just as she dips her toes into celebrity chefdom before opening her new restaurant.
"How do you do it?" Dickens asks Lagasse. "The promo stuff, the interviews, dog and pony shows, I mean they want me to go on the Today show with Al Roker." Before answering he takes her Uglesich's, a legendary restaurant that shuttered in 2005. He explains there are two ways to run a restaurant: keep it small and risk closure, or expand and do the talk shows.
Lagasse comes off well -- certainly more sedate than his on-camera personality -- and holds his own alongside the rest of the cast. And he drops several F-bombs, which we think is awesome for reasons we can't explain.
In an interview with The Times-Picayune, Bourdain praises Emeril's performance as "the best acting by a chef on the series to date," and offered more insight into how he envisions the chef's onscreen persona:
Ever since I met the off-camera Emeril, I've wanted to write a scene for him -- where he's like he appears in this episode. Older, "darker," sadder, with the burden of years of responsibility for hundreds of people -- an empire -- on his shoulders. But also generous and loyal to his friends. I've seen that Emeril -- and it's been a dream to have the opportunity to write a scene like this for him.
Take a look at Emeril's acting chops in the video below: