Chef Emeril Lagasse Samples Florida’s Most Impressive Seafood Operations on Emeril’s Florida

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Ray
FRLA Press Secretary
850.224.2250 x255

(Tallahassee, FL) – The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) is proud to present this week’s episode of Emeril’s Florida airing on Sunday, March 16, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. EST on the Cooking Channel. In Sunday’s episode titled, “Florida Caviar, Clams & Rock Shrimp…Really?” celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse samples some of the state’s most impressive seafood operations.

“In Florida, the seafood industry is truly part of our heritage and contributes billions of dollars in economic activity, sustaining tens of thousands of jobs,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “Locally sourced seafood remains the top menu trend across the nation, and Chef Emeril’s experiences showcase some of the Sunshine State’s finest flavors.”

Chef Emeril begins the episode at Dixie Crossroads in Titusville with the Thompson Family. They developed a way to take rock shrimp from being considered a “trash catch” to becoming a popular item on the menu of the family’s restaurant. Rodney Thompson developed a high-speed shell splitting system that made it easier to remove the tough outer shell from the lobster-like tasting shrimp.  Members of the Thompson family still own the Wild Ocean Seafood Market and it is here where the rock shrimp are processed and then sold primarily to restaurants.

Then, Emeril heads over to the city of Sebastian to meet two men who have worked together for 30 years running a clam farm operation. They produce 10-15 million clams a year out of what is really a pretty small operation.  The owners will take Emeril through a tour of their clam growing and processing facilities.

In the next segment, Emeril heads to Evans Fish Farm in Pierson, where they raise sturgeon and produce high quality caviar for restaurants and consumers. It is one of the few commercial sturgeon farming operations in the United States. Emeril will tour the farm with Geno Evans, the owner, and see where they raise and process the sturgeons and then sample some of their caviar products and smoked sturgeon. Emeril ends the episode by preparing a dish using the caviar. The show reruns on Monday, March 17th at 9:30 a.m. EST and Thursday, March 20th at 11:30 a.m. EST.  Please check local listings.

Emeril’s Florida Season Two is a 13-episode series highlighting the Sunshine State through the eyes of Emeril on-location with a focus on food, cooking, events and activities around the state. Throughout the second season, Emeril will be visiting Florida’s top restaurants and resorts. He will also prepare some of his favorite recipes which often will feature some of the best seafood Florida has to offer. The program is sponsored by the FRLA and VISIT FLORIDA. For additional information on the series, including links to previous episodes, please go to the Cooking Channel website here. For a preview of Sunday’s episode, click here.

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About the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
FRLA’s mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s hospitality industry – which represents a $76.1 billion industry, 23% of Florida’s economy, $4.6 billion in sales tax revenue, and nearly 1.1 million employees, making it the state’s number one industry.  It is Florida’s premier non-profit, hospitality industry trade association. FRLA safeguards the needs of the hospitality industry, improves the business climate, promotes the highest levels of quality and safety for our patrons, provides legislative advocacy, and eases navigation of government regulation. The Association represents and serves more than 10,000 independent and household name members, suppliers, and theme parks.