Chef Emeril Lagasse Tours Three Naples Restaurants On Latest Episode of Emeril’s Florida

Elizabeth Ray,, 850.224.2250 x255
Christina Johnson,, 850.391.5040

(Tallahassee, FL) – The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) is proud to present this week’s episode of Emeril’s Florida airing Sunday, February 15, 2015, at 2:30 p.m. EST on the Cooking Channel. In Sunday’s episode, celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse travels to the Southwest Gulf Coast of Florida to explore three restaurants in the beachfront city of Naples.

“Here in Florida, we are blissfully spoiled by the quality of restaurants and food that our state has to offer, and the dining establishments featured in this episode of Emeril’s Florida are no exception,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “FRLA is thrilled that Emeril continues to feature cutting-edge dishes and talented chefs that routinely satisfy the culinary desires of Floridians and our visitors.”

Emeril’s first stop is Osteria Tulia, one of the hottest restaurants in the growing Naples dining scene.  Osteria Tulia is an Italian restaurant owned by Chef Vincenzo Betulia. The menu and décor of the restaurant are inspired by Chef Betulia’s childhood and the centuries-old tradition of Italian osterias, informal village taverns serving homemade specialties and regional wines. The pastas, sauces and desserts are house-made by Chef Betulia and his culinary team of 30, which includes his mother, father, wife, cousin and Osteria Tulia’s chef di cucina.  The restaurant boasts many awards including a Golden Spoon Award by Florida Trend magazine and two Naples Illustrated Dining Readers’ Choice Awards for Best New Chef and Best Restaurant. Chef Betulia and Emeril sit down to talk about the restaurant and sample some of Osteria Tulia’s signature dishes.

The second stop for Emeril is Mereday’s Fine Dining, a waterfront restaurant in Naples serving contemporary cuisine made with the freshest seasonal ingredients available. Chef Charles Mereday owns the restaurant, and he has helped put Naples on the culinary map. In 2013, the restaurant was mentioned in Conde Nast Traveler as one of the top dining destinations in Naples, considered one of America’s Top 20 Destinations for Foodies. Mereday’s Fine Dining has an elegant dining space flooded with light from floor-to-ceiling windows that face water on both sides. Diners choose from a two, three or four-course dinner menu with a complimentary dessert, or from an a la carte bar menu, both which change daily. Emeril talks with Chef Mereday about the dining scene in Naples while he prepares some of his favorite dishes for Emeril to try.

The final location Emeril visits in Naples is Pinchers Crab Shack.  Owner Tony Phelan is originally from Texas, but following the oil bust in the late 1980s, Tony brought his family to Florida.  The concept for his restaurant started out simply, with only sixtables and 12 employees. Tony decorated the small restaurant with décor you might find in a seafood shack on the Gulf Coast, cooked the freshest seafood, and served it in a fun, down-to-earth atmosphere. The concept was a hit! Today, Tony and his family own ten Pinchers locations and plan to open several more.  Tony and Emeril share stories about the restaurant business and taste some of the items offered on the Pinchers’ menu.

The show reruns on Monday, February 16 at 9:30 a.m. EST and Thursday, February 19 at 10:30 a.m. EST.  Please check local listings.

Emeril’s Florida Season Three 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 third 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 FRLA and VISIT FLORIDA sponsor the series. 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.

Editor’s Note:
For photo and video requests of Emeril Lagasse with local chefs, photos of recipes, and recipes of featured dishes, please contact Elizabeth Ray atERay@FRLA.orgor 850.224.2250 x255, or Christina Johnson at or 850.391.5040.

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About the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
FRLA is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Our mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s $76.1 billion hospitality industry which represents 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. We offer regulatory compliance and food safety training needs (RCS and SafeStaff®); industry developed career-building high school programs (FRLAEF); sponsor the only event in Florida exclusively serving the restaurant and foodservice industry (FR&L Show, October 6-8, 2015 in Orlando); and we safeguard the needs of the hospitality industry by providing legislative advocacy. We represent and serve more than 10,000 independent and household name members, suppliers, and theme parks. For more information, go to and find us on Twitter @FRLAnews, Facebook and YouTube.