Known as much for the catchphrases "Bam!" and "Kick it up a notch!" as his Creole-infused recipes, celebrity chef supreme Emeril Lagasse became a major feature on the American culinary landscape with massive exposure on cooking shows such as "Essence of Emeril" (Food Network, 1994-2008). After earning his stripes with a stellar run as the executive chef at the renowned New Orleans eatery Commander's Palace, Lagasse opened the first of several astonishingly successful restaurants of his own in 1990. Within a few short years, he parlayed that success into a slew of awards, best-selling cookbooks and his own cooking show, "Essence of Emeril," named after his ubiquitous retail line of seasonings. More television projects and restaurants followed, as did books - over 15 bestsellers, in addition to a line of children's books. Lagasse appeared regularly on virtually every talk show - both daytime and late night - and even enjoyed a regularly featured character based on him on the animated comedy series "Futurama" (FOX, 1999-2003; Comedy Central, 2009- ). His vast empire grew to include lines of cookware, appliances, and apparel, as well as a philanthropic organization he founded in 2002. As the poster child for the cooking craze that swept America in the late-1990s, Lagasse's appeal sprang largely from an adventurous, intercontinental approach to comfort food, delivered in an unassuming, fun-loving manner by a natural self-promoter.