James Beard Award-winning chef Emeril Lagasse has travelled all over the world, sampling native cuisines and learning about local cultures along the way.
If you ask him about the most memorable meal he’s ever had, he says that plenty of experiences come to mind.
Many of those experiences came in the filming of his new show, “Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse,” which premieres on Amazon Prime Video September 2. The show follows Lagasse and his chef friends as they travel to different countries to learn about new foods.
In one episode, he goes with Spanish chef José Andrés to his hometown of Oviedo to learn about the origin of Modernist cuisine; in another, he and La Brea Bakery founder Nancy Silverton go to Italy to find what Silverton considers the very best pizza in the world.
But it was in Sweden with his friend Marcus Samuelsson — who, when he was 24, became the youngest chef to receive a three-star restaurant review from the New York Times — that Lagasse ate the meal that has perhaps stuck with him the most.
“In Stockholm, I had reindeer heart,” Lagasse told Business Insider. “It was incredibly delicious, and the restaurant has no electricity, so everything was cooked using wood, fire, and smoke.”
While eating reindeer heart might seem extreme to the Amerian eater, reindeer in one form or another has been a central part of Nordic cuisine for centuries. The version that Lagasse ate, at Stockholm’s Ekstedt restaurant, is elevated and refined, cooked in a cast-iron pot inside a wood oven, and seasoned with salt and pepper.
Samuelsson also took Lagasse fishing for crayfish — no easy feat given that it was April, which means snow in Sweden. Still, it was exactly that kind of local experience that Lagasse’s new Amazon show was aiming to capture.
“My philosophy in life is to understand culture, and then food,” Lagasse told us. “But first, you have to understand the people. No matter where you are in the world, there’s going to be some kind of connection to food.”
Viewers can expect a bit of adventure and a lot of food knowledge when the show begins streaming in September.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.