Emeril Lagasse visited Sergio's Coral Way to soak up a little local color.
The celebrity chef filmed a segment of his Emeril's Florida at the restaurant and chowed down on the restaurant's croquetas while enjoying a cafecito at the restaurant's ventana.
Sergio's CEO Carlos Gazitua says he received a call that the chef was interested in filming his show there. "I guess he was researching restaurants, and he saw our La Flaca menu. He's been to Cuban restaurants before, but this one is interesting because of what we do." Gazitua is referring to the restaurant's menu of healthier Cuban food.
"He threw out that not only was the menu interesting, but that the location, between Calle Ocho and Coral Gables." Gazitua says that, because of the location, Sergio's attracts a healthy mix of blue- and white-collar customers. "Everyone comes together for comfort food."
Emeril with La Flaca.
Courtesy of Sergio's
Emeril was at the restaurant for more than three hours, trying various menu items such as lechón with mojito and cauliflower rice with black beans. The chef's favorite dish? "Ropa vieja," Gazitua says.
Emeril also spent time with Gazitua's mother, Sergio's founder Blanca Cabrera. "He wanted to talk about la ventana. They discussed Cuban coffee and how people fight over the espumita — the creamy top of the coffee. "It was interesting that he knew that."
Gazitua took away the fact that although Emeril is a huge celebrity in the culinary world, he's just a regular guy who still gets excited about food. "He was really nice and super-relaxed. He had his sandals on. He just wanted to sit back and hear about our story."
And the story Gazitua told was one of a family making a successful run in the industry. "He was impressed how many locations we have: eight units and over 650 employees. I told him he's the godfather for all the chefs out there. It was an honor for Emeril to recognize our mark here by experiencing our Cuban
So far, no air date has been announced for the episode. Check Cooking Channel for more about Emeril's Florida.