I was confused a few weeks ago when I spotted Martha Stewart fawning over Emeril Lagasse on her show. Then came the news that Stewart was buying Lagasse out. To get a sense what this means, I asked Bridget Samburg, a local writer and longtime Martha watcher who served as a researcher on Chris Byron’s Martha, Inc. to provide insight on this big transaction.
Here is Bridget’s post:”It remains to be seen just how hot it will get in the kitchen, what withEmeril and Martha now under the same roof. On Tuesday Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia announced the $50 million acquisition of most of Emeril Lagasse’sempire. Emeril has a lot going for him, or so I thought. I like Emeril. Ilike his style. He’s fun, he’s inventive. He wants people to succeed at thestove. He has successfully brought solid food through the tube and ontodinner tables across America. And his recipes — whether Louisiana style,barbeque, or Asian — are damn good. His style is sassy but serious. I blushoccasionally watching him flirt with his audience, wishing I could be in hisstudio sampling his fare and basking in his attention.When it comes to watching Martha on TV though, I cringe. She’s stern andcross, rarely smiling. She simply doesn’t look like she’s having that muchfun, snug in her argyle sweater and perfectly coiffed hair. And you need notwatch too closely to see her nearly elbow guests away from her Kitchen Aid.
You see, Martha doesn’t like to share. Martha doesn’t play well with others.And I can’t imagine that Emeril — a gregarious man who shouts “BAM” and”Take it up a notch” while tossing ingredients into sizzling pans — will bea constant presence in Martha’s kitchen. I suspect he’ll rarely be invitedin at all. But, you’ve gotta hand it to Martha Stewart, queen of eating hercompetitors. She’s managed to keep competition at bay, and as of Tuesday shefurther secured her place, not just in the kitchen, but on the corporateladder. I think Martha just ate Emeril for lunch. Make that breakfast,lunch, and dinner.”