Fort Lee, Va. (April 23, 2009) -- The aroma of excitement was in the air April 18, as Chef Emeril Lagasse was on location to film two upcoming shows for "Emeril Green," a new program on the Discovery Channel network.

"Operation Emeril," the first segment, was filmed in a field kitchen setting, using the materials that would be available to deployed Soldiers cooking on mobile kitchen trailers or containerized kitchens. Lagasse cooked with three food service students and one instructor.

"Army Greens" was filmed at Army Center of Excellence, Subsistence and featured several instructors of the advanced culinary class. The focus was on healthier choices and eliminating waste in the kitchen area.

"Emeril Green" features Lagasse showing viewers how to make their food healthy, organic and eco-friendly.

"There's a movement in the military right now, even as large as they are, about making efforts to go green or to go greener," said Lagasse.

Lagasse displayed his excitement for the efforts that Fort Lee and other military installations have made toward environmental changes, highlighting the compost and recycling programs available.
Aside from a healthy environment, Lagasse said he was impressed at the efforts in the food service program to go healthier and be more exciting.

"I know they are making significant strides and I've even done a little bit of work with the armed forces," he said. "They are trying to make food a real craft. There's a healthier movement through the introduction of fresh fruits and vegetables."

In "Operation Emeril," Lagasse focused on showing food service students interesting ways to build excitement in the atmosphere while cooking in the field.

"The typical dishes I'm doing here are not typical dishes that they would be doing because I'm pulling certain ingredients out of different boxes to sort of create and give these guys who are learning to cook some excitement," Lagasse said. "You can get a little creative with it if you have the time. When you're in the field and you're on the run, it's a different story. When it's stationary, and you're learning, there are other ways you can mix and match things to make it tasty and delicious."

Pfc. Clint Morgan, a food service student and Emeril fan, jumped at the opportunity to cook with Lagasse, and looks forward to using the tips given during the taping.

"The meals are not that hard to change up as long as you have the extra ingredients out there," Morgan said. "We're basically taking part of one kit and taking part of another kit to make a meal out of it. The way he's doing it makes it real simple."

Pfc. Heather Wommack, a food service student, was excited to be in the show and said working with Lagasse was an amazing experience.

"He's hilarious," said Wommack. "You vibe off him. You have to be live and energetic with him on camera. He brings out a lot of energy."

Lagasse continued to show how excited he was over the changes to military food service.

"I haven't been on an installation in a couple of years, and I'm impressed to see the advancement of what's happened since then with the amount of ingredients and the kind of ingredients that are available," he said. "I think they were in a rut for so long that it was just the same old, same old, and it just got completely boring. I think they have done a great job in figuring out that food is definitely a major morale booster, as it is for all of us. It's all about enhancing the family table."

Lagasse said he wants his viewers to get a deeper admiration of the military.

"I hope they get an appreciation of what these men and women do for our country and us," he said. "(Military members are responsible for) protecting where we live and our families. They work really hard."

After taping was concluded for the day, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Robert Sparks, ACES Culinary Skills chief, unveiled an ice carving in the likeness of Lagasse and thanked him for his time on Fort Lee.

"Operation Emeril" and "Army Greens" is scheduled to air on the Discovery Channel June 29, 8 and 8:30 p.m., on the "Planet Green" program.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16