How Emeril Lagasse Could Have Been One Of The First Iron Chefs

"Iron Chef America" is one of the most well known cooking shows in America and around the world. As Tasting Table notes, "Iron Chef America" pits two talented chefs against one another in a culinary battle of the best "and in the process completely captivated audiences across America." Chefs from around the country compete against established Iron Chefs for the chance to prove their prowess and finesse in the kitchen. Alton Brown goes so far as to describe it as the "Dr. Who" or "Jeopardy!" of cooking shows.

Among the Iron Chefs are "Bobby Flay, Cat Cora and Masaharu Morimoto," but it turns out there is another big name chef who almost joined their squad. Bam! Can you imagine "Iron Chef America" with Chef Emeril Lagasse among their ranks? Looks like it almost happened. So what's the story behind why Lagasse didn't end up following through and joining one of our favorite shows? We've got the scoop below.

Why Emeril Lagasse turned down 'Iron Chef America'

According to The Daily Mail, Emeril Lagasse's live show, which had been a fan favorite for a number of years, was flailing in ratings and losing money due to "high production costs." At the same time as this was going on, Lagasse was offered a position "as one of the original Iron Chefs on 'Iron Chef America,' which was in development at the time," but this would have been a step down for him and an attempt to reinvent his image, which he turned down, and rightfully so!

As NPR notes, rather than chefs like those featured on "Iron Chef," Lagasse was the money-maker who helped the network raise its profile. He was "the first food TV star to be signed to a seven-figure contract" and wasn't about to "kowtow to these people" for the sake of making money. Imagine how different our lovable, wholesome, familiar chef Emeril Lagasse would be if he had actually competed on the show!