Late last week, oil company BP took out a full page ad (warning: PDF) in the New York Times that didn't name celebrity chef/New Orleans restaurateur/Top Chef judge Emeril Lagasse, but was basically about Emeril Lagasse. Asking, "Would you pay this claim?" the ad mentions a "celebrity chef" who "was awarded more than $8,000,000" despite earning "more revenue in 2010 than in the two years prior to the spill." BP claims a "fictional loss" was created through some name licensing mumbo jumbo, and are apparently using Lagasse's claim as part of a campaign to prove oil spill damage claims were actually tied to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. For what it's worth, Lagasse's Homebase restaurant group says they haven't received the money and the claim was "in accordance with the settlement agreement that was set forth by BP and administered by the federal court in New Orleans."
As the Times-Picayune notes, prior to this ad Lagasse has been pretty cozy with BP, defending their post-oil spill actions to the paper: "Those guys stepped up to the plate and they did what they had to do." This was after Top Chef/Bravo came under fire for accepting funds to film the current season in New Orleans. Those days seem to be over for now. Check out the full ad below.
· Would You Pay This Claim? [State of the Gulf, PDF]
· Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse targeted by BP in fight over oil spill payments [Times-Pic]
· All Emeril Lagasse Coverage on Eater [-E-]