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Bam!: How Emeril Lagasse Invented a Cooking Catchphrase

How the celebrity chef kicked it up a notch.

Emeril Lagasse is an award winning Creole chef with a dozen restaurants to his name, yet most know him for his trademark catchphrase "Bam!" Lagasse used the exclamation judiciously on his numerous television shows, but where did it all start? In the mid-90s, the chef was busy hosting Essence of Emeril, a instructional cooking show. "Because of my restaurant schedule we were shooting eight shows a day," he says. But "after we had had lunch, people began to start falling asleep a little." At the time, Lagasse was already used to kicking things up a notch, but in order to keep his staff awake on the set he had to resort to something a little more extreme than flambé. Thus "Bam!" was born.