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Martha Stewart Buys Emeril Franchise


Chef Emeril Lagasse cooks something delicious with Martha Stewart on

the kitchen set of her daily talk show, 'Martha'

NEW YORK CITY, New York -- Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. is bringing in a new celebrity: popular TV Chef Emeril Lagasse. The New York-based media and merchandising company founded by domesticity maven Martha Stewart announced that it bought the rights to Lagasse's franchise.

Lagasse's franchise includes his cookbooks, television shows and kitchen products and was bought from him for $45 million in cash and $5 million in stock. The final price could rise to up to $70 million if certain benchmarks are achieved. Martha Stewart did not acquire Emeril's Homebase, which includes Lagasse's 11 restaurants and corporate office.

Lagasse remains the host of the Food Network's "Essence of Emeril," but the food network channel ceased production of "Emeril Live" late last year, though it continues to air new episodes in 2008.

In a recently released statement, the Food Network said, "We are happy to see that these two great brands will be combining forces and wish both of them the best. All of the Emeril's shows will remain on the network, and we also look forward to working with him on future projects."

Martha Stewart Living said the deal will "contribute immediately to our performance," adding $8 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The acquired assets generated $14 million in revenue in 2007. Martha Stewart Living expects the deal to close in the second quarter.

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Chef Robert Irvine Peppered in Controversy

by Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts


'Dinner: Impossible' Chef Robert Irvine

If you can't stand the heat, don't pad your kitchen r

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Food Network Cans 'Impossible' Chef


'Dinner: Impossible' Chef Robert Irvine

"Dinner: Impossible" Chef Robert Irvine has been fired from the Food Network's kitchen! After it was discovered that Robert lied about his credentials -- including having designed Princess Diana's wedding cake. Food Network head honchos launched an investigation into the situation.

Today, Food Network released a statement saying they "have not renewed Robert's contract for future seasons" and "will be looking for a replacement host." Robert apologized for his actions adding, "I was wrong to exaggerate in statements related to my experiences regarding the Royal Family."

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Food Network Names New 'Dinner: Impossible' Host


Chef Michael Symon

One of the Food Network's Iron Chefs says he is ready to do the impossible. The network announced that Ohio Chef Michael Symon will take over as host of the "Dinner: Impossible" series, which challenges its chef to prepare meals under extreme conditions.

Symon, who won the network's "The Next Iron Chef" competition in 2007 and appears on its "Iron Chef America" series, replaces Robert Irvine, who left last month following revelations that he'd exaggerated details of resume.

Irvine had hosted the show for four seasons. The network says Symon will begin taping 10 new episodes this week. They will begin airing this summer. Also new to the show will be a one-hour format.

"I'm really looking forward to the challenges that are going to be thrown my way and nothing gets me more pumped than someone telling me that something is 'impossible,'" Symon said in a recent statement.

Symon, who is chef and owner of Lola and Lolita restaurants in Cleveland, graduated from The Culinary Institute of America and was named by Food & Wine Magazine as one of the Ten Best New Chefs in America in 1998.

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