Emmanuel Delcour, the former porn star who was a cast member on Bravo’s Chef Academy, is getting his own series, although he would not reveal the network nor its content, saying only, “I’m doing my own cooking show. … Pretty soon you’ll know.”
I talked to him as part of my story on the increasing overlap between reality TV and porn. Interestingly, he said he didn’t tell producers about his porn past, although on the show, contestants uncovered it (how convenient). “It’s not something very common: an adult star becomes a chef. So I completely understand why people wanted to know about it,” Emmanuel said, but pointed out that “it was really something that was part of my past that didn’t represent who I was at the moment,” hence his “no comment” t-shirt. But he said stripping naked and wearing just an apron was his idea: Novelli first asked him to do a striptease for Tracy, the challenge winner, and he said, “there’s no way I’m going to do that. It’s so cheesy and I’m not going to do it. But I thought it would be so funny if I would show up completely naked with just an apron and bring her dessert. So that was my little twist on his idea. [Novelli] was very proud of her, and I was very proud of her, too.”
It’s obvious, but he has a sense of humor about his prior work experience, from selling “no comment” t-shirts and aprons on his web site to the comment he made to me that concludes my Daily Beast story. And while he didn’t talk in detail about it, he didn’t avoid the subject, either.
Emmanuel’s fascinating career path has taken him from graphic design to adult entertainment to acting and modeling and now to cooking. Currently, he’s teaching people how to cook in addition to going on auditions regularly for movies, TV shows, commercials, and modeling. (He’ll soon appear in The Battle: Cinco de Mayo.) He’s also passionate about nutrition and healthy cooking, and has been working as a private chef for a celebrity for the past few months.
Chef Academy filmed about a year ago, and Emmanuel called it “very, very intense” but said “we learned so much” because Jean-Christophe Novelli really is “passionate about teaching and sharing.” He said “it really boosted up my work as a private chef,” so the experience was worth it. “As an actor, I never wanted to do reality TV, because for me it’s not a good career choice for me. As an actor, I’m always interested in playing roles or characters who are not me,” he said. But he did the Bravo show because “I had an amazing opportunity to learn from one of the best chefs in the world.”