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Thursday, March 13

Food Network Addict Interviews Tyler Florence, Part 2

Check out part 1 of my interview with Tyler Florence if you're just stopping by for the first time.

Tyler's current show on Food Network, Tyler's Ultimate, features decadent, simple recipes of favorite foods. I particularly liked the beef taco episode where he fried his own tortillas.

"We just signed a new three year deal. We shot 13 new episodes last week… back in, uh, yesterday," Tyler said with a laugh. He and his wife Tolan were getting ready to return home to Northern California after the interview-- Tyler's first trip home in a month.

"I’m doing 26 more in the fall. I absolutely love it. My director of culinary and I just sit there and have these dream sessions… like this culinary volley back and forth. We stack recipes up and test them and once we get to the set we’re so excited about putting it all together."

"The show is very sensory. We try to create a very three-dimensional experience out of something two-dimensional. We try to give you brilliant recipes that you can make tomorrow night. Simple and clean. You get a really great ingredient, do a few steps, and get a masterpiece out of it."

Food Network Addict: One of my favorite things about the show is the lighting. (I brought up the How to Boil Water lighting, which Tyler likened to a "gymnasium.")

Tyler: We have one of the best Hollywood lighting directors in the business come out for it. The studio itself is a brick-by-brick mockup of my kitchen in my old apartment in New York City.

When I was still living in New York it was weird because I’d get up, have a cup of coffee, go to work, and walk back into my kitchen. We brought our dog once and had to watch him because he tried to go outside and pee in my fake backyard.

FNA: You competed with Robert Irvine on the Iron Chef All Star Battle this past winter. Any thoughts on the recent controversy?

Tyler: It’s a shame. I didn’t know the guy, but I had heard of him and always thought he was the former executive chef to the Queen of England. I don’t even know if that’s true. If his show is pulled, I think it’d be a shame because he is a good cook, but at the same time if you’re selling yourself as “this is who I am and this is what I’ve done” and then history is not exactly what you claim it to be... people aren't ever going to believe you.

Unfortunately these things get played out in the court of public opinion before the facts come out. I wish the guy well.

Over the weekend, Tyler had "won" the Rocco Award for worst career move, given out by Anthony Bourdain and Michael Ruhlman. During the poorly attended ceremony, they chastised Tyler for not showing up and accepting his award.

I didn't ask Tyler about Anthony Bourdain, but he didn't mind giving me his opinion on him.

Tyler: I think that salacious, chef attack thing that Gordon Ramsay and Tony Bourdain do all the time is a shtick. I think people are tired of hearing it. With Tony, it's like... those who can't teach, criticize [those who can]. I don’t know what he does honestly. When it’s all about ripping up another chef, you should rise above it.

With his show, restaurant, kitchen store, and baby on the way, Tyler Florence still seems content amidst the busy life he's acquired.

"It’s my 12th year on television, and I’m still happy to do it. I never want to spike… never want to be the biggest thing in the world, because I think that only lasts five minutes and you’re right back down again. It happens to so many people."

I couldn't help but think of Rachael Ray, Tyler's Food Network colleague, who basically is the biggest thing in the world when it comes to TV chefs. Last year at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, Rachael did a cooking demo on Sunday morning, got on a plane to L.A., attended the Oscars to film segments for her daytime talkshow, and then returned to New York.

While fast-paced and exciting, Tyler's Oscar experience sounded pretty enjoyable too:

"Oh yeah...we were definitely there for the Oscars… we were just laying in bed in Miami watching them, eating room service."


Thanks so much to Tyler and Tolan for speaking with me!

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At 3/13/2008 2:40 PM , Anonymous Gen said...

Tyler sound like a cool family man. Very grounded.

He's right about Anthony Bourdain. Just stay above the fray, my man. Take the high road.

Personally, I think Anthony Bourdain is a chain smoking drunkard who is so full of his own self importance that he can't even see straight. Or maybe it's the six shots of whiskey he has before noon.

At 3/13/2008 4:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to knock Tyler but I have to play devil's advocate. The Golden Clog Awards were held on the Friday before the general public could attend the Grand Tastings at the Wine & Food Festival. The awards ceremony was also scheduled at the last minute and held against the Wine & Food Festival's wishes. I'm sure more of Bourdain's fans could've attended the Golden Clog Awards if they could've gotten in to see them.

At 3/13/2008 4:52 PM , Blogger jacob said...

rd: I agree that they were held when not a lot of people were there, but it was publicized on the festival's website AND printed in the program book. I wouldn't call that "against" anyone's wishes. "Poorly attended" actually referred to the number of "stars" who didn't show up, as Bourdain referred to on his own blog.

At 3/14/2008 1:05 PM , Blogger yoshi said...

I always felt kindof guilty for never liking this guy. Well guilts gone.

At 3/14/2008 5:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

the next time this pseudo chef wants to ogle my fiancée at the Slanted Door in San Francisco, I will confront him. He chose to try and stare me down, luckily my adorable loving girl talked me out of going over to embarass him in front of the two young boys he was with. Nice plain white t-shirt dude! Tolan, hope you see through this player's charade.

At 3/15/2008 12:39 PM , Anonymous Alec Smart said...

Tyler Florence admiring good looking women in public ? In the company of two young boys ? Trying to stare you down ? Give me a break dude. I think you should be pleased he thought your woman was a looker.


At 3/15/2008 10:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alec Smart likes to use words like "dude" and "looker."

These are words that he learned while watching Miami Vice reruns in his mother's basement.

He recently purchased some pastel t-shirts and Don Johnson style blazers, which he models in front of the mirror with the sleeves rolled up. He lights a cigarette, takes a sip of Diet Dr. Pepper and stares at his reflection in the mirror.


At 3/16/2008 12:16 PM , Anonymous Alec Smart said...

You again I see. I thought I told you next time you came back you should craft a witty response, but alas, I see you don't have the ability. Whether I do live in Mum's basement or not, your posts are so unfunny and totally insignificant. HAH HAH AHAH Ok does that make you feel better? I laughed.
Unless you are the guy whose girlfriend had eyes for Florence.I can see why you have a dreary outlook. No fun having other guys cut your grass.

I do look forward to seeing more of your hilarious stuff though. Maybe you can offer up your name so credit can be given.

Gotta go. Spring festival in Enid today and I am going to look for chicks.

At 3/17/2008 10:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the 'Rocco Award' is meant in good fun, not actually maliciously? I say this b/c as the newest eppy of Top Chef that just aired showed, both Bourdain & Rocco DiSpirito (sp?) presided as guest judges. Both were on last season as well and seemed to be gracious & friendly with each other. Just a thot.

At 3/22/2008 10:42 AM , Anonymous Abs said...

PLEASE, PLEASE stop using the word Rachel Ray and Chef in the same sentence. She is not a chef and it pains me every time people see this word next to her name. In my opinion, she's barely a cook, but considering the definition of the word, she is. So cook, yes, chef, HELLS NO. And Tyler Florence may be a 'nice guy' but that doesn't mean he's great. Bourdain has a right to ridicule him. He's prob. not even close to living up to his talent. HIs show is KINDA cheesey and uninteresting (to me)... I never learn anything new.

At 7/15/2008 2:12 AM , Blogger dbmdjr said...

He is vulgar!
We never watch in,

At 11/12/2009 8:16 PM , Blogger joseph said...

God, I can't believe what arseholes respond to cooking show host articles. No one is interested in your psychotic reaction to your percieved attraction of Tyler for your wife, and this kind of personal hearsay crap is libelous and classless. He's not Jacques Pepin or James freaking Beard, he's just a guy who makes his living showing people how to enjoy ccoking basic stuff, and he's certainly wualified to do that. Get a life.

At 1/04/2012 9:23 PM , Blogger Diane said...

I always knew Tyler Florence was a douchebag! Even when I thought he was cute, I KNEW for a fact that he thought he was cute too. I sense considerably more humility and good humor from Bobby Flay and don't mind watching, say, "Brunch @ Bobby's" because of that. OTOH, Slick Willy over here disgusts me and I'm super happy this is showing off how stupid and full of himself he is.

(Besides, Chuck Hughes is way cuter and has a way more interesting life. Oh, and he's a much better chef and about a dozen years younger than sneery Tyler, so there!)


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