#TBT: Tyler Florence by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, October 10th, 2013
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It’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.
In his latest two series, The Great Food Truck Race and Food Court Wars, Tyler’s shining the spotlight on two relatively young culinary trends: mobile eateries and food court dining. But before he was traveling coast-to-coast with food truck rookies or helping aspiring entrepreneurs launch their own shopping mall restaurant, he was teaching kitchen basics on How to Boil Water and rescuing home cooks on Food 911, two of Food Network’s earliest programs.
Premiering in the early 1990s, How to Boil Water was originally hosted by Emeril Lagasse, but eventually Tyler took over, and soon he was the “teacher” advising his co-host, Jack Hourigan, on how to make classic favorites like Teriyaki Chicken Wings and Scalloped Potato Gratin. He introduced seemingly difficult cooking techniques with ease and made the kitchen approachable for novice chefs, something he continued to do when he took his passion for teaching into viewers’ homes on Food 911.
With Tyler’s guidance and his go-to recipes for dishes like Spaghetti alla Carbonara and Chicken Enchiladas, everyday home cooks served from-scratch meals in their own homes on Food 911, and they were left with just a bit more kitchen confidence, thanks to him.
Tyler’s signature recipes soon led to what is perhaps his best-known show, Tyler’s Ultimate, wherein he offers step-by-step how-tos for creating the most timeless, tried-and-true versions of countless dishes. Among some of the most popular dishes are his five-star Caesar Salad and A Gooey, Decadent Chocolate Cake, fit for a celebration and casual entertaining alike.