Kevin Tyler Florence was born on March 3, 1971 in Greenville, South Carolina. Chef Tyler Florence is the bestselling author of eight books, including a children's book (Tyler Makes Pancakes!). He has hosted various Food Network shows, including Food 911, How to Boil Water, Tyler's Ultimate and The Great Food Truck Race. He has also co-founded a line of organic baby food, and opened several restaurants and kitchen supply stores in Northern California. He lives with his wife and children in Mill Valley, California.
Born as Kevin Tyler Florence on March 3, 1971 in Greenville, South Carolina, Tyler Florence started working in restaurants busing tables when he was 15. "I was 15, washing dishes at a restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina," Florence told Travel and Leisure magazine. "The chef was a god to me: He drove a Harley, and women stopped by to see him every night. I thought, that's what I want to do." A trip to Paris at age 19 further broadened Florence's culinary horizons.
After graduating from the culinary program at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina, Florence moved to New York City, where he lived for a number of years. There, he worked for celebrated chefs Charlie Palmer at Aureole, Marta Pulini at Mad 61 and Rick Laakonen.
Renowned Chef/TV Personality
In 1998, Florence ventured out on his own, becoming executive chef of Cibo before eventually opening up Cafeteria in Manhattan's trendy Chelsea neighborhood. It was a big success, which led to various guest appearances on Food Network. A year later, Florence was signed to host the cable network's Food 911. The handsome chef went on to host How to Boil Water, Tyler's Ultimate, The Great Food Truck Race and various other Food Network specials.
In 2003, People magazine named Florence the "sexiest chef alive." The following year, at the Sundance Film Festival, Florence met his future wife, Tolan Clark, who worked in public relations for chefs Wolfgang Puck and Rocco DiSpirito. They married two years later, and then moved to California, Tolan's home state, when she became pregnant with their first child. Florence already had a son, Miles, with first wife Christie Leer.
Florence prides himself on being an all-American cook who embraces simple flavors and fresh ingredients. His 2006 book, Tyler's Ultimate: Brilliant Simple Food to Make Any Time, encourages people to make every meal a special occasion with friends and family. In 2008, he opened his first kitchen retail shop, The Tyler Florence Shop, and published the bestselling books Stirring the Pot and Dinner at My Place. The following year, he launched signature lines of cooking and cutlery.
In June 2010, Florence opened his first signature restaurant, Wayfare Tavern, in San Francisco's Financial District. That same year, with musician Sammy Hagar, he opened Rotisserie & Wine in Napa and El Paseo in Mill Valley. He also owns a chain of kitchen retail stores, Tyler Florence Shop, in Northern California, and co-owns a line of organic baby and toddler food called Sprout.
In 2011, in an effort to inspire parents to cook fresh food for their children, Tyler wrote the book Start Fresh: Your Child's Jump Start to Lifelong Healthy Eating. "Cooking for my children means more than just going through the motions of getting dinner on the table. It's about forging the foundation for a healthy relationship with food that will last for the rest of their lives," Florence writes in the book. The following year, he wrote a children's book, Tyler Makes Pancakes!.
Florence lives in Mill Valley, California with his wife, Tolan Clark, and three children.
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