TYLER FLORENCE is a Food Network star and one of America’s brightest culinary voices. He is the author of 12 cookbooks and is a regular guest on the Today show, The View and CNN. The chef-owner of Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco, El Paseo in Mill Valley, and Tyler Florence Fresh at the San Francisco airport, he also produces his own wine label, called California Crush; the Sprout line of organic baby foods; and housewares that are available at the Tyler Florence Shop in Mill Valley and nationwide. In 2014 Tyler was nominated by the James Beard Foundation in the Best Chef category. He lives in California with his family.
Q: What inspired you to pursue a cooking career?
A: When I was 15, I really wanted a car. My parents told me I would have to get a job and save my money if I wanted something. My girlfriend's parents owned the nicest restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina. I started as a dishwasher but fell in love with the energy of the kitchen. The chef was French and the menu was mostly seafood. I moved from the dish station to prep and then working on the line fairly quickly. It was the first thing I was ever really good at. At that moment, I knew I wanted to be a chef for the rest of my life.