Tyler Florence “Cooking Demo and Book Signing at Macy’s” Report

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I went to see my idol, celebrity chef, Tyler Florence at Macy’s Cellar at Union Square last night.

I’ve been a big Tyler fan for many years, since Food 911.  Given he moved to the Bay Area recently, I jumped at the opportunity to go see him in person.  And of course, sample some of his food! (Surprise!)

Tyler Florence’s genuine passion about food and willingness to share that is so refreshing. I knew that from his shows on Food TV, yet in this type of setting, it’s not edited. It’s real and more intimate. He’ a true educator and great marketer, I have to say. He’s so passionate about his food, cookware, various projects he’s doing, before you know it, you are convinced — big time. 

Before walking into Macy’s I swore to myself that I would NOT buy ANYthing, because I have hundreds of cookbooks and more than enough cookware in our small kitchen in our small house. If I did, my husband would kill me. Plus our budgets are tight this season. 

Well, before Tyler’s charm, especially right in front of me, that was no avail. He was asking the audience what they are cooking for Christmas, and freely giving advice.  
And his enthusiasm and excitement about his cookware easily convinced me to try this beautiful and flexible cookware that are light for its quality.  It’s optimized! I love anything optimized! This will optimize my cooking effort even more! Plus, he’s concerned about MY wrist when handling heavy pans, and developed cookware that are not too heavy. What a nice guy! (And may I add that he was smart enough to tell us to just to lift it up the sample pans as he closes the show.)

So, here’s the Video #1 Tyler explaining his cookware (About the heat resistent handles, oven-safe to 500F, etc.

Note: I was multi-tasking, trying to shoot a video, taking photo, and write notes at the same time. So they are a bit shaky. 

Video #2 Tyler explaining about his cookware, this one is about the weight and heat conductivity.

After that, food time!

He made three amazing dishes for us.  No meat dish, two seafood dishes and one vegetarian. They were all hearty, you feel you could cut meat from your diet completely, even in winter.

The first dish was Halibut with Buttered Turnip Puree, Beluga Lentils.

Aaahhhh, it was delicious. Halibut is my favorite fish to start with, yet with turnips and lentils with fennel (another favorite of mine)…  It was like match made in heaven!  I was so jealous of people who got to eat the fresh one made by Tyler.  Given my husband couldn’t make it, I need to make this at home soon.

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Video of Tyler plating the dish.

Then Crispy Calamari with smoked herb salt. His shared his secret is to use 3:1 flour and corn starch to keep the crispness, and use soda water. It was, indeed crispy, and I could have a lot more!

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The third was a beautiful vegetarian dish.  Ricotta Gnocchi with Chantrelle Mushrooms, Cavalo Nero (Black Cabbage) and Vera Fuso. (<– this spelling could be wrong. Basically, a sauce made of leftover pasta water.

The gnocchi were sautéed directly in the skillet, and looked super easy. It would be even better, when it’s hot (To save time to feed everyone, all the food was made in advance by the staff.) So I’d definitely make them later, and experiment with this leftover pasta water sauce for sure.

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Even just looking at these photos makes me hungry!

We also got a surprised visit by his son Hayden and wife Tolan. He even showed us how to cook by “Stirring the pot”.  What a cute family!

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So did I buy anything, you may ask.

YES… As Tyler suggested, I lifted up a beautiful wok on the display.  It was actually light, and its graceful line and beautiful shine (and Tyler’s comments, of course) convinced me that this will make a better fried rice. I have had 2 woks since I came to the US, but for some reason, I just can’t make decent fried rice any more, even though I was able to in Japan. My NEED to experiment and prove that I can again, forced me to put the credit card down at the cashier…  Oh well…  Because of that purchase, I got to talk with him in person and take a photo. So it was totally worth it!

Plus, I know if I make good dishes with it, my husband will forgive me.

And of course, count on me for a post or two when I make these dishes. (Can’t guarantee if it’s exactly the same, because we didn’t get detailed recipe, plus I couldn’t see too well, but it’d be still fun!)

So who’s your favorite celebrity chef, and why do you like him/her?  Leave me a comment!

Like Tyler signed on my book, Keep on Cooking!

PS: If you want to find out an event like this, become a fan of Kitchen Wizard on Facebook. I post these events notifications on it.

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