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The man with a van

American chef Tyler Florence talks about his new show, favourite kitchen gadget and more...

india Updated: Aug 22, 2010 02:09 IST

Celeb American chef Tyler Florence has drawn big audiences with shows such as How to Boil Water and Tyler’s Ultimate in the United States. And now, the popular chef is taking the kitchen on the road as the host of a new show The Great Food Truck Race, a competition that pits the staffs of culinary carts against each other in different cities, each week.

The team that rings up the highest dollar amount of burgers or crepe, advances to the next round and losers return without the $50,000 prize.What do you think is the reason why food trucks have become really popular in the recent years?

When the economy was falling apart, restaurants began closing like crazy, and many talented chefs lost their jobs. Then a lot of these chefs came up with a creative outlet for the craft and went from “four walls” to “four wheels”.

Are there any limitations cooking in a truck? There are zero limitations. The guys have come up with foods that are really phenomenal. Did the cities you visited embrace the food truck trend?

I was always blown away by how well cities took to these trucks. We rolled in with 30 cameras, and it was hard not to notice us. Food trucks may be the next incarnation of restaurants.

What’s your kitchen like at home? It’s pretty well-stocked. I have an amazing Viking range and fridge. A kitchen doesn’t have to be super-complicated to dish out good food.

You’re a father of three. Is there anything you cook that your children refuse to eat? There are a lot of things I make that my children won’t eat! If you assume that children only like hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza, you’re really shutting them off for a long time to what they will or won’t eat.

Do you have a favourite kitchen gadget? I have a collection of 150 chefs’ knives that I’ve been collecting my whole career. I proudly display them in a custom-made butcher block over my counter.

If you could cook one meal for the Obama family, what would it be? I would keep it really simple. I’d pull a lot out of their garden and focus on seasonality. They make an important effort to keep organics in their house. I would definitely cook something northern California-inspired.