TylerFlorence Fresh: "The Anatomy of Flavor, One Simple Idea", Authors at Google

Uploaded by AtGoogleTalks on 21.12.2012


LIV WU: Hi everybody, I am delighted to
welcome Tyler Florence.
It's lovely to have you here, so inspiring to share food
with you at lunchtime and hear you talk about it.
TYLER FLORENCE: Thank you very much, Liv, I'm so happy to be
here, guys, how you doing?
LIV WU: I love how sensory the book is, the photographs,
they're just--
no clutter, just food.
TYLER FLORENCE: That is the idea behind "Fresh," which is
just clean, simple delicious recipes, that are kind of
innovative in a sense, and when you take a look at
recipes that are so vibrant, especially because we all live
in California, so you guys will get it.
Clearly, that there's so much incredible flavor to be had
and nutrition behind that, so it's not
about a bowl of salad.
It's about creating a spectrum of nutrients and taking those
ingredients and then doing really crazy
fun things with them.
And that's what I like about food and that's what I like
about cooking.
And that's what I wrote about in this book.
LIV WU: And in fact, people think there's the divide.
There's healthy food and then there's gorgeous food.
But in fact what you're talking about, nutrient
density, is flavor, right?
That's what winemakers talk about.
TYLER FLORENCE: I'm actually a winemaker as well.
I've been making wine with Michael Mondavi in Napa, and
what we harvested this year is our fifth season.
And it's really kind of paying attention to nature.
It was a fabulous harvest, by the way.
2011 was kind of a disaster, just because it was so cold
and foggy up in wine country, but this year it was sort of
the classic storybook kind of cartoonish California summer.
Just long, like lovely warm days, kind of cool foggy
nights, and produced just a bumper crop of sauv blanc,
pinot, of zin, of cab.
Not just quantity but also quality, so it was a really
amazing season.
And when we blend the wine, and we won 13 medals in three
seasons out.
And I think our scores are speaking volumes of our
passion for the product so we don't have to scream
so loud about it.
And I really, really love what we're doing.
And when you get a chance to kind of concentrate flavors,
and take it from a very, very natural focus, so it's about
taking the idea of a carrot.
If you guys get a chance to eat in the cafeteria earlier,
like the idea of albacore tuna with confit carrots and a
carrot puree on top of that, so you're taking the same
ingredient and kind of using it in a couple different ways.
So you're having lunch, but you're also eating 1,000
milligrams of vitamin C. I think that's kind of
Because that's what it should be, that's
what food should be.
So it's not about the idea of gluttony, it's about taking
smart ingredients and just doing something very
compelling with it.
So when you walk out of that, you don't have the meat
sweats, you actually feel invigorated.
You shouldn't get the meat sweats eating lunch.

I know you guys work 80 hours a week like I do, so I'm sure
sometimes you've got to make do.
The book is about taking one step closer to hopefully
everybody that reads the book, that we can have a
conversation together about health and nutrition and what
you put your body on a daily basis.
And hopefully you can take that information and have a
conversation with somebody else about it.
LIV WU: And you started telling me earlier, this path
is taking you to having your own farm that
supplies you with--
TYLER FLORENCE: Yeah, well to me, in our restaurant, have
you guys been to our restaurant?
In San Francisco, Wayfare Tavern?
Have you guys been up there?
It's good, you like it?
It's good, right?
I think we're getting better, thank you, thank you.

Well it was OK, service was a little slow.
My fried chicken wasn't as hot as it was last time.
But we're actually thinking about, kind of getting,
making, closing the gaps between what we serve and
where we get it.
I have three restaurants in the Bay Area, and we spend a
ton of money on produce.
And a lot of things you don't necessarily get a ton of value
of that money just because there's only a few pipelines
to kind of get those particular products.
So if it's micro greens that are bused in from Ohio, and
it's $15 a clamshell, and you get 50% usage out of that,
just because it's been on the road for 48 hours
and picked 72 hours.
And then, you take that and add it up over the year.
It's the money that we're, we could be getting value out of,
vs. money we're spending.
So we're actually looking at some property, I think
tomorrow and definitely next week when I get back.
But we're actually looking at either buying a farm or
leasing a farm, and actually growing our own produce for
our own restaurants.
Because we spend the money anyway.
So instead of having the same cool little micro green that
you see on every single restaurant in town, because
people kind of get on--
when the catalogs come out, from like, little micro green
companies, everybody jumps on like hearts on fire sorrel.
You kind of see it over the place.
And we want to start-- we want to be able to plan our own
thing and really think it through.
So, clearly you can't make a phone call, you've got to plan
the seasons out.
But we're really excited about that.
And just to have that story, just a little closer.
Between, by the time you get it on your plate, and where it
came from, it's a very small circle
LIV WU: It really aligns with our values on
the food team here.
And going back to nutrition, when it travels less there's
more nutrition retained.
And also, you kind of keep your money in a tighter
circle, too.
I'd much rather invest in a family that take care of our
restaurants and what we serve, than necessarily just write a
check to a company.
Not that we don't get value from the company, but I just
think, again, just trying to get one step
closer to the truth.
And that's what we always want to do, which is get one step
closer to purity and clarity and focus and flavor.
And that to me is just growing it yourself.
LIV WU: And same philosophy to seafood, right?
You were saying earlier, love the anchovies, the sardines,
they need to get sexy, right?
As much as ahi tuna.
So if you get a chance to read, flip through "Fresh,"
there's very interesting stories.
And one story that I wrote, it's quick little stories,
it's about eating on what they call the trophic scale.
And the trophic scale is basically the food system.
So the kings of trophic scale are predators.
So it's tuna, and shark, and things like that.
And things at the bottom of the trophic scale are things
like sardines, and anchovies, and then you get into plankton
and phytoplankton, things like that.
But if you can eat things from a little more diversified, so
it's not so much things at the top of the trophic scale,
because they have to consume--
they consume the entire ecosystem on the way up.
So it's a little fish that gets eaten by the bigger fish,
and a bigger fish, and a bigger fish, and then you
catch that biggest fish.
From a calorie standpoint, that thing consumes 10 times
the calories that it'll ever give you from a nutrient
So that is not sustainable.
That is 180 degrees from sustainability.
So what we have to eat are things that have a shorter
life span, that reproduce quicker, like octopus for a
second, you guys like octopus?
So if you see octopus, octopus is certainly something that
you're probably not going to find in a grocery store.
But if you get it in a restaurant, especially if it's
local, there's amazing octopus up and down the Pacific coast.
The octopus only live about a year, and they reproduce in
six months.
And they consume such a minute amount of the environment, and
the way they're fished, with basically a bucket and a
string, there's zero impact on anything.
And they're loaded with omega 3s.
And there's like virtually zero mercury.
So my point is, if you can eat, make a decision, and make
anchovies sexy, and make sardines sexy.
Almost like a Mediterranean culture.
Every time I go to Greece, or go to Spain, that's all we eat
are like small oily fish.
And I love it, it's so delicious.
You're actually doing the environment a gigantic favor
because that product gets caught, and then about 90% of
it either gets turned into fish food that feeds farmed
fish, or it gets turned into bait to catch other fish.
There are enough calories to feed the planet, hands down.
We're just not using it in an efficient way.
There's plenty of food, but we're just not using it.
We're throwing most of it out.
LIV WU: That saying, eating salmon is like eating tiger.
It's that high on the food chain.

The salmon, to me, is another thing which I think is really
kind of fascinating, because everybody sees the demise of
the California salmon as something that's sort of a
recent phenomenon.
But there's been a steady decline since like the 1860s.
As populations moved west and started building whale towns,
up and down the Pacific Northwest, and then started
building dams, we've been killing
salmon for a long time.
It was a vital resource that now is starting to affect a
much, much deeper part of the ecosystem and that's what's
called biomass.
So when salmon do their last, most valuable thing on the
planet, that's reproduce, their bodies just die, because
it's the last thing they do.
And as the carcasses start to fold into the soil, that is
the reason that Sequoia trees are where they are, if you
really think about it.
Because they'll swim up through the inter-coastal
waterways and up in through the estuaries.
And when they die, they feed the trees.
So the mighty redwoods of the Pacific Northwest, and
starting in about California up to Oregon, that is there
because the salmon population was there.
And if you start to take that away, what's the
other side of it?
Because there's not that much fuel for them
necessarily to eat.
It's a very interesting thing, and
everything inside the book--
I tell people this all the time, it's very Google-able.

You can look up every single thing in the book and
it's all the truth.
So it's not just about recipes, it's food, but it's
also food for thought.
And there's a lot of different things that you can do, every
single day with your wallet and your dollar.
Because you're a lot more powerful than you think you
are, even with social media, because you can just turn
people on to very, very interesting things just by
suggesting them.
And when you do the right thing, it's like dropping a
rock in the water, and you watch the rings
sort of circle out.
That is where we all stand right now, because we're all
very, very powerful.
And as social media becomes accessible to everybody, and
one person that has a smart blog, and a lot of followers
on Twitter, or whatever, they are just as influential as
newspapers, as major news sources.
So we're all very powerful people, and I think it's so
LIV WU: So your journey through being a young cook,
and television shows, and books, and then this
connectedness to nature and the chain of life, is that a
path that you think, you and I have taken, but do most young
cooks take, who are in the profession?
TYLER FLORENCE: It's an exciting time to be a chef.
And it's an exciting time to be a young chef, because I
think there's a lot of very accessible, attainable
And there was a beef, I don't know if you guys follow this
stuff or not, but David Chang is a big
chef in New York City.
He took a very, very publicized swipe at chefs in
California and San Francisco.
He said the most difficult thing a chef in San Francisco
has to do is go shopping.

You know what I'm talking about, right?
I think the most difficult thing that any chef can do is
go shopping.
Because if you just blindly make a phone call and say, I
need carrots, I need tomatoes, and it just shows up, versus
actually taking time to carefully plan out your menu.
To try to source the best thing from the best guy is
incredibly important.
LIV WU: And we add to the taste when it comes in.
TYLER FLORENCE: Because the taste, it's all the difference
in the world.
So the holy grail of California cooking is all
about the produce here.
I lived in York City for 14 years, and when I moved out to
California in 2006, it was one of those things to me, it was
probably the most important moment in my culinary career
is when I started to dive into the California food scene and
how amazing thing taste.
It's the difference between a Georgia peach and a California
dry farm peach.
You can't compare the two.
So a Georgia peach, and there's no disrespect to
Georgia peach farmers, because I grew up in the south, so I
grew up on a lot of--
I was raised on Georgia peaches.
Because of the ample rainfall that happens in the American
Southeast throughout the summer, these peaches are just
really, really dense and heavy and they're filled with water.
And water is just sort of a flabby flavor.
Where California peaches, because the way the weather
cycles throughout the season--
like right now, we're about to sort of get our rain for the
year, and the grounds just get
completely soaked and saturated.
And then throughout the summer, it doesn't rain for
120 days, 180 days.
And so through that growth cycle, the trees themselves--
and it's the oldest irrigation plan on earth, and
Mediterranean olives have been grown this way, and grape
vines have been grown this way.
So as the plants really have to stress and find the
moisture, and deepen their roots system, they're going to
pull minerality out of the ground as well as water.
And so they get these really big beautiful wide leaves, so
they're getting energy through the sun, through
And they're getting their nutrients, and they get the
minerality through the proper channels, not just rainfall.
So you'll get this big, dense, juicy peach, but instead of
just like you bite into it and it explodes with water, which
is a really juicy peach, it's fun.
But it can't touch the flavor of a California apricot or a
California peach.
LIV WU: You are so sounding like a wine grower.
TYLER FLORENCE: You just can't touch it.
You bite into, like a California peach and it's ripe
in season--
I mean, it's like, a Frog Hollow peach, is just to me
like one of the--
I so look forward to the season, and the first one, I
start to well up a little bit.
Because it's just, that is the definition of a peach.
And it's so fantastic.
So to me, to answer your question, to be a young chef
right now, with so much information at your
fingertips, and also how chefs trade information back and
forth at lightning speed through Instagram and through
Twitter, is really transforming and hitting the
gas on how we share information and how fast
trends can swipe across the country.
So the old model of sharing ideas from a culinary
standpoint, I would have to get on a plane, and fly to a
city, and eat in this guy's restaurant, and take pictures
and take notes to kind of get the idea of
what it's all about.
And now, I see what these people post as specials every
single night.
So to me, like I follow-- if you guys follow me on
Instagram and then kind of dig through who I follow, I follow
some pretty interesting people.
And probably some chefs you haven't heard of yet.
But it's so inspiring to watch creativity just
unfold at real time.
It's a very interesting time to be a chef, because the
curve, it used to be a big curve.
You had to like fill up your passport, and travel, and
taste, and I always recommend that, because you can't
replace that.
You can't replace the authentic.
But you can certainly get a very, very clear idea of what
the authentic looks like, just by sharing images and video
through social media.
LIV WU: Wonderful.
Really passionate stuff, thank you.
TYLER FLORENCE: I love what I do, I really do.
LIV WU: I'm going to change directions a little bit.
You were in the studio 16 years ago with your first
show, "Cooking", with real life people.
Have we changed?
Are we cooking less?
I'm afraid to ask.
Or are we maybe be cooking more because of social media
because of the Food Network.
TYLER FLORENCE: I think, so I started in 1996.
I was a guest chef on a show called "In Food Today" and it
was hosted by David Rosengarten.
I don't know if you guys know who this guy is.
He had a show called "Good Taste"?
He was kind of a nerdy guy.
I don't know if David's going to see this or not.
I think he'd tell himself he's kind of a nerdy guy.
But anyway, he wore a tie, he was very--
you know what I'm talking about?
David Rosengarten?
He hosted the show.
So I was 25 years old and I was executive chef at
restaurant called Cibo, C-I-B-O, in New York City,
sort of on the cusps of Tudor City, on 41st and 2nd.
It was Italian, but it was definitely sort of new
American Italian.
And one of the producers from Food Network stumbled into the
restaurant, and I was out walking around saying hi to
people, and handing me their card, and said
listen, call me.
We'd love to have you on this new cooking show.
It was only in like New York, and Chicago and Los Angeles.
It wasn't really coast to coast yet.
And I hosted one show, and I mumbled and stuttered my way
through four and a half minutes.
And I didn't know one person could sweat that much in four
minutes, but apparently it's possible.
And I thought I'd bombed it, but the executive producer
walked down and said, that was fantastic, can you
come back next week?
So between '96 and '99, I hosted probably 50 or 60
different guest appearances.
And I was almost on television every day anyway.
And then in 1999, probably when a lot of you were just
starting college, I hosted a show called "Food 911".
It's true.
So I host a show called "Food 911," and it was a show where
I traveled around the country and I helped people out with
their everyday food emergencies.
So you call 9-1-1, the cops show up, and you call "Food
911" and I show up.
We shot that show for about five years, and I think we
shot 150 episodes a year.
I mean, it was a super aggressive schedule.
But what I got a chance to do was really sort of down gear
and down shift how I related to people.
Because a lot of chefs are kind of like cops.
They kind of speak this code, and they kind of live this
life that only other cops can understand, so you speak cop
talk, and chefs kind of speak chef talk to each other.
So I had to sort of like shift gears, and rethink how I
approached cooking and how I approached the conversation of
cooking of just really civilian.
Just real, real life people who never went to culinary
school, don't know what the five mother sauces are, don't
care what the five mother sauces are, they're never
going to make a chicken stock from scratch.
So I had to sort of, kind of like regroup.
So it wasn't so much about my idea of what their
food was all about.
But really just trying to fix their thing.
Don't hit it over their head.
Just kind of give them what they want.
Like literally, like my tuna noodle casserole is terrible.
And I'd walk into it, I'm like, you're kind of right.
But let's fix your tuna noodle casserole, because
that's all she wants.
So we just kind of went through the steps, OK here's
how you can correct this, here's how you can under cook
this but cook it correctly at the last minute.
And we would take her recipe and fix it, with her
ingredients, in her kitchen, and her stuff.
And it was awesome.
It was awesome, because and then occasionally we did fun
stuff like creme brulee, and we shot so many episodes.
And it was the first chef on the Food Network to not wear a
chef coat, and it was the first to show to
go out of the studio.
And to me it was so compelling because the Network was very
chef driven, very New York City chef driven.
And now the conversation is completely wide open, and if
you watch the Food Network now, there's somebody on the
network that speaks your language.
And not every chef is for everybody, and not every host
is for everybody, but you're going to find somebody who's
compelling on the network, and I think that's really
And recently, two, three years ago, Food Network went through
what I call cell division, where they split off between
Food Network and now the Cooking Channel.
And it's very similar to what happened with MTV when they
realized, wow, we could actually make a lot more money
by just playing "The Real World" over and over and over
again, and these music videos of what we used to do, we're
going to put those over on MTV2.
And so Food Network is now--
again, you're always kind of giving people what they want,
and people really like to watch culinary competitions.
So that's where, so once you get past around 12 o'clock,
you're going to see culinary competitions.
There's going to be two people in a room, cooking something,
best man wins, all day long.
All day long.
Cupcakes, barbecue, you name it.
And it's a lot of fun.
So I only host a show called "The Great Food Truck Race,"
which I think is a lot of fun, because it's a rock and roll
business show.
"Fortune Magazine" wrote an article on their online
version, and it was entitled the 10 things a startup can
learn from "The Great Food Truck Race." It's all solid
business practices.
It's all solid points.
And that's what I really like about the show, because we get
a chance to hang out with young hungry entrepreneurs who
really want to get into the restaurant business.
And I have sort of traditional models in restaurants.
I raised $4 million, I went through two years of red tape,
of bureaucracy to get the restaurant open.
And with that, the statistics for failure are enormous.
9 out of 10 restaurants will fail in the first year.
And that is a huge risk, but that one restaurant is going
to be really, really great.
So the bar has been dropped to a more approachable stance
with "The Great--," with food trucks, because a guy with an
idea, I want to do creme brulee, I want to do tacos, I
want to do crepes, I want to do grilled cheese sandwiches,
I want to do burgers, I want to do Korean tacos, I want to
do ribs, I want to do chicken wings.
There's like, such a diverse menu, which is so interesting
and every city in America is starting to really develop a
food truck culture.
I think, I had this idea this season, this is why I really
love the show and I think it's very important, because it's
now the new answer to American fast food.
It's the new answer to American fast food.
It's $6, where would you rather spend it?
I mean, would you rather give it to the clown, or would you
rather give it to some local, hard working entrepreneur who
just got the stuff at the farmer's market.
You know it's organic, you're going to look him in the eye
every day, and he's going to make you a fantastic meal.
When these trucks kind of get together at night, and the
thing called Off The Grid in San Francisco, which is
awesome, it creates its own festival, it
makes its own gravy.
And so that to me is really, really compelling, to get back
to your answer.
I think we're cooking a lot more than we used to cook.
I think we're on the dawn of enlightenment, that we truly
understand that we are what we eat.
We're all machines, we're all animals, and we need high
quality fuel to operate at a high level.
Your brain has no clue what a calorie is.
Your brain could care less what a calorie is.
Your body is satiated by nutrients, not caloric intake.
Your brain could care less.
The higher quality of food you put in your body, the less of
it you're going to eat.
Because your brain is going, cool, I'm good.
The meter is full.
The poorer quality food you're going to eat, the more that
you have to eat before your brain says you're full.
You have to eat a lot of it, before you brain says cool,
I've had enough.
So we have been starving ourselves, not from gluttony
and eating, but from nutrients.
We are starved from nutrients.
We're eating such poor quality food, mass produced food,
loaded with high fructose corn syrup, that
your body cannot process.
Your stomach can't process it.
It gets processed in your liver as if it were alcohol.
So you see adults with beer bellies, and you see kids with
soda bellies.
So you have to ask yourself a question.
The old PR slap is that organics are expensive, but
I'm asking you what's more expensive?
Healthy fresh produce, or obesity and diabetes?
Because that's exactly what the other side of the spectrum
looks like.
We're fat, we're sick, and we got to do something about it.
So I think we're at the dawn of enlightenment, finally
understanding that you are what you eat.
You put high quality food in your body--
I was talking to a woman the other night, I'm, you know,
two week book tour across the country.
And this woman said to me she switched, she stopped eating
processed food completely, and started eating 100% organics.
I get teared up thinking about it.
She lost 40 pounds, 40 pounds in a year.
And her doctor took her off high blood pressure medication
for the first time in 20 years.
You can heal yourself through food.
You eat really good quality food, and you're going to lose
weight, you're you going to sleep better, you're going to
process, you're going to live longer.
So we are cooking more, we're cooking better food.
No one cares about you more than you.
These fast food, these companies could care less
about your health.
If you get cancer, that's your problem.
But they are happy to sell you stuff, they
just want your money.
The same thing with like big oil, they don't care if they
melt the planet down.
They don't care.
They just want you to fill your gas tank up, for
hopefully another 10 years.
That's what they want.
So it's up to you, and you in protecting your health and
your family.
And it's got to be 100% organics, or
you can't trust it.
You just can't trust it.
It's got to be good high quality food, because
you're worth it.
You're worth it to yourself.
And what I like about the books, it's not so much about
delivering just like fancy chef recipes.
When I dream of food, this is what looks like, it's
explosive, it's vibrant.
But once you dive into it, it's about nutrition.
It is about putting quality nutrition in your body, it's
not about putting food in your face.
LIV WU: Beautifully said, thank you.
That's wonderful.

TYLER FLORENCE: I'm real excited about this.
I'm really passionate about it.
Because to me like--
I fly, I travel, like you guys travel, I'm sure.
And you fly through Chicago, you fly through Atlanta, you
fly through Dallas, and like my god, like we are evolving
as people but it's not-- we're not evolving for the better.
We're heavy.
And you know what I'm talking about, and it's really--
I feel so bad for these people.
Because they drink, they drink soda.
And they drink Coke, and they drink these things that, you
know if you drink one Coke a day, one Coke a day, you put
on 15 pounds in a year.
And also, high fructose corn syrup blocks a hormone in your
body called Leptin, and it blocks the signal where your
brain tells you that you're full.
I mean, this is how food is manipulated.
I want you drink more of it, I'm going to put salt in it,
I'm going to create a chemical that's going to shut your
brain off from telling you've had enough, and I'm going to
make it salty, and I'm going to make you drink a lot of it.
It's going to cost me $0.10 for every 16 ounces to make,
I'm going to sell it to you for $6.

LIV WU: And a can of Coke is about two cases of broccoli,
and you eat 1/10 of that case and you're completely full.
TYLER FLORENCE: You're completely full.
And this is my point.
It's about making decision that you are going to put
fresh food first in your life.
It's about making that clear, honest, decision that healthy
is the way to go.
I want you to think about that, and I want to have a
conversation with somebody else in your life.
Because we all know somebody that probably needs to have
that conversation with.
And then do something about it.
It's like when people--

we've all been convinced that we don't know how to feed
ourselves anymore.
We've all been convinced.
But I think this generation, like us, I
think we know better.
I think it's our turn to stop the turnstile of just bad
information, and poor eating habits, and just empty
calories and blindly eating things that aren't organic,
and you don't know where they come from.
And we just insist on transparency.
That's the new thing about social media, it's the new
thing about so much information being accessible,
it's about transparency.
Like I said, everything in this book is Google-able.
You can search up yourself and you can find the same
LIV WU: So I'm sure people have a lot of questions, but
I'll turn it over to let you ask your one question to the
engineers and your request to the engineers in the audience.
TYLER FLORENCE: So we were just talking
about Google+ earlier.
How many team members are working on Google+ in here?
So this is going to the guy in the back.
This is really kind of interesting.
Because I just signed on with Google+, so I'm trying to
figure out how to make that work.
Because now I manage my Twitter feed, my Facebook
feed, my Tumblr feed, my Instagram feed,
and now my G+ feed.
I manage like five social media sites off my phone.
And it's kind of clumsy.
So to me, I think instead of trying to get into that bloody
pool of sharks to compete with that social thing, you should
create a platform that exists at 10,000 feet, so people can
manage everything else below them.
So that to me is probably the smartest position that you
guys can take, instead of just trying to think through, OK
how can I get another group of people that want to go after
fans and likers and that kind of stuff.
Because I mean, it just, after a while, it's
like, I don't really--
you kind of put things in priority.
My Twitter account, I have a half a million people
following me on Twitter.
That is a little more important than my Facebook,
because I've been tapped at 5,000, and I
don't really know them.
You know what I mean?
So I look at their pictures of their kids and stuff, and on
vacation, and I don't know them.
We're friends,
I mean are we friends?
I mean really, we're friends?
I mean, I don't know.
I don't know you.
I answer your question a couple times a year, but I
don't know you.
So anyway, it might be a smart position to take, to not go
here but go here.
And let people-- because they still have their connection,
they've got a big investment in Facebook, because that's
where the grandparents see the picture of the grandkids.
And they've got a big connection through Twitter,
because I don't really watch live TV anymore.
Do you guys watch live TV?
And isn't it amazing?
And this is a generational thing, too because as I travel
around, and kind of talk to people, my parents' generation
still love to watch television.
But my generation, I watch my DVR.
I love "Homeland." I love "Boardwalk Empire." And other
than a live sporting event, I don't really
watch live TV for anything.
It's about how I extract information out of the world,
I don't turn the television on to get news
anymore, I just scroll--
I just go through my Twitter feed.
And it's got national news, it's got local news, it's got
traffic news, it's got weather news.
It's got people I follow, like Drunk Hulk I think, I don't
know if you guys follow him.
He's a funny guy.
You should follow him on Twitter.
He's angry, and he's had a lot to drink.
And he talks in all caps.
Drunk Hulk.
Check him out.
But how we extract information I think is really great.
So people have a lot of investment--
I've been on Twitter since 2008, and it's taken me a long
time to kind of get a half million people together.
So I would never dump that with a preference to something
else because I appreciate those
relationships that I have.
I have different relationships with people on Instagram than
I have on Twitter.
So it's almost like a different circle, and that's
always been Google's philosophy, about having
different circles of people and how they cross over.
But it's not so much about that, as it is creating a
platform that exists above it all.
So you can go in to one place and kind of manage everybody
That's the missing thing.
So it's all about the consolidation.
So as Twitter and Facebook consolidated the internet--
because before that, it was just a big
gigantic phone book.
So now that consolidation's been fragmented, now another
consolidation of those fragmented consolidations
needs to happen.
So I think that's a very interesting position to take.
LIV WU: OK, heard.
There's a mic over here, if you have questions for Tyler.
AUDIENCE: You're a person of a lot of power, with the skills
that you have, the platform that you have, and the
connections that you have.
And you also talk about wanting to create something
sustainable, and being able to kind of restore this world to
the way it used to be.
Or, to good.
How are you using that power--
like you talk about making anchovies and sardines sexy--
how are you doing that?
TYLER FLORENCE: You know what?
To me, like what I'm doing, you and I having a
conversation right now.
So that's what I'm doing something about.
I wrote a book called "Tyler Florence Fresh," and I think
there's so much great information.
You ask me what I'm doing about it, like
I'm writing a book.
It's not so much about the book because honestly, like as
far as what I do to make money, I don't make any money
writing books.
But I do think it's a really powerful way for us to have a
LIV WU: There's a chapter on anchovies.
A whole chapter.
TYLER FLORENCE: That's what I'm saying.
I can read from the book if you would like.
AUDIENCE: And then one last question.
Where does the chicken from Wayfare Tavern come from?
TYLER FLORENCE: Where does--
the chicken?
It comes from Mary's Farm.
It's organic, air dried, air chilled
chicken, from Petaluma.
It's fabulous stuff.
We actually buy so much chicken that we
dictate their feed.
And it's really, really delicious stuff.
DEREK: Hey Tyler, my name is Derek.
TYLER FLORENCE: Everybody say hi to Derek.
DEREK: I've always been a fan of "Tyler's Ultimate." So I
still have the spaghetti and meatballs recipe in my head.
Beef, veal and pork.
TYLER FLORENCE: Thank you so much, man.
I appreciate it.
DEREK: So one quick question and then just one
really quick question.
You've obviously been very successful, you've done a lot
of TV shows, done a lot of restaurants,
done your own stores.
Just for a takeaway for us, as more engineers or people
working at Google, what's one kind of trait or quality that
you've really discovered going through all this, that's
really key to kind of being successful as a leader, being
successful as a colleague, a coworker and as a peer to the
people you work with every day?
I'm just curious what's the kind of one thing
that sticks with you?
TYLER FLORENCE: I think you've got to be honest.
I think you got to be honest.
You got to say the right thing, I think you ought to
listen to people, and I think you got to
tell people the truth.
I think you got to be honest.
I think that is to me--
like when we make our wine, I want to make a very honest,
pure product.
When people come in our restaurants, I want to have a
very authentic experience.
When I write my book, I want to tell you like from my
perspective, what I think is just the best.
Easiest, quickest, cleanest, clearest, most delicious thing
you can make.
And I think you've got to be able to talk to people and
answer them, give them very honest answers.
I think that's the most important thing ever is
honesty and transparency.
DEREK: Awesome.
And a quick question, I know you probably get asked this a
lot, but I've heard it asked to other chefs.
Last meal you could ever have, you're going to be off this
planet tomorrow, you have one option.
What is it?
TYLER FLORENCE: So it's all about the pendulum swing, you
understand this, right?
So if you like chocolate, you have to like
your running shoes.
You have to.
And to me, like I think the last thing I taste, I really
want it to be the first thing I ever tasted.
And to me, like the rootsy, authentic American cooking
from the American South, the heritage cooking is probably
the last thing I want to taste.
So somewhere between like, fried chicken and collard
greens and barbecue and grits.
Maybe one plate of that.
I think I would be very, very happy.
DEREK: Thank you.
PHIL: Hi Tyler.
Thanks for coming to talk to us.
What's your name?
PHIL: Phil.
TYLER FLORENCE: Everybody say hi to Phil.
PHIL: So you seem pretty positive about food trucks,
and food truck culture, and that's something I agree with.
So do you think, like we have enough food trucks?
You mentioned that they're a viable
alternative to fast food?
TYLER FLORENCE: Have we had enough food trucks?
PHIL: Do we have enough serving San Francisco and
serving metro areas?
TYLER FLORENCE: I don't know, I don't know where the ceiling
is for that as a business model.
But it's very compelling.
So "The Great Food Truck Race," we didn't invent food
trucks, but we've gassed the industry so much, that we
created two separate fires, if you will.
We've created a show that shows how doable it is.
Not saying it's easy, but how doable it is, from an
operations standpoint, that you can own a food truck.
So the old business model of putting in $4 million and
going through two years construction and that kind of
stuff, and the failure rate is very, very high.
But a food truck, you can lease a truck, have it
skinned, get a business license, get a health
inspection, go to Costco and buy some food, or go to like a
local farmer's market and buy some food, and you can be in
business next week and for like $10,000.
So that's about lowering the bar, and making it more
accessible to everybody.
The other fire that we created is really about creating a fan
base for the genre.
So when we shot Season One of "The Great Food Truck Race,"
nobody knew what the show was all about.
So we would drive through these like little towns in
Tennessee and they were like, food trucks
what's a food truck?
But now we're on to Season Three and we're in
pre-production for Season Four right now.
Like 3, 4, 5, 6,000 people will bombard a town because
they know we're going to be there, and they hunt the
trucks down as if it were a treasure hunt.
Now, so many different municipalities, big and small,
are starting to understand the social value of trucks
themselves, and when they gang them together and get a band,
and call it something, it's a really cheap
festival to put on.
And everybody wins, because like the small operators get
to make some money, and they like being together, creating
a whole culture of it.
And as a chef, it's a very respectable, even cool thing,
edgy, urban thing to go do, to have a food truck.
Especially something that's very popular.
PHIL: So this is something that I was actually
going to ask you.
Are you aware of young chefs bootstrapping their careers
out of food trucks?
So this is happening, this is--
People are sort of, instead of creating a brick and mortar
business, they're creating a food truck business and
backing that into a brick and mortar business.
So you're actually kind of testing the business model on
a very micro level where nobody can get hurt.
I mean if you lose $10,000 of your aunt's money, I mean, she
may hate you at Christmas but she's not
going hate you forever.
You lose an investor's $4 million in a restaurant, you
got a problem.
Our lawyers are going to talk.

It's about creating a new wave of restaurants, these urban,
wonderful experiences.
That you can go up to a truck and order something that a
trained professional chef is back there making.
So they're choosing this business model over--
so it's four wheels over four walls.
PHIL: Thanks.
RACHEL: Hi Tyler, I'm Rachel.
TYLER FLORENCE: Everybody say hi to Rachel.
Hi Rachel.
RACHEL: I have to tell you that my husband and I dated
for about five years, and he proposed to me the same week I
first made your roast chicken, so I think there's a--
so thank you for that, thank you for pushing him along.
TYLER FLORENCE: It's an absolute deal closer.
RACHEL: Best thing ever.
So what I'm curious about is, I've seen cookbooks from like
the 1940s and '50s, and there's just some horrific
things going on in there with, like Jell-o
and stuff like that.
TYLER FLORENCE: What's wrong with Jell-o?
I think some of those books are actually really gorgeous.
RACHEL: They're neat to have, as like sort of
an heirloom of sorts.
But I'm wondering about trends you see now that aren't going
to be sustainable.
I mean, I think fresh food's one thing, I think--
TYLER FLORENCE: Trends that aren't going to be
I think that's the definition of a trend.
RACHEL: But what's going on right now that everyone's
like, this is going to happen forever, that is not going to
happen forever?
TYLER FLORENCE: So we live in a post molecular world.
So molecular gastronomy that sort of just caught the world
on fire and the late '90s blew up in the 2000s, and then
right now I think everyone has kind of tasted and been there
and done it.
Figured out the recipes and knows how to
knock it off and whatever.
I think some of that stuff is kind of interesting, but the
new trend which I think is sustainable, is this idea of
the sourcing list.
So it's not so much about making a phone call and
getting tuna flown in from Hawaii, but making a
connection with a guy on the west coast of the United
States who's going to go and catch the fish and drop it off
at your back door.
Closing the gap as much as possible.
If you follow me on Instagram and kind of follow the chefs I
follow, I mean how they source stuff and where they get stuff
from is just awesome.
It's just awesome.
So to me, like having that tighter connection, and
keeping your money in a pretty tight circle--
there are mushroom geeks in every major part
the of United States.
So if you can connect with a mushroom geek, someone who's
going to go forage some chanterelles for you, forage
porcinis, or forage morels in spring and even maybe
cultivate some interesting Japanese style mushrooms.
Like that, to me is really, really fascinating.
And that's where chefs now are really trying their stripes.
Because anybody can make a nice scallop, but show me
something I've never seen before.
Show me an ingredient--

it's not so much about the piece of parsley, but it's
actually having somebody harvest parsley at a very
young age where it's sort of in its infancy, so you can see
how beautiful it is.
This stuff is amazing.
Actually we got this farmer who is going to start growing
fava beans for us in the spring.
And then we've actually told him to not clip it.
I want the bean as it starts to break through the shoot, I
want the shoot, the bean, and the root.
And I want to wash that off and I want to
put that on a plate.
That to me is really exciting, because you see how gorgeous
and simple nature really, really is.
And that's sustainable, I think a lot of chefs are doing
that today.
So when David Chang said the hardest thing San Francisco
chefs have to do is shop?
You're right it is.
It's very difficult.
MONIZA: Hi Tyler, I'm Moniza.
TYLER FLORENCE: Hi Moniza, how are you?
Everybody say hi.
MONIZA: Hi everyone.
I'm a huge fan, I follow you on Instagram and Twitter.
So I saw that you place lot of emphasis on
organic and clean food.
In San Francisco, since most of us live in the Bay Area, if
there was one restaurant that you could recommend to
everybody in this room that--
apart from your own--
that really places an emphasis on organic and clean food,
what would you recommend?
TYLER FLORENCE: I like Greens, in Fort Mason, have you guys
been there?
It's been there forever.
And the food is always so interesting.
It's a vegetarian, vegan
restaurant, and it's so delicious.
It's in Fort Mason.
So if you guys are up in San Francisco, that would be my go
to answer for what you're saying.
I love Greens.
RACHEL: Me too.
I love vegetables.
Also one more quick question.
So you and Bobby Flay are definitely my favorite Food
Network personalities.
Is he as nice as he seems like on the Food Network?
TYLER FLORENCE: Can you guys turn the camera off?
I'm kidding.

Bobby is a very, very dear friend of mine.
And Stephanie March, his lovely wife, is a very dear
friend of mine, and Sophie, their daughter is a very good
family friend.
We vacationed in France together.
When I first started on Food Network in 1996, Bobby Flay
held my hand and introduced me to agents, and introduced me
to lawyers, and said this is what you got do, here's the
first step.
And no one else gave me that sort of
attention other than him.
He's a very very good friend of mine.
I wouldn't be where I am today without him.
He wrote a foreword for my first cookbook and made that
And he is an awesome guy.
Nobody works harder than Bobby Flay.
MONIZA: Tell him I said hi, next time you see him.
I love him.
TYLER FLORENCE: I'll be happy to do it.
ALISSA: Hi Tyler, thank you for coming
to speak to us today.
TYLER FLORENCE: Of course, what's your name?
ALISSA: My name's Alissa.
Everybody say hi to Alissa.
So I was actually going to ask the same question of what your
two to three favorite restaurants
were in the Bay Area.
But since she just asked it, I'll ask another question.
You speak very highly about organic food and I think it's
become kind of a craze, it's become well accepted.
But I've heard a lot of different things about eating
organic food.
Some people are like, oh you should only eat organic meat,
don't worry about anything else.
Or you just kind of blanket organic food, from everything,
from meat to thin skinned vegetables.
What are your thoughts on that?
TYLER FLORENCE: So you have to eat as close to
the source as possible.

It's really shocking if you understand what the FDA and
the USDA and the Department of Agriculture-- like how little
they actually pay attention to what's in the food supply.
So companies that create GMO seeds, they don't have to
prove that it's not healthy.
And it's one big massive science experiment that
started with high fructose corn syrup in the early '70s
when it was introduced, and you see where we are today.
High fructose corn syrup is probably the most poisonous
thing you ever put in your body.
And then the idea of a genetically modified seeds, so
it's not so much about trying to make that more disease
resistant, it's about control.
And when that kind of thing happens you lose species
You lose seeds.

And if they develop a seed and implant it, that has an insect
repellent sort of designed in its DNA, what do you think
that's going to do your body?
What do you think that's going to do?
So they don't have to prove, because it's considered safe,
from the FDA--
they don't have to prove that it's not safe.
As a matter of fact they don't even have to be inspected.
But if you have an organic farm, you have to go through
so much red tape to prove that your product is organic.
That's by design.
They want to make it very, very difficult for you.
So consumer choice is up to you.
So if you insist on that kind of thing, and I would insist
on it for your own health.
Because you don't know what's going in the product.
And again, these companies that create these things,
they're not interested or concerned about your health.
They're just not.
They're really interested in what's in your wallet.
And if you get cancer, it's your problem.
But we are a very, very hardy lot.
We've been around since the dawn of time.
We've been eating food for a long time, and these health
concerns are only 30, 40 years old.
I'm not saying that genetics doesn't have something to do
with it, but as sick and as obese as we are as a nation,
it's all diet related.
So my question to you is, if it's not organic, can you
trust what it is?
Now there's a lot of farmers at the farmer's market that
produce organic goods but that are in the process of becoming
certified organic, and that's just as good.
There's a lot of things you really got to think about.
So economic recovery starts in your very own community.
So you got to keep your money tight.
You can't take your money, spend it, and have that source
to be funneled outside of your community.
You have to keep your money in a very tight circle.
So if you buy your goods from a guy who just grew it not too
far from here, you're helping the economy grow.
You really, really are.
And so that to me is what I would recommend.

We can talk all day about the health qualities of not just
eating organic beef, but drinking grass fed milk,
organic milk as well.
There's the French paradox, which is really interesting,
about how people in France eat a very high fat diet but they
have such a low cholesterol rate, and such a low rate of
heart disease.
They eat way more fat than we do, but what they eat is purer
than what we eat.
And they eat a lot of pro-biotic rich foods, like
whole milk cheese, that has all the molecules and really
kind of good healthy bacteria, that kind of keep your
digestion system nice and clean.
So you got to eat pure, clean food.
It's not hard.
This is what I'm saying.
We've all sort of, like--
what's the big direction?
What's the new diet?
Is it Atkins?
Paleo is actually really kind of interesting, I think.
But you just got to eat good, wholesome, healthy food.
It's simple.
Just eat clean, fresh healthy food.
MONIZA: Thank you.
I have one recipe request.
If I could find it anywhere.
Do you have the recipe for the popovers you
make at Wayfare Tavern?
Not healthy at all, but so delicious.

TYLER FLORENCE: To me, like, it's actually--
because it's a big puff of air, I haven't like weighed
out from a calorie standpoint, what's the difference between
our popovers versus whatever, I don't
know, focaccia or something.
But it's basically just a big crusty ball of air.
Yeah it's like, the webby crusty stuff is actually
really beautiful.
LIV WU: And the air doesn't have any calories.
TYLER FLORENCE: There's no calories in air.
Something really funny, I went with my wife and a very good
couple friend of ours to El Bulli, in Rosas, Spain, last
year before they closed.

It was a very expensive dinner.
It was like $4,000 a couple.
Very expensive dinner, but one of those things you have to go
do, because now it's closed and I could say I did it, and
that kind of thing.
Regret, is more, I think is more expensive.
But everything was just jacked up with air, from a method
So everything was just spongy and light, and air, and like
I'm like, wow, this guy's food cost must be awesome.
Because you think it's like, instead of like putting it on
the plate, he'll puree it, whip it with air, and put a
spoon of that on the plate.
I mean that's how you that's how you get
good food costs, man.
Light as a feather.
Anyway, so the answer to your question.
So the book I wrote before this is called "Family Meal,"
and the recipe for our popovers are in that book.
ALISSA: Awesome.
I'm going to run out and get it.
ANNIE: My name's Annie, by the way.
TYLER FLORENCE: Hi Annie, how are you?
ANNIE: So I try to cook a lot at home, and I know you put an
emphasis on organic, healthy clean food.
And I was wondering if you have any
advice on where to shop?
You know, I try to go to the farmer's market on the
weekends, but that's not always
available during the weekdays.
So is Whole Foods the best place to shop?
TYLER FLORENCE: I thinks Whole Foods is fabulous.
I was just an Austin--
so I bumped into one of the media relations people with
Whole Foods in Austin, and I love their philosophy.
Like not only do I buy food there but I buy all my vitamin
supplements and stuff like that.
So a big portion of my refrigerator is just filled
with vitamins, and Super Green Food and things like that.
So I can like really carefully monitor my nutrition intake.
And every piece of food in this book was purchased at a
Whole Foods.

Every bit of it.
I bought everything at Whole Foods, like 7 o'clock in the
morning, went home, prepped for about two hours, three
hours and then we started shooting for
the rest of the day.
So I like them a lot.
I mean I don't work for them or anything but I dig what
they talk about.
ANNIE: You also mention buying within your area, buying
local, but that's not always possible.
So Whole Foods would be a good option?
TYLER FLORENCE: I do think it's possible.
So let's talk about a ceremony.
So there's usually a farmer's market, there's got to be a
farmer's market, right?
There's got to be.
So on the weekend-- you have to kind of get into a mode of
like, having a ceremony.
Like a thing that you do all the time, that you really like
a lot, that you kind of feel like that's
your church, or whatever.
That's your thing that you go do just to have an hour or two
that's a great head cleaner.
And I think strolling around the
farmer's market is fantastic.
It's great.
ANNIE: But you need to like plan out your meal for the
week, and then go shop that one day.
You don't.
This is what I'm saying.
So this is where we have been conditioned, to feel like we
have to put so much work into planning and writing down,
taking notes, and planning and planning.
And that's just exhausting.
You should just go and just be inspired.
Just go and go, oh my god, the broccoli looks fantastic, I'm
going to roast that.
So one of the best, easiest ways to cook vegetables, and
you need a sheet pan, a bottle of olive oil, little bit of
salt and pepper in your oven, and it works for everything,
is just simply roasting.
So butternut squash, broccoli, carrots, green beans,
zucchini, cauliflower eggplant, you name it.
If you cut it into consistent sizes, and you put it onto a
sheet pan, a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, in
the oven, 350 degrees for 10 or 15 minutes and it
transforms the starches and sugars.
And my kids love it.
They'll eat anything, if it's roasted.
They love roasted carrots, they love roasted Brussels
sprouts, and so boiled is kind of tragic.
So anyway it works with like big leafy greens too.
I mean you can and roast, like kale.
Make kale chips, that's delicious as a snack.
So you don't have to-- don't plan so much, because people
like, it makes people panicky, when they gotta, I gotta plan,
what am I going to plan?
You should plan a dinner party.
You should plan the holidays.
But if you're just cooking Monday through Friday?
Just go to the store.
Just see what's going on, and you're going to come back with
more inspiration than you walked in with, from a
planning standpoint.
Just go check it out.
LIV WU: You have been inspiring.
Thank you so much.
TYLER FLORENCE: Liv, thank you very much, Google, thank you
very much, thank you, I'm so--
thank you.