After a long day shooting your new Food Network show, Bite Club, what is your favorite guilty pleasure to eat? “I usually keep it healthy, but I can tear through a room service menu. A late-night burger is always a guilty pleasure—with cheese and bacon. Forget about it…”
Is there one dish you won’t cook? “Nothing. But I hate touching cardboard boxes.”
All-time favorite spice. “Pimentón—smoky Spanish paprika.”
What is your favorite music to listen to while you cook? “LCD Soundsystem. Best band in 150 years.”
Did you grow up cooking as a kid? “Both of my parents worked full time, so I was a latch-key kid and cooked out of necessity. Taught myself to make a tricked-out frozen burrito. We did cook a lot. My mom’s mom had a spectacular garden with fresh corn and green beans.”
What cookbook is your go-to resource for inspiration? “The Internet is my cookbook! I have thousands of cookbooks that are special to me, but lately it’s the Internet.”
After all these years working in restaurants and on cooking shows do you still enjoy going out to eat? “I do. Food is getting better everywhere, not just in New York and L.A. There’s new young talent out there in great restaurants around the country.”
Is there one chef you’d like to cook with? “Chef Paul Bocuse. He was a classic chef that never chased trends.”
Name the all-time best cooking show. “Tyler’s Ultimate! It was the first show where the chef didn’t wear a chef’s coat—it was relaxed. It was about getting dinner on the table. It was a new plateau in my life at that time.”
What is the one tool that you always make sure to pack when you’re traveling for business? “My cell phone charger.”
You can catch the premiere of celebrity chef Tyler Florence’s new Food Network show, Bite Club, on Thursday, September 6 at 9PM.
Interview has been condensed and edited.