Tyler's Ultimate is chef Tyler Florence's search for the ulimate dish. The show has changed it format recently. It started out with chef Florence traveling the world in search of the ultimate dish like a potato dish or pizza and then ending back in his New York kitchen taking what he's seen and perfecting a recipe. The show has now shifting to a straight cooking show with chef Florence in the studio offering up what he considers to be the ultimate recipe for dishes like fried chicken, meatloaf, spaghetti & meatballs, etc.
Tyler Florence really knows how to cook. He appreciates good ingredients, knows how to make the most of them, puts things together in new and exciting ways, and instructs in a low-key way that teaches not only the basics but tricks of the trade as well.
I received Tyler Florence's "Eat This Book' for Christmas last year and ended up reading it cover to cover. I'm a food lover and enjoy cooking, and his approach to food was exciting. I tried several recipes and they were excellent. I had not seen his show, because it was not aired in Canada -- until now, on the Canadian version of the Food Network. Today I saw my first episode and I can tell this is a keeper (record to tape and keep for reference).
The featured dish in this episode was roast chicken with roasted potatoes and an avocado and watercress salad. The preparation of the potatoes shows how effortlessly he teaches us. First, he chose Yukon Gold potatoes for this dish, and explained why: the difference between and Idaho baker as starchy, and a russet as waxy, and Yukon Gold being in the middle. As he added sprigs of thyme, he noted this potato's ability to absorb flavours. He preheated the sheet pan, then coated it with oil before adding the potatoes. Noting their sizzling contact with the pan, he explained how the surface starches of the potato cook at that very moment to form a skin to prevent sticking. He then spread them out to ensure every piece was in contact with the pan for even roasting. He put them in the oven with the chicken at the same temperature, so there was no need to cook them separately.
This may seem like needless detail, but to a cook this information is significant. This is knowing your ingredients. This is skilled and efficient technique. This is why Julia Child was such a huge success.
But ultimately, this is where craft becomes art. A solid knowledge of technique is essential before any artist can transform the ordinary into the exceptional. And that transformation takes inspiration, creativity and a
sense of adventure, all of which this man has in abundance.
Reading the blurbs about this show, I gather he travels and future episodes will show food preparation around the world. I can hardly wait. This is can't miss TV for me.
Tyler's Ultimate was a unique combination of travelogue and exploration of food show. Each episode was an adventure as we explored the way that people and chefs around the globe handled the specific dish of the day.
Tyler's Ultimate was a great combination of travelogue and exploration of food show. Tyler is a charismatic host, and it was exciting to see the various corners of the world that he trotted to in order to find out the secrets and techniques that various people and chefs used in order to make a certain dish for each episode. I looked forward to absorbing the atmospheres of various locales that Tyler traveled to, including Naples, Amsterdam, London, etc. I also enjoyed how at the end of the episode, Tyler would put together an "ultimate" dish which combined the secret ingredients and techniques that he learned from his travels. It really gave the viewer and insider look at how chefs can be influenced by the global cuisine that they encounter and experience. It was an exciting portrayal of the travels of a celebrity chef.
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