Food & Drink

Chef Tyler Florence's Lexington presentation will have local flavor

Food Network celebrity chef Tyler Florence will be the star of Saturday's Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show.

The South Carolina native, 41, is the host of such Food Network shows as Tyler's Ultimate and The Great Food Truck Race, but he rose to fame hosting the network's How to Boil Water and Food 911. He is also an author of several cookbooks, is a restaurateur, has his name on a line of cookware and is executive chef for Sprout baby foods.

We chatted with Florence by email about his upcoming trip to Kentucky.

Question: What is the focus of your presentation at the Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show?

Answer: "This demonstration is all about local sustainable products. We started with a list of ingredients available in Kentucky, then I took the ingredients and did my best to formulate a recipe. ... I use local bourbon in my chocolate pecan pie." He will also prepare beef bourguignon using locally sourced meat.

Q: What's new and exciting on the food horizon?

A: "I'm seeing an influx of Asian fusion going on. From restaurants to food trucks, there's definitely something hot going on with Asian cuisine — a lot of lines and many loyal customers. A ton of chefs are marrying Asian cuisines, and the American public is really loving it."

Q: Tell me about The Great Food Truck Race.

A: "The latest season was a ton of fun because we did something different. We had contestants that had a great idea for a food truck but have never had a truck. I really dug that new spin, and it was very cool to see someone's idea come to life in a new and exciting way."

Q: Lexington is debating whether to allow food trucks downtown. What would you say to encourage the addition of food trucks to Lexington's culinary scene?

A: "I think it's a great way to help build a community. When there are two or three parked on a street, a crowd of people gather, and it creates this vibrant, exciting communal atmosphere. I really feel that food trucks are a great way to bring people together."

Q: What's your latest project?

A: "My newest cookbook, Tyler Florence Fresh, comes out later this year." The book, which explores "easy and sophisticated cuisine," is scheduled for release Dec. 4 (Clarkson Potter, $35).

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