Though most of us are not on a fast-track to being a celebrity chef, it is inspiring to know that Tyler Florence worked his way into his star chef status."I developed some skills as a cook and as I moved my way up the kitchen ladder, that [culinary] passion just burned stronger," says the Food Network chef. And his natural ability to help home cooks in the kitchen allows him to reap and bestow the culinary benefits. "It is more rewarding than I even could have imagined," he adds.To continue inspiring home cooks, Tyler Florence has recently partnered with Macy's to launch an exciting 12-series podcast hosted at www.macys.com/keepitcooking as inspiration for a new contest called "Macy's Keeps America Cooking," which runs until April 13 (you still have time to enter!). The podcasts are all filmed on location at Chef Tyler's Mill Valley, California kitchen and feature some of his favorite recipes. The contest calls for viewers to record and upload their own videos showing how to prepare some of their favorite recipes.The grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to San Francisco to cook with Tyler, a shopping spree with Tyler for new kitchen products using Macy's gift of a $2,500 gift card, and a feature spot on their own Macy's Keeps It Cooking podcast that will show them cooking with their new Macy's kitchen products. Runner ups will also receive prizes for their efforts.Even if you decide not to enter, the podcast cooking videos (Chef Tyler's and those of the contest participants) will easily spark your culinary interest, giving you many mouthwatering recipes to try yourself.
Here are some of Tyler Florence's top cooking tips for home cooks.1. Don't fear your kitchen.2. Embrace the challenge of making a new dish and more often than not, you'll succeed.3. Get inspiration from shows, books, websites or whatever strikes your interest.4. Revel in your personal successes — they will keep you trying more and more homecooked meals.5. Develop a couple of go-to meals for feeding friends and family (Chef Tyler relies on roast chicken and lasagna Bolognese because "everybody loves those dishes".)6.Taste everything along the way — cooking shouldn't be a guessing game.7. Make sure you present your meals fantastically — presentation is important, it's the impression of your dish that everyone will have.8. Have a good set of kitchen essentials on hand to facilitate your cooking — without the basics, cooking will be more difficult than it needs to be and that can turn anyone off. The celebrity chef recommends: a set of quality, heavy bottom cookware; a few key high quality knives; a big cutting board; some hand towels and a seasoning station next to your cooking area with salt, pepper, olive oil, etc. (Click for a list of other essential kitchen tools. )Recipes from Celebrity Chef Tyler Florence
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