By Tyler Florence
Photographs by Petrina Tinslay. 256 pages. $35.
Brilliance and simplicity are, ultimately, the two stock ingredients from which Tyler Florence crafts his cuisine. Each dish described in his latest cookbook is prepared from foods easily accessible to consumers and assembled in straightforward steps: no exotic marginalia here.
He immersed himself in the south of France while writing the book and the passion for food that saturates the small country towns and open-air markets of the region bursts from the pages. The recipes themselves are global in influence, from Mafioso-style whacking of lobster in Tribeca to Mediterranean-influenced pancetta and tuna roast.
Glimmers of the Lowcountry emerge in each section – appetizers, surf, turf, birds, noodles, garden, and desserts – from picnic tables draped in newspaper for group assaults on hot pots of seafood to just-caught shrimp grilled in their shells to retain the succulence.
In easy conversational style, he introduces each dish by telling the tale of how he first came to prepare it. The book thus serves as a kind of memoir, a travelogue, or, simply, Tyler's Ultimate, the Food Network series in book form.
"The book goes along with the new television show that's on Food Network on Saturday mornings at 9:30," Florence says. "It's my 10th year on the network and we're celebrating it in a big way."