The real reason Tyler Florence pursued a cooking career

For more than 15 years Tyler Florence has been sharing his culinary gifts with the public. According to his biography on the Food Network, the charismatic chef is a regular guest on CNN, The Today Show, The View, Good Morning America, and more. Florence has also authored multiple cookbooks, produced a wine label, has a retail shop, and has his own line of steel-clad cookware for HSN and Macy's. If that wasn't impressive enough, he was also nominated by the James Beard Foundation in the best chef category, according to Williams Sonoma. So what led this rising culinary star to be a cook in the first place?

In an interview with Williams Sonoma, the chef admits that when he was a teenager he really wanted money for a car. His parents told him that if he wanted something, he was going to have to get a job and pay for it on his own. 

Tyler Florence clearly made the right decision

Luckily he had a girlfriend at the time whose family owned a restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina. "I started as a dishwasher but fell in love with the energy of the kitchen," Tyler Florence said. "The chef was French and the menu was mostly seafood. I moved from the dish station to prep and then working on the line fairly quickly. It was the first thing I was ever really good at. At that moment, I knew I wanted to be a chef for the rest of my life."

From that moment, Florence realized his next step should be culinary school. According to the Food Network he attended the prestigious Johnson & Wales University. After graduating, he set his sights on New York where he worked at acclaimed restaurants like Charlie Palmer at Aureole, Marta Pulini at Mad 61, and eventually became executive chef at Cafeteria. Since then, Florence has opened multiple restaurants, including Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco, California. He currently resides in the Golden State with his wife and three children. Clearly, Florence knew from a young age that cooking was going to take him places.