The Guinness World Record Tyler Florence Set

When it comes to the culinary world, Tyler Florence has done pretty much everything. After starting out washing dishes in a restaurant at age 15, he went on to graduate from culinary school and then obtained a degree in business management, according to the Food Network's piece, "10 Things You Didn't Know About Tyler Florence." Soon after, he began training under New York City's premier chefs and, in 1998, established a name for himself as the executive chef at the restaurant, Cafeteria. 

Florence's relationship with the Food Network began in 1996. He later charmed television audiences as the co-host of How to Boil Water, a show that Emeril Lagasse used to host which was intended for inexperienced cooks (via Food Network). But Florence captured the hearts of cooks of all skill levels. He has starred in numerous other television foodie shows, including his signature series, Tyler's Ultimate - all while opening a self-named kitchen retail shop, starting his own line of cookware and cutlery, and publishing five cookbooks, two of which became bestsellers. And, of course, he has opened a number of other restaurants, including his signature restaurant, Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco.

Considering he's also got a wife and three kids, it might surprise you to learn Tyler Florence still managed to find the time to break a Guinness World Record in 2015...for the longest team barbecue marathon (via Food Republic).

Tyler Florence led a team of grillers to break the Guinness World Record for longest team barbecue marathon

On August 13, 2015, in New York City's Gansevoort Plaza, Tyler Florence led a two-person barbecue team put together by hot dog brand, Ball Park for the purpose of beating the previous record for longest team barbecue marathon held by two men from the U.K. (via The Guardian). Ball Park chose Florence's teammates, Andrew "Drew" Battistelli of Tennessee and Susan "Susie" Bulloch of Utah (via Food Network), through a contest held just days earlier in which contestants were asked to submit a short video highlighting their grilling skills.

Battistelli and Bulloch were responsible for manning the grill at all times during the marathon, according to Guinness rules, which stated that the same two people must be at the grill from beginning to end, with the exception of a five-minute break every hour. Florence's role was primarily to provide guidance and, presumably, motivation. In other words, Florence served as "executive chef" for purposes of the grillathon, and Battistelli and Bulloch were his "sous chefs."

A record set, a record broken

The barbecue team's goal was to keep the grilling going for 38 hours, according to The Guardian. While the team came up slightly short at 34 hours and 35 minutes, they soundly broke the record set by the previous record holders, which had been 30 hours. 

Over the course of those 34 hours and 35 minutes, Florence and his sous-grillers made over 500 pounds of food. According to Guinness rules, at all times during the marathon, at least two items had to be on the grill. In addition, all of the food made had to be eaten (via a press release). During the course of the marathon, hotdogs were handed out to passersby, and the rest was donated to City Harvest, a New York City charity donated to feeding the hungry.

According to Food Network, Battistelli and Bulloch, as well as the crowd of fans, were kept energized by Tyler throughout the days-long effort. "They're heavyweight champions," Tyler said of his sous-grillers. "They're like prizefighters that won't go down." Sadly, they did go down eventually, but not until 2017, when their record was broken by a team of professional chefs in Lahti, Finland, who managed to keep the "cue" going for 36 hours.