The Truth About Tyler Florence's Restaurant Venture With Sammy Hagar

Chef Tyler Florence has had a lot of success in the kitchen and on the screen. Not only has he hosted a slew of shows like Food Network's Tyler's Ultimate, Food Court Wars, Bite Club, and The Great Food Truck Race (via IMDb), but he was also the dean of culinary education at Napa's American Center for Wine and has even cooked for President Obama. But, like any pioneering food entrepreneur, not all of his ventures have been as smooth as his Velvety Mashed Potatoes.

The celebrity chef once teamed up with Red Rocker, former Van Halen vocalist Sammy Hagar to open a restaurant — not uncommon for celebs — but after the two parted ways, Florence may have been left wondering Why Can't This Be Love? According to Paste, Hagar bought Mill Valley's El Paseo in 2009 and Florence was brought on as chef, but the two ultimately had different visions for the restaurant.

Breaking up the (culinary) band

According to Paste, Sammy Hagar chronicled the discord between himself and Tyler Florence in his cookbook, Are We Having Fun Yet?: The Cooking & Partying Handbook. "Tyler wanted to make it pretty much a steakhouse with a small market inside and big cuts of meat hanging in the windows. I told him, 'Hey, man, I've been living in this town since '72. That kind of thing doesn't really fit Mill Valley,'" Hagar wrote. He added that he felt Florence may have been more interested in "being a celebrity than in being a chef." Apparently, There's Only One Way to Rock, and that's Hagar's way or the highway.

According to the SF Chronicle, Florence departed El Paseo in 2016. The restaurant closed in 2018 and was sold in 2019. If you watch Food Network, you know there's no reason to worry about Florence; in addition to his television work keeping him busy, he also owns a restaurant — called Wayfare Tavern — in San Francisco. There's also no need to fret about Hagar because when it comes to business acumen, he has more than his share. According to Inc., Hagar's business ventures have paid off. His restaurant and music venue in Cabo San Lucas, Cabo Wabo Cantina, has outposts in Hollywood and Vegas; he has a rum brand called Sammy's Beach Bar Rum; and he sold his tequila brand, Cabo Wabo, to Campari for a cool $91 million — Rock and Roll, indeed.