Tyler Florence: JWU Let Me Pursue My Passion

He may be a culinary star today, but before he graduated Johnson & Wales University, Tyler Florence was not sure where he’d end up.

Johnson & Wales University alum Tyler Florence

"Growing up, school was not my forte. I found it difficult to focus," Florence says. “What I realized later was that the tasks at hand just weren’t in line with my passions.”

At JWU, he found a way to study on what he loved (namely, food). And along the way, he became a radio host, published author, cookware designer, restaurant owner and television star.

Culinary Foundation at JWU
“Each time I put a smile on somebody’s face with my food, I find a great deal of satisfaction. Food is my medium to communicate with the world. That communication is what defines me."

“When I got to JWU, there was a curriculum that addressed my needs. And I was free to pursue my passions and develop a strong foundation by which I could succeed.”

Restaurant Career
“Once I identified my passion, I dove in and never looked back," Florence says. He graduated, moved to New York City and worked with such notable chefs as Charlie Palmer at Aureole, Marta Pulini at Mad 61 and Rick Laakonen at River Café.

Later he became executive chef at the acclaimed Cibo. Then he ventured out on his own, opening the popular celebrity spot Cafeteria. Now he’s building three restaurants in California, including one in his home town of Mill Valley.

Food Network, Food Talk, Food Career
Florence’s found success with "Tyler’s Ultimate," "Food 911" and "How to Boil Water" on the Food Network, thanks to his accessible demeanor, tireless work ethic and culinary flair.

He also hosted "Food Talk,” the popular WOR radio show which reached audiences from the Mid-Atlantic States to New England.

And he’s released three cookbooks, developed a tabletop line in conjunction with Mikasa, and opened a full range kitchen store called Tyler Florence Kitchen.

What’s his advice for you aspiring culinary stars? "I work hard every day, and I don’t take no for an answer. With each project I undertake, I won’t settle for any less than the best."