Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 | 9 p.m.
Chef, restaurateur, bestselling author and Food Network host Tyler Florence (“The Great Food Truck Race,” “Tyler’s Ultimate,” “Food 911,” “How to Boil Water”) released his seventh cookbook, “Tyler Florence Fresh,” on Dec. 4, and his book tour brings him to Queue Bar from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, where he’ll sign copies of “Fresh.”
Florence, who is unsurprisingly well-spoken and remains passionate about food, chatted this week via cell phone before his arrival to Las Vegas and shared his guilty-pleasure foods, one of his favorite hometown haunts, the next big food and his resolutions for the New Year.
Don Chareunsy: Congratulations on your latest cookbook, “Fresh.” How is “Fresh” a departure from your previous books?
Tyler Florence: It’s really where I am since publishing my first book in 2003, an evolution of where I am in my life, where I am right now. I dream of food and vivid flavor combinations. It’s a departure in that nutrition is first and foremost nowadays, people have conversations about their diets and major health issues and diet-related food.
It’s not just about what you put in your face; it’s nutrition in your body. I love intense, ripe, fresh flavors. It’s a quantum leap; a lot of recipes, simple meals, are pure expressions of artistic ideas. The book has been out for one week now, and on my book tour, people are bringing photographs of what they’ve made. I’m very proud; I think it’s the best book I’ve ever written.
D.C.: Your book signing is at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Dec. 15. Do you get to Las Vegas often? Where do you like to dine when you’re in town?
T.F.: I live in San Francisco, and it’s a quick trip. Our friends in Chicago and Florida meet a few times a year, and it’s a great central meeting place. I’m showing my 16-year-old son what Las Vegas has to offer. Yeah, you can have a lot of experiences there, a wild and crazy time, but Las Vegas has a high level of sophistication of dining, and it’s great showing him that. Scarpetta is one of my favorites.
D.C.: You’re an accomplished chef and author. Is there a dish or two that you absolutely dislike preparing because it’s a pain in the arse?
T.F.: If something takes a lot of time to prepare, I ask myself, “How much time do I really have?” If I’m hosting a dinner party, I want plenty of time so that I’m not stressed out when people walk in the door. I’ll cut down the recipe or prepare fewer foods.
D.C.: What is your guilty pleasure food?
T.F.: It’s all about the seasons, and right now I’m obsessed with chocolates. In the late summer, it’s mushrooms, in the fall truffles and in the spring sweet peas.
D.C.: Favorite meal of the day and why?
T.F.: My favorite meal of the day is dinner. I work 80 hours a week, and dinnertime can be fractured, but I make time for it; it’s my favorite.
D.C.: What is a must-dine establishment in San Francisco for you?
T.F.: On Tuesdays and Thursdays during the day, there is a ramen stall -- Hapa Ramen -- in the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero that is a must.
D.C.: What’s the next big food trend in 2013?
T.F.: Ramen -- ramen is the next pizza.
D.C.: What is one thing that your fans would be surprised to learn about you?
T.F.: My life is an open cookbook, especially with social media, so they know the good, the bad and the ugly. What I’ve loved about social media is learning how many things I have in common with my fans via Twitter and Instagram.
D.C.: What does 2013 have in store for you? New Year’s resolutions?
T.F.: I am making a resolution to try to get closer to the truth and improve the direction of our farmers and squires. And of course be healthier -- I’m 40 now and can’t have a 12-course foie gras tasting every night.
Don Chareunsy is editor of VegasDeLuxe.com and senior editor, arts and entertainment, of LasVegasSun.com.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
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The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas dares to be different. From the hotel’s red reservations desks to fine art found throughout the resort, The Cosmopolitan’s signature style is helping to pave its own path on the Las Vegas Strip.
Upon entering the resort, you’re greeted by pillars of video boards playing video art by Digital Kitchen and David Rockwell Studio exclusively produced for The Cosmopolitan. Just beyond that, you’ll find all your favorite casino games on the resort’s 100,000-square-foot casino floor.
The Cosmopolitan’s rooms standout as the resort’s most unique feature. About 2,220 of The Cosmopolitan’s 2,995 rooms have 6-foot deep terraces that span the length of the room, a first at a modern Strip hotel. Other in-room amenities include soaking tubs, kitchenettes and quirky accessories like artsy coffee table books.
The dining experience at The Cosmopolitan isn’t something you’ll find at other Strip resorts, either. All of The Cosmopolitan’s 13 restaurateurs are new to the Las Vegas market. You’ll find American steakhouse fare in a modern setting at STK, top-notch sushi at Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill and the freshest fish flown in from the Mediterranean daily at Estiatorio Milos.
Whether the sun is up or down, Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub is the place to find the party at The Cosmopolitan. The venue is a dayclub/nightclub, complete with a pool and cabanas outside and three different rooms with three different vibes inside.
If nightclubs aren’t your thing, you can grab a drink at one of The Cosmopolitan’s five other bars, like The Chandelier, which is encased in 2 million dripping crystals.