As part of my week-long vacation in California last week I bargained with the Other Eater in my Household to drive a wee bit out of the way to visit Tyler Florence’s kitchen goods store in Mill Valley.
It was soooooo worth it.
The store, to begin with, is a mix of Williams-Sonoma (high end, pretty and also useful cooking tools) and Chef’s Catalog (useful things that you keep hidden in a cabinet) and a flea market – there was a whole table of old pitchers and serving sets and the like right inside the door. The back of the store has a small kitchen, likely used for demonstration classes, and then a small library with all sorts of cool cookbooks, including a whole section dedicated to Tyler’s Food Network Colleagues. And on the day I was there, Tyler was using the kitchen to make chicken and dumplings.
In my star-struck shame, I sort of made friends with the saleslady, JoJo, a Naperville native, who told me that I was welcome to stay and watch the filming while I shopped and oh-by-the-way-if-you-buy-a-book-Tyler-will-sign-it-did-I-mention-he-has-two-new-ones-that-just-came-out-they’re-right-here. They were filming a segment for Macy’s (JoJo said the Food Network shows are still done in New York).
I made my way toward the stack of books and was flipping pages, trying to decide which book I wanted for my small collection of books signed by the author, when I paused on a black and white photo of a woman I recognized because she was STANDING RIGHT BEHIND ME STRAIGHTENING MERCHANDISE. Tyler’s wife, Tolin, seemed pleasant enough in the store. She looked good in print, too.
So, I paid for my stuff and left my book behind to be signed. Ho-hum.
We returned two days later to pickup the book and by the time I got in the car to go home I was apoplectic. He didn’t sign his name!
And for the record, the chicken and dumplings recipe isn’t in the book, either.