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Tyler Florence succumbs


chappie
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Why, when I saw the commercial, a violent shudder of shock and dismay caused me to drop my whole bowl of TaterTots! thereby ruining my copy of People Magazine! :biggrin:

What does Appleby's need with Tyler Florence? I think he ought to mosey on over to IHOP: they need the help.

Do NOT start trashing IHOP! What's next Denny's?-stop before it's too late!

Edited by Miami Danny (log)
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My fault, I wasn't clear. A decade ago when TFN asked us to shoot a pilot, this was what the production company received for the episodes. I had 50% of the profits from the production company. How's your deal?

You are kidding me right? 25K per show? not even close, try a number between 2 and 5!.....I love it when folks think that just because you are on TV you are rich.....that is so not the case....there are long contracts and you do not have the advantage when you negotiate....

People need to make a living, TV is not a living unless you are a huge celeb or do your best to reap any benefit from it, while keeping your ethichs and integrity intact as other attempt to smash it....

Nuff said, I gotta go film now...

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Why, when I saw the commercial, a violent shudder of shock and dismay caused me to drop my whole bowl of TaterTots! thereby ruining my copy of People Magazine! :biggrin:

What does Appleby's need with Tyler Florence? I think he ought to mosey on over to IHOP: they need the help.

Do NOT start trashing IHOP! What's next Denny's?-stop before it's too late!

Hey, Moons Over My Hammy don't need no stinkin help from nobody!

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

--Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

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Has anyone been to Cafeteria in NYC, Florence's last restaurant, I think. The food is par with applebees but with pretty people, so I believe this is a good fit.

This is pretty much what I was going to say. My problem with big chain restaurants is that they rely on advertising and branding to get customers in the door rather than a reputation for quality. I'd rather patronize a place where the income is spent on quality ingredients, the labor involved in making a dish, or going in the pockets of the people making the food.

Cafeteria relied on hype, design, celebrity clients, and it's 24-hourness to get people in the door. The one meal I've eaten at Cafeteria (admittedly 6 or so years ago) was among the worst in my life. I suppose my friends and I didn't qualify as the beautiful people; food was burnt, cold, or slapped down on the table without any niceties. (There were a few decent parts - mac n' cheese especially - but the experience was ruined). Interesting to note that the citysearch editorial review says "A postmodern 24-hour greasy spoon that's propelled by dependable fare and a boisterous crowd." Except for the postmodern part, you could almost be talking about a large chain, no?

The Kitchn

Nina Callaway

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The conversations I have had with representatives of celebrity chefs who are FN 'stars" such as Batali, Brown, Gia indicate that the compensation per episode can range from 15-25k. This info comes from to me from a PR firm, not the chefs themselves...so you can know the source before accepting or rejecting it, whatever.

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I ate at Applebee's once. For breakfast. In case anyone needs to know, it sucked. I left most on my plate and swore never to give in to a "how bad could it be" impulse again.

Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther
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I used to go to Applebee's once a month for happy hour - bosses choice - for about 6 months in a row. (We had been going to Azteca Mexican before that and I have to say I missed the jalepeno poppers!) But I digress........

And I have been at least 2 x's for lunch and once for dinner with clients (their choice - don't ask!) :blink:

Anyway - I don't like their food. It is AVERAGE and if spending MY money (which I never did) I would NOT go there - not even to try Tyler's new entrees.

Can you blame a person for wanting to make money? NO

But I think putting your NAME with a restaurant - you should like all of their food - and I have to say I can't imagine Tyler loves everything Applebee's makes and serves. That is why I find it hard to come to terms with why he is putting his NAME with that restaurant. But then again - I didn't know he endorsed Sandra Lee's cookbook (which is another topic).

Edited by Della (log)
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I said I liked one specific entree I had at Applebees, and that people should try these new entrees as opposed to trashing them out of hand.

So, what was that entree and what was it that you liked about it?

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Sheesh.

You gotta eat! In the words of one of my favorite fast food places.

I cannot believe that darkening the door at Applebee's is a cardinal sin, although I personally prefer Friday's, because Martini's are the house drink and are always two for one. Any Martini, including a call brand vodka on the rocks. Well kept secret, but if you are in the need a good thing to know.

I try local Mom and Pop's, I eat chains, I try a bit of everything. Take what I like and leave the rest. Mom and Pop sometimes cook pretty crappy food.

I think the thread should be locked, but for anyone to think that Tyler Florence has committed some sort of awful sin for working with Applebee's, gosh.

I don't know how to explain that people have to earn a living, and yes, eat. If it sells, good for him. If it is tasty, it will. I personally feel no need to dictate another's eating habits, one way or another.

My opinion only, and for what it is worth.

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Slashfood recently went to Applebee's and tried one of the dishes.

And have you been to Applebee's web site for this? It's spacey, a little cool, and a little scary. If I don't click on Tyler, he starts TALKING TO ME! He's looking straight at me and talking.

My humble take on this is starting to lean to the positive side, the same as Emeril. It's a gateway drug. People who normally go to TGI McChilibee's for fajitas and a hamburger may get their first experience with arugula, or bruscetta, or shaved parmesan on pasta (instead of the canned powder cheese) -- ingredients that we may find pedestrian that they would find exotic. From there, they'd take the next step into trying new cheeses... finding out what that weird lettuce was... wake up to the experience of fresh herbs in cooking. They become more aware. They taste the world differently. They hear about white truffles and try them when they see it on the menu. This leads them to trying the next foodie drug -- foie gras. They become OBSESSED with foie gras. Then they find out it's banned in Chicago and about to be banned in California and New Jersey. They get pissed. They make a stink. They vote these frikkers out of office.

And more people join the Good Side.

<a href='http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal' target='_blank'>ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal</a> - The longest running Korean food blog

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Slashfood recently went to Applebee's and tried one of the dishes.

And have you been to Applebee's web site for this?  It's spacey, a little cool, and a little scary.  If I don't click on Tyler, he starts TALKING TO ME!  He's looking straight at me and talking.

My humble take on this is starting to lean to the positive side, the same as Emeril.  It's a gateway drug.  People who normally go to TGI McChilibee's for fajitas and a hamburger may get their first experience with arugula, or bruscetta, or shaved parmesan on pasta (instead of the canned powder cheese) -- ingredients that we may find pedestrian that they would find exotic.  From there, they'd take the next step into trying new cheeses... finding out what that weird lettuce was... wake up to the experience of fresh herbs in cooking.  They become more aware.  They taste the world differently.  They hear about white truffles and try them when they see it on the menu.  This leads them to trying the next foodie drug -- foie gras.  They become OBSESSED with foie gras.  Then they find out it's banned in Chicago and about to be banned in California and New Jersey.  They get pissed.  They make a stink.  They vote these frikkers out of office.

And more people join the Good Side.

Wow...That's a positive spin if I ever saw one...then again, if this were true it would be a miracle. Although, do they really use fres herbs when cooking TF's stuff at Applebees. Somehow I doubt it. Bottom line, he is about to make more money and that's his point, not introducing arugula to the masses and their undervelopped taste buds.

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So who's gonna "take one for the team" and go try one of his dishes?

OK, OK, I went out to this hippy place yesterday that was supposed to be having the brick oven working, I saw it happening, but by the time I got my wine, they had packed up all their food and shut down, I even offered to cook as it was obvious the oven was still very hot. Alas, an hour drive later I was back in my humble little burg and literally starving to death, I didn't want pizza, wings, and the mexican dive was shut down, so it was time for some chain restaurat action, and, alas, Applebees is the only choice. Naturally, I had forgotten about this thread until I got there and was handed a menu with a beaming Tyler on it, opened it up to see his new "dishes" up all four of them in a full color two page spread. I looked over the rest of the menu breifly, and to tell you the truth, on sheer attractiveness his dishes were the most appealing, my girl, and my waitress couldn't agree more. I broke a cardinal rule of mine by ordering the chicken and salad as it has no starch, but my ever accommodating (what can I say, she puts up with it and I am forever grateful) went with the pasta one. I don't have to explain them, if you are interested, I pity you, but they were fair, and really reasonably priced which is alot more than I can say for most of the restaurants around here. The salad was pre dressed, with some warm dressing that was so overpowering and oil free I had to really double and triple take to identify that the healthy portion of green stuff was, in fact, all arugula. The chicken, well, the three needles of rosemary on the skin obviously didn't need to be there, but it was cooked to perfection (for a high temp procedure). The pasta was bountiful and also, to a great degree, not bad. It had peas in it, that was interesting however bastardized it may be with red sauce (I don't pretend to know), and despite cream being advertized, it wasn't very noticable, also somewhat of a mixed blessing. All in all, It could have been worse, and aside from an all you can eat riblet feast when, well, along time ago, It was the best of my five or six meals at the imfamous Crapplebee's in my life. Thanks Tyler Florence.

Edited by coquus (log)
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I said I liked one specific entree I had at Applebees, and that people should try these new entrees as opposed to trashing them out of hand.

I went back and read your posts, I think you had the same chicken I had so here I'll post the score.

chicken 1pos., 1neut., 0neg.

pasta 1pos.

burger N/A, I hope it stays this way

other chicken paillard with creamy parmesan dressing N/A, ditto above

This is kind of futile I know because it's not really being judged against a normal, but I guess I am just rating my overall sense of will this or will this not beat out the riblet phenomenon which propelled ABee's to national fame on par with O.G., Chili's, TGIF's, Ruby Tuesday, Red Lobster and other unsavory family chains.

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I'm thinking its fine for the chef to advertise, and to develop recipes for the chain. Molten chocolate cake started as a big thing, and a decent rendition is available nearly everywhere now. Why shouldnt he raise the bar a bit?

I've eaten at Applebees twice (friend's choice).

One fairly pricey meal I wasnt happy with,

one quite good meal (a clever & well prepared salad) that I was pleased with.

As with all places, it takes some care in selection.

There's a local place near me which cooks exactly 1 dish I like, and I reallllly like that dish. A few meals I didnt enjoy and I figured out how to order there.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Bottom line, he is about to make more money and that's his point, not introducing arugula to the masses and their undervelopped taste buds.
This might be considered a situation in which everyone wins. Tyler makes some dough and some of Applebee's customers get to try something new. Where's the harm?

People who purchase their arugula from a local farmer's market aren't usually the ones suggesting dining at Applebee's. A high-temp cooked chicken? Sounds good and probably on a par with the ubiquitous supermarket rotisserie chicken.

The menu items? Most likely underwent consumer testing before hitting the restaurants (this is a national brand, after all). So these items are a calculated mix between what Tyler would put his name to and what Applebee's customers would like. That tends to manage the expectations for me.

I grew up having family dinners at a midwest HoJo's. As someone mentioned upthread, those were the Jacques Pepin days and I still say those hot dogs and fried clams were damn good.

(I've eaten at Applebee's twice, years ago and not my idea. The second time, the service was so bad the manager offered us free desserts. Based on how the meal was, we politely declined. But he handed over his business card with 'free dessert' written on the back. Never did take him up on it.)

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People who purchase their arugula from a local farmer's market aren't usually the ones suggesting dining at Applebee's.  A high-temp cooked chicken? Sounds good and probably on a par with the ubiquitous supermarket rotisserie chicken.

It's better than that dried up monstrosity, it's "cooked under a brick" unfortunately my rendition didn't have really crispy skin, so while it was probably cooked under a brick once, it was definately not reheated under said brick.

Edited by Dave the Cook (log)
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Ok, initially I was shocked when I saw the commercial. Then I thought about it and really cannot blame him. First, the Food Network is huge. People all over America watch it and hope to one day eat at one of Emeril’s restaurants or visit the Lady and Sons in Savannah (Paula Deen’s place). However most of America is not near a celebrity chef driven restaurant. So they see Tyler pimping his Applebee’s menu, which looks decent enough, and they have an opportunity to try out a dish created by someone they enjoy watching on TV. Hell, Ming Tsai is coming out with a line of frozen and boxed dinners for Target stores, which I am sure he will get ripped for as well. I guess if given the chance to sell out and make a boatload of cash, I’d have a hard time saying no as well. Especially if I am a marginal celebrity chef like Tyler.

I personally don’t have much interest in places like Emeril’s chain of restaurants; then again I am not a huge fan of the Food Network nor am I their target audience. I would much rather eat at a place that became famous because of the food and the chef, and not TV hype. So I dream of eating at places like The French Laundry, Le Bernardin, Chez Panisse, and Alinea.

As for Applebee’s, I think the food there is edible. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible either. I am not going to get up on some pedestal and rip the place to shreds because it’s a chain. I have eaten at far more mom and pop and independent restaurants that suck than chains that suck. Just because something is independently owned doesn’t make it good and just because something is a chain doesn’t make it bad. I have eaten the fajitas, tilapia with tropical salsa and a few other items at Applebee’s and they were much better than I expected. Though if forced to eat at a similar chain, I must say I really enjoy the new Houlihan’s menu, which features some awesome salads and some ingredients and products not found at many chains. With the exception of a great sushi place, I work in a city that is culinary wasteland, so Houlihan’s is one of the few good places to eat.

Explore the food, beverages, and people of Wisconsin EatWisconsin.com

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This is not calling out anyone, so please don't take offense if you fall into this category. It's a simple observation from a guy who likes to eat:

I can't imagine going through my life considering Applebee's food 'inedible' or leaving a majority of it on my plate from the sheer taste/experience of the meal. A dish has to be bad for me to walk away from it. There have to be live insects or cleaning fluids involved for me to walk away hungry.

I'm not sure if it's an actual evolution of taste buds, or just melodrama, but I can't imagine actually feeling that way about an overcooked piece of chicken or underflavored potatoes.

As to my opinion on this situation: Applebee's is my least favorite of the TGI McChilibee's (to steal from a very clever poster upstream), and if this is them trying to eek a little more flavor out of their menu, good for them. I'm sure Applebee's food will improve with this whole affiliation thing, and ultimately, I don't think many of Mr. Florence's actual fans will be put off by this campaign. He's never put himself up on a pedestal that I've noticed, and I think this cements his place among the 'common folk' of cooking.

"Give it to Neil. I'll bet he'll eat it."
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Has any one else noticed the Food Network logo at the begining of the commercial? Having recently read Bill Buford's New Yorker article on corporate branding at FN, it made me wonder if this is an endorsement not just by Tyler Florence but by the Food Network as well. Is this is the first step towards the Giada menu at Olive Garden or the Sandra Lee line at Target, or do you suppose the logo is simply an "As Seen on TV" type consumer enticement? Either way, it seems that Tyler Florence's endorsement may be, at least tacitly, a Food Network endorsement as well. Perhaps this is the first step towards Food Network restaurant/shopping emporiums like ESPN Zones, Hard Rocks, Disney Stores, etc...

-Eric

[edited for clarity]

Edited by EricB (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

I usually end up eating at Applebee's a couple times a year for one reason or another. Anyway, I was there tonight and tried one of the Tyler Florence items: penne rosa, which consisted of penne in a "traditional" spicy tomato sauce, sweet sausage, and peas.

Verdict: if Florence's name weren't on it, it wouldn't have seemed obviously out-of-place with the rest of the menu. That is, it's still clearly Applebee's food first. On the other hand, it was "good" Applebee's food.

I don't subscribe to the idea that a feature of eating at a chain restaurant is getting the same experience and the same food regardless of which outpost you're in. In my experience, what can make the chain restaurant experience so awful sometimes is exactly the individual execution. At its worst, the food is poorly prepared, overly greasy and salted, served cold, and leads to later gastric distress. In different hands, everything is just fine and even tasty.

Anyway, my dish was just fine, even tasty. I've had worse at some local Italian places. I can easily picture the same dish being virtually inedible if executed less happily. But for now, you can up the tally to "pasta: 2 pos."

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I no longer pay for the cable package that would include Food Network. I've seen the commercial on "regular" TV. My guess is that many, if not most, of those viewers have no clue who Tyler Florence is. For many seeing the commercial, he's a good-looking guy who happened to have come up with some menu items for Applebee's. Big deal.

I've only ordered from the bar at Applebee's. The beer is cold.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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I've been to several different Applebee's in different states and each time the food has been sucky to mediocre at best. Applebee's is definitely low on my list of chain restaurants.

But when I first saw the Tyler Florence Applebee commercial, my first thought was, "I hope he helps improve the quality of the food."

I like Tyler Florence. He seems down to earth and every recipe of his I've tried has turned out well. Even though he talks kind of fast, he seems accessible to the average American food eater. He's not doing haute cuisines but he uses fresh, simple ingredients in his cooking (which is still a big step up from a lot of Americans, many of whom rely a LOT on processed, convenience foods).

I agree with ZenKimchi's post:

"My humble take on this is starting to lean to the positive side, the same as Emeril. It's a gateway drug. People who normally go to TGI McChilibee's for fajitas and a hamburger may get their first experience with arugula, or bruscetta, or shaved parmesan on pasta (instead of the canned powder cheese) -- ingredients that we may find pedestrian that they would find exotic. From there, they'd take the next step into trying new cheeses... finding out what that weird lettuce was... wake up to the experience of fresh herbs in cooking. They become more aware. They taste the world differently. They hear about white truffles and try them when they see it on the menu..."

I agree because this is how my development came about for good quality foods. Back in the day, I ate Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, canned chicken broth, Duncan Hines cake mix and parmesan cheese from the jar. And I didn't know any better.

Nowadays, it's homemade mac & cheese with smoked gouda, homemade chicken stock, cakes from scratch and authentic parmiagiano-reggiano. I'm still growing, learning and experimenting...and that's a good thing.

And if I were in Tyler's shoes, I probably wouldn't have turned down the offer either.

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