At Tyler Florence's demonstration at the NYC Wine and Food Festival, Florence taught the crowd how to make the ultimate birthday dinner. It was the exact dinner he made for his wife on her birthday! The boyishly handsome chef has had a busy year. Not only did his wife give birth to a baby girl, but he also released two new cookbooks, opened a kitchenware store in Northern California, and filmed an upcoming season of Tyler's Ultimate, all while making appearances and doing demonstrations.
His special dinner menu — which is ideal for the holiday season — consisted of beef tenderloin with Béarnaise sauce, Brussels sprout and fingerling potato hash, and carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. To see what Tyler had to say about this menu,
- Instead of a regular round cake, Florence recommends making a long, rectangular cake (I loved this idea and am doing it the next time I make cake). Pour the cake batter into a large cookie sheet. Bake as you would any cake. Remove from the oven and cut into three even rectangles. Layer frosting between the pieces.
- Beef tenderloin is a great cut of meat when feeding a crowd.
- "Color equals flavor." To maximize the flavor of the beef, Tyler sears it in a smoking pan. Then he roasts it in the oven until finished.
- Always add fresh herbs. Dried herbs don't do much to a dish. Fresh herbs, on the other hand, make a dish fragrant and delicious.
- Be cleaver with garnishes. Florence refers to the process of making food beautiful as "culinary pyrotechnics."
- Make the Béarnaise sauce in the blender. It's quick and easy.
- For the fluffiest frosting, always stir or mix with a wire whisk.
- Take the beef out of the oven when the temperature reads 125°F. While the meat rests, its temperature will rise to 130°F.
What's your go-to menu for special occasions? What do you think of Tyler Florence's menu and tips?