HOME > Chowhound > Chains >


Applebee's and Tyler Florence??? What is happening?

So it's natural that teeny bopper designers and washed up models would give in to "designing" clothes for megamarts... but what is this? I'm young, but as far as I know, this is unprecedented. Your thoughts?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I must be missing something....not sure what you are talking about. Is Ty now promoting Applebees? It can't be....

    2 Replies
    1. re: cooknKate

      well... worse sort of. He's designed dishes for them... like signature items. I can't really blame him for it, but I really hate to see him using the same expressions when he tastes what applebee's comes up with as when he puts out his TV dishes.

      1. re: amkirkland

        I saw him on their commercial last night.

      1. re: Jesdamala

        I don't mean to be the spoil sport. But the young guy I remember, and his then wife, were pretty committed to the career path his agent had carved out for him. I believe he had just left Aureole when he came to work with me. Even back then he always seemed to have the glossy pictures with him at all times. I believe his exact words were "whatever it takes to get on TV" chef.

        1. re: chef poncho

          Yeah, that sounds like my man Tyler. Glossy and "Delicious"!


          1. re: chef poncho

            So tell us more about Tyler since you have worked with him chef poncho.

        2. If I see Mario Batali hawking for Olive Garden, I'll really have to consider giving up on life.

          7 Replies
          1. re: tamerlanenj

            Isn't Batali the official cook for NASCAR drivers or something equally ridiculous? I think that as long as the $$$ is right, these publicity hound chefs will stoop to anything.

            1. re: gloriousfood

              I don't know if he's the offical cook or not (I didn't read the article), but there's an article in Food and Wine with Nascar-themed grilling from Batali! There's also several Nascar drivers with wineries... apparently Jeff Gordon has a special Nascar-themed bottle of wine too! I'm picturing this bright orange label with his number on it... ugh! (That's more than I've ever even known about Nascar before in my life!)

              1. re: Katie Nell

                just for the record jeff gordons colours arent bright orange.

                im a child of a family who took us to nascar races for vacation...were strangly middle class and from ontario, not rednecks just incase that sterotype was popping up in anyones minds...

                I dont mind the batalli thing too much. I enjoy it better than the nascar cafe concept, which I can unfortunatly say I've dined at...

                1. re: cupcakez

                  I was not insinuating that it was a redneck thing at all; it just seems an odd pairing... wineries and Nascar drivers.

                  And I actually know those aren't his colors, (guess I know more about Nascar than I thought!) but that's just what I picture! I worked at Home Depot for several years, hence I know that's not *his* color!

                1. re: Jacquilynne

                  From the article: "But for what it’s worth, the recipes I tried out were tasty, in an Applebee’s-only-better way."

                  Well, perhaps the idea of Tyler and Applebee's isn't as silly as it sounds....

              2. re: tamerlanenj

                If I see Batali hawking for anything I'll avoid it like the plague. I can't stand that guy.

              3. Well, has anyone actually gone to an Applebee's and tasted these items?

                1. Saw the commercial this evening. When they showed the four dishes on TV it looked like typical Applebee fare. A asald with a piece of chicken, beef or fish. Then there appeared to be a pasta with some gravy and shaved parm. Nothing special.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jfood

                    I feel the same way, one of the plates Tyler was dishing up in the commercial here in Los Angeles was some sort of dry looking crusted chicken with dressed field greens on top. Big deal.

                  2. Maybe I'm interpretting the responses here incorrectly, but it seems as though most of you are just plain ignorant to the fact that the majority of people in this country are living in a chain restaurant-wasteland (read: no local "hidden gems") and do not have the opportunity to actually try well-prepared fresh, foods at local places.

                    I look at Tyler Florence joining up with Applebee's as an opportunity for "middle America" to get to expand their choices a little without having to travel far to achieve this. Believe me, until I moved recently from Los Angeles to a semi-rural part of TX I thought that there would at least be small local restaurants around that served innovative, healthy, fresh, local cuisine - boy was I wrong. Most of the non-chain restaurants here (and around much of the country) serve poor quality swill (mainly processed, fried and not made from scratch). Some people actually *have* to go to Applebee's to get some non-fried, "fresh" food if they want to eat out. If this is the case, why shouldn't they be able to at least experience someone like Tyler Florence's cooking?

                    Be grateful that you have choices where you live and aren't forced to eat at chain restaurants when you choose to go out to dinner, but I still say good for Applebee's and Tyler Florence for trying to expand the culinary horizons of people who are less fortunate than most Chowhounds.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Erika RollerGirl

                      Well said Erica,

                      I know I have one excellent restaurant within 50 miles of my home. Sure Chicago is close (70 miles), but I rarely have the time/desire to go into the city anymore. So I am sometimes relegated to eat @ the chains . I am not anti chain like many on here, for what they do they do an alright job.

                      Let the man make his $$$, I doubt any of you would turn down a payday like that..

                      1. re: Erika RollerGirl

                        I couldn't agree more. I know Chowhound is not meant to be snobby, but sometimes it feels that way. C'mon, people who live in more remote areas LIKE Applebee's and Olive Garden and WILL drive a little ways to go there.

                        1. re: Erika RollerGirl

                          Good points very well stated!
                          I feel similarly about "Emeril" his 'schtick" really irritates me, but....he is educating 'middle America' about food....
                          and yes, I am grateful that I live here in San Fran. and can make choices about Chow!...but it is a BIG country out there...give'em a break!

                        2. I'm about as far from being a Tyler Florence fan as is chowishly possible. In his defense though-(and I'm holding my nose as I say this) even the esteemed Jacques Pepin, who I actually respect and admire, designed and produced dishes at Howard Johnsons for several years!
                          So Tyler, you go girl!