Customer Reviews: Tyler Florence Family Meal: Bringing People Together Never Tasted Better
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on November 8, 2010
Ok - let me start off by saying that I am a huge fan of Tyler - his recipes have gotten me through more holidays and family dinners than I can count. The thing I love the most about his food, while it isn't fussy and overdone, is that it works as a great basis for the cook to build off of. I have printouts of his recipes from Food Network that have handwritten notes all over them, adding ingredients or changing cooking methods or times. His recipes really are accessible, fun, and inspiring. Because of this, I could not wait to get his new book...and at first, I was a little underwhelmed.

The book, physically, is not a nice, glossy, jacket-wearing cookbook. The book is bigger than his other books and the cover has this odd, ribbing to it. (think of one of those moving, image pictures) Also, the cover art is really more subdued than his other books - so, I think there is a lack of excitement when people get a hold of the book. It is different.

Also, I think some people are thrown by the format of the book too. It is not just a regular cookbook, with a tiny little narrative, if any, over each recipe and full of nothing but recipes. This book is more personal. It is more casual. I think he was going for the FEELING of a comfortable, casual family dinner here. There are more stories. The recipes are more casual. Even the narrator's voice is more familiar and friendly. This isn't a cookbook, it is a book about his personal relationship with cooking for the people he cares about and his favorite recipes to do that with. So, WAY different than the other offerings he has. Once I realized that, this was less like his show and more like being in the kitchen with him, rummaging through his recipe card file - I got it.

And boy am I glad I did. The turkey meatloaf is amazing, as another reviewer said. The recipes are not overly fussy or complicated, though some do require a little more time than others. In his typical fashion, he made me eager to cook from the book - if I could just get off the couch from reading it like a novel.

So, here is the scoop of the poop - if you are looking for a regular, Tyler cookbook - then this might not work for you. You would do better to get another one of his books. If you are looking for a friendly experience that brings home what cooking really means - not impressing or astounding people - but bringing people together to enjoy each other's company and making your family and friends feel at home...this is a good book to start with.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 20, 2010
This is a sturdy cookbook, but also one that tells much of Tyler Florence and his family. He gives an eloquent introduction: family is the people you spend a great deal of time with, care for and trust...a two-way street. Then he has pages throughout that tell a bit about his family and friends with pictures. He explains what a family meal is to a chef. This book is very similar in style to his book Dinner at My Place.

The pictures of the recipes are luscious. He tells a small amount about each recipe, such as how he discovered his recipe for creamed spinach, omelets are a test for young culinary cooks and how his friend went on a quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. It contains recipes for: brunch, simple dinners, salads and sides, easy desserts, potluck, southern, soups and starters, mains and sides.
These recipes are not the simplest, but not all that difficult. Many have a lot of steps in them. But there are some really good ones that have been hits in our household: Tolan's glazed turkey meatloaf (which we have even used beef instead of turkey for an ingredient), Chicken, avocado and bacon salad, Chili relleno rice, Porkie pie, and probably the best Beef Wellington recipe.

Cookbook collectors, fans of Tyler Florence and those who would like some different recipes would appreciate this book.
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on October 15, 2010
I received my copy of Tyler's book yesterday and could not put it down...and it's a cookbook! The photography is beautiful, the recipes are well-written and instructive, and the stories Tyler shares are so much fun. Even the cover is user-friendly -- durable and no jacket. The recipes are not complicated and include ingredients that everyone can find. I plan to cook my way through this book beginning tonight! I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes Tyler and/or loves family-style fare with a twist. Thank you, Tyler, for sharing this book with all of us!
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on October 12, 2010
My copy of Tyler's newest creation arrived today. I just sat down and quickly took a look. The photograhy is awesome and makes you want to drop what you are doing and cook, like right now. As I read the narration I can almost hear Tyler's voice. The recipes are my style, no ingredient that I can't get here in Wisconsin. These are family recipes that Tyler prepares for his kids, wife, family and friends. Get this one. Or two! Give your family cooks a copy for Christmas. I'm not sure how I am going to break it to my husband that we need to move to Northern California, to Tyler's neighborhood
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on December 7, 2013
I borrowed this book from my local library and was very impressed with itr. I've only seen a few of his shows on Food Network and his style of cooking on TV never really appealed to me, but my husband asked me to come up with different things to make for dinner and I figured I would give it a try. I copied down at least 15 of his recipes and liked the fact that most of the ingredients were accessable (I live in an area where it's very challenging, sometimes impossible to find any sort of specialty item). Most of the recipes were easy to prepare and there was no guess work involved, whereas with a few other cookbooks I've read, the directions are vague at best.
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on December 21, 2012
We bought this as a gift for my son and I almost kept it for myself. The layout are clear and easy to follow. The pictures are so good that you gain weight just looking at the food. The recipes are clear and easy to follow. My son had the book for a few weeks and had already made several of the recipes. I was so impressed with the overall quality and design of the book I put Tyler Florence Restaurants on my "To Do List."
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on June 23, 2011
This is the first cookbook that I have read like a novel. I so enjoy reading about how food and family mean so much to so many. The photos were wonderful, mouth watering, and inspirational. I have tried many of Tyler Florence's recipes and hear his "voice" while I'm reading his words. His enthusiasm for bringing his family and friends together is very evident. I shared this book with my mother, we are planning a menu based on this book!
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on December 18, 2012
Tyler Florence never fails to provide delicious recipes, not tweeking to make more flavorful they always please. I own all of Tylers books and will continue to purchase whatever he publishes xox excellent purchase.
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on February 17, 2014
Most of these recipes can bed had from the Internet, but the books great pictures and stories that accompany it more than justify the cost. And, if you like beef wellington, this is a great detailed recipe on how to make it.
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on July 18, 2016
I bought this book used, its condition is like new. I have made a few recipes from this book and love them. The banana bread is one of the best recipes I have found, and the asparagus appetizer is one of my favorites to make. Love this book and have recommended it to a few friends.
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