5 Things You Didn't Know About Tyler Florence

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You probably know Tyler Florence as the omniscient host of Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race, which has been on the air for seven seasons, and if you've been watching the network for a while you might also know him from Tyler's Ultimate, Food 911, and How to Boil Water. It's obvious that Florence knows a thing or two about cooking, but the extent of his experience and expertise just might surprise you. Here are 5 things we bet you didn't know about this dashing chef, in honor of his 46th birthday today.

He's Been Working in Restaurants Since Age 15
Florence's first professional gig was as a dishwasher at a restaurant in his hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. A trip to Paris at age 19 cemented his desire to become a professional chef.

He Honed His Professional Chops in New York City
After graduating from Charleston's Johnson & Wales University in 1991, he moved to New York and found work in such prestigious kitchens as Charlie Palmer's Aureole and Pino Luongo's Mad 61.

He Opened His First Restaurant at Age 27
In 1998, Florence was the founding chef at New York's Cafeteria, which is still a Chelsea hostpot nearly 20 years later.

He Owns a Very Successful San Francisco Restaurant
Florence opened Wayfare Tavern, an upscale pub, in San Francisco in 2010; today it has four out of five Yelp stars and has a nearly flawless trach record of good reviews. He also runs a housewares shop just north of San Francisco.

He's Published 11 Cookbooks
His books include two that are geared toward children, Tyler Makes Pancakes and Tyler Makes Spaghetti.