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Tyler Florence's 9 Favorite Restaurants Around the World Slideshow

Tyler Florence's 9 Favorite Restaurants Around the World Slideshow

Balthazar (New York City)

Balthazar is not only one of New York's highest rated French restaurants, it is also Tyler Florence's all-time favorite restaurant for a sit down meal.

“My hands down favorite restaurant is Balthazar in New York City 'cause I think there's different levels of satiation,” said Florence. “There's nutrients and there's satiating the soul and I just think Balthazar is the epicenter of New York City.”

The restaurant boasts a menu of signature and gourmet French fare, including moules frites, duck confit, and chicken liver with fois gras mousse. Florence's favorite Balthazar dish is the steak tartare.

“The steak tartare is just sensational,” said Florence.

Chez L'ami Louis (Paris)

In Paris, Florence heads to Chez L'ami Louis for French bistro-style fare and a dose of the restaurant's stellar atmosphere.

“You walk in and you walk into a time warp of a restaurant,” said Florence. “It is French bistro and the food is fantastic.”

In terms of his favorite dish, Florence singles out the restaurant's potatoes fried goose fat.

“They have a potatoes fried goose fat,” said Florence. “It's ridiculous, like what is that?”

River Café (London)

With a Michelin star under its belt, River Café in London dishes out some of Tyler Florence's favorite Italian food.

“I like River Café in London. I like it a lot,” said Florence. “It's an amazing place. The last thing I had there was a tagliatelle with stinging nettles. The room is great and the vibe and the energy is fantastic.”

The restaurant's menu is seasonal and therefore ever-changing, though some of the River Café’s summer dishes include handmade pasta with summer girolles and thyme, poached langoustines with marjoram and sea salt, and veal loin rolled and stuffed with rosemary, fennel, and sage.

Casa Tua (Miami)

Located in Miami's Casa Tua Hotel, Casa Tua serves up Northern Italian eats in an outdoor garden setting complete with lantern lighting.

“It's an amazing place. It's sexy. You have to check it out,” said Florence, who notes, “The tuna tartare is pretty incredible there.”

Lucques (Los Angeles)

For signature California cuisine, Florence treats himself to courses at Lucques in Los Angeles.

“Lucques is pretty amazing,” said Florence. “It's just the definition of amazing Californian flavors.”

For dinner, Lucques cooks up mouthwatering entrees, such as harissa-grilled lamb sirloin with cous cous, apricots, labneh, and pistachios, and pan-roasted merluza with succotash, coconut milk, and curried cherry tomatoes.

“Susan Goin is just year after year the best,” said Florence about the restaurant's multiple James Beard award-winning chef.

Di Fara Pizza (Brooklyn)

When Tyler Florence wants pizza, he goes out of his way to grab a slice from Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn, even if the journey costs him $173.

“I got a town car from New York City and I spent $173 to go out to Di Fara's to have a slice and come back,” said Florence. “It was worth every penny."

What Florence loves most about Di Fara Pizza's pies are the crust and the sauce.

“It's beautiful....Even the texture of the crust has a little snap to it,” said Florence. “I've lived in New York City for fifteen years and I've had everything that you think is good pizza and I just don't think anything hits that level, hits every single note. The sauce is just perfectly balanced and has this nice texture to it.”

Wayfare Tavern (San Francisco)

Florence names his own San Francisco flagship restaurant Wayfare Tavern as one of his favorite restaurants.

“I'd have to throw my restaurant in my top nine favorite restaurants,” said Florence. “Every time I walk in Wayfare Tavern I fall in love with my restaurant all over again.”

Open in 2010, Wayfare Tavern serves guests gourmet bites, such as American Kobe tartare with French mustard dressing, egg yolks, and warm garlic popovers, ahi tuna carpaccio, organic fried chicken with buttermilk brine, and a selection of fresh seafood from the restaurant's raw bar.

“We just had our second anniversary and we've never been better,” said Florence. “Our food is just on fire right now.”

Cibrèo Ristorante (Florence)

In Italy, Florence loves to dine at Cibrèo Ristorante, the Florentine restaurant where he staged earlier in his career.

“He's just brilliant with his food,” said Florence of Fabio Picci, Cibrèo's owner. “The Florentine style of cooking is really more about the soft texture. The texture that he gets out of the slow cook, the mind blowing complexity of the slow cook...I just don't think anyone in Italy can really touch him.”

15 East Restaurant (New York City)

15 East Restaurant is one of New York City's most buzzed about sushi bars. According to Florence, the restaurant not only has great Japanese food but also unparalleled service.

“I just had really good sushi two nights ago at this place called 15 in New York, sensational,” said Florence. “The way the menu's crafted, it's very, very, very Japanese, but it's also sort of French-American at the same time. The sake program is treated with the same reverence as wine. The service is just impeccable...very, very, very good.”

Besides an array of fresh sushi and sashimi options, the menu also serves awabi risotto with abalone, grilled swordfish with garlic chili miso, and blue crab croquettes with Dijon mustard and fois gras hollandaise. For $120, diners can also indulge in a six-course tasting menu.


Tyler Florence gives his family fried-chicken recipe a California re-do

3 of 14 Wayfare Tavern's innovative take on fried chicken is well seasoned with onion and garlic powders, salt and a bit of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

4 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

5 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

6 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

7 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

8 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

9 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

10 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

11 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

12 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

13 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

14 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

Maybe it's the years of television appearances, but Tyler Florence comes across as an irresistibly likable guy.

He's a seasoned professional in the art of appearing totally laid back while simultaneously making business ventures that have turned him into a household name, with the restaurants, cookbooks, Food Network shows, Costco food line and baby-food company to show for it.

The South Carolina native moved from New York to Northern California in 2007 to be closer to his wife's family. Life there suited him, and the bounty that he discovered - locally made cheeses, outrageously good vegetables and fruit all year round - only deepened his simple-is-best approach to food and cooking.

It's a philosophy that's evident at his San Francisco restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. The menu has enough familiar dishes that it avoids challenging the businessmen and tourists who, hoping to catch a glimpse of Florence, crowd the space nightly.

The mainstays include deviled eggs, a righteous burger, creamed spinach and towering wedges of coconut layer cake. But the ingredients are good and sourced locally, and Florence is relentlessly curious.

He tinkers with even the most straightforward, time-honored dishes, improving them through innovation and experimentation.

His fried chicken is an example. Florence recently posted a photo of it on his Instagram feed, noting that the restaurant had served 148 orders of it on a recent Wednesday.

Its popularity is no surprise. The generously seasoned flour dredge is based on his grandmother's ("Hers was so well seasoned the flour looked brown," he recalls) and includes onion and garlic powders, a good amount of salt and a small amount of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust.

It's just as good eaten at room temperature as it is when it's hot.

At Wayfare Tavern, the kitchen first cooks the chicken sous vide, then soaks the pieces in buttermilk before dredging and frying to order. The initial slow cooking keeps the chicken exceptionally juicy and cuts the frying time to about six minutes instead of the 20 or so it would take if you started with raw chicken.

Knowing that sous vide cooking isn't part of most home cooks' tool kits, Florence developed a home hack: slow-roasting the whole chicken at 200 degrees, then cutting it into pieces and soaking it in buttermilk and finally dredging and frying.

He rubs the chicken with fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, bay and garlic before it roasts, then infuses the frying oil with more of the same herbs, frying whole sprigs, leaves and cloves.

Florence piles the fried chicken on a wooden cutting board, crowns it with a wreath of fried herbs and garlic, and leans lemon wedges against the stack. He flashes that winning Florence grin as he presents the craggy, golden chicken.

Like Florence himself, it's hard to resist its charms.

Wayfare Tavern's Fried Chicken

1½ tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh thyme plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh sage plus 4 sprigs

10 bay leaves: 5 minced, 5 left whole

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 (3- to 3½-pound) organic chickens

1 tablespoon hot sauce (Crystal or Tabasco)

1 gallon grapeseed or canola oil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Flaky sea salt, for serving

2 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving

Instructions to roast the chickens: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs, minced bay leaves, minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil to make a paste. Rub the mixture on the chickens, place the seasoned birds in a roasting pan and put in the oven. After about 2½ hours, remove the chicken from the oven. The internal temperature between the breast and the thigh near the bone should be 150 degrees. At this stage, the chicken is cooked three-quarters of the way through. Let cool enough so you can handle.

Marinate the chickens: Cut the parcooked chickens into 10 pieces: Cut off the wings, drumsticks and thighs, and cut breast pieces in half. (Save backs for stock.) Put the buttermilk in a large bowl and season with hot sauce and sugar. Add the chicken pieces and let sit 30 minutes at room temperature.

Prepare the oil: Pour the oil into a large, wide heavy-bottom pot, making sure there is at least 3 inches of clearance over the level of the oil. Turn the heat to medium-high. Break apart the head of garlic into cloves, but do not peel the cloves. Add the whole garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme and sage sprigs and the remaining five whole bay leaves to the oil. As the oil heats, the herbs and garlic will perfume the oil. When the herbs are crisp and the garlic is a light golden brown (about 10-15 minutes), use a spider or slotted spoon to remove them from the oil transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.

Prepare the dredge: While oil heats, combine flours, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk (do not dry) and dredge each piece well in flour mixture. Discard the buttermilk and the remaining flour mixture.

When the oil reaches 375 degrees on a candy or deep-fry thermometer, add as many chicken pieces as will fit without crowding (up to half the pieces). Fry, turning the pieces occasionally, until all of the pieces are golden brown, 6-8 minutes, and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a flattened paper bag to drain. Let the oil return to temperature fry the remaining chicken as directed above.

When all of the chicken has been fried and drained, transfer to a platter or wooden cutting board and season with flaky salt. Pile the fried herbs and garlic on top of the chicken and serve with wedges of lemon.


Tyler Florence gives his family fried-chicken recipe a California re-do

3 of 14 Wayfare Tavern's innovative take on fried chicken is well seasoned with onion and garlic powders, salt and a bit of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

4 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

5 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

6 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

7 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

8 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

9 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

10 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

11 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

12 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

13 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

14 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

Maybe it's the years of television appearances, but Tyler Florence comes across as an irresistibly likable guy.

He's a seasoned professional in the art of appearing totally laid back while simultaneously making business ventures that have turned him into a household name, with the restaurants, cookbooks, Food Network shows, Costco food line and baby-food company to show for it.

The South Carolina native moved from New York to Northern California in 2007 to be closer to his wife's family. Life there suited him, and the bounty that he discovered - locally made cheeses, outrageously good vegetables and fruit all year round - only deepened his simple-is-best approach to food and cooking.

It's a philosophy that's evident at his San Francisco restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. The menu has enough familiar dishes that it avoids challenging the businessmen and tourists who, hoping to catch a glimpse of Florence, crowd the space nightly.

The mainstays include deviled eggs, a righteous burger, creamed spinach and towering wedges of coconut layer cake. But the ingredients are good and sourced locally, and Florence is relentlessly curious.

He tinkers with even the most straightforward, time-honored dishes, improving them through innovation and experimentation.

His fried chicken is an example. Florence recently posted a photo of it on his Instagram feed, noting that the restaurant had served 148 orders of it on a recent Wednesday.

Its popularity is no surprise. The generously seasoned flour dredge is based on his grandmother's ("Hers was so well seasoned the flour looked brown," he recalls) and includes onion and garlic powders, a good amount of salt and a small amount of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust.

It's just as good eaten at room temperature as it is when it's hot.

At Wayfare Tavern, the kitchen first cooks the chicken sous vide, then soaks the pieces in buttermilk before dredging and frying to order. The initial slow cooking keeps the chicken exceptionally juicy and cuts the frying time to about six minutes instead of the 20 or so it would take if you started with raw chicken.

Knowing that sous vide cooking isn't part of most home cooks' tool kits, Florence developed a home hack: slow-roasting the whole chicken at 200 degrees, then cutting it into pieces and soaking it in buttermilk and finally dredging and frying.

He rubs the chicken with fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, bay and garlic before it roasts, then infuses the frying oil with more of the same herbs, frying whole sprigs, leaves and cloves.

Florence piles the fried chicken on a wooden cutting board, crowns it with a wreath of fried herbs and garlic, and leans lemon wedges against the stack. He flashes that winning Florence grin as he presents the craggy, golden chicken.

Like Florence himself, it's hard to resist its charms.

Wayfare Tavern's Fried Chicken

1½ tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh thyme plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh sage plus 4 sprigs

10 bay leaves: 5 minced, 5 left whole

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 (3- to 3½-pound) organic chickens

1 tablespoon hot sauce (Crystal or Tabasco)

1 gallon grapeseed or canola oil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Flaky sea salt, for serving

2 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving

Instructions to roast the chickens: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs, minced bay leaves, minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil to make a paste. Rub the mixture on the chickens, place the seasoned birds in a roasting pan and put in the oven. After about 2½ hours, remove the chicken from the oven. The internal temperature between the breast and the thigh near the bone should be 150 degrees. At this stage, the chicken is cooked three-quarters of the way through. Let cool enough so you can handle.

Marinate the chickens: Cut the parcooked chickens into 10 pieces: Cut off the wings, drumsticks and thighs, and cut breast pieces in half. (Save backs for stock.) Put the buttermilk in a large bowl and season with hot sauce and sugar. Add the chicken pieces and let sit 30 minutes at room temperature.

Prepare the oil: Pour the oil into a large, wide heavy-bottom pot, making sure there is at least 3 inches of clearance over the level of the oil. Turn the heat to medium-high. Break apart the head of garlic into cloves, but do not peel the cloves. Add the whole garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme and sage sprigs and the remaining five whole bay leaves to the oil. As the oil heats, the herbs and garlic will perfume the oil. When the herbs are crisp and the garlic is a light golden brown (about 10-15 minutes), use a spider or slotted spoon to remove them from the oil transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.

Prepare the dredge: While oil heats, combine flours, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk (do not dry) and dredge each piece well in flour mixture. Discard the buttermilk and the remaining flour mixture.

When the oil reaches 375 degrees on a candy or deep-fry thermometer, add as many chicken pieces as will fit without crowding (up to half the pieces). Fry, turning the pieces occasionally, until all of the pieces are golden brown, 6-8 minutes, and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a flattened paper bag to drain. Let the oil return to temperature fry the remaining chicken as directed above.

When all of the chicken has been fried and drained, transfer to a platter or wooden cutting board and season with flaky salt. Pile the fried herbs and garlic on top of the chicken and serve with wedges of lemon.


Tyler Florence gives his family fried-chicken recipe a California re-do

3 of 14 Wayfare Tavern's innovative take on fried chicken is well seasoned with onion and garlic powders, salt and a bit of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

4 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

5 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

6 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

7 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

8 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

9 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

10 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

11 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

12 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

13 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

14 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

Maybe it's the years of television appearances, but Tyler Florence comes across as an irresistibly likable guy.

He's a seasoned professional in the art of appearing totally laid back while simultaneously making business ventures that have turned him into a household name, with the restaurants, cookbooks, Food Network shows, Costco food line and baby-food company to show for it.

The South Carolina native moved from New York to Northern California in 2007 to be closer to his wife's family. Life there suited him, and the bounty that he discovered - locally made cheeses, outrageously good vegetables and fruit all year round - only deepened his simple-is-best approach to food and cooking.

It's a philosophy that's evident at his San Francisco restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. The menu has enough familiar dishes that it avoids challenging the businessmen and tourists who, hoping to catch a glimpse of Florence, crowd the space nightly.

The mainstays include deviled eggs, a righteous burger, creamed spinach and towering wedges of coconut layer cake. But the ingredients are good and sourced locally, and Florence is relentlessly curious.

He tinkers with even the most straightforward, time-honored dishes, improving them through innovation and experimentation.

His fried chicken is an example. Florence recently posted a photo of it on his Instagram feed, noting that the restaurant had served 148 orders of it on a recent Wednesday.

Its popularity is no surprise. The generously seasoned flour dredge is based on his grandmother's ("Hers was so well seasoned the flour looked brown," he recalls) and includes onion and garlic powders, a good amount of salt and a small amount of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust.

It's just as good eaten at room temperature as it is when it's hot.

At Wayfare Tavern, the kitchen first cooks the chicken sous vide, then soaks the pieces in buttermilk before dredging and frying to order. The initial slow cooking keeps the chicken exceptionally juicy and cuts the frying time to about six minutes instead of the 20 or so it would take if you started with raw chicken.

Knowing that sous vide cooking isn't part of most home cooks' tool kits, Florence developed a home hack: slow-roasting the whole chicken at 200 degrees, then cutting it into pieces and soaking it in buttermilk and finally dredging and frying.

He rubs the chicken with fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, bay and garlic before it roasts, then infuses the frying oil with more of the same herbs, frying whole sprigs, leaves and cloves.

Florence piles the fried chicken on a wooden cutting board, crowns it with a wreath of fried herbs and garlic, and leans lemon wedges against the stack. He flashes that winning Florence grin as he presents the craggy, golden chicken.

Like Florence himself, it's hard to resist its charms.

Wayfare Tavern's Fried Chicken

1½ tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh thyme plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh sage plus 4 sprigs

10 bay leaves: 5 minced, 5 left whole

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 (3- to 3½-pound) organic chickens

1 tablespoon hot sauce (Crystal or Tabasco)

1 gallon grapeseed or canola oil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Flaky sea salt, for serving

2 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving

Instructions to roast the chickens: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs, minced bay leaves, minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil to make a paste. Rub the mixture on the chickens, place the seasoned birds in a roasting pan and put in the oven. After about 2½ hours, remove the chicken from the oven. The internal temperature between the breast and the thigh near the bone should be 150 degrees. At this stage, the chicken is cooked three-quarters of the way through. Let cool enough so you can handle.

Marinate the chickens: Cut the parcooked chickens into 10 pieces: Cut off the wings, drumsticks and thighs, and cut breast pieces in half. (Save backs for stock.) Put the buttermilk in a large bowl and season with hot sauce and sugar. Add the chicken pieces and let sit 30 minutes at room temperature.

Prepare the oil: Pour the oil into a large, wide heavy-bottom pot, making sure there is at least 3 inches of clearance over the level of the oil. Turn the heat to medium-high. Break apart the head of garlic into cloves, but do not peel the cloves. Add the whole garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme and sage sprigs and the remaining five whole bay leaves to the oil. As the oil heats, the herbs and garlic will perfume the oil. When the herbs are crisp and the garlic is a light golden brown (about 10-15 minutes), use a spider or slotted spoon to remove them from the oil transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.

Prepare the dredge: While oil heats, combine flours, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk (do not dry) and dredge each piece well in flour mixture. Discard the buttermilk and the remaining flour mixture.

When the oil reaches 375 degrees on a candy or deep-fry thermometer, add as many chicken pieces as will fit without crowding (up to half the pieces). Fry, turning the pieces occasionally, until all of the pieces are golden brown, 6-8 minutes, and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a flattened paper bag to drain. Let the oil return to temperature fry the remaining chicken as directed above.

When all of the chicken has been fried and drained, transfer to a platter or wooden cutting board and season with flaky salt. Pile the fried herbs and garlic on top of the chicken and serve with wedges of lemon.


Tyler Florence gives his family fried-chicken recipe a California re-do

3 of 14 Wayfare Tavern's innovative take on fried chicken is well seasoned with onion and garlic powders, salt and a bit of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

4 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

5 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

6 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

7 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

8 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

9 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

10 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

11 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

12 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

13 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

14 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

Maybe it's the years of television appearances, but Tyler Florence comes across as an irresistibly likable guy.

He's a seasoned professional in the art of appearing totally laid back while simultaneously making business ventures that have turned him into a household name, with the restaurants, cookbooks, Food Network shows, Costco food line and baby-food company to show for it.

The South Carolina native moved from New York to Northern California in 2007 to be closer to his wife's family. Life there suited him, and the bounty that he discovered - locally made cheeses, outrageously good vegetables and fruit all year round - only deepened his simple-is-best approach to food and cooking.

It's a philosophy that's evident at his San Francisco restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. The menu has enough familiar dishes that it avoids challenging the businessmen and tourists who, hoping to catch a glimpse of Florence, crowd the space nightly.

The mainstays include deviled eggs, a righteous burger, creamed spinach and towering wedges of coconut layer cake. But the ingredients are good and sourced locally, and Florence is relentlessly curious.

He tinkers with even the most straightforward, time-honored dishes, improving them through innovation and experimentation.

His fried chicken is an example. Florence recently posted a photo of it on his Instagram feed, noting that the restaurant had served 148 orders of it on a recent Wednesday.

Its popularity is no surprise. The generously seasoned flour dredge is based on his grandmother's ("Hers was so well seasoned the flour looked brown," he recalls) and includes onion and garlic powders, a good amount of salt and a small amount of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust.

It's just as good eaten at room temperature as it is when it's hot.

At Wayfare Tavern, the kitchen first cooks the chicken sous vide, then soaks the pieces in buttermilk before dredging and frying to order. The initial slow cooking keeps the chicken exceptionally juicy and cuts the frying time to about six minutes instead of the 20 or so it would take if you started with raw chicken.

Knowing that sous vide cooking isn't part of most home cooks' tool kits, Florence developed a home hack: slow-roasting the whole chicken at 200 degrees, then cutting it into pieces and soaking it in buttermilk and finally dredging and frying.

He rubs the chicken with fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, bay and garlic before it roasts, then infuses the frying oil with more of the same herbs, frying whole sprigs, leaves and cloves.

Florence piles the fried chicken on a wooden cutting board, crowns it with a wreath of fried herbs and garlic, and leans lemon wedges against the stack. He flashes that winning Florence grin as he presents the craggy, golden chicken.

Like Florence himself, it's hard to resist its charms.

Wayfare Tavern's Fried Chicken

1½ tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh thyme plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh sage plus 4 sprigs

10 bay leaves: 5 minced, 5 left whole

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 (3- to 3½-pound) organic chickens

1 tablespoon hot sauce (Crystal or Tabasco)

1 gallon grapeseed or canola oil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Flaky sea salt, for serving

2 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving

Instructions to roast the chickens: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs, minced bay leaves, minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil to make a paste. Rub the mixture on the chickens, place the seasoned birds in a roasting pan and put in the oven. After about 2½ hours, remove the chicken from the oven. The internal temperature between the breast and the thigh near the bone should be 150 degrees. At this stage, the chicken is cooked three-quarters of the way through. Let cool enough so you can handle.

Marinate the chickens: Cut the parcooked chickens into 10 pieces: Cut off the wings, drumsticks and thighs, and cut breast pieces in half. (Save backs for stock.) Put the buttermilk in a large bowl and season with hot sauce and sugar. Add the chicken pieces and let sit 30 minutes at room temperature.

Prepare the oil: Pour the oil into a large, wide heavy-bottom pot, making sure there is at least 3 inches of clearance over the level of the oil. Turn the heat to medium-high. Break apart the head of garlic into cloves, but do not peel the cloves. Add the whole garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme and sage sprigs and the remaining five whole bay leaves to the oil. As the oil heats, the herbs and garlic will perfume the oil. When the herbs are crisp and the garlic is a light golden brown (about 10-15 minutes), use a spider or slotted spoon to remove them from the oil transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.

Prepare the dredge: While oil heats, combine flours, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk (do not dry) and dredge each piece well in flour mixture. Discard the buttermilk and the remaining flour mixture.

When the oil reaches 375 degrees on a candy or deep-fry thermometer, add as many chicken pieces as will fit without crowding (up to half the pieces). Fry, turning the pieces occasionally, until all of the pieces are golden brown, 6-8 minutes, and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a flattened paper bag to drain. Let the oil return to temperature fry the remaining chicken as directed above.

When all of the chicken has been fried and drained, transfer to a platter or wooden cutting board and season with flaky salt. Pile the fried herbs and garlic on top of the chicken and serve with wedges of lemon.


Tyler Florence gives his family fried-chicken recipe a California re-do

3 of 14 Wayfare Tavern's innovative take on fried chicken is well seasoned with onion and garlic powders, salt and a bit of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

4 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

5 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

6 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

7 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

8 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

9 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

10 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

11 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

12 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

13 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

14 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

Maybe it's the years of television appearances, but Tyler Florence comes across as an irresistibly likable guy.

He's a seasoned professional in the art of appearing totally laid back while simultaneously making business ventures that have turned him into a household name, with the restaurants, cookbooks, Food Network shows, Costco food line and baby-food company to show for it.

The South Carolina native moved from New York to Northern California in 2007 to be closer to his wife's family. Life there suited him, and the bounty that he discovered - locally made cheeses, outrageously good vegetables and fruit all year round - only deepened his simple-is-best approach to food and cooking.

It's a philosophy that's evident at his San Francisco restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. The menu has enough familiar dishes that it avoids challenging the businessmen and tourists who, hoping to catch a glimpse of Florence, crowd the space nightly.

The mainstays include deviled eggs, a righteous burger, creamed spinach and towering wedges of coconut layer cake. But the ingredients are good and sourced locally, and Florence is relentlessly curious.

He tinkers with even the most straightforward, time-honored dishes, improving them through innovation and experimentation.

His fried chicken is an example. Florence recently posted a photo of it on his Instagram feed, noting that the restaurant had served 148 orders of it on a recent Wednesday.

Its popularity is no surprise. The generously seasoned flour dredge is based on his grandmother's ("Hers was so well seasoned the flour looked brown," he recalls) and includes onion and garlic powders, a good amount of salt and a small amount of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust.

It's just as good eaten at room temperature as it is when it's hot.

At Wayfare Tavern, the kitchen first cooks the chicken sous vide, then soaks the pieces in buttermilk before dredging and frying to order. The initial slow cooking keeps the chicken exceptionally juicy and cuts the frying time to about six minutes instead of the 20 or so it would take if you started with raw chicken.

Knowing that sous vide cooking isn't part of most home cooks' tool kits, Florence developed a home hack: slow-roasting the whole chicken at 200 degrees, then cutting it into pieces and soaking it in buttermilk and finally dredging and frying.

He rubs the chicken with fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, bay and garlic before it roasts, then infuses the frying oil with more of the same herbs, frying whole sprigs, leaves and cloves.

Florence piles the fried chicken on a wooden cutting board, crowns it with a wreath of fried herbs and garlic, and leans lemon wedges against the stack. He flashes that winning Florence grin as he presents the craggy, golden chicken.

Like Florence himself, it's hard to resist its charms.

Wayfare Tavern's Fried Chicken

1½ tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh thyme plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh sage plus 4 sprigs

10 bay leaves: 5 minced, 5 left whole

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 (3- to 3½-pound) organic chickens

1 tablespoon hot sauce (Crystal or Tabasco)

1 gallon grapeseed or canola oil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Flaky sea salt, for serving

2 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving

Instructions to roast the chickens: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs, minced bay leaves, minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil to make a paste. Rub the mixture on the chickens, place the seasoned birds in a roasting pan and put in the oven. After about 2½ hours, remove the chicken from the oven. The internal temperature between the breast and the thigh near the bone should be 150 degrees. At this stage, the chicken is cooked three-quarters of the way through. Let cool enough so you can handle.

Marinate the chickens: Cut the parcooked chickens into 10 pieces: Cut off the wings, drumsticks and thighs, and cut breast pieces in half. (Save backs for stock.) Put the buttermilk in a large bowl and season with hot sauce and sugar. Add the chicken pieces and let sit 30 minutes at room temperature.

Prepare the oil: Pour the oil into a large, wide heavy-bottom pot, making sure there is at least 3 inches of clearance over the level of the oil. Turn the heat to medium-high. Break apart the head of garlic into cloves, but do not peel the cloves. Add the whole garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme and sage sprigs and the remaining five whole bay leaves to the oil. As the oil heats, the herbs and garlic will perfume the oil. When the herbs are crisp and the garlic is a light golden brown (about 10-15 minutes), use a spider or slotted spoon to remove them from the oil transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.

Prepare the dredge: While oil heats, combine flours, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk (do not dry) and dredge each piece well in flour mixture. Discard the buttermilk and the remaining flour mixture.

When the oil reaches 375 degrees on a candy or deep-fry thermometer, add as many chicken pieces as will fit without crowding (up to half the pieces). Fry, turning the pieces occasionally, until all of the pieces are golden brown, 6-8 minutes, and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a flattened paper bag to drain. Let the oil return to temperature fry the remaining chicken as directed above.

When all of the chicken has been fried and drained, transfer to a platter or wooden cutting board and season with flaky salt. Pile the fried herbs and garlic on top of the chicken and serve with wedges of lemon.


Tyler Florence gives his family fried-chicken recipe a California re-do

3 of 14 Wayfare Tavern's innovative take on fried chicken is well seasoned with onion and garlic powders, salt and a bit of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

4 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

5 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

6 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

7 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

8 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

9 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

10 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

11 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

12 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

13 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

14 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

Maybe it's the years of television appearances, but Tyler Florence comes across as an irresistibly likable guy.

He's a seasoned professional in the art of appearing totally laid back while simultaneously making business ventures that have turned him into a household name, with the restaurants, cookbooks, Food Network shows, Costco food line and baby-food company to show for it.

The South Carolina native moved from New York to Northern California in 2007 to be closer to his wife's family. Life there suited him, and the bounty that he discovered - locally made cheeses, outrageously good vegetables and fruit all year round - only deepened his simple-is-best approach to food and cooking.

It's a philosophy that's evident at his San Francisco restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. The menu has enough familiar dishes that it avoids challenging the businessmen and tourists who, hoping to catch a glimpse of Florence, crowd the space nightly.

The mainstays include deviled eggs, a righteous burger, creamed spinach and towering wedges of coconut layer cake. But the ingredients are good and sourced locally, and Florence is relentlessly curious.

He tinkers with even the most straightforward, time-honored dishes, improving them through innovation and experimentation.

His fried chicken is an example. Florence recently posted a photo of it on his Instagram feed, noting that the restaurant had served 148 orders of it on a recent Wednesday.

Its popularity is no surprise. The generously seasoned flour dredge is based on his grandmother's ("Hers was so well seasoned the flour looked brown," he recalls) and includes onion and garlic powders, a good amount of salt and a small amount of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust.

It's just as good eaten at room temperature as it is when it's hot.

At Wayfare Tavern, the kitchen first cooks the chicken sous vide, then soaks the pieces in buttermilk before dredging and frying to order. The initial slow cooking keeps the chicken exceptionally juicy and cuts the frying time to about six minutes instead of the 20 or so it would take if you started with raw chicken.

Knowing that sous vide cooking isn't part of most home cooks' tool kits, Florence developed a home hack: slow-roasting the whole chicken at 200 degrees, then cutting it into pieces and soaking it in buttermilk and finally dredging and frying.

He rubs the chicken with fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, bay and garlic before it roasts, then infuses the frying oil with more of the same herbs, frying whole sprigs, leaves and cloves.

Florence piles the fried chicken on a wooden cutting board, crowns it with a wreath of fried herbs and garlic, and leans lemon wedges against the stack. He flashes that winning Florence grin as he presents the craggy, golden chicken.

Like Florence himself, it's hard to resist its charms.

Wayfare Tavern's Fried Chicken

1½ tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh thyme plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh sage plus 4 sprigs

10 bay leaves: 5 minced, 5 left whole

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 (3- to 3½-pound) organic chickens

1 tablespoon hot sauce (Crystal or Tabasco)

1 gallon grapeseed or canola oil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Flaky sea salt, for serving

2 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving

Instructions to roast the chickens: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs, minced bay leaves, minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil to make a paste. Rub the mixture on the chickens, place the seasoned birds in a roasting pan and put in the oven. After about 2½ hours, remove the chicken from the oven. The internal temperature between the breast and the thigh near the bone should be 150 degrees. At this stage, the chicken is cooked three-quarters of the way through. Let cool enough so you can handle.

Marinate the chickens: Cut the parcooked chickens into 10 pieces: Cut off the wings, drumsticks and thighs, and cut breast pieces in half. (Save backs for stock.) Put the buttermilk in a large bowl and season with hot sauce and sugar. Add the chicken pieces and let sit 30 minutes at room temperature.

Prepare the oil: Pour the oil into a large, wide heavy-bottom pot, making sure there is at least 3 inches of clearance over the level of the oil. Turn the heat to medium-high. Break apart the head of garlic into cloves, but do not peel the cloves. Add the whole garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme and sage sprigs and the remaining five whole bay leaves to the oil. As the oil heats, the herbs and garlic will perfume the oil. When the herbs are crisp and the garlic is a light golden brown (about 10-15 minutes), use a spider or slotted spoon to remove them from the oil transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.

Prepare the dredge: While oil heats, combine flours, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk (do not dry) and dredge each piece well in flour mixture. Discard the buttermilk and the remaining flour mixture.

When the oil reaches 375 degrees on a candy or deep-fry thermometer, add as many chicken pieces as will fit without crowding (up to half the pieces). Fry, turning the pieces occasionally, until all of the pieces are golden brown, 6-8 minutes, and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a flattened paper bag to drain. Let the oil return to temperature fry the remaining chicken as directed above.

When all of the chicken has been fried and drained, transfer to a platter or wooden cutting board and season with flaky salt. Pile the fried herbs and garlic on top of the chicken and serve with wedges of lemon.


Tyler Florence gives his family fried-chicken recipe a California re-do

3 of 14 Wayfare Tavern's innovative take on fried chicken is well seasoned with onion and garlic powders, salt and a bit of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

4 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

5 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

6 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

7 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

8 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

9 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

10 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

11 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

12 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

13 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

14 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

Maybe it's the years of television appearances, but Tyler Florence comes across as an irresistibly likable guy.

He's a seasoned professional in the art of appearing totally laid back while simultaneously making business ventures that have turned him into a household name, with the restaurants, cookbooks, Food Network shows, Costco food line and baby-food company to show for it.

The South Carolina native moved from New York to Northern California in 2007 to be closer to his wife's family. Life there suited him, and the bounty that he discovered - locally made cheeses, outrageously good vegetables and fruit all year round - only deepened his simple-is-best approach to food and cooking.

It's a philosophy that's evident at his San Francisco restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. The menu has enough familiar dishes that it avoids challenging the businessmen and tourists who, hoping to catch a glimpse of Florence, crowd the space nightly.

The mainstays include deviled eggs, a righteous burger, creamed spinach and towering wedges of coconut layer cake. But the ingredients are good and sourced locally, and Florence is relentlessly curious.

He tinkers with even the most straightforward, time-honored dishes, improving them through innovation and experimentation.

His fried chicken is an example. Florence recently posted a photo of it on his Instagram feed, noting that the restaurant had served 148 orders of it on a recent Wednesday.

Its popularity is no surprise. The generously seasoned flour dredge is based on his grandmother's ("Hers was so well seasoned the flour looked brown," he recalls) and includes onion and garlic powders, a good amount of salt and a small amount of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust.

It's just as good eaten at room temperature as it is when it's hot.

At Wayfare Tavern, the kitchen first cooks the chicken sous vide, then soaks the pieces in buttermilk before dredging and frying to order. The initial slow cooking keeps the chicken exceptionally juicy and cuts the frying time to about six minutes instead of the 20 or so it would take if you started with raw chicken.

Knowing that sous vide cooking isn't part of most home cooks' tool kits, Florence developed a home hack: slow-roasting the whole chicken at 200 degrees, then cutting it into pieces and soaking it in buttermilk and finally dredging and frying.

He rubs the chicken with fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, bay and garlic before it roasts, then infuses the frying oil with more of the same herbs, frying whole sprigs, leaves and cloves.

Florence piles the fried chicken on a wooden cutting board, crowns it with a wreath of fried herbs and garlic, and leans lemon wedges against the stack. He flashes that winning Florence grin as he presents the craggy, golden chicken.

Like Florence himself, it's hard to resist its charms.

Wayfare Tavern's Fried Chicken

1½ tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh thyme plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh sage plus 4 sprigs

10 bay leaves: 5 minced, 5 left whole

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 (3- to 3½-pound) organic chickens

1 tablespoon hot sauce (Crystal or Tabasco)

1 gallon grapeseed or canola oil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Flaky sea salt, for serving

2 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving

Instructions to roast the chickens: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs, minced bay leaves, minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil to make a paste. Rub the mixture on the chickens, place the seasoned birds in a roasting pan and put in the oven. After about 2½ hours, remove the chicken from the oven. The internal temperature between the breast and the thigh near the bone should be 150 degrees. At this stage, the chicken is cooked three-quarters of the way through. Let cool enough so you can handle.

Marinate the chickens: Cut the parcooked chickens into 10 pieces: Cut off the wings, drumsticks and thighs, and cut breast pieces in half. (Save backs for stock.) Put the buttermilk in a large bowl and season with hot sauce and sugar. Add the chicken pieces and let sit 30 minutes at room temperature.

Prepare the oil: Pour the oil into a large, wide heavy-bottom pot, making sure there is at least 3 inches of clearance over the level of the oil. Turn the heat to medium-high. Break apart the head of garlic into cloves, but do not peel the cloves. Add the whole garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme and sage sprigs and the remaining five whole bay leaves to the oil. As the oil heats, the herbs and garlic will perfume the oil. When the herbs are crisp and the garlic is a light golden brown (about 10-15 minutes), use a spider or slotted spoon to remove them from the oil transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.

Prepare the dredge: While oil heats, combine flours, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk (do not dry) and dredge each piece well in flour mixture. Discard the buttermilk and the remaining flour mixture.

When the oil reaches 375 degrees on a candy or deep-fry thermometer, add as many chicken pieces as will fit without crowding (up to half the pieces). Fry, turning the pieces occasionally, until all of the pieces are golden brown, 6-8 minutes, and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a flattened paper bag to drain. Let the oil return to temperature fry the remaining chicken as directed above.

When all of the chicken has been fried and drained, transfer to a platter or wooden cutting board and season with flaky salt. Pile the fried herbs and garlic on top of the chicken and serve with wedges of lemon.


Tyler Florence gives his family fried-chicken recipe a California re-do

3 of 14 Wayfare Tavern's innovative take on fried chicken is well seasoned with onion and garlic powders, salt and a bit of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

4 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

5 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

6 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

7 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

8 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

9 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

10 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

11 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

12 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

13 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

14 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

Maybe it's the years of television appearances, but Tyler Florence comes across as an irresistibly likable guy.

He's a seasoned professional in the art of appearing totally laid back while simultaneously making business ventures that have turned him into a household name, with the restaurants, cookbooks, Food Network shows, Costco food line and baby-food company to show for it.

The South Carolina native moved from New York to Northern California in 2007 to be closer to his wife's family. Life there suited him, and the bounty that he discovered - locally made cheeses, outrageously good vegetables and fruit all year round - only deepened his simple-is-best approach to food and cooking.

It's a philosophy that's evident at his San Francisco restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. The menu has enough familiar dishes that it avoids challenging the businessmen and tourists who, hoping to catch a glimpse of Florence, crowd the space nightly.

The mainstays include deviled eggs, a righteous burger, creamed spinach and towering wedges of coconut layer cake. But the ingredients are good and sourced locally, and Florence is relentlessly curious.

He tinkers with even the most straightforward, time-honored dishes, improving them through innovation and experimentation.

His fried chicken is an example. Florence recently posted a photo of it on his Instagram feed, noting that the restaurant had served 148 orders of it on a recent Wednesday.

Its popularity is no surprise. The generously seasoned flour dredge is based on his grandmother's ("Hers was so well seasoned the flour looked brown," he recalls) and includes onion and garlic powders, a good amount of salt and a small amount of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust.

It's just as good eaten at room temperature as it is when it's hot.

At Wayfare Tavern, the kitchen first cooks the chicken sous vide, then soaks the pieces in buttermilk before dredging and frying to order. The initial slow cooking keeps the chicken exceptionally juicy and cuts the frying time to about six minutes instead of the 20 or so it would take if you started with raw chicken.

Knowing that sous vide cooking isn't part of most home cooks' tool kits, Florence developed a home hack: slow-roasting the whole chicken at 200 degrees, then cutting it into pieces and soaking it in buttermilk and finally dredging and frying.

He rubs the chicken with fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, bay and garlic before it roasts, then infuses the frying oil with more of the same herbs, frying whole sprigs, leaves and cloves.

Florence piles the fried chicken on a wooden cutting board, crowns it with a wreath of fried herbs and garlic, and leans lemon wedges against the stack. He flashes that winning Florence grin as he presents the craggy, golden chicken.

Like Florence himself, it's hard to resist its charms.

Wayfare Tavern's Fried Chicken

1½ tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh thyme plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh sage plus 4 sprigs

10 bay leaves: 5 minced, 5 left whole

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 (3- to 3½-pound) organic chickens

1 tablespoon hot sauce (Crystal or Tabasco)

1 gallon grapeseed or canola oil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Flaky sea salt, for serving

2 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving

Instructions to roast the chickens: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs, minced bay leaves, minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil to make a paste. Rub the mixture on the chickens, place the seasoned birds in a roasting pan and put in the oven. After about 2½ hours, remove the chicken from the oven. The internal temperature between the breast and the thigh near the bone should be 150 degrees. At this stage, the chicken is cooked three-quarters of the way through. Let cool enough so you can handle.

Marinate the chickens: Cut the parcooked chickens into 10 pieces: Cut off the wings, drumsticks and thighs, and cut breast pieces in half. (Save backs for stock.) Put the buttermilk in a large bowl and season with hot sauce and sugar. Add the chicken pieces and let sit 30 minutes at room temperature.

Prepare the oil: Pour the oil into a large, wide heavy-bottom pot, making sure there is at least 3 inches of clearance over the level of the oil. Turn the heat to medium-high. Break apart the head of garlic into cloves, but do not peel the cloves. Add the whole garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme and sage sprigs and the remaining five whole bay leaves to the oil. As the oil heats, the herbs and garlic will perfume the oil. When the herbs are crisp and the garlic is a light golden brown (about 10-15 minutes), use a spider or slotted spoon to remove them from the oil transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.

Prepare the dredge: While oil heats, combine flours, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk (do not dry) and dredge each piece well in flour mixture. Discard the buttermilk and the remaining flour mixture.

When the oil reaches 375 degrees on a candy or deep-fry thermometer, add as many chicken pieces as will fit without crowding (up to half the pieces). Fry, turning the pieces occasionally, until all of the pieces are golden brown, 6-8 minutes, and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a flattened paper bag to drain. Let the oil return to temperature fry the remaining chicken as directed above.

When all of the chicken has been fried and drained, transfer to a platter or wooden cutting board and season with flaky salt. Pile the fried herbs and garlic on top of the chicken and serve with wedges of lemon.


Tyler Florence gives his family fried-chicken recipe a California re-do

3 of 14 Wayfare Tavern's innovative take on fried chicken is well seasoned with onion and garlic powders, salt and a bit of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

4 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

5 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

6 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

7 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

8 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

9 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

10 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

11 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

12 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

13 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

14 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

Maybe it's the years of television appearances, but Tyler Florence comes across as an irresistibly likable guy.

He's a seasoned professional in the art of appearing totally laid back while simultaneously making business ventures that have turned him into a household name, with the restaurants, cookbooks, Food Network shows, Costco food line and baby-food company to show for it.

The South Carolina native moved from New York to Northern California in 2007 to be closer to his wife's family. Life there suited him, and the bounty that he discovered - locally made cheeses, outrageously good vegetables and fruit all year round - only deepened his simple-is-best approach to food and cooking.

It's a philosophy that's evident at his San Francisco restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. The menu has enough familiar dishes that it avoids challenging the businessmen and tourists who, hoping to catch a glimpse of Florence, crowd the space nightly.

The mainstays include deviled eggs, a righteous burger, creamed spinach and towering wedges of coconut layer cake. But the ingredients are good and sourced locally, and Florence is relentlessly curious.

He tinkers with even the most straightforward, time-honored dishes, improving them through innovation and experimentation.

His fried chicken is an example. Florence recently posted a photo of it on his Instagram feed, noting that the restaurant had served 148 orders of it on a recent Wednesday.

Its popularity is no surprise. The generously seasoned flour dredge is based on his grandmother's ("Hers was so well seasoned the flour looked brown," he recalls) and includes onion and garlic powders, a good amount of salt and a small amount of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust.

It's just as good eaten at room temperature as it is when it's hot.

At Wayfare Tavern, the kitchen first cooks the chicken sous vide, then soaks the pieces in buttermilk before dredging and frying to order. The initial slow cooking keeps the chicken exceptionally juicy and cuts the frying time to about six minutes instead of the 20 or so it would take if you started with raw chicken.

Knowing that sous vide cooking isn't part of most home cooks' tool kits, Florence developed a home hack: slow-roasting the whole chicken at 200 degrees, then cutting it into pieces and soaking it in buttermilk and finally dredging and frying.

He rubs the chicken with fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, bay and garlic before it roasts, then infuses the frying oil with more of the same herbs, frying whole sprigs, leaves and cloves.

Florence piles the fried chicken on a wooden cutting board, crowns it with a wreath of fried herbs and garlic, and leans lemon wedges against the stack. He flashes that winning Florence grin as he presents the craggy, golden chicken.

Like Florence himself, it's hard to resist its charms.

Wayfare Tavern's Fried Chicken

1½ tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh thyme plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh sage plus 4 sprigs

10 bay leaves: 5 minced, 5 left whole

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 (3- to 3½-pound) organic chickens

1 tablespoon hot sauce (Crystal or Tabasco)

1 gallon grapeseed or canola oil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Flaky sea salt, for serving

2 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving

Instructions to roast the chickens: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs, minced bay leaves, minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil to make a paste. Rub the mixture on the chickens, place the seasoned birds in a roasting pan and put in the oven. After about 2½ hours, remove the chicken from the oven. The internal temperature between the breast and the thigh near the bone should be 150 degrees. At this stage, the chicken is cooked three-quarters of the way through. Let cool enough so you can handle.

Marinate the chickens: Cut the parcooked chickens into 10 pieces: Cut off the wings, drumsticks and thighs, and cut breast pieces in half. (Save backs for stock.) Put the buttermilk in a large bowl and season with hot sauce and sugar. Add the chicken pieces and let sit 30 minutes at room temperature.

Prepare the oil: Pour the oil into a large, wide heavy-bottom pot, making sure there is at least 3 inches of clearance over the level of the oil. Turn the heat to medium-high. Break apart the head of garlic into cloves, but do not peel the cloves. Add the whole garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme and sage sprigs and the remaining five whole bay leaves to the oil. As the oil heats, the herbs and garlic will perfume the oil. When the herbs are crisp and the garlic is a light golden brown (about 10-15 minutes), use a spider or slotted spoon to remove them from the oil transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.

Prepare the dredge: While oil heats, combine flours, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk (do not dry) and dredge each piece well in flour mixture. Discard the buttermilk and the remaining flour mixture.

When the oil reaches 375 degrees on a candy or deep-fry thermometer, add as many chicken pieces as will fit without crowding (up to half the pieces). Fry, turning the pieces occasionally, until all of the pieces are golden brown, 6-8 minutes, and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a flattened paper bag to drain. Let the oil return to temperature fry the remaining chicken as directed above.

When all of the chicken has been fried and drained, transfer to a platter or wooden cutting board and season with flaky salt. Pile the fried herbs and garlic on top of the chicken and serve with wedges of lemon.


Tyler Florence gives his family fried-chicken recipe a California re-do

3 of 14 Wayfare Tavern's innovative take on fried chicken is well seasoned with onion and garlic powders, salt and a bit of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

4 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

5 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

6 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

7 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

8 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

9 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

10 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

11 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

12 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

13 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

14 of 14 This is Tyler Florence's fried chicken photographed at Amy Machnak's home in San Francisco Calif., Wednesday June 17, 2015. Randi Lynn Beach/Freelance Show More Show Less

Maybe it's the years of television appearances, but Tyler Florence comes across as an irresistibly likable guy.

He's a seasoned professional in the art of appearing totally laid back while simultaneously making business ventures that have turned him into a household name, with the restaurants, cookbooks, Food Network shows, Costco food line and baby-food company to show for it.

The South Carolina native moved from New York to Northern California in 2007 to be closer to his wife's family. Life there suited him, and the bounty that he discovered - locally made cheeses, outrageously good vegetables and fruit all year round - only deepened his simple-is-best approach to food and cooking.

It's a philosophy that's evident at his San Francisco restaurant, Wayfare Tavern. The menu has enough familiar dishes that it avoids challenging the businessmen and tourists who, hoping to catch a glimpse of Florence, crowd the space nightly.

The mainstays include deviled eggs, a righteous burger, creamed spinach and towering wedges of coconut layer cake. But the ingredients are good and sourced locally, and Florence is relentlessly curious.

He tinkers with even the most straightforward, time-honored dishes, improving them through innovation and experimentation.

His fried chicken is an example. Florence recently posted a photo of it on his Instagram feed, noting that the restaurant had served 148 orders of it on a recent Wednesday.

Its popularity is no surprise. The generously seasoned flour dredge is based on his grandmother's ("Hers was so well seasoned the flour looked brown," he recalls) and includes onion and garlic powders, a good amount of salt and a small amount of rice flour, which ensures a crisp crust.

It's just as good eaten at room temperature as it is when it's hot.

At Wayfare Tavern, the kitchen first cooks the chicken sous vide, then soaks the pieces in buttermilk before dredging and frying to order. The initial slow cooking keeps the chicken exceptionally juicy and cuts the frying time to about six minutes instead of the 20 or so it would take if you started with raw chicken.

Knowing that sous vide cooking isn't part of most home cooks' tool kits, Florence developed a home hack: slow-roasting the whole chicken at 200 degrees, then cutting it into pieces and soaking it in buttermilk and finally dredging and frying.

He rubs the chicken with fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, bay and garlic before it roasts, then infuses the frying oil with more of the same herbs, frying whole sprigs, leaves and cloves.

Florence piles the fried chicken on a wooden cutting board, crowns it with a wreath of fried herbs and garlic, and leans lemon wedges against the stack. He flashes that winning Florence grin as he presents the craggy, golden chicken.

Like Florence himself, it's hard to resist its charms.

Wayfare Tavern's Fried Chicken

1½ tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh thyme plus 4 sprigs

1½ tablespoons minced fresh sage plus 4 sprigs

10 bay leaves: 5 minced, 5 left whole

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 (3- to 3½-pound) organic chickens

1 tablespoon hot sauce (Crystal or Tabasco)

1 gallon grapeseed or canola oil

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Flaky sea salt, for serving

2 lemons, cut into wedges, for serving

Instructions to roast the chickens: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs, minced bay leaves, minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil to make a paste. Rub the mixture on the chickens, place the seasoned birds in a roasting pan and put in the oven. After about 2½ hours, remove the chicken from the oven. The internal temperature between the breast and the thigh near the bone should be 150 degrees. At this stage, the chicken is cooked three-quarters of the way through. Let cool enough so you can handle.

Marinate the chickens: Cut the parcooked chickens into 10 pieces: Cut off the wings, drumsticks and thighs, and cut breast pieces in half. (Save backs for stock.) Put the buttermilk in a large bowl and season with hot sauce and sugar. Add the chicken pieces and let sit 30 minutes at room temperature.

Prepare the oil: Pour the oil into a large, wide heavy-bottom pot, making sure there is at least 3 inches of clearance over the level of the oil. Turn the heat to medium-high. Break apart the head of garlic into cloves, but do not peel the cloves. Add the whole garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme and sage sprigs and the remaining five whole bay leaves to the oil. As the oil heats, the herbs and garlic will perfume the oil. When the herbs are crisp and the garlic is a light golden brown (about 10-15 minutes), use a spider or slotted spoon to remove them from the oil transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.

Prepare the dredge: While oil heats, combine flours, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk (do not dry) and dredge each piece well in flour mixture. Discard the buttermilk and the remaining flour mixture.

When the oil reaches 375 degrees on a candy or deep-fry thermometer, add as many chicken pieces as will fit without crowding (up to half the pieces). Fry, turning the pieces occasionally, until all of the pieces are golden brown, 6-8 minutes, and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a flattened paper bag to drain. Let the oil return to temperature fry the remaining chicken as directed above.

When all of the chicken has been fried and drained, transfer to a platter or wooden cutting board and season with flaky salt. Pile the fried herbs and garlic on top of the chicken and serve with wedges of lemon.