Tyler Florence Dishes on Tech and His Favorite Culinary Traditions
Thanksgiving at my home this year was mostly what you would expect — Great food, friends, and family. Yet, the occasion also had its share of pleasant surprises thanks to my 21-year-old son, Miles.
He arrived to the festivities early this time. He wore a button up shirt that had been pressed and ironed, instead of more casual clothes. And he wanted to know how he could help prepare the meal instead of just letting me do most of the work.
As a chef, I know food has always defined the occasion. Whenever people celebrate what truly matters, food is front and center. There’s always burgers and barbecue around the Fourth of July. Everyone expects birthday cake on birthdays. And let’s not forget turkey at Thanksgiving.
But ever since my recent experience with Miles, I’ve been wondering about how my family’s culinary and cultural traditions can live on with a Millennial son who seems ready and willing to dive in. With a little help, I think this generation is primed to learn how to make classic family dishes and make them their own.
I’ve been a cooking professionally since the 1990s. I have created more than 1,200 recipes for the Food Network. I’ve written 16 cookbooks so far and collected hundreds more that have inspired me to do what I do with a passion. That is a lot of paper-based knowledge that can easily be misplaced or lost forever. An inventive twist on a dish I overhead in a conversation is all too easily forgotten. I am proud of every recipe I’ve ever written, but I don’t necessarily need them all right now. In fact, most people only use a few favorite recipes out of every cookbook they own.
That’s where new technology tools like Adobe Scan can help bridge the gap between old school and new school. I recently discovered Adobe Scan. It turns my phone into a portable scanner and allows me to capture recipes wherever I am. It’s become my personal custom recipe builder and curation tool for festive occasions. Whenever I see a new take on a dish (and I’m always trying to create something new) Adobe Scan lets me quickly and easily capture it, turn it into a PDF, and use Adobe Acrobat to edit and share with friends and family.
With apps like Adobe Scan, Miles and his fellow Millennials have a modern, relevant way to preserve their classic family cooking traditions and share new wisdom in a completely new, interesting, and exciting way. I’ve since invited my Instagram friends to vote on their favorite recipes from my cookbooks, and I have created a customized recipe book in PDF format based on the results. You can download a PDF of fan favorite recipes here.
The idea of preserving a memory with a digital tool has the potential to transform the way we celebrate traditions. Having the ability to combine old and new recipes and group them together allows traditions to be passed down from generation to generation and creates a sense of ceremonial preservation available right at your fingertips.