Food Court Wars, the new Tyler Florence-helmed reality competition on Food Network, it didn't seem like it would hold our interest for long. But last week's premiere had us instantly hooked. We quickly understood that each week finds Florence traveling to a different city to offer two teams the chance at winning a year of rent-free space in a mall food court, and that premise keeps the pace interesting. Florence is fantastic on this show and much more engaging on Food Court Wars than on his Food Truck Wars series. Here are five reasons why.
5. TyFlo is looking sharp
Do you see your man's coordinated suit and fresh pocket square there? Keep in mind, the show takes place at the mall. Extra credit should be given for how he not only shows up, but shows out.
4. He's perfected the suspenseful smolder
When Florence announces which team has won each round, he takes a dramatic pause, during which time he gives the camera some dramatic facial expressions, part suspense and part smolder. It's a suspenseful smolder.
3. He resists promoting his projects
It could be some Food Network directive, but Florence doesn't act like a self-promoter on the program. He could be slipping in references to his San Francisco restaurant Wayfare Tavern when giving people advice about cooking and flavors, for example, but he keeps the focus away from himself.
2. He doesn't sugarcoat anything
When a husband-and-wife hot-tamale team came in with the name Suck the Shuck, Florence had no problem shutting it down and rebranding them Mary Jo's Hot Tamales. He has the competitors' best interests at heart, even if that means providing a hard line of constructive criticism.
1. He actually cares about the contestants
In the two episodes that have aired so far, Florence shows genuine interest in and affection for the people who are competing. He hasn't quite mastered the poker face, so you can guess who he is internally rooting for in each show, which only reveals how much he actually cares.