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Baby Food on the Menu

Hot & Cool Trends

By Cari Martens

‘We’ll have the rack of lamb and baby will have the pasta with lentil bolognese.’

So might an order be placed at one of Tyler Florence’s three Bay Area restaurants set to open this summer.

The well-known chef and TV celebrity has announced his restaurants will have his own baby food, Sprout, on the menu and available to customers who bring their small children to Florence’s Wayfare Tavern (San Francisco), El Paseo (Mill Valley), and Rotisserie & Wine (Napa).

Florence, a father of three—Miles, 14, Hayden, 3, and Dorothy, 2—began marketing his line of organic baby food about one year ago. He told website LilSugar he uses techniques like roasting to caramelize produce and bring out the natural sugars. The result, he says, is delicious pure food. He says it’s the difference between a chef’s approach and “those who create most baby foods — a food scientist and a marketing person.”

Florence creates his baby foods at his home kitchen ‘lab,’ using his blender to whip up flavors such as roasted bananas and brown rice, and the aforementioned lentil pasta. Florence offers his daughter as a testimonial to the pleasing flavor of Sprout. He claims the two-year-old eats four to five pouches of the stuff on an average day.

Seems like a good way to entice families with infants and toddlers—who may be reluctant to bring their tots into an upscale restaurant—to plan a night out with the kids in tow.

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