Chef

“I find the height of my purpose working with my hands, collaborating with farmers, serving my community. That farmer that needs you to buy his bell peppers is the same as the homeless guy on the street asking for money. Everybody’s just trying to get their needs met.” – Erick Williams

“Chefs don’t make mistakes; they make new dishes.” – Elizabeth Briggs

“Cook more often. Don’t study; just cook.” – Masaharu Morimoto

“No rules. Don’t be afraid to do whatever you want. Cooking doesn’t have to have rules. I don’t like it that way.” – Masaharu Morimoto

“We’ve been told numerous times that our cooking is ‘feminine,’ which people always intend as a compliment. We’re happy to be identified with femaleness, as strong and proud women, but the masculine/feminine binary has no legitimate place in culinary expression or its criticism. It’s an artificial construct we’d be happy to see done away with.” – Sarah Kramer & Sarah Hymanson

“Remember, it is never the knife’s fault.” – Daniel Boulud

“But more infuriating is the question about to whom I should have been paying dues. It seems like the only ones keeping track are the white guys with tall hats. And how did those guys get into the club? By paying dues to older white guys with even taller hats. As for the thousands of black and brown chefs—dubbed cooks, domestics, servants, boys, and mammies who were kept out of restaurant kitchens or overlooked within them—they were beyond consideration. Their work, like them, was invisible.” – Kwame Onwuachi

“To eat well, I always disagree with critics who say that all restaurants should be fine dining. You can get a Michelin star if you serve the best hamburger in the world.” – David Chang

“It’s okay to play with your food.” – Emeril Lagasse

“The difference between being a good cook and being a good chef is as big as the difference between playing online Texas Hold’em in your pajamas and holding a chair in the World Series of Poker.” – Gabrielle Hamilton

“Working in a restaurant means being part of a family, albeit usually a slightly dysfunctional one. Nothing is accomplished independently.” – Joe Bastianich

“I used to think the skills my mother and grandmother had were small and insignificant, because the world taught me that black food was small and insignificant. But now I realize what we contribute to food in America is vast. Right now that’s all I want to cook, and I want to cook it on a level that resonates with me, beyond whether it tastes good.” – Mashama Bailey

“Initially let your food do the talking. You’ll be surprised how far you go in a short period of time.” – Gordon Ramsay

“I believe it’s a cook’s moral obligation to add more butter given the chance.” – Michael Ruhlman

“My biggest problem with prejudice is the prejudice against plant-based food. Not as a woman, not as a black woman, but getting you to eat your plants. Getting you to pay for them. Finding staff who want to cook that way. That’s a struggle I can take on, even though there’s no road map for success for that.” – Makini Howell

“I believe that there is always something new to learn, in fact, that is one of the three reasons that I chose to become a chef, that my education is never over.” – Anne Burrell

“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” – Thomas Keller

“I always say that I don’t believe I’m a chef. I try to be a storyteller.” – Jose Andres

“In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” – Julia Child

“Food is a necessary component to life. People can live without Renoir, Mozart, Gaudi, Beckett, but they cannot live without food.” – Grant Achatz

“The way you make an omelet reveals your character”. – Anthony Bourdain

“What you feel like eating at any given moment is what you should have.” – Ferran Adria

“There’s a very physical element to the work that chefs do in kitchens … The very first time I ate at Number 9 Park was about 10 years ago, and my now-husband and I went for dinner and were so excited to go to Boston and eat there. And I remember looking into the kitchen at the end of my meal and seeing Barbara [Lynch] on the line, eight months pregnant, and killing it … But not everyone can do that.” – Gail Simmons

“The key to running a successful kitchen is what I call the ‘3 F’s.’ Be Firm, Be Fair, and Be Friendly with your staff, your guests, and yourself.” – Will Gilson

“If an architect makes a mistake, he grows ivy to cover it. If a doctor makes a mistake, he covers it with soil. If a cook makes a mistake, he covers it with some sauce and says it is a new recipe.” – Paul Bocuse

“Cooking is the ultimate giving.” – Jamie Oliver

“My father raised me with the idea that you always have to do better than the person next to you. As a black man, you have to perform three times better than that person. I saw that in kitchens right away: we were the cooks, but we were never the chefs, never the operators. My parents tried to sell me on the military instead of hospitality, but I was never going to be that guy. So my mom said: “I want you to learn the trade as a career, not a job.” – Jerome Grant

“‘Chef’ doesn’t mean that you’re the best cook, it simply means ‘boss.'” – Tom Colicchio

When you acknowledge, as you must, that there is no such thing as perfect food, only the idea of it, then the real purpose of striving toward perfection becomes clear: to make people happy, that is what cooking is all about.

We’re hoping to succeed; we’re okay with failure. We just don’t want to land in between.

If you want to become a great chef, you have to work with great chefs. And that’s exactly what I did.

I always say that I don’t believe I’m a chef. I try to be a storyteller.

Although the skills aren’t hard to learn, finding the happiness and finding the satisfaction and finding fulfillment in continuously serving somebody else something good to eat, is what makes a really good restaurant.

My philosophy from day one is that I can sleep better at night if I can improve an individual’s knowledge about food and wine, and do it on a daily basis.

I tell a student that the most important class you can take is technique. A great chef is first a great technician. ‘If you are a jeweler, or a surgeon or a cook, you have to know the trade in your hand. You have to learn the process. You learn it through endless repetition until it belongs to you.

Being involved, learning firsthand and observing the craft and absorbing all you can, makes it easier to define what you want. It will also ultimately make you a better Chef. Culinary school, or even a single class, is a great bet too.

A great restaurant doesn’t distinguish itself by how few mistakes it makes but by how well they handle those mistakes.

To me, there’s no great chef without a great team.

I think every chef, not just in America, but across the world, has a double-edged sword – two jackets, one that’s driven, a self-confessed perfectionist, thoroughbred, hate incompetence and switch off the stove, take off the jacket and become a family man.

You don’t go to school to become the best chef in the world right after you graduate. School is always a starting point so what people forget is that you go to school to build a foundation, and you want to build a foundation that’s not going to crumble.

I’ve been a cook all my life, but I am still learning to be a good chef. I’m always learning new techniques and improving beyond my own knowledge because there is always something new to learn and new horizons to discover.

I think to be a great chef you have to be a great teacher. I love doing classes with people who love food and enjoy food, bringing them all around one table so to speak.

When you have made as many mistakes as I have then you can be as good as me.

Techniques are not the most difficult to teach. The attitudes chefs take are much more important.
Once you decide on your occupation… you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success… and is the key to being regarded honorably.

There are obviously plenty more — I’d love for you to leave me a response with your favorite. I recently made a video with some of the most respected chefs in the world discussing what they’ve learned through their careers in the kitchen.

“Learning to season in cooking is like learning to stickhandle in hockey; it’s absolutely fundamental.” – Rob Feenie

“If you don’t follow your dream, who will?” – Emeril Lagasse

“It’s okay to play with your food.” – Emeril Lagasse

“You could probably get through life without knowing how to roast a chicken, but the question is, would you want to?” – Nigella Lawson

“No rules. Don’t be afraid to do whatever you want. Cooking doesn’t have to have rules. I don’t like it that way.” – Masaharu Morimoto

“Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors – it’s how you combine them that sets you apart.” – Wolfgang Puck

“When you have made as many mistakes as I have then you can be as good as me.” – Wolfgang Puck

“You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.” – Paul Prudhomme

“Cook more often. Don’t study; just cook.” – Masaharu Morimoto

“There’s no bigger pain anywhere in the world than a vegetarian.” – Gordon Ramsay

“Initially let your food do the talking. You’ll be surprised how far you go in a short period of time.” – Gordon Ramsay

“When you’re running a restaurant, you have to change with the times; otherwise, the times will change you.” – Gordon Ramsay

“Don’t try to be the next Rachael Ray or Bobby Flay, we already have those people. We want someone who is going to make their own mark on Food Network.” – Bobby Flay

“Cooking is a subject you can never know enough about. There is always something new to discover.” – Bobby Flay

“Working in a restaurant means being part of a family, albeit usually a slightly dysfunctional one. Nothing is accomplished independently.” – Joe Bastianich

“I believe it’s a cook’s moral obligation to add more butter given the chance.” – Michael Ruhlman

I believe that there is always something new to learn, in fact, that is one of the three reasons that I chose to become a chef, that my education is never over.” – Anne Burrell

“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” – Thomas Keller

“It’s not about perfection; it’s about the joy of striving.” – Thomas Keller

“I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.” – Julia Child

“In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” – Julia Child

“Food is a necessary component to life. People can live without Renoir, Mozart, Gaudi, Beckett, but they cannot live without food.” – Grant Achatz

“The way you make an omelet reveals your character”. – Anthony Bourdain

“If you only design menus that are essentially junk or fast food, the whole infrastructure supports junk.” – Jamie Oliver

“Cooking is the ultimate giving.” – Jamie Oliver

“If it doesn’t taste good it doesn’t go on the menu.” – Heston Blumenthal

“‘Chef’ doesn’t mean that you’re the best cook, it simply means ‘boss.'” – Tom Colicchio

“What you feel like eating at any given moment is what you should have.” – Ferran Adria

“A home cook who relies too much on a recipe is sort of like a pilot who reads the plane’s instruction manual while flying.” Alto Brown

“If people are made to feel uncomfortable in the kitchen, they won’t go in there. That’s why I think children learning to cook can be such a wonderful thing.” Giada De Laurentiis

“Chefs have a new opportunity – and perhaps even an obligation – to inform the public about what is good to eat, and why.” – Rene Redzepi

“The kitchen really is the castle itself. This is where we spend our happiest moments and where we find the joy of being a family.” – Mario Batali

“Many people are scared of their own kitchen because they confuse unfamiliar with difficult.” – Michael Smith

I think every chef, not just in America, but across the world, has a double edged sword – two jackets, one that’s driven, a self-confessed perfectionist, thoroughbred, hate incompetence and switch off the stove, take off the jacket and become a family man.

Chefs are leaders in their own little world.

As chefs, we cook to please people, to nourish people.

Japanese chefs believe our soul goes into our knives once we start using them. You wouldn’t put your soul in a dishwasher!

I would much rather be a chef who remembers I am a cook then a cook that thinks I am a chef.

Often, admiring a chef and getting to know him is like loving goose liver and then meeting the goose.

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.

A good cook is the peculiar gift of the gods. He must be a perfect creature from the brain to the palate, from the palate to the finger’s end.

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I’m always excited about learning new things about food.

Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last
I call all chefs cooks. They’re all cooks. That’s what we do, we cook. You’re a chef when you’re running a kitchen.

The duty of a good cuisinier is to transmit to the next generation everything he has learned and experienced.