The food service industry has lost an icon last week as we heard about the passing of Anthony Bourdain. Anthony become one of the most recognizable faces in foodservice through his shows "No Reservations" and "The Layover," and his bestselling 2000 memoir "Kitchen Confidential," in which he confessed the grittier realities of life as a chef in Manhattan. Anthony was known from his talent, as well as his bold honesty. Throughout his career, he coined some of amazing quotes and phrases that have become industry favorites.
To celebrate Anthony’s life and legacy, this is Tarrison’s 15 Favourite Foodservice Quotes by the late Anthony Bourdain:
“An ounce of sauce covers a multitude of sins.”
“I wanted to write in Kitchenese, the secret language of cooks, instantly recognizable to anyone who has ever dunked french fries for a summer job or suffered under the despotic rule of a tyrannical chef or boobish owner.”
"I have the best job in the world. If I’m unhappy, it’s a failure of imagination.”
“The mishandling of food and equipment with panache was always admired; to some extent, this remains true to this day. Butchers still slap down prime cuts with just a little more force and noise than necessary. Line cooks can't help putting a little English on outgoing plates, spinning them into the pass-through with reverse motion so they curl back just short of the edge. Oven doors in most kitchens have to be constantly tightened because of repeatedly being kicked closed by clog-shod feet. And all of us dearly love to play with knives.”
“It’s that show Friends. Ruined coffee forever.”
“And chicken is boring. Chefs see it as a menu item for people who don't know what they want to eat.”
“Basic cooking skills are a virtue... the ability to feed yourself and a few others with proficiency should be taught to every young man and woman as a fundamental skill. [It’s] as vital to growing up as learning to wipe one’s own ass, cross the street by oneself, or be trusted with money.”
“I have since found that almost everybody in the meat business is funny —just as almost everyone in the fish business is not.”
“Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”
“Garlic is divine. Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime. Old garlic, burnt garlic, garlic cut too long ago and garlic that has been tragically smashed through one of those abominations, the garlic press, are all disgusting. Please treat your garlic with respect. Sliver it for pasta, like you saw in Goodfellas; don't burn it. Smash it, with the flat of your knife blade if you like, but don't put it through a press. I don't know what that junk is that squeezes out the end of those things, but it ain't garlic. And try roasting garlic. It gets mellower and sweeter if you roast it whole, still on the clove, to be squeezed out later when it's soft and brown. Nothing will permeate your food more irrevocably and irreparably than burnt or rancid garlic. Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screw-top jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic.”
“People confuse me. Food doesn't.”
“I am not a fan of people who abuse service staff. In fact, I find it intolerable. It’s an unpardonable sin as far as I’m concerned, taking out personal business or some other kind of dissatisfaction on a waiter or busboy.”
“Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.”
“The last thing a chef wants in a line cook is an innovator, somebody with ideas of his own who is going to mess around with the chef's recipes and presentations. Chefs require blind, near-fanatical loyalty, a strong back and an automaton-like consistency of execution under battlefield conditions.”
“Life without stock is barely worth living, and you will never attain demi-glace without”
- Anthony Bourdain, 1956-2018
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