It’s not about how many times you fall, it’s about how you stand up and fight – this is probably one of the most striking words I ever read from posts or heard from others. Somehow, this has given me the chance to live life one step at a time. I’m a frustrated cook. I’ve burnt a lot of things in the kitchen. I could not even cook rice to save my life. But what I’ve learned from every kitchen experience is how you practice and master the art of cooking. And by then, you’ll never notice you’re doing it the right way, unwittingly.
I’ve always been a fan of chefs, those who are present on television, and those whom I read about on print and e-magazines. They are at the top of their game and they already know what they are doing, even if it does not reflect in their words. I find beauty, humor and wisdom in these words from some of the world’s best chefs.
“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” – James Beard
-Coming from one of the most respected chefs that ever lived, Sir James certainly hit the right spot. Food is indeed something that everyone share, no matter what part of the universe they are from.
“It is not easy to step down when you are at the top and it may go badly, but at least we will have tried it and have been consistent in our own approach to creativity.” – Ferran Adria on El Bulli
-It’s sad that El Bulli is no longer available to satisfy our cravings. But they have been consistent in giving people satisfaction for each and every dish that comes out of their kitchen. Big respect for Chef Adria and the whole team of El Bulli!
“I maintain standards and I strive for perfection. That level of pressure is conveyed in a very bullish way and that’s what cooking is all about.” – Gordon Ramsay (Ireland’s Sunday Tribune, June 2007)
-People may hate him for his foul words and ugly temper, but Chef Gordon Ramsay definitely knows what perfection will bring to you when it comes to cooking and he is just stating it on your face.
“I’ve long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime ‘associates,’ food, for me, has always been an adventure.” –Anthony Bourdain
-Every dish gives you a different experience, a different adventure on its own. You’ll never know you’re good at it if you haven’t tried doing it.
“A cookbook must have recipes, but it shouldn’t be a blueprint. It should be more inspirational; it should be a guide.” – Thomas Keller
-I feel what Chef Keller is trying to convey. We built homes using a blueprint, we do not build a culinary career out of copying other recipes. We can use it as an inspiration and make it our own.
“Only you can judge your life. You have to live up to your own expectations.” – Wolfgang Puck
-Don’t expect to be the next Wolfgang Puck or Ferran Adria or Julia Child, because you are not going to be one. You’ll be a great chef someday in your own way.
“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” – Julia Child
-In life, you may want a lot of things, even things that are out of your reach. Keep your focus and interest on one subject at a time and work your way through the next chapter of your journey.
“I want salad that has just been picked, that has a feeling of aliveness to it.” – Alice Waters
-Alice really speaks for what she believes in. Don’t you just love a crispy finish to each bite that screams “I just pulled myself off your garden, showered in the sink and into your bowl.”
“The MAD Foodcamp should be the straightforward celebration of food that I’ve always dreamt of but never yet experienced.” Rene Redzepi (The Independent)
-Chef Rene Redzepi and the rest of Noma organized this wonderful food festival called MAD Foodcamp. It is basically a gathering and a celebration of food and the Nordic cuisine and culture, where everyone can exchange notes, share experiences, and understand food in a deeper and more personal way. It must be like a dream come true for Chef Rene to have an event like this one.
“Cuisine has become too complicated — this is about subject, verb, adjective: duck, turnips, sauce.” – Alain Ducasse
-It’s like a sentence composed of three or more different parts; like a movie with a story, an actor, a cameraman, etc. If the cuisine lacks one bit of a spice, it’s not good.
“For two years I would just make that. I would concentrate on making the perfect omelet… It was important to me to be able to make a perfect omelet with nothing in it.” – Mario Batali
-To be a good chef, you must get things done. To be a great chef, you must get things done perfectly, even without using any beautifying ingredients. It’s like making a pretty, delicious cake without icing on it.
“This is obviously not something I can do every day. But lately there is such a strong demand for it, I have to say yes sometimes.” – Daniel Boulud
-As I understand it, cooking starts out from being a hobby and becomes a way of living, that as a chef, you can’t just stop doing it because people demand for it.
“It’s my belief that cooking is a craft. I think that you can push it into the realm of art, but it starts with craft. It starts with an understanding of materials. It starts with an understanding of where foods are grown.” – Tom Colicchio
-Cooking is all about starting and learning from the basics. You have to understand the food, what is it made of, where it came from to be able to develop your cooking skills. In cooking, it’s about the mind, the heart, and the hands.
“I lived my whole life in the kitchen. Not only that, but it’s the passion, it’s the love for cooking and food. It’s dictated my entire life — every aspect of it. So, in some ways, the thought of not being able to do that anymore radically affects your life.” – Grant Achatz
-Chef Grant Achatz battled tongue cancer in 2007 and shares that the hardest part of it was losing his sense of taste. For chefs like him, it’s not about eating, it’s about tasting. Fortunately, that period of his life is over. Now he’s getting his sense of taste back, like a newborn child would develop his senses