Cooking Wisdom: My Favorite Quotes

Happy Saturday!  I’m a big fan of quotes, because they offer a quick way to regain focus on a concept that otherwise toys with your emotions and leaves you a little scatterbrained.  As I am going to tackle homemade ravioli for the second time ever tonight, I figured this is a good day to share some of my favorite tidbits of advice and random humorous thoughts on cooking.  Feel free to share your own in the comments!


“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure.  In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”  -Julia Child

“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.”  -Alton Brown

“If you’re cooking and not making mistake, you’re not playing outside your safety zone.  I don’t expect it all to be good.  I have fat dogs because I scrap that stuff out the back door.”  -Guy Fieri

“I don’t like ‘gourmet’ cooking or ‘this’ cooking or ‘that’ cooking.  I like good cooking.”  -James Beard

“Once a dish is fouled up, anything added to save it only makes it worse.”  -Second Law of Kitchen Confusion

“Cooking is not difficult.  Everyone has taste, even if they don’t realize it.  Even if you’re not a great chef, there’s nothing to stop you understanding the difference between what tastes good and what doesn’t.”  -Gerard Depardieu


“Zip it, kiddo.  Don’t ever admit you know a thing about cooking, or it’ll be used against you later in life.”  -Rebecca Wells in Little Altars Everywhere

“I don’t like food that’s too carefully arranged; it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking.  If I wanted a picture, I’d buy a painting.”  -Andy Rooney

“That’s the trouble with cookbooks. Like sex education and nuclear physics, they are founded on an illusion. They bespeak order, but they end in tears.”  -Anthony Lane


“I feel a recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation.”  -Madam Benoit

“Cookery is not chemistry.  It is an art.  It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.”  -Marcel Boulestin

“No one who cooks, cooks alone.  Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”  -Laurie Colwin



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