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Bad food is made without pride, by cooks who have no pride, and no love. Bad food is made by chefs who are indifferent, or who are trying to be everything to everybody, who are trying to please everyone... Bad food is fake food... food that shows fear and lack of confidence in people's ability to discern or to make decisions about their lives.
If you want to become a great chef, you have to work with great chefs. And that's exactly what I did.
There are divisions between a culinary chef and a dessert chef, also called a pastry chef. There are specializations within the pastry chef field. Some pastry chefs specialize in baking breads, while others are master cake designers. Each field requires an exceptional level of creativity and attention to detail.
The biggest challenge of being a pastry chef is that, unlike other types of chefs, you can't throw things together at a farmer's market. When you're working with baking powder and a formula, you have to be exact. If not, things can go wrong.
The pressure on young chefs today is far greater than ever before in terms of social skills, marketing skills, cooking skills, personality and, more importantly, delivering on the plate. So you need to be strong. Physically fit. So my chefs get weighed every time they come into the kitchen.
Organizing ahead of time makes the work more enjoyable. Chefs cut up the onions and have the ingredients lined up ahead of time and have them ready to go. When everything is organized you can clean as you go and it makes everything so much easier and fun.
Pastry is different from cooking because you have to consider the chemistry, beauty and flavor. It's not just sugar and eggs thrown together. I tell my pastry chefs to be in tune for all of this. You have to be challenged by using secret or unusual ingredients.
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.
Chefs are nutters. They're all self-obsessed, delicate, dainty, insecure little souls and absolute psychopaths. Every last one of them.
The pressure, the heat, the almost impossibly fast pace at which you need work - this is the reality of working in the culinary industry. This is what professional chefs do night after night.
I was lucky enough to have great mentors both in the culinary world and in the world of chefs who became celebrities. Bobby Flay is one of my dearest friends and a tremendous mentor for me. Mario Batali is the same way. They began doing TV a little before me and they showed me the way.
All the great chefs I know - Thomas Keller, Jean-Georges Vongerichten - they are technicians first.
I train my chefs completely different to anyone else. My young girls and guys, when they come to the kitchen, the first thing they get is a blindfold. They get blindfolded and they get sat down at the chef's table... Unless they can identify what they're tasting, they don't get to cook it.
I hated the Naked Chef. Fine, yes, he did good things for school food or whatever, but, you know, I don't want my chefs to be cute and adorable.
Japanese chefs believe our soul goes into our knives once we start using them. You wouldn't put your soul in a dishwasher!
Chefs are fond of hyperbole, so they can certainly talk that way. But on the whole, I think they probably have a more open mind than most people.
Television is kind of a disappointment. I often want to watch it, but I find it quite hard - I don't like soaps, reality TV or celebrity chefs.
Very good cooks who are employed as 'chefs' rarely refer to themselves as 'chefs.' They refer to themselves as 'cooks.'
Chefs don't use white pepper just to avoid spoiling the whiteness of pommes puree or bechamel. It has a more peppery aroma, with sharpness and sweetness, too.
I love chicken. But, like a lot of chefs and cooks, I get tired of preparing it the same way.
When I'm back in New York - and this is a terrible thing to complain about - I eat a lot more really, really good food than perhaps I'd like to. So many of my friends are really good chefs. It's kind of like being in the Mafia.
Chefs don't eat at normal hours, so the only time you feel like you really need a meal is after service, when you're exhausted and just crave something to help you wind down.
I like the fact that Melbourne always seems to support their chefs and promote them in ways I find really admirable.
I'm a Twitter addict. Jose Andres is a serial tweeter. It's funny to see which chefs have embraced it, and the different paths they take.
Chefs have a new opportunity - and perhaps even an obligation - to inform the public about what is good to eat, and why.
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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