“Often, admiring a chef and getting to know him is like loving goose liver and then meeting the goose.”
George Lang, restaurateur
“When helicopters were snatching people from the grounds of the American embassy compound during the panic of the final Vietcong push into Saigon, I was sitting in front of the television set shouting, 'Get the chefs! Get the chefs!'”
Calvin Trillin, American writer (New Yorker magazine)
"Measure the girth of the chef and you can rate his restaurant."
"You ought to have seen Frédéric with his monocle, his greying whiskers, his calm demeanour, carving his plump quack-quack, trussed and already flamed, throwing it into the pan, preparing the sauce, salting and peppering like Claude Monet's paintings, with the seriousness of a judge and the precision of a mathematician, and opening up, with a sure hand, in advance, every perspective of taste."
Leon Daudet describing the preparation of pressed duck at the restaurant, La Tour d'Argent.
“Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”
"I am the emperor of Germany, but you are the emperor of chefs."
Emperor William II of Germany, speaking to Georges-Auguste Escoffier
to "set the standard for beauty in classical and modem cookery, and attest to the distant future that the French chefs of the 19th century were the most famous in the world."
Marie Antonin Careme (1784-1833)
“They eat the dainty food of famous chefs with the same pleasure with which they devour gross peasant dishes, mostly composed of garlic and tomatoes, or fisherman's octopus and shrimps, fried in heavily scented olive oil on a little deserted beach.”
Luigi Barzini, ‘The Italians’ (1964)
“If he is thin, I will probably dine poorly. If he is both thin and sad, the only hope is in flight.”
Fernand Point, on the chef as critical indicator when sizing up unfamiliar restaurants.