“your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”
“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”
“Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans ... are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit.”
“No one understands and appreciates the American Dream of hard work leading to material rewards better than a non-American.”
“Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don't have.”
“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”
“Don't lie about it. You made a mistake. Admit it and move on. Just don't do it again. Ever”
“Don't touch my dick, don't touch my knife.”
“Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.”
“To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.”
“Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic.”
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe”
“Assume the worst. About everybody. But don't let this poisoned outlook affect your job performance. Let it all roll off your back. Ignore it. Be amused by what you see and suspect. Just because someone you work with is a miserable, treacherous, self-serving, capricious and corrupt asshole shouldn't prevent you from enjoying their company, working with them or finding them entertaining.”
“Garlic is divine. Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime...Please, treat your garlic with respect...Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic.”
“So who the hell, exactly, are these guys, the boys and girls in the trenches? You might get the impression from the specifics of my less than stellar career that all line cooks are wacked-out moral degenerates, dope fiends, refugees, a thuggish assortment of drunks, sneak thieves, sluts and psychopaths. You wouldn't be too far off base. The business, as respected three-star chef Scott Bryan explains it, attracts 'fringe elements', people for whom something in their lives has gone terribly wrong. Maybe they didn't make it through high school, maybe they're running away from something-be it an ex-wife, a rotten family history, trouble with the law, a squalid Third World backwater with no opportunity for advancement. Or maybe, like me, they just like it here. ”
“For a moment, or a second, the pinched expressions of the cynical, world-weary, throat-cutting, miserable bastards we've all had to become disappears, when we're confronted with something as simple as a plate of food.”
“I'm not going anywhere. I hope. It's been an adventure. We took some casualties over the years. Things got broken. Things got lost.
But I wouldn't have missed it for the world.”
“An ounce of sauce covers a multitude of sins.”
“[When I die], I will decidedly not be regretting missed opportunities for a good time. My regrets will be more along the lines of a sad list of people hurt, people let down, assets wasted and advantages squandered.”
“I, a product of the New Frontier and Great Society, honestly believed that the world pretty much owed me a living--all I had to do was wait around in order to live better than my parents.”
“Our movements through time and space seem somehow trivial compared to a heap of boiled meat in broth, the smell of saffron, garlic, fishbones and Pernod.”
“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.”
“Whachoo want, white boy? Burn cream? A Band-Aid?
Then he raised his own enormous palms to me, brought them up real close so I could see them properly; the hideous constellation of water-filled blisters, angry red welts from grill marks, the old scars, the raw flesh where steam or hot fat had made the skin simply roll off. They looked like the claws of some monstrous science-fiction crustacean, knobby and calloused under wounds old and new. I watched, transfixed, as Tyrone - his eyes never leaving mine - reached slowly under the broiler and, with one naked hand, picked up a glowing-hot sizzle-platter, moved it over to the cutting board, and set it down in front of me.
He never flinched.”
“Good food and good eating are about risk.”
“Writing anything is a treason of sorts.”
“At the base of my right forefinger is an inch-and-a-half diagonal callus, yellowish-brown in color, where the heels of all the knives I've ever owned have rested, the skin softened by constant immersion in water. It distinguishes me immediately as a cook, as someone who's been on the job a long time. You can feel it when I shake my hand, just as I feel it on others of my profession. It's a secret sign, a sort of Masonic handshake without the silliness.”
“To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food.”
“My love for chaos, conspiracy and the dark side of human nature colors the behavior of my charges, most of whom are already living near the fringes of acceptable conduct.”
“Under 'Reasons for Leaving Last Job', never give the real reason, unless it's money or ambition.”
“Cream rises. Excellence does have its rewards.”
“else can you do with the law of gravitation? If we look at the moons of Jupiter we can understand everything about the way they move around that planet. Incidentally, there was once a certain difficulty with the moons of Jupiter that is worth remarking on. These satellites were studied very carefully by Rømer, who noticed that the moons sometimes seemed to be ahead of schedule, and sometimes behind. (One can find their schedules by waiting a very long time and finding out how long it takes on the average for the moons to go around.) Now they were ahead when Jupiter was particularly close to the earth and they were behind when Jupiter was farther from the earth. This would have been a very difficult thing to explain according to the law of gravitation—it would have been, in fact, the death of this wonderful theory if there were no other explanation. If a law does not work even in one place where it ought to, it is just wrong. But the reason for this discrepancy was very simple and beautiful: it takes a little while to see the moons of Jupiter because of the time it takes light to travel from Jupiter to the earth. When Jupiter is closer to the earth the time is a little less, and when it is farther from the earth, the time is more. This is why moons appear to be, on the average, a little ahead or a little behind, depending on whether they are closer to or farther from the earth. This phenomenon showed that light does not travel instantaneously, and furnished the first estimate of the speed of light. This was done in 1676.”
“I have an awful feeling I’m supposed to know, and that this is some kind of treat. I don’t think it’s my birthday, but perhaps an anniversary. Patrick’s death? It would be just like Helen to remember and make it a “special occasion.” But I can see from the bare trees out on the street that it’s the wrong time of year. Patrick died in the spring.”
“Why can't I stay away? I think it's partly because he wears Burt's Bees lip balm, and I'm a sucker for a guy with well-conditioned lips.”
“And tell me, who will be more successful in life? The kid who knows all the chemical formulae or the one who knows teamwork, passion, discipline and focus?”
“Feelings come and go, unless you don't feel them. Then they stay, and hurt, and grow pear-shaped and weird.”
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