That without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, moribund.
Regret is something you've got to just live with, you can't drink it away. You can't run away from it. You can't trick yourself out of it. You've just got to own it.
Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life -- and travel -- leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks -- on your body or on your heart -- are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.
The tone of the repartee was familiar, as was the subject matter, a strangely comfortable background music to most of my waking hours over the last two decades or so -- and I realised that, my God... I've been listening to the same conversation for twenty-five years!
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.
As a cook, your station, and its condition, its state of readiness, is an extension of your nervous system -- and it is profoundly upsetting if another cook or, God forbid, a waiter -- disturbs your precisely and carefully laid-out system.
Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance, as they say in the army -- and I always, always want to be ready. Just like Bigfoot.
I'll be right here. Until they drag me off the line. 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 miss it for the world.
I lurched away from the table after a few hours feeling like Elvis in Vegas -- fat, drugged, and completely out of it.
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.
If you have a good experience in a restaurant, you tell 2 people. If you have a bad experience, you tell 10 people.
The journey is part of the experience -- an expression of the seriousness of one's intent. One doesn't take the A train to Mecca.
If I'm an advocate for anything, it's to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food, it's a plus for everybody.
Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.
If you're twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel -- as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them -- wherever you go.
If I'm an advocate for anything, it's to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food, it's a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.
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.
If I am an advocate for anything, it is to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river.
You'd have a hard time finding anything better than Barcelona for food, as far as being a hub. Given a choice between Barcelona and San Sebastian to die in, I'd probably want to die in San Sebastian.
Jiro Ono serves Edo-style traditional sushi, the same 20 or 30 pieces he's been making his whole life, and he's still unsatisfied with the quality and every day wakes up and trains to make the best. And that is as close to a religious experience in food as one is likely to get.
One of the things is challenging yourself to do a Rome show when everybody's done a Rome show. To find some aspect of food culture or chef culture that people can look at in a new way.
To be treated well in places where you don't expect to be treated well, to find things in common with people you thought previously you had very, very little in common with, that can't be a bad thing.
Oh yes, there's lots of great food in America. But the fast food is about as destructive and evil as it gets. It celebrates a mentality of sloth, convenience, and a cheerful embrace of food we know is hurting us.
I did go into the Amazonian region of Brazil. They have prehistoric river fish that weigh in at around 600 pounds, which you don't see anywhere else. And foods that cannot be exported or even found in other parts of Brazil.
I don't snack. I don't generally eat sweets or drink soda. I never eat between meals or even before big ones.
I think fine dining is dying out everywhere... but I think there will be -- and there has to always be -- room for at least a small number of really fine, old-school fine-dining restaurants.
I've seen zero evidence of any nation on Earth other than Mexico even remotely having the slightest clue what Mexican food is about or even come close to reproducing it. It is perhaps the most misunderstood country and cuisine on Earth.
I like the fact that Melbourne always seems to support their chefs and promote them in ways I find really admirable.
The Kobe craze really annoyed me. Most of the practitioners had no real understanding of the product and were abusing it and exploiting it in terrible and ridiculous ways. Kobe beef should not be used in a hamburger. It's completely pointless.
I'm a pretty decent writer. It comes easy to me. I don't agonize over sentences. I write like I talk. I try to make them good books.
Going to Southeast Asia for the first time and tasting that spectrum of flavors -- that certainly changed my whole palate, the kind of foods I crave. A lot of the dishes I used to love became boring to me.
Doing graphic novels is cool! It's fun! You get to write something, and then see it visually page by page, panel by panel, working with the artist, you get to see it fleshed out.
I'm a comic nerd. I'm a former serious collector for much of my childhood and early teen years I wanted to draw underground comics.
In college, I think I probably positioned myself as an aspiring writer, meaning I dressed sort of extravagantly and adopted all the semi-Byronic affectations, as if I were writing, although I wasn't actually doing any writing.
I wish I could play bass like Larry Graham or Bootsy Collins. My God, I'd give up just about everything else for that.
An employer of mine back in the '80s was kind enough to take me on after a rough patch, and it made a big difference in my life that I knew I was the sort of person who showed up on time. It's a basic tell of character.
I'm not Ted Nugent. My house is run, essentially, by an adopted, fully clawed cat with a mean nature. I would never hunt. I would never wear fur. I would never go to a bullfight. I'm not really a meat and potatoes guy.
Tokyo would probably be the foreign city if I had to eat one city's food for the rest of my life, every day. It would have to be Tokyo, and I think the majority of chefs you ask that question would answer the same way.
I try to very hard to avoid a situation where I would be eating cat or dog; I've managed to gracefully avoid that. It's hypocritical of me and an arbitrary line, but one that I have managed to avoid crossing.
I often look ridiculous in Japan. There's really no way to eat in Japan, particularly kaiseki in a traditional ryokan, without offending the Japanese horribly. Every gesture, every movement is just so atrociously wrong, and the more I try, the more hilarious it is.
People are generally proud of their food. A willingness to eat and drink with people without fear and prejudice... they open up to you in ways that somebody visiting who is driven by a story may not get.
I'm sure that at no point in my life could I ever have shown the kind of focus and discipline and commitment necessary to work a station at elBulli or Le Bernardin. No. That ain't me.
When I was writing 'Kitchen Confidential,' I was in my 40s, I had never paid rent on time, I was 10 years behind on my taxes, I had never owned my own furniture or a car.
I feel that if Jacques Pepin shows you how to make an omelet, the matter is pretty much settled. That's God talking.
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.
I learned a long time ago that trying to micromanage the perfect vacation is always a disaster. That leads to terrible times.
My brain and body and nervous system, they see a plane ride, a long plane trip, as an opportunity to sleep with nothing coming in, nothing to do. I just go offline the minute I'm on the plane.
I'm really good at sleeping on planes. I mean, I smell jet fuel and I'm out; I'm asleep for takeoff.
I'm not besotted with the notion of being on CNN to the point that I'm going to suddenly morph into Anderson Cooper or Christiane Amanpour. I'm not a foreign correspondent.
My mom had Julia Child and 'The Fannie Farmer Cookbook' on top of the refrigerator, and she had a small repertoire of French dishes.
It would be an egregious mistake to ever refer to me in the same breath as most of the people I write about.
I was a journeyman chef of middling abilities. Whatever authority I have as a commenter on this world comes from the sheer weight of 28 years in the business. I kicked around for 28 years and came out the other end alive and able to form a sentence.
I'm a decent cook; I'm a decent chef. None of my friends would ever have hired me at any point in my career. Period.
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.
I'm always secretly the most pleased when a show just really, really looks good and when my camera guys are really happy with the images they got.
I like telling stories, and I tell stories that interest me. It would be boring to have to go to nothing but the best restaurants. That would be a misery to me.
I could do one show after another in China for the rest of my life and still die ignorant. There's a lot of places left to go.
I, personally, think there is a really danger of taking food too seriously. Food should be part of the bigger picture.
I've been really fortunate in that I guess I was hired to do 'A Cook's Tour;' I was already a known quantity, meaning I had written a really obnoxious book and nobody expected me to be anyone that I wasn't already.
The Congo was the most difficult shoot of my life but was also maybe the greatest adventure of my life.
I don't like to see animals in pain. That was very uncomfortable to me. I don't like factory farming. I'm not an advocate for the meat industry.
At the end of the day, the TV show is the best job in the world. I get to go anywhere I want, eat and drink whatever I want. As long as I just babble at the camera, other people will pay for it. It's a gift.
I'm not afraid to look like a big, hairy, smelly, foreign devil in Tokyo, though I do my best not to, I really do.
I would like to see people more aware of where their food comes from. I would like to see small farmers empowered. I feed my daughter almost exclusively organic food.
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.
I'm very type-A, and many things in my life are about control and domination, but eating should be a submissive experience, where you let down your guard and enjoy the ride.
I'm married to an Italian woman, and I used to love cooking Italian at home, because it's one-pot cooking. But my wife does not approve of my Italian cooking.
Meals make the society, hold the fabric together in lots of ways that were charming and interesting and intoxicating to me. The perfect meal, or the best meals, occur in a context that frequently has very little to do with the food itself.
I always entertain the notion that I'm wrong, or that I'll have to revise my opinion. Most of the time that feels good; sometimes it really hurts and is embarrassing.
As I see it, fast food outfits have targeted small children with their advertising in a very effective way. You know, it's clowns and kid's toys and bright colors and things like that.
Get up early and go to the local produce markets. In Latin America and Asia, those are usually great places to find delicious food stalls serving cheap, authentic and fresh specialties.
If I'm in Rome for only 48 hours, I would consider it a sin against God to not eat cacio e pepe, the most uniquely Roman of pastas, in some crummy little joint where Romans eat. I'd much rather do that than go to the Vatican. That's Rome to me.
Big stuff and little: learning how to order breakfast in a country where I don't speak the language and haven't been before -- that's really satisfying to me. I like that.
There are people with otherwise chaotic and disorganized lives, a certain type of person that's always found a home in the restaurant business in much the same way that a lot of people find a home in the military.
It just seems there's better things to do in your life than be on television if it's not interesting, if it's not challenging, if it's not fun. You know? When it stops being those things for me, I'll stop making television.
The cooking profession, while it's a noble craft and a noble calling, 'cause you're doing something useful -- you're feeding people, you're nurturing them, you're providing sustenance -- it was never pure.
If you've ever hauled a 28-pound two-year-old around New York, you'll find that men fold at the knees a lot quicker than women.
Food is everything we are. It's an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It's inseparable from those from the get-go.
I don't have much patience for people who are self-conscious about the act of eating, and it irritates me when someone denies themselves the pleasure of a bloody hunk of steak or a pungent French cheese because of some outdated nonsense about what's appropriate or attractive.
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.
I'm definitely looking forward to the day when I stop working -- if I ever stop working. I like the idea of keeling over in my tomato vines in Sardinia or northern Italy.
I'm not searching for hard news; I'm not a journalist, but I'm interested in pushing to boundaries of where we can do the kind of stories that we want to do. I mean, it's a big world and CNN has made it a lot bigger and they haven't flinched.
The fact that over 50 per cent of the residents of Toronto are not from Canada, that is always a good thing, creatively, and for food especially. That is easily a city's biggest strength, and it is Toronto's unique strength.
In America, there might be better gastronomic destinations than New Orleans, but there is no place more uniquely wonderful.
For a dinner date, I eat light all day to save room, then I go all in: I choose this meal and this order, and I choose you, the person across from me, to share it with. There's a beautiful intimacy in a meal like that.
You have an impeccable argument if you said that Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo are food capitals. They have a maximum amount of great stuff to eat in the smallest areas.
Understand, when you eat meat, that something did die. You have an obligation to value it -- not just the sirloin but also all those wonderful tough little bits.
Anyone who's a chef, who loves food, ultimately knows that all that matters is: 'Is it good? Does it give pleasure?'
You can call me the bad boy chef all you want. I'm not going to freak out about it. I'm not that bad. I'm certainly not a boy, and it's been a while since I've been a chef.
'Kitchen Confidential' wasn't a cautionary or an expose. I wrote it as an entertainment for New York tri-state area line cooks and restaurant lifers, basically; I had no expectation that it would move as far west as Philadelphia.
Hong Kong is a wonderful, mixed-up town where you've got great food and adventure. First and foremost, it's a great place to experience China in a relatively accessible way.
Don't dunk your nigiri in the soy sauce. Don't mix your wasabi in the soy sauce. If the rice is good, complement your sushi chef on the rice.