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60 Of The Greatest Anthony Bourdain Quotes We All Need

Chef. Television personality. Author. Inspiration.

This is Anthony Bourdain.

Gaining fame with his down to earth book Kitchen Confidential and hosting life changing shows for the Travel Channel in 2005.

Writing, eat, drinking and traveling – he continues to show us the world’s culinary greatness.

anthony bourdain
  1. “An ounce of sauce covers a multitude of sins.”
  2. “Anyone who doesn’t have a great time in San Francisco is pretty much dead to me.”
  3. “Anyone who’s a chef, who loves food, ultimately knows that all that matters is: ‘Is it good? Does it give pleasure?’
  4. “Cooking professionally is a dominant act, at all times about control. Eating well, on the other hand, is about submission. It’s about giving up all vestiges of control, about entrusting your fate entirely to someone else. It’s about turning off the mean, manipulative, calculating, and shrewd person inside you, and slipping heedlessly into a new experience as if it were a warm bath. It’s about shutting down the radar and letting good things happen. Let it happen to you.”
  5. “Cream rises. Excellence does have its rewards.”
  6. “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.”
  7. “Don’t lie about it. You made a mistake. Admit it and move on. Just don’t do it again. Ever.”
  8. “Don’t touch my dick, don’t touch my knife.”
  9. “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.”
  10. “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.”
  11. “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.”
  12. “Good food does lead to sex. As it should.”
  13. “He doesn’t yearn for a better, different life than the one he has – because he knows he’s got a home in this one.”
  14. “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.”
  15. “I am not a fan of people who abuse service staff. In fact, I find it intolerable. It’s an unpardonable sin as far as I’m concerned, taking out personal business or some other kind of dissatisfaction on a waiter or busboy.”
  16. “I could do nothing but Brooklyn shows for the rest of my career, and I could die ignorant.”
  17. “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.”
  18. “I don’t have to agree with you to like you or respect you.”
  19. “I don’t think people should be encouraged to look like Kate Moss; I think that’s unreasonable. I think the normal human body should be glorified. By the same token, if you need a stick to wash yourself, you’re not healthy.”
  20. “I have long believed that it is only right and appropriate that before one sleeps with someone, one should be able – if called upon to do so – to make them a proper omelet in the morning. “Surely that kind of civility and selflessness would be both good manners and good for the world.”
  21. “My house is run, essentially, by an adopted, fully clawed cat with a mean nature.”
  22. “I love New York. I’m a guy for whom a New York accent is a comforting thing.”
  23. “I make friends faster and easier than journalists.”
  24. “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.”
  25. “I, personally, think there is a really danger of taking food too seriously. Food should be part of the bigger picture.”
  26. “If somebody crafts an interesting tweet that’ll lead me to their blog, I’m going to their blog.”
  27. “If you get an opportunity to work with David Simon, anybody with good taste would.”
  28. “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.”
  29. “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.”
  30. “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.”
  31. “I’m evangelical on the subject of some chefs and writers.”
  32. “I’m not afraid to look like an idiot.”
  33. “I’m not looking to freak people out – eating rodents or bugs. I don’t do that anymore.”
  34. “It would be an egregious mistake to ever refer to me in the same breath as most of the people I write about.”
  35. “It’s very rarely a good career move to have a conscience.”
  36. “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.”
  37. “I’ve sat in sushi bars, really fine ones, and I know how hard this guy worked, how proud he is. I know you don’t need sauce. I know he doesn’t even want you to pour sauce. And I’ve seen customers come in and do that, and I’ve seen him, as stoic as he tries to remain, I’ve seen him die a little inside.”
  38. “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”
  39. “Margarine? That’s not food. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter? I can. If you’re planning on using margarine in anything, you can stop reading now, because I won’t be able to help you.”
  40. “Naturally, I’m misanthropic. But the Negronis are helping considerably.”
  41. “Only desperation can account for what the Chinese do in the name of ‘medicine.’ That’s something you might remind your New Age friends who’ve gone gaga over ‘holistic medicine’ and ‘alternative Chinese cures.”
  42. “PETA doesn’t want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don’t want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don’t want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious.”
  43. “Since the very beginning, Emeril’s had a sense of humor about me calling him names and poking fun at him.”
  44. “Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.”
  45. “Sometimes the greatest meals on vacations are the ones you find when Plan A falls through.”
  46. “They’re professionals at this in Russia, so no matter how many Jell-O shots or Jager shooters you might have downed at college mixers, no matter how good a drinker you might think you are, don’t forget that the Russians – any Russian – can drink you under the table.”
  47. “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.”
  48. “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.”
  49. “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.”
  50. “We know, for instance, that there is a direct, inverse relationship between frequency of family meals and social problems. Bluntly stated, members of families who eat together regularly are statistically less likely to stick up liquor stores, blow up meth labs, give birth to crack babies, commit suicide, or make donkey porn. If Little Timmy had just had more meatloaf, he might not have grown up to fill chest freezers with Cub Scout parts.”
  51. “What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast?”
  52. “Without new ideas success can become stale.”
  53. “Writing anything is a treason of sorts.”
  54. “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.”
  55. “You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese.”
  56. “You have to love a town where you can both smoke and gamble in a pharmacy.”
  57. “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.”
  58.  “The way you make an omelet reveals your character.”
  59. “There is no Final Resting Place of the Mind.”
  60. “There’s something wonderful about drinking in the afternoon. A not-too-cold pint, absolutely alone at the bar – even in this fake-ass Irish pub.”
anthony bourdain

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