Personal chefs continue to be an in-demand profession. There was a 10.3% increase in employment for chefs and head cooks from 2018 – 2019. It’s a challenging job, but one that can be incredibly rewarding as well. Here are more than 200 of the best chef quotes about cooking and life organized by theme below.

Chef Quotes About Cooking

Cooking is art.

  • “As chefs, we cook to please people, to nourish people.” – Jose Andres
  • “I train my chefs with a blindfold. I’ll get my sous chef and myself to cook a dish. The young chef would have to sit down and eat it with a blindfold. If they can’t identify the flavor, they shouldn’t be cooking the dish.” – Gordon Ramsay
  • “In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” – Julia Child
  • “Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It’s about harnessing imagination, empowerment, and creativity.” – Guy Fieri

“Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors – it’s how you combine them that sets you apart.” – Wolfgang Puck

  • “I love the culture of grilling. It creates an atmosphere that is festive but casual.” – Bobby Flay
  • “The most essential part of my day is a proper dinner.” – Rachael Ray
  • “There are two different things: there’s grilling, and there’s barbecue. Grilling is when people say, ‘We’re going to turn up the heat, make it really hot and sear a steak, sear a burger, cook a chicken.’ Barbecue is going low and slow.” – Guy Fieri

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  • “I want to teach people the secret of great visual presentation. Your stomach sees the food first, and I want to help them match food flavor profiles with the aesthetics of everything.” – Wolfgang Puck
  • “Cooking is a subject you can never know enough about. There is always something new to discover.” – Bobby Flay
  • “Oh, dearie, dainty doesn’t do it in the kitchen.” — Julia Child

“Cooking for me is a way to wind down. It’s different from cooking on camera, where you have to do everything twice, for a wide shot and a close-up.” – Giada De Laurentiis

  • “Cook more often. Don’t study; just cook.” – Masaharu Morimoto
  • “Manage the heat, let the meat cook, and you’ll get fantastic results.” – Guy Fieri
  • “Cooking is the ultimate giving.” – Jamie Oliver
  • “I always say that I don’t believe I’m a chef. I try to be a storyteller.” – Jose Andres
  • “If an architect makes a mistake, he grows ivy to cover it. If a doctor makes a mistake, he covers it with soil. If a cook makes a mistake, he covers it with some sauce and says it is a new recipe.” – Paul Bocuse

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  • “I’m not serving a menu, I’m serving a story. I’m serving my soul. I’m serving a conversation, and I want you to talk back to me.” – Dominque Crenn
  • “Preparing food is one of life’s great joys, but a lot of times, parents ask their kids if they want to cook with them and then tell them to go peel a bag of potatoes. That’s not cooking – that’s working!” – Guy Fieri
  • “The way you make an omelet reveals your character”. – Anthony Bourdain
  • “When you run a kitchen, no matter how crazy and chaotic it gets, you have to be the calm one. You cannot show any sign of fear — the guests pick up on it. The beauty of this kitchen, though, is that everybody helps everybody.” – Nina Compton

“Mastering one recipe is better than mastering too many. Learn something and own it, and you’ll feel so much better about it. You’ll have more confidence if you’ve made it five times, and that confidence adds so much fun to cooking.” – Tom Douglas

  • “Clean plates don’t lie.” — Dan Barber
  • “Boning is a pain, but it makes such a majestic chicken.” – Daniel Boulud
  • “Cooking is one of the most zen things – you have to be there.” – Roy Choi
  • “Cooking is not a craft to get into for money. The money may come, or it may not. But you must get into it for the craft and the culture.” – Roy Choi
  • “A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” – Thomas Keller
  • “Gastronomy is the greatest form of therapy that anyone can be exposed to.” – Marco Pierre White
  • “If you think well, you cook well.” – Ferran Adria

Chef Quotes about Ingredients

Use the best ingredients and never substitute them for anything less.

  • “Your classic guacamole is just avocados, lime juice, and salt.” – Guy Fieri
  • “Anchovies pair really well with fruit like a nectarines or clementine. The fruit complements the sweetness and saltiness of the anchovy.” – Jose Andres
  • “The most important thing for me is to really buy the best ingredient.” – Wolfgang Puck
  • “It’s like a soul satisfying feeling when you’re eating something that just really hits your heart.” – Nina Compton
  • “Simple ingredients prepared in a simple way – that’s the best way to take your everyday cooking to a higher level.” – Jose Andres

“To have a basic ingredient that can be prepared a million different ways is a beautiful thing.” – Alice Waters

  • “Every ingredient on the plate needs to have a strong role. It can be a supporting role or it can be the main role, but it has to have more purpose than just adding color to the plate.” – Anita Lo
  • “It’s a challenge to demonstrate that you can prepare some really interesting food with humble ingredients.” – Charlie Trotter
  • “I appreciate the constant evolution in refining food, but not in making food gimmicky.” – Daniel Boulud
  • “Without butter, without eggs, there is no reason to come to France.” – Paul Bocuse
  • “I look forward to the spring vegetables because the season is so short. Mushrooms, edible foraged herbs, wild leeks, early season asparagus.” – David Chang
  • “Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.” – Anthony Bourdain
  • “I love to roast vegetables – carrots, fennel, and so on. I also love to mash or puree pretty much any vegetable!” – April Bloomfield

“Chicken breast is the driest, [most] tasteless part of the chicken as far as I’m concerned.” – Paula Deen

  • “When you have the best and tastiest ingredients, you can cook very simply and the food will be extraordinary because it tastes like what it is.” – Alice Waters
  • “I like a well-roasted rotisserie chicken and eggs cooked various ways, like sunny-side up or scrambled. It’s comfort food for me.” – Joel Robuchon
  • “You need an entire life just to know about tomatoes.” – Ferran Adria
  • “Good food is a good trend.” – Thomas Keller

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  • “Well, cooking starts with shopping. If the ingredients are not good, you don’t do it. Just change your mind and do something else.” – Eric Ripert
  • “I believe it’s a cook’s moral obligation to add more butter given the chance.” – Michael Ruhlman
  • “And don’t forget music – music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!” – Thomas Keller
  • “You gotta have good olive oil. You should have a cooking olive oil and you should have a finishing olive oil, like an extra-virgin olive oil.” – Emeril Lagasse
  • “I love garlic, and I use it often.” – Eric Ripert

“Two key ingredients in any successful chef: a quick learner and someone with a sharp brain.” – Gordon Ramsay

  • “I will never use a substitute for butter. Margarine is one molecule away from eating plastic.” – Paula Deen
  • “Anyone who tries to make brownies without butter should be arrested.” – Ina Garten
  • “The most important thing is to snack on things that are filled with real food and nourishing ingredients that will leave you feeling energised and happy.” – Ella Woodward
  • “A well-made salad must have a certain uniformity; it should make perfect sense for those ingredients to share a bowl.” – Yotam Ottolenghi
  • “No matter what the recipe, any baker can do wonders in the kitchen with some good ingredients and an upbeat attitude!” – Buddy Valastro

Chef Quotes about Learning

Chefs never stop learning.

  • “I have stood on a mountain of no’s for one yes.” – B. Smith
  • “I’ve had a lot of success; I’ve had failures, so I learn from the failure.” – Gordon Ramsay
  • “If you learn something new every day, you can teach something new every day.” – Martha Stewart

“When you have made as many mistakes as I have, then you can be as good as me.” – Wolfgang Puck

  • “Take risks and you’ll get the payoffs. Learn from your mistakes until you succeed.” – Bobby Flay
  • “Never be a food snob. Learn from everyone you meet – the fish guy at your market, the lady at the local diner, farmers, cheese makers. Ask questions, try everything and eat up!” – Rachael Ray
  • “If you want to become a great chef, you have to work with great chefs. And that’s exactly what I did.” – Gordon Ramsay
  • “Don’t go and cook Indian food if you never cooked Indian food, you know?” – Wolfgang Puck
  • “I’ve been a cook all my life, but I am still learning to be a good chef. I’m always learning new techniques and improving beyond my own knowledge because there is always something new to learn and new horizons to discover.” – Jose Andres
  • “Chefs don’t make mistakes; they make new dishes.” – Elizabeth Briggs

“You have to be confident in who you are and what you’re doing. Of course, you try to evolve. I would never tell you, ‘Today is the best I will ever be.’ I’m always trying to be a better chef, a better dad, a better person.” – Guy Fieri

  • “Best to start at the bottom & gradually climb up. It’s much more fun, too.” – Gordon Ramsay
  • “I believe that there is always something new to learn, in fact, that is one of the three reasons that I chose to become a chef, that my education is never over.” – Anne Burrell
  • “If you’re cooking and not making mistakes, you’re not playing outside your safety zone. I don’t expect it all to be good. I have fat dogs because I scrap that stuff out the back door.” – Guy Fieri
  • “I believe in tradition and innovation, authenticity and passion.” – Jose Andres
  • “The best advice I was given was to never stop learning, because the moment you give up and think you know everything, you’re already done as a chef, you should just quit.” – Niki Nakayama
  • “I love faltering. I love, in a sense, coming up short. Because you learn nothing from success. You learn so much from failing.” – Charlie Trotter

“I learned from my grandmother, because we were cooking a lot for the farm. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.” – Daniel Boulud

  • “Yes, a business should thrive, but it shouldn’t thrive at the expense of everyone else losing.” – Roy Choi
  • “We’re hoping to succeed; we’re okay with failure. We just don’t want to land in between.” – David Chang
  • “You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” – Anthony Bourdain
  • “40% of what I’ve done was a mistake. I now call it R&D.” – Jamie Oliver
  • “Risk is to do something that 99 percent of the time would be a failure.” – Ferran Adria
  • “Get up every day and try a little harder than the day before.” – Emeril Lagasse

“I have no regrets in my life. If not for the mistakes that I made I would not be the man I am today.” – Marco Pierre White

  • “You don’t become a chef to become famous.” – Eric Ripert
  • “You cannot get an influence from the cuisine of a country if you don’t understand it. You’ve got to study it.” – Ferran Adria
  • “People, you have six senses! The last one is common! Use it!” – Michael Ruhlman
  • “Close interaction with farmers and scientists can expose the chef to new flavours that can be used to delight diners.” – Rene Redzepi

Chef Quotes about Life