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

Related Reading: 100+ Sarcastic Kitchen Quotes and Funny Sayings Worth Framing 

  • “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

You can learn a lot about life from a chef.

  • “Food is culture. Food is a gateway to democracy and diplomacy, a gateway to communication and friendships.” – Timon Balloo
  • “It’s important to have balance in your life between work and play.” – Bobby Flay
  • “My parents taught me to take what you learn and make it your own. That’s what being a chef is. It’s important to me to feel I’m being true to the craft, not just true to my roots.” – Preston Clark

“I’m stubborn and I think I can do anything and be superwoman. But the reality is, I’ve stepped into a more structured balance in my life nowadays, because I never want to feel that again. Tired doesn’t do it justice.” – Nyesha Arrington

  • “A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.” – Barbara Johnson
  • “Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people eat together.” – Guy Fieri
  • “So the pie isn’t perfect? Cut it into wedges. Stay in control, and never panic.” – Martha Stewart
  • “Work hard. Laugh when you feel like crying. Keep an open mind, open eyes and an open spirit.” – Rachael Ray
  • “You can’t chase everybody on the Internet who’s saying stuff about you, that’s for sure.” – Bobby Flay
  • “The secret to my confidence is that I don’t care. I’m really lucky that I [grew up] before the internet existed, so I didn’t find my worth in it. I didn’t find my personality in it. And I didn’t find who I am in it. I found that within my home and my nucleus and my experiences.” – Sunny Anderson
  • “It’s crazy. I have no plan for my life. I’m just living my most authentic self.” – Nyesha Arrington
  • “If you bring too much into your day, it gets really hairy and you don’t do things well.” – Cristeta Comerford

“Put yourself out there, the more you put yourself out there, the more successful you’re going to be … Promote yourself as much as possible … Media makes your career now.” – Amanda Cohen

  • “We’ve been told numerous times that our cooking is ‘feminine,’ which people always intend as a compliment. We’re happy to be identified with femaleness, as strong and proud women, but the masculine/feminine binary has no legitimate place in culinary expression or its criticism. It’s an artificial construct we’d be happy to see done away with.” – Sarah Kramer & Sarah Hymanson
  • “Food is a necessary component to life. People can live without Renoir, Mozart, Gaudi, Beckett, but they cannot live without food.” – Grant Achatz
  • “Once you decide on your occupation, you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success and is the key to being regarded honorably.” – Jiro Ono
  • “The right use of food can end hunger.” – Jose Andres
  • “When opportunity knocks, you’ve got to open the door and grab it.” – Cristeta Comerford
  • “I get up every day, do the best that I can do, and go home and have a good time.” — Ina Garten
  • “Today’s innovation is tomorrow’s tradition.” —Lidia Bastianich
  • “Because of my culture, I’m uncomfortable with trying to make loud, bold statements. I can do that in the food.” – Niki Nakayama

“You have to be critical of what you do every day, to analyze it and be willing to push it further.” – Charlie Trotter

  • “How we eat can change the world.” – Alice Waters
  • “Maybe God has a bigger plan for me than I have for myself.” – Jamie Oliver
  • “Find something you love, because if you love what you do, you’ll never spend a day at work.” – Mario Batali
  • “What you feel like eating at any given moment is what you should have.” – Ferran Adria
  • “If you are not extreme, then people will take shortcuts because they don’t fear you.” – Marco Pierre White
  • “You have to be driven. You have to be focused. You have to be aware.” – Thomas Keller
  • “If you don’t follow your dream, who will?” – Emeril Lagasse

Chef Quotes about Love

Giving food is an act of love.

  • “Restaurants are like having children: its fun to make them, maybe, but then you have them for good and bad. You are going to have to raise them and if something goes wrong when they are 30 years old, they will still be your little boy.” – Wolfgang Puck
  • “I don’t think young men or women should feel pressured into marriage. You shouldn’t marry anyone, in my opinion, who you have to try hard for.” – Rachael Ray

“To me, food is as much about the moment, the occasion, the location and the company as it is about the taste.” – Heston Blumenthal

  • “Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body; it’s truly love.” – Giada De Laurentiis
  • “Look at cookbooks with your kids and ask them what sounds good.” – Mario Batali
  • “It is so nice to talk to someone that has a passion for food and family.” – Wolfgang Puck
  • “You know, food is such – it’s a hug for people.” – Rachael Ray
  • “To all the chefs, as we do this, let’s remember as we break off into cliques and start doing brown chefs and yellow chefs and gay chefs, let’s remember that we do this because we love doing it.” – Vishwesh Batt
  • “Working in a restaurant means being part of a family, albeit usually a slightly dysfunctional one. Nothing is accomplished independently.” – Joe Bastianich
  • “People like to think the creative process is romantic. The artist drifts to sleep at night, to be awakened by the subliminal echoes of his or her next brilliant idea. The truth, for me at least, is that creativity is primarily the result of hard work and study.” – Grant Achatz
  • “Love is like smiling, it never fades and is contagious.” – Paula Deen

“Spain is a fascinating mix of people, languages, culture and food, but if there is one thing all Spaniards share, it’s a love of food and drink.” – Jose Andres

  • “The art of cooking is among the most intimate things that we can do for another.” – Charlie Trotter
  • “I’m probably a bit romantic about it, but I think we humans miss having contact with fire. We need it.” – Jamie Oliver
  • “The kitchen really is the castle itself. This is where we spend our happiest moments and where we find the joy of being a family.” – Mario Batali
  • “Anything made with love, bam! -it’s a beautiful meal.” – Emeril Lagasse
  • “I just want my children to be happy. And to be good people. Proper people. That’s all.” – Marco Pierre White
  • “I’ve always said that I think females make the best chefs anywhere in the world.” – Gordon Ramsay
  • “You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama.” – Paula Deen

Chef Quotes about Spices

Spices are what gives the dish flavor.

  • “Most seasonings are based on family tradition.” – Wolfgang Puck
  • “Chipotles to me are a one-of-a-kind pepper because they’re smoked jalapenos, so they’re fiery and they’re smoky. It’s good to use chipotles in salsas or soups or condiments – that works really well. To me, they always really pick up anything you put them in.” – Bobby Flay

“The usage of proper salt is really just a small piece of education. However, I want people to really get the proper nutrition from food for them and their family.” – Wolfgang Puck

  • “Habaneros have a great fruity flavor, but the challenge is that you have to deflect the heat in order to taste the flavor. If you don’t, you’re dead. They should really have a warning sign on them. Deflect the habanero’s heat by pairing it with sweet food.” – Bobby Flay
  • “Dragon fruit is very subtle, very delicate. So you want to be careful not to kill it with things that have very strong flavor.” – Jose Andres
  • “One must know combinations; one must have a true knowledge of food to be in the moment.” – Charlie Trotter
  • “The things that make Korean food delicious are garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili powder, and chili paste. They make anything delicious.” – Roy Choi
  • “Always explore your garden and go to the market before you decide what cook.” – Alice Waters
  • “Food, like most things, is best when left to its own simple beauty.” – Mario Batali
  • “Indian spices can find a place in any cuisine. It’s just a matter of opening your mind and palate to new flavors.” – Maneet Chauhan

“Everyone makes pesto in a food processor. But the texture is better with a mortar and pestle, and it’s just as fast.” – Mario Batali

  • “Spice is life. It depends upon what you like… have fun with it. Yes, food is serious, but you should have fun with it.” – Emeril Lagasse
  • “I measure in my palm and use my eyes to estimate amounts; a tablespoon is a full palm of dried spices.” – Rachael Ray
  • “Spices, of course, are essential.” – Marcus Samuelsson
  • “I travel 330 days a year and eat every two and a half hours – I’m a big guy. I always carry a fork, little bottles of spices, and Sriracha. I eat what I feel like eating.” – Robert Irvine

“Even just a few spices or ethnic condiments that you can keep in your pantry can turn your mundane dishes into a culinary masterpiece.” – Marcus Samuelsson

  • “Spices are very hot, very hip. I love spices. I’ve always loved the Mediterranean flavors.” – Todd English
  • “Rubbing meat or vegetables with sweet and savoury spices before roasting or sizzling on a grill is what summer nights are all about.” – Rachel Khoo
  • “I’m encouraged because you pick up any food magazine and there’s two or three recipes involving Indian spices.” – Aarti Sequeira
  • “Instead of doing cinnamon, nutmeg, and all those baking spices I’ll have one spice that’s for sweets, and that’s pumpkin pie spice.” – Sandra Lee

Chef Captions for Instagram

Chefs deserve to be celebrated online and offline.

  • Cooking is a love language.
  • The joy you feel when someone eats what you make is indescribable.
  • There’s no such thing as exact measurements. Add in all the spices to your desired taste. That’s where magic happens.
  • Cooking is an art.
  • When someone cooks for you, that’s also them saying “I Love You.”
  • Butter is the not-so-secret ingredient in every dish.
  • Knives are the best tools in cooking.
  • Food tastes better with company.
  • There is no chef in the world that cooks better than your mother.
  • The kitchen is the heart of the house.
  • Cooking may be intimidating. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it a fun activity.
  • Food is meant to be shared.
  • There are no mistakes in cooking. You just simply discovered a new dish.
  • Eating different cuisines can be a form of traveling.
  • Telling someone their dish is delicious can lift their mood completely.
  • Chefs are God’s greatest creations.
  • Baking is therapeutic.
  • Spices let the dish come to life.
  • Presentation is nothing if the dish tastes bad.
  • Magic exists. It’s called cooking.
  • Cooking should not be stressful.
  • You do not want to cross paths with a chef during the dinner rush.
  • Invest in real ingredients so you can taste the full flavor of a dish.
  • Food is powerful. To be able to make it is having immense power in your hands.
  • Being a chef means you never stop learning.
  • Every ingredient plays a part in making the dish beautiful and delicious.
  • If you make a dish with love, your guests will be able to taste it.
  • Every dish has years of stories behind it. So respect every meal.
  • Cooking is one form of human pleasure.
  • Food, when shared with people, tastes even more delicious.
  • If you can cook, then you’re a wizard.
  • If laughter is the best medicine, so is a hearty meal.
  • Happiness can come from a homemade meal.
  • Food isn’t just fuel for the body. It’s also fuel for the soul.
  • A chef can make the simplest dish be mind-blowing delicious.
  • There is no bad spice. All of it is a gift from Mother Nature.
  • Food is the silent language of showing how much you care.
  • Trying out a new recipe is taking one step further into challenging yourself.
  • Chefs can take the heat. Literally.
  • Food is nourishment for both body and soul.
  • Sharing a meal with someone brings you closer to them.
  • Cooking can be soft and hardcore at the same time.
  • Cooking is a labor of love.
  • Teaching people how to cook is empowering them.
  • Failing is one secret ingredient in becoming a great chef.
  • Being a chef sparks joy.
  • Ignite the stove with passion for cooking.
  • Let your children help out in the kitchen. They’ll learn a thing or two and even grow up to be great chefs.

May these quotes inspire you to become the best chef you can be. Which one of these moved you? Let us know!

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