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What Chefs Like Thomas Keller and Samin Nosrat Can Teach Us

 In almost every household, the kitchen is a place of chaos and peace all at once. Every journey begins with a flurry of knives, meats, greens, and spices, followed by careful but quick measuring and mixing. Throw in some boiling, some roasting, and maybe even a light glaze, as the delicious fragrance wafts through your home, reminding you what all the effort was for.

In many ways, the skills you learn in the kitchen can help you in your everyday life, and no one knows that better than the greatest chefs in this world. No matter what the cuisine or the number of stars next to their restaurant’s name, these chefs have experience and wisdom that will ease your burden both in the kitchen and everywhere else.

 

1. On the journey to find balance

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “I know pastry chefs who are overwhelmed by the idea of tasting, rather than measuring, their way to a balanced vinaigrette.” - Samin Nosrat

(Flickr)  

“I know pastry chefs who are overwhelmed by the idea of tasting, rather than measuring, their way to a balanced vinaigrette.” 
-Samin Nosrat

2. On the reality of excessiveness

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “Most chefs only use and need a handful of knives - even if they own 25, they usually grab the same four or five.” - Brad Leone 

“Most chefs only use and need a handful of knives - even if they own 25, they usually grab the same four or five.” 
-Brad Leone

3. On the importance of attitude

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “Techniques are not the most difficult to teach. The attitudes chefs take are much more important.” - Alain Ducasse 

(By Wikialainducasse, Wikimedia Commons)  

“Techniques are not the most difficult to teach. The attitudes chefs take are much more important.” 
-Alain Ducasse 

4. On the sources of soulfulness 

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” - Thomas Keller

(By Arnold Gatilao, Wikimedia Commons)  

“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” 
-Thomas Keller

5. On humility 

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “Being humble is one of the most important things, and not being afraid to put yourself out there is important. I think really successful chefs put themselves out there on a daily basis.” - Christina Tosi

(By Daniel Krieger, Wikimedia Commons)  

“Being humble is one of the most important things, and not being afraid to put yourself out there is important. I think really successful chefs put themselves out there on a daily basis.” 
-Christina Tosi

6. On the common elements of greatness 

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “All great chefs have two things in common. First, they respect nature as the true artist, and they are just cooks. Second, everything that they do is an extension of them as a person.” - Marco Pierre White 

(By Dorota Trupp, Wikimedia Commons)  

“All great chefs have two things in common. First, they respect nature as the true artist, and they are just cooks. Second, everything that they do is an extension of them as a person.” 
- Marco Pierre White 

7. On enjoying the little things 

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “You don't need a silver fork to eat good food.” - Paul Prudhomme

(By U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wikimedia Commons)  

“You don't need a silver fork to eat good food.” 
-Paul Prudhomme

8. On the most important lesson of life

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “You get a lot of young chefs who have a lot of savoir-faire, a lot of technical knowledge. What's important is to convey to them a cuisine that is made from the heart.” - Joel Robuchon

(By http2007, Wikimedia Commons 

“You get a lot of young chefs who have a lot of savoir-faire, a lot of technical knowledge. What's important is to convey to them a cuisine that is made from the heart.” 
-Joel Robuchon

9. On innovation

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “It's very hard to be an innovator at the highest level in any discipline. For some chefs it's merely about combining ingredients, but that's something you can do with your eyes closed.” - Ferran Adria

(By Charles Haynes, Wikimedia Commons)  

“It's very hard to be an innovator at the highest level in any discipline. For some chefs it's merely about combining ingredients, but that's something you can do with your eyes closed.” 
-Ferran Adria

 

10. On appreciating the youthful approach 

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “There's a freshness to the approach of teen chefs. They're lighthearted, and they're not afraid to take risks.” - Alex Guarnaschelli

“There's a freshness to the approach of teen chefs. They're lighthearted, and they're not afraid to take risks.” 
-Alex Guarnaschelli

11. On the true purpose of cookbooks

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “Modern cookbooks are marketing tools for chefs. They're in the bestseller lists but no one cooks from them.” - Prue Leith

(Flickr)  

“Modern cookbooks are marketing tools for chefs. They're in the bestseller lists but no one cooks from them.” 
-Prue Leith

12. On the actual goal of every pursuit 

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “I always say that I don't believe I'm a chef. I try to be a storyteller.” - Jose Andrés

(By Bob Nichols, Wikimedia Commons)  

“I always say that I don't believe I'm a chef. I try to be a storyteller.” 
-Jose Andrés

13. On reading recipes   

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “Recipes are just descriptions of one person’s take on one moment in time. They’re not rules.” - Mario Batali

(By USDA, Wikimedia Commons)  

“Recipes are just descriptions of one person’s take on one moment in time. They’re not rules.” 
-Mario Batali

14. On trusting our own instincts 

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “We can use all the scientific tools, but it will never replace the palate or the talent of the chefs who are in the kitchen.” - Daniel Humm

(By City Foodsters, Wikimedia Commons)  

“We can use all the scientific tools, but it will never replace the palate or the talent of the chefs who are in the kitchen.” 
-Daniel Humm

15. On a lesser-known common element of chefs

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “Chefs are nutters. They're all self-obsessed, delicate, dainty, insecure little souls and absolute psychopaths. Every last one of them.” - Gordon Ramsay

(By jo-marshall, Wikimedia Commons)  

“Chefs are nutters. They're all self-obsessed, delicate, dainty, insecure little souls and absolute psychopaths. Every last one of them.” 
-Gordon Ramsay

16. On evolution 

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “The real evolution is to learn something new every day - it's very important for chefs to share what they have discovered.” - Alain Ducasse

(By Wikialainducasse, Wikimedia Commons)  

“The real evolution is to learn something new every day - it's very important for chefs to share what they have discovered.” 
-Alain Ducasse

17. On discovery 

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “Cooking is a subject you can never know enough about. There is always something new to discover.” - Bobby Flay 

(By Larkworb, Wikimedia Commons)  

“Cooking is a subject you can never know enough about. There is always something new to discover.” 
-Bobby Flay

18. On staying inspired

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “I have real admiration for chefs who can maintain an edge and find new inspiration in their cooking after many years.” - Daniel Boulud

(By DinexGroup, Wikimedia Commons)  

“I have real admiration for chefs who can maintain an edge and find new inspiration in their cooking after many years.” 
-Daniel Boulud

19. On making mistakes 

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “When you have made as many mistakes as I have then you can be as good as me.” - Wolfgang Puck 
 
(By Cristiano Del Riccio, Wikimedia Commons)  

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

20. On a life without knowledge 

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “You could probably get through life without knowing how to roast a chicken, but the question is, would you want to?” - Nigella Lawson

(By Cecile van Straten, Wikimedia Commons)  

“You could probably get through life without knowing how to roast a chicken, but the question is, would you want to?” 
-Nigella Lawson

21. On where craft meets art 

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “It's my belief that cooking is a craft. I think that you can push it into the realm of art, but it starts with craft. It starts with an understanding of materials. It starts with an understanding of where foods are grown.” - Tom Colicchio

(By David Shankbone, Wikimedia Commons)  

“It's my belief that cooking is a craft. I think that you can push it into the realm of art, but it starts with craft. It starts with an understanding of materials. It starts with an understanding of where foods are grown.” 
-Tom Colicchio

22. On the everlasting nature of change 

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “When you're running a restaurant, you have to change with the times; otherwise, the times will change you.” - Gordon Ramsay

(By jo-marshall, Wikimedia Commons)  

“When you're running a restaurant, you have to change with the times; otherwise, the times will change you.” 
-Gordon Ramsay

23. On the importance of experimenting

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “It is important to experiment and endlessly seek after creating the best possible flavours when preparing foods. That means not being afraid to experiment with various ingredients.” - Rocco DiSpirito

“It is important to experiment and endlessly seek after creating the best possible flavours when preparing foods. That means not being afraid to experiment with various ingredients.” 
-Rocco DiSpirito

24. On handling mistakes

Quotes and words of wisdom from famous top chefs that can be applied to both the kitchen and life, “A great restaurant doesn't distinguish itself by how few mistakes it makes but by how well they handle those mistakes.” - Danny Meyer

(By Financial Times, Wikimedia Commons)  

“A great restaurant doesn't distinguish itself by how few mistakes it makes but by how well they handle those mistakes.” 
-Danny Meyer

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