Notable Quotes
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quotations about cooking

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.

HARRIET VAN HORNE, Vogue magazine, Oct. 15, 1956

If you think well, you cook well.

FERRAN ADRIÀ, book signing, Sep. 29, 2011

My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor.

PHYLLIS DILLER, attributed, Make 'em Laugh: The Funny Business of America

There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.

THOMAS WOLFE, The Web and the Rock

I can tell in two minutes if I should hire someone in the kitchen. Two minutes. It's his desire. It's that open-eyed, attentive expression. If he doesn't have it ... I mean, I can teach a chimp how to cook dinner. But I cannot teach a chimp how to love it.

MARIO BATALI, Esquire, Jun. 2004

To the old saying that man built the house but woman made of it a “home” might be added the modern supplement that woman accepted cooking as a chore but man has made of it a recreation.

EMILY POST, Etiquette

A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.


The very common error of young or unconfident cooks is to keep putting more of their own personal ideology into a plate until there’s so much noise that you really can’t even hear a tune. You can say more in an empty space than you can in a crowded one.

MARIO BATALI, Harvard Business Review, May 2010

I approach cooking from a science angle because I need to understand how things work. If I understand the egg, I can scramble it better. It's a simple as that.

ALTON BROWN, interview, Sep. 12, 2002

Tabasco sauce is to bachelor cooking what forgiveness is to sin.

P.J. O'ROURKE, The Bachelor Home Companion

In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.

JULIA CHILD, New York Times, Nov. 26, 1986

If cooking becomes an art form rather than a means of providing a reasonable diet, then something is clearly wrong.

TOM JAINE, London Daily Telegraph, Oct. 19, 1989

Nobody thinks it’s silly to invest two hours’ work in two minutes’ enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, well, so is the ballet.

JULIA CHILD, NBC TV, Dec. 1, 1966

No matter how much creativity goes into it, cooking is an art. Or perhaps I should say a craft. It abides by absolute rules, physics, chemistry, etc. and that means that unless you understand the science you cannot reach the art. We're not talking about painting here. Cooking's more like engineering. I happen to think that there is great beauty in great engineering.

ALTON BROWN, interview, Sep. 12, 2002

All cooking is a matter of time. In general, the more time the better.

JOHN ERSKINE, The Complete Life

'Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers.


There is not a good or a bad cuisine, just the one you like the best.

FERRAN ADRIÀ, book signing, Sep. 29, 2011

Cookbooks have all become baroque and very predictable. I'm looking for something different. A lot of chefs' cookbooks are food as it's done in the restaurants, but they are dumbed down, and I hate it when they dumb them down.

MARIO BATALI, Food & Wine interview

Many folk like to know beforehand what is to be set on the table; but those who have laboured to prepare the feast like to keep their secret; for wonder makes the words of praise louder.

J. R. R. TOLKIEN, The Return of the King

Too many cooks spoil the broth.


It must be hard to cook if you anthropomorphisize your vegetables.

BILL WATTERSON, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

The saddest thing in life is to marry a woman who looks like a cook--and isn't.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

If anything goes wrong at the table, the cook is forever dishonored; he survives not the disgrace; let him welcome death.

VATEL, attributed, Day's Collacon

Be content to remember that those who can make omelettes properly can do nothing else.

HILAIRE BELLOC, A Conversation with a Cat

There is communion of more than our bodies when bread is broken and wine drunk.

MARY FRANCES KENNEDY FISHER, Conversations with M. F. K. Fisher

When people think science and cooking, they have no idea that it's not correctly expressed. We're actually applying the scientific method. People think chemistry and physics are science, but the scientific method is something else.... It's the science that the world of cooking generates: science of butter; science of the croissant.

FERRAN ADRIA, interview, Toronto Life, Mar. 13, 2014

One of the delights of life is eating with friends; second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends. People who like to cook like to talk about food. Plain old cooks (as opposed to the geniuses in fancy restaurants) tend to be friendly. After all, without one cook giving another cook a tip or two, human life might have died out a long time ago.

LAURIE COLWIN, Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen

If you're preparing a dinner for friends or a holiday dinner, make sure to only prepare recipes you are comfortable with and have cooked before. Cooking for others is not the time to try out a recipe for the first time. You end up spending all your time in the kitchen instead of enjoying your company.

RACHEL RAY, QVC Quisine eNewsletter

Like all disciplines where information is shared and work contributes to their advancement, cuisine should be no different. The kitchen is our life, and we are available to share. We want to share our work so that future generations can cook and create a more efficient, easy and unquestionable quality.

FERRAN ADRIA, The Vancouver Sun, Mar. 4, 2014

Do not taste food while you're cooking. You may lose your nerve to serve it.

PHYLLIS DILLER, The Mammoth Book of Comic Quotes

We may live without poetry, music, and art;
We may live without conscience, and live without heart;
We may live without friends; we may live without books;
But civilized man cannot live without cooks.
He may live without books--what is knowledge but grieving?
He may live without hope--what is hope but deceiving?
He may live without love--what is passion but pining?
But where is the man that can live without dining?


The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star.



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