Our 8 Favorite Quotes from The Chef Says

The bookstore Kitchen Arts & Letters is one of our favorite places in all of New York Cityand the men behind it, owner Nach Waxman and manager Matt Sartwell, just came out with a perfectly pocket-sized book, The Chef Says. If there are any dudes in the world that know their cookbooks, it’s those two—and their book is a smart, thoughtful compilation of 150 quotes, chosen carefully from their collection and beyond. Here are 8 of our favorites. 

I’m sometimes portrayed as taking a stick to gastronomic tradition, but I believe that what I’m really doing is taking up a baton and running with it. —Heston Blumenthal

When I look at a dish, I think, what can be removed without compromising the dish or sacrificing flavor? Only when it’s pared down to its essence is it finished. —David Kinch

A salad with too many walnuts or a sauce with too many capers is like a Sunday with too many free hours—you stop appreciating the pleasure they provide. I think about that when I cook. Put just enough sweet cubes of carrots in a soup, and you won’t have to search too hard to find one, but when you do, it’ll still give you a little thrill. —April Bloomfield

One of the main points about the enjoyment of food and wine seems to me to lie in having what you want when you want it and in the particular combination you fancy. —Elizabeth David

My dream restaurant would be a counter with ten seats. I would cook for you, and then serve you, and the do the dishes, Once you delegate, it doesn’t matter how many restaurants you do. —Jean-Georges Vongerichten

Fear makes you develop. It is crucial to the creative process. —Ferran Adrià

I have fired people who can’t suffer their setbacks and petty failures. If they go down early and sped the rest of their five-hour shift that way, it threatens to sink the whole boat, and that can’t happen just because you burned your first omelette and had to refire it. You’ve got to get your GI Jane on. —Gabrielle Hamilton

Well, one day recently my girlfriend told me that the night before we had a conversation in my sleep. I said, “No, I sleep like a log, never talk in my sleep.” “Well,” she said, “last night I felt you poking me in the small of my back. I turned around, thinking, ‘Oh, he wants to get frisky,’ only to see you brushing my bottom with your finger like you were reading a book. I said, ‘What are you doing?’ and you replied, ‘Looking for a lamb recipe.’” —André Garrett


Edna Beilenson’s Cooking to Kill: The Poison Cook-Book, 1951, educates the reader on how to murder unwanted dinner guests and includes humorous, but creepy, illustrations by Herb Roth.  Marina Polvay’s The Dracula Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from the Homeland of Count Dracula, 1978, includes actual recipes and provides a chef with two options: a feast to invite Dracula in or recipes to repel vampires.  Recipes for cocktails to toast with at your Halloween feast also included! Post by Jillian and Laura.

Szathmary PN6161.B423 1951

Szathmary TX652 964 1978


Chocolate Chip Cookies

1.) 532.35 cm3 gluten
2.) 4.9 cm3 NaHCO3
3.) 4.9 cm3 refined halite
4.) 236 cm3 partially hydrogenated tallow triglyceride
5.) 177.45 cm3 crystalline C12H22O11
6.) 177.45 cm3 unrefined C12H22O11
7.) 4.9 cm3 methyl ether of protocatechuic aldehyde
8.) Two calcium carbonate-encapsulated avian albumen-coated protein ovoids
9.) 473.2 cm3 theobroma cacao 10.) 236 cm3 de-encapsulated legume meats (sieve size #10)

To a 2-L jacketed round reactor vessel (reactor #1) with an overall heat transfer coefficient of about 100 Btu/F-ft2-hr, add ingredients one, two and three with constant agitation.
In a second 2-L reactor vessel with a radial flow impeller operating at 100 rpm, add ingredients four, five, six, and seven until the mixture is homogeneous.
To reactor #2, add ingredient eight, followed by three equal volumes of the homogeneous mixture in reactor #1.
Additionally, add ingredient nine and ten slowly, with constant agitation. Care must be taken at this point in the reaction to control any temperature rise that may be the result of an exothermic reaction.
Using a screw extrude attached to a #4 nodulizer, place the mixture piece-meal on a 316SS sheet (300 x 600 mm).
Heat in a 460K oven for a period of time that is in agreement with Frank and Johnston’s first order rate expression (see JACOS, 21, 55), or until golden brown.
Once the reaction is complete, place the sheet on a 25ºC heat-transfer table, allowing the product to come to equilibrium.

Source: Engineering Humour

Coconut Rose Semifreddo and a Summertime Giveaway from Kitchen Vignettes by Aubergine

How I’ve gone through my entire life (4 months of which were spent in Italy for crying out loud) without ever tasting a semifreddo, I do not know. What I do know is that now that I’ve experienced it, there’s no going back. And as someone who doesn’t own an ice cream maker, the fact that all you need to make one is a whisk and a saucepan means there are going to be a lot of semifreddos in my life from now on. Oh yes.

This recipe is inspired by a wonderful  cookbook called Cooking With Flowers by Miche Bacher. It will transport you to the magical world of flowers and the myriad ways you can cook with them. Here are some of the recipes that I am dying to try: Oven-Baked Doughnuts with Lilac Cream Filling, Dandelion Fritters, Elderflower Marshmallows… and every single other recipe in the book! Miche Bacher also shows you how to make your own flower syrups, flower sugars, flower vinegars…  learning how easy it is to make flower syrups inspired me to make this rose petal and coconut semifreddo.

Get the recipe at Kitchen Vignettes by Aubergine

When pioneering chef Julia Child (August 15, 1912—August 13, 2004) was finally able to publish her landmark labor-of-love magnum opus Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1961, it wasn’t just a seminal introduction of French cuisine to America — it was a pioneering feat of entrepreneurship for Child, who had faced rejection after rejection, struggling for nearly a decade to surmount the oppressive greed of the publishing industry and bring her vision to life in its original creative integrity.

When Knopf finally greenlit the 726-page first volume, the book swoon swelled into the status of a cultural classic and was followed by a second volume in 1972. By then, Child had become not only a legendary chef, but also an influential media personality with her own television shows in an era when few women graced the airwaves — heartening redemption for a woman who, upon finding out she was too tall to enlist in the Women’s Army Corps, had spent her late twenties and early thirties as a typist and an advertising copywriter. Indeed, over the course of her life, Child received numerous awards for her work — a Peabody and three different Emmys for her TV shows and a National Book Award for Julia Child and More Company.

So monumental is Child’s legacy and so enduringly uplifting her story that she has even inspired a delightful illustrated children’s book and a rose species was named after her.

Learn more: Brain Pickings | Wikipedia