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Culinary Inspiration: 75 Quotes On Cooking, Spices, & Life

April 13, 2022

From hearty breakfasts to scrumptious suppers and indulgent desserts – food is essential to life. As Chef Wan said, “Food brings love, peace, and compassion to the table.” Thus, cooking food is enjoyed by billions of people across the globe – amateurs and pros alike!

Need inspiration for your next dish? Are you an up-and-coming chef seeking advice from seasoned pros on the art of cooking? Or, perhaps you’re a foodie or food blogger looking for wise words on the culinary arts… Whatever the case may be, you’re in luck! In this post, we’ve curated 75 quotes on the joys of cooking, the importance of procuring fresh ingredients, and how good food can brings folks together. So, keep reading and find a bit of culinary inspiration below.

pan with five seared scallops

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25 Quotes On Cooking

“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

“As chefs, we cook to please people, to nourish people.” – Jose Andres

“Cooking with kids is not just about the ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It’s about harnessing imagination, empowerment, and creativity.” – Guy Fieri

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

“Cooking is the ultimate giving.” – Jamie Oliver

plate of thai rice

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“Cook more often. Don’t study; just cook.” – Masaharu Morimoto

“I always say that I don’t believe I’m a chef. I try to be a storyteller.” – Jose Andres

“The way you make an omelet reveals your character.” – Anthony Bourdain

“Clean plates don’t lie.” – Dan Barber

“Gastronomy is the greatest form of therapy that anyone can be exposed to.” – Marco Pierre White

rack of lamb with asparagus

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“If you think well, you cook well.” – Ferran Adria

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

“Cooking is one of the most zen things – you have to be there.” – Roy Choi

“Manage the heat, let the meat cook, and you’ll get fantastic results.” – Guy Fieri

“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

fresh beet salad on plate

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“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”- Harriet Van Horne

“If you are a chef, no matter how good a chef you are, it’s not good cooking for yourself; the joy is in cooking for others. It’s the same with music.” – will.i.am

“Cooking is not difficult. Everyone has taste, even if they don’t realize it. Even if you are not a great chef, there’s nothing to stop you from understanding the difference between what tastes good and what doesn’t.” – Gerard Depardieu

“Cooking requires confident guesswork and improvisation – experimentation and substitution, dealing with failure and uncertainty in a creative way.” – Paul Theroux

“Cooking demans attention, patience, and above all, a respect for the gifts of the earth. It’s a form of worship, a way of giving thanks.

crab cakes with lemon

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“Oh, dearie, dainty doesn’t do it in the kitchen.” – Julia Child

“I cook, I create, I’m incredibly excited by what I do, I’ve still got a lot to achieve.” – Gordon Ramsay

“Cooking is a observation-based process that you can’t do if you’re so completely focused on a recipe.” – Alton Brown

“When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.” – Laiko Bahrs

“Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.” – Marcel Boulestin


25 Quotes On Spices & Other Ingredients

“Cuisine has become too complicated – this is about subject, verb, adjective: duck, turnips, sauce.” – Alain Ducasse

“Your classic guacamole is just avocados, lime juice, and salt.” – Guy Fieri

“The most important thing for me is to really buy the best ingredient.” – Wolfgang Puck

“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

black bowl full of small, red tomatoes

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“I look forward to spring vegetables because the season is so short. Mushrooms, edible foraged herbs, wild leeks, early season asparagus.” – David Chang

“Without butter, without eggs, there is no reason to come to France.” – Paul Bocuse

“I love to roast vegetables – carrots, fennel, and so on. I also love to mash or puree pretty much any vegetable.” – April Bloomfield

“Good soup is one the prime ingredients of good living. For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish.” – Louis P. De Gouy

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.” – Julia Child

sliced red onions on cutting board

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“It’s a challenge to demonstrate that you can prepare some really interesting good with humble ingredients.” – Charlie Trotter

“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

“You need an entire life just to know about tomatoes.” – Ferran Adria

“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

raw salmon filet

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“I love garlic, and I use it often.” – Eric Ripert

“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

“And don’t forget music – music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!” – Thomas Keller

“Anchovies pair really well with fruit like a nectarines or clementine. The fruit complements the sweetness and saltiness of the anchovy.” – Jose Andres

“Every ingredient on the plate needs to have a strong role. It can be a supporting role or it can the main role, but it has to have more purpose than just adding color to the plate.” – Anita Lo

jars full of cooking ingredients

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“Spice a dish with love and it pleases every palate.” – Plautus

“The secret of happiness is variety, but the secret of variety, like the secret of all spices, is knowing when to use it.” – Daniel Gilbert

“Variety [is] the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.” – William Cowper

“Spice is life. It depends on what you like…have fun with it. Yes, food is serious, but you should have fun with it.” – Emeril Lagasse

“When I create any dish, literally the first thing I think of is, what is the purpose behind this dish? Why am I putting this ingredient in it? – Esther Choi


25 Quotes On Life & Food

“Food is a necessary component to life. People can live without Renoir, Mozart, Gaudi, Beckett, but they cannot live without food.” – Grant Achatz

“Food is a passion. Food is love.” – Hector Elizondo

“In the childhood memories of every good cook, there’s a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot and a mom” – Barbara Costikyan

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” – Federico Fellini

“People who love to eat are always the best people.”

asian style noodles with shrimp

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“Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.” – Anthony Bourdain

“Chefs don’t make mistakes; they make new dishes” – Elizabeth Brigg

“I started cooking professionally because I had hit a point in my life where I was just sort of lost and cooking was something I has always loved and so I grabbed onto it.” – Amanda Cohen

“It’s okay to play with your food.” – Emeril Lagasse

“Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.” – Anthony Bourdain

corn tortilla taco shells

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“When I create any dish, literally the first thing I think of is, what is the purpose behind this dish? Why am I putting this ingredient in it? – Esther Choi

“Great cooking is about being inspired by the simple things around you – fresh markets, various spices. It doesn’t necessarily have to look fancy.” – G. Garvin

“I always say I don’t believe I’m a chef. I try to be a storyteller.” – Jose Andres

“What motivates me is to leave a legacy. We need to learn to educate people and set an example.” – Christina Martinez

“If cooking is what you love, do it with great vigor, pride and excellence. It pleases me when I see guests conversing, noshing, happy and satisfied. I savor all the flavors of life.” – Kai Chase

roasted chicken on plate

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“Food is romantic. Soul. It’s about putting everything in your heart onto the plate. Hoping it’s perceived well. Honestly, it’s about passion. It’s about love.” – Hillary Sterling

“Kitchens should be designed around what’s truly important – fun, food, and life.” – Daniel Boulud

“I always had a fantasy of being a chef because I like kitchen life.” – Geoffrey Rush

“I like the energy of cooking, the action, the camaraderie. I often compare the kitchen to sports and compare the chef to a coach. There are a lot of similarities to it.” – Todd English

“I think every chef, not just in America, but across the world, has a double-edged sword – two jackets, on that’s driven, a self-confessed perfectionist, thoroughbred, hate incompetence and switch off the stove, take off the jacket and become a family man.” – Gordon Ramsay

proscuito and bacon wrapped scallops

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“Maybe of the only things I do well: I cook like a maniac! I would be a chef if I weren’t an actor.” – Ian Somerhalder

“The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years, she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.” – Calvin Trillin

“In normal life, ‘simplicity’ is synonymous with ‘easy to do’, but when a chef uses the word, it means ‘takes a lifetime to learn.'” – Bill Buford

“Your pantry is your first line of defense against food-borne illness and things like high blood pressure and cholesterol.” – Joe Bastinanich

“I believe that food is one way to make people happy. I also believe that food can unite people from all walks of life and cultures. When we sit together and eat, we promote better understanding and harmony. Food brings love, peace and compassion to the table.” – Chef Wan