I've seen zero evidence of any nation on Earth other than Mexico even remotely having the slightest clue what Mexican food is about or even come close to reproducing it. It is perhaps the most misunderstood country and cuisine on Earth.
I'm not Ted Nugent. My house is run, essentially, by an adopted, fully clawed cat with a mean nature. I would never hunt. I would never wear fur. I would never go to a bullfight. I'm not really a meat and potatoes guy.
I always entertain the notion that I'm wrong, or that I'll have to revise my opinion. Most of the time that feels good; sometimes it really hurts and is embarrassing.
It would be an egregious mistake to ever refer to me in the same breath as most of the people I write about.
Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it's a start.
My brain and body and nervous system, they see a plane ride, a long plane trip, as an opportunity to sleep with nothing coming in, nothing to do. I just go offline the minute I'm on the plane.
Hong Kong is a wonderful, mixed-up town where you've got great food and adventure. First and foremost, it's a great place to experience China in a relatively accessible way.
I'm really good at sleeping on planes. I mean, I smell jet fuel and I'm out; I'm asleep for takeoff.
One of life's terrible truths is that women like guys who seem to know what they're doing.
I, personally, think there is a really danger of taking food too seriously. Food should be part of the bigger picture.
I think that if all kids aspire to reach a point where they could feed themselves and a few of their friends, this would be good for the world surely.
When I was writing 'Kitchen Confidential,' I was in my 40s, I had never paid rent on time, I was 10 years behind on my taxes, I had never owned my own furniture or a car.
Being a vegan is a first-world phenomenon, completely self-indulgent.
You can call me the bad boy chef all you want. I'm not going to freak out about it. I'm not that bad. I'm certainly not a boy, and it's been a while since I've been a chef.
Perhaps wisdom…is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.
Going to Southeast Asia for the first time and tasting that spectrum of flavors - that certainly changed my whole palate, the kind of foods I crave. A lot of the dishes I used to love became boring to me.
The cooking profession, while it's a noble craft and a noble calling, 'cause you're doing something useful - you're feeding people, you're nurturing them, you're providing sustenance - it was never pure.
Meals make the society, hold the fabric together in lots of ways that were charming and interesting and intoxicating to me. The perfect meal, or the best meals, occur in a context that frequently has very little to do with the food itself.
I'm a control freak. If you're going to slap my name on something, I would like to control it.
The celebrity-chef thing, even at its worst, its most annoying, its silliest, its goofiest, its most egregious and cynical, has been a good thing.
Anyone who's a chef, who loves food, ultimately knows that all that matters is: 'Is it good? Does it give pleasure?'
I don't think people should be encouraged to look like Kate Moss; I think that's unreasonable. I think the normal human body should be glorified. By the same token, if you need a stick to wash yourself, you're not healthy.
If you get an opportunity to work with David Simon, anybody with good taste would.
If anything is good for pounding humility into you permanently, it's the restaurant business.
I'm a pretty decent writer. It comes easy to me. I don't agonize over sentences. I write like I talk. I try to make them good books.
The Italians and Spanish, the Chinese and Vietnamese see food as part of a larger, more essential and pleasurable part of daily life. Not as an experience to be collected or bragged about - or as a ritual like filling up a car - but as something else that gives pleasure, like sex or music, or a good nap in the afternoon.
I love the masochistic aspect of eating seething, real Sichuan food in Sichuan Province.
Southeast Asia has a real grip on me. From the very first time I went there, it was a fulfillment of my childhood fantasies of the way travel should be.
Tokyo would probably be the foreign city if I had to eat one city's food for the rest of my life, every day. It would have to be Tokyo, and I think the majority of chefs you ask that question would answer the same way.
One of the things is challenging yourself to do a Rome show when everybody's done a Rome show. To find some aspect of food culture or chef culture that people can look at in a new way.
If somebody crafts an interesting tweet that'll lead me to their blog, I'm going to their blog.
People are generally proud of their food. A willingness to eat and drink with people without fear and prejudice... they open up to you in ways that somebody visiting who is driven by a story may not get.
Is there a sharper commentary on American culture and the world than The Simpsons?
I just do the best I can and write something interesting, to tell stories in an interesting way and move forward from there.
At the end of the day, the TV show is the best job in the world. I get to go anywhere I want, eat and drink whatever I want. As long as I just babble at the camera, other people will pay for it. It's a gift.
I'm married to an Italian woman, and I used to love cooking Italian at home, because it's one-pot cooking. But my wife does not approve of my Italian cooking.
The worst, most dangerous person to America is clearly Paula Deen.
To the extent I am known, I think I am known as a person who expresses his opinion freely about things - and I was sensitive to the possibility that if I was seen taking money for saying nice things about a product, my comments and choices and opinions would become, understandably, suspect.
I would like to see people more aware of where their food comes from. I would like to see small farmers empowered. I feed my daughter almost exclusively organic food.
I hated the Naked Chef. Fine, yes, he did good things for school food or whatever, but, you know, I don't want my chefs to be cute and adorable.
Don't dunk your nigiri in the soy sauce. Don't mix your wasabi in the soy sauce. If the rice is good, complement your sushi chef on the rice.
Doing graphic novels is cool! It's fun! You get to write something, and then see it visually page by page, panel by panel, working with the artist, you get to see it fleshed out.
People's choice to become vegan, from people I've spoken to, seems motivated by fear.
What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast?
I feel that if Jacques Pepin shows you how to make an omelet, the matter is pretty much settled. That's God talking.