Top 25 Food-Related Quotes Of The Past Decade

Almost a decade ago, I wrote this: "Every time this country ends up with a Bush in the White House, several things most assuredly occur: The government inflicts some regrettable incident on Japan, the nation tumbles into a recession, a presidential pet writes a book, and everyone worries about the vice president's ability to run things. We're still awaiting the inevitable war..."

Not bad. Beats my only other quotable line, which was "the mere thought of marinating a brain overnight in the fridge just bugs most people."

In thinking through a decade of excess, recess, war and lunacy, we decided it was best to forget about analysis and allow chefs, managers and others associated with the restaurant industry put it in their words. Or, more precisely, we decided to pull some of our favorite comments from the past ten years.

Our criteria? Well, they had to be quotes we recorded during interviews. That's about it.

And so you're about to learn about Nick Badovinus' disturbing bacon fetish, what Kent Rathbun really thinks about creme brulee and Marc Cassel's thoughts on his 'member.'

Well, sort of

So here are the 25 most memorable comments of the 00s:

25 Tre Wilcox
"In my opinion I really don't have an opinion."
The question had to do with the various qualities of free range, grass fed beef weighed against the more common grain finished. When he said this, the future TV star and Loft 610 headliner was working with Kent Rathbun at Abacus.

24 Kent Rathbun
"It's not too creative and motivating to work with steak. For a pastry chef, creme brulee is like that. It's just vanilla custard with sugar on top."
I forget what we were talking about--menu items you see everywhere or something like that. The venerable chef is always good for a memorable comment.

23. James Neel
"It's edible, but I don't think I'd run out to the store and buy any."

The chef of Tramontana was discussing head cheese prepared by Brian Luscher for a macabre taste test: haggis, scrapple and the aforementioned.

22. A waitress at Chili's
"People ask me, 'don't you get hungry seeing all of that food all the time?' Yeah, when I bring the food out it looks good, but not when I clear a table of half-eaten scraps."

Speaks for itself, really.

21. Garreth Dickey
"Even at home I wouldn't mold my couscous into a circle and put my lamb on top."

At the time, Dickey was chef at Tucker--an underappreciated spot. We were discussing how the desire to present dishes in the most appealing light led to tall foods and other horrendous trends.

20. Joel Harloff
"It's hard to get people in Dallas to eat wild game. It seems they'd rather just shoot it."
Then chef for Landmark and the Melrose Hotel, Harloff was lamenting the fact he couldn't sell rabbit and other such meats--even though he tried several times.

19. Garreth Dickey
"You can do tuna a zillion different ways. But everywhere I see it, it's seared and served with some soy-wasabi mixture."

This time, Dickey was running the kitchen at a place called Jeroboam. Really, I can't remember what question prompted the response. It was seven or eight years ago, after all. Still not sure about his math, though.

18. John Fowler
"Most people don't look that closely, but it adds to the je ne sais quoi."
This came up during a discussion with Fowler, at the time manager of Flying Saucer in Addison, about decor. If you've never been, the pub has a wall festooned with old plates. This apparently makes people think classy.