If you are killing a chicken and cooking a chicken, it has to taste like chicken. Veal has to taste like veal. You have to be able to identify what you're eating. One of my worst experiences is when I can't tell what I'm eating. It is a waste.
A few years ago, kids from poor areas in France were asked to draw items of food. For a chicken, they drew a drumstick. For a fish, they drew a fish stick. Those are extremes, but there is a lot that needs to be done to help children discover good food.
As a chef, you need to respect your guests and their needs. If they decide that they want to eat certain things and not eat others, if for religious reasons or just decide they don't want to eat certain ingredients, you have to respect that.
We the chefs have a responsibility to learn about the chemical makeup of food!
I like a well-roasted rotisserie chicken and eggs cooked various ways, like sunny-side up or scrambled. It's comfort food for me.
When a dish works, it works for everyone, whether you're Asian, European, African, American or anybody else.
When I was 13, I entered the seminary in the hope of becoming a priest. But I often found myself helping the nuns in the kitchen and thus discovered my passion for cooking. I began to cultivate my skills and aspirations at the age of 15, when I embarked on my first apprenticeship.
I've never followed a vegan or vegetarian diet in the past, but I think I could do it. It would not be easy. I have worked with nutritionists who have said a vegan diet is not necessarily all positive for your health, because you need nutrients you only find in meats. I believe in a balanced diet.
Taste is developed by the diversity of the products one can sample. I think our children today may be missing an education about food. We must teach them to know their cuisine and to know the equilibrium of nourishment. That is very important for health.
I am very honored for all the distinctions and accolades, but what I am most sensitive to is my clientele and the fact they are pleased with my food and my restaurants.
When new cooks come to work for me, they obviously make mistakes at the beginning or there's some messiness to the presentation. What I always say to them is: 'If you were cooking this for your mother or your girlfriend, would you make those mistakes?'
Vegas represents the idea of America I had as a kid. The big cars, the pretty girls; everything is possible in Vegas.
I am a gourmand. I like to eat. When I have something that I like, I tend to have too much of it. That is a guilty pleasure.
Creating deluxe cuisine is like playing a sport. Always competitive. Always challenging. And if you slow down a bit, you can no longer return to the top level.
Right now, I am doing the reverse of molecular gastronomy. I'm working with scientists to find ingredients and produce that are proven to be good for you.
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