The exposure from 'Iron Chef' has been helpful, but at the end of the day your product and your service determine whether you get customers or not. If people decide to eat out less during a recession, the first restaurants that they will cut out are the ones that don't do a great job.— Michael Symon
The most scandalous Michael Symon quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
Every lesson I learned as a kid was at the dinner table.
Being Greek, Sicilian and Ruthenian - we are an emotional bunch. It is where we laughed, cried and yelled - but most importantly, where we bonded and connected.
I always tell my employees, the busier it gets, the slower you should cook.
When you run around like a crazy person, that's when things go wrong.
It's not always possible to sit down and eat at home in this day and age of fast-paced living, but if you are going to eat out, do so as a family and support all the great local places in your areas. I'll still eat at the same diner I did as a kid with my parents.
If you learn a recipe, you can cook the recipe. If you learn the technique, you can cook anything.
I don't think any other holiday embraces the food of the Midwest quite like Thanksgiving. There's roasted meat and mashed potatoes. But being here is also about heritage. Cleveland is really a giant melting pot - not only is my family a melting pot, but so is the city.
Whats more important than recipes is how we think about food, and a good cookbook should open up a new way of doing just that.
I'm lucky that my restaurant partners are my wife Liz and Doug Petkovic.
We opened our first restaurant over 15 years ago. And we didn't open up our second restaurant for almost ten years. So that gave us a good foundation of employees.
Go to the grocery store and buy better things.
Buy quality, buy organic, buy natural, go to the farmers market. Immediately that's going to increase the quality of the food you make.
In Cleveland, I'm so fortunate that we're surrounded by farms with an endless variety of beautiful vegetables. For me, I always eat very tightly with the season, even if the season is only six weeks.
Because I'm so known as a meat-chef, when I talk about Meatless Monday some people look at me like I've lost my mind. I'm like, look, I'm not saying beef and pork is bad, I love it and I eat it six days a week.
You've always got to work to your highest ability level.
When times are great and restaurants are jamming, that's when some restaurants get sloppy and take things for granted. Never take things for granted.
My goal in 'Live to Cook' is to make great food more approachable for home cooks.
On 'Chopped,' the time goes down a bit and there are several ingredients, usually one that makes no sense whatsoever with the rest of the ingredients. So it gets you out of your culinary comfort zone a little bit. Like we had octopus and cheese paired up with each other.
Eating chicken without skin is like riding a bike without wheels
I was lucky enough to have great mentors both in the culinary world and in the world of chefs who became celebrities. Bobby Flay is one of my dearest friends and a tremendous mentor for me. Mario Batali is the same way. They began doing TV a little before me and they showed me the way.
When it comes to cooking and eating, I always try to preach that life is about moderation. Even if I'm having beef for dinner, it's probably going to be a 3-4 ounce portion with heaps and heaps of vegetables.
Sitting down for dinner not only helps you learn, but also teaches you how to listen - which I feel is the most important skill to have. I remember as a kid going around the table listening to everyone's day. It was hard to have the manners not to interrupt back then.
I think that's what being a chef is all about: camaraderie and teamwork.
I never feel that it should be so cutthroat that you can't help the other chefs.
Hitler was a vegetarian.
I love doing demonstrations. I think to be a great chef you have to be a great teacher. I love doing classes with people who love food and enjoy food, bringing them all around one table so to speak.
I think that any city created to be that over-the-top tends to be slightly inspiring, if not frightening. Vegas is all about people being amped up and winning or losing. With all that energy comes additional pressure.
When I met my wife 20 plus years ago, she was a vegetarian, so I was the closest thing to the devil that she had ever met.
I make no bones about it. I have no understanding of pastry.
Things are going to go wrong. The great chefs are the ones that don't let it fluster them. They just move through it.
I'm a firm believer that all this packaged stuff that Americans are buying up in gobs is making them fatter.
Never let the pressure get so big that you stop cooking and being who you are.
I'm going to win or lose doing my food. Because when the pressure's on, you need to do food that you're very comfortable with.
My father cried when I said I wanted to be a chef.
With all the hybrid stuff and things like that, I think that's a fabulous direction to go with cars in that sense. As someone who grew up around muscle cars, I'll never not be able to not love a muscle car. Not that I don't care about the environment, that's not it. But I adore muscle cars.
For the longest time, chefs and restaurateurs were able to get products home cooks couldn’t get, but that’s not the case anymore.
Sometimes a minute is really the difference between success and failure.
There are times when you finish with ten seconds left, and one extra minute could've meant everything. You almost have to think of it as a sporting-event type of atmosphere: A football game is sixty minutes long. Think of how many games could be won or lost if the team had one more minute?
As the competition goes further along, you start to see who's rising and who's falling.
People come up to me all the time and say, 'Oh, I love to watch Food Network,' and I ask them what they cook, and they say, 'I don't really cook.' They're afraid, they're intimidated, they know all about food from eating out and watching TV, but they don't know where to start in their own kitchen.
Some of the greatest chefs in the world aren't classically trained.
Thomas Keller - probably the greatest American chef ever to walk the earth - never went to culinary school. You know?
My restaurants are never opened on Thanksgiving;
I want my staff to spend time with their family if they can. My feeling is, if I can't figure out how to make money the rest of the year so that my workers can enjoy the holidays, then I don't deserve to be an owner.
The great thing about chefs as celebrities is it gives you a larger stage to let people know how important great food is. You're able to reach a nation. The hardest thing about being a celebrity chef is you go from working 18-hour days in your kitchen to it pulling you out of your kitchen here and there. I used to be in my kitchen six or seven days a week, and for ten years I never even took a vacation.
As a chef and someone who's been in the restaurant business for almost thirty years now, if there's one thing I learned early on: Never eat at a buffet. I don't want to eat yesterday's food and whatever they're trying to get rid of from their cooler for my lunch, dinner, or breakfast, thank you very much.
People complain that chefs aren't at their restaurants anymore, but I don't think that's the case at all. You see them on TV and you assume they're not working but they are.