Sunday, March 4, 2012

Food Quotes

LUCY BURDETTE: When I was beginning the food critic mysteries, I decided that I'd kick off each chapter with a food-related quote. The hunt for just the right words has been so much fun--and I have to say, the harder I look, the more interesting the quotes. I'm polishing up the list for book two, DEATH IN FOUR COURSES, and thought you might enjoy reading them--or adding a few of your favorites.

“Still, his diners are newly accessorizing the table setting: fork on the left, knife on the right, iPhone top center. It’s chew and review, toast and post.” Ike DeLorenzo

“If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” Manuel Rouvelas

“When a camera flash goes off in a restaurant, I no longer look around for the birthday party—I look for the food blogger.” Nick Fauchald

“When I write about a line cook’s bad night, it’s not just about a bad night, it’s about not being good enough, period, about personal shame and failure.” Michael Ruhlman

“Unlike cooking, where largely edible, if raw ingredients are assembled, cut, heated, and otherwise manipulated into something both digestible and palatable, writing is closer to having to reverse-engineer a meal out of rotten food.” David Rakoff

"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate — you know someone's fingers have been all over it." Julia Child

A weariness has settled in and taken root, helped along by the gray and frigid weather and the aftermath of a headache, a blousy, bilious feeling, dense as pound cake.” Meredith Mileti

“The best moment of the day, he says, is when your knees are under the table.” Colman Andrews

And finally, I was delighted to get permission from the hysterical Roy Blount Jr. to use his little poem:


Cold meat or hot meat,

Sliced thick or thin.

I guess I’ve just got meat

Under my skin." Roy Blount Jr.


  1. Lucy, I love these quotes. "... fork on the left, knife on the right, iPhone top center." Hah! Ike Lorenzo is funny.

    Thanks for a good laugh and memory jog of Julia Child. I used to see her occasionally at the grocery store in Somerville and on walks by the Div School nearby. She picked up every piece of litter she saw. She always said good morning. She always smiled. I didn't know her, but I miss her.

  2. So cool Reine--in a way you DID know her! Did you ever see what she was buying?

  3. Great quotes, Lucy.

    One of my favorites is, "Worries go down better with soup." Which reminds me, Jan, the kale soup is delicious.

  4. Love the quotes! If I were home I'm sure I could find a good one to add..

    Reine, love the story about Julia. Just as I'd have imagined. (My dad was like that with litter, too, and I'm almost as bad.)

    And I, too, would love to have know what she bought.

  5. I love the quotes, and Reine's story is priceless. What a wonderful image. I have to read your book which is sitting on my TBR bookcase, so I can read the next.

  6. Thanks Darlene,

    I actually have the sausage defrosting to make it for tomorrow. I think I might have left out the beans from the recipe I posted but you know....that's not necessarily a bad omission.

    That could be a new food quote. "it's always okay to omit the beans!" (at least in my house.)

    Love the quotes Lucy!

  7. "If you're afraid of butter, use cream." Julia Child (who else?!)

    And my mother, after I spill my milk into my plate: "Eat it. It all goes into the same stomach."

  8. Lucy, this is my favorite Julia Child story:

    The first time I met her was in the Broadway Star Market in Somerville - 1992? Her back was to me, and I didn't know it was her. She was reaching for some paper towels high up on a shelf. She looked kind of stooped over her grocery cart, so I asked if I could help. Suddenly she stretched her arm and shoulder and leaped like a basketball player. She hooked her hand around the towels, and they dropped into the cart... plop - plop.

    She turned around and asked me what I'd said. Now she was standing tall, and I could see who she was. I was feeling very short. Well I am very short at 5'1" and she was very tall. I giggled like a jerk and said something brilliant like, "Oh ah I was just offering my help, but I can see you don't need it... blubber, blubber, blubber.

    Yes, I did get a look at her food cart. She had normal stuff just like me-- in addition to the famous paper towels she had little cups of ordinary fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt. I felt hugely okay in the knowledge.

  9. Love love love the story Reine--our resident Julia Child expert.

    Jan, I don't know, beans are so good for you!

    And Hallie, the same stomach, such a motherish thing to say:).

  10. Here's a wonderful one from Daniel de La Falaise that I ran across in yesterday's NYTimes: "Every vegetable keeps a mistress in the herb garden--artichokes and parsley, tomatoes and lovage, asparagus and tarragon." Those are love affairs I can get behind!

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