To continue to spread holiday cheer, we present the most memorable quips, words of wisdom, epiphanies, jabs, wisecracks and digs of the year culled from the last five months of Chef and Tell interviews.
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Chef and Tell with Goose Sorensen, exec chef of Solera What's never in your kitchen: Chefs named Frank. Chef and Tell with Bob Blair, exec chef of Fuel Cafe Most overrated ingredient: Bread before a meal. Why does everyone need to fill themselves up with bread before the real food comes? And why does everyone have to sop up their sauce with bread instead of using a spoon and actually tasting it?" Chef and Tell with Max Mackissock, exec chef of Squeaky Bean Best culinary tip for a home cook: Stay out of the hot sun and don't take any wooden nickels. In other words, don't cook at home: Just come to my restaurant. Chef and Tell with Michael Long, exec chef of Opus Culinarily speaking, Denver has the worst: Lack of adventurous diners. That's a straight answer. In many ways, Denver is such a ranch-dressing city, insomuch that people are so afraid to take chances when it comes to trying new dishes. If I ever wrote a book, I'd call it Food and Loathing, for the people who won't eat anything unfamiliar. Chef and Tell with Chad Clevenger, exec chef of Mel's Weirdest customer request: I once got a request from a customer who wanted a raw hunk of meat on the plate. No seasoning, nothing -- just a raw slab of beef thrown on the plate. I'm guessing it was someone that needed blood. Chef and Tell with Sean Kelly, exec chef of LoHi SteakBar and Ernie's Bar & Pizza Proudest moment as a chef: I have been blessed with many proud moments throughout my career, but when the New York Times calls your cooking "nearly flawless," you can stop wondering. Chef and Tell with Sean Yontz, exec chef of Tambien and Sketch Hardest lesson you've learned: When I opened my first restaurant, Vega, I remember sitting in the kitchen by myself thinking, "Okay, all my life I've been waiting for this moment -- my own restaurant, nobody to tell me what to do, how to cook, who I can hire, what to buy, what not to buy. I can't fuck this up. It's do-or-die time." So what happens? I fucked it up. Chef and Tell with Alex Seidel, exec chef of Fruition One food you can't live without: Cheese. Making a salad? It needs cheese. Assembling a sandwich? Double the cheese. Crackers? They always go better with cheese. Beef? Add some cheese. Pasta? What's pasta without cheese? Potatoes? Definitely better with cheese. Cheese plate? Stack it with cheese. Seafood? Hold the cheese, please. Seafood is the only exception to the "More cheese, please" rule. Chef and Tell with Elise Wiggins, exec chef of Panzano One food you detest: Bulls' balls. I don't like the taste at all. Maybe that's why I'm a lesbian. Chef and Tell with Matt Selby, exec chef of Vesta Dipping Grill and Steuben's Hardest lesson you've learned: Three-quarters of a bottle of whiskey a day is no way to go about life.