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Ten Most Powerful Quotes from the Aspen Food & Wine Classic

From seminars to cooking demos and the trade programs organized by American Express this past weekend, some of the country's best chefs shared deep thoughts on work and life at the 32nd annual Aspen Food & Wine Classic.

Futurists Panel, left to right: Dana Cowin, Marcus Samuelson, David Chang, Andrew Zimmern
Futurists Panel, left to right: Dana Cowin, Marcus Samuelson, David Chang, Andrew Zimmern
Galdones Photography

"Prune is not even a restaurant...I don't even know what Prune is. It's a halfway house. [...] It's a feeling. There's good food and when you walk in you know it's happening. There's a beating heart...which is mine, bleeding all over the place. It couldn't be replicated." Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune, NYC, James Beard winner for Best Chef NYC 2011, author of Prune and Blood, Bones, & Butter

"The next great restaurant in the world will be analog. There will be no technology. The experiences I get in restaurants that really impact me are in restaurant that are sort of analog right now — Franklin's Barbecue, Heartwood [...], Elkano in San Sebastian. [...] I can get barbecue anywhere, but [...] I can't get it from someone who has done it for thirty years. [...] I want to taste that experience." David Chang, Momofuku restaurant group, NYC, James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Chef 2013, author of Momofuku (with Peter Meehan)

"When we opened at O'Hare, there were three things we were told," said Bayless. "One: no one will wait so it all has to be premade. Two: no one wants anything spicy so take out all the spices. Three: no one wants anything aromatic. We gave them food that was made to order, spicy and very aromatic and it was the most successful thing that ever happened at O'Hare," Rick Bayless, chef- owner at Frontera, Frontera Foods, tv personality.

"Sometimes you don't understand how important something is until somebody gets it screamed in your ear. Chef [Daniel] Humm [of Eleven Madison Park] has this ability. He instills it upon you immediately - the importance of immediacy and perfection. [laughing] It drove me right up the wall." Bryce Shuman, Betony, NYC, one of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs 2015

"We are totally allowed to be free now. We are not stuck in any genre or any particular country or style. I can use an ingredient that is really very Greek traditionally but I can put something Moroccan on the plate too as long as it tells an interesting story. [...] It is me telling my story through the food." Zoi Antonitsas, Westward, Seattle, one of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs 2015

"Technology has forced us to create a completely different dining experience in the restaurant because people live so much online that I noticed something at [Red] Rooster. Rooster is a restaurant that works for people that are just dying to be offline. So we've gotta be much more engaging in the restaurant. The offline experience is equally important [to technology]." Marcus Samuelson, Red Rooster, NYC, James Beard Awards winner Best Chef: New York City 2003, author of Yes, Chef

"When you have to prioritize a parent teacher conference versus a tasting, that really grounds you [as a chef and restaurateur]." Jose Garces, chef-owner of nine restaurants in Philadelphia, tv personality.

"For me, at Poole's, we had an idea to teach our people how to appreciate the opportunity to serve customers and call them guests. It was a way to remind ourselves that it wasn't a transaction, it was hospitality. My goal was that if people wake up and they're in the mood for fried chicken, I wanted this to be the place they want to go to."
Ashley Christensen, Poole, Raleigh NC

"If there is nothing else you learn while cooking in my restaurants it is to taste your food. [...] Taste your ingredients and taste your final product. Taste along the way. Every step. And if it doesn't taste good, you probably did something wrong. In the end, if it doesn't taste good, then why does anyone else want to eat it anyway?" Bryce Shuman, Betony, NYC, one of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs 2015

"People like each other better after they break bread together, literally break bread together. [...] Food is good. Food with a story is better. Food with a story you havent heard before is best of all." Andrew Zimmern, tv personality, chef-owner at Canteen, author of The Bizarre Truth: How I Walked out the Door Mouth First and Came Back Shaking My Head.

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