Best Quotes from Joe Bastianich

By | February 1, 2017

No matter what it is you are cooking, buy the best ingredients you can afford. I don’t care if it’s a simple salad or Beef Wellington. A quality product stands alone and won’t need any dressing up.

Joe Bastianich

If you eliminate the junk food, you don’t really run the risk of gaining weight if you’ve got a good workout routine.

Joe Bastianich

My grandparents in Istria had a frasca, which is about the most basic kind of grocery/restaurant. They sold wine from their own vineyard. I took control of the vineyard, hired a local winemaker, and bought another winery in 1996. We had our first commercial vintage in 1998.

Joe Bastianich

Pasta is the one food I can’t live without. It’s the food I eat to fuel my running.

Joe Bastianich

Being general manager is like being the de facto owner. It’s like wearing the crown of ‘Restaurant Man’ without being ‘Restaurant Man.’ You’re trying to run the business, but you’re running the ranch without riding the big horse.

Joe Bastianich

I prioritize in life. I like to work, I do TV shows, I do a lot of Iron Man training. I enjoy kicking back on a good night and drinking wine until I go to bed, and having fun with my friends. You just have to make time for it and keep it balanced.

Joe Bastianich

After World War II, a lot of people moved to the cities for work and abandoned the old vineyards. Then in the 1950s and 1960s, wineries were paid to produce volume at a cheap price. That’s when the Lambruscos and bad Chianti were popular.

Joe Bastianich

As a restaurateur, my palate is one of my most important tools.

Joe Bastianich

Finding specialty food items was a bit of a challenge in Asia in the early days of getting the Mozza’s up and running. Everything is built on relationships, and when you start somewhere new, it takes time to develop that. Staffing can also present challenges.

Joe Bastianich

He brought a sensibility and a hard-edged reasonableness to operating restaurants that had a lasting impact on me and still affects how I run all our restaurants today. The passing of ‘Restaurant Man’ – the original gangsta ‘Restaurant Man,’ my father – was the passing of an era. No one can replace him.

Joe Bastianich

You can enjoy a $15 bottle of wine as much as you can enjoy a $100 bottle of wine.

Joe Bastianich

Most people who open restaurants will fail, because they lack the fundamental understanding of restaurant math. Either they think they’re superstar cooks or they think they’re superstar hosts.

Joe Bastianich

My wife and I battle over home decor. My style goes from Gothic to Baroque. Hers is minimalist.

Joe Bastianich

At home, I make a large batch of tomato sauce and freeze it in meal-size portions in freezer bags.

Joe Bastianich

Wine pricing is an art – like painting.

Joe Bastianich

Cooking for my family is always a pleasure when I’m able to do it. My favorite thing to make is really whatever my kids ask for on any given day. It’s more about being with them and doing something together.

Joe Bastianich

It’s one thing to execute dishes on your own time for family and friends, but quite another to perform and be judged in a competition. And that’s what cooking in a high profile restaurant is. It’s a competition. You’re up against every other three-star restaurant in your city, and if you want to stay in business, you’d better deliver.

Joe Bastianich

Classics can be phenomenal when done right. A simple roast chicken dish could be the best thing you ever eat.

Joe Bastianich

The pressure, the heat, the almost impossibly fast pace at which you need work – this is the reality of working in the culinary industry. This is what professional chefs do night after night.

Joe Bastianich

Being a cook doesn’t necessarily mean you are a competitor.

Joe Bastianich

At Babbo, each dish grew out of a conversation, trying to put something forth that was new and different. It was a combination of culinary adventurism and the dining-room experience with respect for the classic but with an eye toward innovation. And it was about eating locally, whether produce or fish or meat.

Joe Bastianich

The menu should be part of the entertainment, part of the dining experience. It’s kind of like reading the ‘Playbill’ when you go to the theater. It should be an alluring and interactive document. Does it have burn marks on it from the candle? If you ever get a greasy menu with food stains on it, it’s time to run like hell.

Joe Bastianich

I think a lot of people overlook the importance of the menu as a marketing tool and a way of communicating to the customer what the ambition of their restaurant is. Not only the typeface and the design, but what is it printed on? Is it cheap-looking? Is it the right kind of paper for that restaurant?

Joe Bastianich

Babbo’s menu is only four pages, but it’s overwhelming – there are 20 different pastas in there, a lot of stuff. There is nothing I hate more than a useless, lazy menu with only three appetizers and four entrees.

Joe Bastianich

I was brought up to believe I could achieve anything. My mother instilled in me the belief that there was always something great coming. For example, even though I’m afraid of flying, I always think the plane can’t crash because there are so many better things still to come.

Joe Bastianich

I’m a baritone. Baritones don’t mature until late.

Joe Bastianich

I’m one of three judges on ‘MasterChef’ with Gordon Ramsay, but I don’t want my own show. I’m kind of used to the sidekick gig.

Joe Bastianich

I have a Madonna portrait done in the style of a Russian icon. My mother, the chef Lidia Bastianich, and I bought it together. It reminds me of her.

Joe Bastianich

Every time I open a new restaurant, I wake up in the middle of the night moaning about bread and water. I dream I am in the middle of the dining room, and I am panicked.

Joe Bastianich

I think that, by comparison with $2,000 bottles of grand cru Burgundies, first-rate barolos, which sell for under $100, are undervalued ten-fold.

Joe Bastianich

There are certain things that make restaurants work and a certain kind of DNA that people who excel in restaurants need. But it’s a lot like life, in the sense that you get out of it what you put into it.

Joe Bastianich

With four-appetizer, four-entree menus, it’s like, give me a break. That’s not a restaurant, that’s a dinner party.

Joe Bastianich

I definitely invented the everything bagel. There’s no doubt. It’s undeniable truth. It’s one of those things that’s 100% true, 50% of the time.

Joe Bastianich

There are many things I’m looking forward to in 2013, both personally and professionally. Plans for new restaurants in the U.S., including Eataly Chicago, are underway, and I’m gearing up for the 2013 Ironman world championships in Hawaii – if I’m lucky enough to get a spot!

Joe Bastianich

In Italy, food is an expression of love. It is how you show those around you that you care for them. Having a love for food means you also have a love for those you are preparing it for and for yourself.

Joe Bastianich

I believe that ‘MasterChef’ brings something more to the table, so to speak, than simply being another reality food TV show. My hope is that it will inspire America to get more involved in the food they eat, how it is prepared.

Joe Bastianich

Working in a restaurant means being part of a family, albeit usually a slightly dysfunctional one. Nothing is accomplished independently.

Joe Bastianich

I come from a family that loves to eat, not exercise. Being fat made even walking hard.

Joe Bastianich

The best pastas are cut with bronze dies that give them a rough texture and allow the sauce to cling.

Joe Bastianich

Beans are a real go-to for me.

Joe Bastianich

The stories of wine lords who trade wine on intimidation or food critics who trade free meals for reviews… those are the stories of my life. I am telling the stories of my life in a true way.

Joe Bastianich

Essentially, wines are fermented grape juice, so I’m trying to make the point that the wine world is about scores and marketing and kind of creating a scarce resource where they don’t really exist.

Joe Bastianich

Selling wine is all about sizing people up, and it takes a certain amount of chutzpah. The tableside bottle sell is a very funny thing – you take a look at the guy’s blazer, what kind of shoes he’s wearing, what kind of broad he’s with. Is he trying to be a hero?

Joe Bastianich

The general manager is kind of like the step into darkness when you reach the top of the league. As GM, you’re responsible for everything, including the maitre d’s and the sommeliers – all these people who have their own agendas. But you probably make less than the maitre d’ and have a lot more work and a lot more headaches.

Joe Bastianich

Maitre d’s are at the financial spigot of the restaurant, meaning they control who gets in and who doesn’t, but aside from that, they don’t do anything. And yet they get paid as much as the highest-paid people in the place.

Joe Bastianich

I was raised in restaurants. My parents opened their first restaurant, Buonavia, in Queens when I was just 3. This business has always been my way of life. As a kid, home was reserved only for sleeping. After school, you could find my sister and I helping out at the family restaurant.

Joe Bastianich

It’s kind of like a midlife crisis kind of thing. When you turn 40, you have to run the marathon, while all the parts still work properly.

Joe Bastianich

MasterChef’ is the search for America’s culinary amateur talent, so this is a search for the best home cook in America, and it’s our job to figure out who that is.

Joe Bastianich

America has been conditioned to think of pasta as the never-ending pasta bowl and Olive Garden.

Joe Bastianich

New York is the best food city in the world.

Joe Bastianich

Restaurant Man’ is kind of the story, an unabridged story of what happened in my life, the good bad and ugly. Some people might glean some life lessons. It is honest, not written as a press release.

Joe Bastianich

Being frugal, conscious of making money, is not a negative thing. That sensibility of creating value and finding value and reinvesting in those customers is what separates great restaurants from the average ones.

Joe Bastianich

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