On empty platitudes from star-struck guests:
“If I serve you a piece of fish and I have to make a compromise and for whatever reason I didn’t get it exactly right, and then you come back in the kitchen and say, 'Thomas, that was amazing, the best fish I ever had,' to me, you're a schmuck. Because I know I could have done a better job.”
"We didn't create the celebrity chef, the media did… I wish that you would call them leaders in the profession. We don't call people in the medical field 'medical celebrities.'"
On spreading himself too thin:
"I would be if I were the one cooking at all of my restaurants. But the point is not to be everywhere at once; it's to create a team that you trust entirely."
On the San Francisco dining scene:
"We don't have those iconic restaurants here; they're all gone. I don't know why that is. Maybe it's people's [lack of] commitment to restaurants or the need for change."
On what’s next:
"Why can't we just continue doing what we're doing? It's hard for a chef, because if I open another restaurant I'm 'spreading myself too thin' and if I don't it's 'why aren't you opening another restaurant?'"
On the future of the French Laundry:
"I hope it stays here. The goal is for it to become someone else's restaurant. Whoever takes it from me will take what I've done and do better."