15 Pieces of Advice Valley Chefs Would Give to Their Younger Selves

Categories: Bites & Dishes

Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail laura.hahnefeld@newtimes.com.

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With the New Year now officially underway, it's tough not to reflect on life lessons learned, experiences undergone, trials and tribulations endured, etc., during our brief existence on this planet up until now.

What advice would Valley chefs and restaurateurs give to their younger selves -- and younger human beings in general -- on the secrets to culinary happiness, success, and well-being? Here are 15 of their philosophies.

See also: Food and Drink Trends for 2014 as Predicted by Valley Chefs

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Chef Matt Taylor,
Market Street Kitchen

Slow down. Being a great cook is a wonderful, noble, and respected profession. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up. Keep learning, travel, and do what you love to do -- cook. There is plenty of time to become a great chef.

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Sadhana Raj
Chef and Owner, 24 Carrots Natural Café & Urban Juicery

Dear self: Turns out you're not going to be a biochemist. Go to culinary school.

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Rick Phillips
Owner, Bootleggers

Work hard now -- the real fun comes later, and for that you will need your energy.

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Sous Chef Maurice Gordon,
The Westin Phoenix Downtown

Be more aggressive with learning new techniques from chefs. I've always been willing to learn new things, but instead of digging for the information, I would let it come to me. I could have learned these things earlier and been able to master the skills better if I had only asked.

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Chef Gregory Wiener,
Top of the Rock

I would wait to have a serious relationship until I was able to give equally of myself. The restaurant/hotel business can be taxing on any relationship, especially when you're more devoted to your career than the relationship.

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