James Beard's 10 Greatest Quotes

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NBC via Gourmet

James Beard didn't live in Greenwich Village for nothing. Born in Portland, Oregon, in 1903, his earliest culinary memories included having his mother and the family's Chinese cook make food for him when he came down with malaria at the age of three. After a stint of living in Paris, he returned stateside to attend Reed College back in Portland, where he was kicked out for engaging in homosexual activity (those who know Reed College today may let out a guffaw).

Nevertheless, his gayness remained an open secret, unknown to most of his millions of admirers, until he came out in his autobiography late in life. Looking over these incredibly clever quotes, which seem to have been written yesterday, we wonder if he wasn't sent back to the 1950s in a sort of foodie time machine to pave the way for us today.

Of him, the also-queer New York Times food editor and critic Craig Claiborne noted, "Physically he was the connoisseur's connoisseur. He was a giant panda, Santa Claus and the Jolly Green Giant rolled into one. On him, a lean and slender physique would have looked like very bad casting." Beard passed away in 1985.

Here, then, are our 10 favorite James Beard quotes.



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