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Chefs share worst advice they've ever gotten

Sure, good advice is always welcome, but how can you be sure that the advice is good? Sometimes it’s not. We asked some hot shot chefs to share the worst advice they ever got. • See more Chef Interviews

1. Paul Qui, chef/owner of Qui in Austin

The worst advice I’ve ever given and the best advice I’ve ever received are the same: Keep your head down and work. Sometimes questions need to be asked and the chef is not always right.

2. Ray Tang, chef/owner of the Presidio Social Club in San Francisco

One constant piece of advice that I get is from guests, family members and friends is to open a restaurant closer to where they live. While that’s very nice and endearing, it’s usually terrible advice. Even my mom has done this. My answer is, “Sure, but can you and your neighbors guarantee me that they’ll fill the restaurant with 100,000 customers over the year?” That usually calms them down.

3. Bryce Shuman, executive chef of Betony in New York City

I try to forget all the bad advice that I receive. It’s sometimes most helpful to forget advice you’re skeptical about and not let it gnaw at you.

4. Brian Voltaggio, chef/owner of Range, Volt and Family Meal in the Mid-Atlantic region

The worst advice is a common piece of advice that a lot of sous chefs get in the beginning of their careers: “You’re only as good as your last plate.”  That’s bad advice because a chef should be as good as every plate he or she puts out, not just their last.

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