‘Dog Food!’ ‘Idiots!’ and Other Sweet Nothings From Orhan Yegen

Orhan Yegen

Orhan Yegen will filet you with words.Courtesy of Metromix

Orhan Yegen is known among the city’s food writers for producing two things: great Turkish food and great quotes. He’s like the Charles Barkley of the restaurant world. And his Orhanisms have seldom been on better display than in a Metromix profile out this week. We could have predicted that Orhan would refer to the cuisines of other countries as “dog food” or dismiss all cooking-school instructors as “idiots.” But what a gift he gave Metromix when he picked on poor old Julia Child: “She was not a cook. She was a baker. Thank god she died.”

Now that Yegen has a seafood restaurant, Sea Salt, he felt liberated enough to publicly deride Eric Ripert: “I don’t want to be compared with him. He had his chance because Americans don’t know anything about fish.” If you’ve ever had the good fortune to talk to Yegen at length, you’ve probably heard his rap on the Le Bernardin chef, but this is one of the first times we can remember seeing him let loose to a reporter. Really, if you want to get more of this, all you have to do is go down to Sea Salt. It doesn’t take much to get Yegen going. We just wish Metromix had included more Orhanisms. If ever there were a time to take advantage of the Web’s unlimited space, this is it. We could read these things all day long.

And God Created Orhan [Metromix]