You hit a certain age and – especially because of TV – the young cooks coming up say, ‘You’re a sellout, because you’re doing something other than what you should be doing.’ ‘Top Chef’ is a double-edged sword for me: There’s a whole group of people who will not come to the restaurants because they assume I’m not in them anymore, all I do is TV.

Maya Lin


The Quote in Other Words

As you reach a certain age, particularly due to television, young chefs criticize you for not doing what you should be doing. “Top Chef” is a mixed blessing because some people assume that I am no longer involved in my restaurants and only focus on television, which causes them to avoid dining at my establishments.


Explanation of the Quote

This quote highlights the challenges faced by successful chefs who have also become TV personalities. The speaker suggests that there is a perception among some young cooks that those who appear on TV are “sellouts” who have abandoned their true calling in the kitchen. This can create a difficult situation for chefs who want to balance their TV work with their restaurant careers. On the one hand, TV exposure can bring in new customers and boost a chef’s profile. On the other hand, it can also lead to assumptions that the chef is no longer actively involved in their restaurants. This quote underscores the need for chefs to carefully manage their public image and find ways to balance their various professional pursuits.

Overall, this quote speaks to the challenges of navigating a rapidly changing culinary landscape, where chefs are expected to be both skilled cooks and savvy media personalities. It highlights the importance of finding a balance between these two roles, and the potential pitfalls of being perceived as a “sellout” by those in the industry. Ultimately, the quote suggests that chefs must be strategic in their approach to TV work, and find ways to leverage their media exposure to benefit their restaurants and their careers.