This isn't a favorite quote necessarily but one that stayed with me and changed my beliefs a little
From the book "Yes Chef" by Marcus Samuelson
[from his stage/intern period working at 3 star Michelin French restaurant of Georges Blanc]..."I got caught in the walk-in refrigerator with a chef who decided to go off on his Japanese commis. The chef was a few years younger than the commis, and the commis, like most of the Japanese who came to work for Blanc, was an excellent worker, meticulous and fast. The chef was just a cocky guy showing that he was boss. He had not only called him a fucking idiot and an amateur, he had upended the commis’s mise en place, creating a holy mess inside the refrigerator. And when his screaming wasn’t enough to fully express his rage, he punched the guy in the stomach. Right in front of me.
The commis didn’t say a word. He’d flexed his stomach in anticipation, practically breaking the chef’s hand. The commis was going to be fine, but I remember watching this and thinking, OK, I’ve gotten all the training I need here. Time to go....This was the dark side of the French tradition. All of the chefs had come up through that same brutal system"
I've always imagined these French Michelin guys as full of refinement and culture and a little effeminate...but it was surprising when I read it