Maxims, thoughts, sayings heard or cultivated throughout our lives. Three personalities share these formulas of wisdom from proverbs that guide us and move us forward against winds and tides.

It will not have escaped viewers following The Chefs! that mentor Colombe St-Pierre turns out to be fond of maxims and proverbs. But is there a particular aphorism engraved on the restorer’s heart?

The answer is yes, and for a long time. It all goes back to her years at Cégep du Vieux Montréal, when she scoured the shelves of the school library. From the height of her 18 years, she then swallowed large rations of gastronomic literature, passionate about the history of cooking.

She discovered a very special book: Physiologie du gout, written in 1825 by the magistrate and fine gourmet Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. On the menu of this book are various philosophical and social reflections on the art of gastronomy, topped with a list of 20 aphorisms, as a preface. One of these has a very special resonance for the young Colombe St-Pierre: precept IV, or “Tell me what you eat, I will tell you what you are”.

“Everyone knows this maxim, but we often don’t know where it comes from. Analyzing what people eat gives us a lot of information about our society, our habits, our mores, our customs. Asking questions about what we eat, that’s what I’ve been doing since the beginning. The Physiology of Taste is one of the books that guided me the most in what I do today,” the chef told La Presse.

Aphorisms are among the ingredients that have always spiced up Colombe St-Pierre’s life. In particular, she praises their virtue of elevation and valorization, calling them “humanitarian guides”, illustrating this idea with a line from Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain: whoever knows her proverbs cannot be a bad person. “It’s a sympathetic and pacifist way to aspire to become better and to reflect on our doings,” she notes.

And it is precisely in line with this benevolence that she spreads, among the happy or unhappy candidates of the program where she intervenes, thoughts of wisdom or comfort tailored to each one and to reward their courage to embark on this heightened culinary competition. “The idea is to lift them up, make them think about who they are and leave them with a little something from their journey, a proverb that will follow them all their lives,” he hopes. -She.

And who says chef says creativity. On one of her paintings on the wall, she regularly puts down maxims of her own. Like this one, inspired by the preparation of monkfish, an unsightly but so delicious fish: “When you’re good, you don’t have to be beautiful. » We let you digest the meaning.

Deep down, renowned diver Roseline Filion knew the time had come to retire from the sport.

It was 2017. Five months earlier, she won her second Olympic medal with her faithful partner, Meaghan Benfeito, in Rio. She was celebrating a new triumph. She still had to give. To win. No ? “You know it inside when it’s time to quit…” she confides.

That’s what his little voice was telling him at the time. And she listened to him. Today, she confirms that it was the right decision.

The Quebec diver learned to follow her intuition thanks to her sports therapist, whom she consulted to learn how to better manage stressful situations, which are inevitable in the profession.

Athletes train for hours a day with the aim of improving their physical abilities and refining their techniques. Nothing seems left to chance. Yet intuition is just as important on the springboard, says Filion.

“Sometimes I felt like I was ready to try a new dive. Sometimes I was at the top of the platform and I thought I was going to freak out! “, she says.

Her sports career behind her, does she continue to apply the same philosophy in her new life? Absolutely. Following your intuition is basically trusting yourself. “Living in doubt because you don’t know how you feel can get overwhelming. And doubt hinders all success,” she philosophizes.

At the microphone of Radio-Canada, where she collaborates on several programs, she cannot let herself be won over by doubt. “It’s live, there’s adrenaline!” I try to stay true to who I am and trust myself. I do it for me, because I want to be there,” she says.

This is the other great principle that inspires him on a daily basis: to live for oneself and not for others. Self-centered ? No way. “You have a life to live, you have to live it the way you want to and take responsibility for your decisions. You’re here to make you happy,” she concludes.

Unlike others, Maya Cousineau Mollen has never anchored her life on great sayings or old proverbs. Her philosophy of life, she built it over her reflections, her social commitment, the trials that crossed her path.

The Innu poet began by following the advice of her parents, who told her to study in order to help her family. And she wrote. Write down all those fleeting thoughts that came to her mind that she didn’t want to let slip. Thoughts that ended up becoming collections of poetry. Last fall, she won the Governor General’s Award for her second collection, Enfants du lichen. A first for a Francophone Aboriginal artist. “Sometimes there are intuitions that are so strong that at some point you have to listen to them. The breath of intuition is a good counselor,” she says. A phrase that could have become a maxim in his life.

Following her intuition is what guides her now, too. And always make sure to see both sides of the coin before judging. “Don’t just rely on one side of the coin, although sometimes the subject matter might lead us to think seeing one side is enough.” »

Nevertheless, she was in an artist residency at the Maison de la literature in Quebec City, with other poets, when two unequivocal thoughts emerged: “To go towards the other is to rush into a wall” and “Don’t let in other people’s winter”.

Throughout our conversation, his four cats take turns begging for his affection. “Her feline family,” as she calls it. To whom she gives all her love, unconditionally, which has seen members leave and new ones arrive. “My philosophy of love is this: to love is also to let go; accept that the happiness of the other may not be with me. »

Do you have a saying that has stuck with you or given meaning to your life?