A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 29, 2015
“Old Italian chefs never die—they’re just put out to pasta”

“Old soldiers never die—they just fade away” is an old saying that was popularized by General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) in his farewell address to Congress on April 19, 1951. Many parodies of the saying have been made.

“Italian chefs never retire. They’re just put out to pasta” has been cited in print since at least 1977 and has been credited to American humorist Shelby Friedman. The word “die” often replaces “retire” in the saying, and the “put out to pasta” line also is frequently used to describe horses.


Google Books
The Balance Sheet
Volumes 59-60
1977
Pg. 161:
Cook’s Tour
Italian chefs never retire. They’re just put out to pasta.

27 July 1978, Norwalk (OH) Relfector, pg. 7, col. 8 ad:
Italian chefs never retire. They re just put out to pasta.
(Holman Jewelers.—ed.)

Google Books
The Wall Street Journal Book of Wit:
A 10 Year Treasury of Thousands of Highly Quotable Rhymes, Daffynitions, and Quips

By Charles Preston
Homewood, IL: Dow Jones-Irwin
1980
Pg. ?:
Cook’s Tour
Italian chefs never retire. They’re just put out to pasta. —Shelby Friedman.

Google Books
Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations
By Gyles Brandreth
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
2013
Pg. 66:
Old Italian chefs never die—they’re just put out to pasta.
Shelby Friedman: attributed

Twitter
Dennis Koutoulogenis
‏@dkfcdotnet
@smh That horse meat lasagne should be put out to pasta.
6:24 PM - 7 Feb 2013

Twitter
J-P Labuschagne
‏@JPLab1
@Peter_vdm horse meat in pasta! Gives a new meaning to being put out to pasta
5:47 AM - 19 Feb 2013

Twitter
P.L. Klein, Author
‏@PLKlein_Author
“Old Italian chefs never die - they’re just put out to Pasta.” ~ Shelby Friedman #QuickQuotes #PLKleinAuthor http://PLKlein.com
8:31 AM - 30 Jun 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Tuesday, September 29, 2015 • Permalink