I currently teach cooking techniques to a variety of people every Saturday and Tuesday. Classes range from knife skills to desserts. Cooking is how I relax. It's my form of meditation and the joy I receive from it is what I want others, who are interested, to feel as well.
My favorite things to cook
Everything. I like to be fearless in the kitchen and tackle all. The only thing I'm not into is offal.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Dad was Italian and Mom was New England Mayflower. They always encouraged me to try something at least once and if I didn't like it didn't have to have it again. Being a fat kid, this was extremely rare. I learned Italian early on from my mother, father and fraternal grandmother. Mom liked to experiment and try everything and I guess that's where I got it from.
My cooking triumphs
Time spent in the kitchen is always a triumph. Cooking with Jacques Pepin, Juila Child, Ina Garten and others were the highlights.
My cooking tragedies
Cake decorating. I hate it. I have patience for everything but that. It just doesn't interest me and that is why I don't do it. I admire people who can though.