I grew up in southern Louisiana and was introduced to cooking very early. My first true tastes of nature were raw oysters eaten fresh on the boat. That was our family business, along with cattle farming later. Raw milk and the freshest meats were common staples. I miss a lot of my upbringing, especially the local foods. One doesn't realize what they have until being away from it. From an early age I was drawn to the kitchen, finding comfort in the smells. The one smell I will never forget is the freshest french breads and pastries from Dufrenes Bakery. We stopped there each morning on the way to the oyster camp.
My favorite things to cook
Sweet desserts in any fashion but I try to make them a bit healthier and lighter. Its a challenge at times but I tend to get an assortment of fruitful outcomes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I learned to cook mainly from my Cajun Ma Ma and my Mother. Other influences were the Cajun men that cooked for the large family gatherings and potlucks. Perhaps my biggest inspiration to experiment was brought about by necessity. My Mom worked long hours as a nurse and I got tired of eating only easy things like grilled cheese after school. After all put a Cajun in the kitchen and he will likely surprise you.
My cooking triumphs
My edible bouquets. This has been an inspiration to go further and each new creation has been rewarding. I was able to make centerpieces for my Sister-in-laws wedding.
My cooking tragedies
Chili. i cannot make a good chili to save my life :(