I'm a former Certified Executive Chef, now retired. Owned my own restaurant for 15 years and taught Culinary Arts to apprentice chefs.
My favorite things to cook
Traditional Southern dishes; desserts-especially trifles and cakes; comforting soups, seafood because it is so plentiful where I live;and anything pork. I'm constantly trying new recipes and changing them to suit my taste.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Cooking Thanksgiving dinner together with my two grown sons, and grandaughter. Cooking a seafood extravaganza on Christmas eve, a traditional Southern breakfast late Christmas morning-anytime we get together is an opportunity to cook.
My cooking triumphs
Entering professional cooking competitions and doing well. Being asked to cook for various celebrities. Being able to have my love of cooking dreate a career for myself, and provide the financial rewards to support my family and allow me to retie early. And now being retired, I'm able and enjoy it as a hobby, cooking for my own pleasure and that of my family, who did get shortchanged when I was a workaholic.
My cooking tragedies
I'm sure there have been others-but the one that stands out is having a grease fire start in a bank of ovens filled with roast duck for an awards dinner. We were able to put it out and only lost a few ducks, so it ended ok, but it sure was a problem. Another one was the time my main cook didn't show up on a very busy morning at the restaurant and I had to step in. Biscuits were not my strong point at that time, but the restaurant was famous for it's Biscuits & Gravy and I had to make 100 Biscuits and 3 gallons of gravy to start the morning, plus all the other prep. Then do the majority of the cooking. I did get through it with no complaints about the food, although it was mediocre. I did learn from that and decided to go to Culinary school to perfect my skills, and that was the beginning of my desire to become a chef.