I became interested in cooking when I first saw Julia Child when I was 4. As I grew up, it was Keith Floyd with his "dash and a slurp" humor connecting me to my British roots. Later it was gorgeous, Sicilian Nick Stellino's dancing around his kitchen that refined my love of Italian cooking. Now, I really like Nadia G and her "Bitchin Kitchen" :-)
My favorite things to cook
Italian anything. I have the entire collection of Nick Stellino's cookbooks (I believe) and everything out of those books has been absolutely wonderful.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I had to make my own traditions as my family wasn't very big on cooking. Christmas I make Plum Pudding; Palm Sunday we have roasted leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic; Easter it's an Italian Timpano; and for Thanksgiving I cook down a pumpkin to make my ultimate pumpkin molasses and rum pie.
My cooking triumphs
The first time I attempted Chicago-style, stuffed pizza. I saw it on the travel channel one day (not the first time) and thought, "I want that!" I read different articles about it and went at it. VERY nice!
My cooking tragedies
Tripe! You have to cook in in heavily salted water. I didn't rinse it enough and it was VERY salty - not to mention the texture was a complete turn-off!