I have been cooking since the age of 4. Growing up my parents weren't around very often, so I had to fend for myself. I taught myself how to bake and cook. When I grew up I took several cake decorating classes, then enrolled into Le Cordon Bleu, where I learned the basics. When I got into the "real world" I learned that school was over rated. $42,000 in the hole (plus interest), for an education that I could have been getting paid for to learn hurts bad, but que sera-sera. I honestly don't regret it-it was fun. I've worked for a three diamond hotel, a James Beard Award winning chef and more. I have dined at Chef Achatz's amazing restaurant "Alinea" (best meal of my life by the way), and at Chef Tromonto's "Tru" in Chicago, Il. There is so much I wish to accomplish, before jump into owning my own restaurant. My goals are to work for Chef Achatz, travel and learn european cuisine first hand, and become a great chef one day.
My favorite things to cook
Everything. I love ethnic foods. There's so much flavor, and the use of products differ from region to region. Cinnamon for example, here in America we use it in sweets, but in Africa, Asia, etc. it's used in savory dishes. So many things to learn when cooking ethnic foods. Best way to learn is first hand. Baking is definately right up there. If in the future I was offered a partnership in a restaurant as long as I was the pastry chef. I wouldn't think twice. I am a nut for details and baking is right up my ally. Making simple foods look like a million bucks is also somthing I love. Food is a work of art and science. I love every bit and aspect of it.
My favorite family cooking traditions
The only thing that comes to mind is Thanksgiving. Although, there's nothing too traditional about it. I always try to do something different every year. Last year, I made a smoked turkey with lots of southern fixens. The year before that I made a roulade with latin american sides. I can't just do a regular thanksgiving. I had enough of those growing up.
My cooking triumphs
My first time cooking, I made scrambled eggs. They were the worst I had ever had, But I made them so I ate them. My first "from scratch" baking was, the Cookie Monster's recipe for sugar cookies. They came out great on my first try. My last triumph was graduating with honors and in the top 2% of my class.
My cooking tragedies
Pizza from scratch. I never knew why my pizza didn't work out until I grew up and found out about doughs and levening agents. Ruined many pizzas in my day. So many failed attemps.