I come from a varied culinary background: My parents were both 1st generation Americans who often cooked traditional Polish or German dishes. We moved to the South when I was very young, and so I grew up experiencing soul food and southern cooking from my friends' moms. I really enjoy cooking, as well as experimenting. I rarely follow recipes exactly, instead preferring to improv with an eye towards incorporating my personal favorite ingredients to customize the dish to my tastes (and my wife's too).
My favorite things to cook
Bar-B-Que is my specialty. I can honestly say that a fistfight has broken out over who would get the last couple of BBQ ribs while I was tailgating in Athens, GA. Other than that, I tend to do very well with sauces and with beef.
My favorite family cooking traditions
The German and Polish dishes passed on to me by my mother and father usually are fairly complex-- I would even call them difficult. Soul food and classic southern cooking is more appealing to me: much better results without serious complexity.
My cooking triumphs
As I mentioned above, I really seem to have a gift for Bar-B-Que, as well as grilling. My slow-roasted BBQ pork tenderloin sandwich actually had a venture capitalist trying to talk me into opening a restaurant.
My cooking tragedies
I now live in the pacific NW, and while I'm trying very hard to get the hang of the local cuisine, outside of stir-fry, I'm struggling mightily. Oh, and you can forget it as far as Indian food goes: I've made 3 attempts, and all three have been almost inedible.