Born and raised in Dutchess County, New York (Rhinebeck). Since I lived less than 10 miles from the Culinary Institute of America I took courses there as a teenager (courses offered to the PUBLIC). Eventhough I played football and swam in college I always worked in restaurants since the age of 15. My first job was at the famed BEEKMAN ARMS in my hometown as a dishwasher and quickly thereafter I was prepping salads, boning chickens and helping make cakes. After college I worked in Washington D.C. on Capitol Hill.... but, again I still worked in restaurants on the side. DC is a foodies DREAM... and a great place to learn from some of the best chefs in the world. I now live in Xiamen, China (mainland) and married a local Psychologist. Chinese food here is SO DIFFERENT than the USA... Xiamen is a beautiful place and one of the world's best kept secrets...especially for food!! Check it out!!
My favorite things to cook
1) Carolina Pork BBQ
2) Baked Clams
3) Any thing that uses Balsamic
4) Baked Chicken... a famous Chef friend of mine makes all perspective chefs in his places cook him a baked chicken. If they dress it up or "turn it into something it is not" he does not hire them.
5) Mashed Potatoes.... Add a can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup instead of milk and MASH away
6) Marinated Flank Steak... Thai Sweet Chili Sauce/Pinapple Juice/Soy Sauce/Garlic... YUMMY
7)New England Clam Chowder
8) "Sweet and Sour Pork"... the way they make it here in China... not USA... here it is healthy and so GOOD!!
9) Egg/Potato Casseroles
10) Baked Tilapia...I have many different ways to make this dish SING!!
My favorite family cooking traditions
KISS... Keep it Simple, Stupid
My cooking triumphs
I cooked for my wife and her family (here in China) of over 20 people...dinner in less than an hour with what I had in the kitchen... all were satisfied... I made: 1) Alfredo pasta w/ Onions and green Peppers 2) Baked Chicken Wings w/Thai Sauce 3) Salad with Blue Cheese Crumbles, pieces of Steak and Balsamic Drizzle and 4)Italian Sausage/Potato/ 3 cheese Casserole.. not bad in an hour or less
My cooking tragedies
The 1st time I cooked for my In-Laws here in China I thought I would keep it Simple and AMERICAN. I chose Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes. I mean, what is more American than that... well the oven here are set to Celsius... I cooked it at fahrenheit... totally overcooked the meatloaf... but they still let me marry their daughter...