After 6 years in the Navy I went to culinary art school and spent nearly the next 2 decades in the restaurant industry. At 38 I went back to college and got a degree in psychology.
I always had a passion for cooking, even as a pre-teen, but lost the love when I had to do it professionally. Now that I cook for my pleasure and the enjoyment of friends, family, and fiance, I have rediscovered the joy of cooking.
My favorite things to cook
One of my favorite things to do is what I call "Pantry Raid". When I go to family or friends house I like to challenge my self by cooking a meal out of only the ingredients I find in the house. (Of course this is done with the full permission of the persons space that I am invading.)
I love to try to recreate dishes I have observed on various cooking shows and that friends and family have made that I enjoyed.
Southern style soul food.
BBQ and grilling meats
Fresh seafood, especially shellfish,
Northern Italian and Mediterranean style,
Thai, and Korean,
Midwestern hearty fare,
And many many more....I'm always learning. The person that believes they know it all, has so much more to learn.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I learned southern cooking from my maternal grandmother and the ins and outs of family style Italian cooking from my dad.
I got my first cookbook when I was 8 years old and have been cooking ever since.
My cooking triumphs
Not so much a triumph, but something kind of cool. I used to work for a national steakhouse chain that did a lot of charity events. At one celebrity golf charity event in Seattle, Warren Moon (former quarterback of the Seahawks) wanted to learn how to make the "signature" appetizer and I got to teach him...What was the item? Lets just say a great big onion....that blooms.
My cooking tragedies
The first time I tried to cook a blackened catfish in the iron skillet I didn't realize how poorly ventilated my kitchen...nay, entire apartment was. The minute the fish hit the pan, plumes of smoke rose violently from the pan and within a matter of seconds completely filled the entire apartment. The atmosphere was absolutely toxic. We had to open all the windows and get a hotel room for two nights until the air was at least breathable. I've never attempted blackening indoors since.