Been working as a pastry sous for over three years in artisian bakeries. Been learning a lot of bread as of late. Just started working in a kosher bakery, and though I am not Jewish, am learning a lot.
My favorite things to cook
My wife is what I refer to as "domestically challenged" which means I do all the cooking. My interests are definitely breads, desserts, and ethnic cuisine but I cook all kinds of stuff.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I come from a large extended family, my mother being the oldest of 8 kids. So when you include spouse and kids, cousins, etc you're feeding an army. Despite all this Christmas at my grandparents was always great with lots of comfort food, especially my grandmothers chicken and noodles and cinnamon rolls.
My cooking triumphs
It's hard to pick one because I constantly continue to challenge myself. Making a big meal of lamb chops, garlic mashed potatoes, sauteed veggies, bread, and pear hazelnut tartlettes for a friends birthday is a recent one. Getting ready to do a wedding shower for some friends who thirty people is coming up quick. Doing a Italian-themed tasting menu for that. it will either be great or I'll be way short on food we will see what happens.
My cooking tragedies
My wife always says I am my own worst critic and have made plenty of ameuteur mistakes in the last couple years. But you learn something from your mistakes and you get back to it.