I am 25 years old and I work in the medical field. Cooking has always been a passion of mine and it continues to be one of my favorite avenues of relieving stress. Someone of my best moments in life can be recalled in a restaurant or at a dinner table with friends and family.
My favorite things to cook
I absolutally love cooking on the grill or smoker. I wish that people on the East Coast shared my deep love for anything smoked, but I guess they all haven't spent 5 years straight living in Texas like I did. Next after grilling is anything seafood related. Seafood was always a staple in my house growing up and it is a beautiful thing when prepared perfectly.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My father and I go downtown in Baltimore every year around Christmas time to Lexington Market to buy a rabbit to cook for dinner that night. While there, we also eat deep-fried chicken livers and gizzards. We don't do anything exceptionally hard in cooking the rabbit. I usually just make a simple panfry batter with whatever I have in the house...its the spending time together in the kitchen that means the most.
My cooking triumphs
One time, I decided that I wanted to make a bean and meat chili from scratch. I never made it before, so I went to the local grocery store and started walking down the different isles just putting things into my cart that I think should go into a chili. After I made the chili, my sister tried it and was almost stopped in her tracks. She is a GM at a very well known restaurant in Baltimore. They were having a chili cook-off that following weekend and she encouraged me to enter with the recipe I just made up. I ended up winning the entire contest by a landslide, beating out executive chefs from all over Baltimore. My favorite part of the whole experience was telling people that it was only the second time I had ever made chili in my life.
My cooking tragedies
I was hickory smoking a brisket and it was going very well. It had been smoking for almost 8 hours and it was just about ready to come off in time for the guest arriving at my house for a barbeque. I go to transfer it to a plate, my tongs broke, and the brisket went right into a pile of dirt. We ate pizza that night for dinner...
Another cooking tradgedy happened way in my earlier years of grilling. My father had given me the task of stacking the coals in the grill, covering with lighter fluid, and lighting the fire. I wanted to show him how ready I was to start grilling and put the fish we had caught that morning right on the grill. They tasted like lighter fluid...