I have a number of chefs and a baker or two on my father’s side of the family going backwards, and thus my father had high culinary standards when he and my mother wed. She thus became a chef and began learning (and mastering- she was a great inspiration for me to start) the secrets of the culinary world.
The earliest thing I can remember seeing on a television screen- other than Sesame Street, which taught me spoken English- is Great Chefs. I have very fond and soothing memories of watching it with my mother over the years… even when the show migrated to Great Chefs- Great Cities and went on the road, we would watch after school, and I would marvel at the delicious-looking desserts and fascinating techniques.
My mother would cook and bake often, and I gladly took an apprenticeship. While my favourite task was stirring cake batter (and, in turn, eating as much of it raw as I could should she have to go take a phone call) I was enthralled with all the neat appliances and processes.
Now that I have a kitchen of my own, I’ve found that perhaps the most soothing activity I can take part in during free time is cooking or baking… I get the fun of making dishes, and my husband/sister/guests enjoy the food for eating! It’s a great arrangement- particularly so when I needn’t do the dishes- and thus I find myself happiest when I have a crowd at the table, awaiting whatever baked good or cooked treat I can offer them.
I’ve found that cuisine is a passion of mine, and thus I hope to continue learning and experimenting so as to perfect some recipes and understand the relations between ingredients and variables in the cooking process! Like any self-respecting nerd, I see cooking as a sensitivity analysis- and with a slight change of variable X or Y, the experiment yields varied results. Discovering what those results are and how they take place is half the fun. The other half is making it pretty :)
Do I have any formal training in cooking or baking? None whatsoever (though I like to think that being French counts for some training in and of itself)! Though I would like to take some courses some time (pastry at the Texas Culinary Academy, in particular), for the moment I would far rather experiment and figure things out on my own, with books, and with the help of friends more knowledgable about this than I (goodness knows those are plentiful!). I’ve a feeling I would react to formal instruction the same way I did when my private violin instructors gave me nothing but scales: boredom and yearning for more interesting things. Yes, it’s perhaps the wrong way to go about doing it, but thankfully as my standard is simply “Did someone find it delicious?” rather than technical merit, it seems to not matter so much.
If you’d like to chat or contact me outside of leaving a comment on a post, just send an email– I’ll have a new form up soon, apologies for the last one not working properly! :)