I've loved to cook my whole life.
At age 5 I made my first dinner (mostly) unassisted... jello and meatballs. At age 11, I catered a dinner party for my dad's boss.
I had a little paring knife that my mom would let me use and I soon learned to do anything with it... peeling cucumbers, chopping onions, boning chicken, butterflying pork chops. When I graduated to an 8" French chef's knife, I thought I'd officially made it in the culinary world. That beauty made light work of mincing garlic!
Cooking is in my blood. My parents are both excellent cooks who hail
from lines of excellent cooks. My dad can turn a piece of meat into a
work of art "that could talk to you," and my mother, besides whipping
out savory delicacies every night of my childhood, can entertain with
the grace and charm of a beautifully set table, arranged flowers, and
uplifting conversation. My siblings are amazing in the kitchen, and
several of my aunts, uncles and cousins are professional chefs and
caterers. We just love to cook (and eat).
Every Saturday growing up, my family watched cooking shows together on PBS. PBS aired cooking shows before cooking shows were cool... before a whole network was devoted to Food.
Paul Prudhomme, Justin Wilson, and John Folse for Cajun/Creole fare, Rick Bayless and Steven Pyles taught Tex/Mex, Martin Yan (Yan Can Cook) for Asian cuisine, America's Test Kitchen for the science of cooking, Cucina Amore (with the Carrabbas) and Lydia Bastianich for Italian, Julia Child for all things French, BBQ University and The Frugal Gourmet for American.... all of them were inspirational to me in one way or another.
My all-time favorite, however, was Jacques Pépin. He not only makes delicious food, but it's beautiful, an art, a gift. How can you watch this man and not be inspired?
How to debone a chicken.
Cream puff swans in a caramel cage.
Who are the chefs that inspire you?