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I am Ed Lakin, I stumbled onto Chef Talk and saw that elakin had posted several times. This made me think that I may have been here before, but I grew to understand that I have a famous namesake in Chicago.

I love to cook, but it has never been a vocation for me. My degree is in painting and I have spent most of my life, art directing and writing advertising.

As far as cooking styles, My mother was from Iowa, while my father's family was from Mississippi. When you put these to cultures together Mississippi wins out in the kitchen. While in college, I worked on a cargo boat to earn money for school. It was there I learned to cook in larger than 3 serving quanities. When I got married, again we had a clash of cooking cultures in the kitchen. Mississippi/Boat versus Cajun (Bourbon French) happily the Cajun influence dominates.

We live by sauces. Everything living can be stewed. All dishes start with Celery, Bell Pepper and Onion. Garlic goes into everything that isn't a desert. Rice goes with everything. And yes, a little Tobasco never hurt.

If I have a rule in the kitchen it is once fish leave the water, they shouldn't be allowed to go back. I can't stand fish, or anything but eggs for that matter, poached. Had I been in command at Abu Ghrai, I would have simply fed the Iraqis poached fish.

Kind regards from the steamy south,
Ed Lakin