I'm new to ChefTalk as a member, though I've spent many an evening reading through various posts. I love it! I've really enjoyed reading the insightful posts and responses. Hopefully someday I'll acquire as much knowledge as some of you superstars.
I know you've all heard it before, but yeah, cooking is my passion...and I've been doing it as a home-cook for a long time. I started cooking at a young age with my grandmother. Some of my fondest memories are of helping her tend to her massive garden, then turning the fruits of our labor into special memories in the form of awesomeness on a plate. She really taught me the importance of respecting what one prepares and eats. I still cook many of her southern favorites. She was "putting south in your mouth" long before Ms. Deen. ;-)
I recently decided to make a career change, so I enrolled in the culinary program at El Centro College in downtown Dallas, TX. It was either there or the Art Institute of Dallas. I was encouraged by people in the industry to give El Centro a try, so here I am. So far, so good.
My talent really lies in baking breads and pastry (apparently, I get that gene from my great-grandmother. I guess everyone has one of those in the family. You know, the one who can bake magic without much measuring and by just knowing how a dough should feel), but my real love and passion is for cooking. I recently converted an old warehouse into a loft. I had to install a kitchen, so I purchased a used six-burner commercial range. It has really been my first experience with cooking with gas. I'm obsessed! I can't stop cooking. It doesn't get any better! I try to try something new everyday. Btw, my avatar is something I recently baked--my first braided wreath.
Anyway, it's nice to have a place to come to where everyone is so passionate about food. I look forward to learning as much as I can from everyone here.
Happy cooking (and baking),