My name is Joe and I am an "at home cook" in Southern California.
I'm 31 years old and have only recently discovered a love for being able to create delicious dishes. My dad has always been a good cook and would constantly try new things when I was growing up. It was never anything fancy, but he had the basics nailed and could make them incredibly delicious (this is the man who turned me on to boiled cabbage because he made it so incredibly delicious).
I have always liked the *idea* of being a good cook, but it wasn't until about 6 month ago or so until I actually started taking the time to learn and practice and try new things in the kitchen in an effort to eat better, more fresh, and more nutritious foods. I figured that making whatever I wanted to eat at home (as opposed to buying it pre-made) would be much more healthy so I gave it a go. Turns out it's a lot of fun and I'm really enjoying it.
I'm surprised it's taken me so long as I've been watching cooking shows for ages. I know they're sensationalized, but aside from my dad I've got to say that Gordon Ramsay is probably an inspiration for getting me in the kitchen. I've been watching Hell's Kitchen and Master Chef since they came out, and I absolutely love Chopped. When I was in college I loved The Naked Chef, and I didn't realize that Jamie Oliver was the same guy until pretty recently. It wasn't until a month ago or so that I discovered Ramsay's "Ultimate Cookery Course" and I've been watching them on You Tube. I love the idea of that show and that's been a real source of inspiration as well.
I was looking for info on a decent starter chef knife when I came across this forum. I've learned that I still have a lot to learn about knives, so I can't imagine how much there is to learn about everything else. I'm looking forward to it.