Hi Mark! I'm a home cook too. Chef Talk is a wonderful resource for learning more, but what's unusual about it is that your knowledge will be validated here too. If you've learned to make a great dish yourself or from another home cook, share it here. We tend to think our own homemade products can't be as good as a professionals, but that's not necessarily so. And the pros here are willing to listen and try our recipes. In the 15 or so years I've been here it's happened to me more than a few times.
What are your favorite dishes to cook? Are there regional or family favorites you love to make? What are items on the list of things you'd like to explore making? For instance, I'd like to be better at working with yeast dough. It's always intimidated me. Imagine that: tiny little yeast cells striking fear into my heart! There are plenty of people here to guide us, both pro and home cook. Our members come from all over the globe, all ages and all levels of expertise. What a rich cache of knowledge!
We hope you'll look at the cooking articles, cookbook and equipment reviews and the photo galleries, too. There's a lot here besides the discussion forums. The search tool will come in very handy. One thing to note: while the entire site is open to all to read, the professional discussion forums are "read only" for us home cooks. We do our posting in the general forums where everyone can post.
Enjoy it all and visit often. Let me or any moderator or admin know if you have questions about the site. Good luck in your quest to become an awesome cook!