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Cooking background/training - Page 2

post #21 of 71
I learned everything from my mother and grandmother. I must be doing something right because I have not killed anyone with my food.
post #22 of 71
Like Y'all, I first learned to cook from my Grandmother and my Mom. I got my formal training in the kitchen of a home town dinner, cooking my way through High School and Collage. Then I spent then next 10 years trying to learn all I could from my Dad before he passed away. My dad was an excellent cook.

"I wish I could taste my Nana's Apple Pie again icon_sad.gif , I have her recipe but I just can't replicate the love that her hands put into them, it is the missing ingredient.........Somethings you can never learn."
post #23 of 71
I have no formal training, just meals on the fly. Currently , I usually make the dish in my thoughts, record them in Word, and later I adjust or delete them. Sometimes the thought of presentation takes longer to decide on than how to cook/smoke or grill the dish. My wife goes nuts when I'm in a creative mood, she says it's TMI.
post #24 of 71
mine calls it ocd- obsessive(or overly bored) cooks disorder....PDT_Armataz_01_11.gif
post #25 of 71
And mine calls it "Good hes cooking so I don't have too."
post #26 of 71
yeah we're supposed to have this deal- whoever cooks doesn't get the dishes... well thats never worked out just right either......
post #27 of 71
none hear either.........just like to cook in the kitchen........
then i found the ecb ......... never looked back..........that was 20 years ago or so.......but that was trial and error......used the times from the lil. booklet that came with the smoker.....did that for those 20 sum years or so.......i bought the ecb gourmet.......cause it was easier to add charchol and wood chunks.........galloping gourmet......i remeber him......BEFORE he got health concious.......drank wine on his show.....VERY funny.......i have the joy of cooking cookbook......and the better homes and garden cookbooks.......prob with the bh&g cookbook.......they had me PAR-boiling my ribs........i used CANNED parmisan to make al fredo.....hehe......till i found it in a block.......it melts WAY easier than the can variety.......DUH....been messing with smoking for these 20 sum years.......or what i THOUGHT was smoking.......then in AUG. i stumbled cross THIS site.........NOW I CAN SMOKE........i was just fooling myself before......thankx jeff.......and EVERYONE else here

post #28 of 71
Well as for me I dont know where to put myself, growing up after parents divorced my mom would teach home economics to high school kids and teach them how to cook, bake, grill and keep from starving. As time went on I learned from her, being part Italian its hard not to , learn somethings. Then as I grew I learned from my sisters, joined the Army and met my wife, who was an awarded gourmet chef, have been married for 18 years and alot was picked up through her. Then along that road her famiily has 6 BBQ resturants in Houston and sourounding area along with 9 Greek Resturants so it also trickled down from them being a new member of the family I had to learn how to cook and que through the family. Spent 2 years at the culinary school of Arts in Houston learning to cook everything else and learned how to do Ice carving, got bored and left and went back into the BBQ bussiness with her family and was eventually introduced into pit cooking at the local rodeo's and BBQ cook off's, in turn led to becoming a cook off judge. Then we moved to Washington State and now we are trying to get a rub and spice company off the ground alond with a catering company and eventually a BBQ resturant.. So that about sums it up, I still have alot to learn about the different styles of cooking throughout the United States and the different styles of BBQ, all I really know about is Texas BBQ and the ways and history. So teach me ya'll and show me the light, SHOW ME THE SMOKE AND MEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #29 of 71
Like most of you, I never had formal training either. Although I once took a foie preparation seminar in Barcelona. Never made any of the recipes, of course...but I'm prone to whip-out the certificate whenever I have guests over and we're on our third Martinis.

Anyway...I learned to cook mainly via Cook's Illustrated magazine and it's most excellent collection of cookbooks (in particular, the "Best Recipe" series). I subscribed to Cook's when it began publishing (about 10 or 15 years ago) and have nearly the entire collection. I've just, throughout the years, read as much as possible and tried as many recipes as possible.

After a while and cooking and/or ruining hundreds of recipes, you just kinda notice common trends that weave their ways throughout most dishes. Plus, you also learn that it's the little things that often mean the difference between mediocre eats and great eats.

As for smoking Q, it was born out of necessity. I had lived in Spain for five years, and was jonesing for Q in a huge way. The only Q available here is a lone Tony Roma's in Madrid. Ok in a pinch, but I thought I could do better. Plus, I had just divorced and really needed to focus my mind onto something else.

So I started reading the Virtual Weber Bullet website, and The Smoke Ring website, and a few others. Then bought Smoke&Spice and Peace, Love & Barbecue. Eventually I bought a WSM through Amazon and shipped it here. The rest is history. A very yummy history.

BTW, let me say it again. I really like this SMF website and all the folk posting to the forum. If there should ever be a SMF Mass Smoke-o-rama taking place in the midwest, let us know.

post #30 of 71
My dad owned a bar /Italian restaurant called SCOTTYS. He later went into grocery store business.
When both my parents came down with different types of cancer I returned home and took over the grocery store. I opened a second location in the same town in the DELI style. Eventually named both places after SCOTTYS.
Lots of cooking there but cooking always was my second life.

The closest i ever came to smoked anything was a piece of smoked fish given to me about 5 years ago.

The honest truth is that i cant remember how i got into this thing.
Ill guess that someone on the finevinewines site mentioned smoking or the SMF but for the life of me i can't remember.icon_idea.gif
post #31 of 71
I started cooking some 40+ years ago right after I got out of the Navy. When I got married 42 years ago between the two of us we knew 3 dishes... WOW, that's a long time ago... lol

Anyway, today I do most of the cooking when we are on the road in our RV and about half the time at home. Needless to say I love to cook. And now I'm addicted to smoking...
post #32 of 71
No formal training here. I am the oldest of 3 boys/no girls and my mom cooked 3 meals a day for us until we all left home. Both Grandmas cooked 3 meals a day. That was pretty good training. My Grandfather made/sold Angel Food cakes when he was young to supplement the income. I have an old newspaper clipping to document this. Exposer is how I learned to cook.

No one grilled or BBQ'ed, so I just learned that thru trial and error. No internet during that learning period. I taught one wife how to cook and she left. I never tried that again.

No fancy stuff, just lots of comfort food. I have over 3 hundred family recipes compiled and will publish a cookbook containing them if I live long enough.

I like to cook and I like SMF. There is a family here and anyone is welcome to join. This is a very different atmosphere here than most other forums. Thanks to Jeff.
post #33 of 71
Well, eat yer veggies and GET WRITING! I'd like to be young enough to buy it ;{)

Indeed. This is an incredible resource, and just plain fun!
post #34 of 71
I forgot one of the "Real Men Can Cook" moments. In High School, the Shop and Home Ec teachers came up with the idea to swap students for one 6 week period. The girls would learn basic wood and electrical work and the boys would learn to sew and cook.

Everything was done from scratch including the shopping. The sewing project was making a shop apron. We had to go to town and buy the pattern and all the notions. The meal was multi course around a pork chop main dish for about 15 guys.

To this day, at class reunions, this is the one class that everyone, male and female, talks the most about and felt was the most useful.

@Dude. I forgot about the parboiling. The newer editions of BH&G don't have that.

post #35 of 71
already posted my experience, but I wanted to pass on about my son...he's 13 and has been in charge of a meal now and then since he was 8. His first meal??? I thought hot dogs, nope, ribs, mashed taters and peas! If he has a friend over he will get up and make "dippy" eggs and bacon. Of course if I wake up first then he forgets how to cook, but...He was in charge of steaks on the grill one time, he got his hand towel tucked in his front belt loop, his tongs, and called himself Emeril Magatski, then he said oh, forgot something, ran in and got a can of soda, cracked it open and set on the side of the grill, now I have no idea where he got that from!
post #36 of 71
I just always like to cook, starting helping my mom as youngster. Soon as I could see over the counters I started cooking things on my own. Mom worked so one day i just decided to make dinner for her, when she got home dinner was done and she was happy and a bit surprised . From that point on i have just never looked back. My aunt and uncle would have huge dinners for family and friends, my uncle was grilling when the horse's got out and he had to round them up i just took over, I was only about ten. From that day on the grilling duties where handed over to me. people would get worried seeing a kid man the grill, my uncle would just tell them not to worry, once dinner was served nobody seemed to mind.
post #37 of 71
nice thread Homebrew, that you started.......nice to see how all of us started out........some interesting stories

post #38 of 71
Shell, that's a great story... and still in the making! I wish more parents would do that with their children... the world would be a better place. icon_biggrin.gif
post #39 of 71
Clearly my interest in cooking was derived from my interest in eating. I have always been interested in it as long as I can remember. When I get out of school, I would like to make a career out of it. Work my way up to head chef at a renouned restaurant for a few years, and ultimately open one of my own up with my sister (business degree) a few years from now. But, I am still in school, and for now I cook for friends a lot and they seem to like it, so I figured I may as well make a career out of something I love and am apparently decent at. I like entertaining, and food seems to be the main event in entertaining a lot of the times. Good food gathers good people who tell good stories. Whats better than that?
post #40 of 71
Thread Starter 
Thanks, dude, but it's only a nice thread cuz so many folks are willing to share. I agree there are some really interesting stories from folks.
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