Monday, December 1, 2008

About Me

I'm a 40-something home cook living in East Tennessee with my wife and two boys living at home. I've always had a bit of an addictive personality, throwing myself into my activities. When I was younger it was surfing, cycling, and triathlons. As I've gotten *cough* older I have shifted to martial arts, photography, and cooking.

I have no formal culinary training at all, I just like cooking. It's my therapy at the end of the day. I'm a big fan of "live fire" cooking, meaning cooking over or by flame. Sure I do the normal burgers, steaks, and ribs, but I have more fun cooking things over fire that would normally be done in an oven or on a range top.

I have a Brinkmann's offset smoker and one of their Professional Charcoal Grills. But my weapon of choice is the Big Green Egg, because it can smoke, grill, roast, and even bake as a convection oven.

Here are 25 culinary things about me from a post I did in January 2009:
  1. My full knife set is Henckles but my favorite knife to use has become a Caphalon santako.
  2. I miss my wife working at Williams and Sonoma for the amazing discount that employees get. I can't afford to shop there much these days.
  3. I probably cook 3-4 meals a week on my Big Green Egg.
  4. I am disciplined in all the exercise that I do because I have zero discipline around heavy cream, bacon, and butter. I have a 21 BMI that I don't plan on going up.
  5. I like to wear my mp3 player and dance around while cooking.
  6. I have Kitchenaide and Cuisinart sets of pans and pots. However, my work horse is a pair of el cheapo industrial skillets from Sam's (Bakers and Chef's brand).
  7. I don't have a wooden cutting board.
  8. I love summer because of all the herbs that my wife grows in the front yard. There is something comforting about strolling your front yard for ingredients. Maybe it's because of being on my grandparents farm in North Carolina as a child and loving to pick dinner from their private stock garden.
  9. God knew what he was doing when he made artichokes.
  10. He kind of blew it on brussels sprouts though.
  11. I'm a carnivore, I rarely have a meal without meat. I've been known to have meat as a side dish to meat;)
  12. Cooking is theraputic for me. It is my way of relieving stress.
  13. I have catered three events. That was NOT theraputic and did NOT relieve stress.
  14. My mother is my inspiration for learning to cook although I took a different path and we rarely cook the same.
  15. I'm not real experienced at cooking Fried Chicken of all things. I just don't like dealing with all the oil. I'd rather just spatchcock the bird and throw in on the smoker.
  16. Fire! Fire! I'm Beavis and Butthead when it comes to cooking. I'd flambe ice cream if it were possible.
  17. Sometimes I can't eat what I've cooked until the next day, especially when it's been a several hour long cook. Everyone can be wolfing it down and saying how good it is, but something just makes me loose my appetite. The next day, it's delicious.
  18. I will cry if I ever have to give up my gas oven & range.
  19. I always have a tea towel over my right shoulder while cooking.
  20. I have absolutely zero culinary training other than Food Network and before that PBS.
  21. If I won the lottery, I'd immediately enroll in the CIA or similar school.
  22. My wife is my sous chef.
  23. I miss Emeril Lagasse. Not the caricature from Emeril Live. I'm talking about the dude that he was in his first show. He was great then.
  24. I have a man crush on Alton Brown. Brandi actually stood in line for hours to get him to sign a copy of his most recent book, for me.
  25. I'm a firm believer that if a recipe calls for milk, they meant half and half. If it calls for half and half, they meant heavy cream :)