It's time again for a Featured Chef! Today's featured chef is E from A Seat In The Kitchen. E is fairly new to blogging but I'm here to tell you that you can not tell from her blog! It is well written and enjoyable and all of her recipes look absolutely delicious! Join me now in getting to know E and visit her blog as soon as you get a chance...
1. How long have you been cooking?
Well, this may show my age, but when I really started to cook, I was in my early 20’s (1990’s). Hard to remember exactly when. My first cooking experience was really about baking and that happened to be a cheesecake.
To make a long story short…It was my father’s birthday and he said to me and my stepmother at the time, he did not want anything special and did not want sweets( as he never ate sweets in general), but if we wanted to cook him something, the only sweet he would eat was cheesecake.
So my stepmother and I took him on the challenge on the sweet side and embarked on making him a cheesecake he may possibly eat. We ended up making one from the back of a graham cracker box- semi homemade-but thought we did a good job and would win him over…
Well, we lost. My father took a bite just to appease us (as we did provide the only dessert he would eat), but did have his major critiques.
Ever since then, I decided to take his issues of my baking and prove him wrong. Eventually, I did win, as he distributed my cheesecakes to all his coworkers and they fell in love with what I had created in my young life. My father then believed I could cook and really started guiding from that point on.
2. Where did you learn to cook? Do you have any formal training?
I learned initially from my father and my (father’s mother) grandmother and other family members. I have no formal training, yet when I cook, all comes natural to me. At first it was taste then observation of cooking methods. My father would show and explain certain techniques and ask me to work alongside him. As he observed my techniques, he would guide me along the way and eventually I understood and memorized recipes and cooking methods.
I will admit I am slow with the knife and probably should be better. I still cannot to this day properly hone a knife..It scares me!
3. Where do you get your recipes?
All over the place; Cookbooks, Family Recipes, My Own Recipes, Internet/TV. It’s important to review other methods and see what others are following. However, I have found that the internet is just so common in recipe methods. Most are stolen, yet no one recognizes the original recipe they stole from. With my blog, if I do copy a recipe, I try to state that and link to the originator I am taking from.
I find that with cooking and baking, it is hard to find those true original recipes. We are all “gutter” chefs/cooks that steal from each other.
4. How long have you been writing a cooking blog?
Just started in January 2010.
5. What is your favorite meal to cook? Least favorite?
My favorite? Hmmmm, that is a hard question to answer. I love to cook anything and everything I know or am learning. Although, I guess if someone had a gun to my temple to make sure I answered this question with conviction, I would say: “For a Meal I would make homemade spaghetti, homemade meatballs and homemade tomato sauce; topped with the best parm cheese and crusty bread to boot.”
For Desert, it definitely would be my cheesecake recipe.
My least favorite recipe is not a recipe at all. But again, if there were a gun, I would hate to commit to making a recipe for the “RAW” food movement. I recently learned; although “certain” raw foods are proven healthy, not all “RAW” foods give someone all the nutrients they need.
6. Do you endorse any products? Do you receive any compensation for your blog or items on it?
Currently I do not receive any endorsements or compensation for anything on my blog. I hope maybe in time that may change as I am currently unemployed and need monetary sustenance. Though, there are products I do believe in and would definitely recommend given a proper contract from those companies. (Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Al Clad, Marcato,Microplane,Calphalon, DeLonghi,amongst other brands)
7. Do you cook anywhere besides at home?
No. I am purely a home cook, unless you consider cooking at a family or friend’s home. I have catered, but for family or friends only to date. When I have catered, I’ve been privileged to have a decent budget at the time.
8. Where else can we find your blog?
No where but http://aseatinthekitchen.blogspot.com
9. We all know that food plays a huge role in peoples lives. Do you have a favorite memory that involved food?
Oh, I have many. Try all my life? I grew up with 2 parent artists in my life. My mother a musician and my father an artist; my father especially, kept up with food to keep his pride of Italian heritage alive and to try to bring family together. Unfortunately, his ideas backfired on him (food not the cause) and tore the family apart. I have so many memories of food from my parents, their parents and their parents, from my separate experiences. Some memorable food memories are from a sad outcome and some are from the best times of my life. Food has always been an integral part of my life. I cannot give one true example, but cherry crepes and pickled herring and lasagna always come to mind.
10. What are your future plans for your site?
Well, I hope that people will enjoy what I have to say and write and can get some good recipes out of it. I hope that folks can even take away other thoughts and ideas or suggestions. I will probably never be politically correct on my blog, but my intentions are to bring good food to the table and decent table conversation without bias (unless I admit it) and an open forum. I am not one to judge and know emphatically I am no moral conscience, as is the rest of the world. I will always try to state the truth and what I know and believe in.
To me, as stated in my header blog, great conversation always happens at the kitchen table. My fondest memories of any conversation where ever I am/was are always in the kitchen. It truly brings people together, even if there may be a disagreement along the way.
Isn't she wonderful? I just love her! Click here to visit E right now!