How many AudiogoNers are amateur chefs?

I know this is WAY off topic, but I am curious as to how many of you folks fancy yourselves as amateur chefs. I ask this as I just completed my first day of culinary school. This is not a school for training pros (we meet on Fridays for the day), but for those folks who want to become better cooks, learning to prepare menus, pairing foods and wines, etc. I still have my full-time profession, so this is for home.
Hi Slipknot
I do!

So do several of my friends. We all enjoy cooking. I'm just tidying things up waiting for a few folks to show up. We all bring a dish/appetizer and wine or whatever. It's a meal and a friendly contest of sorts. I've gone to a couple of culinary week-end things but mostly learn by just banging aroung the kitchen and reading a little. If you're going to eat it might as well be good!

I remain,
Cooking is one of my "supplemental" hobbies since I'm not out-goer prefering home-made food and research nice recipies.
I don't realy spend time shaping food as shown on some food network channels but realy created my own bible of tasty food techniques and keep it as a family standard.
I'm very gourmet oriented and skeptical visiting unknown dining or lunch places. I can smell how much salt is in my meal. You can certainly imagin my point of view for the McDolald's or Burger King...
I do not have a super-large menu to offer but to my tastes and so my spose's ones are good enough.
Having just drained my home's equity into a new kitchen, I have shocked my wife by telling her I want to learn how to cook more than hot dogs and steak, so at some point soon I'll be an amateur chef as well.
I can burn toast and boil water with da best of 'em !!! : )

I know one guy that posts here and is a professional chef. He must be DAMN good too as i've seen the multiple sets of mega-dollar speakers that he has : ) Sean
As a bachelor, it's either learn to cook, or starve! I have done alot of cooking, and enjoy it immensely. I even have friends that invite me over for dinner, just so I can cook the meal. They provide the ingredients and the fine French Bordeaux, and I do the cooking. I think it is a nice way to share the experience. If I opened a restaurant, I'd probably hate to cook then. I think it has something to do with enjoying the experience, and not having to do it for income.
Food, wine, fancy speaker cables...

I'm betting there are plenty of amateur chefs here. Count me as one more.
Tom, do you do all your cooking in one of those 23cm full-range pots?

I remain
It's all in the stock. The basic staple of great cooking: brown stock. BTW, if you chop your onions and have juice on your cutting board; you blew it. Read The Making of a Chef. peace, warren
I learned to cook as a bachelor, it was a great, and cheap date deal to get them to your house and prepare the, married, I find I do quite well.

The best thing I do is combine the things I like into a meal, so I'm never dissatisfied with what I eat...fortunately for me hewife has similar food tastes!

BTW I'll put my breakfasts against any of the best places you can name.....can someone say lobster, garlic, onion and brie omletts??
I got in to cooking several years ago - just to see if I could make some interesting dishes. I try to cook up something special at least once each weekend. I find it interesting and quite entertaining.

Best thing I stumbled across: *Cooks Illustrated* magazine. It comes out 6x per year and is well produced. No ads. The articles explain not only *how* but *why* - - if you haven't seen this publication, look for it. You won't be disappointed.
I'd rather be cooking than lawyering. Can't boast about my talents in the kitchen, but I am know past the half century mark and started cooking around the age of five when my widowed mother would leave me with the housekeeper and, in my neurotic way, believed I could make better food than she could. I was right. And I can still make finer food than most. I know that self-praise is no recommendation, but someone asked the question. I will not delve into the effects of cultural differences on a person's outlook towards food when that person is from Québec, as opposed to the ROC or the US of A. I can only say God bless to James Beard, Michael Field, Craig Claiborne and the great Julia Child for leading the way and saving the US of A from what was a vast wasteland food wise. Now everybody and his uncle is a "gourmet". It's good that fine foods are available almost everywhere. What is not so good is the great number of people offering phoney haute cuisine. I still think that simple foods, well prepared, will win my vote any day. I wonder if anyone has read a book titled "The Adventures of a Happy Eater". I tend to agree with the author's philosophy. Not to belittle any other group, I think that the contribution of the Italian, the French and the Chinese to fine food in North America should also be mentioned. I hope no one is seriously trying to make a parallel between food and drink and stereos. It just does not work.
I have lots of fun at it. Not sure I would say "chef" but I love good food, and cooking it is fun if you haven't just finished a 10 hours thrashing through the swamp. Kind of like a chemistry set where you get to eat what you've whipped up.
We just did the same thing in our kitchen. The renovation is just about complete. We took the wall down between the dining room and kitchen, hardwood floors, granite counters, prep sink, new range hood, recessed lighting.. Decided that my skills, while pretty good, were no match for the new digs, so I enrolled in the culinary program. Maybe it's time to move things to another level: Music AND Meal get togethers ;) Glad to see so many people who like being in the kitchen.
Today's class was soups and stocks. Also the proper way to dice an onion for soup.
Cook's Illustrated is nice. As a matter of fact, the school is giving away via random drawing, a 1 year sub to it each week of class. This session is 5 weeks long, there are 5 people in class. Gosh, I wonder how my chances are? ;)
Count me in- and to expand on Rshak's and Slipknot's posts, money spent on membership to is money well spent. I consider it right next to Agon as the website with the most reliable information on a particular topic.

I do most of the cooking in my household.
How about on Audiogoner thats a real chef? I have two culinary degrees from Atlantic Community College Acadamy of Culinary Arts. I am the only student to complete both the Applied Culinary Skills and the Culinary Management programs. I have two gold medals framed on the wall above my desk that I am very proud of. The school was very intense when I attended. Each course was 3 weeks long, 5 - 8 hours a day. You had 5 courses a semester along with you academic courses. Each program was 2 years long. I worked my way up through the industry and eventually held the position of Executive Chef at three different, and well know, restuarants in my area. In addition, I held the position of Pastry Chef at a well known local restuarant, as well as at one of the Atlantic city casinos. I even had the pleasure of turning down and offer from Donald Trump to be his personal Pastry Chef after he tried a piece of my Banana Cheesecake (baked of course)!

However, I was forced to retire about two years ago, by the state and my doctor, when I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy. No wonder I was having trouble staying awake at work. Used to take naps on my break.

So, how much cooking do I do now that I stay at home all the time? Not much. It's just me and my wife, and she works all the time. So, I eat by myself most of the time. I usually cook on her days off. I have a rule that nothing I make for dinner can take more then 20 minutes to prepare. You would be amazed by what you can accomplish in 20 minutes when your professionally trained (time management shills). For example, on Wednesday I prepared homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi with a gorganzola cream sauce and octopus cevichi on a bed of spring greans with fried goat cheese and sun dried cherries. Dessert was Alvocado pudding with creme fresch. Please do not tell my doctor; I'm not suppose to be using knives - I could blink out and cut myself.

P.S - It's Soups and Sauces not Soups and Stocks. The secret to a good soup or suace is to start with a good stock. As a chef, you have to get used to tasting stocks when they are cold (to determine flavor and freshness). It's kind of like eating beef, chicken, fish, etc jello. Sounds yummy, doesn't it?
I have rattled the pots and pans, and looked good doing it, for many years. French, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai food, all specialties. In fact, I have had the pleasure to teach more than a few French cooking classes at our local CC. I would be happy to entertain options to trade French culinary tips in exchange for vintage audio gear!

I have often been asked, "Why don't you become a chef". My stock (actually a demi-glaze) answer, "Because that would make it work!"
I have two years of college training in fine cuisine. Switched to Engineering Science and then went to Business Administration. Call me a mut.

I can made a bologna sandwich with the best of them :>)
Interesting post. Culinary arts and music appreciation are similar as they share the presence of the senses . Passion , dedication and perserverance are tools both fields have in common to offer the inclined . Prpixel is in all probability the cooking champ of the forum as his credentials speak volumes . I find comfort behind my 6 top gas Viking in that I am the master of that domain and I cut myself off from the pressures of the ongoing world around me. I am as meticulous in the uniform dicing of each strand of vegetable as I am the matching of my power cords. This is analogous to the immersion we all drift into when we close our eyes and sink into our systems. Both are sensual mediums. Both take intense commitment to achieve perfection .
Cooking is fun to be sure. I do a fair bit of it... lately been into Cambodian a lot, and some other asian cuisines. I *really* enjoy making sushi. I learned how, and then taught most of my friends who are also sushi addicts. Now, we rotate sushi parties once every few weeks at each others houses. A great time, and WAY cheaper than going out for sushi.

The person that i was speaking about has already responded to this thread ( quite humbly i might add ). For the record and just to keep the rest of you guessing, NO, it was NOT Matty with his balogna sandwiches : ) Sean

PS... why is it spelled like you would say it bah-log-na when we call it "buh-low-nee" ??? Must be won of dem dare fouren based werds : )
I live where I can go from cold sesame noodles in Chinatown to LeBernadin in a flash. But every once in awhile, give me a good tube steak with all the fixings or a Cheesburger, cheeseburger; and I'm in heaven. Also, if you don't leave in or near (enough to get into the city) the Big Apple, you haven't a clue what amazing pizza is. Still the best deal going ($), wise in the food kingdom. I'm getting hungry. bona petit, warren
Craig, you caught me. When I can, I use a 25cm single skillet for my meals. I only use well-seasoned cast iron cookware. Nothing sticks to it. I think it is unbeatable.

So now you know that I'm a single pan guy, as well as a single driver speaker guy! I am also single in marital status, I like single-ended triodes, only use a single source in my system, use all single-ended cables, and I do most things single-handed(DIY).

I guess that makes me single-minded. :^)

I tried some of those expensive French tin-lined copper pans, but I didn't like them as much as the cast iron. And I only cook over a gas flame. No electric stoves for this boy. However, I'm curious if an audiophile power cord on an electric stove would make the food taste better.
Warren, when it's Le Bernardin, call me! Or Daniel, or Lutece, or Jean Georges, or the Gramercy Tavern, or Le Cirque, or countless others in the resaurant mecca of the world!
I love to cook but I am a rank amateur. One of my goals in life is to take the time and learn doing it well. Thanks to all who mentioned new source material -- that should be fun to explore. My house is designed to listen to music while we are in the kitchen so we just turn it up a bit while preparing the meal.
I've been in the restaurant business all my life. Family owned and operated. A mostly seafood cuisine establishment, with myself being "on the line" for thirty years. But while I enjoy compliments on the food; I get a bang when the customers make comments about the eclectic styles of music they hear when they dine.

Please pray for me, as tomorrow is Mother's Day.
I'll never starve...cooked for my family when I was a kid because both parents worked different shifts...had a summer job at a camp in the kitchen...did most of the cooking when I was that my kids are older and doing their own thing, they often complain I don't cook as much (must have edible) daughter often calls me to ask how to prepare certain things...I sent her and her boyfriend to a cooking class as a gift...I still enjoy it and can work a mean grill too...
I'm another weekend stove jockey. Got into it mainly because I love to eat (too much?). Still relatively low on the skills curve, but I've been reading a lot and experimenting here and there.

My best stuff is Cajun: each year my wife and I put on a Mardi Gras party for 100-125 of our closest friends. We make jambalaya, red beans and rice, gumbo, and spicy boiled shrimp. I would put our food up against anything from anywhere outside of Louisiana. . . Now I'm working on learning the fancier stuff.

BTW, where's Trelja? I think he's a pretty experienced cook, if I remember right.
There is only one hobby that supercedes audio for me, and that is food. My only regret in life is that I don't spend nearly as much time as I would like cooking or listening.

The passion that comes from really getting in to the moment of cooking is something that is practically without equal. It's a very ZEN kind of thing. Something where you are totally immersed in the moment, and the rest of the world becomes forgotten. I can't compare it to anything else, but I can correlate it to there being perhaps no higher means of showing someone you love them. You pour your heart, soul, love, and entire being into it.

Despite feeling this way, and having a lot of people in my family in the food business(hey, we're East Coast Italians!), I have always made it clear that it was never something I wanted to make a career of. I have always feared that mixing something one loves with work is a recipe to poison the well.

Good eats!!!
Ever since I was a kid watch the Galloping Gourmet I was....eating, cooking ,drinking wine and listening to good music through a good system....

Amature, AMATURE, how dare you! Seriously, I do enjoy cooking, but it's tough if I don't, my wife and mother in law, who lives with us, are diabolical. The latter was a Professor in a catering school and she is just awful. A case of, if you can't do something, then teach it. How does it go on. If you can't teach, then teach teachers.

If you haven't tried it, try baking. Cakes are easy and always a welcome gift if you're invited to someone's house. Some of my favourite recipes are American, I'm English.The other thing is soups. I do love a good soup and if you've got a blender, couldn't be easier.

I love to cook. What amazes me most about a lot of folks (I'm talking about going to friends or relatives for dinner or whatever) is that almost everyone overcooks everything. Beef cooked to 180, poultry to over 200, veggies cooked to mush. You cooks know what I'm talking about.
 I grilled some sirloins for my inlaws the other day, nice char on the outside, warm red in the center. They put theirs in the microwave for 15 minutes! Food cooked to the right temp is the ticket to amazing dishes.
me me me me! :)

it is fun, an act of creation and socialization, with wonderful results (once you know what you are doing)...
Since my last post to this thread (in 2003!) I've learned some new-to-me techniques - like sous vide.  Had a nice steak this evening, heated via sous vide to about 130 degrees F and then reversed seared in a very hot cast iron skillet for 2 min. per side.  Quite nice and highly recommended to those seeking something new.
I have a small bakery biz here in Vietnam serving the expats with sourdough bread, marble rye ,  pies, cakes and meat pies . 
I’ve been retired over here for a few years and couldn’t find the quality breads I missed from S. Calif where I was born and raised so I started playing around with starters for about 6 months before I dialed it in and I just grew from there. The bakery now takes care of my monthly expenses. 
I have been cooking since I was a kid.  I also had 3 kid athletes who used to eat me out of house and home.  

Lately, as in the last 5 years, I have been messing around with BBQ.  I have developed my own sauces and rubs.  

I also cook my own version of Chinese stir fries.  Italian food and mexican are also fun to make.  

I don't have any trouble getting friends to help me because I always have food. 

Chef? Please. I am something far less pretentious, and far more useful. I am a cook. It don't look pretty. But it tastes so good, and without a shopping list, from whatever's in the pantry and the fridge. That's a cook.