My Interest in Cooking

I was taught to cook by my father, who was apparently taught to cook by a flatmate back when he was at university. I have enjoyed cooking and eating all my life. I remember the first meal I ever made without my parent's assistance was when I was eight and I couldn't decide what to make so I made a six course meal. I doubt any of the courses went together I imagine it would have taken hours, and it may well have been missing such things as dessert. Regardless, I think this gives some idea of my background.

I enjoy trying things, and use friends coming over as an excuse to try new recipes. My wife has been trying to wean me off recipes and has had some success. i won't now go down to the shop to buy Gruyere cheese when I'm already running late, just because the recipe calls for 50g. Having said that, I certainly haven't given up on cookbooks' completely, with a personal library that would be approaching one hundred. Certainly I am comfortable making absolutely anything from any cuisine, as long as I do not have to make it against the clock. It seems some people consider 10PM an unacceptable time to be served dinner.

What else? Taste wise, my favorite cuisine is French style, except that I replace the potatoes with rice. I am equally happy eating Asian food, but am not as good at making it quickly and well. For various reasons I am always underweight, so do not hesitate about eating a high-fat meal such as coq-au-van. One contributing reason may be that dessert does not interest me significantly, so that while I will eat it and appreciate a well made cake, I do not tend to make dessert myself. i am not vegetarian, although somebody observing my diet could possibly be fooled since I eat a lot of vegetables and red meat less than once a month.

As for recipes, well I don't often make up my own recipes, though I do often modify them. I guess it would be helpful to put some of my favorites up here. In the mean time, my current favorite recipe-book author is Julie Biuso, my most used cookbook is Le Cordon Bleu (from the cooking school). I may dislike Gordon Ramsay's personality, but it cannot be denied that he is a spectacularly talented chef, and I make use of a number of his books.

I enjoy going out to restaurants. My current favorite is Da Noi which does not have its own website (I wonder if they'd swap a meal for a website?) My favorite Dunedin restaurant is Bell Pepper Blues, one of the stalwarts of the Dunedin restaurant scene, but still going strong.  In Wellington my favourite is Citron, mainly because of the degustation approach.