Quest for my specialty

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I have been passionate about food my entire life, but it wasn’t until 8 years ago that I decided to pursue it as a career and become a chef.  As a chef, the number one question I get asked is “What’s your specialty?”  It’s always been a difficult question for me to answer because I enjoy so many different cuisines. I assume that they want me to name a single dish that is my specialty.  I’ve never been able to choose just one.  Instead, I tell people that I specialize in making everything from scratch.  I like to learn everything I can about a dish and then make every aspect of that dish as great as it can be using the finest ingredients available.  The focus of my writing for this publication will of course be on pork products.

I’ve studied many ethnic cuisines and have traveled extensively in North America as well as limited travel to Europe, Asia, and Africa.  I literally own over a ton of cookbooks.  I collect peppermills, mortar and pestles (pok poks), and spices from around the world.  By combining my knowledge of cooking and the flavor profiles of different countries and regions of the world, I can confidently replicate dishes from most ethnic cuisines.  I always pursue more knowledge of other cultures and their foods whenever I have a chance.  The more you learn about food, the more you realize how much more there is to explore.

There is a vast array of information available about all kinds of food these days.  The hard part is knowing what sources to trust.  (Hint: Grandma’s are usually the best)  Some of my fondest food memories are of meals I had with my grandparents while spending the summer with them on their small farm as a child.  The important thing is not to be afraid to try new things.  The more you experiment, the more you learn, and the better you get at analyzing a recipe before you’ve even made it.

It is my intention to document this process in my blog.  I encourage everyone who is interested in food to join me in this exploration.  Share your ideas with me and together we just might end up finding that one dish I can proudly call my specialty.

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