I started cooking in 1989, my last summer in college. After three years of living without more than an underpowered microwave and a toaster oven with faulty wiring, I moved into a studio apartment in Madison with a range. The kitchen experiments of that summer were disastrous, for the most part. I poured cooking wine liberally, and encased everything in frozen puff pastry. Nights when I cooked meat usually ended with the smoke alarm tweeting and me waving a broom over the ceiling while the smell of smoking grease and charred steak wafted out the open windows.
But things improved over the next few years. A year after graduating from law school, burned out on practicing law, I decided to start cooking my way through the classic techniques, thinking that I might change careers. It took me five years. I learned to poêlé, and to braise, to make stocks and sauces, to break down chickens and prepare terrines. I rolled out mille-feuille, peeled hundreds of potatoes, and tournéed carrots in front of the TV. Eventually, I started writing my own recipes.
Follow my kitchen activities on this blog, or on my Facebook page. And ask your cooking questions on the “Ask the Kitchen” tab, or firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll post a response to the blog.