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I grew up in a family of cooks. My mother cooked, my grandmother cooked, and so did my great grandmother. My uncles and aunt could cook but the real cooking skills were passed to my mother from grandmother and to my grandmother from my great grandmother. Also growing up in a mostly Jewish family, you're surrounded by cooks. Neither of the women, or the men, in my family had any formal training, they all learned from each other.
Me, I learned from my grandmother and mother by watching and working with them, and from reading a lot of cookbooks. My journey through the world of food and knives has been a journey of "trial and error", and it still is, but that's what makes cooking so much fun. You never stop learning. It's a form of art like painting and sculpting.
My favorite dishes to cook are this soup I created here, http://www.food.com/recipe/spicy-tomato-bean-soup-with-greens-with-garlic-bread-486475, and Red Velvet cupcakes, both vegan and non-vegan. If there's Red Velvet, jam cake or oatmeal cookies, it's a good day, especially when accompanied by a hot cup of tea.