My friends and family during my teenage years inspired me to keep cooking with all their compliments. French Onion Soup was a big hit and so was biscuit dough rolled around brown sugar and butter and baked to gooey goodness. We nicknamed it "Bulk"! From there I went into making bread and desserts. I had myself pegged for a pastry chef and my first restaurant job had me baking the "in" foods of the late '70's-carrot cakes, cheesecakes and quiches. The owner, Taro and his partner Tiger, were Japanese, and it was through them that I was introduced to the wonders of Japanese foods: precision knife skills, sashimi, eggplant dengaku, oden, chilled tofu. Of all cuisines, this is the one that I still have the most awe and respect for. Taro's girlfriend Judy, was an amazing cook. It was her confidence with cooking that made me more comfortable with cooking too. more