MEET THE COOK

Kristin Suter

Like a lot of great stories,

this one is born from love . . . .

Growing up in a family with five kids (along with a father who suffered from an exceedingly particular palette), dinner fare had often been simple despite my mother's considerable skill in the kitchen. I'd known precious little about cooking (or even food in general) until I met my future husband. That man instantly made me punch drunk! I deduced within five minutes that the best way to hunt and fish for his foodie heart would be to go directly through his bachelor stomach, so one week after payday, I headed to Powell's on Hawthorne in hot pursuit of Cook's Illustrated titles. (I specifically chose this series because it provides education and science behind every recipe.) I bought the cheapest, most beat-up, used copies I could find to make my budget stretch, so that I might purchase as many as I could, and I read those books cover to cover. I didn't make the recipes so much as I studied the techniques. When I'd finished with those and felt confident with my skills, I'd gone back to Powell's, bought The Cordon Bleu cookbook, and worked my way through that one. A year later, my then-boyfriend (and now-husband) and I were wed . . . he doesn't even deny that the food didn't have a hand in it.
I'm the first to admit: I have no formal training! I just have a man who loves to eat, a genuine interest in food, and the determination to learn. I love the classics, and my favorite thing to do is develop recipes where I change down-home meals like my mom used to make into something a little more upscale and sophisticated. Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to make your dinner or desert -- nothing warms me more than thinking somone might be out there, enjoying my food.