Contrary to many food experts, I was not raised in an environment of culinary bliss and treasured family recipes. My mother’s menus consisted of spaghetti sauce out of a jar, vegetables out of a can, hamburgers on Friday nights, dry roast beef on Sundays, a staple of plain baked chicken and the thought that TV dinners were a well-balanced meal. Perhaps that was my inspiration. And so it began for me with an Easy Bake Oven and soon thereafter, a kitchen that became a playground of edible experiments. Inspired by world travel and an endless array of exciting, available ingredients, to this day I marvel at how, in my lifetime, I could never possibly try all the food combinations there are to try. So I keep trying. I cringe at recipes with dozens of ingredients and paragraph after paragraph of steps. My style is simple: interesting dishes with a handful of ingredients. My biggest goal is to take the intimidation out of preparing fine food. My biggest reward is teaching those who regard cooking as a chore, that it is truly an art and that the kitchen is truly the heart of the home.