Howdy, found this forum whilst looking for info on De Buyer pans and decided to register as it seems to be filled with a lot of knowledgeable folk. Cooking (among other things) is a passion of mine. I suppose it stems from the fact that I come from a family where food has always served more than one purpose. It is not just what we eat but who we are as people, family and friends, how we interact and socialize. My parents have always had an open table/kitchen for my friends or my brothers' friends. Kitchen was (and still is) the most important place in the house. It is kind of funny that my friends still fondly remember this and the dinners they enjoyed at my parents house, even after a few decades. So yes, food has always played an essential part in the everyday life and festivities of my family. It also helps that our family by and large is full of creative people (artists, artisans, designers etc.) who appreciate aesthetics and other earthly pleasures. Call it healthy hedonism if you will. But to return to me again, I am a thirty something designer (UX, IxD, IA, web services/apps/software among other things). Born and raised in Finland I currently live there even though I have spent stretches stateside (some family and plenty of friends there). My fiancée is actually from the US but we are in the process of setting up a home here. I love cooking for other people and as a form of art and socializing. Meditation even, it is great to get into the flow and just do, easy esp. if I am cooking just for myself. The things I cook are mostly completetly vegan or vegetarian due to ethical reasons, hence no dairy/meat. I do occasionally splurge for seafood/fish, eggs and honey. I love dirty martinis & singapore slings. I also like sharp pointy things of all kind and plan on setting up a traditional japanese style bladesmiths' shop/forge one of these days. Favorite foods? Something rustic and simple like black bean stew with mashed potatos (loaded with herbs and garlic), plain green salad with balsamico, freshly ground black pepper and salt. Simple, wholesome, delicious. Favorite cuisines? - Thai - Nepalese - Japanese - Mexican (Not texmex!) - Mediterranean Staple ingredients? - Black peppers (whole) - Salt (sea and pink/mountain) - Dried parsley - Balsamico - Garlic - Black beans - Thai chiles (Rawit and birdseye) - Canola and Virgin olive oil Like it how? - Fresh/Rare/Raw/Grilled/Cooked on open fire. Desert island food? - Blue point oysters (and other things that can be harvested from the sea/nearby waters). So yeah, here was my introductory blurb. A bit on the verbose side, my apologies for that (have a tendency to do that). What else? Happy New Years everyone!