I've been reading some of the chef talk forums for months now but decided to join as I find myself wanting to ask questions and provide comments to others. I am simply an at home cook. I am a late bloomer as some here have put it. I am 50yo; born and raised in New Orleans but now currently living in Houston due to my IT job. (unfortunately) Not having any professional exposure to the food industry, all of my learnings and influences have been via my mom, grandmothers and various other aunts, uncle's, etc. I have fond memories of my grandmother making file' gumbo for many family gatherings and fresh homemade eggnog for New Years eve. I also have "studied" cooking on my own for many years and my quest for knowledge continues to grow. I have considered becoming a professional chef which would allow me to move back home one day. I guess joining this group is part of that consideration to making the move. Any suggestions?? Thanks to all, Mark A little brag... This year, I asked my wife for a nice cookware set for Christmas. Long story short.... the other day we purchased a 15 All-Clad set for about $700!