Howdy, ya'll

Discussion in 'New User Introductions' started by phoenix-thereal, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. phoenix-thereal

    phoenix-thereal

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    My name is Ken, I'm an 'old duffer' but about to begin studying Culinary Arts at my local community college that offers the whole shebang from the various chef's certificates thriough Associates Degree... so I anticipate that from time-to-time I might have some questions for ya'll, and I've already found things here of interest to me.:D

    ~Ken aka Phoenix-TheRealDeal.
     
  2. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Welcome Ken,

    An "old duffer" eh?!

    Tell us a little about yourself.

    Enjoy
     
  3. phoenix-thereal

    phoenix-thereal

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    Well, CC, some of it is briefly in my profile, but as for being a duffer, I'll go on Medicare in a few more months.:D As you may be able to see when my birthday rolls around. ;)

    Although I have never done so professionally during the severality of my careers, I've had sort of an abiding interest in cooking since junior high school when I enrolled in and was the only male in a cooking class. :bounce: Got an 'A' in it, too! :chef: Of course that was in the 7th grade now more than half a century ago. :eek:

    Recently, while advising one of my daughters while visiting as to the kinds of courses I thought she ought to pursue in preparing herself for her husband and self to start thier own business in a year or so, I got the bug to check out the college here that I'd gotten an AA from, also many yarn ago... and discovered that they have a complete culinary arts program. :cool: So, having some time on my hands and not being totally broke, talked with the program director and signed up for it.

    At this point I haven't the foggiest as to exactly what I'll do with it, whether that be to maybe do something as a PC or get a part-time job working dinner hours during the nights of the week when the restaurants are pretty swamped (at my age you just don't wanna be standing on your feet for an entire shift... I'll TELL ya)... I figure that I could handle that even if just doing prep work and as for getting a job my strongest suit is probably my work ethic... we'll see. Whatever, I think that it'd be more interesting than guarding the door at Wal-Mart and a way to pick up a few extra bucks... :rolleyes: Maybe just do it as a matter of personal enjoyment in learning to do new things. It's kinda nice being retired, you don't hafta do anything, and barring fiscal limitations can do anything. :p

    In my home, my wife is an excellent cook, so my contribution over the years has been to be the one, or one, that makes special dishes that are sort of dad's 'signatures' either for family alone or for special occasions. They've mostly been met with enthusiasm, although I never was able to figure out why my kids just went "Ugh, not again!" when I'd make scrumptialicious "Candy Soup" when they were little. Lentils with bacon and onion and garlic and, 'yknow. :lol:

    I met a Personal Chef recently at Safeway Mkt. and chatted with him for about an hour and a half; that was interesting (and I've read the thread here on that area of endeavor, too). He cooks for 3 or 4 families 3 or 4 days a week; I don't recall the exact mix he told me. He was raised by an Austrian immigrant family that also ran a cafe, so was cooking Bavarian and Austrian foods from the age of ten, he tells. Never went to school for it, or any other cooking. Nowadays he will cater or work as the Chef in a commercial kitchen occasionally for parties or shindigs and such as Oktoberfest that have that kind of a motiff... but his mainstay is being a Personal Chef. The funny thing about that, though perhaps not so funny if you know the area here in the southwest, is that the ONLY cookbook he uses as a reference is, "The border Cookbook" by Cheryl Alters Jamison & Bill Jamison.... and he's made a business out of that. He alleges it is a good one, that he has all the business he wants by word-of-mouth if he needs to gather a new 'client', and that there is a ready market for such in the area (about 50,000 pop). Furthermore, although there are several taco/burrito 'stands' here (one of which serves the best 'meal deal' in town), there is only one fairly good Mexican-American restuarant and it is sited aways out of town. He also allowed as to how he shops at Safeway 5 days a week so everything is made fresh same day, and he charges hourly 'salary' plus costs. Well, that's not so much about me, but thought might be interesting to the folks who inhabit these hallowed halls. :D

    Other than that, I belong to a model railroading club here in town; my 'specialty' is modeling 1930s~1950s Southern Pacific Lines & Pacific Fruit Express in HO guage. And am well involved in a computer gaming clan online as its 'Co-Consul' (it is organised on the Pre-Imperial Romans motiff), and I am also the Co-Lead Designer for an ancient & classical ages Real Time Strategy game that is being developed online by an outfit called Wildfire Games (about 40~50 working on it all over the world) for ultimate free release to any who will want to download it called 0 A.D..... two years in the making now, another two to go if we can keep it 'on schedule' until release to the general public. :D My online 'nick' is actually Phoenix-TheRealDeal, but registration to these forums wouldn't take the "Deal" part of it. Lastly, I managed, along with a LOT of medical help to survive an episode of cancer last year, so reckon I've sorta got a new lease on life for awhile yet. :cool:
     
  4. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Ken, thanks for the thorough introduction! Your broad interests push you from the "old duffer" category to "renaissance man" IMHO.

    Enjoy your exploration into professional culinary life! We'll look forward to reading your dispatches from the front.

    And congratulations for winning your health battle, too. I salute you!

    Ann
     
  5. phoenix-thereal

    phoenix-thereal

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    Thank you, Ann. :)

    'Rennaissance Man', eh? :D Either that of Jack of All Trades and Master of Noone'. ;)

    As for the health battle, I'm still undergoing radiation therapy, but that's largely a piece of cake <=(see how cleverly I worked the food motiff in here?) :chef: and as a matter of "insurance" that it won't be coming back.
     
  6. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Ha! I have learned you're also a pun-fancier. It's clear you'll fit in like a pea in a pod. :p

    Take it easy and let those radiation techs take care of everything! Hey, I guess there must be a radiation oncologist back there in the storeroom somewhere....! We know who does the real work ;)

    Be well,
    Ann
     
  7. phoenix-thereal

    phoenix-thereal

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    :D Yeah, Ann, nice fielding of the food motiff with 'a pea in a pod'.

    Those rad techs are taking good care of me, took me a few days to 'train 'em' though. ;) And I see the ocologist every Friday in his lil stroreoom down the hall... he's kewl. :)
     
  8. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    My brother's a medical oncologist. He's way kewl! Nobody can cut to the chase - humanely - better than my brother. The good ones are priceless.
     
  9. phoenix-thereal

    phoenix-thereal

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    Good on, Ann. My *hand-salute* to your bro. :D

    Although getting a diagnosis of cancer started off rather slowly, once my on-post surgeon got back from a stint at doing 'meatball' in Iraq, then things picked up with alacrity. From that point onward I feel I've been summarily blessed by the calibre of surgeons that have worked on me, miltary general surgeon here on post for an initial surgery at Fort Huachuca, then the oncologists and a plastic surgeon--also military--at William Beaumont Army General Hospital in El Paso, TX, for a very major surgery, and then my referral civilian ocologist for the therapy subsequent thereto... all very high calibre individuals and all very kewl. :D

    Notice how I worked the food motiif back into the topic again? ;)
     
  10. culinary aid

    culinary aid

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    Howdy to you too Ken. You and I have a lot in common. We are older married culinary students with adult children. I too am new to the culinary world. I have always enjoyed cooking for my family over the years. This is a stable and growing industry. One can find employment in the culinary field anywhere in the US or abroad. I live in Houston, Texas as of now. Someday I will move to the country. It is comforting to know my chances of employment are good. So glad to hear your fight with the cancer is going well. Keep it up.