My Cooking Life

Should you use a recipe when you cook?

  • Yes, everything needs to be your own creation, otherwise you can't claim it's your work

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, a recipe is just an idea which you follow, but can add your own little twists

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
Joined Nov 4, 2011
Hey Everyone,

My name is Alexei (Alex is fine), and I'm currently living in the UK. I'm a 15 year old guy and have been cooking since I was 4. It all started off when my dad bought me a kids kitchen set from one of his many trips abroad. It was insane, and apparently cost around 300 dollars at the time. That kitchen set was what started my passion for cooking. I wasn't allowed to cook anything in an actual kitchen until I was around 6, but I was fine with my toy, it was one of the first toys that I managed not to break within a couple of weeks of receiving it. So when I was 6, I began cooking desserts and basic dishes like mac and cheese from scratch. But soon I got pretty good at it, it was a fun skill to have and I still hear my dad telling his friends stories of how I made him a Mexican-themed dinner all by myself at the age of 8. Since the age of 9 or 10, every summer me and one of my best friends cook a 4 course meal that we create by ourselves using recipes we see on foodnetwork, or dishes we've always wanted to try. Sadly, I never went into an insane culinary boom, just because I have a pretty-laid back and lazy attitude, even though I probably had the potential to be an insanely good kid chef. I still have my skills, and I'm trying to start it all up again. I still have some aspirations though, if I become pretty successful in my career (I'm thinking business, but being a chef is still an option) I'm opening a restaraunt of my own in New York city, good idea?

But basically I've decided to give this site a try for some potential inspiration from my cooking. What do you guys think do I still have the potential to be a great chef? 15, have basic skills in cooking with a good amount of experience, but almost no techniques to what I make. Big put off that I have for cooking is that I have a shellfish allergy, does that hurt my potential aspirations to be a professional chef?

By the way, who wants to settle an argument me and one of my friends have, should you be able to use a recipe when you cook, or do you need to create everything yourself?

Hope you liked my story,

Joined Aug 29, 2000
Hello Alexei and welcome to Chef Talk. You're off to a good start at age 15. I think a lot of chefs and home cooks have similar stories of cooking when they were very young and being encouraged to learn more. You're fortunate to have parents who take an interest in your dreams and who encourage you.

While, as a home cook, you won't be able to post in the professional forums, you can read there to your heart's content. Don't overlook the search tool, as that can take you to conversations as far back as our start 11 years ago. The Special Guest archive has some wonderful information, too. We have cooking articles and reviews of equipment and cookbooks, too. You'll find some of us started out in culinary careers and moved on to IT or business; others went the other way round. Others postponed their food-related dreams, but took them pu again later in life. I hear that your generation may change jobs seven times! Keep your eyes open for new doors to pass through.

We're proud of what we offer here and hope you take advantage of all of it! 

Best regards,


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