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About me: I like to cook ...

and more importantly, I like to watch other people cook to learn new techniques or discover a better way to do what I'm already doing.

I think there are 2 reasons I like to cook. First, my dad cooked a lot of things when I was a kid. He wasn't afraid to try new things or to make mistakes (in the kitchen), and he often included me when he worked. I learned early on that it was okay to dabble. Second, when my parents divorced, I was often left to my own devices, and while I ate a ton of fast food, I learned to appreciate a home cooked meal.

As a child of the 80s, I consumed a ton of TV and unlike today when you can just look up what you want to watch, when you want to watch it, I got to watch what was one when I turned on the TV. One of the shows that helped me on my culinary journey was The Frugal Gourmet.

Yeah, yeah, I know. He was accused of some terrible stuff (and settled out of court) but when I was watching, I didn't know anything about that. So, I only have good memories of his show. The weird thing is I can't think of any specific dish I learned from him. What I did learn was knife technique, and specific info on different food and how to make them delicious.

After I got married, the Food Network was my jam. And while The Iron Chef was my favorite show to watch ( it was just so wild ass), it was Good Eats that taught me the science of cooking.

Did I get it at first? No, it took a few before I recognized the genius of how he was hiding all the learning behind some amazingly low budget action. However, it didn't take long for Food Network to go the way of MTV, and stop showing what made them famous.

So now, when I want to watch a cooking show, I just go to YouTube. These are my 3 favorite cooks.

1. Sam the Cooking Guy

I discovered him in a 6 episode series that ran on the Discovery Network sometime around 2005 (maybe). It was a show where he focused on healthy cooking and at the time, I was all about losing weight and trying to get healthy. Sam was super down to earth, and more importantly, honest about things. If something tasted terrible, he told you - yeah, I'm looking at you fat-free mayo.

The only problem was, it was six episodes. You won't find that on YouTube as he releases 2-3 episodes a week. He also makes a wide range of food, and since he's not classically trained, he uses short cuts and doesn't feel the need to apologize for it. I watch him for ideas and shortcuts.

You can find his channel here.

2. Mike from Pro Home Cooks

I'd never heard of this guy when I stumbled onto a video where he makes an adult PB&J from scratch. He used to be a part of a cooking show that aired on MTV of all places called The Brothers Green. He has more of a wild-ass, no recipe approach to things and I like how he not only shows you how to jump hurdles in cooking, but also what to do when you're to blame for placing those hurdles there.

He has a fantastic 15-minute meal series, and I've picked up more than one idea from watching him flailing around the kitchen.

You can find his channel here.

3. Jim from Sip and Feast

Jim might be my favorite one to watch now. I'm always on the look for great Italian-American dishes, and he has provided quite a few to our regular rotation. There's just something comforting about his videos, and I like how he includes his whole family in the process. While he does have specific recipes for each dish, he also reminds you that you are making this for your family to eat, so don't be scared to improvise when needed.

You can find his channel here.

There are a ton more people I like to watch so I'll probably do another episode or 2. For now I hope you enjoy these 3.

I'm working on a couple of projects and hope to have more news for you soon.

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