I love working with my hands, and making something in the kitchen is one of my primary modes of relaxation.
I take my influences from everywhere — my Korean roots, my twenty-something years in Southern California, my current stay in France. Often, it will be just one interesting ingredient found at the farmer’s market or some small specialty shop. On any given day, you can find me grinding up hummus, basting an 18-hour pork roast, or chopping chocolate for cookies… or just slathering a slice of bread with good butter and calling it lunch.
I encourage experimentation in the kitchen. Does it taste bland? Add salt! Dull? Vinegar or citrus juice! Does it need a little kick? Pepper or cayenne or red chile powder. Tasting and adding this or that to the food so that it tastes just right to you is the difference between “following a recipe” and “learning to cook.”