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I am a self taught cook (My Mom, bless her soul, has always worked, and being product of the post WWII generation, is a big believer in convenience foods - she heats, she doesn't cook) who started experimenting out of library cookbooks at age 9. My Grandma was in her high 90's by the time she could work with me, but I inherited a lot of her old recipes ("receipts"), and have done a lot of playing around, eventually taking several courses at the San Francisco Culinary Academy. I teach jewelry fabrication and design and am an accredited Property manager for both commercial properties and community associations, which leaves me very little home time, so I do the night-owl thing!