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Originally from Greenville, SC, I currently live in Charlotte, NC with my lovely new wife (just married on June 14, 2008 in historic Charleston, SC). I work for a major global logistics company, managing our domestic air cargo and distribution products. My wife is originally from South Haven, MI and has interjected an array of Midwestern fare including casseroles and soups into my somewhat southern background. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), and works as a project manager for a marketing/brand consulting firm in Charlotte. My wife and I both enjoy trying new recipes at home, and venturing out on the town to sample new restaurants and cuisines, often trying to replicate things we enjoy in the kitchen. I was raised in the Carolinas, so my first exposure to cooking came from my immediate family - I'm talking fried chicken, cube steak, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, fried okra, squash casserole, homegrown vegetable dinners, and the list goes on... Everyone in my family is a pretty good cook in some capacity, so I've grown up around great food my entire life. I also spent some time studying abroad in Europe between my college years at Clemson University (Go Tigers!!!). I had the fortune of living with a family in the Loire Valley of France for a summer. Their passion for food, wine and culture really resonated with me. The father in that family did most of the cooking, shopped every day at the bakery, butchery, produce market etc., and often spent 2-3 hours cooking dinner every night. Everyone participated in some capacity making dinner a true family event. Shortly thereafter I had the opportunity to work in a fine dining restaurant which really pushed me to a running start in the kitchen. By the time I finished college, I was cooking pretty decent meals for myself, although I've learned a lot in the years since then. I'm lazy when it comes to packing my lunch, but I'm also good at finding a bargain, often times at one of my favorite ethnic dives in Charlotte. On the contrary, we cook dinner at home about 90% of the time, trying something new 10 to 15% of the time. Recipezaar is a new addiction...