I have 20 years of cooking experience under my ever expanding belt. I started as a prep-cook at the Finial. This was a restaurant in the top of the old Union Bank building in downtown Grand Rapids, MI, it was open back in the mid-to-late 70’s.
From there I went to a place called Jerry’s Roadhouse a restaurant that was in Wyoming, MI. By the time I left Jerry’s I was the assistant, or Sous, Chef.
I next spent several years at Guthrie’s Digs, a casual/up scale restaurant that was located in the Ramblewood apartment complex. While at Guthrie’s I gained a lot of knowledge from several different Chefs the last being Chef Tim Fellows.
From there I graduated to Chef and went on to run several kitchens. The first was Popi’s restaurant for a year and then several years at Pour Aurthur’s in Wyoming.
To me a recipe is a more of a guide or suggestion for cooking food that I like or some thing I think I might like to try. In my experiences, it is sometimes impossible to follow a recipe to the letter. You may be missing an ingredient or you just can’t stand something the recipe calls for. In that case it is important to be able to improvise, and if tragedy strikes, be willing to start over. Some of the best, and worst, food I have ever made was from recipes that I hacked to make it more to what I liked or thought it should be. There is a major exception to this. That is baked goods and pastries. These recipes need to be rigorously followed or you will end up with inedible crap..