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What do Chowhounds do for a living (besides eat of course)? [old]

k
kevin Jun 5, 2007 08:16 PM

So this has interested me for a while. What do chowhounds do for a living and do the hounds in general have a higher median income than the average working individual across the country? Or do we just really like to eat and would rather not buy other gadgets (such as a new car, nicer digs, better entertainment center, etc) and just spend our not necessarily disposable income on restaurants, cafes, bars, farmer's markets goods, etc?

  1. bucksguy14 Nov 22, 2013 01:20 PM

    Retired!!! I'm a 70 year-old widower who, to the astonishment of most of my friends and acquaintances (but not to my family), cooks a complete dinner for myself every night that I'm home. I scour magazines and cookbooks for something interesting that I've never had before. I don't get folks my age who are eating sandwiches for dinner?

    1. macsandindianfood Nov 18, 2013 02:49 PM

      I am a Virtual Assistant, i.e., I provide online business management and secretarial services as a contractor, to small businesses and entrepreneurs. I am also a Mac nerd ;-) and love to cook and eat. I drool over cookware and cooking gadgets, more than clothes, jewelry, etc… I love to cook, but when I go out to eat, it's simple fare, like pizza...

      1. myhotkitchen Apr 28, 2013 09:01 AM

        I am a baker, in a diamond mine camp in northern Canada. Follow me on instagram northernsugarchef

        1. i
          Iowaboy3 Apr 27, 2013 08:41 PM

          I'm in the retail wine business and have been for 20 years. I make an average income. If I'm going to eat I want to eat good food. You don't need a pile of money to eat well. You just have to have no fear of cooking and be willing to be creative. And I DO like my gadgets also.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Iowaboy3
            z
            zin1953 Apr 28, 2013 08:50 AM

            Yes, well, as we USED to say working in the Napa Valley, "You don't make a lot of money in the wine business, but you get to eat and drink REALLY well . . . "

            1. re: Iowaboy3
              Monica Apr 29, 2013 06:36 AM

              I so agree with you. You don't have to be rich to eat well...

            2. ocpitmaster Apr 16, 2013 11:01 AM

              Retired investor

              1. Monica Apr 12, 2013 08:23 AM

                I am an accountant for a large insurance company and my husband is a lawyer. Yeah, I know, we sound like a boring couple but when it comes to food, we are more adventurous and open minded than Andrew Zimmerman. And we eat pretty darn well at home. We always joke around in the house saying that I bet ya we are having the best breakfast or dinner in the whole neighborhood.

                On the other hand, my sister is a former pasty chef and her husband is a chef, both graduated from CIA, yet when I see the stuff they eat at home, it amazes me. They eat burgers and hotdogs and pizza and they like it that way.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Monica
                  k
                  kevin Apr 15, 2013 12:45 PM

                  I heard that chefs do like to eat comfort food, or rather filing, fatty food that they do not really have to think about when eating at home or off chef's hours.

                2. nomnomnoms Jan 24, 2013 05:31 PM

                  I am a cook. My husband is a postdoctoral researcher. That being said we are poor! Haha

                  We may not eat out a lot, but we still eat gloriously at home. And by glorious, I mean, pretty darn glorious compared to other people in their late 20s/early 30s...

                  I'd rather spend 300 bucks on a badass stand mixer, whilst my girlfriends would rather spend that on a purse. It's just what triggers the happy feelings in our brains are different.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: nomnomnoms
                    n
                    Nayners Apr 5, 2013 05:56 PM

                    I'm with you on this!

                    1. re: nomnomnoms
                      Emme Apr 5, 2013 07:45 PM

                      +1
                      Don't buy me jewelry. If you must, you can never go wrong with something for the kitchen. Molds, pans, attachments, pretty much any thought will count.
                      Don't bring me flowers... bring me an ingredient... Preferably something new or in season or fun or... (And OH generally does... though sometimes he can't help himself, and he brings me flowers... which I proceed to manage to kill... The last one even got a post-it that said, "Please don't kill me." And I shrugged, and said I'd do my best...)

                      1. re: nomnomnoms
                        juliejulez Apr 6, 2013 04:30 PM

                        Same here! My SO knows that anything for the kitchen is much preferred over other things. For my birthday last year he got me a nice mortar and pestle set, a fancy kitchen timer, and a book about butchery.

                      2. k
                        kevin Dec 20, 2012 04:40 PM

                        Cool, but can't we get this thread to the immaculate, celestial, fun 1,000 post number ?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: kevin
                          LindaWhit Dec 20, 2012 05:01 PM

                          I was kind of hoping for that as well. :-)

                        2. The Chowhound Team Dec 20, 2012 12:19 PM

                          Someone's started a Part 2 of this thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8827... If you've got comments or updates on something someone's said here, that's fine. If you've got a new entry please check out the new thread.

                          1. jpr54_1 Dec 19, 2012 08:56 AM

                            thisi s a great thread
                            but much too long for a single thread

                            I always enjoyed food preparation and eating. Now I have lots of time to cook-
                            unfortunately, only for myself.

                            I am now retired and living in South Florida.
                            My first profession was as an Home Economist for
                            NYC Dept. of Social Services-
                            My second after gaining a Masters Degree in Public (Community Health Education) was as an Health Educator

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: jpr54_1
                              LindaWhit Dec 19, 2012 10:06 AM

                              Five and a half years since the initial query, some updates (a law student now turned attorney), and some people no longer with us (Sam). 900 posts so far, and counting.

                              I'm glad my computer still opens up the thread so I can read through this thread every once in awhile.

                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                fldhkybnva Dec 19, 2012 10:09 AM

                                Perhaps a "what do chowhounds do for a living" part 2 is in order

                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                  k
                                  kevin Dec 19, 2012 12:30 PM

                                  :)

                              2. fldhkybnva Dec 18, 2012 07:51 PM

                                Full time - 2nd year resident in pathology

                                Part time though approaching the time and devotion of my full time vocation - cooking, baking, eating, reading about food science

                                1. njmarshall55 Dec 18, 2012 02:32 PM

                                  Aerospace Industry Quality Manager. I find that I apply my work-related philosophy and approach to what I eat, where I eat, how I eat, and the overall experience.

                                  1. PotatoHouse Dec 12, 2012 04:05 PM

                                    I am a truck driver by vocation and a cook by avocation.

                                    1. k
                                      kcshigekawa Dec 12, 2012 02:00 PM

                                      Front of the house for a custom upholstery and furniture shop; I put togther estimates, help customers find fabrics, schedule the work and generally talk to people so my boss won't have to!

                                      Other lifetimes have had me sewing together tobacco leaves (before they're cured for cigar wrappers) waiting tables, tending bar, prep monkey, short order cook, admin. asst., project coordinator for an architectural firm, project coord. for a university (read: nag the faculty), house painter, nurses' aide and plant potter-upper in a greenhouse. Probably a few more that I've forgotten...

                                      1. juliejulez Nov 20, 2012 11:50 AM

                                        Executive Assistant for the President of a real estate company. It's not that exciting but it pays the bills (and not much else). My education is in interior design but I've been doing the real estate thing in various capacities for 11 years, and it certainly has had it's ups and downs. During the ups I spent a lot of my money on good food both for home and in restaurants (lived in Chicago), and lots of fun things for my kitchen. Now I just don't have the room in my budget (which is about 40% of what it was in 2007) as I'm trying to pay off all my debt, most of which was incurred while trying to start up my own design consulting business in 2008. Talk about crap timing.

                                        But, having the limited income has forced me to become more creative in the kitchen. I cook dinner nearly every night, even if it's not fancy, and now from 730-830 or 9 on weeknights is my favorite time of day, when I'm in the kitchen putting together dinner. I've also recently used food to help me lose 50lbs, so I've been tossing around the idea of starting up a cooking/food blog, aimed at the non-foodie folks who need help figuring out basic healthy recipes, along with help with meal planning and grocery shopping. There's a surprising amount of people who just have no idea where to even start when it comes to making good healthy food at home.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: juliejulez
                                          j
                                          jhuston Nov 20, 2012 12:27 PM

                                          "I've also recently used food to help me lose 50lbs"

                                          This might be off-topic but I so loved this comment. Food is not the enemy, but we've created a falsely adversarial relationship with it. I too am astonished at how little people know about making healthy food choices, but of course I've spent about 20 years reading about food as a hobby and it was only recently (relatively) that I had my own epiphanies regarding processed foods, factory farming, etc. Good luck with the blog if you decide to proceed with it.

                                        2. c
                                          cakebakerlady1 Nov 20, 2012 08:48 AM

                                          I'm a counselor at a maximum security prison. Prison chow is not my favorite, but we do have some ladies assigned to kitchen duty that do a fantastic job. Every now and then I'll get brave enough to have lunch in the dining hall. :)

                                          ETA: I just opened my own small business on the side and occasionally I'll help a friend in her cake shop.

                                          1. Bill Hunt Nov 18, 2012 09:32 PM

                                            OK, things have changed.

                                            I am now retired, but consult with an imaging and video software company. Giving back.

                                            I now follow my young wife around the globe, and try to find the best wine pairings for her guests, and board members. Not as easy, as it sounds.

                                            Hunt

                                            1. chefathome Nov 18, 2012 08:02 AM

                                              My dream job - testing recipes as well as teaching cooking classes. I also make wedding cakes. All this when I want - I set my schedule. I am blessed to be able to pursue what I love without having to depend on the above financially. Most days are spent in my kitchen, experimenting and planning and cooking up a storm.

                                              1. meatnveg Apr 11, 2011 08:31 PM

                                                Sooo, late to the party but...

                                                I am a new graduate now working for ...A CHOCOLATE COMPANY!!! yayy me!

                                                1. JerryMe Jun 13, 2010 06:44 PM

                                                  Construction worker - used to do manual labor but my body can't take it any more altho I'm still in pretty good shape - alas my tool belt doesn't fit me! It's gotten too big. Currently looking for work in the State of AZ. Which used to be the commercial construction king,

                                                  I became a Chowhound when my cooking pleased all my friends and family and they 'pushed me outside the box' I've learned a lot and don't deem myself a true "Chow" but I enjoy this site so much it's on my daily read.

                                                  1. b
                                                    betsydiver Jun 13, 2010 06:18 PM

                                                    I am a Lutheran pastor , single, childless, not alot of disposable income but enjoy dining out with friends and occassionally cooking with them at my place or theirs, often brunches or pot-lucks... Update; addendum started out as a middle school music teacher (choir and general music); went on to working in various bookstores fo about 15years, love this thread...maybe because my dad at one point was an emplyoment counselor but had a small town luncheonette prior to that, where one of the cooks told me that i ate so many burgers, i'd turn into one!; helped my dad name one of his creations "steakburger" this was before fast food flurry hit our small upstate ny town. M y maternal grandfather was a Philadelphia butcher with a pickle barrel and scrapple recipe, plenty of tasycakes on hand. helped my mom in the kitchen from a young age. In my years as a pastor I've taught a bunch of 9 year=olds to bake "Sweey Jesus bread" for their first communion, teaching them how to read a recipe, measure ingredients, sift dry ingredients, time the baking, set the com,munion table.etc, serve each other a simple lunch together. Now on disability but hope to put my doctor of ministry in pastoral care and counsrling to use; recently moved back to Hudson Valley; if anyone's interested in global solutions to hunger, checkout Bread for the World" I don't have link, sorry...

                                                    1. b
                                                      Beckyleach Apr 14, 2010 07:33 AM

                                                      Former perpetual student ( B.A., M.A. and all-but-dissertation in American Studies) who chucked it all when my second daughter was born and I found myself far more fascinated by babies than by studies. However, I was--officially--getting my Ph.D. in Foodways and Culinary History, and have maintained that interest (obviously; here I am! ;-) for the past 20 years, in between living on various old farmettes, raising free-range chickens and a vast organic garden back in the days when nobody even WANTED our excess eggs and produce (ah, Iowa...how strange thou art!) and Unschooling my daughters (one is now in college; the other about to be).

                                                      So: home maker, educator, gardener, foodie, left-wing political activist....non remunerated. Hah!

                                                      My husband is a therapist who works with (very frustratingly so, for the most part) convicted repeat sex offenders.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Beckyleach
                                                        bushwickgirl Apr 14, 2010 01:24 PM

                                                        "who works with (very frustratingly so, for the most part) convicted repeat sex offenders."
                                                        I guess so. Tough job.

                                                        Culinary History, I'm a little envious, sitting here with my BA in English Lit and my AS in Culinary Arts. Let's make a Chow pact to take our education a bit further.

                                                      2. eviemichael Apr 13, 2010 11:54 PM

                                                        I'm a documentary filmmaker. Actually looking to choose some topics for the next one related to food! (Just can't get enough) :)

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: eviemichael
                                                          Bill Hunt Nov 18, 2012 09:35 PM

                                                          Neat!

                                                          As I graduated in cinematography, many years ago, and just sort of getting back to my roots, with digital video consulting, I can relate, at a very base level.

                                                          Good luck, and enjoy,

                                                          Hunt

                                                        2. t
                                                          tonka11_99 Apr 13, 2010 06:58 PM

                                                          I'm an engineer. I know very few foodie engineers but there are some. By the way an interesting web site is Cooking for engineers.com. No I am not affiliated.

                                                          It is interesting to see the mind of an engineer when it attacks learning to cook. We want to know exactly what temperature you braise something at and why.

                                                          I have been severely tempted to buy and modify an electric smoker. I could easily set one up to smoke at very precise temps...say 215 degrees and use an electronic controller so that the temperature never varied by more than a degree or two.

                                                          I have mildly thought of building a solar oven. Not that they are that practical but would still be fun.

                                                          Sorry I got carried away... It's an affliction.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: tonka11_99
                                                            s
                                                            Solstice444 Apr 14, 2010 07:27 AM

                                                            What kind of engineer are you, tonka? I feel somewhat of a kinship towards engineers since, as a meteorologist, I had to take 3 semesters of engineering calc and 3 semesters of engineering physics in college. And I know many engineers as well. :-)

                                                          2. TheHuntress Jan 18, 2010 03:55 AM

                                                            I am still quite new to CH and have been reading the boards with great interest. I am a newly qualified Registered Nurse, having just graduated from uni late last year. I am also newly married, but prior to that I was a single mum who, once all the bills were paid, spent every last cent on the best ingredients I could find to cook with. It was the best way of filling in those quiet evenings when not much was happening at uni and my son was in bed. And while I still don't have a large disposable income (all those student debts to battle now!) I still spend a disproportionate amount on good food and have also been very lucky to welcome a Thermomix into my kitchen lately. And the average portion of my day cooking/reading about food/looking at pictures of food/shopping for food/talking about food/eating? Just about every other hour I'm not asleep.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: TheHuntress
                                                              Passadumkeg Apr 14, 2010 06:00 AM

                                                              Welcome! What is uni?

                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                LindaWhit Apr 14, 2010 06:07 AM

                                                                The Huntress is Australian, so I'd assume it's short-speak for "university". :-)

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                  Passadumkeg Apr 14, 2010 09:47 AM

                                                                  I thought so too. But "ni"?

                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                    BobB Apr 15, 2010 03:19 PM

                                                                    It's standard Ozzie slang.

                                                                    1. re: BobB
                                                                      Bill Hunt Nov 18, 2012 09:32 PM

                                                                      Ozzy Osbourne? Like bat heads, and all?

                                                                      Hunt

                                                              2. re: TheHuntress
                                                                TheHuntress Nov 19, 2012 01:43 AM

                                                                Ha, I just saw all of this speculation, two and a half years after the event. Yes, uni is Australian Standard Slang for university.

                                                                And just to clarify at the first uni campus I studied at we did have bat heads and all, Hunt. But that was more due to the fruit bats that mistook powerlines for mango trees...

                                                              3. s
                                                                sockhead Jan 17, 2010 07:56 PM

                                                                Not many of us here... I'm a dentist (to-be... still in school) in Quebec, Canada. I also have a graduate degree in cell biology.

                                                                1. b
                                                                  basildip Jan 15, 2010 11:14 AM

                                                                  I am a homemaker married to a retired LA city bus supervisor. My chowhound days started at around 8 yrs. old. I would sneak up on Washington Blvd. to the neighborhood cafe for a tune sandwich, then come home and pretend I was ready for dinner This was in 1956. Eight years later I 'borrowed' my mom's car just before dinner and snuck up to Washington and Labrea to Francis drive-in resto. There I had fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green peas. Then I would go home to my parents and pretend I was ready for dinner. They rarely went out, accept to Tiny Naylors on Sunset Blvd. But my favorite lonesome experience happened in 1998 on my 26th anniversary. My hubby asked me what I wanted for my anniversary. I said, the omakase from Sushi Roku in Santa Monica.
                                                                  He asked how much was it, and then peeled off the $80.00 plus bucks I would need. I
                                                                  went alone early, got a very romantic view of the coast and my waiter friend celebrated
                                                                  with me. Also, the parking attendant gave me free validation since it was my anniversary.
                                                                  I had a wonderful time and later went to Saddle Peak Lodge with my wonderful generous
                                                                  husband to officially celebrate our anniversary. Obviously he is not a chowhound. I
                                                                  enjoyed all of these lone journeys. I always have to led the food charge, as my friends and family object to eating anything without a recommendation. I have always been glad to be the guinea pig and have no objections to going it alone. I would, however
                                                                  object to being held back from my adventures.

                                                                  I also recently learned to love to cook, as a result of watching Mario Batali, who stresses
                                                                  caramelization to deepen flavors. Also, once I learned to use fresh herbs, my food
                                                                  has become pretty darn delicious.

                                                                  1. s
                                                                    southernexpat Jan 9, 2010 03:28 PM

                                                                    I live in a big ol' creepy house in the middle of an ancient cemetery. I'm the secretary during the day, and the caretaker at night. Living where I work is fabulous, I can tend the stove all day. I do not make a lot of cash money, most of my compensation is my employers paying for the house, the utilities, the cable, and the phone. I do make enough cash, however, to buy expensive groceries! Every time the Cooks Illustrated comes in the mail, I know I will be able to cook whatever cool stuff I find!

                                                                    Peace! -- P

                                                                    It's very peaceful here, and who among the living is gonna walk up hill and bug me when it's dark?!

                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                    1. re: southernexpat
                                                                      k
                                                                      klieglight2 Jan 9, 2010 04:21 PM

                                                                      I initially was not going to add to this lengthy thread, but seeing the last entry, I have to add my similar situation. By trade I am a self-employed electronics technician specializing in restoration of vintage hifi and recording studio equipment, and I also do contract work on modern high end audio gear for various customers. I am secondarily the caretaker of a large historic estate in Berks Co. Pennsylvania and live and work in a creepy old circa 1760 inn building complete with walk in fireplace and bread oven in my kitchen. My overhead is low since utilities are paid for in return for endless mowing in the summer, and dealing with rodents and all manner of fun in the winter.
                                                                      I have little spending money for eating out, and there are few options for such where I live, but I enjoy cooking at every opportunity I get. Since I am single and work from home, I don't always have much motivation to cook for myself and revert back to very depressing eating habits, but I never fail to jump at the chance to try new cuisine, or attempt to cook it myself when the mood strikes.
                                                                      Another plus, where I live is equipped with a full professional kitchen in a modern wing, since the building is used for catered events, etc.
                                                                      I'll now go back to quietly checking Chowhound daily for interesting threads!
                                                                      Cheers

                                                                      1. re: klieglight2
                                                                        s
                                                                        southernexpat Jan 10, 2010 06:21 AM

                                                                        "Count your blessings" seems like a trite phrase, but it's not trite at all, it's cool! When I was in IT I made gobs of money, lived in an ultra-modern condo, developed a bleeding ulcer, and was miserable. Now I'm poor, fat, and happy as a clam cooking in my postage-stamp kitchen, all cozy in my little house surrounded by dead people.

                                                                        I thought I was the luckiest person in the world to have found this great gig in the cemetery. Sounds like you got me beat by a mile! Your house sounds dreamy. How wonderful that it found you!

                                                                        I do so love the positive energy I find here. Peace!

                                                                        1. re: southernexpat
                                                                          j
                                                                          just_M Jan 11, 2010 02:15 PM

                                                                          What is it about IT that after breaking away people end up in the most unlikely places? The Mr. and I have met quite a few since our own journey began and in the years we've been settled in this tiny Oregon town. We live in a crazy house with a wood stove snugged up against the propane stove and no ceiling or door on the master bath. On the other hand the Mr. now works 37hrs a wk and the wildlife channel comes free via the windows. We are broke and happier than we ever were in our last life; count your blessings indeed!

                                                                          Be well, M

                                                                          1. re: just_M
                                                                            s
                                                                            southern_expat Jan 11, 2010 07:03 PM

                                                                            What is it about IT that after breaking away people end up in the most unlikely places?
                                                                            -------------

                                                                            It's because programming COBOL was pretty fun, doing it at your desk at the office from 9 to 5. When this dang internet thing came along, we all made gobs of money but had no excuse for not working on it around the clock. I wish I had bought Alka-Seltzer stock.

                                                                            The wildlife channel out my windows is the greatest. Reminds me, I need to get the deer another salt lick.

                                                                            Happy!

                                                                      2. re: southernexpat
                                                                        bushwickgirl Jan 11, 2010 10:14 AM

                                                                        I've lived next to two cemeteries in my life, one Revolutionary War era family plot and one "newer" one, and the neighbors were always great, very quiet. I'm not joking, nothing bad about living near a cemetery.
                                                                        Sounds like you're got it pretty good.

                                                                        1. re: bushwickgirl
                                                                          s
                                                                          southern_expat Jan 11, 2010 01:28 PM

                                                                          I DO and I thank God-or-whatever-his-or-her-name-is every day!

                                                                          1. re: southern_expat
                                                                            k
                                                                            klieglight2 Jan 11, 2010 02:11 PM

                                                                            I may live in a great old house, but unfortunately, I do have actual noisy neighbors who are constantly messing about with noisy cars and motorcycles in their backyard. That, and a whole host of four legged critters that infest this old place including squirrels, mice, etc. that do a great job of getting into the kitchen and generally creating a mess in the middle of the night.

                                                                            Cheers!

                                                                            1. re: klieglight2
                                                                              s
                                                                              southern_expat Jan 11, 2010 02:20 PM

                                                                              Poison the critters. I have no qualms about that. Works a charm.

                                                                              Let the hatin' begin.

                                                                              1. re: southern_expat
                                                                                k
                                                                                klieglight2 Jan 11, 2010 05:06 PM

                                                                                I'll keep my mouth shut about the things I have done to get rid of the furry "guests" that invade my house, knowing that a lot of folks around here would frown upon such things!
                                                                                Back to the thread topic, my user name "klieglight" refers to the fact I started out as a theater lighting designer and technician and still do work servicing theatrical lighting dimmer systems etc. Klieglight was a trade name used by Kliegl Bros. formerly the largest and oldest manufacturer of stage lighting equipment in the US.
                                                                                I got out of the live entertainment industry altogether since I hated being on the road constantly and the weird hours that it demanded, not to mention the lousy pay.

                                                                                1. re: klieglight2
                                                                                  s
                                                                                  southern_expat Jan 12, 2010 06:05 AM

                                                                                  I am dying to know how your lovely old house found you. Mine found me through a classified ad, of all things - that's a discussion for a more spiritual board, I think though.

                                                                                  I want to walk into a fireplace now! 18 inches of snow on the ground, and more on the way, is dampening my warm toasty southern temperament!

                                                                                  Stay warm!

                                                                                  1. re: southern_expat
                                                                                    alkapal Jan 12, 2010 06:22 AM

                                                                                    pry open some maker's mark.

                                                                                    1. re: alkapal
                                                                                      bushwickgirl Jan 14, 2010 03:43 AM

                                                                                      It'll cure what ails ya!

                                                                      3. MandalayVA Dec 8, 2009 06:55 AM

                                                                        I do pricing agreement and contract maintenance for an extremely large transportation company. Not the most intellectually stimulating work, but it pays decently and allows me plenty of time to surf Chowhound on the company's dime. :D I worked a couple food service jobs in my younger years but it's never interested me as a career, although I've always loved to cook (and eat).

                                                                        1. helenahimm Dec 8, 2009 04:41 AM

                                                                          I am a bookshelver. work in a bookstore. Used to be a Graphic Designer & Marketing Assistant.

                                                                          Come everyday after work, read about food, write in my food journal... working on my recipes since 2007 to open a place in DC Area... perhaps a Panamanian Food Cart =) with GranMa Tamales Recipes, and my Mom's Lomo Guisado w/ Fried Yuca... Who knows.. still i'm just a food-writer-wannable =)

                                                                          Cheers!

                                                                          1. SpudPal Dec 1, 2009 10:33 PM

                                                                            I'm new to Chowhound. I am a full-time, self-employed cartoonist. In my life, cooking and all foody delights fall under the category of relaxing/comforting/recreational pastime.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: SpudPal
                                                                              helenahimm Dec 8, 2009 04:35 AM

                                                                              Cartoonist? that's awesome, do you post them on a website, please share the url =)

                                                                              1. re: helenahimm
                                                                                SpudPal Jan 9, 2010 09:40 PM

                                                                                Sure! My site is angryalien.com. I created a thing called Thirty Second Bunnies Theatre and make one bunny short per month. The bunnies often tweet about their farmer's market outings.

                                                                                1. re: SpudPal
                                                                                  BobB Jan 11, 2010 06:06 AM

                                                                                  Brilliant stuff! Your cartoons are absolutely addictive. Keep up the good work!

                                                                            2. m
                                                                              marlie202 Nov 18, 2009 05:31 AM

                                                                              I am now a photo journalist

                                                                              1. ChristinaMason Nov 17, 2009 04:50 AM

                                                                                I work in staff writing/presentations training and assessment at [insert international finance institution renown for a) pissing off globalization protesters and b) having REALLY awesome cafeterias]. Unfortunately, I'm telecommuting from Berlin this year, which means I don't get to reap the benefits of said cafeterias. The plus side is I have *much* more time to cook at home. I love that.

                                                                                Before this gig, I worked as a waitress and bartender in a couple mid-level restaurants in DC, which deepened my interest in food. I've also suffered under lawyers and any number of boring desk jobs.

                                                                                Even as a kid, I loved reading cookbooks...they really are transporting!

                                                                                1. d
                                                                                  DC in DC Nov 16, 2009 06:38 PM

                                                                                  This is one of my all-time favorite threads; it's fantastic to learn a bit about each of you. I'm a lobbyist and I live in Washington, DC. Growing up, my family gave little to no thought to good food, which is especially tragic since I come from Northern California. Go figure. But I lucked out and worked a string of restaurant jobs during high school and college. I was hooked and great eats have been a lifetime obsession ever since.

                                                                                  1. jeniyo Nov 9, 2009 03:46 PM

                                                                                    i'm a paper pusher in a private company. I work in a cube and i commute home. I am always in a hurry to get home and eat.

                                                                                    i've always dreamed of going to cooking school. not sure if i'm good enough tho...

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: jeniyo
                                                                                      w
                                                                                      walker Nov 9, 2009 06:38 PM

                                                                                      I just read 2 books by cooks: Spiced and Cooking Dirty. (They are recent books.) There are probably a lot more books about cooking by cooks -- maybe you can get some ideas.

                                                                                      1. re: walker
                                                                                        jeniyo Nov 11, 2009 01:57 PM

                                                                                        thanks! i'll pick them up this week =)

                                                                                        1. re: jeniyo
                                                                                          w
                                                                                          walker Nov 11, 2009 08:50 PM

                                                                                          I got them from the library; I don't recommend buying them. I'm kind of sorry I spent all the time reading Cooking Dirty. Have you read Anthony Bourdain's books? I love his shows, what a dream job he has!!

                                                                                          1. re: walker
                                                                                            b
                                                                                            basildip Jan 15, 2010 10:32 AM

                                                                                            I think he has a dream show (for us) as opposed to a dream job. He gives me the impression that he often suffers through his assignments. He sometimes
                                                                                            asks, "Can you spell alka seltzer?" And some of the physical rigors his producers line up for him (mud baths) and (all terrain vehicles almost crushing him), makes him look as if he's rather be on a hammock with a beer. But it is a dream show for us to watch. I do love it.

                                                                                    2. k
                                                                                      KristieB Oct 20, 2009 11:05 PM

                                                                                      Right now I shelve books in a library. This takes more finesse than one would think. We man the conveyor belt and take the checked in books from the bins and put them in specific order on the carts. Then we take them out to the main library and reshelve them.

                                                                                      I have also done the following jobs:

                                                                                      Quality Assurance Person/Transcriptionist for a medical transcription company

                                                                                      Worked at the end of the oven in a screen printing garment factory
                                                                                      Sewed in that same factory.
                                                                                      Worked in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and private homes as a nursing assistant.

                                                                                      Drove my personal vehicle as a delivery person for a submarine sandwich company.

                                                                                      Worked in two different craft stores.

                                                                                      Worked concessions and then box office for a movie theater.

                                                                                      Worked as a clerical for a surgeon's office. Also booked appointments for the same office.

                                                                                      Worked in a sewing factory that made medical software such as neoprene wrist and knee braces

                                                                                      And babysat various children.

                                                                                      Yep...I think that covers all the many hat's I"ve worn.

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: KristieB
                                                                                        c oliver Oct 21, 2009 01:54 PM

                                                                                        So far :)

                                                                                        BTW, I agree; booksheving done incorrectly amounts to throwing the books away. As a former library volunteer and business manager and now avid user, I think you on behalf of all the users at your branch.

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                          k
                                                                                          KristieB Oct 21, 2009 08:55 PM

                                                                                          I can't tell you both how refreshing it is to hear these compliments. Thank you so much!! And you're welcome.

                                                                                        2. re: KristieB
                                                                                          t
                                                                                          tonina_mdc Oct 21, 2009 05:54 PM

                                                                                          On behalf of my mother, a devoted lifelong librarian, thanks for making sure those books end up back where they belong. Physical versions of reading and research materials cannot help anyone if they're nowhere to be found!

                                                                                          1. re: tonina_mdc
                                                                                            k
                                                                                            KristieB Oct 21, 2009 08:54 PM

                                                                                            Please tell her she is entirely welcome. I have been a library patron since I was about 7 yrs old and I have always hated it when patrons shove stuff where it does'nt belong! What I can't figure out is as much as I've always loved the library why I didn't go into library science. I still might do that.

                                                                                            1. re: KristieB
                                                                                              o
                                                                                              omnidora Oct 24, 2009 10:39 PM

                                                                                              I am concerned about libraries too!

                                                                                              About my livelihood, I work in media/publishing and my job involves being a little public. What I like about CH is that I come here and bash away on the keys without being my "public" self. Yet I am still among people and get to be social. Food is what life is all about for me. Speaking of mothers, my mother spent some time working around food - apprenticed in a charcuterie, got a food handler's license. She did this later, after her kids had grown up. Though I am not myself a pro, a certain professional relationship with food runs in the family. Anyway! This is a lovely place. It's also nice to be on a board where the main activity isn't self-promotion. :) I'm enjoying it.

                                                                                        3. t
                                                                                          tonina_mdc Sep 23, 2009 12:22 PM

                                                                                          I knew Chowhounders were a cool crew, but the level of literacy seems surprising to me after other boards on the Net! I'm a F/T student studying for a bachelor's in health information management. My parents both cooked (mom made everyday stuff, dad pasta sauce, lasagna, and soups), but my first true Chowhound influence was my godfather, who was a marvelous chef and dearly loved to find new and wonderful places to eat. I would watch him prep and cook and it was my favorite place to be in all the world.

                                                                                          After college, I worked in journalism for a few years at a small-town paper, during which time I became severely physically disabled. The paper kicked me out for being "incapable" of doing the job, so I was deeply upset. I had my son about a year later and by then I felt like I didn't have much to offer anyone.

                                                                                          When he was an infant, I started watching a couple of cooking shows in the afternoon (Giada De Laurentiis and Barefoot Contessa) and doing so reawakened an old interest. I didn't really get a chance to do much cooking or baking, though until late last year when we moved into our new house. The old place was a rental with my son's bedroom right next to the kitchen; I couldn't cook or even clean up the kitchen without waking him! I've been cooking and baking like a fiend ever since, school notwithstanding, and trying to put all I can remember into practice. Cooking and baking are stress relievers for me - I make myself happy by making food so others can be happy. I love trying new recipes! We don't get out much, as my husband is a journalist and makes about as much as a first-year teacher in this state (Ohio). It's also hard to find places that make it possible, let alone convenient, for those with physical disabilities to patronize them! But I enjoy making and trying new foods, and I'm dragging my non-CH spouse in my wake.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: tonina_mdc
                                                                                            bushwickgirl Oct 17, 2009 11:31 PM

                                                                                            I have tried to read much of this post but it's just too damn long.
                                                                                            What I have read is that chowhounders are mostly an educated bunch or just food oriented or both. All good things.
                                                                                            I'm proud to be able to contribute, and sometimes get responses. It means much to me at this point:
                                                                                            My story:
                                                                                            Went to college, UConn. Graduated with BA in Eng Lit and because I cooked part time while in college, continued working in the field, and I really loved it. My parents never told me I could be a chef. It just wasn't the thing to do in 1974. In 1977 I met a female chef who had gone to culinary school and she opened my eyes, gave me hope and confidence, so I went to Johnson & Wales, after working in the restaurant industry for seven or so years.
                                                                                            Then I worked, worked, worked. I got two NYT two star reviews, two very favorable reviews in other publications (Connecticut Magazine, being one) and continued to work, work, work.
                                                                                            I moved to NYC in 1988, thinking I could move my career along but found that, not only was it the boy's club in the big city but no one in NYC knew about J & W. Strange. I kept working. Had to pay the rent. I opened my catering company and was successful for four years. Suddenly I was older and tired. I took a job at a deli, part time, got some computer skills, did some office temp work, but the deli won out and I worked there for five years. My knees started to go, the deli job went away, and I was locked into office situations, mostly in real estate.
                                                                                            In 2004, I was diagnosed with severe OA of Knees, spine and hips. I had suffered many injuries while working in restaurants and it finally caught up with me. I was on welfare, food stamps, the whole nine. I lost my apartment due to eviction in 2006. I went into a homeless shelter and eventually got SSI in 2007. I got an apartment in 2008 , after two years as a guest of the city of NY (not Central Booking or Rikers, thank God). Now I struggle to pay the rent and continue to dream of some food-related situation I could be involved in
                                                                                            when I win the lottery (I never buy tickets). Now I live in a studio, almost never get outside but still have a rich life. Could I see it coming? No way. Would I do it again? Absolutely. In a heartbeat. Food is and always will be, my life. Chowhound makes it happen for me.
                                                                                            Thanks, guys. You all have know idea what Chow means to me.

                                                                                            1. re: bushwickgirl
                                                                                              Sam Fujisaka Oct 18, 2009 04:37 AM

                                                                                              Wow, indeed. Look forward to your posts and perspectives!

                                                                                              1. re: bushwickgirl
                                                                                                c oliver Oct 20, 2009 08:24 PM

                                                                                                Oh, yes. Please post and post and post. You have paid your dues and we want to suck you dry :) Thanks.

                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                              saacnmama Sep 9, 2009 05:59 AM

                                                                                              I just looked through this whole thing (collapsed so I just see names and dates). I saw some interesting things, but none of the people I'm most curious about have posted about themselves here.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: saacnmama
                                                                                                DanaB Sep 10, 2009 02:32 AM

                                                                                                Who are you most curious about? Now, I am curious :-)

                                                                                              2. LANative Sep 7, 2009 12:38 PM

                                                                                                Wow, I didn't realize it has been so long! Sorry I never answered your question jeet jeet. I would do a lesson centered around the food & healthy eating, but w/a literacy connection (like Green Eggs & Ham, The Ugly Vegetables, etc). Then the children would write in their journals (or 'write' as in draw pictures/scribble, depending on how advanced their skills were) about the experience. Most foods were enjoyed.

                                                                                                Since I posted, I moved to the Cuddy Valley, west of Frazier Park, & while taking a year off, got my real estate license, & am working as a realtor locally. It is a challenging time to be a realtor, but I love this whole area, & it is fun to be learning a new skill. If it doesn't work out, I can sub or probably use my sp ed credential, which I have besides a multiple subjects. However, teaching sp ed is kind of like the mafia, once you are in, they never want to let you out, & although it is rewarding, I did that for so long, & really tired of all the politics involved.

                                                                                                Foodwise, we are only 40 minutes or less to the Basque restaurants in Bakersfield, or Castaic/Valencia & the wonderful Sagebrush Annie's. We have 2 very good Mexican restaurants, pizza & the yummy Dreamcastle in town. We also have a weekly organic delivery service, Abundant Harvest (abundantharvestorganics.com). We even have a wonderful wine festival in Pine Mountain Club every June (Wine in the Pines; wineinthepines.com) w/over 40 wineries plus food tastings & wine-related arts/crafts booths, and there is a wine/cheese fundraiser this weekend for Shelter on the Hill.

                                                                                                1. e
                                                                                                  evewitch Aug 24, 2009 06:40 PM

                                                                                                  Either I really never answered this or answered another similar thread. So my answer is much less interesting... I am unemployed after working for seven years for one of the big bad foodservice distributers (number 2, I think). On foodstamps, which affords me quite a lot of leeway as long as I buy at a regular grocery store and cook at home. Le sigh.

                                                                                                  1. j
                                                                                                    jackappetite Aug 24, 2009 02:58 PM

                                                                                                    I'm about 2 years late to this post... but very cool that this topic has been going on for so long! I'm a public health student in Baltimore, having quit my previous career as a comedy writer in NY and LA (between show seasons I also used to freelance fact-check for Zagats). I started using Chowhound to find out about restaurants NOT in Zagats. I've always loved reading about food, and now that I'm studying public health, (and am back to being a poor student) I've been more interested in cooking for myself and for my boyfriend who's also a student... I love that Chow hits the perfect tone of humorous and informative... And I refer to it often now that I humbly started food blogging... www.apublichealthyappetite.com

                                                                                                    1. s
                                                                                                      subal Aug 12, 2009 07:49 PM

                                                                                                      Retired manufacturing VP.
                                                                                                      Do volunteer work at local aquarium cleaning the shark tank!

                                                                                                      1. The Professor May 5, 2009 01:38 PM

                                                                                                        I have been in show business pretty much all of my life. Being a Chowhound and travelling as part of my job was a match made in heaven. Always an adventure, work wise, and dinner wise.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: The Professor
                                                                                                          MartiniGenie Aug 2, 2009 12:31 PM

                                                                                                          What a great read! It took me 2 hours to get thru.

                                                                                                          I started cooking at 10 and, like another CH, was watching Julia Child and Graham Kerr at that time. Still watching.

                                                                                                          Worked in Steak & Ale type restaurants for 15 years. Beginning in Bay City MI, continuing on to Dallas, TX and ending up in Ft Myers, FL and filling positions from bartender, server, hostess, pantry chef, app chef to floor manager. I was always asking the chefs what they put in their creations and the hiding around the corner to see if they had "accidentally" omitted something. <GRIN>. Learned how to boil bones.

                                                                                                          I then took a break for 5 years and started a small web design business that I still dabble in from time to time.

                                                                                                          Currently, I am a Mortgage Consultant working out of my home, which puts me in the lower/medium income bracket. SO laid off from construction industry. We have been eating at home mostly, but will put out bucks for quality product. Also keep private stock on hand always. Good news, market coming back around for me, so looking forward to a few great restaurants opened here.

                                                                                                        2. m
                                                                                                          modthyrth May 4, 2009 11:30 AM

                                                                                                          Tiara designer of nine years here. I'll bet I'm the only one on the thread who can claim that job title. ;-) It's not exactly putting that law degree to use, but the hours are a lot better, and it allows me to indulge in other interests like photography and travel.

                                                                                                          My favorite job was working for National Public Radio in DC. I still dream about going back to radio journalism.

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: modthyrth
                                                                                                            k
                                                                                                            kevin May 4, 2009 06:18 PM

                                                                                                            It sure sounds like we got a lot of lawyers on this thread. maybe it goes hand in hand.

                                                                                                            1. re: modthyrth
                                                                                                              ktmoomau May 5, 2009 02:33 PM

                                                                                                              Tiara designer? Really? That is soo cool. I have no idea why, but it is. NPR is a good place though I can see why you would miss it, we are lucky to have it.

                                                                                                              1. re: modthyrth
                                                                                                                h
                                                                                                                hungrycomposer May 5, 2009 10:15 PM

                                                                                                                Honestly? Tiaras? Wow! And who are your primary customers? (Or the customers of the company you design for?)

                                                                                                                1. re: hungrycomposer
                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                  modthyrth May 6, 2009 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                  It's my own company, and we primarily work with brides. A few proms and quinceaneras, the occasional Irish dancer, but almost all of our business is in the wedding industry. Try dealing with brides every day and see if you don't find solace in the easy, satisfying and (fairly) predictable world of food and cooking. ;-)

                                                                                                                  1. re: modthyrth
                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                    soupkitten May 7, 2009 10:26 AM

                                                                                                                    uh. . . assuming of course, that you're not catering weddings ;-P far from easy *or* predictable, i assure you! i once preferred not to take wedding jobs. now we're doing a lot of stuff we once preferred not to, to keep the lights on. . .

                                                                                                                    hey i've got a new idea, let's come out with "bridezilla spray!" it works like mace, but you whip the bottle out of your handbag or desk drawer, spray lavender aromatherapy at the attacking bridezilla, and lull her into a calm and tranquil, lovely person! perfect for anyone in the wedding industry! LOL

                                                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                                      modthyrth May 7, 2009 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                      I would pay big, big money for that. ;-) It can be difficult enough to deal with brides months before their weddings, and I can't imagine having to deal with them ON their wedding days. I love making extremely elaborate cakes, and often get encouraged to make wedding cakes. No no no no no no. I bow to you, Soupkitten, for what you do!

                                                                                                                      1. re: modthyrth
                                                                                                                        Candy Aug 2, 2009 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                        I'd rather deal with the bride than the mother of the bride and sometimes the mother of the groom is an absolute nightmare. Especially if she has not daughters to marry off

                                                                                                              2. corneygirl May 2, 2009 11:20 PM

                                                                                                                Bartender, student, and cook. Studying information systems, and love to cook. Recipes are algorithms. I love it, and can't follow them (recipes).

                                                                                                                1. j
                                                                                                                  Jimbosox04 May 2, 2009 05:27 AM

                                                                                                                  I am a Journeyman I.S. Forming Machine Operator working for Local GMP 169 .
                                                                                                                  Glass, Mould, Pottery and Plastics Union.
                                                                                                                  In laymans terms I am in a Glass Union making those bottles for Budweiser in extreme temperatures so every man and woman who chooses to drink Budweiser can do so from glass and not cans. Thanks for buying Glass !! Please recycle !!

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Jimbosox04
                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                    MAH May 2, 2009 10:53 PM

                                                                                                                    I am a lawyer in NYC, husband is a laywer/executive. We live reasonably well and because of my food obsession, spend a fair amount on food and wine. Although since we had our first child last fall we go out much much less and our food budget has drastically decreased. That said, we still eat like kings, just more meals prepared at home vs. out at restaurants.

                                                                                                                  2. Wahooty Apr 24, 2009 09:29 PM

                                                                                                                    I'm an analytical chemist, currently doing my postdoc (and occasionally teaching) at the University of Toronto and looking for a real job once that ends in a few months. Since I moved here, I've had several small raises since I'm working for a young professor who didn't get nearly as many grants funded as he thought he would when we first started out but has since been much more successful. I don't have a car, live in a tiny basement apartment in the suburbs, and have a Wal-Mart TV. With every bump in salary, I contemplate buying a car or moving to a bigger place, but find myself eating and drinking better instead. Couldn't be happier.

                                                                                                                    I get sent on one business trip a year, and generally file for the per diem instead of saving receipts so that I can have a $75 meal for $37.50 of my own money, or eat modestly for breakfast and lunch and save up enough to go nuts at dinner. This was admittedly much more fun a year ago when the Canadian dollar was at parity with the US. I still have to be pretty frugal, but when I do decide to splurge, it almost always involves chow. (Or shoes, but I find that even after extremely long braises, I can't make those suckers very tasty.)

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Wahooty
                                                                                                                      psb May 1, 2009 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                      >(Or shoes, but I find that even after extremely long braises, I can't make those
                                                                                                                      >suckers very tasty.)
                                                                                                                      >
                                                                                                                      maybe Alice Waters will send you her recipe for shoe:

                                                                                                                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werner_H...

                                                                                                                      1. re: psb
                                                                                                                        Wahooty May 1, 2009 08:35 PM

                                                                                                                        Hmm..."garlic, herbs and stock...." not much recipe back-calculating I can do with that. And if the soles are supposed to be the bones, I'm a little disappointed that they weren't saved for making a wingtip stock.

                                                                                                                    2. e
                                                                                                                      easily amused Apr 24, 2009 07:42 PM

                                                                                                                      Recently took an early retirement from healthcare.. Spent 25 yrs of it in an Operating Room..the first 7 in an Emergency department....Present focus is writing...

                                                                                                                      1. kchurchill5 Apr 21, 2009 08:00 PM

                                                                                                                        Well, past chef, assistant second chef ... whatever they called me, co owner of a great upscale diner, caterer, personal chef, manager of Mote Marine Laboratory ... Marine Lab in FL, graphic designer, advertising consulting, personal care taker and chef and I work on a research vessel compiling data and research material. I cook and am obsessed but I cook with limited means, fancy tools and appliances and gadgets don't impress me. I like the challenge of cooking a great meal with just what is available. I don't think tools make the dinner, the chef does. A great chef can make a great dinner with the simplist of foods and the simplist of tools. That is what I enjoy. I just got on here recently and I am mostly impressed. I do find some comments and some comments pretty biased, but hey ... isn't that what makes it interesting.

                                                                                                                        Overall I love the experience.

                                                                                                                        1. speyerer Apr 21, 2009 10:26 AM

                                                                                                                          I have been a Registered Nurse for the past 44 years. I am now retired and spend my time woodworking and cooking
                                                                                                                          I am also retired from the United States Navy.

                                                                                                                          1. Demented Apr 10, 2009 05:12 PM

                                                                                                                            Over the years I've had many jobs, among them dish washer and grill cook and high-rise window washer. My career was as a Motion Picture studio Grip, did quite a bit of side work as a bouncer.

                                                                                                                            1. tracylee Apr 7, 2009 09:50 PM

                                                                                                                              OK, I replied to this thread once before, and found it in my thread list....As of April 27th, I'll be one of th 5,000 people laid off by IBM. Many opportunities to change careers abound, but in this economy, things are not pretty!

                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: tracylee
                                                                                                                                applehome Apr 10, 2009 10:22 AM

                                                                                                                                Good luck, tracylee. I was an IBM'er (Global Services) for about a year when JP Morgan outsourced us. Then they merged with BankOne who had just gotten out of an IBM contract and promptly canceled the outsource deal. So we went back to JPM - for about a year, then they laid us all off. What a life. But it's made me rethink my 35 year career in Telecommunications and IT. I sure do enjoy cooking a lot more than managing network engineers. Not that I want to go the culinary school route or even work in a kitchen - but there are all kinds of niches out there, some not doing so well because of the recession, but perhaps, chances to align oneself with a concern that can grow when the time and money is right. Anyway, good luck, again. I'm afraid we all need some these days.

                                                                                                                                1. re: applehome
                                                                                                                                  tracylee Apr 21, 2009 07:51 PM

                                                                                                                                  Thanks, applehome. I'm just finishing copying my personal files off my PC before heading out on vacation in the morning. Won't be returning as the 27th occurs during vacation.

                                                                                                                                  I've gotten a few bites, and pondering other careers has been interesting!
                                                                                                                                  At least the severance package is pretty good.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: tracylee
                                                                                                                                    Eat_Nopal Apr 24, 2009 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                    A bit of advice on career planning if I may. Wealthy Business owners often quote a Biz Guru that recommends hiring stars in all your key, pivotal, game breaking positions.

                                                                                                                                    The flipside of this as an employee of said wealthy business owners... is that if you want to have the most control of your destiny, first you need to be a star performer... and there are ways you can enhance your chances of being and being perceived as a star performer.

                                                                                                                                    2nd... leverage your status as a star performer to get yourself only positions where you can influence business outcomes, and have access to all the sensitive information to understand when a biz is no longer viable or going to go through lots of turmoil.

                                                                                                                                    Finally... be aware that Middle Class culture and its educational systems tends to brainwash people into being good, loyal technocrats and tends to beat the truly creative, risk taking aspects out of people. And unfortunately also creates this image that Sales is an undesirable profession for those with less intellectual abilities etc.,

                                                                                                                                    However, Sales / Deal Making is the single most rewarded skill in business. I am sure we are all aware of the TARP funded Bank bonus controversies. A successful banker who loans money to banks typically makes $200k a year in a stable fashion and has access to expense accounts, a great Credit Committe manager responsible for the risk analysis etc., makes $100 to $150k a year with no expense accounts. A mediocre Investment Banker in a hot market will make $750k +.... a strong Investment Banker when all hell has broken loose still makes a 7 figure income... and on average more than the most CEOs.

                                                                                                                                    Sales is an integral skill in every single profession, no business exists without selling ability. So even if you don't intend to do it as a profession... it is never a bad idea to leverage your technocratic sklls to do high level sales / deal making in your industry... for a couple of years. You will actually improve your value as a technocrat immensely by having that experience.

                                                                                                                                    Its ABC.... we are all always selling. Hell, I am selling on this post. I am selling with every single post I make on Chowhound. You can either be poor at it... or have better than average skills... that is the choice.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                      applehome Apr 24, 2009 03:15 PM

                                                                                                                                      Technology paints a different picture, the value of sales notwithstanding. The value of interpersonal skills, as a whole, is a big key - but problem solving and delivering the technical goods is still the raison d'etre of your salary base. The "wealthy business owners" treat you as a hired gun, or a manager of hired guns - and the alpha and the omega is the bottom line - you must deliver the technology on time and with a predictable cost. Yes, you have to sell your solutions, but once its presented in numbers, that's easier than you might think. It's just the cost of doing business.

                                                                                                                                      There was a time, in the eighties and nineties, when people looked for technology to integrate with the business and drive products as well as costs. That's long gone. Things are standardized to the point that everything's done to meet the most common denominators - common systems, common certificates demonstrating common skills, common goals (everybody's best practices are the same). If there's any out-of-the-box thinking that business folks want these days, it's how to follow the leader better. There is no training, no internal development of skills, no paying for experience, no proud development of an internal technology culture. It's cheaper to dump the experience and buy the latest skill available. And the cheaper you can get that skill, the better for the bottom line. The whole world of Information Technology has moved into the commodity marketplace. Technological differentiation is a non-sequitur.

                                                                                                                                      Imagine the food business (to bring this back here) that doesn't care if you've been a pastry chef for 30 years, because all they care about is cheesecake and tiramisu - that covers 80% of the common denominator public at 20% of the cost. Sales are assured and the bottom line is maintained. Can you really sell them that you can actually produce some better, unique products that can help them differentiate themselves in the marketplace? That depends - is this TFL, or is it the Cheesecake Factory? There aren't that many TFL's, but the CCF's are multiplying, even in these dreaded times. That's because there's a lot of deals being made by people who are taking their cut, and the biggest cuts come from the shear number of CCF's. After all, there's only one Thomas Keller, but the CIA is graduating new "chefs" every day.

                                                                                                                                      Yes, dealmakers make money. And the shorter term, quantity oriented dealmakers make the most money. If that screws up the rest of the world or our own environment, well - who cares? I've got mine, and I no longer have to eat at the CCF's I helped to promulgate. Feh. I say self-actualize doing something meaningful to you. Maybe that brings you money, maybe not so much. You'll feel better.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: applehome
                                                                                                                                        Eat_Nopal Apr 24, 2009 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                                        Self Actualization > Making Money

                                                                                                                                        Having Reasonable Control Over Your Employment > Not Having Control Over Your Employment

                                                                                                                                        My last job was designing & selling Oracle based solutions primarily for Mid Sized companies in various industry footprints. The reason I got the job is that I was a strong financial person (Controller, Director of Financial Analysis etc.,) with above average IT skills. I went that route when I realized I needed a different skill set to move up to the next level.

                                                                                                                                        With the new skill set under my belt I landed the opportunity I was hoping for.... however being 8 years younger than the average young person in my position.. the reason I could be competitive is because I offered a three for one... (1) technocratic / analytic skills of a successful "doer", (2) sales / persuasion, deal-making ability of someone who carried a quota, and convinced other C-level executives to spend money on x solution and (3) my seemingly unrelated experience implementing & SELLING ERP, BI, CRM, Database etc., means I can also fullfill the CIO role.

                                                                                                                                        One thing that has become very obvious to me in the last 3 months, as that the majority of next generation CIOs (and boy is there a big lack of good ones in the country) are going to come from the Finance side... or will be IT Directors that somehow get Finance experience.

                                                                                                                                        As the tech & information saavy Finance people start running IT a little more... the day of the big standardized (poor fit) solutions is limited (particularly among processes that differentiate businesses within an industry).

                                                                                                                                        The whole configurable ERP model has been a huge failure... it arose because there was a big skill gap... IT people who don't have enough Business or Financial knowledge & Management & Finance people who don't have enough IT knowledge... ERP was sort of a compromise solution.

                                                                                                                                        I have no doubt Oracle, IBM and others will continue to make a lot of money covering the huge gaps in most Corporate business systems. But at the same time a new Service driven model involving Open Source software & development frameworks is going to be financially very lucrative while putting emphasize on re-staffing IT Departments and moving away from the Outsourcing & Standardization mania that has dominated Enterprise Wide IT systems over the last 10 to 15 years.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                          applehome Apr 24, 2009 07:20 PM

                                                                                                                                          I hope you're as right on with this as you are with Mexican cuisine. I'd love to see that re-staffing occur in my lifetime, even if I've long since decided to move on to making yakibuta for the ramen shops.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: applehome
                                                                                                                                            Eat_Nopal Apr 24, 2009 07:27 PM

                                                                                                                                            Don't worry the way technology is going... soon you will be able to work for an Indian company's Developer Factory in Indiana where a very high tech interface will allow you to "write" object oriented code simply by visualizing the workflow logic (the Indians think Drag & Drop programming is soooo 2008). As long as you can multi-task you will be to make the yakibuta at the same time... in fact most of your colleagues will be Pakistani illegal immigrants making Samosas for Amy's Kitchen on the side.

                                                                                                                                            No harm intended for any Pakistanis or Indians in this message.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: applehome
                                                                                                                                              Eat_Nopal Apr 24, 2009 07:32 PM

                                                                                                                                              On a serious note... the economics of running a business with modern tools that actually enable communication & decision making ability are such that running most of your critical, non-commodity applicaitons is significantly cheaper in house + open source tools... with/without SAAS, HAAS, PAAS... or any type of AAS... than it is to buy expensive packages, technology licenses, outsource DBA, hire consulting firms to develop, hire MBAs to understand configurations, do expensive BI projects etc., etc., etc.,

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                                                                                          The Chowhound Team Apr 28, 2009 09:51 AM

                                                                                                                                          There's good information in this digression, but it's really a bit too not about food for the Not about Food board. We'll leave it, but ask that if you want to continue to discuss career building, please do so by email. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                  2. nsenada Mar 12, 2009 12:55 PM

                                                                                                                                    I'm an immigration lawyer in Boston. My clients have opened my palate up to some very interesting (and terrifying) experiences. Not quite as interesting or terrifying as the U.S. immigration system, though.

                                                                                                                                    1. beccabones Mar 11, 2009 08:29 PM

                                                                                                                                      I'm a college student, studying archeology (considering transfering to culinary school) & spending every last dime of mine on the best food I can find.

                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: beccabones
                                                                                                                                        BobB Mar 12, 2009 07:08 AM

                                                                                                                                        And you won't even need to change your board name - both your current and proposed fields involve bones!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: beccabones
                                                                                                                                          kirinraj Apr 10, 2009 08:20 PM

                                                                                                                                          Hey, thats what im planning to study in college! I would stick with it cuz its a great subject.

                                                                                                                                        2. cuccubear Feb 10, 2009 09:39 AM

                                                                                                                                          Hurray! I’m the 769th chowhound to reply to this thread! I’m so happy it’s still going strong! I am a Production Estimator/Planner for a local printing company doing business throughout Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland. I live far from the big city, so chowhound choices must be taken advantage of when they arise. Fortunately the local immigrant population has the entrepreneurial spirit creating a spectrum of ethnic foods options.

                                                                                                                                          1. m
                                                                                                                                            milkyway4679 Jan 12, 2009 08:02 PM

                                                                                                                                            Well...I am a full-time undergrad, earning a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a self-designed Advertising major. I am also a, hmm; well, I work for a library. I do not have a library school degree (will eventually) but, do just about everything a librarian does...so...I am a librarian of sorts.

                                                                                                                                            1. k
                                                                                                                                              KevinB Jan 12, 2009 05:55 AM

                                                                                                                                              I am a member of the vanguard from the fifth planet of the star you call "Pollux". The greatest thing you have on earth is the wide variety of food and flavours; it makes the rest of the drudgery worthwhile.

                                                                                                                                              By the way, since I'm 6'8", totally bald, and have a pale green complexion, I'd have thought someone would have noticed. Stupid earthlings! HAHAHHAHHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                              1. alixium Jan 9, 2009 05:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                so odd, no one does what I do...
                                                                                                                                                I am a concierge in a four-star hotel. So I actually have an excuse to go eat out! I love recommending great gems, and sending clients to a restaurant that "was exactly what [they] were thinking of!"

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: alixium
                                                                                                                                                  d
                                                                                                                                                  DishDelish Aug 4, 2009 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Well I am not currently a Concierge, but I used to be! I loved that job.
                                                                                                                                                  Now I am the parent of a 6yr, 2yr, and 5 month old with my wonderful husband. It is a big job raising the future foodies of the world. ;) My hubby manages a local Hawaiian restaurant here in AK.
                                                                                                                                                  My next career? Well, a bit more school left. I am hoping to go back next year and would like to study Nutrition. Also would like to have music and photography on the side as I love the arts. My hubby and I wouldn't mind opening our own Restaurant or specialty food shop someday as well. So many possibilities!

                                                                                                                                                2. i
                                                                                                                                                  Ideefixed Jan 1, 2009 01:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I thought I'd answered this, but maybe in a different incarnation.

                                                                                                                                                  I'm an archival film producer/researcher and my husband is a chef, in Los Angeles. Grew up on a cattle ranch, so love beef, but my mother couldn't cook to save her life. Husband's mother noted food scholar, but kinda not-so-great home cook. Love to eat, travel to eat, and actually know how to cook, despite 25 years of husband criticizing my lack of knife skills.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ideefixed
                                                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                                                    lecker Jan 2, 2009 07:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I'd rather drive 800 miles for a memorable meal than drive 2 miles to the local shopping mall. I LOVE eating fabulous meals, experiencing new sensations through different cuisines and appreciating beautiful creations invented by talented culinary artists all over the world.

                                                                                                                                                    I used to be a part of the DINKS-double income no kids, and burned my disposable income every night on great food, wine and travel. Presently, I'm a trailing spouse; quit my job couple years ago to follow my husband back overseas. It's been an interesting transition, being dependent on someone (my husband) and living on only one income between the two of us. It's been a great learning experience because it allowed us to realize how much we actually spent on dining out on great food and wine, almost on a regular basis, when we were both working and meeting up at a restaurant after work.

                                                                                                                                                    I'll be back in the rat race in a few months-I'm an engineer by training. We'll be DINKS again but we'll be living in a country where the food options won't be so diverse and rich as what we've experienced before.

                                                                                                                                                    This post is interesting because of the diversity of the respondents and the fact that we all make clear choices about what we want to emphasis in our lives fuller. Yes, I could have spent my disposable money (when I was working), on things to fill my household (furniture, gadgets, etc). But instead, I spent it on experiences such as eating, traveling, drinking, eating, traveling, drinking, etc.

                                                                                                                                                  2. s
                                                                                                                                                    stradacouple Jan 1, 2009 10:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Wow...what a great post. Ok, so here goes. My wife and I live in Boston. I work as an executive (Human Resources Vice Persident) for a hospital. My wife used to teach and work as a school administrator. I developed my appreciation for food as a kid from my "italian" grandmother and mom, love the art of food and dining, and am in awe of talented chefs. We tend to eat out 2-3 times a week. We have been fortunate to have traveled a lot and have experienced some amazing restaurants around the world. Our son, who is in law school in San Diego is a foodie just like me (makes a dad proud) so we head to San Diego every few months to visit (and search out some great meals).

                                                                                                                                                    1. cassoulady Dec 31, 2008 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I work for a small publishing company. I live in Boston with my two dogs and kitty. I have been cooking a lot for the past few years. I love to entertain and have friends over to test my new recipes.

                                                                                                                                                      1. tracylee Dec 1, 2008 09:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                        IT Specialist (Programmer/Analyst) here. I grew up in a family that loves to travel, as well as spending a couple of years in the Peace Corps in the late '80s. From zero income to now, I found that my weight was directly proportional to my income! LOL. Got the weight back under control, but I love food, read cookbooks like novels.

                                                                                                                                                        My SO is a professional sax player with a huge appetite, who encourages my exploration of new and different foods.

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tracylee
                                                                                                                                                          Cancuk Dec 10, 2008 04:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I run a wine brokerage company that lets me travel all over the world... and therefore eat all over the world.

                                                                                                                                                          My mother was a trained French chef, so I had an early start on chowing.

                                                                                                                                                          Basically, eating good food and drinking good wine is my favourite thing in the world.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cancuk
                                                                                                                                                            bermudagourmetgoddess Dec 31, 2008 08:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Well I am a newbie to CH, I am so sorry i haven't discovered it earlier! I love it.

                                                                                                                                                            I started working in restaurants very young, bartener, server, cook...which lead to a position as a Corporate Planner, (don't ask, long story) which lead me to a position as Director of Catering wtih a hotel in, then back to Copr. Planner for a Offshore Investment Company when the hotel closed.

                                                                                                                                                            My husband is a Fisherman, as was my mother and my father a shrimper way back when. So have been around food my entire life.

                                                                                                                                                            I was very lucky to have parents who served, as my freinds called it "strange food" growing up, I was introduced to so much at an early agea nd have never lookde back. And even though we are not Chinese, I was learned to eat with Chop sticks before using a fork...I sitll today like to eat with them. My mom BFF was Chinese and she had a lot influence in our family.

                                                                                                                                                            The only thing I think I don't eat is .....

                                                                                                                                                        2. sukekiyo Nov 30, 2008 11:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Fledgling MD in New York - I still have trouble referring to myself as "doctor". :)

                                                                                                                                                          1. a
                                                                                                                                                            AngelSanctuary Nov 26, 2008 10:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                            I'm a poor poor psychology student...who is transferring schools...then I will be a poor poor student training to be a chef D=!

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AngelSanctuary
                                                                                                                                                              JungMann Dec 1, 2008 06:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                              I was a poor, poor psychology student (hence the name), who is now a poor, poor CH!

                                                                                                                                                            2. tasaday Nov 25, 2008 05:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Ok, finally got to the bottom of the thread, and it seems I'm the only cop on here, I've seen a 911 dispatcher and some training folks, but no actual law enforcers! I originally got my degree in psychology, but ended up working for the feds in law enforcement for several years, which got me traveling and trying some restaurants around the country. Then I left them, and joined a local police dept. where I've been for many years now. I'm a single dad, and am happily showing my teen daughter the joys of being a chowhound, I had to laugh one day when she told me all the boys she knows are food wimps, they don't like to try anything new, and think that the Fire sauce at Taco Bell is too hot. My salary can't compare to some of those here, but I do earn enough to get out at least a few times a month to indulge my CH yearnings!

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tasaday
                                                                                                                                                                applehome Nov 27, 2008 02:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Although I haven't seen him post in a while, Chris Cognac (User: ccognac) is a fellow cop. He was on TV first in an Alton Brown Feasting on Asphalt segment (first season, in uniform, finishing up the tour in LA - the old, beat cops know where to get the best food shtick), then FN gave him his own show, called The Hungry Detective. I believe that he's back to being a beat cop, but doing some reviewing locally.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: applehome
                                                                                                                                                                  tasaday Nov 27, 2008 06:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Aha, thanks applehome, nice to know I'm not alone! I'll have to keep an eye out for his posts!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tasaday
                                                                                                                                                                    k
                                                                                                                                                                    kevin Apr 21, 2009 02:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    He has a website called Culinary Detective and he's a peripatetic South Bay (near Los Angeles) beat cop.

                                                                                                                                                              2. k
                                                                                                                                                                karen2006 Nov 24, 2008 09:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I keep meaning to respond to this one. It's really fun reading about what people do besides loving good food and drink! I have a background in biochemistry/chemistry and am in law school right now. Planning on going the intellectual property route. Hubby is a software developer. I grew up with really good made from scratch food...he, grew up with organic, no salt/seasoning, ultra-healthy grub. I think we've manage to hit a good balance between healthy and tasty foods.

                                                                                                                                                                1. kirinraj Nov 24, 2008 09:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  High school sophomore...fun stuff. I got into food b/c I'm really into archaeology/cultural anthropology and food wasn't that big of a leap. I started to cook and now do it almost every night, originally because I wanted to experience what it is like in different countries, but now I just love good food. I now am now a CH addict and read a few of the boards at least once a day. I'm also gonna volunteer. Amigos de las Americas next summer, which should be an interesting food experience. Haven't got assigned to a country next...I think I will in Feb.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. al b. darned Nov 22, 2008 09:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    It appears that I am the only one here who inspects boilers for a living. OK, it's a but more than that,. but not any more glamorous. Before joining the Navy I worked in the restaurant business, made concrete blocks, molded the plugs onto Shop Vac and Black Decker Drill cords, and was a petroleum transfer technician. After getting out of the service
                                                                                                                                                                    I fell into the boiler inspection trade, where I can use my only two real talents, running my mouth and being nosey.

                                                                                                                                                                    When traveling I try to eat like the locals (and even when in the Navy when it was safe) avoiding the normal fast food joints whenever possible.

                                                                                                                                                                    DW (an accountant) is sort of a "closet CH." When someone asks her if she cooks, she will reply, "We eat better when he cooks." And if it was up to her for cooking skills we would mostly survive on hot dogs and blue box mac & cheese. While she doesn't cook, she enjoys a nice night out at a local Japanese restaurant or other "real" ethnic place.

                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: al b. darned
                                                                                                                                                                      Bill Hunt Dec 30, 2008 07:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Hey, in another lifetime, I designed ASME unfired pressure vessels, so that is close to "boilers," just without the fire!

                                                                                                                                                                      If you ever take I-10 across the Pearl River, the bascule section is my design. Have a safe drive!

                                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                                                                                                        al b. darned Jan 10, 2009 08:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        >>>
                                                                                                                                                                        Hey, in another lifetime, I designed ASME unfired pressure vessels,...
                                                                                                                                                                        <<<

                                                                                                                                                                        Then you had to put up with people like me. I was the shop inspector for several UPV shops when I was working for a different employer. Like they say, "Those that can, do. Those that can't inspect those that can." I couldn't weld a seam if my life depended on it, but I can tell you what is wrong with yours.

                                                                                                                                                                        >>>
                                                                                                                                                                        If you ever take I-10 across the Pearl River, the bascule section is my design...
                                                                                                                                                                        <<<

                                                                                                                                                                        While I probably won't ever see this since I am on the right coast, it must be a real trip to look at something like that and say, "I designed that." (I'd need to have a convertible just so I could get my swell head in the car!)

                                                                                                                                                                    2. r
                                                                                                                                                                      rllevy Nov 21, 2008 08:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      back in the pre-grad-school days, I was a Chemical Engineer in Marketing and Technical Services; I primarily worked in applications development for my former company's food technology products. Interesting work, when I did formulation development I got to cook/bake all day which was a fun alternative to, say, my chemE friends who worked for Shell. or Monsanto.

                                                                                                                                                                      currently I'm a graduate student getting my MBA. exploring a few things; focusing on business analysis, development and strategy. my target industry is pipeline and intellectual property valuation in the pharma/med device area.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. worldwidestuff Nov 9, 2008 05:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I import home & garden decor, currently more garden.
                                                                                                                                                                        Travel to China for business, which give me great opportunities to eat and talk about it.

                                                                                                                                                                        www.taosourcing.com

                                                                                                                                                                        1. l
                                                                                                                                                                          laurachow Nov 8, 2008 09:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          I recently got a job working at our local food co-op, so I'm surrounded by fabulous organic local food all day, every day. And, having a deli downstairs cooking and baking deliciously aromatic foods which wafts upstairs to my desk all day long is so tempting. I eat w-a-y too much at work!

                                                                                                                                                                          As far as income, well that's another story. We certainly are not higher income than the average working person. We do not skimp on purchasing quality food for cooking at home, but we cannot splurge on expensive restaurants. If I still lived in a city full of amazing restaurants that would be more difficult, but our little burg has a limited number of really fine restaurants so we tend to be happy eating Thai or at other moderately-priced places.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. oldbaycupcake Nov 7, 2008 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Restaurant Consultant, mostly work with independent and franchise groups to develop Operations procedures, Training programs and Menu Items. Write articles and make presentations on Customer Service, Women in Business and Cost Control issues. Have a political science degree and was originally a political speech writer.

                                                                                                                                                                            Working in the foodservice industry has allowed me to travel all over the country & the world, eat well, expand my culinary horizons and meet great people. When I'm home I enjoy cooking for friends and family incorporating things I've learned and using ingredients discovered during my travels. Passionate about a couple of non-profits that are trying to end childhood hunger, provide nutritional education and training to low income families.

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: oldbaycupcake
                                                                                                                                                                              z
                                                                                                                                                                              ZoeZ Nov 8, 2008 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Royal Air Force brat born in England of Scottish parents. Dad stationed in NW England as a child where I experienced my first Chowhound nirvana high at 5 when the neighbor made stuffed marrow with sausage, sage, onion, bread with a thick gravy. I thought I had landed on the moon it was so delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                              Lived in US all my adult life after coming here to work at the UN. Now a real estate developer working on creating a resort continuing care retirement community in Palm Springs to be marketed to the Gay and Lesbian Community (LBGT).

                                                                                                                                                                            2. krisrishere Nov 7, 2008 09:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              I know this is an old topic, but I enjoyed reading it so I'll put my two-cents in! I'm new to CH and I'm addicted. :) I grew up in an Italian/Scottish household in MA on the northshore, now I'm in Norfolk, VA (the armpit of Hampton Roads). I am currently working as a Catering Coordinator for a private school, but a big name "food service company" signs my measly paychecks. My husband and I live a comfortable life, but money is tight. Because there's nothing to do down here, we eat. Whether it be at home, or in a decent restaurant, that seems to be our weekend fun. About 4 times a year we'll splurge on an expensive dinner and that's just fine with me. I'm afraid anything more would lose it's appeal and excitement quickly, but I could be wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. m
                                                                                                                                                                                mjhals Nov 7, 2008 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Cool thread, I do like knowing what some of the "familiar faces" are up to.

                                                                                                                                                                                As for me, I'm in the military- a JAG officer. Great job, and such fun people, but not a lot of chowers. Still, lots of opportunities to travel (albeit sometimes to places you'd rather not go...), and eat well.

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mjhals
                                                                                                                                                                                  invinotheresverde Sep 9, 2009 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  You'd be surprised at how well I ate in Kuwait. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm a sommelier.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. BobB Nov 7, 2008 07:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Global business development for a high tech company. A native Bostonian, I've also lived on the West Coast and in Europe, and spent much of the past couple of decades traveling and getting to eat out in many different parts of the world. My wife is a Russian-born-and-raised mathematician, working in software these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                  We love food, cooking, entertaining, and dining out, but being both small of stature and not as young as we used to be our capacity is limited, so I'm one of those annoying people on the boards who's always complaining that portion sizes (especially in the US!) are too big.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Bill Hunt Nov 6, 2008 05:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Did I answer this at some time in the past? Can't find any posts from me, but with 700+ replies, maybe I missed it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Anyway, here goes. Advertising photographer. Wife is President of the largest Catholic hospital west of the Mississippi River and the largest in a 5-state region.

                                                                                                                                                                                    As we travel the world, most often on business, I get to pick the restaurants, should we find that we have a "night off." She has about 6 meetings per year in Las Vegas. Only way that I will attend, is if I get a night, or two, with her at the restaurant of my choice.

                                                                                                                                                                                    We are both winos, though I am a 32nd Degree Wino, so that is always a focus of our dining. We appreciate all cuisines, and gravitate to innovative chefs and sommeliers. If I can learn something on either the wine, or the food front, I am pleased. As I am also visually oriented, I appreciate creative presentations - one needs a certain amount of light for that. [Note to restauranteurs: if I cannot see the food, I am less enamored with it. I do not need darkness for a "romatic" evening. If I require darkness, I'll do that when either back at home, or in our room.]

                                                                                                                                                                                    We always travel BC, or FC, and in those cabins, ariline food and wine are important. Wow me. Show me something that I do not expect, but can appreciate. For me, every meal should also be a wine tasting. If the airline lists 8 wines, please have them all on board for my flight. I want to taste them all.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Though wife is a great cook, and could well be a chef, if she were not so very good at what she does, we do not get to really do that much cooking - a big problem, but then we're in the air, more than we're at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                    When we entertain, we always have a staff, so we can spend time with our guests, unless it's just family and even then, we'll usually have staff. For all parties, we use a caterer to help us, often bringing in a chef for that particular event. My wife flies in a couple from New Orleans (her hometown) for special events. We've also done several events that are "cooking lessons" for our guests with a guest chef. The attendees get an apron and a toque, and get to help prepare the food for that evening, at the direction of a chef. So far, they have all loved this concept - hands-on food prep, and then sitting down to a wonderful meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                    If I could buy something to further our lives, it would be fractional ownership of a long-range Citation, so we could get to, and from, the meetings more quickly. Plus, we'd use it to hop up to Napa, or over to Blackberry Farm, just for a weekend. See, it'd still be about dining and wine, but more leisure time with my wife.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. k
                                                                                                                                                                                      karinaa Nov 6, 2008 12:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      buyer for major electronics company

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. RealMenJulienne Sep 24, 2008 10:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I currently work in a cubicle. The details don't matter. Business management undergrad degree and I would advise no one to ever study business as it is a soulless waste of a life. As for money I make enough for a single guy to live comfortably.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I worked several part-time jobs during college but I have to say working in a liquor store was by far the most fun, because you got to meet a whole menagerie of interesting and sometimes shady characters. Factory workers filing in for 40's at every shift change. Cops arresting child molestors in our parking lot. College students buying cheap beer and Mexican laborers buying expensive tequila. Trophy wives buying white zinfandel, and business guys buying Glenlivet. Nervous-looking 30-year-olds who would buy a 24-pack of Smirnoff Ice and ask us where the local high school parties were. Scraggly guys who would panhandle outside the store all day and exchange a wad of sweaty singles for menthol cigarettes and cheap brandy. I also saw a lot of human misery and the experience made me never want to be an alcoholic.

                                                                                                                                                                                        It's funny that I grew up in a home which produced amazing food while giving food and cooking so little respect. My parents are Taiwanese immigrants and my mother can produce an Oriental feast at short notice, but to them food is certainly not something which intelligent people would spend time discussing. So from them I got an appreciation for good food, but no outlet for discussion and experimentation. When I found this site I was surprised and happy to see that there were actually people who spent time thinking about food and cooking like I do!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Luvfriedokra Sep 21, 2008 04:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Cool topic! I am also a newbie but have alway been obsessed with food. My mother is a fabulous from-scratch cook and also took me to all the ethnic restaurants in Charlotte( very few in the 80s). I work as a pre-k teacher during the day and I also have a personal chef biz in the works. We all know education doesn't pay big bucks so when I do eat out, I make it count! No Ruby Tuesdays or TGIFridays for me! I like my own cooking so I like to invite friends over for a great meal. I've also been lucky enough to eat my way through parts of Europe, Mexico and much of the Caribbean. Yummy!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                            joschus Sep 18, 2008 06:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Hey great topic! I'm a clinical psychologist and yes, I probably analyse my food too much. Seriously, I do have a problem though - I live in the Caribbean on a smallish size island. You would think that we would have every type of seafood in the world because we're in the middle ofthe ocean. Not so. We have tuna, Mahi and Wahoo and that's it. Local people can eat the "reef" type fish but they contain nasty toxins that make non-locals sick. The other major problem is produce. Everything comes in by ship and the produce is old and wilted by the time we get it. As a result of all this - when I get to the States, I camp out in Whole Foods!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. marielee Sep 18, 2008 01:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I am primary (elementary) school teacher. My income is 20% higher than where I live. I had to look that up! I teach in a small town nearby which has a substantially higher unemployment level than where I live and since the town is so small I cant find any information ....
                                                                                                                                                                                              I got bitten by the cooking bug in high school and then when I moved from the country to the city to study for my degree I the plethora of ingredients really sucked me in. Living in the country makes it tricky to find stuff but its certainly worth the effort.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Am also a newbie.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. BamiaWruz Sep 17, 2008 06:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I really don't do anything at the moment, my SO takes care of expenses and I spend my time shopping around/eating/cooking.. it's a hobby ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Chemist Sep 17, 2008 05:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  If it isn't obvious by the name, I work in Chemistry. I am in hot pursuit of one of them PhD things at McGill, in Montreal (my city soul-mate). My research involves engineering of enzymes to make them do our bidding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I moved to Montreal from Winnipeg, where I got those other fancy papers people hang on thier walls to intimidate strangers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My obsessions include cooking, wine making, and... hmmm, taking advantage of the various things this city has to offer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, I'm Batman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Aaron

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Chemist
                                                                                                                                                                                                    f
                                                                                                                                                                                                    FrankieSandals Sep 17, 2008 03:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hey Batman- Great thread. Let's make this the first thread to get to 1,000 posts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Jetgirly Sep 6, 2008 02:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am a first-year high school teacher. I live alone and my individual income as a first-year teacher is about 20% below the median household income for my city, but also about 20% higher than the median household income for the area of the city I live in. I say this without having received my first paycheque yet! I have two undergraduate degrees (a four-year Arts degree and a two-year Education degree... that is the Canadian way for you confused Americans!). I started getting into food during the two years I took between degrees, when I worked as an English teacher in Torino (Italy). One of the highlights of Italy for me was teaching at the Ferrero headquarters... it seemed that the supply of Happy Hippos would never end.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      nvcook Sep 7, 2008 06:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am also new to CH and am completely addicted! I live in a tiny town in north central Nevada (under 7,000). We're fortunate to have a couple pretty decent supermarkets, but mail order is my best friend. I'm 2+ hours from Reno, Whole Foods, Costco and Trader Joes's, but, I LOVE it here. Hubby and I retired at 50 from the State of Nv with full pensions and love to travel. I live to cook and was being asked to cook for a lot of different events until my good friend (the local health inspector) advised me that I could get my butt in a sling - so now I do it for free, only because I enjoy it so much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nvcook
                                                                                                                                                                                                        enbell Nov 7, 2008 06:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        where are you exactly?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: enbell
                                                                                                                                                                                                          n
                                                                                                                                                                                                          nvcook Jan 11, 2009 07:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Winnemucca Nevada
                                                                                                                                                                                                          (the Mucc doesn't suck!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. masha bousha Sep 5, 2008 09:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Business Analyst for a major insurance firm. As a matter of fact our office here in Connecticut is moving about 15 miles from our current location and I'm already ordering my favorite sushi takeout etc. from our local places before we move to our new location which is in the middle of nowhere chowish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dana1949 Sep 1, 2008 06:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm a Human Resources professional for a company in western Massachusetts. Currently, retirement is looming in the not-too-distant future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. JenJeninCT Sep 1, 2008 05:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm a dog trainer and writer in CT. I was lucky enough to be raised Chowhound parents, and am proud to carry on the tradition! Financially, its been a roller-coaster of feast and famine, but I'd put $ towards a memorable meal before a new pair of shoes or techno- gadget any day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. w
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Waverly SGV Sep 1, 2008 01:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            LOL about stumbling across this thread. I was searching for best taco trucks in L. A.! I'm a social work manager, licensed therapist, and occasion food minister to the homeless on L. A.'s skidrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. azhotdish Jul 23, 2008 10:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              the sole web developer for a large company, and a wanna-be-cook at home. my college roommate went to the CIA for a year and dropped out, and he introduced me to real cooking. best steak i've eaten is still in my lowly college condo's dining room.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Chinon00 Jul 23, 2008 09:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Engineer working for a BioPharmaceutical Architecture and Engineering firm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. MsAlyp Jul 23, 2008 12:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  New York City, 24 yrs old- Buyer at the American Museum of Natural History.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Good posting idea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I personally realize I forgo other things (clothing, drinks out, better entertainment, etc) in order for me to eat out often. Prices are high in the city so I realize a big portion of my income goes to chowing down! There are just to many temptations....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. DanaB Jul 23, 2008 03:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been an attorney these past 13 years, doing civil litigation. I got involved in chowhound years ago as a natural extension of my love of food, cooking, and other things food related. I wish I remember the first time I saw chowhound, but I confess, I don't remember, I have been posting since, I think, 2003 (or maybe December '02). I adore this site, as it has exposed me to both wonderful food and resources for ingredients, and to the unique voice of like-minded people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am going back to school for agricultural and resource economics this fall at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, to transition into a career in food policy. Trading the perpetual summers of Los Angeles for the midwestern winter, but am very much looking forward to the change :-)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DanaB
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      chefathome Jul 23, 2008 07:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As I responded above I am a chef and teach cooking classes and do small catering. I LOVE IT! It is the most wonderful thing to indulge in your passions (obsessions).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Forgot to mention I am a Master Gardener, too, and love that (but not as much as food).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My husband and I are fortunate to have the ability to do a lot of European travel (usually at least twice a year) so have cooked and eaten in the coolest of places! We've also eaten wonderful fresh ingredients, some pretty unique. I would love to be able to somehow tie in travel with cooking. My husband and I plan to move to Europe (semi retiring very early) and perhaps grow herbs to sell to restaurants and teach cooking classes there. Maybe...hopefully...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Cowprintrabbit Jul 23, 2008 12:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Housewife (hubby is high-tech, he finances our CH habits) but I also play with real estate, buying houses and renting them out to pay the mortgage. No income to speak of, but breaks even for the most part and should provide for a nice retirement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I spent 4 years in England with my parents as a child and they used that as a jumping off point for many weekend trips to Europe. Hubby was in the military and got to do a lot of travelling that way; since we married in 2000 we have made an effort to take 2 major trips and many minor ones each year. The percentage of our income we spend on CH-related activities has decreased, but it still comes out of the budget before say, clothing or shoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        kateallison Jul 22, 2008 11:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Taking the bar exam. Part time cheesemonger.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kateallison
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kate is always hungry Sep 17, 2008 06:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good luck to you! I'm waiting for bar exam results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          bbqguy1 Jul 1, 2008 07:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm a sales trainer... author, and speaker with over 1000 programs over the past 25 years. Which takes me to about every city, where I always CH to find great places. For fun, on the road, I stop in grocery stores to check their local produce and meat selections. Odd, I know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Self-taught cook, now a snob. Next-door neighbor is the same. Constantly looking for a meal out we say we could not do better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Went out on the competitive BBQ circuit a few years ago and won some awards. I never eat BBQ out--the best you will ever find is at a competition with the best teams. Own three commercial smokers, many grills, and have homes in AZ and Nebraska with very sweet indoor and outdoor kitchens. It is a sickness, I know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ChemWork May 7, 2008 09:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I liked this topic when I originally saw it, but I've been too lazy to respond. I'm an organic chemistry professor at a small liberal arts college in Kentucky. I really think I've been a Chowhound for about 5 years. This past year I have really accelerated because I've been on sabbatical for the past 10 months in Melbourne, Australia. I've just eaten in my 51st restaurant from the Good Food Guide published by the major newspaper here. I have spent a lot of money on food, but I will be upgrading my TV when I get back. I do make pilgrimages to Chicago and NYC specifically for food, although Kentucky (and particularly Louisville) has some great restaurants. My research is in green chemistry and I find the current emphasis on biofuels and its effect on food production/the environment to be particularly fascinating. On a side note, I still get confused by all of the talk of organic food since it's all organic to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChemWork
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              chefaltieri May 11, 2008 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am a chef...people pay me to come to their homes and do what I love..how cool is that? I have been on CH for about 4 years off and on. I am a junk food junkie, always searching for the best doughnut, hamburger or breakfast wherever I am. I lived in CA all my life and ran a really great organic/local produce venue in Modesto for a while and moved to Houston..where I am having a great time so far...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I didn't go to culinary school til I was almost 30. I found something 1) I am really good at and 2) I LOVE LOVE LOVE...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Live to Eat and Eat to Live

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chefaltieri
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                chefathome Jul 23, 2008 07:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Greetings to a fellow chef! I get to do sort of the same thing and LOVE IT. I teach private cooking classes and do small-scale catering (50 people and less - usually much less like an anniversary or whatever). When I went to culinary school my intention was not to be in the restaurant business but to do more of what I wanted to do and when I want to do it. :) I, too, went to culinary school late (after other occupations) but my heart was always with food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: ChemWork
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                lgss Jul 2, 2008 03:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The term "organic" is often used instead of "organically grown". Have you read Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food"? He talks about how much of what people eat is not really food but food-like substances, Twinkies, for example.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Anonimo May 4, 2008 04:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm a retired baker and cook, living in Mexico. Now a home baker and cook, blog writer and foodie board pster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  virtualguthrie May 4, 2008 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm a sound engineer for live concerts and events. I definitely don't have an extravagant income but I love food and I am willing to spend $$ on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Somnifor May 3, 2008 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am a chef. I originally came here to find out what people were saying about the restaurant I help run. People post things here that they never tell their server. Chowhoud is a good place to find out what people think about what other restaurants in my city are doing, it is part of my intelligence network. Also I love talking about food, obviously a lot of people in the restaurant business are foodies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      La Dolce Vita May 2, 2008 03:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have a Ph.D. in English. I write fiction and non-fiction (some of which has been published.) My husband and I are homeschooling our three children. We don't have a television (for philosophical reasons), but we do have a commercial undercounter dishwasher that is one of the best pieces of kitchen equipment I've ever owned.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        isabell May 2, 2008 02:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am a stripper at night and a chef part time.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          vicsailgarden Apr 10, 2008 01:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Funny you should ask ... All my life I've worked in big industry - insurance, engineering, transportation ... and now I work for a coffee company - Zoka! I'm so excited!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ben7643 Apr 8, 2008 05:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ha..... i'm a digital artist. I create pictures on the computer all day long. Then go out to eat every chance i get ;).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ben

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Paul Weller Apr 8, 2008 05:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I work as a water distribution and treatment operator for a public water system.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                johnpm Apr 8, 2008 09:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This is interesting! I'm an electrical engineer, and until recently was president of a small chemical company (retired a few months ago). I noticed several musicians have posted, so I'll add weekend musician to the list (I stopped doing that when I got tired of always being the oldest one in the club- no Mick Jagger here)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. jodymaryk Apr 6, 2008 03:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow, my life sounds so boring compared to a lot of you! But here goes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have been a self employed hairstylist/colorist in the Seattle area for the past 16 years. Prior to that I worked for a group medical/dental insurance company in many aspects until I realized that it bored me to tears! My current husband (#2) of 22 years has always been in the hospitality/food industry and has done everything from busing tables to General Manager. For the last six years he has happily been a lead line cook at the Microsoft campus in Redmond. He gave up management money to be happy and just cook. I cook as therapy. Nothing makes me happier then putzing around my kitchen on the weekends with something slow cooking in or on the stove. Although we haven't traveled much, mainly Mexico and some parts of the US, we love ethnic food and hope someday to do as much traveling and eating in other countries as some of you have done. I discovered Chow.com around the first of this year when I was looking for some good places to eat in Portland, OR and have become addicted to this website. I love that people put out ideas and I rarely see any mean or nasty comments made. My husband just walked by as I have been writing this post, laughed and said "it is like your porn site" ha ha. He is right, I am just so happy to have so many others that love to talk about food as I do!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you to all for all of the great answers, ideas and inspiration you have given me in the past few months. I hope this will be the beginning of a beautiful relationship!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. dockhl Apr 6, 2008 02:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am an optometrist in a small town on the Central Coast of California (Templeton).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I first REALLY got interested in food when I was in optometry school in Philadelphia during the "Restaurant Renaissance" that it underwent in the late 70's. I had the good fortune to be dating a guy with lots of money and a desire to wine/dine me ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I moved to SoCal (Orange County/San Diego) immediately upon graduating and have enjoyed all that it has to offer for many years. 3 years ago I moved from SD (which I think had gotten pushy, pretentious and way too crowded) to the bucolic hills of San Luis Obispo county. I love the proximity to the wineries but miss the ability to find ethnic food markets. I am a person who visits markets on vacation to see what local goodies I can turn up....a trait that my ex-hub never understood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      meremere Apr 5, 2008 03:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DH and I are 2 years out of law school...I prosecute child sex crimes and DH prosecutes serious drug crimes. After student loans, food and wine are our biggest expenses...and worth every penny!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Sloth Apr 5, 2008 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Used the "find" function to see how many librarians replied to this post. Surprisingly, only 3 (now 4). The wife and I are both 2nd career librarians, 1st careers in the music industry. I'm surprised because I know so many public librarians who love Chowhound and try to get jobs in neighborhoods with good food. Best part of the job is that just about any (cook)book ever printed is available via Interlibrary Loan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. katieleigh Apr 4, 2008 10:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm 21, and a student getting my BFA in piano performance. I have to agree that there is some connection between being a creative person and being a foodie. I think it has to do with giving a lot of time to your sences, and also food is of course art just as much as anything else.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As you can imagine I don't have any money but when I do have a little I spend all of it on food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            holuh3 Apr 2, 2008 02:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm a Pediatric Physiatrist in Ohio who once was a relatively good professional cook and wine retailer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. greedygirl Mar 28, 2008 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm a radio journalist for the grand-daddy of broadcasting, the BBC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I live in London, so have good access to both restaurants and shops. I'm also a keen home cook, with a terrible cookbook habit! As well as eating, I also like to travel (partly 'cos I get to eat different stuff).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's interesting reading about how people became the chowhounds they are today. I was brought up in a working-class family in the North of England. My mother doesn't really like food, but she did cook because there wasn't really any other option. She's especially good a baking. My grandmothers on the other hand were both terrible cooks. So there isn't really a big history of foodieness in my family. So God knows where I got my obsessive love of chow from!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chocolate Toe Mar 29, 2008 05:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am a 27 year old female who works as Director of Communications for a nonprofit. I came from a political science background. I used to wait tables in college at a nice Italian restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                lgss Mar 26, 2008 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm fairly new to CH, came across it while looking for info on gluten-free, vegan options for a possible trip to Italy. I keep ending up in social services, though I have undergrad degrees in Spanish and broadcasting and an MA in Environment & Community. I work with children and adults with developmental disabilities. My role in our household is to keep us in a lower tax-bracket...We live rather simply.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One of the kids (9 yo) I work with has insulin-dependent diabetes (since age 1). They have trouble with her sneaking food she's not supposed to have. I recently made a deck of nutrition label cards (fruit, vegetables, nuts/seeds, beans, and grains so far) and we play a game where she chooses the nutrient and I identify whether we're looking for high number (fiber, for example) or low (sugar, for example). Then we each put out a card and whoever has the higher number or lower number gets both cards.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One of my adult clients is interested in expanding his food choices. We've gone to a Trader Joe's and a local Farm Market to wander and he asked what various different items were and how one can prepare them. He recently had a page with photos of about 25 kinds of vegetables and he had checked off the ones he has tried and asked questions about some of the others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. cheeseguysgirl Mar 25, 2008 09:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm a pediatrician who also does Healthcare IT (technology) consulting. My husband is a specialty cheese consultant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. ketchupgirl Mar 25, 2008 07:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Painter of food things--large, messy picnics with scale changes and varying degrees of recognizable food and drink in a chaotic landscape. Grew up in Iowa, learned to taste so many things in the Bay Area, now in NYC midtown office assisting bankers and able to try new foods each day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Vetter Mar 24, 2008 07:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm a new family law attorney. Young and very much in debt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. fayehess Mar 24, 2008 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I teach cooking on the border of Umbria and Tuscany in week long courses, commuting from NYC. When I am in New York, I blog, make cooking videos, cook for private clients, and organize for Italy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        fayefood.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        fayedelicious.blip.tv

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. deborah24 Mar 24, 2008 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Risk Analyst for a large bank. I live in Queens which might just be Heaven for ethnic food, 15 min form the city for everything else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: deborah24
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            myclawyer Mar 24, 2008 09:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I also live in Queens. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm an attorney, working in the Financial District. I take the R train home and have a hard time staying on the train as we stop at each Queens station. There's a Chowhound favorite at just about every Queens stop on the R.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: myclawyer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              deborah24 Mar 24, 2008 10:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So great, right? I live in Woodside, so I visit Sri on a weekly basis (at the very minimum). Hard to get to Jackson Heights when I have to go by there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: deborah24
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                myclawyer Mar 24, 2008 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I try to go to Sri once a week as well. I usually go alone but prefer company.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: myclawyer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  deborah24 Mar 25, 2008 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ah, I usually get take out and then head over to the bar where my friend works and we have a feast! Last week I brought the Thai and she got Indian. NOBODY in the bar was happy about that but us. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. f
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            foodwich Mar 24, 2008 05:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i am a psychologist. my interest in food and cooking happened when i was 8 yrs old on a sunday morning my mother woke me up to teach me how to make scrambled eggs. i have been cooking and trying different foods since then. my husband and i moved out of india and lived in the middle east for some time and then to the us. lots of exposure to different cuisines all of which i had to try. but the turning point as i refer to it came when we lived in iowa for a while and i 'really' discovered food and cooking. havent looked back since then. infact i sometimes use food examples in my work as well. i had suggested to a patient a recipe for fried rice which referred to his life, using ingredients according to preference. he loved the example called it unforgettable. so i bring my love of food into my work as well with good results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              robertjsweet Mar 23, 2008 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I count food for a living.....actually inventory it in supermarkets in the tri-state are of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut plus Pennsylvania...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: robertjsweet
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                filth Mar 24, 2008 04:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Adult entertainer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Halie Mar 23, 2008 09:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm a student.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Sypita Mar 8, 2008 08:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am currently working as a national sales manager for a specialty food company. I am looking to go back to school to get my masters and focus on either non-profit food organizations or food trend analysis. Or both. I tend to be the type that wants it all. I also want to be published, travel the world in search of divine specialties, be on the committee of worldwide food organizations, be a part of a food revolution, and start a non-profit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    bi11me Mar 5, 2008 12:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Over 30 years of restaurant work. When I was 17 I was working as a waiter at a restaurant in Boston when James Beard was seated at my table. He was in town promoting a new book and at the end of the meal left me a signed copy. Since then I've worked for several "famous" chefs, now I'm a GM at a well-known restaurant in a very old east coast American city.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. PaulaT Mar 5, 2008 12:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, what responses - I am a microbiologist working with a state lab - mostly environmental stuff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. voyageurdemonde Mar 4, 2008 11:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm a Secretary at Disney which pays the bills and provides me a 20% discount at property restaurants and once a year I get two 50% off coupons which is how I can afford to even eat at some of the restaurants here, LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        First and foremost though, I’m a Christian Minister/Missionary and my future goal is to be an advocate for international orphans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also sing, similar to Sarah Brightman, but I need a lot more training to get anywhere near where’s she’s at with her voice, LOL! But I love to sing the type of music she and Josh Groban perform and hope to do it as a way to raise money to feed children in the future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As far as a food background, my father worked as a chef in Chinese restaurants for 9 years before opening his own restaurant when I was 7 (almost 30 years ago). I grew up hanging out at the restaurant and eventually working there for 10 years as a hostess, carry-outs, bus girl, waitress (only when really needed because I hated doing it!), and cook (every Sunday for a year I made Cheng Fun for Dim Sum). I finally got tired of working at the restaurant and went to Sullivan University and majored in Legal Secretarial which is how I was able to break out of the family business. It just so happens Sullivan has a culinary school as well so for a year and half while I was there getting my associates, I ate some really good meals made by the chefs in training and gained 20 pounds, LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think it would be fun to write a Portuguese cookbook as well as one on High Tea. Maybe, one day when I can stay at home and experiment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. NovoCuisine Mar 4, 2008 04:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am self employed doing transcription work in the corporation litigation field. It's just something I sort of fell into and happened to be pretty good at; short hours, large invoices.. it's nice (typing at home, 3:00 in the afternoon, still in pajamas with a beer.. probably not the worst job of all time), and people think I'm mad to be considering a career change, but I can't type forever and I am bored out of my skull most of the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Going to culinary school in the evenings and loving every moment of it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. speyerer Mar 3, 2008 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have been a Registered Nurse for 44 years. Gawd I'm old!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am retired from the United States Navy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              littlehottie Feb 28, 2008 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I work in Mutual Funds

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                vino5150 Feb 23, 2008 02:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i currently work in a wine shop in New Haven. I've also been a cheese monger for a busy shop in New Haven county for a few years. Previous to that I worked for a fine foods bistro in North Branford, CT. Always loved this industry. Will be back to selling cheese hopefully by the end of summer 2008 if all permits go through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. lulubelle Feb 23, 2008 02:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I answered this in June, and since then my life has taken a huge turn. I moved from Chicago, home of Italian Beefs and Deep Dish Pizza, to Dhaka, Bangladesh, in August. In Chicago I worked as a public school teacher and although I was surrounded by great foods, I was usually too strapped for cash to buy anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now I teach high school at an International school and although I have a significantly higher income, have almost nothing interesting to buy. The green markets have really nice produce, but are limited in what they offer, and the markets are also very limited. Imagine living somewhere where you can't buy fresh cream and the cream cheese costs the equivalent of $8.00 a package.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When I flew home for the winter holidays, I filled my suitcases with chocolate, sausages, spices, Trader Joe's snacks, and other tastes of home. The pluses of living where I do are that I have a full time cook who is teaching me how to cook Bengali foods, and the long weekends in Bangkok (and a trip to Hong Kong coming up in a few weeks).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The restaurants are very limited as well, and there is no public sale of alcohol, so much of my disposable income goes to entertaining at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lulubelle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sam Fujisaka Feb 23, 2008 06:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    lulubelle, things get easier (after more than 35 years around the globe in my case) as you learn to use local ingredients, make substitutions, and to carefully use any trip elsewhere--especially but not limited to "home"--to import foods that you need.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      lulubelle Feb 23, 2008 07:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not complaining; I love being here, and most of the time cooking is no problem (well, most of the time my cook does the cooking) but I'm a Midwestern girl who grew up eating pig in all it's yummy forms, and cheese and it's hard to give up old habits. Oh, and the chocolate is always all bloomed and grey looking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Plus, I have to fill my suitcase with alcohol on my trips abroad, and booze is heavy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lulubelle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Passadumkeg Mar 3, 2008 06:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sounds like Saudi to me. Bring in packets of wine yeast and buy lots of grape juice. Once your in the international school circuit it is easy to transfer. I loved my years at international schools Our eldest 2 sons are now teaching in S. Korea and in April, we get to visit the on in Costa Rica. Funny I have to bring a lot of the same foods you need back to Maine!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    danishcheez Feb 17, 2008 07:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    While in school, I worked in several restaurant jobs, and then for a baker. I'm pastor of a church now. My guilty pleasures are cheese and dark chocolate, white beer, and red wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      jedwards Feb 17, 2008 07:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      An ex chef, I now work for the caterer.com website, helping to find great restaurants new great chefs!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        garfish Feb 14, 2008 08:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        architect

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: garfish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          applehome Feb 15, 2008 08:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, but does that mean that you arrange your carrot sticks as a cantilever on your peas, and stand your broccoli up in groves? Or is this strictly a commercial endeavor, in which case, you could hire yourself out to Todd English to calculate even greater heights to which he can stack foods?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: garfish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kelli2006 Mar 8, 2008 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I currently work as a architectural designer, but the current downturn in the real estate market has convinced me to return to school and finish my BA in Poli-Sci/Philosophy. My heart is not into designing strip malls and McMansions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have not made the decision if I will try to get my masters and teach, or go to law school.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. monalisawoman Feb 9, 2008 10:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm a graphic designer: logos, brochures, menus, catalogs, mailers, promotional materials, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And working from home, i find my desk is waaayyyyy too close to the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              pringle347 Feb 9, 2008 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I work for a Fire Department (administrative position) and have my own business with a whole food fruit/veggie company. Lifelong chowhound....love to eat, love to cook, love restaurants, love browsing through cookbooks at the local bookstore, or reading recipes on-line...if it has to do with food, I love it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. LordOfTheGrill Feb 2, 2008 03:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, I'm 52, southern California born and raised, working as a mechanical engineering technician for a fabless broadband chip designer, and I've been watching cooking shows ever since Graham Kerr's "Galloping Gourmet" days. Didn't really start cooking seriously until a few years ago, and if I had known how much I was going to love it 30 years ago, I would have gone to cooking school. I love people's reactions to my food the same way musician, writers, and artists love people's reactions to their creative efforts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  theannerska Jan 25, 2008 10:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow -- I can't believe I finally made it to the bottom of this thread -- and I can't believe I didn't see this when I was bedridden post-wisdom teeth extraction, instead of reading 648 replies the night before a paper is due...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've been reading CH since junior year of high school and am now a senior in college; law school (hopefully) in the fall. I "interned" (filed papers) at a law firm one summer and was taken along to the usual trendy steakhouses and pseudo-fusion places. I was 17 and SO impressed by our clients, the dim lighting, the money being thrown around -- but NOT the food. It is great to see so many lawyers on this board who are 'hounders as well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have zero income at the moment and spend as much vacation time as possible working to put myself through college (personal choice). I've been working since I was 14 and I've been a receptionist, office manager, piano teacher, assistant to an interior designer, bakery counter girl, waitress since 18, and was recently offered an assistant manager position in the same restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My mom is an awe-inspiring cook and continues to endure my trucker-size appetite (it got especially bad when I was a teenager). I'm only beginning to appreciate how good I have it; she is a master of Cantonese cooking and we live in Queens, NYC! My dad worked the administrative end of wholesale produce in Chinatown for many years. We often had access to extremely fresh produce/fruit and invaluable contacts in Chinatown (restaurateurs, food suppliers...).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here at college I'm stranded in a suburb north of Chicago, where the nearest supermarkets are a car ride away and I am, sadly, without a car. The "kitchenette" has electric burners instead of gas, there's no wok, no refrigerator stocked full of fresh, washed vegetables at the ready...and no in-house mother to consult when the cooking goes awry. This is especially tough after a previous semester abroad in Madrid, where I blissfully ate my way through Spain (and a few other countries) for six months. I doubt I would have learned half as much Spanish without spending countless afternoons and evenings talking food with my host mom, a tireless chef who took immense pleasure in cooking for her family. I was her 32nd (!) foreign student, but apparently the first to willingly eat rabbit and brussel sprouts! It turned out that she had been dying to learn authentic Chinese cooking (and I wanted all the Spanish recipes I could get my hands on), so we did a lot of recipe testing and trading in that kitchen. Ah, the metric system... My closest friends there were also 'hounders -- and locals! -- so most of our time was spent on tapas crawls and assorted fooding after fútbol matches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Like others have posted, I don't think higher income necessarily indicates a higher propensity toward 'hounding. For those of us who don't live the dream (food anthropologists, I'm looking at you!), the options are sometimes (often) more limited, but the art of being a chowhound lies in utter fearlessness! We must not be deterred by the 30-minute walk required to reach the nearest decent bagel and schmear, a cab ride from the train station into another suburb for an elusive Italian beef sandwich, or even a flight to Spain to satisfy that tapas craving...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: theannerska
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Joe H Feb 2, 2008 02:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've posted in several threads today: finding a decent Italian beef in the Washington, D. C. area and crossing an ocean for "traditional" bouillibasse. Somehow they both seem to define my obsession for food which is not limited by cost or distance. Rather, it's simply finding the best that I can at all levels.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: theannerska
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      theannerska Feb 14, 2009 05:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now that I'm a first-year law student writing a brief two nights before deadline, I'm reading this thread again and...I've never wanted more to be in culinary school. I've never been a line cook, but at this point, I'm pretty sure it can't be much worse. At least law school hasn't entirely stopped my chowing habits -- though now, I cook about once a week and freeze most of it for lunches. If anything, it's forced me to be a bit more creative and taught me a few things about freezer-friendly ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And, of course, the first thing I did when I sent in my tuition deposit was check the boards for local eats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: theannerska
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ktmoomau Apr 21, 2009 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was there about 4 years ago... stop reading this and study. You will be fine and will love what you do, but will not love law school.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ktmoomau
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Janet from Richmond May 7, 2009 07:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My daughter feels this way about dental school. Loves dentistry and working on patients, hates dental school completely. Two more years to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      tlew12778 Jan 25, 2008 01:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I work in TV. Basically I buy and sell TV program rights. I am 30 (well on Sunday anyway).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DH is a surgeon. He is 33.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We have been foodies since we started dating 10 years ago. We live in Italy though so good food is expected (although not always found) everywhere we go. We travel pretty extensively both for work and pleasure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. ejs1492 Jan 23, 2008 07:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am 35 and I own a commercial real estate company in Scottsdale, Arizona. My obsession with food started at a young age because my parents always took my sister and I to nice restaurants, so we learned to appreciate good food. We do the same thing with our 2 year old son.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My more active love of food and all-things-culinary really began when I started eating at some really great French restaurants while living in San Francisco (like Chapeau!, Baker Street Bistro, etc), as well as some extraordinary meals at Balthazar in NYC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now that I have a company and family to be responsible for, I've had to give up some of my hobbies like flying airplanes. Food seems a much safer hobby than flying small planes, and it makes for a lesser dent in my life insurance premium, so here I am!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          chouchou Jan 20, 2008 01:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When I got married, quite a few years ago, all I knew was to put a couple of (washed and cleaned) veggies in a pot of salted water. My husband was a gourmet and I wanted to please him. So I experimented and I fell in love - not with him : that was done -- Not with food - but with cooking. Now I collect my family favourite recipes. This will be something I can pass it on and that they will enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jolie Jan 11, 2008 09:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have a Masters in Social Work and am a school counselor for a private school. My husband has a Masters in History and is a middle school teacher. We have two little ones, a new house, two cars and not much money. But we love to eat! Food and all things food related are my passion. I love cookbooks and I love grocery stores. I am not the best cook, but I do my best. I cook best from recipes. My husband can whip up the best tasting anything from whatever is in the fridge. My truest passion is artisinal cheese. When I was in grad school I would babysit once a week and make 40$ and with that money I would walk over to Fairway and buy 3 new cheeses. My husband was not allowed to open any until I did. I saved the labels and kept them in my Steve Jenkins Cheese Guide. They have since faded. My mother introduced my brothers and I to "weird" food when we small children and I think that is where my love of any and all types of food came from. My husband's grandfathers owned diners in NYC and his father was a butcher. He has been eating "organ" meats forever and that is where I learned to love things like sweetbreads and lamb testicles (they taste similar). I discovered chowound.com 7 maybe 8 years ago when I was living in NYC. Some of the best times of my life have been going to the restaurants (with boyfriend, then fiance, then husband then little girl in tow) I have discovered through this site. We now live in the suburbs and it's a culinary wasteland. But I have a great life. But I miss my culinary adventures and availability terribly. Little boy has not had the early experiences little girl has as he was born in the burbs. G-d Bless Chowhound!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              asiangirl Jan 5, 2008 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              45 minutes later, it is my turn to answer. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's posts. Very interesting to read the varied backgrounds and professions... makes my life seem very UN-interesting. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As for Kevin's original question, here are my answers:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am a stay at home wifey, no kids, cooking and taking care of my student husband. (dental school - graduating in may!!) We are 275K in school debt but still find the extra money to spend on food splurges. (thanks to Sallie Mae) Currently, we have no income (except for his monthly $1,000 scholarship stipend) so we are not part of the "higher median income" group - but before dental school, DH was a physician assistant and I was working in E-commerce (average incomes). DH is a gadget guy with a $200 cell phone and a new ipod, we have an '07 car, bought a 800 square foot condo a year ago, card table as a dinner table, walmart furniture, but NO credit card debt, or any other debt besides school loans. We love to travel and enjoy foods from different cultures. I would rather live in a smaller space and have more $$ to travel and eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. katydid13 Jan 5, 2008 04:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm a magazine editor trying to get by in a major metropolis on $50K.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. diablo Jan 1, 2008 12:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am a therapist. It's hard to tell if I have a higher median income because I live in Jersey ;). I don't spend a ton of money eating out because my area is a culinary wasteland mostly, but I do spend a *ton* at the supermarket, farmers markets, and local wine shop and love to cook at home most every day. Good thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. bubblet4me Jan 1, 2008 12:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am a Biologist by degree but have been working as a marketing person for the past several years. My spouse is a surgeon (bariatrics none the less)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We feel that the food is the best way to get to know a people so we explore through dining.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      juster Dec 31, 2007 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nutrition/dietetics student. Just started, and am not sure where I'll go with it, but there are many, many options. I think I'll turn away from the hospital route, and do something more like med. nutrition therapy, working in the community in education/outreach, or maybe food science..... Glad to see a couple others on here! Five months ago I left my 11-year job as a secretary, then sign-maker, and prior to that had a B.S. in English.... hence the secretarying :) Waitressed summers in a truck stop, and.... I think that's all my jobs ever :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was the kid in 4th grade whose favorite food was mee goreng and who could use chopsticks, as I've seen some others post. I think I got the food thing from my mom, who didn't learn to cook at home, but when she was on her own in the Peace Corps in Malaysia. So I sort of grew up on that stuff until she learned to make spaghetti :) Now she has over 3000 cookbooks (carefully picked ones, at that), and we cook something different together every Thursday. (My cookbook collection is coming along rather nicely, too!) I laughed at someone else's post as the complete opposite of mine -- My parents were Berkeley hippies, too, but were into food when I grew up, while the other poster's parents were uninterested. Guess hippy-folk come in all colors, too. My bro's a chef in Berkeley, but I think that's unrelated to all this (he was grown up before I came along, and had diff food experiences). Not sure where that came from.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As I'm a student (heck, and a blue-collar before that), we're a bit limited in budget, but find that foodstuff is one area where we splurge, still.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm so interested in all the people who said they're science researchers, but hardly anyone says what kind of science. I wanna know!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. clepro Dec 28, 2007 02:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Instructional designer, writer and editor for the past 20-odd years. Several years in social services prior to that. And to get back to one of Kevin's original questions that spawned this lovely chain: probably lower-middle income, but with a disproportionate share of that income going to food and books. And theatre.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. danhole Dec 26, 2007 12:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am a graphic artist that works from my home. I do NOT have a higher median income, anymore, because everyone with a computer thinks they are an "artist" so they produce a lot of, IMHO, crap and send that out to the general public! I do a lot of magazine ads, newspaper, billboards, posters, etc., but mostly they are for high end car dealerships. My "not necessarily disposable income" does go for really good cheeses, specialty olives and condiments, and if there's any left restaurants!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            kolachman Dec 24, 2007 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is a great topic-I am fairly new to CH and was introduced by my foodie Uncle. I am a real estate developer and am 40. My wife and I love to eat out, eat in and just plain talk about food. Same goes for our families when we get together. My passion for food comes from wonderful ancestral cooking. My maternal grandmother used to hand-stretch her own streudel dough on the dining room table. It still brings tears to the eye and longing pangs to the stomach. This and many other talents were passed down to my mother who in turn taught me to cook and love food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Blush Dec 24, 2007 12:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm the Manager of Research for a boutique executive search firm. Yep, headhunting. We specialize in accounting and finance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Joe H Dec 24, 2007 11:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I sell big thrills. Literally. Rollercoasters and other major amusement and water park attractions in the U. S. and Europe, having travelled heavily for almost thirty years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My mother was a waitress at the original Hot Shoppes at 14th and Park road in Washington (when Marriott was a root beer stand) and my father was a chef at the Statler Hilton. In the '50's we would take day trips just to explore a restaurant/dive/pizza joint/hamburger place that they had heard about. My sister, at one time, was the chef/owner of one of D. C.'s better restaurants. I learned how to cook at six, discovered that hamburger tasted better with Campbell's cream of mushroom soup at eight and, at ten learned that ice cream actually tasted better if there was a cow nearby and I could hear the moo!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Because of my travel I've done 8,000 mile road trips where I've stopped in a half dozen cities on consecutive nights all eating bbq'd ribs, another year pizza, another year fried chicken, etc. I've done the same with 6,000 km trips in Europe searching for bratwurst, moules, curry and pasta. On both sides of the Atlantic, as a reward for nights away from home, I've built business trips around food or wine. I once lost 142 pounds on a diet at 23, then took three years to gain most of it back. Then I lost 103 pounds and kept that off for five years. Finally, in 1978 I started walking and today continue to walk obsessively 35 or more miles per week having lost all the weight back for one last time! I'm 60 and will probably die of pneumonia from walking in snow and rain... Perhaps curiously, as obsessed as I was with food at over 300 pounds now that I am under 200 (I'm 6'1") I am even more obsessed. Literally every calorie must count.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think about how much money I spend for a meal-I think about how many calories I'll invest. As long as it is worth it, whether foie gras or pizza, if it is that good I do not regret one calorie. My guilt today comes from eating something that wasn't worth the calories!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've learned how to control myself, I only regret that it took me so long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've written about food and restaurants in several publications over the years but my real focus is my business along with my wife. I've been fortunate to have had many of the experiences I've had, a number of which I've written about on here wishing I could have shared them. I also cook and have acquired something of a reputation for my obsessive ways...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Still, sixty years of exploration and indulgence along with Chowhound have given me the opportunity to meet a great number of people, many of whom have become good and valued friends. Several of them, I should add, are still alive after eating my cooking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Along with riding and selling rollercoasters I couldn't ask for a more wonderful obsession.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Joe H
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  avena Dec 26, 2007 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Given your background with rollercoasters and your appreciation of good food, you must have an opinion on which amusement park offers the best food! Which one raises the bar for amusement park grub?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: avena
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Joe H Dec 27, 2007 04:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Knoebel's Grove has the best overall food of any park in America, perhaps Europa Park or Tripsdrill in Europe but both of these seem to be irrelevant to this topic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Joe H
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      tartuffe Dec 28, 2007 09:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What and where is Knoebel's Grove?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tartuffe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Joe H Dec 28, 2007 10:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        An amusement park in Elysburg, PA (central PA 75 miles nw of Hershey) that feels like something out of the Twilight Zone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Solstice444 Dec 24, 2007 03:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am a meteorologist. No, not on tv! I work for a private forecasting company...we forecast for movies, tv shows, roofing and construction companies, school districts, the Mets and Yankees, and many other companies. I work shift work which sometimes makes it hard to spend time with friends and family, and a dinner out is a good way to meet up! I am about to move from Westchester County, NY up to Dutchess County to be closer to work, and I'm really excited about having a whole bunch of new restaurants to explore!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    rfneid Dec 14, 2007 10:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Construction estimator/project manager - and, after 38+ years, sick to death of it. I'd love to retire & put my newly remodeled kitchen to greater use.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      postemotional1 Dec 14, 2007 07:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am a Night Auditor/Front Desk Agent at a boutique and I tend bar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have been a diswasher, pot srubber, porter, busboy, barback, expediter, coctail waiter, cafe food server, casual dining food server, bouncer, cook for functions, prep cook, doorman, coat check attendant, cashier, dance club promoter, beverage buying agent, liquor inventory clerk, office manager, casual dining manager, assistant manager of a dance club, manager of a casual pub and...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ...customer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Lemon Curry Dec 14, 2007 09:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm an undergrad studying Chemistry, English and Food Studies. I also usher Off-Broadway and would like to do some kind of Herve This-ean molecular gastronomy type research.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        burritobelle Dec 12, 2007 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am a news reporter on an AM radio station. I am also the station's restaurant reviewer. I do a restaurant a week.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DaisyM Dec 12, 2007 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm an event planner and my husband is a physician. Everytime we go away I always get such great suggestions from this board. We went to Iceland this summer and we went to the most wonderful place called The Sea Barron. All they serve is lobster soup and fish kabobs and you eat on long wooden benches with other people. My husband said, "Thank the Chowhounds!"

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            hungrycomposer Dec 12, 2007 03:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Composer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm generally more interested in the less gentrified aspects of my nabe, the East Village (NYC).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now and then I'll splurge to celebrate a grant or award, or spend like a sailor during an occasional stint as a visiting professor.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My folks ran a restaurant, so eating out is in my blood, and food's never too far from my mind (or my mouth).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Delucacheesemonger Dec 11, 2007 06:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Retired physician, moved to Manhattan, selling cheese at D&D, living the dream

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                rbrujo Dec 11, 2007 04:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am an archaeologist with a specialty in Indians of California and Baja California and somewhat of a culinary anthropologist. Got into French food and fresh, good cooking back in the mid-to-late 70s when the Pirets cafes were opening new doors and minds here in San Diego. I have a small vineyard, make a little wine, and write about wine and history.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sante'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mmuch Dec 10, 2007 11:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thought I would jump in too, since I have been reading this for about a half hour! I sell wine. Tough job, but someone has to do it! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. happybellynh Dec 7, 2007 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just had to jump on the bandwagon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am a lobbyist for a small statewide nonprofit in NH (though of course we prefer to think of it as "advocacy"). DH (an avid eater, though not a true foodie) is an apprentice to a traditional wooden boat builder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Been a chowhound for as long as I can remember- I won an award in high school once for an essay about a memory of cooking with my mom as wee-thing- maybe 4?- so chowing for at least that long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also spent 13 years in the food industry, from pizza-cook to front-waiter at a classy New Orleans landmark, to a short-order breakfast cook at a diner (while in grad school)... and then some.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the great thread!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    bearmi Dec 6, 2007 11:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I work as a Research Scientist at a food company. Basically, I use my knowledge in science to develop food products for the consumers. I actually spend a lot of time doing paperwork, especially reviewing nutritional facts panel and ingredient lines and also fill out documents. I also tend to do a lot of lab testing to mock up food prototypes and also producing prototypes in our little pilot plant. I really enjoy working with food and the pay isn't bad (yes, higher than average worker) so I am content. I dont' think I spend all my money on food/eating out. In the NYC area, there are plenty of fine restaurants but I do not eat there because I just don't see the value! I would rather save that money and eat at more moderately-priced places. According to this website, there are plenty of good restaurants in NY that are not too expensive and I feel most comfortable with those! In terms of spending, I think I spend the bulk on my money on investing (retirement / personal saving), followed by traveling and car. I am obsessed with cars so I am still stashing away money for my next car. Wish me good luck!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      RevImmigrant Dec 5, 2007 04:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've been retired on disability for the last 19 years (Navy vet) which is why I can move around alot. I've lived in 4 countries on 3 continents (US, Mexico, Germany 2 different times) and Turkey. My kids (cats) are international too - 2 Mexican, a West German, an East German and a Turkish cat. They're also chowhounds, but they don't write about it, being of the illiterate (and illegitimate too) persuasion. The smallest and newest, Minke the East German, will eat anything that doesn't eat her first and she's a tiny little thing too. I live right on the Polish border and go to Poland several times a week to shop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gumbeaux.gal Dec 5, 2007 12:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm a technical writer and usability specialist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          maryelizabeth Dec 1, 2007 01:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm a life insurance actuary in New York City.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. PDeveaux Nov 30, 2007 07:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've had the best time reading these. Can't believe I didn't see it when the question was first posed back in the summer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm a legal assistant who was born, raised and am living in the South. Which means I am a dyed-in-the-wool chowhound. All events, important and trivial, revolve around food in the South. The first specific food experience was when I traveled with my aunt to New Orleans. My first cafe au lait and beignet were etched in my memory. Also, I tasted fresh cherries for the very first time at the market there.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Everybody in my family knows that my highest food praise is "yummy" and it doesn't matter if it's gourmet or junk. I'm an equal opportunity eater, except for liver and brussels sprouts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My husband and I love to eat out and we try lots of new places every year. They run the gamut from mom and pop's to Emeril's in Orlando. We spent $250 on that one meal but we had a blast!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              chazzerking Nov 25, 2007 09:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I cannot believe that I missed this thread when it first went up in June. Theee's some great stuff here(Iespecially enjoyed the Firesign stuff, my buddy was Regnad Kcin.) anyway, I, too, am a lawyer; the D.A. to be specific. I worked my way throu gh high school, college and law school cooking in New York, Cape Cod and Missouri. I've taught cooking classes and written a resaurant column for a area paper and eaten my way around North America, Europe, some of Africa and a little bit elsewhere. I'll try anything I can get down my throat two falls out of three(like Boggies) and eat and drink waaay more than is good for me, much to the chagrin of my wife, doctor, trainer ,mother and insurance agent(in no particular order of degree). But I love it and love reading and talking about it even when I'm doing it. It runs in my family, except for my father, who decries the obsession the rest of us have, announcing a ban on "menu deconstruction" when he eats out with one or more of us. Trillin has always been a hero and I realized that I was a CH after reading his concerns about only being able to eat 6 meals a day when visiting New Orleans, and recognizing a conversation with my DW wherein I was trying to figure how to go to 3 different restaurants for dinner one night in N.O. anyway the only problem that I've observed on the site is that there's no way to email actual food on here.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ladyofmay Nov 25, 2007 03:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am brand new here... I found the site after searching for "foodie clubs". I'm an English teacher getting my MA. I live in Fairfield County CT and wanted to know who was in charge of organizing the dinners? I'd love to join up.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  linguafood Nov 25, 2007 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have my own translation business (moonlighting as a torch singer), that specializes in restaurant menus, websites, and hotel websites. My dream job would be restaurant critic, though I bet I'm hardly the only one around here ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My mother introduced me to all kinds of foods, and I started being interested in food in my teens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would guesstimate that I think about food 75% of the day. I love to cook, and I love going out to eat. When my husband and I travel, I do all the research on the culinary destinations to be visited....

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  annabana Oct 15, 2007 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  top corporate flack, former national security council staffer and white house press secretary. probably became a chowhound child when i realized mom could make a great meal from the welfare food. Also growing up in NYC could make a chowhound out of anyone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. SauceSupreme Oct 14, 2007 12:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm on permanent sabbatical, but in my other life, I was a programmer for a very obscure language. I managed to save a bunch of Screw You Money and one day I said Screw You and I've spent the rest of my time trolling around Los Angeles getting my grub on and getting my drink on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      James Rodriguez Oct 13, 2007 01:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just sleep and watch tv.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: James Rodriguez
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        afoodieslife Oct 13, 2007 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That doesn't sound too bad.......must get a little boring though :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. steakman55 Oct 9, 2007 08:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just spent a half hour scrolling through these and found them fascinating....Obviously others do as well hence the 600 replies. Work as a stockbroker in national firm, previously an attorney on staff of U. S. Congressman. Grew up in rural north Florida and still live here...went to Washington determined not to be intimidated by the big city restaurants, so right away went to the top ranked in town (Jean Pierre, I recall, at the time) as well as Italian and Chinese, etc. that I had not been exposed to. Loved it. Later in New York training to be a broker, while the other guys went to baseball games, I tried the best restaurants NYC had to offer. I still like to try the top tables in a new town, but love finding really good food without pretension that is not too expensive. Particular passion for steakhouses, and have been to most in NYC at least once with many notching several visits. Also every major steakhouse on the east coast of US and Chicago. When my son was in high school, every spring break we would take a 3-4 day trip to some major city and eat at different steakhouse each night....never got old. Have never minded spending money for good food and wine but hate to be ripped off. Sometimes a $5 lunch is a ripoff while a $100 tasting menu is inexpensive by comparison.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Past summer I organized a Tallahassee chowhounds dinner and we had a great time...many varied backgrounds at that dinner, just like on this board. We will have to repeat it somewhere this fall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. rockyraccoon07 Oct 9, 2007 07:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Me. I am a full time student and a part time working stiff. I study biology at a northern California CSU and I work at a dental office, doing the sterilization. I don't have the same attraction to restaraunts as a lot of Chowhounds seem to (with the exceptions of the good all-night diner and the most wonderful local bakery). The actual act of cooking is my passion, I love food and I just love it even more when I make it. I have a very tight budget and my situation is like kevin said...I pretty much only spend my money on food, this way I can be a bit liberal with the food that I buy, and making everything myself does indeed make for a smaller grocery bill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            xena1441 Oct 8, 2007 01:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I graduated from college in 2005, now working in commercial real estate. Just got my first place and spend waaaaay more money chowing than I should;) I used to spend all my money on eating out (at least once a day) but unfortunately have to cut down on that due to a mortgage payment;( I am trying to cut back to 1-2 meals out a week. I love to cook anyway, but for some reason the experience of dining out is one of my favorite things to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. ktmoomau Oct 8, 2007 11:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ok, so after lurking and figuring out what all the regulars I talk with do I guess I will post:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am a law student and I make jewelry for a couple galleries. While in college I used to be a lobbyist and also worked for state government.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I grew up with an amish nanny which made a large impact on me foodwise. I learned a lot of baking skills from her, and she passed down many of her recipes to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I also come from a family who cooks a lot from scratch and much from their own gardens. I came from a rather rural area, grew up on a beef farm in the real western MD, and my family from WV, during the depression depended on what they grew to eat and I guess that has stuck with them for the most part because they still preserve a lot of food and cook from their garden. Cooking was handed down as a very revered trait in my family. My Mother and Aunt are fantastic cooks and taught me a lot of what I know. And now I cook all the time for the SO in Arlington. So that is the long and short of it. I love to eat out, and cook, I can be a food snob, but I will go to a whole in the wall with awesome food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Great thread.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ktmoomau
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ktmoomau Apr 21, 2009 12:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So now I am a attorney who does family law and trusts and estates. Getting married in a couple weeks to a guy who with me has become a foodie too. Also now have a blog, hope to eventually sell some jewelry on there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ktmoomau
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Apr 21, 2009 01:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  How wonderful to get an update on this thread, ktmoo! From law student to attorney - congrats on passing the bar AND on your upcoming marriage!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm thinking with job changes/layoffs, this thread could get even bigger. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ktmoomau Apr 21, 2009 02:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah I am sure there are more updates. I love seeing people from our local board and figuring out what they do. This has been one of my favorite threads. It must be others' favorite, as well, since it so large.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mjhals Apr 22, 2009 06:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ktmoo- that's so cool, I'm in your area (DC), and even though I'm a military lawyer, I specialize in the estate planning piece for military members!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mjhals
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ktmoomau Apr 22, 2009 01:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow, you must be very busy, that type of work is really needed. I love doing Trusts and Estates, good planning I think really makes everything so much easier. And the clients aren't quite as crazy as my domestic clients...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          alkapal Jan 12, 2010 04:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          kt, i *feel* for you if you are doing divorces. aiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeegggghhhhhhhh!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sterlingfoodie Oct 7, 2007 09:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                my hubby and i own a road service co. tractor trailers mostly but we get the occasional Entermans or budwiser truck but usually sysco N.F. and the such i think i still have 1/2 a case of caned tomatos from one of the last happy drivers who tip out of there load not to mention i will never run out of poland springs water. (i'm still looking for the perfect customer... gourmet food delivery or wine i will definetly give them a good deal on fleet service! ) btw GREAT THREAD!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                SF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. SweetPea914 Oct 6, 2007 07:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm slightly confused these days, but I am a teacher in the south Bronx, just North of Yankee Stadium. I'm taking this year off to be home with my daughter, but I miss my job sometimes. I may go back sooner than I thought I would, but I wouldn't trade being home with her for anything! I'm thinking of getting a 2nd Masters in reading or even my Ph.D.,before going back to work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Mattkn Oct 5, 2007 11:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm a Marketing Coodinator for a non-profit hospital. Pay isn't that fab, but fortunately the cost of living is exceptionally low and I'm rather budget minded so I can spend my money on food and travel. I'm especially broke and hungry because my kitchen is obliterated due to my kitchen remodel. Obviously, I'm not above torturing myself by still browsing chowhound!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sigh...tragic.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      afoodieslife Oct 6, 2007 05:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm the dining services manager at an assisted living facility in Florida. A few years ago after becoming burnt out working at a theater box office I decided that it was time to go back to school and follow a different passion. I enrolled in the CIA and have been cooking ever since. While I love cooking I'm beginning to discover that working in the restaurants and behind the line isn't for me. I've recently started a food blog (www.afoodieslife.com) cause I love writing. Having fun with that and deciding what I want to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Strange as it may seem, today is my first day posting on CH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: afoodieslife
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        JayVaBeach Oct 7, 2007 08:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm ready for a career alternative as well. It's a bold shift & I respect your courage Foodie !

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: afoodieslife
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SweetPea914 Oct 9, 2007 05:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Changing careers is scary isn't it? Before becoming a teacher I spent about 6 years in Marketing and Public Relations. I was getting burnt out and hated what I was doing. Thankfully when the .com boom started to wind down, about half the people at my company got laid off, myself included. It was the best thing that ever happened to me since it gave me the courage to apply to a fellowship program and completely change careers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good luck to you and you'll discover something you love soon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Tomatokid Oct 4, 2007 08:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm a "Chef without a Kitchen". If you still have an ounce of passion left in your soul;You can't be an ex-chef, any more than you can be an ex- Southerner. I sell fresh produce wholesale. Every bit of my income goes to tasting, eating, cooking. I vacation according to interesting cuisine. I eat lunch weekly with groups of gourmands and foodies. All my friends are in the industry. I'll drive across town to 3 different stores just for better stuff...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. mariekeac Oct 3, 2007 08:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I did Hotel Management back in my country (Holland) You learn all round of hotel business but when I had to choose Front- or Back of the house, I went for the kitchen and loved it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Had my internship at a country club on Long Island NY where I met my DH. He was assistant to the sous chef at the time. Did lots of waitressing and worked at a front desk of a hotel. Even had a mini internship at a 2 michelin star restaurant. (actually right before it closed last year it had 3 michelin stars).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It does run in the family, Dad did culinary arts and is a wine agent now, brother is a Party/Catering Manager...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Currently my DH and I live in Florida. I'm the Catering Manager at a Country Club here and DH is the Executive Sous Chef. Haha, yes I'm a chefs wife...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But we both do the cooking at home! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. DarthEater Oct 2, 2007 09:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Am I the only flight attendant here? I get to travel and eat! I grew up with a wooden spoon in my mouth. Growing up, I was (still am) always the skinny girl who eats like a fat girl and I always enjoyed dining out which was on rare occasions. We were not rich but my father was a restaurant cook and we never ever had takeout for family dinners. 7 nights of fresh home cooked meals. I took it for granted when I was a child but looking back, it was better than anything u can takeout.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I did attend culinary school for pastry and externed at cafe boulud until I realized the kitchen was not my thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I never cook because I'm always on the road or in the air, so I'm constantly eating out. And when I am home (NYC) I always meet with friends to catchup over dinner, usually at a low-med range restaurant. My guy, who is an investment banker usually brings me to places I cant afford on my meager check.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Candy Oct 1, 2007 02:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I know I posted to this question sometime ago. I cannot find the original to amend to it. After 15 years in what I feel has to be the stupidest way to try to earn a living, real estate, I took some mental health time off and had a great new job land in my lap. Starting next Monday I will be asst. manager in a cooking and kitchen supply shop surrounded with almost all the things I love. I am so glad I was able to step back from what I was doing and realize how much I hated it and got out. I was a wreck for a bit because I did not know what was coming next but just knew I could not go on in RE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Candy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sam Fujisaka Oct 2, 2007 07:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Again, all the best in your new job!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Candy Oct 2, 2007 11:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks Sam! I may still look at the food anthropology course, it is niggling at me, but I can do a class here and there for my own interest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  CKG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Candy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Oct 2, 2007 10:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Congratulations, Candy! And enjoy the store discount. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Candy Oct 2, 2007 11:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks, fortunately I won't need it. I've got all of that stuff! Most of the pay check will be going home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. amy_rc Sep 24, 2007 06:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am contractor for VSP Vision Insurance. My name is amy_rc and I am an addict...that's right, I'm addicted to Chowhound. I love food, I love to eat, I love to talk about food and think about food. I am planning my next meal as I am eating my current meal. I love fresh fruits and veggies. My mom was a great cook and exposed us to lots of variety.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    salad man Sep 23, 2007 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am retired now,but for 30 years owned a refridgerated food processing company which
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I sold in 1989. I have become a pretty solid home cook and have a real interest in good
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I must admit that I am often amused at some of the assertions made on this site by folks who seem to have little technical food knowledge, but strong opinions,nevertheless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And,please,enough with the text message abreviations. This is the literary equivalent of FAST FOOD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. scharffenberger Sep 22, 2007 05:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Iwork as an assistant in a first grade classroom. I really enjoy food and travel.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        lludra Sep 16, 2007 08:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        hello, I am new here to CH and just love this site. I am a floral designer and event planner for the last thirteen years. Floral design is my passion but I know that if I were ever to make a career change I would love to be a chef. I enjoy cooking, getting new recipes and tweeking some of the old ones. So, thank you to all for your advice and wisdom.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          siobhan01 Sep 20, 2007 09:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have just recently resigned after 32 years working at the phone company.I have recently moved into what was our summer cottage.I have lots of time to cook now and have recently remodelled the kitchen,but I am almost an hours drive from a decent grocerey store.Oh well I guess you cant have everything

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          birdie Sep 15, 2007 08:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Licensed veterinary technician specializing in anesthesia. It has nothing to do with food.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            FattyDumplin Sep 15, 2007 08:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            investment banker with not enough time to spend on food...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            cerealpancakes Sep 15, 2007 07:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm currently a sophomore in high school in the East Bay, CA. Being raised by parents who immigrated over here from China to start an IT consultant business, I always ate well because my mom was fearless to try out new places, although now she's letting me have the responsibility to search them out :D It also didn't hurt that I would often tag along on client dinners when I was little and eat out extremely often, whether it was in China or just somewhere in the Bay Area.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When I go to good restaurants with my friends for special occasions, they often ask me how to eat something or whether this sounds good - must be a product of the random food rants I have! I also pack my own boxed lunches to school, which I have to guard, and make dinner when I'm not busy studying. I am not squeamish or averse to trying anything new, so that leads to some fun discoveries, like peanut buttery-tasting cicadas in China.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              pikawicca Sep 24, 2007 04:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I envy you, having a lifetime of food discovery before you. You're certainly in the right place to find good chow. Good luck as you begin your journey in the land of good food!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              RawTunaFan Sep 15, 2007 06:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm a floor trader, also known as a Registered Competitive Trader on the NYSE. You know, the crazy guy you see in a jacket in television going ape on the floor of the stock exchange. I live for food, more than I do markets and commodities, and know where to find the best food around Wall Street, near my apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and our home in Westchester County...thanks to this site! However, I'm still in search for really good Korean food in New York. I don't think it gets any better than Orange County and Los Angeles!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Shayna Madel Sep 24, 2007 04:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hey, good luck in light of the closing of another part of the floor.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                brie123 Sep 15, 2007 12:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well hello all:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have been a closet chow hounder for a while.. One of my best friends turned me on to it since we love to go to small cafe's and great restaurants. I am in the insurance business managment level and I am also obtaining my real estate license, my husband is in the mortgage business.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sharisraven Sep 15, 2007 11:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm a small-time Wholesale Distributor for Seafood... the recipes on here are amazing!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    AbbyFMiller Sep 14, 2007 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I left banking 2 years ago to start my own company - www.BeforeKids.com - giftware for moms that reflects on life before kids.. I have two kids - ages 5 and 8 - and love working for myself - gives me time to check in with Chowhound on a regular basis!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      HillJ Sep 15, 2007 08:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Abby, that's you?! Your site has circulated among many of my friends (a group of women of the same decade with kids from 2-22)..if you come out with a line of beforeteens or beforecollegeloans...you'll have all our attention! Good luck to you!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      avena Sep 14, 2007 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Botanist (barely...i just got my BS). I'm just starting off as an environmental scientist. Obsessed w/farmers markets. I just think fruits and veggies are the most beautiful perfect things on Earth. (But I'm defintely an omnivore). I'm a plant nerd, I love to eat, my grandma makes the best Chinese food, and my sister is learning to be a pastry chef. I spend my extra cash on gelato, pho, and Trader Joe's. =)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        paloucsd Sep 13, 2007 09:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am a full time student working on my B.S. and work in a restaurant on the weekends, but because of my parents (my father owned a restaurant) and upbringing I have always been interested in food and cooking. going to cooking school was a possibility out of high school years ago, but the parentals were against it so I took the traditional route of higher education at a 4-year university. It wasnt until recently I found out about CH and I find myself checking this website every few minutes looking for new posts. im addicted. even though i dont have much income, i take advantages of specials to save money but still able to get good food; happy hour, pre theater prices, lunch instead of dinner prices, friends of the industry, etc.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          recovering_vegetarian Sep 12, 2007 11:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm an actress, which I'm sure puts me in the minority here. It also makes being a Chowhound especially difficult, as there are always those employers who indirectly pay me NOT to eat. Not sure where my obsession (ahem, interest) with food came from... I grew up in a very healthy, veg-oriented family. My mother is an eating disorder specialist, while my father is a self-proclaimed food snob. Perhaps the clues lie there? Or in my ethnically diverse background? Or (most probably) in the many years I've spent (and still do spend) working in the LA food service industry? (Remember, I said I was an actress...)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            chefstu Sep 13, 2007 08:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've been a cook/server/bartender and chef for about 35 years now and make a good days pay. I now try to work as little as possible and spend as much time as I can with my family. I love what I do for a living and love to spend plenty of time Chowing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chefstu
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              recovering_vegetarian Oct 1, 2007 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, I didn't mean to say that you can't make a good day's pay in the food service industry. I obviously know you can, and I rely on that fact daily. All I meant was that as an actress, I spend a lot of time unemployed and the restaurant biz is one of the few so flexible it can fill in the gaps between paychecks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Troika Sep 12, 2007 11:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm a pretty young CH so i may not have quite the experience like you guys, but i'm passionate bout food, that's for sure. besides dining, i'm an artist, work for a non profit organization, avid traveler, and also a future law school student.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Suzieg Sep 7, 2007 11:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Attorney, but also doing online degree program to obtain MS in holistic nutrition, I want to be a holistic health counselor to teach people food has medicinal value!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                huruta Sep 7, 2007 08:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Epidemiologist and medical resident. We probably have a higher than median income since we are double-income no kids. Would rather eat good food and drink wine than buy items. Don't spend that much going out to restaurants but spend a lot on groceries and more on wine. A homemade meal with wine is one of our greatest pleasures and we try to do it often!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Brit on a Trip Sep 6, 2007 09:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Used to be a clerk working for a government department in the UK; now retired.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Government jobs tend to pay significantly less than equivalent jobs with large private companies. It's meant restaurant eating has always had to be limited - more so now there's less income - but we've always spent a high proportion of income on high quality food for home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. tachis Sep 5, 2007 05:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi all! This is really cool! I'm a long time lurker and occasional poster (okay, I'm sorta shy!), and can't say enough about how much I have learned about the wonderful world of food from this site, so I truly appreciate all the collective wisdom here. Cooking is like stress release for me, so it's nice to know there's others out there who also get a high from things like saute-ing onions... something most of my friends don't quite understand. Yeah, most of my friends can't boil water, so I'm the one who always cooks for gatherings. But I love it nonetheless because I know they appreciate it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anyway, I'm a "pointy-headed academic"--i.e., educational researcher.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ccferg Sep 2, 2007 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Director of communications for a nonprofit agency. Pay isn't great, but I still find a way to eat pretty well -- though it's often at home. Fortunately I love to cook, even for myself. In fact, I think I'm at my best when I cook for myself because I take more chances. This site fills a void in my life -- I just don't have enough friends who care this much about food and who are such adventurous eaters. I love hosting dinner parties but I often find the menu planning frustrating -- there's always someone who won't eat meat, someone who is low-carbing it, others who don't like spicy. I'd love nothing more than to cook for a table full of true chowhounds.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        rosemary1008 Sep 2, 2007 08:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fascinating! I'm a university prof, bi-coastal, travel quite a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. chocchipcookie Sep 2, 2007 08:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Williams Sonoma for 10 years-great company, great people. I wish I had time to read about eveybody right now but I have to go see what my 2 little ones are in to-it is very quiet...being a mom is my main job. Chowhounds unite!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            StephP Sep 2, 2007 07:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is the 543rd reply i think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Currently, a grad student in enology and viticulture. however, two years ago I was in IT/bioformatics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In answer to the original thread, now that I've experienced both sides of the spectrum in disposable income, I believe that there is somewhat of a relationship between income and likelihood of being a chowhound. But I think it's far more likely that you have time on the web and also that you live in an urban center with easy access to ingredients and restaurants.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ceekskat Sep 2, 2007 11:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "But I think it's far more likely that you have time on the web and also that you live in an urban center with easy access to ingredients and restaurants."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think you were referring to me! Housewife with way too much time on her hands in a large metropolitan area:-) Although I have to say, I only recently discoverd & became addicted to chowhound; never really surfed the web.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sam Fujisaka Sep 6, 2007 09:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Now a question for you. Are you at Fresno? Good place for enology and viticulture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  StephP Sep 6, 2007 06:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i'm actually at UC Davis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The reason I asked about CGIAR is because my former company interacted with some programmers from your org. Some of them were from IRRI. Your job descrip sounds interesting.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sam Fujisaka Sep 6, 2007 09:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was at IRRI for many years. I suspected Davis. We FSUers have always had a bit of competition w/ UCD.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                jhuston Aug 24, 2007 09:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sales -- for a small biotech that specializes in researching/developing and manufacturing cancer therapies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm in love with all of you. Discovered CH 2 days ago and am obsessed, wish i could invite you all to a massive party here in mid-Michigan which feels pretty desolate food-wise, sometimes. Reading everyone's posts feels like meeting family for the first time!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Nuray Aug 21, 2007 10:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have my b.a. in classical studies; my first career was in the hotel industry- I worked at the Food and Beverage dept of a five-star hotel in Turkey. I absolutely loved every moment of it. After I moved to the U.S., I got into the apparel business and currently I am a buyer/retail director for an apparel company.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Most days I cook my meals at home and bring my lunch from home. That allows me to splurge on good restaurants occasionally and I get quality ingredients... Since I have a small apt, I don't really have a lot of space for gadgets and stuff either, so it works pretty well.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    brendastarlet Aug 22, 2007 03:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've gone from classical music to law to writing, and that seems to have stuck. As for my food background, my mother taught me to cook starting at age 6. She comes from a Central European background, while my father was from New England, so I learned classic American dishes as well as some delicious European ones (cross cultural between Russian, Polish and Viennese.) She had me peeling apples for apple crisp as we listend to the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday afternoons, and I always helped her prepare for parties, which my parents gave frequently when I was young.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sadly, my father died of heart disease and before that was forced to eat a very bland diet "no salt, no sugar, no fat, no taste" which was a real challenge for my mom, but it tuned me into healthier cooking in my teens. Beyond her lessons, I'm self-taught except for a few cooking classes here and there. I read cookbooks for fun and I have dozens of Food TV shows on my Tivo.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    fryrose Aug 20, 2007 07:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love how everyone feels that they are the uninteresting person on this thread, but I have enjoyed every single diverse post and am proud to be a chowhound. I frequent the Chicago area and work in the not-for-profit, Social Services field. I specilaize in working with adults who have Schizophrenia. I certainly try to pass along a love and adventurous food spirit to those I teach.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      luvs2munchabunch Aug 16, 2007 12:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fairly new to the "hound board, but I've always enjoyed food and cooking. Now I'm trying to eat healthier portion-wise, and I'm amazed at how just a few bites of something really good is way better that a whole lot of mediocre.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh...profession-wise...hmmm. My degree is in Radio/TV/Film but now I'm in purchasing for a spinal instrument/implant mega-corp. Previously, I've gone the customer service route, and have also worked in the jewely business.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. du jour Aug 16, 2007 08:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Recent university graduate (Bachelor of Environmental Studies, major in Urban Planning, specialization in Urban Design), correspondence analyst for the federal government for the past year. Not being restricted to a student’s budget has done wonders to develop the foodie in me! Also having more time to cook and research new ingredients and new techniques. I love to host dinner parties - nothing more satisfying than knowing your guests have had a truly delectable meal and that they'll be talking about it for a long time to come!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have a couple of other foodie friends (but I'm not sure they truly appreciate the pleasures of a farmer's market quite as much as I do) and my husband of less than a year is making leaps and bounds developing his own palate. I really enjoy discovering new food and new recipes with him; as a matter of fact, that’s one of the reasons why I’m very much looking forward to our belated honeymoon in Rome this October, so we can try authentic Italian food together!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. misswills Aug 14, 2007 11:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you for posting this topic! I'm still a new CH, but I've been a foodie all my life. Just ask my mom...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Anyway, I lucked out and got to combine my love of food into my work. I'm a PhD student studying food anthropology. Nothing makes me happier than to read about food all day (except for going home and whipping up a nice meal, of course!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: misswills
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sam Fujisaka Aug 19, 2007 06:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm an agricultural, ecological, and food anthropologist in one of hte international agricultural research centers. Perhaps write: s.fujisaka@cgiar.org

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              StephP Sep 2, 2007 07:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Were you by any chance involved in the bioinformatics side of the CGIAR?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: StephP
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sam Fujisaka Sep 6, 2007 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Among the various things I do is help try to ensure that large regional or global projects (at the proposal or implementation stages) properly target supposed beneficiaries (or "end users"). This involves who and where the people are who should benefit from a given project and ex ante assessments of impact--and how particular projects can go astray (as they often do) in reaching end users.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: misswills
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              baltimorejim Aug 20, 2007 08:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I guess I'm a food anthropologist too. I laughed when one of my theories came full circle. I've always thought there are many food stuffs common to both Mexico and Asia. And of course I decided over the past 20 years or so that all those hipanics in chinese restaurant kitchens look suspiciously Asian. So when my Mexican worker mentioned that in his home region people speak Otomee and taught me a few words my curiosity directed me to to search for the language on the internet. I found that there is a theory the language spoken by a few thousand people in Mexico is related to Chinese! (Theory has been discredited.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In any case I am also an antique dealer and own and manage real estate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: baltimorejim
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sam Fujisaka Aug 21, 2007 06:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The other day I had a laugh at Quechi speaking Mayan kids in Guatemala calling me "Chino". Their ancestors crossed the Bering Striats with genes more like mine than those of Europeans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                When I took the then newly published book "Crops of the Andes" to Bhutan, the Bhutanese were suprised and indignant that many of the crops that they had thought to be Himalayan were in fact Andean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  baltimorejim Aug 22, 2007 02:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  do you mean the crops were native to the Andes but were brought back to Asia? When?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              CharlestonChow Aug 9, 2007 11:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lowly stereo salesman by day, equally lowly waiter by night.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have resigned myself to the fact that I will be doing something revolving around food for the rest of my life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As far as income goes, if you work 70-80hr weeks at reasonably good jobs you will be able to afford most of the things you want. However, you will never have time to enjoy any of them. At this point the "things" you want are free time and a stable career.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For those Hounds in the lower income brackets (like me) I guess we would rather spend $100 on a meal over a new pair of shoes. I have never longed for one more walk in any particular pair of shoes. A great meal is worth so much more than what you pay for it though.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: CharlestonChow
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                creativeusername Aug 15, 2007 06:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "...never longed for one more walk in any particular pair of shoes."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well put.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. DesperateChefsWives Aug 9, 2007 09:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DesperateChefsWives-so duh, my husband is a NYC chef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm a teacher-2nd grade

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  merrymc Aug 8, 2007 10:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The responses here are surprising! I had assumed from the posts I read (admittedly, mostly Manhattan/Outer Bouroughs-skewed) that at least half the people were wealthy lawyers or bankers...I'm glad my stupidly conceived stereotype is wrong. I'm an editor at a lifestlye magazine (with the meager publishing salary and lingering student loan debt that come with it). Boyfriend is a biochemist at a university.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I enjoy reading on here because I have too little money to waste it on expensive bad meals. Up in the Bronx, where I live, I'm adventurous, as a bad meal will only run me about $15 or so, but in Manhattan I'm much more cautious in picking nice restos for occasions. And I'm always looking for cheap eats advice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great topic!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gottabook Aug 3, 2007 11:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well Kevin, this has turned out to be a very intersting thread. Great question!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am a Master's Candidate in Library and Information Science. I plan on graduating in a couple of years and going into corporate librarianship, specifically in the Hospitality/Food & Beverage sector.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    After finishing my Bachelor's degree I ended up working for a company that sold tabletop, equipment, and handled design for the hospitality industry. Clients ranged from the hole in the wall fish taco joint to exclusive super-high end clubs on the other side of the world. I always enjoyed food and cooking basic things for college friends, but in 1990, it was a little French restaurant on the island of Maui that sealed the deal for my husband and me. I haven't lived in CA for 10 years now, but am looking forward to getting back in the next 5 years! When I visit home, I always take time to eat well and adventurously. For now I live in N. Dallas and although I'm not by any means starving here, I do miss S. Ca a heck of a lot!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gottabook
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      AGENT FOODIE Aug 3, 2007 11:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i work as a consultant for a restaurant group. I grew up around good food and thusly still eat good food whenever i can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. LaFemmeKatya Aug 3, 2007 09:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am an interior designer. I specialize in kitchens and bathrooms. I guess it's both ends of the equation. I also have a BA in Russian Language & Lit. but I'm actually a high school drop-out.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My family is actually much more interesting than I am, but they took me on their ride across the world. My father was a Physicist and my mother a Russian Interpreter who worked for the State Department on a high level during the Cold War.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My parents lived in several different places in Europe when I was little and would take me to restaurants with them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One of my very first memories is begging to order Escargot and my mother refusing because, she said, it was too rich for a little girl. I must have been about five.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I remember dining in a very nice restaurant in a rural area of Europe on a stone patio overlooking a fabulous European view. My parents had many friends with them and they were laughing and talking and the food was spectacular. That, I think was the starting point of my chow-houndish personality. I have always been looking to re-create that wonderful feeling. I have done so in many ways in my life, but that moment remains a wonderful childhood memory.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Every time I have a wonderful meal, I remember my father, who among all my friends and family is the one who probably had the most chow-hound in him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. hotteacher1976 Aug 1, 2007 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Middle school teacher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Kris P Pata Jul 31, 2007 01:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Prior to selling out my soul to the world of PR, I was the North America bureau chief for two major European dailies. Preceding that, I was a broadcast news reporter and also did some play-by-play for a regional cable sports network, immediately upon graduation. I'm currently a partner in a boutique PR firm specializing in film festival, independent and studio film release, and film awards media campaigns with particular affinity for documentaries. Rugby is my sport and 35 pounds ago, I used to be a fairly decent surfer. I prowl message boards and sites like these with regularity and have been known to use any excuse to dine with a client and/or journalist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. gottasay Jul 31, 2007 09:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am a housewife/artist. I entertain as much as possible because I love to cook and try new things. My husband is an independent writer/director in films so there are always people to cook for in our life. We met in college when we were literally starving artists, and we have always viewed food as an artistic expression.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              happysnacker Jul 26, 2007 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This has been a great read! What a group we have here...here is my life-list:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              wildlife biologist
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              cannery worker in AK
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              chiropractor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              lawyer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              caterer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              full time food world watcher / reader / cook / eater

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: happysnacker
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                justagthing Jul 26, 2007 02:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                curious...which one is the most current...nice variety you have had

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. reubensandperrier Jul 25, 2007 11:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm an assistant editor to a food/books publishing division.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  yogurtsoda Jul 25, 2007 11:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i work for a nonprofit doing international relations work, but got into food when i was a kid (my favorite show was yan can cook!). my love of food and world affairs led to a fondness for ethnic cuisine. (having immigrant parents who are both creat cooks has certainly played a role in that too.) i've loved to cook since i was eight or nine and i have a food blog now, and when i'm not cooking, i'm usually daydreaming about the next meal i'll create.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. bards4 Jul 21, 2007 04:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pretty sure by reading the rest of these 500 posts, that I am the village idiot. In real life, I'm a literacy specialist at a local elementary school. Got my love of the whole cooking thing by watching the Great Chefs series in the 80's And yes, I saw Emeril on TV WAY BACK before satellite dishes on Great Chefs of New Orleans.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      applehome Jul 22, 2007 09:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They absolutely need to bring that series back. I have the GCoNO II cookbook with Oysters Belle Rive by Warren LeRuth, Willy Coln's Duck in Green Peppercorn Sauce, Le Bec's Duck L'Orange, Brennan's Grillades and Grits... just classic, classic stuff, with step by step instructions and great pictures from the show. They did a great job of keeping the interviews short but informative, and showing the details of the dishes being made. They need to do this again, with a whole new generaton of great chefs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As to a literacy specialist working in an elementary school being a village idiot, I think not... I'm a card carrying member of the VI's and your name isn't on the roster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. salutlemonde Jul 21, 2007 12:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm a landscape architect - not that you can tell by looking at my own garden.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        aecs Jul 20, 2007 11:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm currently working in Real Estate, but my degree is in English Lit/Creative Writing. I write (and attempt to publish) poetry, eventually I'd love to teach it at a college level. Right now I'm enjoying my job, which gives me a good amount of free time to scour the farmer's markets and food blogs :) SO is in the tech biz, grew up with a mom who cooked the Thanksgiving bird in the microwave!! That is considered a major no-no where i'm from. Needless to say, its been quite a few years and he's still my willing and ready guinea pig (although I think he's starting to blame my culinary ambition for his expanding waistline)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Emme Jul 20, 2007 06:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Have you looked at all into Stanford's Stegner Fellowship or tried to get a position there as a lecturer in the Creative Writing dept? [FYI my degree is from Stanford in English LIt (focus in Creative Writing) and Psychology]. The Stegner Fellowship is tough to get into, but it's a perfect avenue into plenty of time to write and most often a teaching position at the university.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: aecs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sam Fujisaka Jul 20, 2007 07:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            aecs, how do you do a turkey in a MW? I'd really like to know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Adrienne Jul 20, 2007 09:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              PLEASE tell us she had a microwave with a convection oven feature

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                revsharkie Oct 9, 2007 02:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The guy who was head of the kitchen at my dad's cafeteria when I was really little said they did it there when the very first microwaves appeared, in the like 1950s. He said they worked pretty well, but didn't go into details about the ovens or how he did it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But my aunt Pat did our Thanksgiving turkey in her Amana Radarange when she first got it, when I was in sixth or seventh grade, and it was a colossal flop. Cooked unevenly, if at all.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              battster Jul 20, 2007 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i'm a newbie and have to say that the little bit that i read before replying has left me lost as to why there aren't more "domestic engineers" involved .... i'm just sorry i didn't find this years earlier!!! i grew up as the grandaughter of restaurant owners who were groomed by their fathers who both were brought over from Italy to work back then in the "CITY" and the genes are still strong!!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                septocaine_queen Jul 20, 2007 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Domestic engineers are too busy with their 24/7 job to have time to cruise CH.com. The rest of us get to leave work at 5 pm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: septocaine_queen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Jul 22, 2007 07:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "The rest of us get to leave work at 5 pm."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Or surf CH while at work. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. jmckee Jul 20, 2007 10:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm in IT Manager for a business services company. Eh. It pays the bills. And buys the Balsamic.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LesleyEats Jul 20, 2007 10:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I write a nightlife and gossip column. I'll take food over Paris (Hilton) any day, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LesleyEats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Zion Jul 30, 2007 07:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    hi lesley.. write about food or restaurants in the city anytime? food detective here!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. TexasToast Jul 20, 2007 10:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow, great topic. Writer & Producer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  TT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. wino22 Jul 19, 2007 04:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Right now I am a receptionist at a mortgage company (yawn!)... in fact, soon I hope to be going back to doing what I love - working in restaurants! I love the face to face interaction with customers (yes, even the awful ones), the fast pace, the multi-tasking, the tips, and most importantly... the FOOD!!!! I am so bored right now... the 2 things I appreciate most about this mind dulling job is that I met the man I will marry (and he'll eat ANYTHING) and I found Chowhound. I never had daily access to a computer until a few months ago. I cook whenever I can, drawing inspiration from the restaurant chefs I have seen work magic over the years, or from various food websites. There's nothing I won't try once (I would have been great on Fear Factor). My 30th birthday is drawing near and hopefully the next 30 years of my life will be filled with food, wine, travel, and more food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As for the other questions... I don't make a heck of a lot of money, but yes, like fellow hounders I spend a decent % on groceries (wine), restaurants, and the like.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hungrygirldenver Jul 19, 2007 03:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i am an md, but food loving started as a child. Was raised in the US by immigrant, food loving parents who taught me to eat and love everything. Ate at mostly hole-in-the-wall ethnic places until I graduated and could afford more...now I eat everything! I drive a 9-yr-old camry, don't have the nicest house, don't even have cable - but I sure do eat well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. crosby_p Jul 19, 2007 04:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am a native New Yorker who moved to Florida at the age of 21...now in my 50's I have relocated to Baltimore! I have been in the radio business for almost 30-years, being a jock, but mostly doing news or co-hosting morning reports for stations in Fort Pierce, Orlando, and West Palm Beach. I am now the news bureau chief for a major company that provides news and traffic content to radio and television stations across the country. I have lived in my boss's basement for over a year now while trying to sell my house in Florida <sigh>. That is my goal...to get into my own place where I can cook! and have money to go out more for food! Love shopping at Eddies, Grauls, Wegmans, Farmers Markets, and places like that...I'm a newbie too...just about a week, but find I spend a lot of time here! Thanks for the boards!!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          tartuffe Jul 31, 2007 01:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Crosby P, welcome to B-more, hon1 Im a law prof, so money is not a problem, and food is a big preoccupation of mine. I travel a lot, and also use this board a lot. There's a great joy in discovering things like first-class Tex-Mex in Harrisburg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My mom did no cooking, and my grandmother cooked everything in lard or bacon fat (it had flavor). I learned to cook from the first Craig Claiborne book for the NYT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tartuffe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            crosby_p Aug 1, 2007 07:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks tartuffe..so far I love it here...but not the snow and ice. Love the change of seasons and the cold weather, as I have had 35-years of heat to make up for, and enjoy cooking soups, stews...things like that. My mom was a basic cook, but did comfort food that I still make. Learned to cook by trial and error.. there is still so much to learn!!! Can't poach an egg without messing it up!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          koshie Jul 18, 2007 08:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I import steel into the US from Asia. Through my travels in Asia, i have developed a love for food. mmmm...food....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. gatun Jul 14, 2007 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am a ship captain(unlimited tonnage) engaged to a chef.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              jaq121897 Jul 6, 2007 03:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll 'bite', as it seems I will be a first...I am an audiologist and enjoy exploring not too noisy (we have to practice what we preach) chow around NYC with my audiologist pals

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                hoppy2468 Jul 3, 2007 06:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am a Master Control technical Director at a sports TV station in Chicago. My wife is a feline only veterinarian/practice owner in Oak Park. I'm from Iowa, she is from Kansas so our Chowhounding didn't start until we moved here. Over the last ten years we've gradually expanded our chowhound world to include more types of food.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What began it all was a dinner at Everest. We really had no experience in fine dining but we certainly became hooked after that.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  gramercyfoodie Jul 3, 2007 05:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Just found this thread. So interesting. I am a real estate broker in nyc...born and raised nyc kid. I like to go out to eat more than anything and I say that I would sacrifice the other things (nicer digs, new car, etc)...but my boyfriend says I don't, and that I want it all. He might be right, but food comes first...sigh.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    jkmillerus Jul 1, 2007 10:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have family spread out all over the world (mostly in India, Europe and North America) - just trying to keep up with everyone lets us visit atleast two different continents every year. I am of Indian origin, so we end up in Indian restaurants a lot when we have family reunions. I have found many great indian restaurants in places where you would not expect them at all (e.g. in France - "Maharaja" in Strasbourg, the "Le Maharajah" in Paris, and most recently, "Delhi Belhi" in Nice (on the French Riviera) where we had a family reunion for celebrating New Years eve recently...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I live in the United States and work for in the Information Technology field...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Honeychan Jul 1, 2007 08:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's been really fascinating, reading what fellow Hounders do for a living. We are such a diverse, unique bunch of food-lovers! I think it's part of the reason I keep coming back here, to read about other's experiences and (hopefully!) learn from them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Me? I work in the hotel industry, here in Las Vegas. Making hotel reservations on the phone, to be exact. It's not the most swanky job, but the pay is surprisingly decent for what I do. Good thing, since I have a few expensive hobbies. ^__^ Big love is tea, and collecting tea-pots and unique teas from all over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DH works as a security supervisor for another Strip hotel. No kids, don't want them. Our dogs are quite enough, thanks!*LOL*

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Soo..When you call a Las Vegas hotel to book, you may just be talking to another fellow CH'er!! (i'd mention my hotel, but don't want to step on anyone's toes here- plus...It seems a bit tacky)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. vvvindaloo Jul 1, 2007 06:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am an attorney and freelance translator living in Manhattan. Aside from rent, I would say that food is my biggest expense-- whether I am chowing in restaurants, hounding the street carts, or shopping for ingredients to use at home. I think food is probably also my favorite hobby and greatest preoccupation! While I am of Italian ancestry (100%), I grew up in several countries around the world, and had the fantastic opportunity to sample and enjoy food from many cultures. Most of my meals, however, have originated in the kitchens of my mother and maternal grandmother (both Italian-American), and I owe so much of my love of food--planning, preparation, eating, sharing, and discussing-- to them. Thank you Kevin, wherever you are, and to all of the other fascinating Chowhounds out there, for encouraging all of us to share!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Salbert Jul 1, 2007 05:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Great Topic--
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My dad started off as a short order cook-- moved along to some "American Continental" he would call it-- never officially trained-- unless you call his mom right off the boat from Greece "Chef Helen".
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mom was an awful cook-- I was always fascinated what my dad could do in the kitchen-- so got interested as a "hobby".
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My profession-- psychiatric social worker. I work part time for the best psychiatric hospital in the country-- and part time in private practice.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For years I wanted the to go to J&W-- but after reading Kitchen Confidential by Bourdain-- I said forget it-- and just chose to enjoy the meals my husband and I make together for each other or small entertainment!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the topic!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Furgs Jul 1, 2007 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Presently I am a preschool teacher, but I used to work in the historical archaeology/museum field. My DH is still in that world. I KNOW that we spend more money on food/booze/wine than most of our friends, however we don't go out to eat at expensive places. We mostly frequent "road food"-type or ethnic eateries. Not that we wouldn't want to go to more expensive, starred restaurants! We definitely don't spend our disposable income (such as it is) on nicer digs--as a matter of fact I was laughing the other day because I was noticing that 90% of the furniture in our house is either hand me down or second hand! And we're in our 50's! My friends like to say that our house is "eclectic." :) We also are paying college tuition for our oldest son.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We just love to explore the backroads, byways and strip malls of the US for locally known specialties or ethnic foods. It's entertainment, hobby and nourishment for us--our kids love to do the same.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ton Jul 1, 2007 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm a blacksmith, been doing it for thirty five years, and I own an architectural ironwork company. Wish I could eat duck for a living.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              alsky Jun 29, 2007 06:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I found this board 1-2 years ago while looking for restaurant reviews. I generally use it when I'm traveling to some place new (Santa Barbara in a week!). I have posted a few times but not too much. I am a professor with a PhD in Sociology (lots of us on here!); my husband is a research scientist. We are in the Hampton Roads area, VA. We probably have a higher than average income and spend quite a bit of it on food and traveling. I'm different than the majority of people responding in that I CAN'T COOK!!!! My mother is a pretty good cook, and my husband has cooked in restaurants. I feel overwhelmed by the thought of learning (I'm kind of a perfectionist, so I think it may be frustrating for me!!).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not sure when I really became a "foodie." My parents would take me to fancy restaurants when we traveled (and I was a kid/teenager), and I continued to do that when I began traveling alone or with friends. However, it was probably after I met my now-husband in grad school that I got serious about it. We try to get to NYC as often as possible just to EAT!!! There are some good restaurants here, but nothing like you can get in the big city! Great thread!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                alsky Jun 29, 2007 06:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I wanted to say one more thing! I am sometimes "broke" (in the sense that I have to really watch my spending until next paycheck without dipping into savings) because of our restaurant habits/a meal splurge, and I feel really guilty about it because no one I know does that! It has been very comforting to connect with people who make food a priority and think it's worth it (and justifiable) to forgo other things in order to eat well. Thanks!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  pearlgoddess Jun 30, 2007 07:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm almost always broke! I'm a set decorator/writer/illustrator, but not a very good business manager. I still love all things re: food, travel, film, books. Up and down side of this post: it's too popular! I didn't have time to read all of the 4oo plus posts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. bigjeff Jun 28, 2007 08:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                where my graphic designers at? I only count 3 so far and I can't believe I actually went through this entire list (excellent topic, kevin). interesting that people are really being quite open w/ this particular question, when most profiles I see are quite non-descript. I work at an ad agency in nyc and our clients are in the travel and hospitality sector, the environmental and social non-profit sector, and also the progressive corporate sector of brands trying to make a positive change in the world. I also do freelance design work for friends, non-profits on the side, and also as much random art and side projects as I can, none of them food related.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've been on the boards for maybe 5 years? during the BBS-style days and lucky enough to have been born and raised in queens, new york (apparently the most diverse borough in the entire country) and that's wholly reflected in the food I grew up eating and cooking. both of my parents raised my sister and I in the kitchen, so many of my cooking and eating techniques, as well as an appreciation for home-cooked meals, come from them, but I've also got so much variety in terms of cuisine, price range and category of food being raised in nyc that I've been able to eat at all levels with absolute access. my college roommates were the luckiest guys on campus because I always cooked up the best meals and munchies and I've always collected cookbooks and food magazines. I've been able to take a few trips a year so I always enjoy setting up a chow itinerary from these boards whenever I go abroad or to another city. food, for me, is the best way to walk a city and discover neighborhoods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the best thing about the board is that it's not about income at all, since the questions range from top ("expense account dinner suggestions") to bottom ("favorite dollar food") and anyone can chime in or find what they're looking for, at any given moment. for me personally, money is no object when it comes to food and drink but of course, finding some delicious obscure home-style food usually ends up light on the wallet and that's what houndin' is about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Barbarella Jun 28, 2007 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am employed by the Department of the Army. My husband is a trial attorney. I came from a family that loved to cook, mostly Polish and German food. Have one daughter in the restaurant business and the other is a junior in college. It was my lucky day when I discovered CH some months ago, I love reading all the threads!!!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LaLa Jun 28, 2007 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am been a realtor for several years and hubby is an outside contractor salesman for a lumber company.We also own a seperate business. We really enjoy introducing new things to our little one.Hubby was a very picky eater when I got him and he vows he will not let that happen to ours...he can not believe he missed out for so many years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. roma_girl Jun 27, 2007 09:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi, I am new on the board but have been reading this post for awhile now. As of now I am a grad student at the University of Washington in Seattle getting my MA in Art History and teaching intro level art history classes. I'm defending my thesis this summer and starting a new program in the fall getting a MS in information management--which I hope will give me more of an income to devote to food than an MA in Art History! As you might be able to tell by my screen name, I have spent a lot of time studying in Italy, especially in Rome and I love Italian food, especially from the Emilia Romagna region. I started cooking when I was in high school and became a vegetarian (gave that up a year ago after about 8 years!). The rest of my family has never really been interested in cooking so guess who cooks most of the big meals now? As of now I don't have a lot of income to spend on food but I live near the International District in Seattle and there are lots of excellent and inexpensive choices.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      scotth Jun 28, 2007 10:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi, I'm new as well and my degree (History) worked out so well that I sell laboratory analyzers to hospital laboratories. Which doesn't sound too thrilling but it pays well and I work out of a home office. I can also take time off when I want to and make my own hours. Being a once upon a time hippie, money only matters to me for the comforts it can buy and for me one of those is buying only prime beef and other food ingredients. that are pricey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I taught myself to cook when I was in college. My theory was (and it worked) that having limited funds it was less expensive to invite someone to have dinner at my place than to take her to a restaurant. They always thought that to be very romantic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I grew up eating the usual home cooking but when my brother and I went off to school my mother became a very accomplished cook - very good with French. We asked her why she hadn't cooked like that when we lived at home and her answer - "Because I finally had the time."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So it comes full circle because even though I've always cooked I never hit a level that is above average until our kids went off to school and their own lives. Now I hear the same thing from them and the answer is because I'd never had the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is an interesting (and long thread) and this looks like a nice forum.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Littlemama Jul 3, 2007 03:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        hello, I have maybe posted a few times at best. Mr. scotth is responsible for the referal. I started cooking when I was just out of high school.....my mother insisted...she had wanted me to be groomed to marry someone rich and important. boy did I disappoint. anyway, I went to college, graduated with honors, had my own catering bussiness, married a sailor, sold the bussiness.......had bunches of kids.....now my life revolves around them and the grandkiddos. I own a small dairy farm in Texas. Make my own cheese, Sew clothing and work for several interior designers in the Houston meto area. My cooking skills improve with each passing day of course. I do not get out too much, the cows being my closest friends...then there are my cyberbuddies.....through the years and with my involvement of various historical research groups....I have learned to do a lot of things.....including loving world history...hence my love of costuming through the ages......back to the sewing thing...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        this is a very nice site. hope to participate often.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      wandasue Jun 27, 2007 04:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm a high school English teacher; my husband is an executive in the microchip industry. When we were first married, we cashed out his paycheck (I was not working) and put X dollars in various envelopes; when the money was gone, it was gone. I had to learn to make that food dollar stretch, and there was very little left over for entertainment. I spent the summer of '79 learning how to make pie crust. The Jersey peaches were fantastic, and we ate pie ala mode several times a week. That summer I also began exploring the infinite varieties of mac and cheese. My interest in food and cooking took off from there. Almost thirty years later, we are lucky enough to travel regularly(including five days in San Francisco every July) and eat well. Peach pie and mac 'n cheese are still my favorite and best dishes,but I've been lucky enough to experience a number of restaurants that regularly appear on "The Best of" lists.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Reading recipes and restaurant reviews are a good part of my leisure time, and now this board is another guilty pleasure. Food can provide not just physical pleasure, but intellectual stimulation as well. Keep posting! I'll keep reading

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Laura D. Jun 28, 2007 09:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wandasue...a topic for another board, but might you be willing to post your macaroni and cheese and pie recipes? I'm sure with as much as experience as you've had making these in the last 30 years they are fantastic! Thanks in advance!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          wandasue Jun 28, 2007 11:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sure thing, Laura D. I've posted the peach pie recipe and some ideas for mac 'n cheese on Home Cooking. The pie has its own topic and the mac is part of a thread on cheese for this dish started by nathanac. I hope they work for you, and thanks for asking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. kathryn7673 Jun 27, 2007 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        great post! I am a stay at home mom/ PT time Psychology student. My partner runs his own business in the entertainment industry that allows me to do both. We eat out a minimum of 3 times a week spending anywhere from $40-$200 per meal... oh dear I just did the #'s on how much $$$ that is each month... is anyone else blowing this much money on food?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          creativeusername Jun 27, 2007 04:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You're not alone. My grocery bill is over $200 a week. (That feeds two.) Plus we eat out every Saturday night. So yes...I work to eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. auburnselkie Jun 27, 2007 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm an Advertising Manager and Food Editor for a locally owned, fiercely independent newspaper. My husband is the Executive Editor of same (it didn't start out that way - he had to point out that I was, in fact, working for t