Hello Heffey de Chefey;
I am the one, the only, the illustrious Goodweed of the North, a man known for silliness, a love of food, a love a creativity, a love of adventure, and finally, a love for poking fun at others. I am officially chef of only one kitchen, my own, in my house. However, that being said, I look forward to your posts about all things culinary. You will find all kinds of people here at DC, from the very knowledgeable, and not just about cooking, to those who can hardly boil water. This is the friendliest site I have ever belonged to, and people truly try to respect each other, and each other's opinions. I would like to give a cautionary piece of advise though, in the form of a true story.
I once worked for a firm that fabricated battery packs for industrial customers. One of my duties was to solder copper wire leads to battery terminals at certain points, to obtain different voltage values on color-coded wires (voltage is additive when the batteries are place in series). Because of experience gained while serving as an aviation electronics technician in the U.S. Navy, and from various schools attended in that same organization, I had expert soldering skills. Our solder iron was not truly large enough for the task and so I used a bit more liquid solder flux to help transfer eough heat to insure a good solder joint. A co-worker, with almost no soldering experience told me I was making a mess and wasting flux. He stated that the rosin core of the solder was suffiecient to create a satisfactory product. I disagreed. He went to the owner and complained. He had to clean the excess solder from the sompleted battery pack before packaging was done. The owner came out to bring me to task. I asked the co-worker to point out a stack of batteries that he had soldered the wires onto. He knew where his stack sat. I walked over to his battery packs and tried to lift them quickly by the wires. I knew that his soldering method was substandard and that his packs had cold solder joints. The solder joints, as I expected, failed and the wires sepperated from the battery terminals. He stated that the battery packs weighed in excess of thirty pounds and that mine would fail as well. I invited him to test his statement with any random packs from my stack of finished battery packs. He yanked them up fro the floor by the same wires that I had yanked on, and tugged and bounced them. He couldn't get one of them to fail. I turned to the owner and asked him which battery packs he wanted his customers to receive. The owner to to my co-worker and instructed him to learn from me. But you see, I didn't at that time have a universty degree. I did have years of experience in my field, had been a quality assurance inspector of completed soldered work, and had Navy schools to teach me how to solder properly. If solder joints fail on military aircraft, bad things happen.
This young man who had challenged me was working toward a university diploma in engineering, but had no practical experience, and had no idea that I had advanced electrical soldering training. He learned a lesson in humility.
Likewise, there are those on this site who may not hold the certificate, but through non-certifiable training, and practical experience prepare food well beyond the ability of many certified chefs who are fresh out of culinary school. I do hold a bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, and know just how hard that degree was to come by. but I also know that for all of the things I learned, when I was to start any job within the field of electronics, I knew enough to get me started, and that there would be continuing education on the job.
Electronics is vast, with required knowledge in everything from mechanical engineering principles, physics, and advance mathematical concepts, as well as the computer sciences. It is too big to learn in a classroom setting, even 10 years worth, which is what I had between my navy and university training. So too it is with cooking. The culinary arts require a great deal of training to learn the required skills to successfully work in a professional kitchen. But the training obtained in school leaves you in a position to start learning. It isn't the end of the learning process. The degree in electronics, and the certification in the culinary arts shows that you are willing to go the extra mile to get the training you need, and gives you a basic set of tools to work with.
I bring to my kitchen that same thirst for knowledge that I maintained to get my B.S. degree. But I received my instruction from using scientific method, from learning the techniques used by others, by reading quality texts about cooking, and by using the best techniques that I observed others use, and that produce exceptional results.
Just as I have met people with degrees that were terrible electronics techs, or engineers, I have know certified chefs who were too narrowly focused and due to a lack of humility, where unable to progress in their field.
In engineering, I will never be the man who has nothing more to learn, even from people who are just starting their own careers in the field. I am that way in cooking as well.
As people, all we can ever really hope to do is help others learn, try to learn from others, and use the skills and knowledge that we have to the best of our ability. Don't let labels hold you back. Labels create limits.
With that said, you now know why some here say that I talk too much, or am sometimes long-winded (and I can't even deny it
). But I offer you my friendship, and hope to share what I know with you, and learn from you as well. Welcome to DC. There is a lot here to appreciate, and a lot of caring and freindly people who will make you laugh, and who might bring an occasional tear to the eye. It is a great community.
And yes,, I write novels as a hobby rather than short stories.
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North