Adele Forbes [airdale1]
When did you start cooking? Who got you started in this art?
I was raised in my grandmothers kitchen and my love of cooking stems from her.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in food?
Cooking is my gift and my art. Making it my career was second nature to who I am.
Is there a website or blog where we can see something about you and your cooking?
www.inmamajoesshadow.blogspot.com This blog was just recently launched. Have a Group on Facebook entitled, 'In Mama Joe's Shadow", Cooking With Adele's Best Recipes
What culinary training have you received? Where have you learned more, in class or by experimenting?
Have had no culinary training as In a school. Learned from my grandmother, mother, aunt, and worked in country club kitchens and resraurants through the years. Have cooked professionally for 27 years for the family that owns the Ruddick Corporation (which owns Harris-Teeter supermarkets), in their private homes. I am continually learning the fine art of cooking.
How and where did you get your first job as a professional cook?
My brother-in-law was dating a girl whose father was the head chef at Grandfather Golf & Country Club, in Linville, NC. He was looking for a line cook and I had just had my second child and looking for another job besides working in a convenience store, so she told me I should go and see him. I did, and got the job, and it was my first cooking job and the best learning experience for cooking I could ever have hoped for. He had been a cook in the Army and I learned so very much from him and will always be greteful to him.
How would you define your style?
I am first and foremost a country cook, but having worked in many different homes in the area resorts, I learned a great deal from both the women and the men. They have traveled extensively all over the world and appreciate good food. I can cook some of the best buttermilk fried chicken you ever put in your mouth, or an Osso Bucco, or a marinated butterflied rack of lamb on the grill, or a lobster stuffed beef tenderloin. I am not sure what label that would take under style, but it is my style.
Do you select and buy the ingredients yourself? Where?
I buy all of the food I cook, and in the summer I head for the local produce stands and farmers markets for the freshest ingredients I can get. Since the main family I cook for owns Harris-Teeter supermarkets, I shop there alot.
What is your favorite spice to cook with and why?
Cinnamon. It's earthy aroma has always spoken to me. Wether it is my grandmothers cinnamon cake, or sprinkled with brown sugar over a piece of buttered toast, I love it for its heady fragrance that always brings back memories of days gone by in my grandmothers kitchen.
What is your signature dish or your favorite recipe?
My grandmothers Buttermilk Fried Chicken. It is a two-day process and well worth the wait.
What is your favorite cooking gadget?
A sharp German knife.
Who have been the biggest inspirations in your career?
Glen Hicks, who gave me my first cooking job and my grandmother, Mama Joe, who instilled in me my love of food and cooking.
Do you have an funny kitchen incident to share with us?
A couple of years ago I cooked a Thanksgiving dinner and delivered it to Hound Ears Country Club in Foscoe, NC, to a family I had been cooking for, for several years. She requested a turkey breast and so I bought a Butterball and cooked it just perfect and delivered it, or what I thought was it, with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving evening. My husband and I went on to have dinner at a friends house. When we got back home that night I had a message to call the family that I had delivered the dinner to. The man of the house answered the phone and started dying laughing. He could not even talk to me. His wife got on the phone and was laughing as well. I finally got it out of them that I had delivered a ham bone, picked clean, but no turkey. I had cooked a honey baked ham for us and then picked the meat off of it so I could use the bone for soup beans and wrapped the bone in aluminum foil and put it in the refrigerator. I took it instead of the turkey to them. I was so embarrassed, but they thought it was the funniest thing ever. The next morning I took them their turkey and we had another good laugh and they loaded me up with all kinds of goodies to eat. What a special family. Ever since then I have been stuck with the nickname, Hambone.
If you were stranded on a deserted island for one year, what dish would ask to eat after your rescue?
A large juicy bacon cheeseburger, all the way!
If any chef in the world could prepare a meal for you, who would it be?
Michael Smith of Canada
Men versus women: do they cook differently?
Is there something you hate to see when you go to a restaurant as a customer?
A dirty restroom.
Do you sometimes find yourself eating junk-food?
No, and if it is, it is homemade.
Who cooks in your home?
Tell us about your favorite wines and other drinks to accompany food.
We do not drink wine, so it would have to be vodka, bourbon, water, or tea.
What tendencies do you see coming on strong?
Quick, simple, cheap; due to the state of the economy.
What do you think about molecular gastronomy in terms of introducing chemical elements into dish preparation?
I do not believe in it.
What new techniques are you interested in learning
Well, it is not a new technique, but I would like to learn more about the art of breadmaking.
What are some of your professional goals for the future?
My goal is just to keep working for this wonderful family that I cook for. I think it is the best job in the world!
What advice would you give to someone in high school who would like to pursue a culinary career?
That if it is their passion, to go for it, and never look back.
What would you say to a novice in the kitchen to help them get over their fear of cooking?
That it is not rocket science. To keep it simple, because to me simple food is best.