I’m not a chef and I have never attended a culinary school. But I have a passion for fresh food prepared simply and with a minimum of ingredients. Cooking for more than 40 years, I’ve succeeded in becoming somewhat accomplished. I’m always open and willing to learn about, experiment with and try fresh ingredients and proven cooking techniques. well-prepared food carefully presented delights all the senses–not just our taste buds.
Others tell me that I can cook. I’ve gained a local reputation for being able to prepare special menu items for my wife, family and friends that are beautiful and enjoyable to experience. And as more people were invited to our home to dine, the word began to spread.
For example, over the past six years, my wife and friends have volunteered me to be auctioned off by a variety of charitable organizations, helping raise money for important causes. The auction item typically involves collaborating with the winning bidder to create a customized multicourse dinner with paired wines. I prepare and serve these dinners in my 110 year old home. The winning bidders have spent nearly $4,000, and the highest bidder has spent $15,000 for these evenings in my home. Check out the menus for these dinners in the Hot! Menus Category.
The secret to these evenings has not been gourmet-prepared food, using complicated and elaborate cooking skills–it has been simple ingredients, uncomplicated recipes carefully prepared, and artfully presented. That’s it!! And everyone can do this–even guys!!
Cooking has been a significant part of my heritage. My two grandfathers owned restaurants for many years. My grandmothers, my mother and my father were exceptionally talented home-style cooks, and my wife is a great cook. When I moved away from home, I realized how much I missed the healthy and fresh tasting meals that were a part of my everyday life. I began asking for and accumulating the family recipes, and little-by-little learned the cooking techniques that transformed those recipes into memorable experiences.
Armed with these recipes and cooking skills, I began to impress the women I dated with meals that made me stand out as someone special and worth another try!! In fact, it is my considered opinion Kathy agreed to marry me, in large part, because I cooked her some great meals in the years before we became engaged. She would deny it, but I’m not sure she would have come along for the ride had my cooking skills not been on the menu of things she was buying into when she said ‘Yes’ to my marriage proposal.
Which leads me to the purpose of this blog. From what I hear through my younger guy friends, being able to cook healthy, attractive and great tasting meals for the special women in their lives is a potential game changer, leading to the desirable status of ‘Hot!’, as they say in the local vernacular. Therefore, this weblog is dedicated to sharing great stories and simple recipes every guy can masterfully prepare and present to the special ladies in their lives. In effect, we are going to share and exchange many of the ‘guy only cooking secrets” that will give you a better shot at becoming Hot!”. As I tell the story of my cooking journey, I hope you will find something you’ll like to try in the kitchen, and maybe we’ll have some fun and laughs along the way.
Welcome to Hot! Cooking Guys!!
Lou Testoni, Pittsburgh, PA