I came to my interest in food very early in life, as my mother, father, grandmothers, and great aunts were all adventurous cooks and great gardeners. Hanging around under foot in the kitchen, I gained a lot of knowledge by osmosis. Early experiments in the kitchen led me to a life-long passion for the sciences, and my degree in microbiology and a stint in a foods laboratory only reinforced the food connection. After a weird transition to the materials engineering business, I was stuck there for the past 28 years, happily. I have since retired. I spend far too much money on toys and books, often using the excuse "but I don't play golf" to justify my passion. I am currently designing and about to build my retirement home, centered around a kitchen, of course. If I ever get it built, I am looking forward to enjoying the kitchen with my other cooking-freak friends.