My name is Jim Cutler. I love to cook, bake and of course I love to eat delicious food. Food is an art form that can be enjoyed by all of the five senses. I keep that in mind with every meal I prepare.
I didn’t go to culinary school and I’m not a professional chef. I’m actually an auto technician at a local Ford dealer. Don’t let that gross you out though; I wear gloves at work because I don’t like getting my hands dirty.
I live in northern Illinois with my darling wife Natalie (she’s also a really good cook), and our two beautiful children. We all cook in our house. In fact a lot of the recipes I post I actually make with my children. If you ever notice female hands in my pictures, that’s probably one of my kids.
I started cooking when I was about eight. I was a rambunctious kid all full of energy. I remember my grandmother not really knowing what to do with me and all my energy. You see, I was her first grandchild and I was very hyperactive. She taught me how to knit, and my grandfather FLIPPED OUT! My grandmother would try to get me to grade her school papers because she was a teacher for deaf children. The only problem was that I wasn’t any better at math than the kids who took the tests that my grandmother wanted me to grade, so she put me to work in the kitchen.
My grandmother and I baked a lot of chocolate chip cookies. She was always patient with me, not getting mad when I would just smash an egg in my hand sprinkling the batter with egg shells. Or when I should have been paying attention, but instead was trying to ‘moonwalk’ across her kitchen like Michael Jackson. I know I didn’t appreciate it back then, but looking back I am so thankful that she had such immense patience with me and that she didn’t give up trying to bake with me. I strive to have the same level of patience with my own children.
One Christmas my mom bought my sister and me a cook book for children, and we put it to good use. My sister and I would make all sorts of things while my mom was at work. I remember baking a cake one day with her. We got done frosting it, we had a piece and it wasn’t that bad. Then I remember chucking it in the garbage and saying, ‘Now let’s make a different cake!’ And we did.
As children of a single mother my sister and I had to make dinner on a lot of nights. To me this was normal, a nine year old making dinner with his five year old sister. I was beside myself when I went away to school and met people that didn’t know how to cook the simplest things. To me this was like an eighteen year old that couldn’t tie his shoes. At some point in my adult life cooking and baking went from something I had to do to something that I really enjoy doing. Maybe it was when I made dinner for my wife when we were dating, and she liked what I made so much she accused me of having someone else make it.
Cooking shows are really popular in our home; we don’t sit down together in front of the TV to watch a football game, but rather The Next Iron Chef or Chopped.