I just started to cook when I came to the States for my MBA. I lived in the dorm, where I wasn’t allowed to cook. However, our cafeteria wasn’t open on weekends. So I had to drag along other people to dine outside, as I didn’t have a car in my first year. But I saw other people using rice cookers. I bought one and started to cook easy things in the rice cooker - rice, soup, and then developed to soba, cheese risotto, and pastas. I felt pretty happy.
The second step, I got to stay with my friend from Shanghai the first winter break in Chicago for two weeks. Because she adopted me and she was working, I thought it would be nice to cook for her. I saw her sometimes looking at the internet to learn some recipes, and I started to look on line, too. I also called my dad from time to time to ask about the recipes.
The next step really leveraged my cooking for 6 months. I took an internship in Michigan - first time I lived by myself (with a roommate) - but I needed to do the “real” cooking job. Because I am a runner, and trained for full marathon at that time. I have to pay attention to the nutrition, of course, educated by the MBA lean management, I started to develop one dish dinner covered protein and vegetable. My intern friend, Jane, cooked some delicious Chinese dishes that inspired me to try making some Chinese food of my own.
Coming to New York, there are tons of restaurants, but dining out is very expensive. I decide to cook more and practice my creative dishes more.
I have to admit that my cooking skill is not at a high level. I don’t like to follow the recipe; I just go by feeling to cook the healthy ingredients I want to eat. But my dad told me a very important cooking tip. He taught me that the presentation of dishes is very important. People like pretty things, and nice plate presentation can attract people immediately to try the dishes. It also can offset my low skills of the cooking, eventually leverages my entire cooking skill. Thus, my dishes are always very pretty. Maybe that also shows that I am a typical marketer, extend some emotional value to the products and services, and create some innovative and globalized taste of the marketing.