KEVIN BLAKEA computer technician, Blake lives in West Islip with his wife, Emily.
How did you get interested in cooking? When my wife and I got engaged, in 2004, we moved into an apartment. Neither of us knew how to cook, so I decided I'd take on that responsibility. I didn't want to be eating out of the freezer every night.
What about when you were growing up - was there a food culture in your family? I grew up eating good food. Both of my parents were good cooks. My mother is Italian, so there was a lot of pasta. Spaghetti and meatballs. Roasts. Pizza on Friday night. But I had no interest in learning to cook. I was more interested in eating.
Do you see a big difference in the food you cook and the food you grew up eating? Yes. As I started cooking - I use the Internet to find recipes, I use cookbooks - I became more interested in different kinds of food. I eat everything. I eat liver. I eat Chinese food. I work in Hicksville, so I eat at the Indian restaurants there a lot. If I pass by a Persian restaurant - I think, Hey, what's that? And I want to stop and try it. My parents were good cooks, but they weren't such adventurous eaters.
Do you have a favorite market? Yes. H&Y on Old Country Road in Hicksville. It's a huge Korean-owned Asian grocery store, so there are different kinds of produce, fish and meats. There's also a good Korean restaurant in front.
Is there a restaurant you particularly like? I like Nonnina in West Islip. It's an upscale Italian bistro, so there's always fresh pasta, seafood - always something good.