Hello my name is Ted Alling,
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved cooking and spending time in the kitchen. I honestly thought that my mother had dedicated her life to cooking, but later on in life, I came to understand that she was just a great stay at home mom of 4. Although I was a boy, I was always the only one interested in helping my mom make pancakes, fried eggs, and bratwurst. She proceeded to teach me how to make pasta, to cook chicken, stuff cabbages, and even how to make a pretty good risotto.
Life in Germany was wonderful as a kid, but my parents decided to move to the United States, or more specifically to the state of Illinois, in 1990. When I moved out to go to college in Georgia, not only was I able to make some delicious dishes, but I was a very popular roommate to have—I was one of the very rare ones who could prepare something other than mac & cheese from the box. The other students from the dorm really dug my special fried rice. Until this day, I won’t give out the secret ingredient that makes it unique…
I graduated from college with honors and an accounting degree in 1995, and soon after started working in a firm in downtown Atlanta. All I could think about all day was what I would make for my girlfriend for dinner. She obviously did not mind that I had taken over the kitchen early on in our relationship. She is a nurse, and often has to work long hours and comes home exhausted and hungry.
However, food had become much more than a hobby or necessity for me…it was actually closer to an obsession, but I prefer to use the term passion. I was spending most of my weekends visiting fresh local markets and discovering new produce and herbs. After working as an accountant for 5 years, I realized that life was far too short to continue missing out on my true calling: cooking.
I applied as a part time cook at a local diner about 10 minutes from home, and the rest, as they say, is history. Three years later I was opening my own restaurant with my wife as my main partner. All my ex-fellow accountants now come in to eat at lunch time. We have been serving our clientele my famous fried rice, and many more dishes that I will be glad to share with you over the future weeks.
What makes me a good chef? My passion for food, and the fresher the ingredients, the better. I love to experiment with flavors and I dare you to do the same. Sure, we all have our favorites, but don’t settle in your ways. Be creative. Play with the colors, the herbs, the spices, the types of meat, fruits, and vegetables. Grow your own garden and talk to your butcher about trying different cuts of meat that he has to offer on a weekly basis.
Now, I have to go back to the kitchen, but next time you feel like preparing a mouthwatering dish, please stop by, and I will make sure to share “most” of my secrets.