I'm pleased to say that 8/10 of what I cook is a success. I'm not sure where I pulled my 80% success ratio out of but it feels like an honest guesstimate.
Being somewhat of a perfectionist I always use recipes, as I hate to waste ingredients and my time by flinging things together in the hopes they work out. I think if you've got a LOT of experience and have mastered the art of classic cooking, to the degree where you "just know" that something will work, then bravo you! I'm nowhere near that place. Yet.
I find the BBC Good Food site a godsend. Not only have the recipes been tested but they've also been rated by real life home cooks like us. I'm pleased to see that they've even made things easier by featuring a link to all their highest rated recipes.
My favourite cooking programmes are: Saturday Kitchen, Masterchef and Come Dine With Me. I love shouting abuse at the contestants when they make silly mistakes. For instance on Masterchef, the number of people who decide to make something they've never made before, I mean HELLO!? or on Come Dine With Me the people who cheat with ready-made sauces and whose idea of a dessert is some berries served with creme fraiche. Not cooking moron, NOT cooking!
My award for best looking chef in the U.K goes to Jun Tanaka of the Pearl Restaurant. This man's hair does things to me. I had the pleasure of seeing him in the flesh at the Taste of London where I sampled his raw kingfish marinated in passionfruit. It was out of this world. I dream of eating at Pearl one day .......................
On the subject of Taste of London - we've gone for the last three years and it's just got better each year. I can't recommend it highly enough. In fact it's an annual highlight for us.
Photo courtesy of: Flickr.com - creative commons - Tom Swain