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updated: 8/31/2012 5:52 PM

Michael Pennisi, 41, Carpentersville

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  • Cook of the Week Challenge entrant Michael Pennisi of Carpentersville, with his favorite ingredient -- smoke.

       Cook of the Week Challenge entrant Michael Pennisi of Carpentersville, with his favorite ingredient -- smoke.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

 

Michael Pennisi

41, Carpentersville

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Physics teacher

What is your favorite ingredient and how do you like to use it? Smoke. I love food prepared in a smoker or wood-burning oven, but I also love to find ways to subtly add smoked flavor to any traditional dish perhaps by smoking one of the vegetables first or by using a stock made from smoked meat.

Describe your style or approach to cooking. My style is eclectic and I like to learn various styles of cooking and basic recipes from different global cuisines and then give them a twist.

Why do you want to be part of the Cook of the Week Challenge? Everyone I know tells me I make great food and I love coming up with new recipes and I love the idea of a "mystery ingredient" competition. It seems like fun.

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