Joseph Peabody, Arlington Heights
Joseph Peabody of Arlington Heights relies on fresh herbs for his cooking.
"I love cooking with fresh herbs and incorporating them into my dishes as much as possible. They add a freshness and brightness to the dish. Some of my favorites are cilantro, basil, chives and mint."
He describes his approach to cooking as nutritious and healthy and sees the whole process as a celebration.
"It can be celebrating a tradition like making Grandmother's famous mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner. Or celebrating something new by trying foods, spices or techniques used in different cultures," he said. "Cooking is truly a celebration of life."
As an emergency room physician, Peabody says he works under pressure and has to improvise every day.
"I think the Cook of the Week Challenge will inspire me to use those same skills to create some unique, healthy and delicious dishes that many would enjoy," he said.
This year's contest is down to creating one recipe, and Peabody says he is up to the challenge.
"Writing a recipe is intriguing to me as I usually pretty much 'wing it' while cooking with a dash of this and a pinch of that until it tastes right to me," he said. "I am also excited to work with ingredients I may not have used previously and discovering new tastes and techniques."
He's usually cooking for his family, but with an uncertain work schedule, he gets the whole family involved when he can.
"I am not always home for dinner or holidays, and I really cherish our family's mealtimes together. Many times my wife and sons and I will all get involved in the preparation together. We have created some special memories along the way (especially when things have turned out less than perfect). It is also great to pass on some cooking skills and an appreciation of the joy of cooking to our sons."