One of the greatest pleasures of cooking is getting to try something new, experimenting with different recipes is actually one of the main reasons why I love cooking so much. With the number of cookbooks, tv shows, and blogs, we have the luxury of constantly being inspired to try new recipes or alter personal favourites.

Hi, I’m Emmet McGinnity, Software Engineer in Qualtrics’ Engineering Services team, based just around the corner from Dublin’s famous Gaiety theatre and near St. Stephen’s Green I was always interested in technology, eager to understand what made things tick. Building my own computer when I was 15 helped me decide where my passions really lay. From that moment on, I was inspired to pursue Computer Science. I truly discovered my appreciation of software development while studying in UCD, where my natural interest was nurtured and amplified tenfold.

Growing up, my house was always infused with fragrances from different cuisines, from the humble spaghetti bolognese, to massaman curry. Having such a wide range of flavours and textures passing through my palette everyday instilled a love of food which has only strengthened.

Both my parents love cooking. Day after day, I’d see one or other of them cooking, keenly focused on the task at hand. It evoked a craving to start cooking my own meals. Cooking seemed a natural way of life, as ingrained a skill as walking. From a young age, I’d try to help with anything I could in the kitchen. While I don’t remember when I first started dipping into solo cooking, I have a distinct memory of making French toast for my parents before I was ten. I like to think that simple meal was the beginning of my cooking adventure

I recently visited Rome, which reinforced my appreciation of Italian food. I’m currently working to create the perfect carbonara. A dish, while simple, is all about the best ingredients and perfect timing

By far my favourite meal to cook is pizzas, especially Calzones! I find something incredibly pleasurable in making my own pizza dough and creating whichever filling takes my fancy. It has the added benefit of being incredibly easy to make! You can also freeze the dough to save yourself time later if you’re in a rush!

It’s hard to think of what’s the most difficult meal I cooked. From a complexity point of view, in terms of timing, cooking tapas can be incredibly challenging, depending on how many dishes you are trying to create and how many people you are trying to serve. Cooking for a large group of over 8 people with about the same number of different dishes, all made for sharing, in a relatively small kitchen can be quite the challenge.

Cooking gets my creative juices flowing in a way that is difficult to achieve with any other activity. It also provides a way to completely unwind. I’ve never thought of cooking as a chore, it feels like more of a hobby and the cooked meal afterwards is a bonus. You can give yourself complete creative license to try whatever you want, regardless of how bizarre the recipe. Cooking should be something that is enjoyable and the food afterwards should absolutely reflect that.

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