At Blue Apron, we’re all about getting into the kitchen and cooking up some seriously delicious food. Of course, there’s a first time for everything, and that includes chopping an onion! Every cook has to start her cooking journey somewhere, so we decided to chronicle the first-ever kitchen ventures of people who got into the kitchen and stayed there. Today, we’re sharing the words of someone whose cooking journey took him really, really far. That is, a famous chef, Ralph Scamardella, the Corporate Executive Chef of Tao Restaurant.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Chef Scamardella learned Italian cooking from his mother long before he worked under Daniel Boulud at Polo Restaurant. Travels to Tokyo, Bangkok and Hong Kong influenced his cooking and helped inspire the roasted rack of lamb with green massaman curry, a staple at the Tao resturants.

We got to ask Chef Scamardella a couple of questions to find out how he became the awesome chef he is today…

**How I Learned: Chef Ralph Scamardella** 

BA: Who taught you to cook?
RS: Many different people taught me how to cook, but the first was my mother. Later, I worked for many famous chefs, such as Daniel Boulud.

BA: How old were you?
RS: I was 12 years old

BA: What was the first dish you ever cooked?
RS: Lentils and macaroni

BA: Why did you keep cooking?
RS: I kept cooking because I enjoyed it–and I enjoyed eating even more. I figured I would never go hungry if I was a cook.

BA: Why do you love to cook now?
RS: It’s my work, my passion, and my therapy.

BA: How would you go about teaching someone else to cook?
RS: First thing you need to do is know the foundations and understand the ingredients and how they react to each other. You can teach anyone techniques but you have to get to know the flavors.

BA: What would you tell a newbie about why cooking is so great?
RS: It truly is a profession of love, passion, and constant dedication and evolution.

Want to share your learning-to-cook story? (You don’t have to be a celeb!) Email with the subject line Blog: How I Learned To Cook