Definitely my family and culture in that my family is typical of Chinese families when it comes to food:
1. Everything edible can be eaten. It just depends on HOW you cook/prepare the particular ingredient that makes it eatable.
2. Food is precious. Always finish what’s on your plate and throwing anything away is SACRILEGE!!
3. Celebrating anything is never complete without a lavish feast.
4. When you have guests, feed them until they pop! When you are a guest, eat and appreciate everything that’s served to you (unless you have religious restrictions or allergies to the particular food).
5. Live to eat rather than eat to live.
6. Both traditional dishes and innovative ones are just as good.
7. The mixing of cultural influences in cooking is normal and NOT sacrilege unless it tastes bad.
8. The kitchen will always be the heart of the home.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that my family and culture shaped my attitude towards food and cooking and even though I now eat more European fare than Asian fare given that I live in the UK, these 8 principles still guide my life as the consummate foodie [:D]