Ah, here's what I've been looking for. It took me a few days to find this thread and actually read it. Anyway...
I don't do anything professionally; I'm a graduate student at Portland State, mostly done with an M.A. in history.
Food interests me on a number of levels. Growing up, I consumed copious amounts of deep-fried potato products and processed meats. Then an epiphany in high school awoke my interest in nutrition, and in the last decade my diet's been gradually driving away from its old course. Meanwhile, Asian relatives and a bit of travel inspired me with variety and possibility, and my career as a student has helped bring my attention to food's social, cultural and economic significance, and taught me how to dine on a small budget. Lastly, running competitively has, I believe, given me an even greater appreciation for eating.
My work in the industry is limited. A year or two ago I got a job at a local pizza place, mostly delivering, but then someone looked me up at the DMV, and I was promptly dismissed the next day (something about their insurance company... kind of a long story
). Other than that wonderful afternoon, my experience is limited to some volunteer experience--soup kitchens, fundraisers, etc.
I have no training to speak of.
As far as ability goes, I'm certainly not lost in the kitchen, and I'm decent at getting things to turn out so I like them, but my technique is pretty simple. I have much to learn.
I went through a period of eating out 2-3 times a month, but lately I only eat out if I'm out with friends and they want to go somewhere. I've eaten out once since October (!).
After reading this entire thread, I still don't really know what that last question means, but to me, food is sustenance and leisure, chemistry and art. It can be work, but usually doesn't seem like it...