I cook beacuse I enjoy it. I love taking recipes and playing with them, adding and omitting things, changing it to meet my pickiness. I'm very picky.
The person who influenced me the most (not just in cooking but in everything) was my maternal grandmother. She was a wonderful loving person and enjoyed showing her love through cooking.
When we moved my grandparents into and assisted living home Grandma gave me all her cookbooks and her recipe box. It was one of the best moments of my life. I felt very honored that she trusted me with her secrets. I'm even hisitant to give those recipes to my other family members. ;-)