One's attitude to food, eating and cooking -- like almost everything else in my opinion -- is absorbed from the family one grows up in. For my mom cooking and baking have always been an enjoyable hobby, a way to"travel" vicariously (not a small thing when living in a small communist country pre-1989) through a most basic human activity shared the world over, and this is what I feel too. With my dad happily playing sous-chef (read, doing all the shopping, chopping and cleaning up), it's not hard to see how she was able to focus on the creativity of it all. (I am also convinced that their profession as chemists helps with the precision they bring from work in the lab -- the julienned carrots and the radish medallions from Dad's hands are still my gold standards, and I am able to pour any liquid between any two containers without spilling a drop thanks to a technique they taught me involving a spoon.)
As for myself -- although I had barely entered the kitchen until I moved abroad as a college student, it turned out that by then I had accumulated a wealth of passive knowledge about international ingredients, recipes and styles and had developed my own taste. Luckier than my parents, I have also been able to travel widely and discover even more. Most importantly, having come to cooking with my parents' example, I know that there isn't a kitchen too small or too simple for the preparation of great meals, if there is love for the project and for those it's meant to be shared with.