I don't know of any great cook who didn't start out by following a recipe. Even if it wasn't written down, there is a recipe somewhere.
Take my aunt's pancakes for instance. The recipe was handwritten by her grandmother. Her mother followed it, and memorized it, and modified it on her own. Then she gave it to my aunt, along with the verbal modifications. My aunt followed it directly, then with the modifications from her mother, then with her own.
My alfredo sauce, I started with an online recipe. Haven't followed it in a long time, since I have it memorized by now, but you just have to "wing it" as you go.
Heck, even my taco's have a recipe: Cook (brown) chorizo in a frying pan, generally using medium heat for about 10 minutes. Cut up cilantro and onion. Take 2 corn tortillas per taco, and melt chihuahua cheese between them. Make taco with chorizo, cilantro, and onion, adding personal preference amounts of each. Add Avocado if desired.
That is a recipe. Not much to it, but a recipe nonetheless.