The older I get, the more interested I become in the quality of the foods I eat. Part of that interest, no doubt, comes from the ever-louder ticking of my own personal clock. But an equal part comes from the simple fact that there is just so much good food available to us today!

All of us benefit from a growing body of nutritional knowledge, as well as from the globalization that exposes us to a rich variety of food ingredients, techniques, and cuisines. We are fortunate to live in Berkeley, where we have the benefit of all the agricultural bounty that California provides. In addition, we enjoy a rich intellectual and aesthetic environment which informs everything from our rowdy politics to the local foodie scene. Relative to San Francisco proper, rents are low here, which encourages restaurateurs to take risks, to be creative.

Just a few blocks from our home, back in 1971, Alice Waters started Chez Panisse. Focusing on fresh, wholesome ingredients, her “California Cuisine” philosophy ultimately impacted restaurant cooking around the world. Chez Panisse is still there, as well as scores of spinoffs, from white tablecloth vegetarian and artisanal pizza restaurants to ramen shops and bakeries. When we go out to eat, we don’t lack for variety.

And when we stay home, we have access to an amazing variety of fresh produce, high quality meats and cheeses, and an entire planet’s worth of ethnic ingredients. Our pantry contains almost no pre-packaged ingredients – not because we’ve become nutrition Nazis or anything, but just because there’s so much delicious whole food available.

The Food posts here reflect our growing interest in eating wholesome food, whether it’s at home or when we go out.