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Saturday, June 11, 2005

A Few Words About Me

For those who are curious, let me take a moment to tell you a bit about myself.
I’m 39 years old, I live in San Francisco, and I’ve been in the Bay Area for the past 12 years.   By day, I work as an attorney in a large law office located in the heart of Silicon Valley.   In my limited free time, however, few things give me greater pleasure than fine dining, gourmet cooking and other such gastronomic pursuits.

I spent my formative years in the Midwest, at a time when the very notion of gourmet cuisine was a foreign concept reserved for the coasts.   When I moved to San Francisco in 1993, I was immediately struck by the breadth and depth of the city’s culinary offerings.   Every price range had a corresponding panoply of restaurants, and every conceivable ethnic cuisine was well represented.   Even more remarkably, a large number of establishments were competing at the highest levels - using fresh ingredients, innovative flavor combinations, and classical techniques to create exquisite food unlike anything I had ever tasted.   After visiting just a few of these restaurants, I was hooked.

In the years since I arrived, dining out has become a regular habit for me.   In any given year, I will likely end up visiting a good percentage of the restaurants in the Bay Area that serve truly outstanding cuisine.   Some are top-tier establishments with prices to match; others are more affordable spots that simply know how to prepare excellent food.   Yet, it's not only about dining out.   Another deeply-held passion of mine is creating dishes at home.   I cook for friends and family as often as my schedule will permit, even trying my hand at a multi-course “tasting menu” once or twice a year.   Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment, but there's something about the grueling challenge of conquering a difficult recipe or successfully presenting a complex menu that I find thoroughly invigorating.

For purposes of interpreting the material on this site, you should know that there are few food items that I truly dislike and even fewer that I will not try.   In that sense, I am not particularly picky.   At the same time, it probably wouldn't be inaccurate to call me somewhat discriminating, in that I hate settling for food that is simply mediocre or average.   In a city like San Francisco, with great food at every price point, why should anyone?!

Finally, some closing words about my onscreen moniker.   After giving the issue considerable thought, I came to the conclusion that – at least for the time being – I should post under initials only.   One of my primary hopes for this site is to be able to provide unbiased information about the experience others can expect when patronizing various restaurants, shops, or food purveyors.   In order to do this, of course, I would like to maintain some semblance of anonymity as I interact with each of these players.   And in that regard, you should know that I have no affiliation with, or financial interest in, any of the restaurants, shops or purveyors that I review or mention on this blog.

With all of that said, those who are truly determined to find out my identity will probably be able to do so without too much difficulty.   And anybody who needs to contact me can do so at any time by simply emailing me at sf_gourmet@yahoo.com.