The American food landscape, like a massive amoeba, seems to be constantly subdividing into new and different (and sometimes old and familiar) forms. Fad diets, foreign influences, the shifting tides of FDA guidelines and the continual pressure of human curiosity, creativity, and gluttony all conspire to continuously shape and reshape what and how we eat.
But if there is a consistent food theme in the human experience it seems to be the incremental movement toward food forms that both taste better and are better for you.
That movement has brought us the Mediterranean diet, with its emphasis on fresh fish and produce, herbs, nuts, whole grains, lesser amounts of lean meats and lots of olive oil. With all that comes the ever-increasing importance of all things organic, if not gluten-free and vegan. The Slow Food movement arrived on the same train, along with other offshoots, all of which gradually infiltrated the U.S. snack food space, traditionally occupied by not-so-good-for-you mainstays like potato chips, pretzels, sugary confections, doughnuts, and laboratory creations like Cheetos Flaminí Hot.
What has emerged in recent years is being formally recognized as the ìBetter for Youî food movement, not necessarily to be confused with Good for You, but definitely an improvement over our worst dietary excesses. Better for You is a common catchphrase in the snack food world, but also in restaurants and supermarkets.
And restaurants themselves are transforming, reflecting new food tastes and the consumption habits of a new generation not so ready to eat out. Brick-and-mortar establishments are beginning to give way to popup dinners, food trucks, movable feasts that can come to your home, office, or corporate team-building weekend.
Which leads us to Ed Metcalfe, a veteran brick-and-mortar restaurateur who has forsaken that tradition for a more flexible, less capital-intense business model, while still feeding the Sonoma Valley appetite for creative sushi and other Asian cuisine.
Beyond sushi, in the pages that follow, youíll find Ovello, the extraordinary salumeria newly opened in Sonoma, an introduction to Ayurvedic eating (which could transform your life), some outstanding artisanal wine blessed by shamrocks and, hopefully, some insights and inspiration to eat and drink better.