I grew up eating anything and everything the Northwest offered, from Chinook salmon caught in the Pacific at the mouth of the Umpqua River to pie made from blackberries picked in the cut-over stump land around Roseburg. It only takes a trip to almost anywhere else to confirm my belief that we have some of the best food in the world right here in America's upper left hand corner.

I wrote about food and reviewed restaurants for almost 20 years. My very first published article described how to use a propane torch to roast peppers. I've written about home cooking, oysters, microbreweries, wild mushrooms, fresh pasta, cheap wine, barbecue, James Beard, sweetbreads, and almost anything else even remotely connected to eating and drinking. But now I'm a recovering food writer and accidental olive oil vendor.

I believe that everybody should eat real good food. You don't need to spend a fortune or most of your waking hours in the kitchen, but there are a few things to know that make it easier. You'll find some of them here.

Jim Dixon