I am a recent transplant to the area (from Maui). One huge factor in choosing the Bay area was the culture of food and wine. I am, however, enormously impressed by the passion and breadth of knowledge displayed by chowhounds. I very much look forward to sharing and exchanging thoughts in this forum. As a foodie and wine geek, I am elated to find this outlet! I have already had the great pleasure of discovering Berkeley Bowl and the Tuesday farmer's market (truly fantastic after the prices and selection on Maui). Of course, I have made the requisite visit to Chez Panisse (everything I had hoped it to be! - though a stretch on my current budget). I will, unquestionably, be using this tool as a guide to my future dining in the area and will happily report my experiences. I have already browsed the threads, putting together a starter list. Also, as a food service professional, I eagerly await comments on the new establishment I have chosen to work in (don't worry: I shall neither ad nor attempt to promote). So, for now, thank you for your dedication to sharing and I look forward to contributing in the near future.