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Food is fundamental. We make decisions about it every day: what to eat, where to buy it, how to prepare it. But there's much more to food than our daily sustenance. Where does it come from? How is it produced? What does it mean to put fork to plate? Culinate is a place for those who care about these questions. So while we feature recipes, articles, and books about food preparation, we don't limit ourselves to the kitchen. Culinate features articles and essays that address the multitude of intersections between food and the rest of our lives. We're interested in how people define their lives via food — should I buy organic? be a vegetarian? shun sugar? — as well as how food defines us. Culinate is a place that connects food to the wider world and brings it home. Our table is big; come eat with us. h2. Who are we? Like you, we're trying to eat with more awareness. (See the [/culinate/philosophy "Culinate Philosophy"].) With physical headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and virtual headquarters around the nearest table, we are people who agree that sharing dinner with friends and family is better than standing at the sink eating a sandwich. (OK, we admit to occasionally being "sinkies" — a technical term we learned from a friend who's a nutritionist — but not often.) Our website is a reflection of our interests: writing that we want to read, recipes for simple but delicious food that we want to eat, and member pages and food-planning tools that we’d like to use. James Berry: Software chief James knows the difference between an Apple Macintosh and a McIntosh apple — both of which he likes a lot. Big Macs, not so much. On his road to becoming a nerd, James grew up on a farm where he became adept at chores ranging from planting vegetables to herding sheep and goats. James's childhood also included a stint of several years in India, where he learned to love the spice in food and life. Kim Carlson: For Kim, cooking and editing are not dissimilar tasks; both happen best when you start with fresh, appealing ingredients. These days, this longtime editor and Portland farmers' market enthusiast keeps track of Culinate's editorial menu. Mark Douglas: After spending many years with consumer-products companies like Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream and PepsiCo (a sweet tooth, you think?), Mark's consumer marketing and development insights help refine and sharpen our website so it can truly focus on individual and community needs, both now and in the future. Carrie Floyd: Culinate's food editor learned the ropes working in restaurants, then traded in her wine key for a pen to write about food. A big believer in gathering her family together for a meal at least once a day, Carrie makes dinner for four at least 300 times a year. This might seem like a thankless task, but it endears her to, well, her family. And to all of us. (Check out Carrie's column [%content read/kitchenlimbo] and her Recipe Manifesto.) Caroline Cummins: Managing editor Caroline keeps track of the little details and the big picture. In between, she ponders culinary mysteries: Who concocted the first marshmallow? Why is it peanut butter and jelly, not jelly and peanut butter? And did Newton eat the apple? Liz Crain: Columnist Liz never expected to be such a plugged-in food writer — as opposed to pen and paper or plate and pitchfork. But because of [/read/blogfeed "Blog Feed"] and her other food-based web writing, she now wields her mouse and other computer gadgetry like sharky chopsticks converging on fresh sushi. Deborah Madison: Author of many cookbooks, including the popular Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, Deborah is a long-time local food advocate and friend of farmers. She lives and writes outside Sante Fe, New Mexico, and travels extensively to promote good eating. Kelly Myers: A chef de cuisine at Nostrana, in Portland, Oregon, [/read/frontburner "Front Burner"] columnist Kelly learned to cook in a '79 Volkswagen Westfalia, traveling around the country after college and discovering the cuisines of the regions she visited (New Orleans and New Mexico stand out). She also teaches classes and gives cooking demonstrations. Matthew Amster-Burton: Unexplained Bacon columnist Matthew lives in Seattle, where he is constantly dodging flying salmon. He enjoys eating pad Thai, reading cookbooks, making dinner for his wife, Laurie, and daughter, Iris, and appearing in the Best Food Writing_ anthology, which he has done three times. Matthew's blog is called Roots and Grubs. Catherine Bennett Dunster: A former instructor at Oregon Health Sciences University, Catherine lives with her family of four in Portland, Oregon. She is a registered dietitian. h2. About our design In designing this site, we relied on the considerable talents of two creative and unflappable individuals: Todd Linkner, of Todd Linkner Graphic Design, in New York, and Heather Barta, of CircleTriangleSquare in Portland, Oregon. We thank them heartily! We'd also like to tip our hats to three other talented individuals: Michael Reardon, of Fieldtrip, who created the Sift logo on the home page; John Valls, who made the photograph in our masthead; and Ximena Maier, who created the drawings for the Sift page and the Potluck page (and miscellaneous others as well).