Food: We love it so. But why? Surely it’s not about survival alone—or even taste. (Although taste is pretty high up there on the list of explanations!)

The more complex reason why we love to eat is because food connects us: to others, to the earth, or to a time and place. As the late chef and enthusiastic eater Anthony Bourdain said, “The perfect meal, or the best meals, occur in a context that frequently has very little to do with the food itself.”

Local chefs Mawa McQueen, Stephen Horner, and Molly Mogavero echo this sentiment in “For the Love of Dining” on page ______, all noting that the most meaningful food experiences involve so much more than fine ingredients or special technique. For McQueen, it’s about heart; for Horner, passion; for Mogavero, tradition and memory. These three valley restaurant owners remind us this month that enjoying food with those we love is an integral part of the human experience, one that’s tightly woven through so many aspects of our lives.

Food brings us together. Three times a day, in fact. That’s a lot of opportunity for discussion, connection, value sharing, laughing, giving thanks, and getting stuffed together. Bon appétit!