The food at Camino restaurant in Oakland, California is delicious not merely because chef-owner Russell Moore cooked at the legendary Chez Panisse for over twenty years, or because virtually all of it is cooked with live fire, or because the menus are short and daily-changing. It’s delicious not merely because it’s truly seasonal, local fare, centered on produce and meat, like I like. I find the food at Camino to be delicious—and inspiring—because the kitchen’s “reference point” is not the bygone foodways of faraway lands, but the here and now. In other words, there are nuances of Spain, the Middle East, Italy, France, India, and Latin America in Camino’s food, but those nuances unify into an expression that is true California food, in the purest, most modern, most evolved sense of that oft-maligned term. The cooks at Camino never follow preconceived culinary notions; rather, they derive inspiration from the immediacy of the excellent vegetables, fruits, and meat they procure, and from those beautiful flickering flames…or at least, that’s how the food tastes. It’s as if each dish, each ingredient, is considered completely on its own terms, that day.