There are many parallels between launching a journal and hosting a very important dinner party. Certainly many of the aspirations and anxieties are similar — albeit on different scales. For both events a guest list is carefully selected to reflect a range of interests that will encourage an informative and stimulating exchange of ideas and opinions. In the prelude to both occasions it is also important to create the right atmosphere. The pre-launch publicity for Nature Reviews has certainly created the right ambience and we are delighted that our ‘guests’ have indeed shown up. But what do we offer? Nothing short of a new approach to review publishing. We are confident that each issue will provide a synthesis of the very best ingredients, and that our careful preparation and eye-catching presentation will ensure that these articles will be read with relish. The Highlights section should whet your appetite. For some readers the Highlights may provide the first taste of the wide variety of exotic flavours to be found in modern neuroscience — from molecules to the mind. Each Highlight offers just a taste. So if your interest is piqued just follow the online links to more substantial fare. The full flavours of modern neuroscience are on offer in the Reviews section. This collection of articles provides an example of the scope of Nature Reviews Neuroscience, pulling together the diverse literatures from development to degeneration to provide a thought-provoking synthesis. But do leave some room for our final course. The Perspectives section offers substantial food for thought but with a lighter, more personal style. So the food is cooked and the wine is uncorked. Why not draw up a comfy chair and enjoy the feast?

Bon appétit