We had noticed the name “WA Imports” on things in our kitchen once in a while— a bottle of L’Estornell olive oil someone recommended to us once, for instance. But we knew nothing about the man behind that name until his belated obituary in the Sun-Times. James A. Felling was a veteran of kitchens like Chez Panisse who went into the import business with a partner, Dave Vohaska, and built up a stable of top-named clients who trusted him when he said he had just found something terrific to try. As Tracy Vowell, who was at Frontera and Topolobampo for years and now sells her own produce as Three Sisters, put his role in the chef-diner ecosystem, “I didn’t have to taste 700 vinegars to find four or five that I’m really nuts about.” From Spanish sherry vinegars to Australian white truffles, restaurants like Charlie Trotter, Blackbird, Le Francais and Avenues trusted Felling’s finds, and he helped establish the credibility in particular of Spanish products like olive oils, and introduce new Asian flavors. Felling had been battling cancer for two years and passed away April 22 at the age of 64.