The Luxury of Dining

How many people go to bed hungry on this beautiful orb we call home? This beautiful planet that gives occupancy to so many creatures and of all these that occupy this place we call home, how many go to bed starving or near starvation?

Sadly, the majority of those that go hungry are those that don’t forage for food, hunt their prey, or have a source of life’s natural sustenance to provide for their physical needs. As human beings we have come to rely on others to provide our physical need for sustenance from fast food to fine dining, from the farmer to the grocery store, from food banks to garbage cans, we are a species that is unlike the birds of the air, the many predators who hunt for sustenance. We either live in the lap of luxury or the shit hole of despair and as an intelligent, thinking, loving creature filled with passion and creativity you’d think this problem would be solvable, right?

I love good food, I love really expensive wines and wines from Trader Joes. I grew up in the orchards and vineyards of what is now Silicon Valley, in Cupertino California. I picked all types of fruits from grapes, apricots, plums, cherries, peaches and apples. I never grew hungry and always appreciated the beauty of the growing season. I loved to watch the trees, vines and stalks develop, I loved the raising of livestock, chickens and ducks, to the produce that grew in nearly every yard. I love the harvesting of all types of food products and most of all the creativity that came from those who loved preparing, cooking and presenting food in its most beautiful presentation.

People like Alice Waters, J. Towers and Thomas Keller from the French Laundry that took food to a whole other level. To the holistic movement, vegetarians, vegans and a great many creative artists in the culinary world made me rejoice in the world of the culinary art.

That my friends is luxury. The ability to have set before you a cornucopia of dishes, wines, desserts and spirits of any kind such as Louis the 13th cognac, ports from all around the word, brandies and every type of spirit available.

And then, we travel, we explore outside of our own little universe, we read papers, then of course television, until today we have universal access to this planet and what we come to find is that the luxury is limited, not only is it limited, but the amount of wasted product tossed away like filthy garbage every single day makes luxury look like gluttony, irresponsibility and down right disgusting!

My point is not to belittle us as a species nor to damper the beauty of luxury. I have always believed in Buckminster Fullers world of “Utopia or Oblivion” and always believed that as we progressed as an educated, learned society, our passion would grow, even as our technology grew, we would take responsibility, we would act on our blessings, our luxuries and do whatever we could each and every day to make this place we call home a place of luxury, maybe like some religions advocate, heaven on earth.

I always like to end with an offer to my FREE Wine Tasting Guide. It is my way of getting you to stay in touch with me. You can toss the Guide, but keep the relationship, so without further hesitation, get the Guide and let’s begin to make our place we call home a better home. The Culinary Guru is both a business and awareness site for quality of life in the culinary world and we refrain from religion and politics and focus on the quality of food, wine, and spirits as seen from a lifelong restaurateur.


Thank you,

Gary Leese and the Culinary Guru Team


Golfers: The Most Stubborn People

The most stubborn people I have ever met are golfers who get angry, frustrated, throw their clubs and make everyone totally intense. The sad part of the scenario I just described is that in the world of golf it was designed to create beautiful environments filled with trees, flowers, well groomed and manicured lawns (if you play in America) played outdoors in the seasonal environment.

So how can a person who plays a game in such an environment get so worked over in a game designed to provide an outdoor experience. An experience filled with nautures beauty and the opportunity to clear ones mind of life’s stressors. And in the world of golf it is about practice, love of the game and most importantly, attitude. This is not my opinion but the opinion of nearly every successful and professional golfer. Yet, there are those people who firmly believe it is about luck.

Arnold Palmer once wrote ” Good Golf is a state of mind…

Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated. A child can play it well, and a grown man can never master it. Any single round of it is full of unexpected triumphs and seemingly perfect shots that end in disaster. It is almost a science; yet it is a puzzle without an answer. It is gratifying and tantalizing, precise and unpredictable; it requires complete concentration and total relaxation. It satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening, and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented. – Arnold Palmer

Its all about attitude and not being stubborn. Stop fighting it, enjoy it, become one with the game. Isn’t that what we all want? To become one with the universe, living in a harmonious balance that catapults us to new heights, a new awareness and an excitement for living that only comes from not being stubborn.

In closing,  It was a sunny Saturday morning on the local municipal golf course in Illinois, and I was beginning my pre-shot routine, visualizing my upcoming shot, when a voice came over the clubhouse speaker: ‘WOULD THE GENTLEMAN ON THE WOMAN’S TEE BACK UP TO THE MEN’S TEE PLEASE.’

I was still deep in my routine, seemingly impervious to the interruption. Again the announcement rang out louder, Would the MAN on the WOMEN’S tee kindly back up to the men’s tee.’

I simply ignored the request and kept concentrating, when once more, the man yelled, Would the man on the woman’s tee back up to the men’s tee, PLEASE!

I finally stopped, turned, looked through the clubhouse window directly at the person with the microphone and shouted back, “Would the person in the clubhouse kindly stop shouting and let me play my second shot!”

That my friend is golf. I love the above quote from Arnold Palmer as it applies to nearly all of us. The exceptions, those who seem to be in total harmony with the game, know a game of golf that can only be so close to the heart and mind of God. Yet many of us experience those quiet times while were dreaming, thinking, visualizing the game and see nothing but perfect shots, the best attitude, the excitement that comes with having a nearly professional golfer experience!

Then, the next day comes along and oh my word, what happened, who is this person, how could I forget all the things my mind, body and spirit experienced the day before? You want to scream, but that’s not cool, especially with the big egos you have to play golf with for the rest of the day. And that is when training and the mind need to work together. It’s all about the mindset, the skill level and the joy of the game. I have a short story I’d like to share and it will be spread out over the next 4 weeks on my Pro Golf Swing site, I hope you enjoy it.

Finally, I have co-wrote and edited an ebook that talks about improving your game and hopefully your attitude. It’s free and all you have to is Click here and your on your way!

Thank you,

The Golf Guru 


Who is the Culinary Guru

Red Bottle and GlassWhat is the Culinary Guru? It is a peek into the culinary world as seen through the eyes of those who work and have worked in kitchens, food servers, managers, marketing and all aspects that make a restaurant live and breath. It is about the discovery of food and where it has led us today and will hopefully provide for you, the consumer, better eating choices.

A knowledge of the world of food and the opportunity to see first hand behind the scenes of a real working kitchen, front of the house table maintenance, customers reactions and how disparaging remarks can really hurt feelings and break down the order, what it takes to get the kitchen started through prep work, mental preparation and the difference between food that is already prepared and food that requires thought and real preparation. The dining room with table set up and preparation for the guests, how to set silverware and which side do you serve the guest and which side do you clear. The bar setup and preparation for the guests, creating an environment that only a true connoisseur of the world of wine, beer and spirits can truly appreciate, it’s not just about darts!

Also the world of clean and sanitized. This part of the culinary world can go unnoticed and can create the biggest fears and dangers both to the public and the business. This area I do not take lightly, it requires an attitude from all the staff to provide the cleanest and safest environment at all times. Any slack in this area and in no time a dangerous and volatile situation will erupt as many of us have seen in the news with what is known as “reputable” restaurants. It starts from the top and moves through the organization and is only as bad as the weakest link, so the Culinary Guru advises, either educate or eliminate the weakest link!

I have written and edited a Wine Tasting Guide that is free to download and is filled with basic and intermediate information. It is a good resource guide and very useful if you plan to have a get together with friends and taste wines as a really enjoyable social outlet!

Passion, Food and Love

Wine Tasting in Tale of Two CitiesWe are sitting around the dining room table discussing the most interesting things known to mankind, such as the pyramids located in strategic areas around the world, the Tower of Babel, passion and the importance of friends discussing things out of our league, but enjoying every minute of it.

As life unfolds here in our world there are things we look to that must remain consistent, changing, but consistent. Love is a big one. The aspects of love and all the qualities love brings to our lives creates this firestorm of thought, it builds up in us this desire to be our best, to become fulfilled.

Yes, passionate and warm sexual encounters that come from a sweet embrace and a deep luscious kiss help as one soothes and touches the warm and primal areas. This love that fuels the fire of passion that creates deep loving friendships that grow and develop into long lasting, everlasting relationships is powerful. How about in your quiet time fantasizing, or better yet, feeding your loved one grapes as they languish on the couch succulently eating each grape one at a time while juices dribble down their chin? And………don’t stop now!

Passion, Food and Love are key to living this life. Eating is an important part that even King David was once known to say “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.” I find the reference to a table filled with all the delicacies of meats, fruits, vegetables, cheese, and the most delectable of desserts prepared before those who spite us, hate us and would do harm. Anointing of oil that I am sure was made from olives, that precious fruit that symbolizes power, humility, heart health and beauty. And finally the wine that over flows making your cup run over that all should partake and enjoy!

As the world spins and orbits our sun on a yearly journey bringing us the seasons, may we aspire to be our very best and prepare for our friends a table filled with great food, drink and laughter. Preparing a table for our enemies is best left to those who understand the words of King David and until we have the growth and maturity to not live in fear and tremendous anxiety we will not hasten to quickly to this table nor will we truly listen and understand those words of another great King ” love thy enemies”.

But until that time as the world screams and yells like a bad reality show, I will bring thoughts and encouragement to eat well, drink well and get educated in whatever your hands and heart find to do, and always with Passion, Food and Love.

IF you would like to hear more you can get my edited FREE Wine Tasting Guide and toss the guide and keep the relationship!


Gary Leese
Culinary Guru