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


What 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!


From Stardust to Here: A Dietary Journey

Louis 13 DecanterI don’t know where in our journey as human beings that we charted a course to become spiritual beings, but I do know this, that along the way we became very hungry. Eating has been an important part of our development, not only to sustain the body, but to unite us as a species creating a path that is filled with the wonder of exploration, dreaming and discovery. Depending how far back we go in our development one thing is for certain, there was the need to eat!

Possibly we were complete vegans and eating only what we could forage until one day one of our ancestors stumbles upon rhubarb, eats the leaves and succumbs to the toxins. Was one of the family members observing this act? How many of our ancestors died eating the part of the rhubarb that contains toxins? Did we stop there? Hell no! We now partake in one of natures most delicious pies during a holiday we call Thanksgiving? Thanks for what? Thanks for all of those ancestors who taught us about discovery and a really great dessert.

So where does that bring us in today’s modern times? Are we observing our family and friends succumbing to possible toxic dining? Are we really sitting down with the clan and in conversation, instead of grunts or drawing in the dirt, talking about the dangers of our diet?  And why does it really matter? There are those of us on this planet who give little regard to life and at the other extreme there are those who don’t give this much regard as there is something better on the other side. Whatever you believe in the here and now or put your faith on the other side, I am forever grateful to the law of discovery and our willingness as a species to put that law into action. I would rather learn from our discoveries here and now then bet on the other side and continue to eat rhubarb leaves!

So, as the Culinary Guru, I would advise you to make this an enjoyable journey and learn from our errors. Change the causes that create ill effects into causes that create healthy effects!  Enjoy a really nice meal with the family in conversation and laughter over a beverage of choice. It’s all about here & now and forever, so for that, I am forever grateful!

If you haven’t had the chance to download my FREE Wine Tasting Guide then now is the time. It is filled with good information and the updates will be free, so click on this link and follow the instructions! Enjoy! Click Here!

The Art of Opening a Bottle of Wine

Please click on link below to learn about the Art of Opening a Wine Bottle! If you know how to open a bottle of wine then this may help refresh something you may have forgotten or never realized, whatever the case may be it is nice to know the older style, the romantic style, of opening a bottle of wine that has a cork. If you are purchasing wines with a screw top, then our videos on that particular technique will be out in a few short years! lol! 

The art of winemaking starts with an idea and moves into grape choices, then to viticulture and a variety of steps bringing the wine to it’s final destination, your lips! It is here that an art form takes place, in this case, a cork, if properly trained this technique takes the wine tasting experience to a whole different level!

The Art of Opening a Bottle of Wine

As you learn more about wine you realize with one glance at a freshly poured glass whether it was stored correctly before tasting the wine. No I am not talking about “Smell a Cork” that we see everyone who is handed a cork proceeds to do, nor am I talking about a cracked cork that shows it was bleeding off product, but a visual that can readily tell you immediately there is a problem.

So in this day and age of sophistication and a lack of time to do all the necessary research, classes, opinions, there may be a way to have information at your fingertips without all the hassle and conveniently delivered right to your computer.

What of storage? What varietals to choose? What foods pair nicely? What is Cream of Tartar? How was Port discovered? What is Henry the XIII Cognac? Is it really casked in Baccarat Crystal?

So with all of this wouldn’t it be nice to have a place you could easily get great culinary information? Well enough of my talking, my next blog will be about Louis the XIII so click the link to see the video on the art of opening a bottle of wine.

The Art of Opening a Bottle of Wine