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


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!