Thanksgiving, PAZAZ™ Style!

This is a time when we give thanks for all those we love, all that which is provided for us, and most importantly our health… because without that, all else can’t be enjoyed to its fullest.

Typically this holiday is the most food-centric holiday we enjoy. It is also unique in that it is the one time of year that certain foods we eat are only (for the most part) consumed on this holiday. Turkey and pumpkin pie come to mind along with the perfect pairing of a wine, Beaujolais nouveau.

Beaujolais nouveau is released right before Thanksgiving and is a wine that will only last for six months made from the Gamay grape. This wine is relatively inexpensive, light in character with notes of raspberry and cherry, perfect to be paired with turkey and all its fixings. Serve this wine slightly chilled and you will enjoy a wonderful nuanced pairing that brings festive to the festivities. There is really only one winemaker to purchase this wine from and that is George Duboeuf, the King of Beaujolais.

When I was a little boy my mom would spend all day preparing the Thanksgiving meal. She would have everything measured and ready to put together into a wonderful expression of her love for us. I miss the parade of dishes making there way to the table as the smells (that remind me of her and that very special time) wafted into the air creating a sensory memory that will live on for as long as forever is. To this day I still wax poetically about those times which were so simple, so beautiful, and so innocent.

This was also an exciting time because of the history we learned along with arts and crafts we made at school. Putting cloves in an apple that enhanced the smell of the room is a scent I will always associate with Thanksgiving and Christmas. This simple exercise seemed to me like we were inventing the wheel. The beauty of that creation was its simplicity and the smiles erupting on the faces of my parents. I didn’t realize until I was a parent how precious a gift made by your child could be. That gift, and also snow flakes cut from construction paper of all colors (as taught by our teachers), were another go to for the holidays. I was a little bummed that my snow flakes weren’t as perfect as some of the other kids until the teacher reminded us that there are no two snowflakes alike… talk about poetic license!

At home the setting of the table in all its glory was a very special treat. That is when the fine China reared its head and my dad would pontificate about the origins of said China and its relevance to each descendant of the Jenkins family. That brings me to the real point of this blog… tradition.

Through-out our lives we live in a place that pays homage to tradition. Tradition is about family and the peace and joy we feel when we are surrounded by those we love. Couple that with time honored events that are passed down from generation to generation, and that is when we live within the season that focuses on the best of what humanity offers…”Tidings of Comfort and Joy”.

 

Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain

This blog will be considered by some to be very controversial. For those of you that believe that social distancing, masks, and mandates by governors is anything but a way to see how far the government can control us… stop reading now. This Covid-19 epidemic statistically is no more deadly than the flu but because of the end game (the vaccination) our media and government have been complicit in orchestrating this global pandemic… follow the money! More about the vaccine in another blog… First things first…

What you are about to read is a ‘Reader’s Digest’ version of a video that was sent to me a couple of days ago. I feel obligated to share this information as it will help you better understand one facet of this complicated pandemic ruse.

David E. Martin is the founder of a company called Linguistic (relating to language) Genomics (the branch of molecular biology concerned with the structure, function, evolution, and mapping of genomes). Mr. Martin’s company is the first platform that analyzes the intent of communication rather than the literal artifact of communication. This application has been used in other technological applications related to defense, intelligence and finance.

In the early 2000’s Linguistic Genomics was responsible for taking down the largest tax fraud in US history. LG maintains a series of inquires into every individual, every organization, and every company that is also involved in anything that either blurs the line of biological or chemical weapons or crosses that line in any of 168 countries.

In 1999 there were a million patents that were digitized by IBM. This was the first time that human innovation had been put into an electronic digital searchable format. LG made the disturbing assessment that one third of all patents executed in the United States were functional forgeries. Meaning that while they had linguistic variations they actually covered the same subject matter.

In 1999 patents on Corona Virus started showing up… and thus began the rabbit trail.

In 2003 the CDC (Center for Disease Control) saw the possibility of a gold strike and that was the Corona outbreak that happened in Asia. They saw a virus that could easily be manipulated and was something that could be very valuable. In 2003 they applied for the patent on the Corona virus to make sure they controlled the proprietary rights to the disease (Patent #7279327) the virus(Patent #7220852) its detection and all measurement of it (Patent # 7776521).

We now know through this investigative piece that Anthony Fauci (Director of NIAID) which oversees the diagnoses and treatment of infectious diseases, and was/is the advisor to six presidents and Ralph Baric with the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill in North Carolina are at the hub of this story.

From 2003 to 2018 they controlled 100% of the cash flow that built the empire around the industrial complex of the Corona virus. While we know the Corona virus manipulation started with Dr. Ralph Baric in 1999 (Ralph Baric is the researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) whose famous for his turmeric virus research.

In 2002 there was a recognition that the Corona virus was seen as an exploitable mechanism for both good and bad. On April 25th 2003 the CDC filed a patent on the Corona virus transmitted to humans. Under 35 US code section 101 nature is prohibited from being patented. Either Sars/Corona virus was manufactured therefore making a patent legal or it was natural therefor making a patent on it illegal.

If it was manufactured it was a violation of biological and chemical weapon treaties law. If it was natural, filing a patent on it was illegal. In either outcome both are illegal. In the spring of 2007 the CDC filed a petition with the patent office to keep their application confidential and private. They actually filed a patent on the virus, its detection, and a kit to measure it. Because of that CDC patent they had the ability to control who was authorized and who was not authorized to make independent inquires into Corona virus. You can not look at the virus, you can not measure it, you can not develop a test kit for it. By ultimately receiving the patents for anyone using it they had the means, the motive, and most of all the monetary gain from turning Corona virus from a pathogen to profit.

And so somewhere between 2012 and 2013 something happened. The federal funding for research that was feeding into places like Harvard, Emery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, suddenly became impaired by something that happened at the NIH (National Institute of Health). The NIH got this little tiny moment of clarity, “I think something we’re doing is wrong”.

In 2013 the NIH said that data function research on the Corona virus should be suspended. The National Institute of Health had a moral, legal, and social reason to object to the research. However, the letters that were sent to the researchers essentially said, “You’re receiving notice that we’re telling you to stop.” However at the bottom of the page of that letter it said as this grant is currently funded your stopping this research is “voluntary”. Basically… keep going.

But when the heat gets hot in 2014 and 2015 what do you do? You offshore the research. You fund the Wuhan Institute of Virology to do the stuff that sounds like it’s getting a little edgy with respect to its morality and legality. Do you do it the straight way… no. You run the money through a series of cover organizations to make it look like your funding a US operation which sends sub contracts to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The US can say China did it and China can say the US did it. And the great thing is… they’re both almost telling the truth.

 

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The Lost Art

Across the board all of us have had good and bad experiences with customer service. It seems the more large corporations speak of customer service the less they provide. How is it possible to be on hold for over an hour with the constant droning of canned music in the back ground while they remind you how important this call is to them?

Then, they add insult to injury professing that this call will be monitored and recorded to assist them with providing better customer service in the future. That little gem of wisdom never seems to materialize.

In my business, the restaurant business, there seems to be quite the disparity between an order taker and an experience creator. Instead of being put on hold you are left in the hands of someone (usually) you do not know, thus placing your trust in a stranger. The order taker is quite content to list items he or she likes while not revealing signature dishes or even caring to ask what type of experience the guest is looking for. This, paired with a lack of knowledge for the substantive dialogue that produces an actual memory is at the core of what I will address today.

Practicing a dialogue that changes based upon the information you are able to gather from the guest can help you delve into the guests needs, wants, and desires… within reason of course. I believe the most important aspect of the dining experience is building trust. We must provide the guest with the information they are looking for and beyond to develop the trust necessary to achieve the goal of an unparalleled dining experience. If we, as gourmet food servers, can rise to the level of trust that makes the guest believe he or she will receive the best of what that dining experience has to offer, in that restaurant, at that moment in time, then we have a return-guest for life.

Today, it is vitally important (in this very difficult business) to create something different that translates to guests extolling the virtues of said restaurant on social media platforms. Pictures of food and kind encouraging words that promote the restaurant can easily sway even the most seasoned diner. Five star reviews are difficult to get but when they happen it means that the team in that section on that particular night performed at their highest level of service. The sense of accomplishment for attaining that review reflects the training, teaching, and wisdom that comes from a career in the hospitality industry.

As we gaze into the future for fine dining, whether we are encouraged to keep the mask on or finally return to some semblance of normality, it is abundantly clear that guests are more enlightened and educated than ever before. It is with this understanding that we rise to new heights of unparalleled guest service which combines education with theatre thus rewarding the more sophisticated client that basks in the bright light that is the dining experience.

Next time you arrive at a destination restaurant, enjoy the moment. Put down the phone (unless to take a picture of the food) and relish the guide that will take you to the culinary place you desire. This, within the confines of a reward that will make your stomach connect with your heart to unveil a compartment that unlocks the joy within.

Health Properties of Wine, Weed / Hemp, and Song…

Let’s look at the bright side. There are more wine varieties and varietals then ever before. There is a much greater abundance of different clones of high quality weed then ever before. And if that wasn’t great enough then you have the healing properties from CBD produced either from Cannabis or Hemp.

After drinking fantastic wine from any country of your choice you can then enjoy the medicinal properties of Marijuana or the healing properties of CBD. In any case you might as well enjoy your favorite song to complete the “Sense Around” experience.

Depending on the environment; a restaurant, the beach, home, or even a tree fort… The objective for most is to escape… which is perfect since 2020 is a year most would agree we’d all like to escape. While a long walk off a short pier might be our first inclination, the much wiser route would be a place of safety and comfort. To be sure we are in a world that has both abundance and turmoil.

Lets focus on the many positive choices afforded us for our mental and physical health. I’ve read many studies that tout the medicinal properties of wine.

Here are 10 clinically proven reasons you should keep drinking red wine (in moderation of course):

1. Reduced Risk of Heart Attack

A 16 year study published by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that moderate drinkers suffering from high blood pressure are 30% less likely to have a heart attack compared to non-drinking counterparts.

2. Reduced Risk Of Cataracts

A 2003 Study published in the Journal of Nature monitored 1,379 individuals in Iceland. The results showed moderate wine drinkers were 32% less likely to have cataracts compared to individuals who did not drink wine.

3. Reduced Risk of Colon Cancer

A Stony Brook University study involving 2,291 individuals published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology monitored the health of participants over the course of 4 years. They found that moderate wine consumption of red wine cut the risk of colon cancer by 45%.

4. Boosts Brain Health

A Columbia University study involving 1,416 people proved that brain function declines at a significantly faster pace in non-drinkers compared to those who drank moderately on a regular basis.

5. Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Research conducted at Amsterdam’s VU University Medical Center in 2005 shows that moderate drinkers have a 30% less chance of developing type 2 diabetes compared to their non-drinking counterparts. The research involved over 369,000 people over an average period of 12 years.

6. Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

A study from Queen Mary University in London and published in the Journal of Nature in 2006 shows that red wine tannins contain procyanidins, which protect against heart disease.

7. Increased Life Span

A Finnish study involving 2,468 men over a 29 year period revealed that wine drinkers have a 34% lower mortality rate than beer or spirit drinkers.

8. Reduced Risk of Stroke

A Columbia University study monitoring 3,176 individuals over an 8 year span proved that the risk of suffering a blood clot related stroke dropped by about 50% in individuals who consumed moderate amounts of red wine.

9. Reduced Risk of Prostate Cancer

In the Journal of Cancer studies revealed that a glass of red wine per day may cut a man’s risk of prostate cancer in half.

10. Reduced Risk of Dementia/Alzheimer’s

A Wake Forest study showed that red wine can improve memory. The study also showed that participants aged 75 or older who consumed 2 glasses of wine pr day had a 37% lower risk of developing dementia compared to non-drinkers.

For those not interested in partaking in an alcohol beverage… perhaps CBD is exactly what the “Doctor” ordered.

Seven CBD Health Benefits:

1. Can Relieve Pain

Studies have shown that CBD can help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters.

2. Can Reduce Anxiety and Depression

Researchers in Brazil found that a 300mg dose of CBD was the most effective at significantly reducing anxiety and insomnia in children and those suffering from PTSD.

3. Can Alleviate Cancer-Related Symptoms

A recent study by the National Institute of Health showed that CBD inhibited the spread of aggressive breast cancer cells in mice.

4. May Reduce Acne

A Study found that CBD oil prevented sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive sebum, exerted anti-inflammatory actions and prevented activation of “pro-acne’ agents like inflammatory cytokines.

5. Might Have Neuroprotective Properties

Researchers believe that CBD’s ability to act on the endocannabinoid system and other brain signaling systems may provide benefits for those with neurological disorders. CBD has been shown to ease symptoms related to epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.

6. Could Benefit Heart Health

Recent research has linked CBD with several benefits for the heart and circulatory system including the ability to lower high blood pressure.

7. Several Other Potential Benefits

CBD has been linked to helping reduce anti-psychotic effects, aid in substance abuse treatment, anti-tumor effects, and can also prevent diabetes.

Above you will find some interesting research that could point you in a direction that could possibly help your overall health. I hope and pray that all those that read this blog and share it with others will enjoy the benefits of a long and happy life. And while you are at it, you might as well play your favorite song to remember the connection we have with all those we love and care about.

A Secret Place

 

Sometimes in this world we need to escape. For some it is gluttony (getting lost in a plate of food), for others it is the all consuming alcohol, for many it is some synthetic drug of choice. For me it is the solitude of a beautiful landscape that dissects calm from chaos, clarity from confusion, and inner peace from anarchy.

Today we are faced with a nation divided. The values, human interaction, mannered behavior, and respectful discourse seem to be lost in the past. We can only hope that through random acts of kindness we can bring back the spirit that clarified our ability to interact humanely with others. This benevolent behavior doesn’t rely on settled political issues but is a result of the inner peace we all seek to live a compassionate and healthy life.

Within this framework we search for balance and the strength of spiritual commitment that comes from self reflection and discipline. This journey takes us through many different mind scapes that are revealed through interaction, experience, and in many cases the vicissitudes of life. As we grow older we have hopefully learned to adjust to the changes that occur in our small world thus realizing how important our friends and family are within this world.

When I needed to get back to center I was blessed to have grown up in Marin County, California. This is certainly one of the most beautiful places on earth. I would drive to Mount Tamalpais over the Alpine Dam Bridge in Fairfax coming up the back side of the mountain. There I would first go to Cataract Falls to bath in the negative ions from the energy of the falls that enhance oxygen to the brain thus increasing your mental energy. From there it was up the mountain and through the woods.

However, instead of going to grandmothers house I would go to my “Secret Place”. While I can’t tell you exactly where this is I will offer the following description: Near the top of Mount Tam lies a magical place somewhere in-between Middle Earth and Shangri-La.

Hiking down from your car you encounter a steep slope with a view of the Pacific Ocean. As you carefully navigate the loose rock and slippery slope you come to a grove of trees… inside that nest of trees there is a rock that looks like a slate table (It forms the perfect perch for two). I always bring a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine. This extends the moment in time and provides a wonderful sensory experience.

In front of you is the Pacific Ocean, to the right is Point Reyes, to the left is San Francisco. Below you is a radiant green meadow that cascades into forest. On many occasions there are red tailed hawks circling over head along with hang gliders sailing in a cross vent pattern providing a rhythmic dance destined to land on Stinson Beach far below.

If you are lucky enough to find such a beautiful place that relaxes your being… then enjoy the solitude and remember the idiomatic expression that is your life.

Mirrors of the Soul

It has been written that the eyes are the mirrors to the soul. This is possibly true from an aesthetic point of view. However, the reality is that while you might be able to read the objective from the configuration of the eyes it is the hands that offer a look into a person’s trade, heart, and intentions.

There are so many poems about the eyes that speak to their deep and rich history as “mirrors to the soul”.

A poem by Ruby Archer highlights this narrative,

“O brown eyes, how warm you are

With look I may not meet,

Lest there I read too deep and far

A meaning wild and sweet.”

Despite the poetic feelings expressed in the poem above I contend that the hands importance to human interaction can not be over stated. It is the touch of another that sends a message to our heart. It is the touch of another that offers a bolt of enthusiastic appreciation for an accomplishment or a job well done. It is the touch of another that offers condolences in times of sorrow and pain. It is the hand shake to greet, the pat on the back to leave, the raising of our hands to ask a question, and the all important hug that acknowledges our very important history of relationship that binds us to a friend or family member.

Parents will hold the hand of a child to protect them. A new relationship will blossom from introductions to holding of hands. All important interactions between people that care for one another begins with the touch of a hand. The common hand shake will send a message to our brain that can determine a persons covert persona. Rough hands mean blue collar, soft hands mean white collar (or trust fund baby). A firm hand shake exudes confidence while a soft hand shake can be construed as either weakness or gentleness usually depending on gender.

Here is a portion of a poem by the famous poet from Chile, Pablo Neruda that is entitled, “Your Hands”

“Their softness came

flying over time,

over the sea, over the smoke, over the spring,

and when you placed

your hands on my chest,

I recognized those golden

dove wings,

I recognized that clay

and that color of wheat.”

The hand is the most frequently symbolized part of the human body. It gives blessings, it is expressive. According to Aristotle, the hand is the “tool of tools.” In general it is strength, power and protection. However, the hands can easily mean generosity, hospitality and stability, “lend a hand.”

Despite all of this proof lifting the hands into rarified air, I would like to simply leave you with this one last thought:

Of all the people in our lives that have passed away is it not true that you would not give anything to give them just one more hug?

The Spiel… PAZAZ™ Style!

As a form of speech “The Spiel” usually involves a story intended as a means of persuasion. When I go to the tables at Jean George I “Spiel” them on highlights of the menu including specials. I provide further discourse if there are allergy issues or questions about specific dishes or beverages.

Through the course of any action which promotes your product or point of view it is important to gauge the response, read the table, and proceed with the intent of listening to the guest’s needs. This ability to listen to the guest, understand the type of experience they are looking for and act on that knowledge separates good service from great service.

Nancy and I have been to quite a few fine dining establishments but I can only count on one hand the times a captain/server has walked me through the highlights of a menu in addition to the specials (and, if you don’t ask the prices of the specials, they are not mentioned).

Two weeks ago (as I mentioned in my blog,”The Greatest Meal I’ve Ever Experienced”) we had an amazing dinner provided by Chef Dave Adlard at the Candle in the Woods restaurant located in Athol Idaho. Chef Adlard provided a very clear description of the cuisine as the sommelier filled in behind him relating the reasons for the pairing of that particular wine with that particular dish.

In addition to the oration given by Chef Adlard, he wove interesting stories about the composition of the dish and how those ingredients came together (usually from their “test kitchen”), where those ingredients were sourced, and perhaps a funny anecdote tying everything together. This was next level culinary delight to add to the spectacular presentations, social interactions, and of course the beverage pairings.

At Jean George I find it necessary to highlight dishes the guest will not see on other menus. There may be a bacon wrapped shrimp on another restaurant’s menu but it won’t be wrapped in a Nueske bacon finished with organic avocado in a papaya mustard marmalade. Other servers will highlight the shellfish platter (because its one of the most expensive appetizers) but I feel the importance to build trust and create an experience the guest won’t find at any other restaurant, and it starts with the recommendations.

Another “signature dish” I highly recommend is the Wagyu beef carpaccio. The Wagyu beef is wrapped around a cheese truffle fritter filled with Comte cheese surrounded by a four leaf balsamic vinegar and topped with fresh, black, Perigord (known as the black diamond of Perigord) truffles.

The “Spiel” brings menus to life. It separates an order taker from an introduction or “Spiel” of the meal that could potentially become a memory you will never forget. For many in the food and beverage industry we can not take lightly our responsibility to bring some semblance of normality (especially in 2020) to the table when servicing the most important aspect of any restaurant, the guest.

Next time when we are blessed to create an experience for our guests lets not forget that out of many you will find one that will never forget that meal as orchestrated by you. You are a member of a team that provides service with the chef, bartender and sommelier. All those that provide the team work to make that event happen work in concert to create a meal by which all others will be judged.