The Smolker Letters, Letter No. 2 (A Meal That Ends Without Cheese Is Like A Beautiful Woman with Only One Eye, November 4, 2011)

“A Meal That Ends Without Cheese Is Like A Beautiful Woman with Only One Eye”

by Gary Smolker

Smolker Letter No 2, November 4, 2011

November 4, 2011


As far as I am concerned, your wife is one of the best chefs in the world, dinning as a guest in your home is supreme delight and the discovery of a new dish or a new wine at your house does more for my human happiness than the discovery of a new star.

You prove the fact that he who plays host giving his personal care to the repast is worthy of having friends to invite to it.
My life is a trip made more enjoyable by sharing a meal in the company of good friends (such as you) and their comments.

That being said, thank you for your comment below about fancy meals in fancy restaurants and finding your way in Paris — that most people can’t tell the difference between a dish prepared in a 3-star restaurant and in a 1-star restaurant and the enjoyment that can be found by following crowds and noticing where people congregate in Paris.

About comments on food and wine: Another friend of mine once told me that very few people can tell the difference between a bottle of  wine costing $8 a bottle and a bottle of wine costing $20 or more per bottle.

I am interested in good food and wine for many reasons.  One reason: I am in the midst of creating “Social Networking” events for the Beverly Hills Bar Association.  I would like those events to showcase the best food and wine the world has to offer.


Last night, at an Executive Committee Meeting of the Social Networking Committee of the Beverly Hills Bar Association, I described a dessert I had at the Commodore’s Plantation in New Orleans, a couple of weeks ago, in support of my suggestion that we (the committee) have a wine and cheese event.

My reason for doing so is my firm belief, that there are few things in life as interesting as eating “good food” and drinking good wine. In the words of Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin: Animals feed themselves, men eat; but only wise men know the art of eating.

I described the desert I had at Commander’s Palace as follows to make the point that eating is great fun was: I had a gingerbread roasted pumpkin cake: Creole pumpkins baked into a rich gingerbread cake with chait iced cream roasted apple jus in bourbon infused molasses.


One of my favorite quotes is: Without taste genius is but sublime folly. 

That being said, I enjoy the rich tapestry of your stylish mind, your restrained discretion, your thinking man’s well-balanced attitude towards life.

By the way, Brillat-Savarin’s THE PHYSIOLOGY OF TASTE, published in 1825, remains the gastronomic classic against which all subsequent works must be measured.

I am happy you find yourself in the happy state of being able to think and to recollect in tranquility while you advise me regarding Paris. 
Getting to the subject of cheeses: Two weekends ago, while on a weekend eating trip with me, after eating an assortment of artisan cheeses for desert at Stella’s in New Orleans, in the French quarter, my 26 year old daughter Judi exclaimed: “I know heaven exists, for I have been there.”

Judi was commenting on the following assortment of cheeses which she had eaten with a glass of a Charleston Sercial Historic Series Maderia wine made by The Rare Wine Company:

  1. Delice de Bourgogne — a soft cheese made from cow’s milk. This cheese is incredibly rich, full flavor with a melt-in-the-muth texture.
  2. Cremont — a smooth and creamy cow and goat’s milk cheese with a hint of Vermont Cream.  It has a complex and nutty rind taste with notes of cooked bread, hazelnuts, yeast.
  3. Little Boy Blue — a crumbly blue cheese made from sheep’s milk with a mild and somewhat citrus flavor.
I remain sincerely yours and look forward to talking to you about the best things life has to offer and dinning with you soon.


Attached Message
From: Jorge
To: Gary S. Smolker <>
Subject: Paris in Spring
Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2011 09:45:33 -0700 (PDT)


Dining at any Michelin 3-Star restaurant, be it in the Eiffel Tower or (until 2007) at the Essex House in NYC, is a kind of experience. I think few can truly appreciate the epicurean and culinary apex (for instance, I think few can tell the difference (if there be any) between a certain dish at a 3-Star and the same dish at a 2- or 1-Star); but many enjoy saying they paid to eat as such-and-such a place.

In many densely populated cities I have enjoyed walking around areas known for particular traits, observing where people seem to be congregating, and following them into the establishment, be it a restaurant or something else. In the Northern Hemisphere, this obviously works better in May and June than in December or January.

In Paris I have enjoyed doing that in the 16eme Arrondissement, and in the 5eme and 6eme, generally below the Rive Gauche and the Jardín de Luxembourg, and Saint-Germaine-des-Pres and the Sorbonne. From there, the Rue des Écoles leads to the Latin Quarter. Some portions may be dripping with tourists, but others provide more authentic experiences. At the Jules Verne, I suspect, most of the faces you will see will be Chinese.



In a message dated 11/3/2011 5:05:20 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, JF writes:
I like the Jules Verne restaurant on the 32nd floor of the Eiffel Tower.
Also, I recommend seeing the Napoleon apartment in The Louvre.  It shows how to decorate when you have an unlimited budget, as Napoleon did.
JF’s e-mail above was sent in response to the following e-mail.
If you’re looking for “experience” in Paris, enjoy the cuisine at Nomiya, which was declared by the food magazine as such, and Neil & myself do agree after having the chance to dine at this place.  They only serve 6 couples at a time, and its almost impossible to secure a reservation.  You need a few months in advance to get in.
Good luck on getting a reservation, though.  Even the locals  have a hard time getting in.

About Gary S. Smolker

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: No enterprise can exist for itself alone. Every successful enterprise ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others. Otherwise, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist. Imagination, open mindedness and flexibility are the most important factors in unlocking potential. Those who embrace innovation, improvisation, continuous learning, time management, are action oriented, high energy, passionate, creative, purposeful and intense individuals are best equipped to succeed. We all have ideas and the ability to make progress by sharing information and our ideas and also by changing our ideas when appropriate. We should always be on the lookout for teaching and mentoring moments. We hold time like water in our hands; however tightly we clench our fingers, it drips away. But, if it falls on a seed, a seed may grow to become something that will have a positive social impact. PERSONAL INTERESTS: I have a passion to learn, to innovate, to lead, to mentor and to teach. I seek to write things worth reading and want to do things worth writing about. I enjoy (a) driving a fast car, (b) having intense conversations (c) teaching/mentoring, (d) reading and (e) being involved in productive activity. PERSONAL: I believe in cultivating and backing passionate people, innovation, and old fashioned good ideas. I love making human connections and spreading good ideas. I am strongly motivated to achieve in situations in which independence of thought and action are called for. PERSONAL GOALS: I want to live life vibrantly, to be as sharp as a tack until my last breath and to change the world by being me. My personal goal is to be fully engaged in life, to lead by example, to set high standards and to continue to amass firsthand experience and knowledge in all that interests me. PERSONALITY: I love fun and mischief. I relish absurdity. I have an irreverent, facetious and satiric disposition. I dread boredom. I have spent a lifetime reading. I have no bias against people who have lived successful and/or complicated lives. I write to release tension, to get things off my chest. SOCIAL MEDIA: I post articles on the "Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange" blog at, and "Dude's Guide to Women's Shoes" at I also post images and comments on Instagram @garyspassion. CONTACT INFORMATION: Gary Smolker, Smolker Law Firm, 16055 Ventura Blvd., Ste 525, Encino, California, 91436-2609, USA. Phone 1-818-788-7290, e-mail

Posted on November 6, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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