Fleur by Hubert Keller reminds me of appreciation. Please let me start my saying, “If you can’t afford to pay for the lunch that you invited me to dine, you make me question how whether I am going to paid for my work. As the  philosophers would remind us, “If you ask to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it.” The 2016 Elections arrived to the President Debate. Las Vegas was center in the political fight. All the debates between Republicans and fellow Republicans were on the Las Vegas Strip. Two Democratic candidates provided us with wise cracks so that we could vote for who we thought was the wittiest. All in Las Vegas central. Groups profiting off the battles ask me to help them win the war by providing text, writing content, magazine articles for their printed materials as well as press releases to promote their cause. I covered a Senate debate one week. The political organization met me. By weeks end, I had to cover a journalistic story at the famous Barrett Jackson Auto Auction inside Mandalay Bay. The group asked to meet with me. I said, “I am at Mandalay Bay.” We will come there. Would you like to meet for lunch? We will take you to lunch. They arrived late. I remember because the disappointment set in early. After all, I was at Mandalay Bay to work. They couldn’t respect that. Second, the four introduced themselves. Shook my hand. Met me. Lobbyists. Politicians. Attorneys. We turned from the sushi bar to the bakery, look towards the Spanish restaurants and steak houses, but stood next to the restaurant that we turned to called Fleur by Hubert Keller. I walked in. I had to eat and run back to cover the Barrett Jackson Auto Auction. The leader of the group walked in with me, turned quick to glance at the menu, with a look of shock, he asked, “Can we go somewhere else? Somewhere cheaper?” By that point, I had quickly decided this was going to be a free meal. I was never going to work with these people. They were as cheap as they were unorganized. So I followed them to a long line of pedestrians standing outside a wonderful all you can eat buffet. The buffet was tasty. My hunger was satisfied mainly because they served smoked salmon with capers in the seafood section. My taste buds were in the mood for smoked fish with salty pickled capers. But I ate, listened, agreed with what they asked of me, and told them I would get back to them a week later after I was done editing what I had written by Barrett Jackson. I missed my chance that afternoon of dining at Hubert Keller’s famous Fleur. I heard about Keller in the north over the Golden Gate Bridge towards the redwood forests away from San Francisco’s city skyline. I believe the restaurant is in the City of Healdsburg. By the next evening, I couldn’t get the rejection by Hubert Keller out of my psyche. By will, I returned the next night to Fleur so that I could eat in the best French restaurant on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Thank you

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