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Ron Onesti: The “Flavors” of Life

Not all my columns are about my first concert or the way things “used to be”.  Sometimes there are things that hit me as I sit down to write this that have nothing to do with actual “show biz”.  Today, I happen to be avoiding the bitter cold and staying at the iconic art-deco Biltmore Hotel in Miami as my deadline for this column was fast approaching.  I was amongst classic 1920s surroundings in a Prohibition-era restaurant and fabulous live music was being performed as my marinated Argentinian skirt steak with a spicy chimichurri almost made my head explode with flavor.

“Flavor”.  I really started to think about that word.  As I get a bit older, my appreciation for all things, big or small, has become intensified.  With regards to the obvious, my palette has expanded with age, and I have shifted from “eating” food to “tasting” food.  I mean really tasting!  Taking the time to separate the ingredients after taking a bite and letting my buds do their job.  By doing this, I have truly added much to my own dining experience.  It has helped me to greater appreciate the time, effort and natural ingredients all rolled together to create the dish.

And ya know, since I have been doing this, it has amazed me to realize just how many expensive dishes at high-end restaurants are really flavorless!  I think price should be based on flavor and not on the cut of meat!  If a dish blows me away, it deserves full price.  Bland deserves a discount!

But truly, my appreciation for “flavor” in life goes much further than food.  These days, I listen closer to music.  I feel the “musicality” of a song or a performance much more these days.  I pick apart the “flavors” of the music.  I seek to feel the beat and the tempo, truly listen to the complex mix of instruments and the words themselves and intensely listen to the vocal presentation.  After almost forty years in the entertainment biz, music has never “tasted” so good!

It’s not like I have any kind of heightened senses.  In fact, because of my “maturity”, it is just the opposite!  Ironically, my hearing and seeing isn’t so good anymore, but lately, I hear better and see better, philosophically!

I don’t know, maybe it’s all we have been going through because of the pandemic, or all the other crazy things going on in our world today that has increased this level of appreciation for the simple things in life for me.  But after almost two years of lockdown and many cases of social unrest, the flavors of food, the sounds of music and the warmth of a hug has never meant more to me.

So the next time you enjoy a meal, truly enjoy it!  Taste it all in a way that you never have before.  The next time you hear your favorite song, close your eyes and really let the music sink into your soul.  Get up early, go outside and take some deep breaths and fill your lungs with fresh air.  And most importantly, learn not to fret over things, but convert any form of negativity into positive energy.  Even if you can only “hug” with your eyes these days, do it in a way that others can feel your love.

As Global Warming continues to be an issue of concern, it is the Global “heart” Warming that I seek daily.  Let’s not let the tragedies and challenges we have all experienced go for naught.  At the very least, let’s take a step back and realize the value of what we have, especially now that we all understand better what it could mean once they are taken away.  Here’s to good health and safety to you and your family!