|Forward to ROYERS ROUND TOP CAFE Cookbook....A Relational Odyssey!|
|Written by Dr. Dan Allender|
I love to eat. And I eat to love. I find that my most cherished moments in my life are arranged around food. Food and fellowship stir in me a hunger that fine dining and good conversation cannot fully touch and that is a desire for something more sublime. A meal is never merely a meal; food is not for mere sustenance. It is a celebration of sensuality; a milieu for communion; and a harbinger of heaven.
A fine meal is an elegant dance of the senses. Every sense is aroused in anticipation of the moment. The fragrance wafting from the kitchen inflames the imagination. When the plate is placed in front of the titillated guest, the arrangement of color and shape announces to those who dine that beauty is adored. The symphony of sounds from the tinkling of glass and the percussion of moving utensils signals the beginning of the adventure. And then touch and taste grow from foreplay to the consummation of fulfillment. A good meal is like making love.
A table filled with fine food is also the place for conversation. To eat a good meal in silence or in the pointless meandering of trivia boasting betrays the wonder of how food eaten is meant to draw hearts into union.
Memories are made not only of the event, but the place and the food that sealed the moment in perpetuity. I will never forget the first meal my wife and I enjoyed together as husband and wife. Food is the forum for communion that points beyond itself to an even greater hunger and an even more anticipated pleasure. A good meal is a portend of heaven.
Fine dining is the art of cultivating a hunger for heaven. Food titillates, satisfies and always leaves us wanting more. It removes hunger while also teasing us with the awareness that again soon we will be hungry-no meal will ever sate our emptiness just as no conversation will ever vanquish loneliness. We were meant for more.
No wonder Isaiah pictures a divine meal as the inauguration o new life with God. He states:
On this mountain the LORD Almighty will
What are you in for in this cookbook? Perhaps, you have said to yourself: "Not another catalogue of delectable recipes and pictures to clutter my library! Why do I need more recipes?"
My answer is three-fold. No one cooks like the Royers. I have dined in their home and their restaurant and savored pleasure like nowhere else on the earth. In my work, I travel nearly a third of the year, and I have dined in some of the finest restaurants in the world. And for pure pleasure, I have found no better than the Royers restaurant in Round Top, Texas. But there is more.
No cookbook I know of will also invite you to consider the pleasure and power o communion-the joining of words and hearts and friendship, as do the Royers. From Bud and Karen to each of their children, they know how to talk, how to care, and hot to invite each person to join in the mystery of love. But there is more.
The Royers know that food and friendship alone will grow cold and hollow if they do not transport us to consider the deeper issues of life. But and Karen are not narrow dogmatic, or push, but they do invite their guests through food and conversation to consider the heart's deepest desire and the soul's greatest emptiness. They know how to fill the stomach, the heart and the soul. I think you will find their invitation hard to refuse.
I say as the Psalmist (Psalm 34:6):
Taste and see that the Lord is good.