Lip Smacking Foodie Tours founder and president Donald Contursi shares his words of hope in the midst of the coronavirus quarantine. His company provides culinary walking tours that showcase the city’s highest-rated restaurants on the Strip and Downtown.
1. What inspires you? I’m inspired that in the worst of times, the best in people usually comes to the forefront. I think that’s especially true in the hospitality industry. The Wynn took the noble step of pledging to pay all its employees during this crisis. Restaurants have had to close, but so many have rallied to offer deliver and take-out to people in need of food. Las Vegas may be all about glitz and glamour, but it’s also very much a community that rallies together to lift each other up in dire times.
2. Is there a great quote that keeps you going? Julia Child said that ‘People who love to eat are always the best people.’ It’s so true. I think that’s evident from what you see now with so many chefs around the country stepping up to cook meals to donate to first responders, hospital staffs, and the homeless. People who love to eat or love to cook are all about nurturing. They want to share and provide; they want to make others around them feel warmly cared for.
3. What are you most looking forward to when life returns to normal? I can’t wait to see the lights on the Strip twinkle again with excitement. I can’t wait to hear the familiar ringing of slot machines at the casinos. I can’t wait to see locals and visitors walking around with big smiles on their faces like before. And I can’t wait to lead them all to the most delicious dishes at the best restaurants in this incredible city.
4. Any other thoughts you'd like to share? I would urge people to remember more than ever to support their local businesses, especially home-grown, family-run ones. They’re the real fabric of communities. Sadly, many of them just don’t have the reserve of resources to weather emergency situations like this. Losing them would be devastating. It would be like erasing part of the city’s soul.
Photography by: Courtesy of Donald Contursi