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FASHION

FLORAL ARTIST Jeff Leatham

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Little Palm Island Resort & Spa

ULM Issue #27 |

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Upscale Living Magazine 2013

CONTENTS Art & Culture

13 Most Expensive Art— Four of the Most Expensive

Paintings ever sold in the World

Fashion

17 Ted Baker—Iconic English Styles in America 20 New Eyes on Miami Fashion — Fashion

Photoshoot by Ivan Starikov

31 The World of Couture—2013 Fashion

16 Beauty Essentials

Health & Beauty 34 Summer Dawn 37 Regent Palms Spa at Turks & Caicos

Jewelry & Timepieces

30 Dazzling Jewels

41 Hialeh Design—Let your dream home come true

54 2014MYSLS AMG Black Series—

Home Décor & Architecture 56 Home Trends

Autos, Jets, Boats & Yachts

Extreme Sport for the Affluent 69 Flying Palaces —Private Jets

Travel & Destinations

60 A Weekend Away— AMES Hotel

Profile of the Moment

49 Baroness von Neumann—Beautiful and Inspiring Life 61 Gilles Marini—Exclusive Interview

Culinary

72 Le-Castagne Truffle Dinner-pastamista 75 The Gratifying Gourmets—Chefs Savoy, Epie and

Vongerichten On The Evolution of Their Cuisine

Wine & Spirits

74 Case Sugan— The San Simone Winery

79 Naturally. Hasn’t It Always Been That Way?— gratifying spirits

In every issue

06 Contributors 07 Letter from the Publisher 32 Event —Monaco 40 Top News


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Upscale Living Magazine 2013

FEATURE

9 Jeff Leatham

An amazing floral artist

66 Little Palm Island

Resort & Spa

Discover your island oasis

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UPSCALE

Living

CONTRIBUTORS

magazine

A D M S P U B L I S H I N G G R O U P, L L C

Publisher/Editor ........................ Alina R. Leyva

Design and Travel Editor .......... Natalie King Fine Timepiece/Jewelry editor .. Bill Strickland

S A L E S VP of Sales & Marketing - Mid/East/South Coast Rich Murowski VP of Sales - West Coast Bruce Ellington

Natalie King — Natalie grew up dividing her time between Boston and her family’s country home in North Carolina. Her appreciation of style began with her work as a model and throughout her travels. She studied broadcast journalism at Umass Boston where she graduated with honors and then went on to pursue her career as a writer. Natalie began working for Upscale Living Magazine as the Fashion Editor where she reported from New York Fashion Week and produced the fashion and style features. Bill Strickland – A former banker, journalist and chamber president; currently historian and curator of Strickland Vintage Watches. Forbes “Best of the Web” honoree since 2000, his timepiece company has established itself as an emporium of classic and historic works of horological art. Having provided timepieces and expertise to Hollywood, Madison Avenue, Washington, D.C. and to clients around the world, his authority and research continue to define the market.

W R I T E R S Contributing Writers Ava Roxanne, Slavika Monczka, Karen H. Berliner, Kathleen Krueger, Kay Fernandez, Gary Peterson,

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Karen H. Berliner — A seasoned freelance journalist with a true love and flare for luxury food, wine and travel writing. Her passion for journalism with her appreciation and driving interest in food and luxury travel, with an insatiable wanderlust to boot, inspires her to explore this big world and bring back her finds to the local reader. Her work has been featured in Los Angeles, Edible East End (The Hampton’s), Social Life (The Hampton’s), Haute Living Magazine among other publications.

Bob Hughes—Director of Photography NE Said Bazze —Director of Photography SE Pablo Orellana —Travel Photographer

M E D I A C O R R E S P O N D E N T Daniel Ortega, Lisa Maria Turner, Ingrid Ashton, Gaston Penskinsky

A R T & D E S I G N dESIGN Studio A.R.C. Design Art Director Alina R. Cabral Graphic Designers Jacklyn Dana, Michael Vincent Web Development A.R.C. Designs

Ava Roxanne— A travel writer and blogger with more than 23,000 Twitter followers plus many more for her other platforms and freelance work. Fox News, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Spa Week and the Atlanta Journal Constitution have recently quoted her concerning spa, travel, skin care, fashion, technology, environmental, and various women’s topics. As a travel writer and the editor of Spa Travel Gal, her articles have appeared in Spa Week, H Magazine, Destinations Travel Magazine & CBS News and others. Ava believes travel, spa and skin care experiences are not a luxury, but essential to a healthy body and mind! Slavica Monczka — created “Seductively French” (SF) to celebrate the allure of the French culture, the birthplace of haute couture, fine art, architecture, and gourmet cuisine. Through Slavica’s writing, you will be able to experience the uniqueness of France, the spirit of its people and the true meaning of passion. Through SF, she is able to produce luxury products that are aspirational, while empowering our audience to capture and create its own ‘joie de vivre.’ Kathleen Krueger — A full-time freelance writer from Brainerd, MN. She is a regular contributor to other print magazines and online ezines. She has a background in the construction/design industry and is very involved in the arts community. Her intuitive, feelings-based personality strongly influences her creative writing, but is especially evident in her poetry, her first love, when it comes to crafting words.


Letter from the Publisher

Dear Readers,

We are delighted to discover that, during the 8 years of its existence, Upscale Living Magazine has become a “destination” of sorts for its readers. We’ve receiving emails and letters from many who escape in its pages, discovering elements of the fabulous lifestyle Upscale Living Magazine represents. My staff and I take the time you devote to the publication very seriously. Our goal is to keep Upscale Living a vibrant world for the exploration of luxury.

Alina R Leyva (Cabral) Publisher and Founder of Upscale Living Magazine. publisher@upscalelivingmag.com

With this issue, we unveil new elements of luxury: Meet Jeff Leatham, the Artistic Director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris whose notable work expresses his passion for flowers. Our pages showcase Leatham’s breathtaking style and elaborate choices of color and of his masterpieces. If you are looking for an amazing interior designer, then look no further, Haleh Alemzadeh Niroo of Potomac, Md. share with us one of her most outstanding design. Through this enticing and alluring photos, our readers will have the opportunity to enjoy Haleh’s amazing work! And with this fabulous home, the need of the 2014 SLS AMG Black Series Mercedes Benz is a must!.... Mr. Cabral enlighten us of the powerful presence and characteristic that this luxury automobile give us, an amazing vehicle for the best car enthusiast! For the jetsetters who take their moniker to literal extremes, we’ve previewed the latest luxury private jets is a must read and for those who are ready to go and experience the ultra luxury getaway, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa is a must go, take it from me, I had the most outstanding and fabulous experience of a lifetime! Fashion pages of the latest styles with picture perfect models in luxurious gowns embrace our pages through the eye of famed photographer, Ivan Starikov and his partner and makeup artist, Bettyjean Sconzo Simmons, a talented duo who truly go beyond “Vogue” We, at Upscale Living Magazine strongly believe that “To have them is to experience perfection!” Once again, we do our job in bringing you the best of luxury. Now it’s time for you to sit relax and embrace the splendor that its right in front of you “Upscale Living Magazine at its best”! Enjoy

Alina R. Leyva Publisher & Founder


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Jeff Leatham An extraordinar y Floral Artist

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eep, luscious piles of flower petals create streams of aromatic beauty. Voluptuous, monochromatic bouquets seem to float effortlessly over their vases. It’s as if all the purple hydrangeas from around the globe have been gathered together for one amazing display of pure, natural elegance. This fairy tale scene was not created by the wave of a magical wand held in the hand of a plump little fairy godmother. Instead, this is the description of a floral installation created by a rugged-looking guy from Utah, wearing a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. In spite of the delicacy of his art medium, Jeff Leatham could easily be mistaken for a construction worker who took a wrong turn in the hallways of the elegant George V Hotel in Paris, rather than the Artistic Director of this posh palace of hospitality. His rough-round-the-edges

| By Kathleen M. Krueger masculine look is a striking contrast to his floral design style, which has been described as “clean, simple and chic.” Leatham never set his goal in life to be the world famous floral artist that he has become. The thought that he would be commissioned to offer his creativity to world famous personages like the Dalai Lama, Madonna, Chelsea Clinton and Tina Turner didn’t enter the mind of this teenage son of a landscape designer living among the mountains and red rock canyons of the southwestern U.S. All he knew was that when he walked into the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles at age 18 that it was the creative use of flowers as art that captivated his attention. It seemed that the medium chose him, selecting him to be its curator, rather than the other way around. Having discovered his passion for floral art at a Four Seasons Hotel, it


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was only natural that Leatham should begin his career as a floral designer at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills and to move from there to Paris, France and the Four Seasons George V Hotel. Europe has truly been Leatham’s launching pad to worldrenowned status, three times having been voted the Best Hotel Florist in Europe. Of course, the distinguished guests that enjoy the hospitality of the George V Hotel took notice of Leatham’s designs. Quite quickly his requests for custom design work for other establishments and events began to grow. Leatham’s art has recently moved to new levels through collaboration with artists in a variety of other mediums. He has created an exquisite and delicate chandelier with Swarkovski, a crystal vase sculpture with Daum, crystal-covered orchids for Disney’s 80th Anniversary Celebration of Mickey Mouse, jewelry with Henri J. Silliam and has a vase collection with Waterford Crystal, for whom he serves as Global Brand Ambassador. In addition, Leatham has recently created a line of fragrant candles inspired by the beautiful floral scents he works with everyday: “Voodoo Rose,” “Velvet Dahlia” and “Bois de Figue.” In spite of the elegance in the displays that Leatham creates, he is known amongst his staff for his fun-loving antics, always encouraging them not to take things too seriously and enjoy their work. “I love to laugh,” Leatham says. Still based in Paris as the Artistic Director for the Four Seasons George V Hotel, Leatham often is found jetting off to other world locations to share his gift with those who want to embellish their surroundings with his unique and touch of grand simplicity. Jeff Leatham designs can be viewed on his Web site: www. jeffleatham.com

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Most Expensive ART Four of the Most Expensive Paintings ever sold in the World.

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is a 1907 painting by Gustav Klimt. According to press reports it was sold for US$135 million to Ronald Lauder for his Neue Galerie in New York City in June 2006, Woman III is a painting by abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning. In November 2006, the painting was sold by Geffen to billionaire Steven A. Cohen for $137.5 million, making it the third most expensive painting ever sold.

No. 5, 1948 is a painting by Jackson Pollock, an American painter known for his contributions to the abstract expressionist movement

“The Card Players” by Paul Cézanne is currently the most expensive painting ever sold in 2011 for a price variously estimated at between $250 million and $300 million.


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BEAUTY ESSENTIALS

B E A U T Y

The Cils d’Enfer Maxi Lash Mascara ($30.00) available in Noir and Violet, is part of the fabulous Guerlain Spring 2013 Makeup Collection.

Chanel Spring Summer 2013 features a LE powder highlighter, Poudre SignĂŠe de Chanel, a beautiful subtle warm peach-beige color stamped with a pattern of camellia flowers. Also, part of the 2013 Spring Makeup Collection is the Jolie Rouge Brilliant Lipstick, available in Watermelon (#17) and Sweet Plum (#18). Both have a deep moisturising, creamy soft texture with long lasting color and sheer finish.

Face Blush Powder available in three shades: Light, Medium and Dark. This ultrafine, lightweight mineral powder has a velvety soft texture that illuminates the skin, giving it a translucent yet radiant finish. 2013 Spring Clarins Rouge Eclat Collection.


F A S H I O N

Ted Baker “ I c o n i c E n g l i s h s t y l e i n A m e r i c a� | By Natalie King


F A S H I O N

Delicate pink heels with a bow at the back, exquisitely tailored jackets, and comfortable playsuits that elongate legs and tuck in the waist — Ted Baker’s work is a woman’s dream. As one of the fastest-growing leading lifestyle brands in the United Kingdom, Baker began with contemporary men’s shirting, setting out to create a brand that would differ from others. Indifferent to traditional advertising, the brand relies on word-of-mouth, referrals and inventive marketing. For example the décor of the Newbury Street, Boston location is marvelously unconventional: As you enter into a world of “Alice in Wonderland” eccentric design, you’ll find oversized tea pots, Mad Hatter hats and lacquered furniture accessorized with candy-color glossy Ted Baker pocketbooks, lovely baubles and accessories, including pink leather gloves and silk scarves. The dressing rooms at Ted Baker are equally whimsical. Inside the private changing area, deep red velvet draperies reveal azure walls covered in charming brass clocks and a “hall-of-mirrors” effect. If there is such thing as flirty refinement, you will find it at Ted Baker — a charming shopping experience in Boston. It’s official: We’re in love with both the form and function of Ted Baker. For travel, slinky dresses pack perfectly and zip on wrinkle-free. Cigarette-length pants in cozy material work beautifully with relaxed blouses and sweaters — making in-flight travel more refined than the usual go-to loungewear. Pair the look with a lovely silk scarf and oversized sunglasses and enjoy a moment of carefree glamour. Ted Baker has stores all over the globe, with 11 in the United States. For a locations, see their Web site: http://www.tedbaker-london.com 18 Upscale Living Magazine |

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H A N D M A D E

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Summer Dawn “Life Therapist” | By Natalie King

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World Class Reading Therapy for Upscale and High Profile Clients “My world class reading therapy allows you to intimately understand what future paths lies before you. With your questions of concern and the guidance of God, you will have the power to control and achieve greatness in all life’s categories. It is through this vision that we can begin implementing the changes necessary to start on the right path to personal and public victory” Summer Dawn was born with the gift of enlightenment and a direct relationship with God. Knowing that it was her life’s mission to help others, Summer cultivated her gifts into therapeutic readings to provide advice, knowledge and empowerment to those seeking help and guidance. “The fact that we have the power to change much of our future is the gift of free will. It is the combination of your free will and the vision of your future, that we must take advantage of during your therapy. When the future reveals itself you gain the power of premeditative choice and are able to properly make decisions that rise above your immediate circumstances.”


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working with her for over 10 years. Through her confidential practice, Summer has cultivated a service where people from all over the world can access her help through reading therapy sessions over the telephone or in person, as she travels globally. There are three options for client access: A Session Only Client is able to schedule their personally ideal times to speak with Summer, which can conveniently be booked through her website. An All-Inclusive Client has access to reach Summer at any point during the day or evening, should a pressing question or need of advice arise. Many All-Inclusive Clients are those who are forced to make quick decisions at work, endure high levels of stress or are those experiencing a great life change, where they are in need of a constant form of contact. Custom clients have the opportunity to design a package or request a stylized service that fits their unique needs. When I first had a chance to sit down and speak with Summer, and getting a wealth of knowledge and invaluable advice within the first moments, you may not necessarily envision her to look as she does. She is a very petite and beautiful woman, with chestnut hair and a gorgeous ear to ear smile. She is also very warm hearted and has no sense of judgment when it comes to providing you with the guidance from God. It is very clear that no matter what is said during your reading therapy session that it is a message for you and you only. “I will take you through your future as it currently sits today. I will actively be pointing out events both problematic and beneficial while allowing you to ask any question of concern. This will aid us in easily bringing to light all consequences of your actions and current decisions” she says. Your first contact with Summer will assess your current state, and ways to make improvements to your life at this moment, so that you may realize your path and highest potential.

She was born an Oracle, and from a young age she was not encouraged to express her abilities. An Oracle is a conduit of God, meaning that she is an open path of communication, revealing God’s advice and understanding. Because she was not initially encouraged to express her gift, she has a deeper understanding and compassion for her clients who are in similar situations—of acknowledging that they have a great talent or mission in life, but not understanding how to take the steps to achieve their most powerful and fulfilled selves. Her clients consist of families of wealth, high profile individuals and numerous public figures. “Once I begin working with a client, it usually evolves in providing reading therapy for the entire families, helping the family become a strong unit of understanding, success and inner peace” says Summer. She is dedicated to helping people become their most successful and emotionally harmonious selves. “We are not meant to carry around burden, stress or anxiety. We are meant to acknowledge what causes these issues, and to work right past them. No matter the current physical, emotional or successful state, we are all meant to evolve into our potential, and this is what I am grateful to provide”. Many of Summer’s clients have been

“When I first speak with clients, I am able to access their future. Much of what causes anxiety or fear, is of the unknown. I am able to take away current stresses as I can access a true vision of their future, and the best way to get where they need to go”. A hard and honest look at your current state of mind and life is sometimes a bit scary to approach, but her initial assessment delve right into ways that you can find immediate relief and answers within your first moments of your session. She gives such real and honest advise and then shows you a clear path to achieving your goals. Self-doubt, anxiety, fear and self-conscious feelings are replaced with a calm and powerful inner peace and feeling of high self-worth. With this, personal relationships will deepen and professional goals will be exceeded. The goal of Summer is for everyone to attain their most confidant and joyful current life, and to live to be their most amazing potential. She has teamed up with her husband, Jason Allyn, to write a book titled The Obsession of Success which identifies and clearly explains the rules of life so that anyone can experience success in relationships, health, career, and spirituality in the flesh. The book works as an instruction manual style life book, which is meant to be read and referred to as many different points in your life. To contact Summer Dawn, visit http://lifetherapist.com 35 Upscale Living Magazine |

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Regent Palms Spa Tu r k & C a i c o s | By Brook Cunningham

Blending, that is the key to a really fabulous spa experience. In this case royal tropical elegance meets Bahamian culture to produce a world class experience in whitewashed plank and stone cottages floating like islands under tall rustling palms. This is the luxurious stage set by the designers of the Regent Palms spa. Sweet in its simplicity and rich in mental, physical and spiritual reward, the environment and lusciously delivered therapies leave you with an internal hum that lingers longer than your tan. I did the signature Zareeba (Afrikaans for “personal space) treatment. I had never seen a Zareeba space before, and it looked for all the world like a teak crate, maybe 5’ tall and deep, 8’ long. Lying on its side with no front on it. There was a small bench on either end with a candle lit on the floor underneath. In the center was a large cerulean ceramic vessel. A handsome young Bahamian man came in and filled that vessel with boiling water that had been simmering lemon and eucalyptus. I sat on the small bench as a thick curtain was lowered that closed me into the Zareeba with the steam.

This is the cleansing and it worked wonders for my body as the thoughts of the outside world drifted into utter unimportance. I found this to be much more soothing than electrically heated steam which is pumped into a space and sometimes seems too hot to breathe. Nothing but soft candle light, gently scented steam and me for 20 delicious peaceful minutes. When the curtain was raised I stepped out into the softly shaded massage cottage and was gently dried of by sweet Amor, the Polynesian therapist. Once on the table she used long smooth slow strokes to renew my skin with an oil that never felt oily. For an hour it just rolled over my body smoothing skin and relaxing muscles. The sun peeked through the jalousie blinds, the palms rustled outside in the scented breeze and that became the whole sweet world. An hour disappeared in a blissful few minutes. Days later I did the Pearl and Water Lily Passage because I simply could not help it. Earl, the lead therapist at the spa performed one of the most


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sensual and sensitive treatments that I have ever had. This is a treatment that combines gentle natural scents with gold infused oil for a full body massage that is followed by a facial massage treatment with essential actives combined to nurture the skin while slowing the aging process. The soothing was enhanced by the gentle glittering light from the water surrounding the cottage as jasmine floated on the breeze. There were many elements to this beautiful 90 minute therapy but frankly I couldn’t focus to pay attention. When it was time to go I could barely tell where my body ended and the soothing tropical breezes began. I am a serious “spa hound” and consider myself pretty hard to “wow” but it happened with both experiences at this spa. The stage that Regent Palms has set for such restoration is as good as they get. The sound of water soothes and the light of it glitters softly on everything as it flows through the interior courtyard and surrounds the therapy cottages. Interior spaces are cool, graceful and soothing in the tradition of the Bahamas. The practitioners are gentle and intuitive in their usage of hands, nutrients, scents and oils. It’s a place that you never want to leave. Not surprising to me was the news that On December 16th this spa won the Leading Spa Resort in the World, given out by the World Travel Awards. 

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N E W S

TOP NEWS

Latest News | Upcoming Festivals| Season Trends

2013 Naples Wine Festival

Rolls-Royce Celebrates 10 Years of Excellence! Rolls-Royce Motor Cars celebrated its 10 Years of Excellence. It’s home was officially opened for business on 1 January 2003 and the first car was presented to its delighted customer at one minute past midnight. Starting with a workforce of less than 400, there are now more than 1400 people employed at the Goodwood-based manufacturing plant and head office. “Rolls-Royce is a great British manufacturing success story and I am very proud to celebrate 10 Years of Excellence”, said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “The renaissance of the world’s most famous automotive brand and the creation and development of the Home of Rolls-Royce has been an extraordinary and successful journey. I applaud the Rolls Royce team at Goodwood and across the world for their passion and together we can look forward to the next ten years with great optimism.”

Corinthian Hotel London offers a “Red Carpet” Exclusive Daniel Galvin, the top colorist and leading celebrity hairstylist in UK, presents ‘The Red Carpet by Daniel Galvin’, a world first and unique to Daniel Galvin at Corinthia Hotel London, perfect for the upcoming awards season. Guests of the exclusive styling session will be greeted with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne and ushered into the unique retreat for a private consultation looking at personal style, the occasion, the dress and most importantly, the desired ‘look’. Prices from £150 (approximately $240), available by appointment only, Monday to Saturday 8am-8pm, until 31 March 2013. 

Bejeweled adventures and thrilling sports trips among Naples Winter Wine Festival auction lots is the “You Cannes and You Will” - lot 28 which will transports two couples via round-trip, business-class air to the South of France to walk the red carpet and attend a movie premiere at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Winners stay three nights at a five-star hotel on the Croisette, enjoy private car service throughout, mingle with the stars at a private cocktail party in the Chopard VIP Lounge, dine in celebrated restaurants and have a private preview of Chopard’s 2013 Red Carpet Haute Joaillerie Collection. Each couple also receives a ladies Chopard timepiece from the Imperiale Collection. The glamour keeps going as the couples head to Provence and a spectacular 17th century farmhouse that has been converted into a contemporary house by distinguished architect Claudio Silvestrin. During the one-week stay, winners have access to wine tours, golf at Domaine St. Endreol and more. The Naples Children & Education Foundation has raised more than $107 million at the Naples Winter Wine Festival since 2001 to create and expand charitable programs serving underprivileged and atrisk children in Collier County. As a direct result of the investments of NCEF, more than 150,000 children have had their lives improved.


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Complimentary photos by Hialeh Design, Inc.

Hialeh Design, Inc. Let your dream home come true | By Kathleen Krueger


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Exquisite detail. Opulent grandeur. Luxurious comfort. These definitions that are always appropriate when describing the design work of Haleh Design, Inc. of Potomac, Md. Unlike many interior designers who limit their creative contributions to simple gestures: suggestions on floor and wall coverings; advice on window treatments or help with accessories, Haleh Design provides clients comprehensive design services. Their highly acclaimed team works on the design of a home from its inception, beginning with the siting of the house itself on the property and the conception of the exterior façade. “The exterior of the residence sets the tone for the entire home,” says Principal and Lead Designer, Haleh Alemzadeh Niroo. Niroo encourages her clients to give careful consideration to matching the property choice of a new home with the style and size of home they desire to live in. Buying property without the consultation of your home’s designer and architect could limit your design options. Designing an exterior façade that will fit with the flavor of the neighborhood in which the home is built can also be an important consideration, according to Niroo, especially when it comes to resale value. Niroo grew up in the design world in a very literal fashion. The daughter of a textile executive and innovator who worked with high quality silks and upholstery fabrics, her life was shaped from the outset by design 43 Upscale Living Magazine |

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immersion. Her international travels and education in Switzerland and France further prepared her for her formal studies in architectural and interior design. Niroo’s clients, however, are her greatest inspiration. It is their vision and dreams she has the privilege to birth into reality. To ensure continuity between design and construction, Haleh Design, Inc. partners with Niroo Masterpieces, the construction firm owned by her husband, David, to offer fully integrated services to their clients for both new construction and renovation projects. This marriage of minds and industry creates a seamless synergy that is evident in the stress-free flow of each project’s progression, from conception to final completion. Not a single detail is overlooked: Clients know that every craftsman working on their project has been personally selected to provide the excellence that both sides of the partnership pride themselves in delivering. When asked to consider renovation projects, Haleh Design finds the kitchen and the master bath most frequently require updating. “These two areas are spaces key to resale,” says Niroo. “The kitchen is the heart and soul of the home.” For example, homeowners renovating with an eye toward selling often overlook the importance of including high-end plumbing and appliances in their kitchen plan. “These are the essential functional elements of the kitchen,” says Niroo. “Cutting your renovation budget in that area can negatively affect the appeal of the entire kitchen, and thereby, the home 46 Upscale Living Magazine |

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as well.” She also advises updating the family room, master bath and closet to add resale value. Exquisite detail and layered elements characterize Niroo’s interiors. Timeless beauty and high-tech convenience co-exist; the finest in modern home technology is incorporated discreetly into the construction and classical finishes. Haleh Design envisions comprehensive projects and advances them to completion on all fronts, setting the standard for luxurious living, combined with comfort, through the entire northeastern U.S. Great design, whether in new construction or renovation, demands that creativity, oversight and technology work together. Through years of experience executing successful projects, Haleh Design has developed an extensive network of experts and artisans to streamline the design, renovation and construction process. They deliver the finest services available to clientele who seek and deserve personalized attention for every aspect of their construction or renovation project, from spatial layout to the selection of fine furniture and accessories.


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Baroness von Neumann “ B e a u t i f u l a n d I n s p i r i n g L i f e” | By Natalie King

She has traveled the world, and lived a life that most women dream of. Now, Baroness von Neumann is sharing her tips for a beautiful and inspired life that is easily attainable for all. Raised in Detroit, amid the lively Motown soul resonating through the city, Monica Ford was a dancer, and a dreamer. From the age of five, she began planning her ideal life—surrounded by the music and arts that she loved. At the age of five, Monica and her Mother moved to Los Angeles, and everything began falling into place. Immersed in the golden California sunshine, Monica kept the soul of her hometown close, and eased into the relaxed sophistication of her new L.A. lifestyle. As a teen, Monica studied dance at Roland Dupree, and put herself on the entertainment track. With model looks, talent and drive, a career in dance began falling into place, but fate was set to create a twist in her plans. On a warm evening, Monica traveled to Palm Springs to attend an annual event, and it was here that her life would change forever. Baron von Neumann met Monica, and was in love at first sight. Their courtship was a swirl of the best that life has to offer—travels, culture, restaurants, and new adventures. Their marriage was one of lasting beauty, respect, and dedication to help others through various charities worldwide. After

26 years together, sadly, the Baron lost his life to cancer. It was at this moment that the internal grace and faith of Baroness von Neumann proved to be her most valuable asset. She thought of the legacy that her husband was to leave behind, and has dedicated much of her life to the charitable causes that are dear to her heart, such as Inner-City Arts and Boys and Girls Clubs of America .“I wake up every day, and the first thing that I do is pray” says Baroness, “whether it is something that I am thankful for, or a difficult situation that I need help getting through. And then I can start my day”. Baroness is one of those women who seem to be lit from within…a glow that is equal parts welcoming and alluring. She lives out loud, and truly celebrates life. From a distance, you see the silky chestnut hair, the jewels and the glamour that is Baroness. Within minutes of talking with her, it is clear that her passion for life has very little to do with expense. She collects important art, but loves Pier 1 Imports and HomeGoods for home accessories. She loves beauty—and believes that we should surround ourselves with objects, scents, foods and sounds that will enhance our lives. She is propped up on a couch next to an elegantly adorned coffee table, which is one of her favorite places within her vast home. She says, “Everyone should create a space that is inspiring and welcoming. After a long day at work, you need a retreat. Creating a place 49 Upscale Living Magazine | Issue 27


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for yourself, surrounded by your favorite things is so important”. Her passion for creating beauty in her home has turned into a career designing candles. The idea to create Baroness von Neumann candles was inspired by her travels, and her desire to capture the scents that represent a location; metropolitan or exotic, that would enhance homes and provide a moment of beauty. The CAPRI candle, for instance, is created with Grapefruit, Italian Basil and Lily, perfect to create a fresh, inviting scent at home. GARBO, with Oud Wood, Scotch and Vintage Lavender is a blend of chic sophistication, perfect for a living room or entryway. “Creating Baroness von Neumann candles was inspired by my love of design, and also is dedicated to the life of my husband. The travels that we took, all around the world, are represented in the scents. It sometimes takes me 6 months to get the scent perfectly right. The design of the candle shows my husband’s family crest, which was so important for me to include in the design”. Baroness recommends mixing one scented candle of her collection, with unscented tapered candles of various heights to create drama. As we spoke, I was inspired by her thoughts on creating a place in your home that becomes an oasis, and also by her spontaneous dinner parties. She loves having friends drop by, and to cook “a huge pot of pasta, last minute and easy—a moment of real glamour is being surrounded by good food, friends and people that you love, and we need to get back to more of that”. Here are the Essentials for a chic and inviting coffee table and couch from Baroness von Neumann: 1. Tons of pillows and a comfy throw blanket—I like to switch it up during different seasons. 2. A low coffee table that you can showcase some of your favorite objects 3. A stack of coffee table books. Choose something that will make you want to curl up and get lost in the pages. 4. Fresh flowers or a potted plant. If you don’t have a green thumb, an orchid is a great choice. A white orchid is elegant and will last for weeks and weeks with little care. 50 Upscale Living Magazine |

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5. A candle or grouping of candles. A beautiful scent is an indulgence that will transform your mood, and a delicate flame has such a great calming effect. All of these elements combine to create a peaceful and stylish haven. And for an easy dish to cook for friends, perfect for an impromptu diner party, here are cooking notes from Baroness (This dish should only take 20 minutes): Start with a large skillet. Heat olive oil. Add Garlic. Simmer low. Add in chopped tomatoes. Chopped basil. Chilli flakes and salt and pepper to taste and a dash of white wine. Sauté in low. Continue to stir. Don’t overcook. Meanwhile have boiling water for pasta. Add little salt. One large box of penne or spaghetti. Boil pasta ardente for 8mins, not too over cooked. Once pasta is boiled. Take one ladle of pasta water and add to the tomato mixture. Drain pasta. Put into large serving bowl. Pour over tomato minute. Stir. Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese. And you are ready to serve. This paired with a nice green salad and a nice glass of red wine. You will impress all your friends with this simple fresh light and easy recipe. With kindness, innate glamour and alluring personality, Baroness von Neumann shows that life is meant to be celebrated, and spent among people and objects that will bring joy and beauty into your life each day.


A U T O M O B I L E S

2014 MY SLS AMG Black Series Extreme Sport for the Affluent | By David Allen Cabral

Ever wondered what it would be like to race down a winding country hillside, fully capable and equipped; to streak toward one’s destination until arriving safe, yet absolutely exhilarated? Welcome to the experience of the 2014MY Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series. As with all AMG inspired versions, this Black Series #5 offers a breathtaking design, phenomenal driving dynamics and a monster 6.3 liter V8 packed into a gorgeous, carbon fiber skin, weighing in at 3,417 pounds. Rated at 622hp, this beast will streak to 60 in the flash of 3.5 seconds through a legendary AMG SpeedShift DCT (Dual Clutch), paddle controlled, 7-speed transmission. Boasting incredible shift and response times, the Black Series is not for the faint of heart: however,

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it does guarantee pure, unadulterated driving performance all the way to its 196mph top speed. Each powerplant is hand-built and bears a badge with the builder’s signature. As one would expect from one of the world’s finest automobile designers, the interior of its Black Series is exquisitely detailed in black “Designo” leather with the client’s choice of either black or red Alcantara trim. Both versions exhibiting the finest workmanship and impeccable materials, down to the AMG logos embossed on the head restraints. Carbon fiber is used throughout the cabin for weight reduction. Serious racers may delete the COMAND media system if they so choose. Our recommendation: Keep the COMAND and upgrade to the optional Bang & Olufsen BeoSound surround sound system. The Danish

audio experts of Bang & Olufsen, working with Mercedes-Benz have developed a 1000 watt, 5.1 Dolby Digital high-end system that expresses itself through eleven speakers carefully distributed throughout the driver space. Add 50 watt tweeters on the dash and a 250 watt subwoofer in the rear of the vehicle one has a rolling concert hall. Factoring in the AMG Lightweight Performance strategy, the electronic locking rear axle, performance suspension and sport tires, one finds Mercedes has created in the Black Series the perfect vehicle for the road to excitement..... Bring it on!!!! (Note: AMG ceramic two-piece brake system included)


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AMES Hotel A We e k e n d Aw a y | By Natalie King

Located in the heart of Boston, Ames Hotel is a marvelously chic experience. Built in 1889, the building claims the distinction of being the city’s first skyscraper: A meticulous renovation has preserved the grand aesthetic of the structure in a completely modern – and unobtrusive -- way. Inside, one is entranced by the thousands of delicate silver discs illuminated by an immense chandelier hanging from the canopy of a barrel-vaulted mosaic ceiling. Original to the building, the ceiling is one of the priceless finds uncovered during its recent renovation. The building is a monument to the Gilded Age, constructed by one of Boston’s most influential families whose achievements include the financing of the Union Pacific Railroad. Bearing their good name, the Ames building housed offices for more than a 100 years. Investors, charmed by its architectural splendor, decided to purchase the building and transform it into this opulent hotel. The result is a sleek, minimalist décor in perfect harmony with historic architecture. The hallways are cast in a soft glow, setting the tone for relaxation from Boston’s busy city streets. Its elevators open to reveal a gilded mirror which reflects the illusion of a seemingly floating chandelier – one of many classic elements. The guest rooms and suites continue to exemplify elegance with sheer curtains and decor, sleek cream-color furniture and open floor plan. Old and new is highlighted throughout the space, as modern plank beds are flanked by black chrome lamps similar in style to those that once lit the city. Walls of windows are dressed in airy sheer curtains, and spectacular views of Boston: historic buildings, Faneuil Hall market, and harbor views, are seen at every angle. Standing apart from the traditional hotels in Boston, Ames is a welcomed option for those looking for contemporary luxury. At 13 stories high, the views are beautiful, especially as the city becomes illuminated at night. Woodard, the hotel’s signature restaurant, has a cool, downtown atmosphere and artful take on traditional New England dining. Ames is the perfect getaway, whether to enjoy the historic richness of Boston, or to just draw the sheer curtains and immerse one’s self in a weekend of relaxed glamour. To make reservations, visit their Web site: www.ameshotel.com AMES Hotel 1 Court Street Boston, MA 02108 www.Ameshotel.com


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Gilles Marini “Exclusive Inter view ” | By Slavica Monczka

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t is deliciously ironic that fans of Gilles Marini know him best for the role of Samantha’s hot, often nude, playboy-of-a-neighbor in the 2008 movie “Sex and the City.” My interview with Marini revealed him as so much more than just the latest Adonis: He is no “here today, gone tomorrow,” Hollywood heartthrob. Marini is, in fact, a devoted, down-to-earth family man: a grateful, hard working and talented actor who just happens to be beautiful. And so it goes: The actor is so much more than the part he plays. “Let’s do it, baby!” Marini exclaims as we start the interview. We’ve all taken note of his positive attitude and energy on “Dancing with the Stars” (DWTS). Experiencing his enthusiasm first-hand, I am certain he wakes up every morning and shouts this to the dawn of a new day. The sort of passion Marini exudes is not interpreted from a script. It is real and for all the right things. “Everything I do, I do it with my heart,” explains Marini, “I just don’t know how to do anything without passion.” He shared details as a contestant on “Dancing With The Stars”; as well as what he desires for his next roles – and some things most don’t

know about his home life. Marini turns to me, looks into my eyes and says, “Sweetheart, I have passion with everything I do in my life. Let me explain.” “Please do,” I ask, “and take your time to articulate what all this passion is about.” Sitting at the edge of my seat, my heart began to beat faster, eager to hear him recite something I would read in a love story. Better yet, being that I’m imaginative, all of a sudden, Marini is Dante and I, Samantha. “I have chickens at my house.” “You have what?” I asked “I have chickens. You know, little hens,” he describes to me as if I didn’t understand his French accent. “I have a chicken coop, a lot of fruits and vegetables in my garden, and I don’t have a gardener. It’s just my son and myself and we are taking care of them. Because I’m passionate with 61 Upscale Living Magazine |

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everything I do.” The Marini estate includes rabbits in addition chickens, along with “20 different fruits and vegetables,” planted in a sort of genteel farm squarely in the middle of L.A. “I’m down and dirty with everything!” he laughs, as if he suddenly realized the truth of his remark. “I’m kind of a farmer.” Vegetables and livestock aren’t the only loves he cultivates. He has nurtured the love and devotion he has for Carole, of 13 years and their two children. “My wife is the center of my world,” he says sincerely. “If I don’t have her, I would just not be able to do what I do. The only balance I have in my life is the kindness and the love my wife brings, and the stability my wife brings to this family. She is the pillar, the hero, of the family.” While his personality makes him charming, it was his good looks and sex appeal that launched Marini’s career as Samantha’s sexy neighbor Dante in the first “Sex and the City.” It was a role that – much to the delight of millions – required some lovemaking and nudity. “I love acting as it gives me the ability to be someone else, and bring out emotions,” Marini reveals, “I am just here to make people feel.” Marini just completed two seasons of “Brothers and Sisters” on ABC as the handsome and charming Luc Laurent, a role he admits has been his favorite thus far. “Being able to work with Rachel Griffiths, Sally Fiends, Calista Flockhart, all those people were incredible to me. I had a blast and I learned a lot.” As for his performance on “Dancing with the Stars”? “It’s probably the most uplifting thing I’ve ever done in my life as an artist,” Marini says. Fortunately, he will be wowing millions of viewers once again with his

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moves on an all-new season. “I wish everybody could experience this. It’s exhilarating, it’s phenomenal! It was a blessing to be a part of this.” This season on “DWTS,” Marini was paired up with Peta Murgatroyd. “Everything I dreamed having in a partner I had with Peta,” he states. “She understands my dedication and my passion towards it (dancing).” However, it wasn’t enough as Marini has been eliminated. He clearly stated his disappointment and apologized to his fans because the win would have been for them, he tells me. “I really wanted the American audience to understand that I was not doing this for me. All the people that called for me, were extraordinary in my life because I felt the love,” Marini emotionally confesses, “We gave it our all.” While Marini has wowed us with performances such as that of Dante “SATC” and others in “Modern Family,” “Hot in Cleveland,” “Brothers and Sisters,” and “Switched at Birth,” his new desires may end up taking him behind the camera next. “I think I want to start to produce more, create shows, and try directing,” Marini confides, smiling. Until then, acting – and the family ranch – are his raison d’etre. “I’m reading scripts everyday. I really want to have something that is meaningful, that is deep, and different than what I have done before.” So we find that Marini is not just another pretty face: He’s an accomplished actor; a humble and devoted family man – who raises chickens – and is a new citizen to the United States. “I’m an American actor with a French accent,” he proudly states. “I came here with no English, with absolutely nothing. And now, doing what I do today, I am more than thankful. It’s a miracle.” For more on Gilles Marini, visit his Web site: www.gillesmarini.com


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Little Palm Island Resort & Spa “Discover your island oasis” | By Alina Rosa Leyva All of us live in a world that can be a hectic blur. And while our readers may have the means to jet to Fiji or Kuala Lumpur for a respite, they may not have the time. I fall squarely into this category. Recently, I decided I needed to decompress and made what I thought was an unrealistic demand of a potential destination: I wanted to bask in a soothing tropical island getaway – but didn’t want to leave the East Coast. Before I had time to be discouraged by the limitations of simple geography, I arrived at my office to find an invitation to Little Palm Island Resort & Spa in Little Torch Key. Tucked away in the Florida Keys, it fit my fantasy getaway: quite close but worlds away. Two-and –a-half hours from the Miami airport, I boarded the “Truman,” a 40 foot Grand Craft yacht, bound for this private key. Constructed in the 1940s of solid teak, she was the perfect vessel to transport me from stress to relaxation. The weather was clear and the temperature perfect as the yacht glided, Gatsbyesque, past anonymous islands until we arrived. The ultra-exclusive “Little Palm Island Resort & Spa” – a truly hidden treasure in the Florida Keys — lay before me. The captain assisted me off the boat, and an elegant and courteous attendant bid welcome to what was about to be one of the most soothing and memorable vacations of my life. The resort is a five acre hideaway that quietly caters to high-profile celebrities, executives and the occasional head of state. I was given the grand tour of the island and told in detail where everything was: intimate restaurant, spa, boutique and an ever-attendant concierge. Those who arrive are offered activities tailored to their liking, indeed they find a resort where they can unwind in quiet luxury and be pampered for their stay! Once the initial tour was completed, I was shown to my own thatched roof bungalow. My suite was elegantly designed, with custom made king-size beds and romantic mosquito netting. The atmosphere was so alluring that I immediately began to hate the fact that I would inevitably have to leave. After a long and peaceful bath, I dropped in on a “Sandbar Session” to hear blues singer Rickie Lee Jones work her particular brand of magic. At a discreet linen-covered table lit with candlelight torches stuck in the sand, I sipped Riesling, Pierre Sparr Reserve, Alsace 2007. I delighted in shrimp and yellowtail snapper ceviche, consisting of scallions, cilantro, red jalapenos, red onions, ginger, lime juice corn nuts and seaweed; then on to Braised Shank and Seared Rack of Colorado Lamb with red bliss potatoes, carrots, onions and au jus. To find such an experience this side of Tahiti was astonishing. I enjoyed

fine wine and the careful attention of the server until the torches burned low. My first night of escape was divine! The next few days were equally splendid: A perfect cup of strong coffee, a bowl of assorted fruits and the latest newspaper greeted me each morning. Sitting on my very own private terrace overlooking the sherbet-green seas, I sipped my espresso, tasted fresh fruits and allowed the sound of the ocean and the birds to dominate the day while I imagined scenarios in which I never returned to the hectic blur. During my stay I took a suggestion from the concierge and had a Sacred Stone Massage from the SpaTerra. Of all the full body massages I’ve had, this treatment, with its heated stones that helped penetrate the deeper muscle layers of my already-relaxed body, was – by far – the most sublime. Afterward, I simply embraced the beauty of the island, admired its green foliage and did a little shopping to take back a part of my experience with me. Leaving the island was certainly wistful, but knowing that Little Palm Island Resort & Spa was just a vintage yacht ride away made me realize that when I needed the solitude of paradise, I knew Little Palm Island Resort would be there for me. Wish to experience paradise? You may contact a representative of Little Palm Island Resort & Spa by calling 1-800-343-8567 or by visiting their Web site, www.littlepalmisland.com Do bear in mind the Island is accessible only by private motor yacht or seaplane: One cannot dock a personal craft without explicit permission or reservation. 


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For perspective, the board room takes up less than the space of eight windows, and fits neatly just under the word bus on the airplane. Photo Airbus

Flying Palaces Private Jets | By Henry M. Holden

When air travel is in question, the rich and famous know how to fly,

The company lists its new A380 double-decker at $389.9 million before

in their own private jets. Back in 1996, Boeing introduced the first

any upgrades. In all, manufacturers sold 200 large luxury jets in 2011,

“personal use� version of one of its commercial airliners, the $30 million

including 17 Boeing and Airbus private jets.

Boeing Business Jet (a reconfigured 737). It was treated as the last word in spaciousness and luxury. Now, compared with competing luxury jets,

As airplanes have become larger, their interiors have also changed greatly,

a 737 looks like chopped liver. Equipped with interiors as luxurious as

incorporating the sumptuous amenities once found only on private

any five-star hotel, these private airplanes make the trips of their wealthy

yachts. The owner of one Boeing private jet painted a copy of the Sistine

owners more comfortable and enjoyable.

Chapel on its ceiling, while one has a library aboard. Another insisted on mounting a sculpture of his horse in the cabin of his jet. Many have

But, luxury comes at a price. The Bombardier Global 5000 starts at

pianos, and home theaters aboard.

about $31 million, and the Gulfstream G650 runs a cool $65 million. Airbus lists a price of $68 million for its smallest single-aisle A318 and

If one were to rank the latest & best luxury private jets from one to ten,

about $245 million for the twin-aisle A350, which will debut in 2014.

then realtor Donald Trump and his Boeing 757 would come in at num-


A V I A T I O N ber 10. Mark Cuban and his Boeing 767 would fall in the middle, and

holds the title of the world’s largest private jet. In a space normally given

Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal with his behemoth Airbus A380 would

to three-class seating of 550 to all economy class of about 850 passen-

rank as the number one in private luxury jets. Trump, as we know has made, and lost, and made again, millions of dollars. So why shouldn’t he spend a little on himself? But how little is a little? Trump recently upgraded from his Boeing 727 to Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen’s “old” Boeing 757. The Donald paid $100 million for the used airplane. When you’re Donald Trump, you live large, and need an airplane to match your larger-than-life personality. In this case, his new ride is about twice the size of his 727. It seats 43, has a 16-hour non-stop flying range, and is powered by two Rolls Royce engines.

The A380, the largest airliner in the world is also the largest private luxury jet, coming in at over $500 million. It is almost 240 feet long and has 50 percent more cabin space than the largest Boeing 747. Photo Henry M. Holden

By comparison, a typical commercial 757 seats 186 to 289 passengers and the seatbelt buckles and other accessories such as the lavatory sink are not 24k gold plated. Other notable features on Trump’s jet include a 57” TV in the “media room”, a DVD storage system of 1,000 movies, Trump’s personal DVR, a private master suite for Trump, and a guest suite with a full bed, bathroom and more. It also comes fully loaded with the most advanced “glass” cockpit flight avionics. With that kind of

Trump’s “Trumpforce One” jet is 155 feet long and comes with 24k gold-plated bathroom accessories and seatbelt buckles. Photo author’s collection.

technology, who needs the window seat? gers, the prince and his guests enjoy five-star luxury treatment. Oh, did we mention that his second favorite aircraft for short flights is a Sikorsky S-76C helicopter which starts at $11 million and rivals Marine One, the presidential helicopter.

It is the most expensive personal jet in the world, with a final price in excess of $500 million, including the cost of outfitting it with one-of-a kind amenities. This flying yacht includes five suites with king-size beds,

The Mark Cuban we know today is a rich sophisticated business magnet, but who knew that this self-made billionaire sold garbage bags door-todoor at the age of 12? His hard work and business acumen have made him a man with net worth of $2.6 billion and the founder of HDNet, Broadcast.com and MicroSolutions, which he sold for $6 million.

a garage for two Rolls-Royces, a stable for horses and camels, a pen for hawks and a prayer room that rotates so it always points toward Mecca. Besides private suites there is a board room for mid-air business meetings and 20 ‘sleepers’ – the equivalent of First Class seats – for extra guests. It has an elevator that shuttles between the private quarters upstairs,

Billionaire Cuban, who purchased the Dallas Mavericks for $285 million

down to the concert hall. Just outfitting the cavernous interior with the

from Ross Perot, also owns a healthy fleet of private jets. His private

little touches that make an airplane a home, mahogany paneling, gold-

fleet includes a Gulfstream V, Boeing 757, and 767. In addition to other

plated fixtures a Jacuzzi and a screening room cost the prince a mere $20

lavish upgrades, the 767 is fitted with custom made seats that are large

million.

enough to accommodate the tallest team player. Still, there are limits to the features than can be installed in private jets. Airbus, today operates the world’s largest passenger airliner, the A380.

There are two standards for cabin design. Commercial airliners have to

One copy of this behemoth double-decker jetliner is owned by a single

adhere to stringent safely standards. If you have a personal luxury air-

customer, Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the chairman of Kingdom

craft, you can do pretty much what you like on board. But as opulent as

Holding Company, a major investor in Citigroup. According to Forbes

these flying yachts get, all the money in the world can’t buy a swimming

the prince has a net worth of $18 billion. The converted Airbus A380

pool or a fireplace.

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Truffles Timing and Talent T h e 2 6 , 0 0 0 Tr u f f l e D i n n e r - L e C a s t a g n e . Ph i l a d e l p h i a , Pe n n s y l v a n i a

| By Karen Holly Berliner


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D I N I N G

They say that timing is everything. Of this, most would agree. Timing actually could be the difference between kicking your shoes off, staying at home and watching TV or putting on some lipstick, a pair of high heels and stepping out to serendipitously meet the man of your dreams. It can be about buying a losing lottery ticket, balling it up and throwing it in the trash or buying a winning one and gaining your pot of gold. It’s all about timing and a smattering of good luck. Now for argument’s sake, let’s take that fortune that you just won thanks to good timing, and let’s picture all of the spoils that you can now treat yourself to. The possibilities are endless. A brand new Lamborghini? A trip to exotic Fiji? Or if you’re more into instant gratification, perhaps an extravagant over the top meal would tide you over quite nicely. Enter the 26,000 Truffle dinner offered at Le Castagne restaurant in Philadelphia. This indeed, circles back to the “timing is everything” theory in its own right. Anthony Masapollo, managing partner of Le Castagne explains why: “Timing is critical when it comes to food preparation, especially when working with rare delicacy items such as the seasonal truffle. Timing factors in from the harvesting of the Italian truffles (the most expensive food in the world) to the cooking of them.” With all of this considered, this restaurateur in conjunction with his lifelong friend and consultant Joseph Preston and the Executive Chef of Le Castagne Michael DeLone, put together a tasting menu consisting of a nine course dinner, incorporating the esteemed truffle into every single course. This in and of itself is a wow, but for this clever and talented dream team, it wasn’t quite enough. In keeping with a timing theme and fusing it with Italian authenticity, Le Castagne is offering with its truffle inspired dinner, one of the world’s most exclusive Italian time pieces; a rare limited-edition $11,500 47mm Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Amagnetic 3 Days Automatic Titanio wristwatch. As if this hadn’t quite tipped the scale already, they threw in a one-onone full day cooking class with their executive chef Michael DeLone, allowing you the privilege and opportunity to try this at home. In perusing the menu, mouthwatering courses satisfy discerning diners such as the puree of pumpkin soup with faro almonds, pumpkin oil and white truffles or the beef tartare with marinated pioppini mushrooms, shaved parmesan cheese, quail egg, and white truffle ricotta mousse. Then there’s the heartier veal rack, roasted baby potatoes, turnips,

bacon, parmesan and shaved white truffle or the roasted quail stuffed with house-made sausage, potato, guanciale and finished with black truffle demi-glace. Every course carefully thought out and delivered with perfection. The truffle theme is continued well into the sweets and desert portion of this extravagant meal with confectionary selections such as chocolate lava cake with truffle ricotta gelato and honey. Include a wine pairing with each course from the world-renowned Antinori Estates and you have a meal of a lifetime. If in fact, you are looking to enjoy this fabulous truffle meal without all of the accoutrements, they do offer more affordable $700 and $250 packages sans the watch. The menu is available now and will end when the restaurant can no longer procure truffles. For those of us who dare to dream, appreciate the finer things in life and are feeling ready to break that big fat pink piggy bank, your slice of truffle magic awaits you. After all, sometimes don’t you just want to be swept off your feet? 

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Case Sugan T h e S a n Si m on e Wi n e r y | By Natalie King

From the beautiful vineyards of Italy comes an exciting new wine, Case Sugan. The perfect blend of smooth and crisp notes, a taste that transports you to the sun-drenched, lush landscape of Friuli. The San Simone winery is the result of the wine making tradition and culture of the Brisotto family, which has worked in the business for four generations. The introduction of Case Sugan Pinot Grigio to the San Simone portfolio is a welcomed addition, the perfect blend of historic quality and modern sophistication.

quality production, so that each luxurious sip recounts the complex beauty of the grapes. Environmental sustainability and devotion to the preservation of the beautiful vineyards has initiated Project Green, which is founded by the principals of landscape preservation, protection of flora and fauna, renewable energy and water conservation. From the hills of Italy to the most luxurious hotels and restaurants in America, Case Sugan is proof that dedication to quality and beauty is forever celebrated.ď ś

The San Simone name was chosen to reflect their roots and history of family tradition. Initially the winery premises were opposite 14th century church devoted to Saint Simone, which is now a family residence. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was at this location that Gino Brisotto, great-grandfather to Chiara, Anna and Antonio who now run the winery, took the first steps to create this great family tradition of wine making. Since this time, the talents and passion of wine making have been honored, while embracing new technology and ecological responsibility. The Brisotto family are dedicated to the highest level of

--------------------------------------------------------------------Food pairing: it is a tasty accompaniment to full-flavored soups and risottos with vegetables or fish. Ideal with pappardelle in porcini mushrooms sauce and Fusion cooking, exotic dishes such as rice sautĂŠed with vegetables and Ginger. ----------------------------------------------------------------------

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The Gratifying Gourmets C h e f s S a v o y, E p i e a n d Vo n g e r i c h t e n On The Evolution of Their Cuisine | By Slavica Monczka When it comes to the mountain chefs must climb to reach the heights of brilliant cuisine, it is dizzying – and there are few at the pinnacle. This vantage point is occupied by masters and legends who cultivate and court perpetual satisfaction, thereby ensuring their place of honor. Certainly, the French have earned the title of Gratifying Gourmets, as their recipes have influenced culinary art far beyond its borders. Through my recent encounter with three award-winning French chefs: Guy Savoy, Gilles Epie, and Jean-George Vongerichten, I savored brilliance through the convergence and harmony of worldly influences the three have infused in their own gourmet techniques. These three chefs allowed me to peek from their vantage point of excellence: The view was magnificent. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised to find the three Frenchmen, each adorned with Michelin Stars, are not at all egotistical about their abilities to create fine French cuisine. Instead, the three have gathered the best of what they’ve learned from kitchens around the world and, in a sort of boomerang harvest, brought excellence back to France. They, in turn, spread this brilliance again, through exclusive restaurants in Europe, Asia and America. First stop in a journey of dining gratification is Paris, where I met with Chef Guy Savoy at his eponymous restaurant to experience his interpretation of nouvelle cuisine.

“For me, it’s a marvelous fairy tale,” explains Savoy when asked about his passion for this profession. “Cooking is the art of lifting food from the merely edible to the realm of pleasure.” He described his relationship to the culinary arts as an ode to a moment of bliss. “Cooking is about transforming matter into joy. Products are made in a limited time, consumed within an equally limited time, and provide pleasure very rapidly.” As if on cue, clear iced-poached oysters and chilled wine appeared at the table set for the two of us. We were then treated to pleasure of “blue lobster raw-cooked in cold steam,” and then a moment of “caviar and potato pebbles.” And, in true fairy tale fashion, Chef Savoy created a dining moment that was both transitory and forever with me. After the experience, I wandered out of Chef Savoy’s kingdom and the corresponding romantic meal onto the streets of Paris, blinking and grinning as if I had dined on the spirit of happiness. Such was dinner with the first genius. A few days later into my excursion through Paris, I met the second of my geniuses: I dined at Citrus Etoile, where Chef Gilles Epie delighted me with a mouth-watering beef dish and truffle mashed potatoes. There, 75 Upscale Living Magazine |

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“Gastronomy has no passport.”Chef Guy Savoy

magic emerges from simplicity. “I don’t use butter, except for in the mashed potatoes,” Epie reveals of his re-inventive cuisine style. While some chefs cook a lifetime and never receive an honor, Epie still holds the title of the youngest chef ever to be awarded a Michelin Star – at the ripe old age of 22. Shortly after this, he moved to the United States and, without knowing a word of English, was awarded Best New Chef in America in 1996 by Food & Wine magazine. He did so after one year at the once-famous L’Orangerie in Los Angeles. While Epie became a celebrity chef to the stars of Hollywood, he longed for Paris and returned to begin his plat de résistance, the Citrus Etoile. There, for the last seven years, he has treated Hollywood stars and international political dignitaries to his interpretation of heaven. He describes his dishes as “California cuisine,” as it is fresh and light, with no heavy sauces. Epie explained that he had to evolve for his California clientele at L’Orangerie who were often concerned that rich French dishes were too caloric. “Cuisine Epie style” seemingly uncomplicated meals are created to “bring out the most simple and delightful taste that it was meant to have.” Chef Epie welcomed me to the ranks of his faithful admirers, from the first bite of paradise to the last, that of his award winning Chocolate Soufflé. C’est magnific! My visit to the third of the three geniuses took me to the other side of the globe, where I met Chef Jean-George Vongerichten at his J & G Steakhouse in Scottsdale, AZ. One of many notable achievements for Chef Vongerichten are the triple-crowned James Beard awards received all in just one year, a first for the Foundation. In the beginning of his career it was working with the top chef ’s in France that taught him how to master his own signature dishes as much as it was his experiences in Asia. Vongerichten’s empire of establishments has advanced across the globe and managed by his Culinary Concepts Hospitality Group (CCHG). I would describe him as a genie who has collected all the edible riches of the world offered up in his restaurants. As your wish is his command is the menu created at J&G for an “individually designed, customizable menu” of the finest and freshest “globally selected” meats and seafood. I was delighted with Chef Vongerichten’s triumph of Chilean Sea Bass in a Miso Yuzu Broth, which was embraced warmly by the house wine. I enthusiastically recommend the experience of J & G Steakhouse and the corresponding brilliance of its master-chef if one has the pleasure of visiting Scottsdale. Three geniuses, three interpretations of culinary bliss; each fully satisfying and memorable, each giving me a view from the pinnacle of perfection! For more on Guy Savoy, go to www.guysavoy.com. For more on Gilles Epie and Citrus Etoile, go to www.citrusetoile.com. For more on JohnGeorge Vongerichten, go to www.jgsteakhousescottsdale.com 76 Upscale Living Magazine |

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The Best Restaurant in New Bedford

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Naturally. Hasn’t it Always Been That Way? D e l i c i ou s Wi n e s | By Kate

What is your preferred pour? A 1945 Lafite Rothschild Bordeaux? A 1926 Macallan Fine and Rare Scotch? Perhaps it is a Tutankhamun Ale, brewed to the specifications of a recipe reportedly found in Queen Nefertiti’s Temple. All deliver delightful combinations of man’s experiment with fermentation, tempered by nature’s unpredictable footnotes. Exuding the flavors of the season, teased by rainfall, sunlight and terroir, batches and vintages come and go, but the tinkering continues in a search for perfection of process and palate. Through recent discoveries by molecular anthropologists, it is suggested

that even prehistoric man likely enjoyed fermented drinks. Whether guided by observation of kingdom Animalia devouring over ripened tree fruit, or through human discovery via food stocks in storage, molecular remnants attached to potsherds and animal skin bags, along with graphic art, post social updates of ancient happy hours. Patrick E. McGovern, Scientific Director at Philadelphia’s Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health, at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, described the smells and tastes arising from large stoppered pots from an archeological site as distinctly those of fermented beverages. At that ancient, Neolithic site in the Zagros Mountains of Western Iraq, McGovern also found traces of 79 Upscale Living Magazine | Issue 27


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tartaric acid, as well as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans; wild, naturally occurring yeasts found in grapes. Scientists dated the find at 5400 B.C. A team led by McGovern also discovered evidence of a fermented beverage made from hawthorn fruit, wild grape, honey, and rice, dating back 9,000 years in the Neolithic village of Jiahu in Northern China. Yes, that is a nine with three zeroes, referring to a site that also yielded the earliest examples of Chinese pottery, musical instruments, and domesticated rice farms. In forward progression, man continued manipulating, tasting, and enjoying the results of nature’s chemical process of fermentation, sans chemical pesticides and fertilizers commonly used today. By no means, however, should it be interpreted that early distillers and winemakers were content to live with whatever consequences nature delivered. Nature, it turns out, is quite thorough in balancing the odds, providing yin to the yang, deterrent to the pest, through her own devices. Copper, sulfur, lime, nicotine, salt and ash have all taken their turns to discourage pests in the vineyard and grainfield, as early growers experimented with ways to improve their lot. Such pesticide applications to agricultural products, including wine grapes, is believed to have been practiced by the Romans as early as 100 BC. Almost as ancient as the tradition of farming, then, the need to control the agricultural arena runs a parallel track throughout history up until a very modern era of laboratory discovery. As chemical laboratories developed more sophisticated methods, commercial pesticides, herbicides and insecticides poured from the 1940s into the 1960s, touting high yields and predictable pest control. It was a good run with many banner years, but as some say, mother nature bats last, and she owns the field. Perhaps, in some views, man’s manipulated chemistry did its job too well. Perhaps, in the case of some chemicals that later proved toxic or carcinogenic research should have explored the expanding ripples from some of the new agricultural chemical applications in the long view. Perhaps. But successful vineyards and distilleries around the globe continue to embrace the judicious use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, practicing “conventional” agriculture that emphasizes high yield and labor efficiency. Aimed at delivery of acceptable products that maintain low price points while maximizing profits, it is a business model that has proven itself. The question is, how do those chemicals affect the end products? Many would argue positively, as yields are maximized and costs minimized. There are interesting reasons behind wines and spirits trending to biodynamic, sustainable, and organic methods, however, eschewing synthetic chemistry in favor of birds, bugs, natural predators and protectors. Biodynamic, organic and sustainable methods do something that conventional methods do not: they replenish the soil. They make it come alive again, with microorganisms and bugs, with bacteria and botrytis, taking the good with the bad. Those who have made the switch from conventional to more natural methods often find a plethora of benefits. Winemakers and distillers are attached at the hip to nature, with the integrity of their crops heavily invested in the personality of the season. 80 Upscale Living Magazine |

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Through a memorandum of understanding between man and nature, the pair can get along famously, producing healthy grapes with deep roots and sweet grains with hearty resistance. Mostly, however, viticulturists and distillers move toward natural methods to improve quality. They find improved soils produce more flavorful harvests. Others consider the health risks that may be associated with some chemical agricultural applications an unacceptable consequence, with many chemical compounds remaining under the undecided thumb of research. Many winemakers and distillers straddle the line between conventional and organic or biodynamic, instead seeking a sustainable balance hovering in between certified organic and conventional. They choose to practice chosen natural methods simply because they feel it is the right thing to do. While most that have gone the natural route are recent converts within the past two or three decades, there are some exceptions. Consider Domaine des Vignes du Maynes, a French family vineyard that has been growing grapes and making wines organically since 950 AD. As well, craft distilleries are soaring into production in the U.S., going from just a handful at the turn of the century to over 230 in 2011, with 2012 numbers poised to best that. Trend, fad, or sea change, if you haven’t already, it is likely you will meet face to face with an organic drink someday soon. Whether it becomes your preference is all a matter of personal taste. And, in wine and spirits, as in art, it is best if you buy what you like.


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Upscale Living Magazine Issue 27  

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