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tABle OF cONteNtS

SucceSS & lIFeStyle

suMMer 2011 DEPArTMENTS 18 FasHion Casual trends for this summer 22 cinema Not your blockbuster list of expected summer hits 24 HeaLtH Why you should have apple cider vinegar in your kitchen MRSA and what this bacteria is capable of 28 nutrition All-Pro Tony Gonzalez shares his summer tips




30 autos We spent a day with a Lamborghini and the Tesla Roadster. See what happened

36 Business Know more about what to pick when you shop for your next pair of shoes

50 surF We pay homage to Bo Derek with Erica Hosseini in braids and a one-piece

58 Food Taléo Grill in Orange County is getting a makeover

42 coVer story A glimpse inside Tito Ortiz and what makes him a full-time branding machine

70 HoLLyWood Chris Gonzalez and Jayde Rossi light up the Hollywood Hills

68 tecH The next generation of gamers


• SUMMER 2011



5.6 5.6


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Tesla TeslaMotors Motorsisisredeening redeeningthe thedriving drivingexperience. experience.With Withtheir their world-class world-classacceleration, acceleration,handling handlingand anddesign, design,the theTesla Tesla Model ModelSSand andTesla TeslaRoadster Roadsterprove provethat thatelectric electricvehicles vehiclescan can compete competewith withthe themost mostcoveted covetedsedans sedansand andsports sportscars carson on the themarket. market.Designed Designedfor foroptimum optimumeffciency, effciency,they theyoffer offer exhilarating exhilaratingperformance performancewithout withoutthe theemissions. emissions. Contact Contactus usto tolearn learnmore moreabout aboutModel ModelSSor orschedule schedule aaRoadster Roadstertest testdrive: drive: Tesla TeslaLos LosAngeles Angeles 11163 11163Santa SantaMonica MonicaBlvd Blvd Los LosAngeles, Angeles,CA CA90025 90025 310.473.8773 310.473.8773

Tesla TeslaNewport NewportBeach Beach 1100 1100West WestCoast CoastHighway Highway Newport NewportBeach, Beach,CA CA92663 92663 949.574.4738 949.574.4738

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teAm deFy

SucceSS & lIFeStyle

puBLisHer editor-in-cHieF art director

associate editor

Kristen Bashaw

contriButing Writers

David Tagarda Nolan Plan


Cassy Bright John Talay Jordan Lutes Kristen Bashaw Melissa Murdick Rob Lodge Javier Salazar

puBLic reLations

Blythe Beaubien

neWsstand consuLtant

John Ponomarev

inFormation tecHnoLogy

Paul Vu


Copyright © 2011. Defy is a registered trademark of Defy Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Defy is published quarterly by Defy Publications, Inc., 2222 Michelson #610 Irvine, CA 92612. No part of Defy may be reproduced in any form by any means without prior written consent from Defy Publications, Inc.












center in huntington beach, cA

Allie B. Kagamaster Niree Noel Giselle Rodriguez Tanya Temme Debbi Woods

grapHic designers


tommy Garcia at punishment training

Tommy Garcia David Tagarda Tanya Temme

Caitlin Adams Nicole Fletcher

FasHion consuLtants


John Eichenmuller

copy editor

pHoto assistants


Edyn Elliott-Barber David Meacham



Peter Linden

managing editor

adVertising director

tito ortiz was shot by photographer

Paul P. Edalat



Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and other material must be accompanied by a self-addressed return envelope with postage pre-paid. Articles are for entertainment purposes only. Defy strongly recommends that you consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. Defy is not a licensed medical care provider. The reader should understand that participating in any exercise program can result in physical injury and agrees to do so at his/her own risk. The findings and opinions of authors expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily state or reflect those of Defy. Defy is not legally responsible for advertisers’ past, current or future representations, claims, product safety or services. Defy reserves the right to reject any advertiser or any advertisement for any reason at any time without explanation. Reproduction in whole or in part without written consent from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Defy Magazine is printed in USA. For permissions requests, please call 949-222-1009, or fax the request to 949-468-3695.

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• SUMMER 2011

puBlISHer'S letter

deFYInG THe OddS


efy is going national this summer and we hope you’re picking us up at one of our many new locations across the country. Although the country is still struggling during this economic uncertainty, we saw an opportunity to launch Defy Magazine nationally, and we seized it. We are inspired by unlikely stories of success and our content is a reflection of that. Whether it’s an athlete training for the next big fight or a business owner setting goals, we hope this magazine will help inspire you to defy the odds!

In the coming weeks and months, you’ll see a renaissance with our website, as well. You’ll find great links and advertising that caters to our many sponsorships and joint-ventures we have in place with other companies. Keep us on your web radar and check in with us frequently, as you will find great deals and promotions with our partners.


At Defy Magazine, we are always striving to bring our readers the most interesting content and captivating photography. Look for a surprise twist coming this fall to our cover shot. Having featured Chuck Liddell, Tony Gonzalez and now Tito Ortiz on our covers, we think it’s time to mix it up as we take our concept to the national stage. Follow us on Twitter to hear more about the hints and clues of who we are planning to feature in our next issue. Also, please feel free to leave us comments on our Facebook page. We look forward to your feedback and suggestions as we strive to feature the best content and stories of success and those who have defied the odds in the pages of Defy Magazine.






















paul p. edalat













NFL Rec ord Holder and Busines s Owner




S X’s 3




Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa



In Loving Memory of

Peter (Pi) Edalat All issues of Defy Magazine are dedicated to my brother, Peter, who was a fighter until the end. He is the man who single-handedly inspired me to always fight and defy the odds. He will be remembered for his positive attitude and great achievements, which include his legacy, The Blue Torch Foundation. This organization is committed to providing financial and healthcare resources to individuals suffering from cancer and specifically carries on his dream of one day finding a cure for lymphoma.

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• SUMMER 2011

edItOr'S letter



his issue of Defy has a certain look and feel we paid close attention to: summer and Southern California. Essentially we wanted to take the magazine outside as much as we could for our photo shoots. You’ll see in the pages ahead we were able to do this a lot. We started with our featured supercars cruising the streets of Newport Beach, California. A special thanks to both Lamborghini and Tesla for letting us use the cars for the day. Next we hit the beaches of L.A. for our Bo Derek-inspired pictorial spread with professional surfer and SoCal local, Erica Hosseini. Our team really came together for this one. It took over six hours for Erica’s hair to get braided. It was well worth it as her pictures, shot by Tommy Garcia, came out a Perfect Ten. Our final scenic photo shoot with stars on the rise, took place in the picturesque Holllywood Hills. It doesn’t get much better than being above the smog and looking out at the view on top of the hill. Our friends at Blue Star Jets made it possible as we shot on location at the company’s estate. Although we do feature the traditional departments that are customary in most magazines, we hope you’ll find that subtle hint when it comes to the underlying

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• SUMMER 2011

theme of our content: the success factor and defying the odds. At Defy, we strive to bring a different take on the celebrity category. Sure, we can promote Tito Ortiz’s fight and products, but what is it that made him who he is? It’s those defining moments that made Tito Ortiz a fighter, both in the ring and in the business world. Our content may seem conventional on the surface, but below that surface lies a story behind every page we place in the magazine. It stems from our own commitment to defying the odds and blooming into success. The two concepts are tied together and Defy Magazine’s inferences to both can be found in all of our features and profiles.

peter linden


teAm deFy

contriButors kristen Bashaw is a Los Angeles-based writer and wardrobe stylist who worked as a private investigator before shifting her interests to journalism, fashion, and creative fiction. She also teaches Developmental English at Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles, CA and is the owner and designer of the jewelry and accessories line Rocks By Moxie. Whether styling a photo shoot or interviewing sources, she brings a discerning eye and a unique flair to all her many endeavors.

ToMMy GarCia is a commercial, advertising, and editorial photographer from Huntington Beach, CA. He is now based in Los Angeles, but spends much of his time traveling for work. Some of Tommy’s recent clients include DirecTV, NBCUniversal, SyFy, Bravo, Time Inc, Big Picture Group, Toyota, Saatchi & Saatchi, Interscope Records, and Studio Number One.

niree noel writes out of Los Angeles, and has previously contributed to Santa Barbara Magazine and the Daily Nexus. Interviewing the enigmatic Erica Hosseini for this quarter’s publication was reaffirmation for Noel that given the drive and dedication, dreams suddenly become attainable, and the achievement means so much more. On down time, Noel explores new eateries, browses boutiques and walks the Rose Bowl with her adopted dog.

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• SUMMER 2011

Giselle rodriGueZ contributes her writing to Latin Trends Magazine, and of course, Defy Magazine. As an actress she has appeared/can be seen on, MTV, A&E, Comedy Central, AMC, IFC, and all over the American and Spanish markets commercially. Behind the scenes she’s co-produced & cast various independent films and theatrical projects.

daVid MeaChaM has been a contributing author at Surfer Magazine, Stand Up Paddler Magazine and Canoe and Kayak Magazine. He lives in Orange County, California, with his two boys. Look for his Tito Ortiz cover story on p. 42.

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Trendy Tees, Tanks, Toppers & Trunks

Stay breezy with basic tees .

By Niree Noel

Billabong V Essential SS Tee, $18.00

Sailor-chic striped tanks.

Keep the rays at bay with lightweight hats.

Billabong Quincy Fedora, $29.50

Imperial Motion Bias Tank, $30.00

Billabong Platinum X Grey, $55.00

O’Neill Speak Easy Tank, $32.00

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• SUMMER 2011

Tavik Proxy Dip Dye Tee, $32.00


Stylish Shades, Sneaks, Shirts & Shorts

Tinted glasses for discreet peeking.

Sabre Encore sunglasses, $110.00

Matix Mullan SS Shirt, $50.00

Stay cool in classy but casual button downs. All products available at

Summer Style Guide from Swell AMBSN Cordy Walkshort, $65.00 Reef J-Bay Sandal, $75.00

From the boardwalk to the boardroom

Maneuver hot grounds with sandals and skimmers

Insight Cured Walkshort, $54.00

SUMMER 2011 •

• 19


higher Education

big think



dream large

liquid logo

Crews with Character StyliSh SwiSS iMAGinERS invEnt tRAnScEndEnt tEES By Niree Noel

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• SUMMER 2011

helmed by a visionary director, Switzerland’s Imaginary Foundation outputs an impressive collection of threads, designed to challenge art and intellect alike. Aiming to expand the imagination and push the boundaries of creativity, the vanguard brand’s academia-influenced designs muse on man, his mind and the macrocosm. Simultaneously whimsical and sophisticated, Imaginary Foundation has infiltrated street culture via a 2008 collaboration with Element Skateboards, as well as popular culture, appearing on celebs like Jay-Z. Products and prints for purchase at



horrible Bosses Laugh It Up. Rated R (Theatrical Release July 8th, 2011)

GeTTInG reeL:

summer Flicks sure to Heat up the Big and Little screens tiREd of biG bUdGEt blocKbUStERS fAllinG ShoRt of yoUR SUMMER MoviE EXpEctAtionS? chEcK oUt thESE SUREfiRE hitS in thE thEAtER And on nEtfliX. By giselle rodriguez

another earth Science Fiction. Rated PG-13 (Theatrical Release July 20th, 2011)


30 Minutes or less Laugh It Up. Rated R (Theatrical Release August 12th, 2011)


An all-star cast of A-list actors including Jennifer Aniston, the talented Kevin Spacey, and Colin Farrell in rare form. You’re basically watching them play at this whole acting thing; they have so much fun the audience can’t help but enjoy the ride right along with them. Hollywood was buzzing about this flick before the film even went into production. If you miss it in the theater, don’t neglect to add it to your Netflix queue.

Dumb & Dumber meets “cops and robbers” in this comedy, executive produced by funnyman Ben Stiller. The all-star comedy cast includes white-trash-hero/everyman Danny McBride, Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Anzari, and Nick Swardson; even if the plot sucks, you can bet these boys will entertain and give reason for a few genuine laughs.

The Sundance 2011 darling has been the topic of critical conversation. Science fiction is a tricky genre to tackle, but apparently these filmmakers have executed their place with success. “The best science fiction tells stories about people in extraordinary environments or situations that serve to open up the vast, still largely unexplored terrain of the human heart. Mike Cahill’s 'Another Earth' is science fiction at its best.” – Kirk Honeycott, The Hollywood Reporter.

an invisible sign Date Flick with Heartfelt Twist. Not Yet Rated. (Netflix IT)



exporting raymond Documentary meets Comedy. Rated PG (Netflix It) Phil Rosenthal, the mastermind behind sitcom hit ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’, hits the Russian streets to bring his television phenomenon to the freezing country overseas. Turns out the Russians love Raymond.

Impress a super literate chick with this one. Based on Aimee Bender’s acclaimed novel, the film is Jessica Alba’s attempt to show off some acting chops—and even if she doesn’t succeed in the endeavor, at least she looks great doing it. It’s the perfect date film: one of you will love the romance and heartfelt storyline, while the other can revel in the magnificence that is La Alba.



The Beaver Hollywood Blockbuster that You’ll Like. Rated PG -13 (Netflix It)


daydream nation Foreign Film with American Sex Appeal. Rated R. (Netflix It) The Canadian film can fill your quota foreign film list, while sparing you the subtitles. It’s Lolita for the twenty-first century. Joe Leydon cited in Variety, Daydream Nation is “charged with alternating currents of teen angst, sardonic wit, nervous dread and impudent sensuality, Daydream Nation suggests 'Juno' as reimagined by David Lynch, or a funnier, sunnier 'Donnie Darko.'"

Don’t judge this film by its cheesy trailer, but do ask the age old question: does life imitate art? Or is art imitating life? Mel Gibson plays a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown who opens up to a beaver puppet for support. This could’ve been a train wreck of a film, but director Jodie Foster gives it the right amount of spirit without letting it get corny. Win–win for everyone. Even Gibson, who may be making his way back into our good graces.

10 It)

Who doesn’t appreciate a good kung fu flick? Unfortunately, Hollywood seems to forget this and the genre of film has been kung-fu kicked out of most production line-ups. Luckily filmmaker Yuen Woo-Ping took one for the team and made this joint, kung fu fun with a turn of the century take.


The First Grader “Foreign Film” Meets Family Night. Rated PG-13. (Netflix It) The film depicts the real life events of an 84-year-old Kenyan farmer who finds the moxie to hit the books when universal education is brought to the country. The PG-13 rating allows this to be a family option. Not to mention the filmmakers hired locals and shot on location, a good enough reason to support the already critically acclaimed film.

True legend Martial Arts Remixed. Rated R (Netflix


last night Stay In and Netflix It with Someone Special. Rated R. (Netflix It)

Lovers become entangled in a web of lust, fibs and sentiment. Eva Mendes and Keira Knightley in sexy situations, opposite talented actors Sam Worthington and Guillaume Canet, set to a New York City backdrop—it’s eye candy all around. And it’s not bad movie making, either.

SUMMER 2011 •

• 23


The Healing Side of


From table to medicine chest to dog park, this ancient sour wine pours a plethora of remedies for dozens of ailments By Allie B. Kagamaster


aw, organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar offers natural cures and positive effects for weight loss, diabetes, food poisoning, high blood pressure and cholesterol, to name a few, and has been around for centuries.

History & Lore Some claim that in 218 B.C. Carthaginian General Hannibal had his troops pour vinegar over hot boulders to forge a path to invade Italy. Vinegar is mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments: Ruth 2:14 tells us Boaz had her dip bread in vinegar, while the gospels say a suffering Christ refuses to partake of the liquid. Roman soldiers used the sour wine as an energizing tonic, and others on the battlefield used it until World War I as an antiseptic to speed up the healing of war-related injuries. During the Civil War, its healing properties were used for scurvy. A thriving vinegar industry in Europe during the Renaissance produced flavored vinegars from spices, herbs, fruits and flowers. By the eighteenth century more than 100 varieties of infused vinegars became available.

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Vinegar’s medicinal value Professor Carol S. Johnston, Ph.D., RD, director of the Nutrition Program at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University in Mesa, Ariz., says apple cider vinegar can help humans with blood sugar issues. “Acetic acid is the active ingredient in vinegar with an antiglycemic effect. This is very useful for diabetics as well as non-diabetics, since rapid rises in blood sugar following carbohydrate ingestion is not only associated with hyperglycemia in diabetics, but also in risk for cardiovascular disease, a health concern for many American adults. Acetic acid is in all vinegars; hence, ALL vinegars have medicinal value.” But Johnston warns that diabetics should not self medicate. “Any change in their prescription medication use must be discussed with their doctors.” For weight maintenance, Johnston research reveals that vinegar ingestion with food reduces the amount of food consumed. “For this reason, I use vinegar liberally at mealtime.” Vinegar pills available at health stores are another option, Johnston says, “These pills do not contain enough acetic acid for the effects discussed above and in fact, I use these pills in my research as placeboes.” Though apple cider vinegar is known to have an alkalizing effect on the body, some say they’re not as certain as herbalists of any significant health benefits.

Barking Up An Apple Tree According to C. J. Puotinen, author of The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care, apple cider vinegar is also an important dietary supplement for pets. “Apple cider vinegar is inexpensive, widely available, and versatile. It can be taken internally and applied externally for improved health. Unlike distilled vinegars, raw, unfiltered, naturally fermented, organic cider vinegar contains bioflavonoids, vitamins, enzymes, potassium, and other nutrients that contribute to canine health, and its antifungal, antibacterial properties help prevent infection.” Puotinen’s research of its benefits to dogs further reveals ACV as an invaluable natural resource for what ails man’s best friend. She tells Defy, “I've received many reports from users who say that apple cider vinegar has helped their dogs recover from hot spots or dandruff, improved the condition of skin and coat, balanced the body's pH, repelled fleas, and when added to food or diluted with water and used topically, reduced or eliminated tear stains, a problem some breeds are prone to.” Overall, she says, “It’s an all-purpose, gentle immune support and health aid, but apple cider vinegar isn't a cure-all or stand-alone treatment for serious illnesses.”

Its Beach food no matter where

your beach (cruisin’) happens to be

CALIFORNIA - COLORADO - HAWAII - TEXAS Special Events Catering and Party Packs available.


MrSa: Make regular Sanitary attempts whAt yoU cAn do to pREvEnt EXpoSURE to A nASty bActERiUM thAt MAy bE lURKinG in A GyM oR JAcUzzi nEAR yoU By giselle rodriguez


ere’s another acronym to add to you arsenal of medical terminology. MRSA: Meticillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. Did you get that? Turns out it’s not as complicated as it sounds. MRSA is a bacterial staph infection typically found on the skin, usually around the armpit or groin areas, and sometimes in the nasal passages. Left to its own devices, the bacterium can cultivate into a critical tissue infection. MRSA is spread in one of two ways—via healthcare practice or communal affiliation. The bacterium enters the body through surface wounds such as cuts, sores or other infections. Before getting into the nitty-gritty of it all, let’s establish that although most cases are minor and can be as simple as a contaminated pimple, an overlooked infection could accumulate into a serious issue that affects the heart, lung, blood or bones. Luckily it’s not an elusive bacterium you can contract despite taking proper precautions; by and large, you have control over whether or not you put yourself in contact with the bacteria. The contagious staph infection is most commonly found among high school wrestlers, childcare workers, individuals who live in crowded conditions, nursing homes, dialysis cen-

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• SUMMER 2011

ters, military affiliates and individuals partial to inking their bodies. Transmission of MRSA is often the result of improper use of catheters or breathing tubes administered in the healthcare field. Though you cannot control the sanitary conditions of your healthcare provider’s facilities, or their hygienic practices, you can take the time to be aware of how to protect yourself. And the truth is, it’s simple. Wash your hands, don’t share personal items with others (towels count, too!), keep flesh wounds disinfected and covered during the healing process, and wipe down common gym equipment with disinfectant. And last but not least, saunas and Jacuzzis aren’t always sexy; they’re also a cesspool of microorganisms – just a little something to keep in mind. How do you know that rash on your skin you can’t quite place is not MRSA? Well, truth be told, the symptoms are rather vague, much like your run-of-themill symptoms, almost identical to other bacterial infections; a lab culture is necessary to pinpoint your exact ailment. Staph infections on the skin begin as a boil, and usually the skin around the area becomes warmer in temperature and is accompanied with a pus-like substance. Leaving symptoms untreated can result in blood poisoning, cellulitis (infection in the heart valves), pneumonia or toxic shock syndrome (apparently not just a concern for women). You will inevitably have

to visit your doctor for healing, and unfortunately, antibiotics don’t always work for treatment. There is an upside, however. If caught on time, most skin infections can be remedied by simply draining fluid from the site—an undemanding procedure that can be performed at a doctor’s office. Though MRSA affects approximately 10-40% of the population, according to EMedicineHealth, there’s no need to raise major concern for an epidemic. It remains a potentially threatening bacterium that can be stopped from spreading by the mere act of awareness: Be alert of how you interact in public places such as gyms, healthcare facilities and, yes, tattoo parlors. It goes back to preschool behavior – regularly wash your hands and keep your germs to yourself.




tlanta falcons tight end and 11-time pro bowler tony Gonzalez has been actively playing the national football league for over 14 years and still retains his Mvp status as one of the sport's best. this is nothing but astounding compared to the average 3.5 years a typical career lasts in the nfl. his secret is simple. tony makes it a point to take care of his body and goes the extra mile to keep his health in tip-top condition. this diet change was motivated after a faulty health scare resulting in tony feeling and performing better than ever. with the success of his new healthy regime, tony eagerly works to spread the word becoming the founder of All-pro Science, the first complete line of all-natural sport supplements. this All-pro tight end knows his nutrition, and now shares his top ten tips that have allowed him to stay at the top of his game.

all-natural I can’t stress this enough. Going all-natural is the best thing you can do for your body. This will keep toxins and pollutants like hormones, antibiotics, and pesticide out. Choosing an all-natural diet will make you to look and feel healthier and live longer. go H2o We all know that we need to drink lots and lots of water, but do you know why? On top of the fact that we need water to survive, water works to give us energy throughout the day and helps us to digest food properly. Water also helps to flush out all of the toxins in our bodies and can lower risks of heart attacks as well as prevent chances of colon cancer. Berry good Acai berry is such an amazing fruit and I highly recommend that you start incorporating it into your daily diet along with other types of antioxidant-rich berries, like raspberries and blueberries. The high levels of antioxidants in these provide so many health benefits including their anti-aging properties, their skin clearing abilities and of course, their ability to prevent and repair cancer-damaged cells. 28 •

• SUMMER 2011

don’t Fake that sugar, Baby All processed and refined sugars are stripped of their nutrients and chemically trick your body, which is never a good thing. Consuming artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup will contribute to chronic illness and shorten your lifespan. Make that switch to a natural sugar, or for those watching their weight, Stevia is a great alternative. precharge and refuel Your body needs fuel and electrolytes to function for the energy levels of a work out. Have a snack before your workout to help keep you energized and drink or eat within a half hour after you finish your work out. This is extremely important as it helps to rebuild cells and muscles, plus it prevents overeating later.

pop, ya gotta stop Soda is highly acidic with extreme amounts of sugars and phosphorus. All this will dissolve tooth enamel, increase risk of obesity, and leach calcium out of bones, weakening them. diet riot The health risks of soda are pretty bad, but believe it or not, diet soda is much worse! With diet soda, you’ve gone from high calories to poisonous levels of methanol and an increased chance of developing cancer. Not a very good trade.

mean greens Nutrients that we get by eating vegetables are extremely vital. When choosing vegetables make sure to choose dark and bright colored greens as they are rich in the essential nutrients needed in our diets. red Light to red meat I’m not saying to stop eating red meat, just eat less. Red meat increases risk for heart disease and cardiovascular problems. In addition, overconsumption of red meat can lead to diabetes and certain cancers.

snack attack Make sure you are eating every 3-4 hours by snacking and don’t skip any meals. Not only will this help boost metabolism, but it will keep you from overeating when that out-of-control hunger hits after skipping a meal. But be careful, don’t let a snack turn into a small meal.


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• 29

By peter linden Photography david tagarda Professional Drivers robert Kost, Jr. | charles Herbert


BrAWN 30 •

• SUMMER 2011

The supercar showdown between the Lamborghini Gallardo Bicolore and the Tesla Roadster Sport v2.5 is hardly put to the test in a cruise down Pacific Coast Highway.


hen we first set out to explore how Defy Magazine could take a unique approach to traditional car reviews and articles, we had plenty of enthusiasm, but few ideas. So first, we got the cars. We wanted them to be luxury, high-end and sporty. That was our only objective. We scored big by scooping up a 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo Bicolore and a Tesla Roadster Sport version 2.5, brand new, right off the lot. The price tags were expensive and we have a ways to go before our staff parking lot is full of exotic supercars, so we negotiated for a few hours behind the wheel instead. I went into the experience appreciating a car enthusiast’s passion, but after a few hours behind the wheel of these supercars it put the idea of owning one into perspective. We thought this would be a challenge of brains versus brawn. Twisted metal versus green energy. We can’t say these cars don’t have their shares of pros and cons. What we can say, however, is one of these cars has to be for you.

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Lamborghini gallardo Bicolore

car Lamborghini Gallardo Bicolore cHassis Body:


Aluminium with thermoplastic "hang-on" parts Power vacuum, aluminium alloy callipers: 8 cylinder front callipers and 4 cylinder rear calipers

engine Type:

10 cylinders V 90º, DOHC 4 valves, common-pin crankshaft


5204 cc. (317.6 cu in)


540 Nm (398.3 ft lbs) at 6500 rpm

eXterior L x W x H in:

171.06 x74.8x45.9

Weight lbs:

3108 lb

perFormance Acceleration 0-62:


Top Speed:

202 mph

price as tested


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• SUMMER 2011

I’ve never had a speeding ticket. Ever. Maybe it has something to do with my admittedly tame driving habits. I drive to the grocery store, run errands, and listen to the radio while casually driving on the freeway. I now want to do all of these things in an exotic supercar. I want to pick up my dry cleaning in a Lambo. I want to watch people run as a I tear into the driveway of Target to shop for cleaning products and toiletries. I want my neighbors to hear my V10 engine roar a mile away. I want to feed my Lambo premium, high-priced gas. These fantasies are hardly exaggerations. This car makes you crave luxury and demand power. It’s for real. It’s a racecar and this one is nicknamed “The Baby Lambo” in the Lamborghini stable. Our professional driver for the day, Rob Kost, Jr., said after driving it to our photo shoot location, “I have to own this car. I have driven everything and this is what I need to have.” It’s more than a cool looking car. It’s relatively affordable; if you consider the supercar industry goes way beyond the price tag of the Gallardo. What Lamborghini offers in this model is the experience we had with the car. It’s the sound of the engine, the looks from people on the streets, the paddle-shifting and, really, the comfort of being in the car itself. It rides low and smooth. It sticks to the ground. Since we only cruised the car, we sent out a message to our resident automobile aficionado and race car instructor Roland Linder for his thoughts on the performance of the Lamborghini Gallardo: “On the road, the V10 has great torque and the paddle shifting is the optimal way to go through the gears. The engine sound will make you look and feel like a real racer at each downshift with the Gallardo’s throaty scream. There’s no need to rev the engine to 8,000 rpm. You will have a better response by shifting right about

6,000 rpm and stay within the power band of the car. The brakes are phenomenal and yes, this car does 200 mph at top speed.” The story of Lamborghini goes back to the 1960s when it began as a car company set to compete against the likes of Ferrari. Since then the company has been bought and sold by several different owners. Through it all, the company has succeeded and kept its brand in position as one of the leading exotic supercars on the market today. The story of its most affordable model can be heard in the engine as it roars down a street near you.

tesla roadster sport v2.5

The Tesla Roadster Sport at first impression is relatively harmless. It looks like a sportscar, almost retro in appearance, and has that “Autotopia” innocence about it. It’s small and quiet, almost silent. If you think a Prius is quiet and wonder sometimes if it’s turned on, the Tesla really makes you wonder. The advantage is the convertible roadster makes for more intimate road trips. You can hear everything around you. Quiet means quiet when referring to the Tesla. The obvious selling point with this car is the fact that it’s a full electric vehicle with approximately 250 mile range. No gas, no oil, not much to it, right? Wrong. One step on the accelerator and everything changes. The torque and acceleration on this vehicle are staggering. It’s like a roller coaster without tracks or a high-speed elevator. One punch of the foot and off you go. Our professional driver for the day, Charles Herbet said, “It makes no sense. I can’t get enough of it. It’s like a go-cart and it goes. It really is something.” I want this car, too. I want it parked in the garage and I want to take it up the California Coast whenever I feel the need for peace

car Tesla Roadster Sport version 2.5 cHassis Body: Brakes:

engine Type:

Hand crafted carbon fiber 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes with ABS Engine

248 hp (185kW) 3-phase electric with 14,000 rev limit and regenerative braking


244 miles EPA combined city/highway


380 Nm at 0 - 5,500 rpm

eXterior L x W x H in:

155.5 x 73.7 x 44.4


2690 pounds (est.)

perFormance Acceleration 0-60:


Top Speed:

125 mph

price as tested


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and quiet. The issue of not having enough power in an EV is not the issue of the Tesla Roadster. A test drive in a Tesla will make you want to supercharge your Prius. The price tag of this car is high but for a one-of-a-kind EV, is it? The direction of Tesla could be the future of automobiles. It’s safe to say that future has started with the Roadster Sport. The company is releasing a much more affordable sedan model next year at a modest $49,000, after a tax credit. The roadster though, is here and now and it is taking steps as the front runner in an EV race of luxury cars. Roland Linder has also had a chance to test drive the Tesla’s performance and had this to say: “The outside of the car is very appealing with its sporty looks. At first approach I thought it was a Lotus because of the similarities. The acceleration is just amazing. There are no other words to describe this sensation. It’s an acceleration I wasn’t expecting. The brakes are totally up to the task and because the car is less than 3000lbs, that helps. The purchase price will keep the car to a specific upper class clientele. This would be a very cool car to own, if you live in a big city and you want to have a toy to play with on a weekend afternoon.” The story behind the company of Tesla is one of success, tests and inventiveness. Its founder, Elon Musk, is a whole other profile in himself. Do the companies PayPal and SpaceX ring a bell? Tesla is a new company and the first American automobile company since Ford to hit the market with an IPO. They did so in 2010 and the last time that happened was in 1956. This is a company on the rise with a car just getting started. But like its acceleration, look for Tesla to get out of the gate fast.

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r e d n i L Roland

if you decide to buy a high-performance supercar, you’d be smart to first consult with our resident expert & instructor roland Linder. Roland teaches people how to drive these milliondollar toys. Indeed, he’s a World Class Driving Instructor with the certifications to prove it: SCCA Pro Racing license, Vintage Motorsports Council license, Mile High Racing event organizer, Chaos Motorsport Team manager, Ferrari National instructor, Porsche Club St. Louis, MO. Instructor, Porsche Club Colorado instructor, NASA (National Auto Sport Association) National instructor. He has four podium finishes under his belt in Porsches (including GT1 and GT2) as well as in a McLaren M6. As a private instructor he’s helped drivers finish highly-placed in everything from Go-Karts to Formula racers. So when we needed someone to wring-out our hot supercars, the obvious answer was Roland Linder.


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aM SHOe SHOP adrian VaugHan tAlKS foot fAShion, thE EconoMy, And cElEbRity cliEntElE. interview by peter linden Photography david tagarda


ust a short walk from the sand in the cultural bubble of Manhattan Beach, Calif., is a gem of a shoe boutique. The space is masculine, clean and comfortable. Rows of unique footwear line the wood-paneled walls of the custom-designed shop. When the shop first opened six years ago it was the owner and former Skechers V.P. Adrian Vaughan’s passion project. Fast forward to today; Vaughan has created a unique experience not only for the shoe aficionado but for the business itself. In the affluent area of Manhattan Beach, where boutique stores and restaurants have come and gone during the economic twists and turns, ATEAM Shoe Shop is having a resurgence of sorts as it captures the changing market in casual shoe attire. We were able to catch up with Vaughan in the vault of ATEAM where all the shoes are stacked by brand and size in meticulous order. Vaughan, who embodies the street hustle of his youth in Vegas and his corporate years in the shoe industry, is a laid-back husband and father of three. Shoes are his passion and shoes are what he sells. I sat down with Vaughan over lunch to eat enormous burritos and talk about the shoe business.

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What’s the philosophy here at ATEAM when it comes to selling shoes and sneakers? We have no hype here. We stand behind every shoe we sell at ATEAM. The store was built to offer a wide selection of footwear from global brands. We wanted to offer different products than other sneaker boutiques or what you’d find at the mall. The difference here is our customer service and product knowledge. If you walk into ATEAM, we’ll find a shoe that works for you. ATEAM is a great name. Did it come from the old T.V. show with Mr. T? No, not necessarily. I was a fan of the show but ”ATEAM” was my nickname growing up. It stuck. What’s the state of the sneaker industry right now? The 'hybrid' look is big right now – the dressy sneaker look. We are catering to that crowd. The old school Jerry Seinfeld look of running shoes and jeans is just a bad look. Our target market has changed from the sneaker kids saving up money to buy a pair of new Nikes to the 40-year-old guy who wants a good shoe he can wear for just about any occasion. Right now, I feel there’s a lot of redundant stuff out there. Go to any mall and it’s the same stuff by different brands. The level of quality shows it’s created for the masses and stuff is looking cheap.


We care about the environment, the people and our global footprint, hence the brands we carry and the personality of what we do."

So if guys can find shoes anywhere, what is it that’s leading them to ATEAM? They come for the experience. The location. They care about what they put on their feet. You come to ATEAM to find something new or something retro that you can’t find most places.

Describe the loyal ATEAM customer. Who are they? It’s someone who enjoys shoes. They love and remember the history of sneakers and shoes. They’re looking for a clean, comfortable shoe. They don’t care about ‘hype’ marketing, and want quality. Because of this location and the number of athletes and celebrities in the area, rumor has it they’re big fans of ATEAM. What can you tell us about your celebrity clients? The only difference with those customers is they will buy 20 shoes at a time! I have weekly buyers who get in touch with me based on new inventory. They’re like everyone else who shops here. They make it an experience and they love shoes. You do a lot of charity work here at ATEAM. Tell us about the latest shoe drive. We partnered with Soles4Soles and did a shoe drive for the Tsunami relief in Japan. From our customers

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and local community efforts, we were able to send over 750 pairs of shoes back to Japan to help with relief efforts. We care about the environment, the people and our global footprint, hence the brands we carry and the personality of what we do. What are some of your favorite brands in the shop? Native, OeTZI3300, Habitat, Pointer, Supra, Kr3w, Simple. All of our shoes really. What’s been the secret to the success and longevity of ATEAM? Especially in this economic climate it can’t have been easy. Things have been economically challenging to say the least, but we know our customers, what they want and giving them direction toward more comfortable, sustainable footwear. There is always something in the shop that will fill their needs whether it is about comfort or fashion. Are there any plans to expand ATEAM to more locations? We are super busy at the Manhattan Beach location and with online sales we like to be able to keep things focused and controlled. Secondary location(s) are in the works, it is just a matter of the right location for our consumers and the direction we are moving forward with. How do you see the shoe retail market shaping up over the next year? There will probably be a cleansing of the ‘me-too’ shops. Too much competition and a lot of the original styles and brands ATEAM was built on have gone to the masses and a much younger consumer who doesn’t necessarily have disposable income to buy shoes as regularly any more. People always want and need shoes but they have to be more selective and find products which can be somewhat hybrids between work and play. I see a wealth of new brands and European fashion inspiring people to shop outside the box. We have some great brands coming in right now and styles that have history, heritage and sustainability as things get flushed out. What would you be doing if you didn’t have ATEAM? I am sure I would be working in some capacity in the footwear industry whether it be building my own brand or directing an existing company into a direction that would provide growth and longevity. What’s your favorite part of the shoe business? Talking to people about the history of shoes. Knowing the brands stories and the product development. Seeing new and old come together with better materials and products that have a reason behind them. I love seeing consumers wising up and getting smarter, being able to see through the clutter and hype and growing up. I love what we do and how we do it.

For more information visit or email ATEAM Shoe Shop 1112 Manhattan Ave Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

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Available at:

Amazon, and logo are registered trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.

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A NaturalBorn Showman By David Meacham | Photography Tommy Garcia

Step inside the ring with UFC legend Tito Ortiz as he talks takedowns, humble beginnings, and his next big business venture

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"One of the key lessons he tries to impart to other athletes is the importance of building their own brand, just as he has."


ortuguese hip hop throbs from the house speakers in the Punishment Training Center, an athletic facility devoted to mixed martial arts training and owned by UFC legend and marketing maestro, Tito Ortiz. The gym is empty save for a camera crew and a Brazilian jiu jitsu instructor, who looks more like a scrappy body builder, bench pressing six plates of free weights with focused ease. In the busy front offices, telephones ring continuously while frequent foot traffic flows in and out of the main entrance. But Ortiz has yet to make his entrance—into his gym and into his next big business endeavor. Ortiz returned late the previous night from a week-long camp at the UFC summit in Las Vegas, where the company had been cross-training their athletes in business and marketing tactics. After a while, Ortiz cruises into the parking lot, his bleachedblond head barely visible inside his Maserati sedan. Standing six feet, two inches tall, Ortiz resembles a Roman gladiator as he enters the gym, smiling and exuding an air of courteous professionalism. “Sorry, guys,” he says, referring to the fact that he’s late. But beyond this sincere apology, he wastes little time with chit chat and goes immediately into business mode. Less than five minutes after his arrival, the self-proclaimed Muhammad Ali of mixed martial arts is donning a suit and posing in front of the camera. He’s doing what he does best: putting on a show. His twenty-four appearances in the octagon are far more than any other athlete. His fights have been among the highest watched on paid cable television. Among

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UFC’s top ten most successful pay-per-view events, are Tito Ortiz headliners (according to popular web forum zetaboards. com): 775,000 buys at UFC 61, in his match against Ken Shamrock, and 1,050,000 against Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell at UFC 66. And, according to MMA Weekly’s Ivan Trembow, 5.7 million viewers tuned in for the October 10, 2006, Ortiz vs. Shamrock 3: The Final Chapter. Tito sells out venues wherever he goes, and he’s going to keep on selling his brand, even outside of fighting. Ortiz is known for having a bad boy image. He has two children with former adult film star Jenna Jameson and he has long been one of the toughest contenders in the bloodiest sport to ever hit American television. After his time in front of the lens and a quick lunch, Ortiz sits on the bleachers next to a “Punishment”-emblazoned octagon and talks with Defy about life in and out of the UFC, fatherhood, the never-ending drama on Twitter and his future career plans, including his Punishment brand and nutrition company. It’s nearly impossible not to be won over by the authenticity and humility of the articulate Ortiz, whose surprising modesty naturally surfaced from under a tough, bulletproof-looking physique. “You’ve got to understand the bad boy image is the guy who sells the fights, no more than that,” he says, explaining his

intentionally ostentatious persona. “I’m a cool cat – very respectful toward the people who are around me. Just the people who are in my weight class – I’m disrespectful toward them because I’m trying to get in their mind. It’s psychological. I understand it.” Not only does Ortiz understand it, he has invested countless hours mentoring upand-coming fighters, trying to help them learn what it takes to achieve greatness in the predictably short-lived professional fighting career of mixed martial arts. One of the key lessons he tries to impart to other athletes is the importance of building their own brand, just as he has. “It’s the charity work, it’s the giving back, it’s taking the pictures, doing the interviews, everything to build a brand. And branding is number one in this.” His brand, which began as small clothing company, quickly developed into a viable business, and is soon to spawn his hottest business yet: Punishment Nutrition, which will launch in the next few months. Since his challenging childhood beginnings in the neighborhoods of Orange County, California, the once-hailed Huntington Beach Bad Boy has risen to become a global icon in the world of mixed martial arts, a highly successful selfmade brand, owner of Punishment Athletics and its sister companies, and proud father to three boys. If anyone has defied the seemingly insurmountable odds of daunting public and private adversity, Ortiz has. “I wasn’t supposed to succeed in life,” he said. “There were a lot of people who told me, ‘You’re not going to amount to shit. You’re going to be a guy who’s pushing a shopping cart and living like a bum.’” Growing up with heroin-addicted parents, sleeping in and out of motels, on friends’ living room floors and in cars, Ortiz and his two brothers, Jim and Marty, missed many meals and common childhood experiences. But failure has never been an option for this street savvy survivor. He says his mother offered him a second chance at life

after she separated from his father when he was eleven years old. Since then the superstar’s father has been completely absent in his life. “Tito knew how much I loved his dad so I knew Tito had to see how hard it was for me to get my life together and give Tito a better life,” said Tito’s mother, Joyce. “His father kind of gave up totally and I couldn’t go down with him so I had to get away for our boy.” The opportunity to start anew arrived, in part, when Joyce met a new man who fell in love with her and asked to marry her. “So yeah, I jumped at the chance. I jumped at it.” Tito explains the role anger played in fueling his ambition. “Early on my anger drove me, one hundred percent,” he said. “I wanted to be successful, and having nothing to fall back on drove me to become something.” Joyce says that Tito has always gone after what he wants, since he was a young boy. She fondly remembers happy weekend mornings at home. “As a kid, he was hooked on the wrestling programs when they had Junk Yard Dog and Tito Santana, and he would always have a little robe on and say, ‘Tito Ortiz!,’” she says. “Every

Saturday he would watch those shows and lay in front of that TV.” His real name is Jacob Christopher Ortiz, and like his first name’s forbearer in the Old Testament, the 36-year old former wrestler says a demanding high school sport rescued him from a perilous past and ostensibly doomed future. “In the Bible, Jacob wrestled against an angel and was won over by him, and it saved his life,” Ortiz said. “Wrestling saved my life.” And it instilled in him a relentless work ethic that has repeatedly catapulted him to victory in both athletics and business. Punishment Athletics was started in 1999 with $100 out of a small apartment. Marty, Tito’s brother, gets credit for the name: After a fight where Ortiz gave his opponent a bloody beat-down, his brother exclaimed, “Man, you punished that guy!” The word immediately piqued Ortiz’s attention and at that moment he thought, “I wonder if I put Punishment on a shirt and write underneath I could print them and sell them.” As the saying goes, the rest was history, and Punishment Athletics has since grown into a hugely

Ortiz teaches an MMA kids class twice a week

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popular brand. “One hundred dollars turned into $500; $500 turned into $1,000, and money just started multiplying.” As a rebellious and angry fatherless adolescent, Ortiz says he learned the value of veracity from a different kind of family, a gang. “Integrity is something I live by. Growing up, a gang taught me that you respect your elders; you respect the older guys in the gang. You never lied, you never told on anybody, you never were a rat,” he said. “You always made sure you were a man of your word. I am that man.” Dana White has argued, however, that Ortiz has not been that man. White, Ortiz’s former manager and now UFC president, has publicly railed against his former client, calling him washed up and saying, “He’s done. I’m no longer in the Tito Ortiz business.” In the war of words that ensued between White and Ortiz after their professional spilt, their differences of opinion and facts have taken public stage. White allegedly referred to Ortiz and Jameson, as “morons,” and has been quoted as calling his former client, “one of the most dishonest human beings I have ever met.” This statement stemmed from a disagreement about Ortiz’s true UFC profits. According to Ortiz, standing up for himself and fighting for more money is precisely what White did when he was managing him. The two outspoken warriors have gone toe-to-toe in the media for years. White later said, “We both need some serious counseling,” referring to his rocky relationship with the former champ. Don’t expect to see Ortiz back down from any fight, in or out of the cage. He even stands in the corner of his fellow athletes, hoping they will someday speak out for themselves. “I’ve always just been fighting for the fighters. I fight for their pay,” he says about his repeated face-offs with Dana White and the UFC. Tito Ortiz has managed to singlehandedly break down barriers that no other fighters or promoters in the sport have. In the process he’s been fired from professional fighting, only to be rehired again. “None of

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the other guys have enough balls to step up and say something, and the ones who have, have been forgotten about, have been smashed. I’ve done so much work outside where fans believe me and they listen to me.” No one can argue with Ortiz’s vast fan base – his fights have yielded the highest ratings in the sport. Hulk Hogan and Muhammad Ali are his two biggest heroes: Ortiz knows how to entertain and he understands the hype game. And he, like the UFC, has greatly benefitted financially from public scrutiny and controversy. Don’t think for a minute that being outmatched ever scares this fighter, in or out of the cage. After his loss to Lyoto Machida last year, Ortiz commented about a crucial moment in the fight, “I was thinking, ‘I’m gonna die, but I’m not gonna tap.’” This sharp-tongued entrepreneur gets it: From working the crowd the minute his walk-out music starts to upstaging his opponent even after a loss by jumping on top of the cage, Ortiz is a marketing madman. Beneath his solid exterior is an even stronger mental toughness. “I learned when you manipulate someone’s mind and make them think about something else, they’re not thinking what their game plan is. It’s all about mind control.” If he was paying that much attention in Psychology 101, where he says he learned the mind control concept, don’t think he wasn’t also paying attention in Communications 101, where he probably heard the proverbial cliché that “no press is bad press.” And his fans have loved him for his swagger and cavalier attitude. In years past, Tito intentionally ignited controversy by giving his opponents the finger and acting like he was digging their graves. Before facing Guy Metzger of the Lion’s Den, he wore a shirt with the customized slogan that read “Gay Metzger is my bitch!” and another for Shamrock that read “Beat him into retirement.” The fans turned out in droves for the Ortiz vs. Shamrock headliners. Crashing press conferences has been another marketing ploy he has brilliantly executed. In high school, Tito Ortiz was a two-time California State wrestling champion. The defining moment when the young wrestler found the will to never quit was during a tournament at the end of his first year wrestling. He still remembers the first time he got pinned on the mat. “It was by a kid from Westminster High School,” he said. “I didn’t like how that felt. I didn’t know what move he hit me with, and I came to realize

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what I had to do to win. And that was train hard,” Ortiz recalls. “That was one of my defining moments as a person, in my heart and mind.” Professionally, he has defended his UFC light-heavyweight championship title five times, more than any other fighter who has ever graced the infamous octagon. He is listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the longest reigning lightheavyweight champion in the history of the sport, defending his title for three-and-ahalf years, from 2000-2003. It is doubtful any fighter will ever come close to breaking either record. This history-making machine maintains a commendable level of modesty, considering the records he’s set in a sport he helped pioneer. He says he believes anyone can achieve success with focused, persevering effort, despite any criticism or obstacles they might face. “Through the hard work and dedication I put in, God blessed me. From a kid who was on the streets, doing drugs and not having any chance in life—in and out of juvenile hall—to being what I am today. Anyone can succeed and be successful in any type of work, just as long as they dedicate themselves to it.” Ortiz mentors kids in and out of his gym just about every day. When I asked him what he would have done for a career if there was no UFC, without hesitation he responded he would have been a high school teacher and wrestling coach. But he claims he doesn’t want to be a role model; he wants to be an inspiration, and he is—to kids and fighters alike. He says to be a role model means that others may desire to model their life after his. “You can’t model someone’s life because we make different choices and different mistakes, and maybe other people won’t make those mistakes. But being an inspiration, knowing that the good things I’ve done in life, people can follow those types of things.” Ortiz’s tenacious dedication and showmanship is unparalleled. “I go out and I give one hundred percent no matter what. Just as long as I put on a show.” Despite his four losses since returning to professional competition over a year ago, he is the only fighter to make a comeback after two major surgeries. After fighting through potentially career-ending injuries, with chronic neck and back pain and numbness in his arms and fingers, he finally went under the knife again last year in Las Vegas. A stomachchurning video documented the fusion of his C5 and C6 vertebrae and was posted on

his website at Working the marketing efforts all the way into the operating room, Tito Ortiz is a natural-born showman. “I’m going to put on a show. It’s the entertainment value.” Hollywood has taken note of Ortiz’s celebrity and talent in front of the camera. He appeared in a small role in Jet Li’s 2003 film Cradle 2 the Grave, in a scene where he fought Chuck Lidell and won. Producer Jeff Most is reported as dubbing Ortiz “the next Vin Diesel.” And in 2008, Donald Trump invited the burgeoning screen talent onto the seventh season of The Celebrity Apprentice. Ortiz made it through eight eliminations before hearing the infamous words, “you’re fired!” That wasn’t the first time being fired has increased Ortiz’s exposure to millions of Americans. Things are working out just fine for Tito Ortiz. Although he’s uncertain about his future plans in the UFC after his upcoming fight, win or lose, with Ryan Bader at MGM Grand on July 2, he is certain about his next big business move. Ortiz plans to launch Punishment Nutrition, a family of sports supplements that he’s handpicked in partnership with Irvine FDA audited nutraceuticals manufacturing company Scilabs, Inc. He says, “Scilabs and I picked apart the things that I use the most of and that get the best results—for recovery, for muscle building, for meal replacements.” Tito shines a positive light on his Punishment company name. “In general, in everyone’s life, they go through some type of punishment—either it’s working construction, or sitting behind an office desk all day with the neck pain, shoulder pain. Doing the grind—it’s punishment. Me in the gym, lifting weights, sparring, hitting the bag, getting punched, punching, getting taken down, taking down—it’s punishment. Life in general is punishment. And if you don’t experience, that you’re not living life to its fullest. Punishment Nutrition will give you the supplements to get through that punishment. That’s why I’ve always had the brand of Punishment. People kind of think of Punishment as being very vicious and bad, but it’s not; it’s life. It’s what you make of it. And if you can work through that punishment, life is easy.” For Tito Ortiz, working through Punishment is just business as usual.

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Surfer Chic Hanging “Ten” with pro surfer and stunning siren, Erica Hosseini By Niree Noel Photography Tommy Garcia Hair Vicki Weisskopf Makeup Melissa Murdick Styling Kristen Bashaw

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ith sun-kissed locks, a slender build and highly infectious energy, Erica Hosseini is the quintessential Southern California surfer girl. Her joie de vivre translates even over the telephone, as I catch up with the professional surfer before she jets off to a competition in Europe. It’s hard to believe the Newport Beach native is only twenty-four years old. Hosseini began surfing at the age of thirteen, and has already secured winning spots in several major competitions, including Volcom Championships, US Championships and the NSSA

National Open Women’s Title, which she won in 2003 alongside the Governor’s Cup. She has proudly travelled to six out of seven continents, having surfed the swell and sands of Australia, Japan, Hawaii, Indonesia, Canada, Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, Bali, and Nicaragua. “There’s down time during contests either when there aren’t waves or it’s raining, so there’s opportunity to make a lot of close friends that you eventually end up travelling with,” says Hosseini. Having competed since her teens, Hosseini has become a driving presence in the surfing

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community, already having racked up an impressive list of sponsors, including Jose Cuervo, Baby G Watches, Sector 9 Skateboards, BodyGlove, Jack’s Surf Shop, Flip Flop Shop, SharpEye and Filtrate Eyewear. While some athletes or actors adopt a persona for the public eye, Hosseini’s genial demeanor is a genuine aspect of her personality. “I’m the same person in and out of the water,” Hosseini says. Come competition time, however, all is fair out in the lineup. “When I have that jersey on, the competitive edge takes the lead and it doesn’t necessarily matter who I’m up against since I’m there to win,” Hosseini says. It’s that determined and subtly aggressive attitude that has led Hosseini to success both on and off the beach. Aside from her successful professional surfing career, the vivacious blonde also has a hit segment on GrindTV and maintains her own website(www. Just recently, she launched a blog, whereserica. com, which documents her globetrotting adventures, and thereby making her more accessible to her many fans. “The blog started off as a hobby so I could share the behind-the-scenes details of my photo shoots, tours, competing life and other fun stuff I get into,” Hosseini says. With several exciting projects already under her board, including a cameo on the hit show 90210 and various modeling gigs, Hosseini looks forward to the future. “I can’t say for certain what will or won’t happen. Often, one project leads to another,” says Hosseini with the same positive and open mentality that has yielded her big wins in and out of the water, and in front of the camera. “It would be super fun to branch out and do more print media and commercials, but to still also compete as much as I can and hopefully qualify for the tour.”

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The ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) Women’s World Tour, commonly referred to as “The Tour”, hosts the world’s elite professional women surfers, and is the venue many of the pro girls are chasing. Athough Hosseini’s jetting off to France and Portugal for competitions this year, the self-proclaimed homebody manages the sometimes stressful nature of travel by always carrying a few electronic gadgets with her. “I can’t leave home without my computer and iPad. I used to travel with tons of DVDs and books, but its so nice now to just load it all up and go.” There’s also one other item the health-conscious surfer never leaves home without: a blender. “I get some weird looks when I pull it out of my bag,” Hosseini says, laughing. “I’ve definitely blown up a few blenders thanks to the current converters in foreign countries, but I love making my own protein shakes and smoothies.”

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While Hosseini’s hyper-hectic schedule sounds taxing, she admits she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I can’t tell you what the end of the road will look like, but I feel like I have a pretty perfect life right now.” And when she can get some time off to travel for fun, the first place she’s headed is Greece. “It’s the one place I haven’t managed to schedule a stopover at yet,” Hosseini says. “I’ve always wanted to go there as a destination trip.” So how exactly does the breezy surfer chick feel about portraying one of the most iconic beach babes in history? “I was so stoked Defy came up with such a fun theme. I loved getting the braids, and I felt like a modern-day Bo Derek.” With her gorgeous looks, vivacious charm and relentless competitive drive, we give Erica Hosseini a perfect Ten. Follow Erica’s surfing travel blog at

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reCIPe FOr “ SUCCeSS From smaLL-time meXican restaurant to Happening Hotspot: how onE bUSinESS ownER iS tURninG An oRdinARy lUnch hUb into oRAnGE coUnty’S lAtESt “it” ScEnE. By david meacham | Photography david tagarda

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Patio set for summer makeover


Dinning Room

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n a sunny spring afternoon, food enthusiast Moe Ghazi stands behind the oak bar at Taléo Mexican Grill. He sniffs and swirls the freshly made burgundy sangria to ensure the quality is consistent and the taste memorable. He nods in approval to the bartender and deftly moves to the greeting stand and, with a welcoming smile, personally seats his incoming customers amid the buzz of friendly chatter. Ghazi is the general manager and part of a new executive team who has big plans for the Irvine, Calif., eatery. Before revealing its anticipated remodel in the coming weeks, Taléo is already raising the bar and creating a buzz in the Orange County dining scene. Leading the change is Moe Ghazi, one impassioned foodie who has repeatedly defied the odds by turning floundering to average operations into profitable hot spots. Employing his savvy business sense and discerning taste for fine cuisine, he boasts an impressive portfolio of serial restaurant successes. And it all started at a hair salon in the mid 1980s, where he learned what he calls the secret to his success: Offer people the finest service and give them what they want—something they don’t already have. “I was lucky to be in the hair business, and even though that wasn’t my passion I was looking at it as an outsider and asking, ‘Why does everybody want something they don’t have?’” says Ghazi of his first entrepreneurial venture. “It’s human nature,” he says, “and if you capitalize on that it can be very lucrative.” Parlaying his hair salon recipe for

Pastel de Tres Leches

success to his passion for running fine restaurants, Ghazi has gone on to win repeated victories at several Orange County establishments. When he planned to open a sushi bar and night club along the Pacific Coast Highway in downtown Laguna Beach, at a facility with no parking, people laughed. And the lines from Mosun Sushi and his Laguna Beach Club M regularly winded down PCH, and quickly became popular Orange County dining choices. When he started TEN Asian Bistro in a corporate community near the John Wayne airport, the retort that it couldn’t be done echoed again—and again Ghazi quieted the naysayers. Within months of opening, people were lining up outside of TEN, waiting to get in. “I’ve done it over and over,” says Ghazi. “Serve good food and people will find you.” Just last month the seven-year-old bistro modernized its menu, adding some hot new additions to its traditional selections. “We’re rebranding it from a traditional Mexican food place to a Mexican-fusion concept,” says Ghazi. Traditional meets contemporary is at the heart of Ghazi’s new vision for Taléo, which was already a popular power lunch and happy hour spot. In late May he rolled out the first changes to the authentic Mexican food menu. “I’ve kept the best of what they had and added my own contemporary dishes,” says Ghazi of the menu modifications. The cocktail menu boasts an intriguing array of fusion-inspired beverages, not the least of which is the Sangria. “We make

a large batch of it, and the Mojitos, at the beginning of each day,” said Greg the bartender, pointing to the two icy containers across the bar. “We also make them fresh individually.” Another fine feature that makes Taléo a sui generis in the region is its pride in creating only the freshest food daily. You won’t find a freezer in this establishment. The melt-in-your-mouth carnitas tacos with pico de gallo and Parmesan are a long-reigning item from the original menu, and with good reason. Ghazi says he typically likes to eat lighter foods, sushi being among his favorites. Staying true to his savory and health-conscious roots, he added—sashimi grade seafood—to the menu. The new eclectic appetizer and entrée selections will give patrons an array of choices, from traditional, hearty Mexican dishes to lighter, contemporary Mediterranean, embodying the fusion concept. A new addition under the crudo category is the shrimp boat: Four decadent shrimp stuffed with crab meat, marinated in cilantro ponzu and tobacco sauce. The cilantro ponzu with tobacco tastes exactly of the three ingredients and is a simple, yet fabulously delectable sauce – a wonderful compliment to the shrimp and crab. And ground beef tacos with lettuce, pico de gallo, pickle, avocado cilantro sauce and mint salsa rival the the carnitas. The Mexican fusion flavor will entice the most discerning palates, as well as average Joes who love great, traditional food. Other new additions to the menu include a variety of fresh salads, including the signature “Moe’s salad,” capriccio, and Panini sandwiches. Moe says the diversity of the new menu will allow diners to eat at the revamped restaurant without feeling like they’ve eaten at the same place. Complimenting the great food, the service at Taléo is exceptional. In addition to refining the cuisine, Taléo has had a physical transformation, as well. The low-lit ambient space is situated below one of two large skylights and is flanked by long espresso-colored couches topped

with cozy cream-colored cushions. Surrounded by wood-framed floor-to-ceiling windows, the main floor has the feeling of a low stage, and has a great view of the outdoor patio, lower dining room area, and bustling kitchen. A rich wood interior decorates the high ceiling and interior walls, creating a warm, inviting atmosphere. Outside on the patio you’ll find deep wicker couches with large cushions below chocolate-colored cabanas. The comfortable seating and delectable food invites you to kick back and enjoy yourself. And while lunchtime may demand more clock-watching than lounging, it certainly is the time to do business at Taléo Grill. This popular bistro has been touted as the power lunch spot in Orange County by local businessmen and a handful of hot O.C. housewives from the Bravo TV series. It will be exciting to see what the new team at Taléo has planned for their upcoming improvements, since the food and drinks already please the discerning palate. Stay tuned for what’s next. Taléo Mexican Grill is located at 3309 Michelson Drive in Irvine, California Taléo Grill 3309 Michelson Drive Irvine, CA 92612 (949) 553-9002

Ahi Salad

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Melt-in-Your-Mouth MexicAsian wAnt bRinG fUSion cUiSinE to yoUR own KitchEn? SpARK yoUR bbQ And GEt REAdy to iMpRESS yoUR GUEStS with thESE MEXicAn And ASiAn-inSpiREd REcipES. By debbi Woods | Photography tommy garcia

1 Beef Fajita lettuce Wraps Serves 4 ingredients: 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated, washed, dried on paper towels, and refrigerated 3-4 cloves garlic, pressed 1/4 c lime juice 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin 1/4 c olive oil 1 minced Serrano pepper (optional) 2 lbs skirt or other steak 3-4 bell peppers, red, yellow, and green, quartered 1 yellow onion, sliced 1/2 c fresh cilantro sprigs (use half for marinade, half for garnish) Avocado, diced in 1/2 " cubes 3 Roma tomatoes, diced in 1/2" cubes Sour cream prep: Combine garlic, lime juice, cumin, Serrano pepper and olive oil in large ziplock freezer bag. Seal and shake to mix. Add meat, bell peppers, onion and cilantro to marinade. Squeeze out air, seal and manipulate marinade to cover meat and veggies. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Method: Preheat grill to high heat. Remove meat and veggies from bag, discarding liquid, cilantro and Serrano pepper. Grill bell peppers and onions until slightly charred. Set aside. Grill meat until medium rare. Remove from grill. Cut meat and grilled veggies into 1/2" cubes. Preheat heavy skillet to high heat. Combine meat and veggies in skillet and quickly stir-fry to heat and infuse flavors, 1-2 minutes. Immediately spoon into lettuce leaves. Garnish with sour cream, avocado, and cilantro.

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2 Asian Chicken Tostadas Serves 4-6


Ingredients: 1 Bottle Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce 2 chicken breasts 4 chicken thighs 1 stalk celery, minced 2 carrots, minced 1/4 large onion, minced 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced 1 1 1/2" piece fresh ginger, finely grated 1 can water chestnuts, chopped 2 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar 2 tsp dark sesame oil 1 tsp red pepper flakes 1/4 c. hoisin sauce 1 bunch green onions (optional) 1/4 c. chopped peanuts Salt and pepper Fresh cilantro Sriracha bottled hot Asian chili sauce Additional soy sauce 4-6 corn tortillas Vegetable oil (amount will vary) Prep: Marinate chicken in 1/2 bottle of Kikkoman Teriyaki sauce in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Refrigerate chicken in the bowl for 30 min - 1 hour while chopping and mincing other ingredients. Turn chicken once 1/2 way through this time.


Pre-heat grill When chicken has marinated, grill on the BBQ until just done. Cool slightly and chop into 1/2" pieces. Method: In medium skillet, over med-high heat, add vegetable oil. Saute onion until translucent, stirring often. Stir in ginger, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked chicken. Continue cooking until green onions begin to wilt, (approx. 2-4 minutes). Stir in peanuts. Season generously with salt and pepper. Tostadas: Heat vegetable oil in large frying pan. Use enough that you have 1/4 inch layer of oil and heat on med-high heat until sizzling but not smoking. Fry tortillas individually, about 30 seconds each side, or until golden brown and bubbling. Use metal tongs or spatula to remove from oil and drain thoroughly on paper towels. Add meat mixture to warm tostada shells. You can top with fresh cilantro, soy sauce and Sriracha hot asian chili sauce, and ENJOY! Â

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KaUaI Words and Photography by tanya temme

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Imagine a place where worries vanish in the trade winds, warm saltwater laps the shores of golden sand and rain-forests are home to our earth’s rarest plants and birds. Your adventure begins at the edge of a lost world. Thousands of miles from any significant land mass, the tiny tropical island of Kauai has kept herself charmed, mysterious and unconquered. You will experience her secrets as you dive into the beauty Kauai has to offer. From the moment you step off the plane the balmy trade winds will remind you, “You’re not in Kansas anymore. “

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dventure, romance or pure relaxation? Kauai has it all. Your only worries are how to fit it all in. Kick off your shoes, slip into your casual wear and throw your cares to the wind. It's all good! Kauai’s raw interior, rugged Na Pali Coast, and the countless miles of remote white sand beaches are a bit on the wild side. But exploring her untamed allure is where the fun begins. While activities like tow-in surfing 40-foot monster waves do exist, there are other activities for the mere mortal traveler that will give you an equal dose of adrenaline. On the North Shore the roads narrow, life slows down and it’s apparent why Kauai is nicknamed the “Garden Island.” Waterfalls cascade a thousand feet from emerald green mountains to manicured taro fields on the valley floor. These are your first signs that you are now entering the “laid back life on the other side of the bridge.” The beautiful and quaint little surf town of Hanalei is full of water-sport shops, eclectic boutiques and local flair. You will find plenty to see and explore whether in the village or in the water of the magical Hanalei Bay, a year round hub of water sports. Rent a kayak or a SUP (stand up paddle board) and make your way through the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge. You will be skimming the calm water amongst a myriad of wildlife and hanging trees that frame the banks of the Hanalei River. If this is too tame, then just paddle back down the river and test your skills surfing the Bay. Either way you will surely work up an appetite. So… head back to the village where your choices range from take-out to sit down dining and enjoy a fruit infused Mai Tai, while planning the next activity. Leaving Hanalei in your rear-view mirror, the next eight miles of winding road will pique your curiosity and divert your attention. Keep your eyes on the road. This last stretch of roadway will take a while as the pace of life slows down even more the further north you go. That is, unless you are in the water! The horseshoe shaped, coral-fringed reef of Tunnels Beach is a popular destination for snorkelers who want to explore the underwater world of sea caves and exotic tropical reef fish. But the outside breaks, beyond the calm of the protected lagoon, should be left to the experienced. This is also a great spot to see the locals as they race the winds across the ocean’s surface with their gravity defying kite surfing. The end of the road at Ke’e Beach marks

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the beginning of the famous Na Pali Coast, where the true outdoor adventure begins. Explore the Na Pali by foot as you traverse a portion or the complete 11 mile (one way) hike. The valleys of Hanakapiai, Hanakoa and Kalalau will take you back in time. As you traverse the trail built hundreds of years ago, you will experience what some believe to be the closest thing to the Garden of Eden. It is hard to fathom that at one time 20,000 Hawaiians used this trail as their super highway into the valleys of Hanakoa and Kalalau. During summer months adventure seekers choose the ultimate kayak trip, referred to as the Mount Everest of kayak excursions. The trip begins at the north end of Hanalei Bay where you will paddle beyond the verdant valleys of Hanakoa and Kalalau, past the famous arch of Honopu, and into the sapphire blue waters of the open ceiling sea cave. Paddle the coast with the likes of the

playful spinner dolphins, giant sea turtles and the rare Hawaiian Monk Seal. The trip will take an entire day with a stop half way for lunch and swim at Milolii, where you can explore the beach and the remains of an ancient Hawaiian Fishing Village. Polihale, on the west side of the island, is the final destination, where the cliffs of the Na Pali meet the sand dunes of Kauai’s longest stretch of beach. Seventeen miles off the coast of Kauai’s West Side lies the Forbidden Island of Niihau, known for its Hawaiian speaking community and rare shell leis. Explore the waters of Niihua and Lehua aboard the 65-foot power catamaran Holo Holo. Day trips include sightseeing off the Na Pali Coast, free diving off Niihau, where visibility tops 100 feet, then relax on deck enjoying a glass of wine and gourmet deli-style lunch. For a closer look at the Forbidden Island of Niihau, privately owned by the Robinson family, book a custom adventure trip aboard their private helicopter to hunt wild boar and feral sheep. The tour includes the outfitting of weapons, personal guide, as well as refreshments and lunch. As you meander along Kauai’s roadways you will only touch the surface of Kauai's hidden treasures. Eighty percent of Kauai is inaccessible by car, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore further by helicopter, ATV, horseback or by foot along miles of hiking trails Kauai has to offer. Kauai is an outdoor paradise waiting to be discovered. E Komo Mai ( Welcome) For more information on The Island of Kauai visit your resource for information on Kauai Accommodations, Activities and Dining!

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We Got Game(s)

GameSalad dishes out the future of gaming technology as personalized game development becomes available to virtually everyone, for free By David Meacham


aming is all the rage, so much so that it has colored our culture with new euphemisms such as “killing two pigs with one bird,” a reference to the immensely popular game “Angry Birds.” As new communication devices such as tablet PCs are introduced and in higher demand, so are inventive applications and software. What is it about gaming—the phenomenon that began its movement back in the 80s when it emigrated from arcades to living rooms—that has children and adults alike entranced in an artificial world? The evolution from joysticks to touch screens to now controller-less motion detection, the technology developers who transport us to other virtual galaxies have driven the worldwide popularity of gaming to well over a billion end users.

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The latest group pioneering the pack of forward-thinking technology developers is GameSalad, Inc., an Austin, Texas, based team. Founded by four passionate partners in 2007, the group says they’re not just doing this for the money. “We built GameSalad on the premise that game creation should be fun and easy for everyone—not relegated to the technically elite,” said Michael Augustin, co-founder and head of product. Since tossing their first-of-its kind software into the matrix, the privately held company has been vibrating smartphones and tablet PCs all across the World Wide Web. With their free drag-and-drop creation tools, anyone who has ever wanted to produce their own game, from the savvy developer to the inexperienced gamer, now has the opportunity. And already, their flagship product, GameSalad Creator, has been utilized to create over 11,000 games, including more than 35 of the top 100 games in Apple’s U.S. App Store, according to a company press release. And with the addition of HTML5 publishing capabilities in June 2011, the company has empowered developers to expand beyond the popular iOS platform and target a market of over a billion people with web-enabled browsers. To put it plainly, they are on the cutting edge, and investors recognize this. The company announced their recent funding of $6.1 million, which is in addition to a first round $1.2 million seed support. They are backed by Steamboat Ventures, DFJ Mercury, DFJ Frontier and FF Asset Management. GameSalad, Inc., has offices in Austin, Texas, and Los Angeles, and plans to open doors on a new location in San Francisco very soon. “Our investors were excited about the opportunities presented at Austin’s SXSW Accelerator conference in July 2010 by the intersection of gaming, social media and technology,” said Michael Augustin, co-founder and head of product. “Gaming has become a dominant form of entertainment and has driven rapid growth of new mobile and social platforms. Through our free, easy to use game creation tools, GameSalad makes it possible for everyone to participate in this zeitgeist—something that our investors found highly appealing.” An attractive feature of GameSalad’s development tools is its user friendliness: No coding is required to create a game, which is the distinct quantum leap the

company has made with its proprietary software delivery. Gone are the days of complex technology left to the devices of geeks in the lab. For comparison, the nocoding-required development is likened to the drag-and-drop concept of blogging software offered by companies like Word Press. The popularity of blogging exploded because of the ease of use and accessibility to online publishing. The difference here is that unlike many blogs that are posted and never read, most game applications are purchased and, of course, played.

Following are a few case studies of developers who have used gamesalad tools to publish their own popular games: • Abdulrahman Al-Zanki, a 14-year old student in Kuwait, created his first game using GameSalad tools after accepting a dare from a friend who claimed he was incapable of building an iPhone game. Three days after downloading GameSalad, Al-Zanki submitted his game to Apple’s App Store. Doodle Destroy has since been downloaded more than 1 million times and has even been featured on CNN’s website. • “Daniel Caldwell, an 8th grade science teacher outside of Syracuse, NY has a passion for developing educational software. His latest creation, SciTunes Human Body Adventure, was built with GameSalad and is now a finalist for the prestigious STEM Award, presented by the White House for excellence in educational software.” • The owner of BeanSprites, LLC spent 8 years as a registered nurse before exploring the world of iOS game development. Until then, she had never before seen a line of programming code. After discovering GameSalad on the web, “she has never looked back.” One year later, she has produced more than 40 titles for iOS and is now a full-time independent game developer in Southern California. • To learn more about how you can create your own game today, visit and download the free app. PC users, sorry—GameSalad software appears to be available exclusively to Mac users.

“Getting Into Character”

By Kristen Bashaw | Photography Tommy Garcia Makeup Melissa Murdick | Styling Kristen Bashaw

There’s an old saying in Hollywood that God doesn’t give with both hands, an adage that speaks to the rarity of actors who are as brilliant as they are beautiful. But we sat down with two exceptional up-and-coming actors whose good looks, talent, and integrity defy the odds and suggest that God might actually have three or four hands.

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The first thing anyone notices about Jayde Rossi and Chris Gonzalez is the fact that they’re goodlooking. Really, really good looking.  It seems almost unfair, then, when you listen to them speak and realize they’re also articulate, insightful, charismatic, and genuinely good people.  Jayde, who recently made her TV debut on Mr. Sunshine, starring Matthew Perry, got bit by the acting bug before entering a graduate program for nursing.  She has the kind of sweet, girl-next-door looks that call to mind Rachel McAdams or Audrey Tautou.  But if you ask her who gets the most play on her iPod, she’ll say Alice In Chains without blinking an eye, and her subtle, mischievous grin proves it’s true; this girl has a wild side.  When you look beyond her endearing sweetness and her surprising, yet delightful penchant for head-banging to heavy metal, you’ll quickly realize that character means more to Jayde than something she plays in front of the camera. She says, “I recently read an interview with Brit Marling where she talks about the struggle young women face when entering the entertainment business and how you often get lumped into this horror/porn genre.  People tell you it’s part of the business, and if you really want to make it you’ve got to start there.  I’ve never agreed with that advice.  Yes, we all have to work hard for what we love, and that can be a process of not-so-great jobs, but sacrificing your own morality and integrity is something that shouldn’t be a part of any business.” These aren’t the naive words of an inexperienced young woman.  In January, Jayde made the decision to pursue acting full-time, which meant having to quit her job as an independent living assistant at Orangewood Children’s Foundation, an organization that caters to the needs of children in foster care.  “I come from the same place as a lot of the kids there,” she says.  “We’ve had experiences that most people haven’t had, but I want that to be something that makes me a better actress.  I want those memories to be used to empower, not to shame.  I miss the kids, but I also want to prove that where you come from doesn’t have to dictate where you end up.”  Jayde’s poise, talent, and professionalism will undoubtedly take her wherever

she wants to go—and the fact that she’s drop-dead gorgeous won’t hurt, either. While she is certainly a rare breed, Jayde Rossi isn’t the only promising actor whose character shines as brightly as her appearance. Chris Gonzalez, who has been a working actor for years, is as down-to-earth and humble as he is handsome.  He’s the kind of guy who says please and thank you as naturally as he orders a beer or talks football.  And he does it all while looking like a muscle-bound superhero.   Chris says he was prodded by friends and family members to pursue acting from a young age, but at the time, his heart wasn’t entirely in it.  He went to a few auditions but eventually decided to prioritize school and football over acting.  He landed a full-ride scholarship to play football at East Texas State and earned a Bachelor’s degree in kinesiology.  In 2003, Chris returned to his hometown of Huntington Beach, Calif.  He says a family friend suggested he get back into acting, and connected him with a talent agency.  He’s been with them ever since.   Of course it wouldn’t be enough for Chris to be merely athletic, educated, charming, and talented.  In addition to acting, he also works as a reserve firefighter, which he takes very seriously.  When asked if there’s anything he wouldn’t do to “make it” in Hollywood, Chris says, “I would never want to embarrass myself, my family, or my badge,” again reflecting his profound, yet refreshingly uncomplicated character.  In his spare time, he helps coach his nephew’s flag football team. This is a man who manages to mention his love and respect for his family and friends in nearly every statement he makes, without ever sounding pious or insincere.   He describes a night when his friends and family gathered around the television to watch a Monday Night Football game in which his brother, Atlanta Falcons tight end, Tony Gonzalez, was playing.  Right after the game, an episode of CSI: Miami aired and Chris had a featured role.  “It was a proud moment,” he says, “because growing up I never would have imagined Tony playing professional football and me acting, and both of us being on TV at the same time.”         Even when describing one of his proudest professional moments, Chris is remarkably humble.  It’s clear that his integrity is the driving force behind everything he does, and he deserves all the success that will inevitably come to him. So while it’s true that good looks are the first things anyone will notice about Jayde Rossi and Chris Gonzalez, it’s the depth of their character that leaves a more lasting impression.  When they see their names on the big and little screens, they’ll remember where they came from—and so will we. 

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Photographed at the Blue Star Estate in the Hollywood Hills of California

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Behind the Scenes P

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Summer Issue 2011