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Scene Marin’s Guide to Style – Inaugural Edition

Home & Design: A green sanctuary

Gluten-free gourmand Thirsty Girl Leslie Sbrocco Cris Chater’s trail-blazing steps

spring 2012

U.S. $5.95

Spring Forward What to wear to be on trend plus Must-have swimsuits & cover-ups

We Specialize in Quality Mission and Amish Style

Solid Wood American Made Furniture The Mission Works Furniture Gallery Dining Room • Bedroom Entertainment • Home Office

947 and 957 Front Street, Novato


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| ˈlē-dər-ˌship |

the capacity to direct on a course: influence

At Alain Pinel Realtors, we believe that actions speak louder than words. We are privately owned and committed to sustainable growth, seeking out markets that meet our standards for dynamic expansion, quality real estate, and strong community. This has made us not only the #1 privately-owned and independent residential real estate company in California, but the sixth largest residential real estate firm in the country. To experience the difference, visit one of our 32 offices throughout the Bay Area, from Carmel to Sonoma, Silicon Valley to San Francisco.

APR COUNTIES | Santa Clara | San Mateo | San Francisco | Marin | Sonoma | Alameda | Contra Costa | Monterey | Santa Cruz

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  5

HEARTH & HOME OF MARIN Simply the Best!

• Marin County’s Largest Selection of Fireplaces, Inserts and Stoves • Installation by our Licensed Professional Staff • Free Estimates 902 Lincoln Avenue • San Rafael

415-479-2876 6  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

Lic. No. 827357

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  7

table of contents

features fashion 28 In the Swim Must-have swimsuits and cover-ups. By Donna Kato. Photos by Paul Ferradas. Plus: The best suit for your body. By Donna Kato


38 Spring Things Gelato colors, the statement skirt, highwaisted pants and more. By Donna Kato

Icons 42 The Strider Cris Chater takes big steps to help those who need it most. By Mandy Behbehani. Photos by Stuart Lirette


departments 16 The Insider Eco-goodies we’re coveting now. By Stephanie Simons

19 Shop Talk

53 Gifted Artisans Not merely hobbyists, they create works that both say something, and sell. By Crystal Chow

Home & design

Tiburon’s Main Street holds myriad treasures. By Jennifer Shaw. Photos by Nikki Ritcher.

25 Beauty Report Cheek to jowl: The promise of Ultherapy. By Stephanie Simons

58 Green & Serene An architectural gem sparkles with light, art and laughter. By Mandy Behbehani. Photos by Richard Barnes and Stuart Lirette


67 At the Table The gluten-free gourmand. By Dionna Mash Plus: Elaine Taylor on living gluten-free. By Donna Lynn Rhodes

74 Thirsty Girl Wine columnist Leslie Sbrocco on the spirits you’ll want for your home bar.

76 Getaways Many kinds of wonderful in Monterey. By Katharine Fong.

82 Seen Big fun at the Raccoons’ Gatsby Soiree and the Golden Gate Opera’s gala.

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Africa North America Central America South America Asia Australia Caribbean Europe Middle East South Pacific

Fairfax, California $1,795,000

Ross, California $2,695,000

4 bedrooms, 5.5 baths

4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths

Represented by: Amy Hyde 415.226.8484 |

Represented by: Susan Bowman & Dana Johnson Park, Lauren Hamblet 415.464.3400, 415.233.1659 | TheBowmanGroup@,

San Geronimo Valley, California $1,475,000

Fairfax, California $1,325,000

3 bedrooms, 3 baths

5 bedrooms, 3 baths

Represented by: Suzanna Anderson 415.464.3525 |

Represented by: Sue Pence 415.456.7790 |


Global Is The DIfference The Coldwell Banker Previews International ® network spans the globe. With sales associates in 50 countries, this elite global network stands ready to connect buyers to a portfolio of homes selected to meet the requirements of your lifestyle — wherever they may be located. Be it a bespoke waterfront castle, a mountain top manor or equestrian estate situated among rolling hills, your next dream home awaits.

©2012 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Coldwell Banker®, Previews® and Previews International® are registered trademarks licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Owned and Operated by NRT LLC. All rights reserved. This information was supplied by Seller and/or other sources. Broker believes this information to be correct but has not verified this information and assumes no legal responsibility for its accuracy. Buyers should investigate these issues to their own satisfaction. If your property is currently listed for sale, this is not intended as a solicitation. DRE License #01908304.

10  •  Scene  •  spring 2012


Welcome to Scene!

Katharine Fong Editor & Publisher

Donna Kato Contributing Fashion & Beauty Editor Crystal Chow Melinda Sacks Stephanie Simons Julia Prodis Sulek Contributing Writers Jose Carlos Fajardo Patrick Tehan Contributing Photographers Rebecca Parr Copy Editor Scene Magazine Vol. 4, No. 1 copyright 2012 by the Bay Area News Group. All rights reserved. Material herein may not be reprinted without expressed written consent of the publisher. Make contact: Email: Address: 750 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95190 Twitter: SceneBayArea Pinterest: SceneBayArea

Josie Lepe

Rebecca Hall Lucero Art Director

We’re glad to be in Marin. We’re excited to present your essential guide to the people, shops and services, and latest developments on the local style front. You’re on Scene’s exclusive distribution list because we know you’re a trendsetter who helps set the pace in Marin’s distinctive culture. As a woman living in the Bay Area, you have an astonishing array of choices when it comes to looking and feeling your best. You like to take care of yourself in every way. And you want to know about the advances on topics such as beauty, wellness and fashion that will help you present your best self to the world. Scene was created to help meet this need, and to serve you. This is what you can expect in every issue: a showcase of the season’s most remarkable clothes and accessories, the latest thinking on new – and effective – beauty and wellness treatments, the most appealing examples of home decor and design. But just like the multifaceted women who reside here, there is much more in the pages of Scene. Most significantly, we highlight strong, intelligent women – icons and leaders who make a difference in the community. Our story on Cris Chater of San Rafael’s Senior Access (Page 42) is an example. Cris talks about what drives her, her calling as an advocate for those who need it most and why she’s as passionate about rugged backpack camping as she is about designer style. It’s an inspiring read. Equally impressive are the other Bay Area women included here, such as Leslie Sbrocco, whose wine expertise and effervescent personality can be seen on “Check Please!” and the “Today” show. Scene is fortunate to have her as our wine columnist (Page 74). And Elaine Taylor of The Taylor Family Foundation (Page 72) has had a profound impact on the lives of our children. One of her favorite quotes from Winston Churchill perfectly describes her vision and work: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” We hope you’ll enjoy Scene and find it indispensable in making some of your important choices. We can’t wait to hear what you think.


Go to, or contact Rick Raker at rraker@ or 925.945.4781.

Katharine Fong Editor & Publisher

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  11

Allies for Change Specialists in Pain Management We are a collaborative pain management practice that looks at pain differently. We support individuals in breaking free from the hold of pain that diminishes the quality of their life. We provide our clients with treatment that leads to true healing.


Spring Style

If you suffer from pain or want to prevent having pain in your future contact

Allies for Change 415-454-3657 We invite you to call today for a complimentary telephone consulation

Offering the Best Selection of Dansko Shoes in Northern California


Northgate Mall, San Rafael

472-1202 12  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

Terrie Carpenter P.T. Founder, Allies for Change Pain Management Specialist Over 40 years of experience in the field Developed time tested strategy for healing pain Her clients call her “The Miracle Worker”

contributors Mandy Behbehani (“The Strider,” Page 42) grew up in London, holds a degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and worked as an award-winning staff reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. Her stories have been published in Town & Country, the Los Angeles Times, Travel & Leisure, W, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury News, among others.

Marin-based Stuart Lirette (“Green & Serene,” Page 58) hails from Texas, and came to California to study at the Brooks Institute. His talent and versatility are evident from his work shooting home interiors and landscapes as well as weddings and portraits.

Scene David M. Rounds President & Publisher Marin Independent Journal John Stoeser Director Community Information & Targeted Delivery Bay Area News Group Dianne Provenzano Retail Sales & Marketing Manager Marin Independent Journal Timothy Tsun and Ad Services Advertising Design Bay Area News Group For advertising information, call 415.382.7254. Copyright 2012 Bay Area News Group

Wine expert and award-winning author and TV host Leslie Sbrocco (Thirsty Girl, Page 74) founded Thirsty Girl for women with a passion for wine, food and travel. In addition to hosting the KQED series “Check Please!” she is a regular guest on the “Today” show and is a sought-after speaker and wine judge.

Make a Scene! Our next issue publishes August 10 and looks at • Fashion & shopping: On trend for autumn

Jennifer Shaw (“Promises Kept,” Page 19) was born in San Francisco and raised in Marin, and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UC Santa Cruz. She’s been a writer for more than two decades, with published stories on health, parenting, real estate and much more. She lives in the East Bay.

• The LBDs of wine: Basics you need for a well-stocked cellar • Fall’s movers and shakers Subscribe at Join us on SceneBayArea. And follow us on Twitter and Pinterest at SceneBayArea.

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  13

Since the invention of the automobile, women have had to compete for men’s attention.

Come to the Concours and steal the show. The Marin Sonoma Concours and Scene magazine present the

Concours Couture Awards recognizing the best in Concours fashions on the Green, Sunday May 20. Awards will be given for best hat, best ensemble, best dressed couple and best period ensemble.


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Presented by the Price Family Dealerships

Join us for the 2012 Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance Weekend of Festivities Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance Sunday May 20, 2012 Marin Civic Center • San Rafael • CA

Highlighting French Coachbuilt Automobiles Italian Design Studios Cord • Vintage British Motorcycles & Military Vehicles Classic Wooden Boats • Closed Wheel Race Cars

The Chairman’s Dinner & Auction Friday May 18, 2012 Ram’s Gate Winery • Sonoma

The Marin Sonoma Concours Tour d’Elegance Saturday May 19, 2012 Begins in Larkspur • Ends at Keller Estate Winery • Petaluma For ticket information please visit or call: • 415.479.7727

2012 Beneficiaries include Hospice By The Bay and Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Southern Sonoma Counties spring 2012  •  Scene  •  15

artful cleanup Rosario Dawson, Mark Ruffalo, Spike Lee and Florence Welch are the newest celebs to partner with Kiehl’s philanthropic endeavors by creating limited-edition labels for Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque. They’ll be sold in honor of Earth Day; 100 percent of net proceeds will benefit Recycle Across America ( The masque is made with fair-trade Amazonian “White Clay” from Marajo Island in Brazil. $23.

pocket change Famed for the shape-shifting Um handbag, Oakland’s Josh Jakus has created the Media Pocket (for iPod, iPhone or other media players) using felt from factory excess. All of his products, from lighting to household, are produced in small batches and made from recycled or excess materials whenever possible. $18.

greenwith envy Eco-friendly goodies we’re coveting now

It’s almost Earth Day — not that we aren’t eco-conscious all year long. But we're celebrating the fact that it’s easier than ever for glamour gals to go green and still be dazzling. By Stephanie Simons

brush with greatness The East Bay's Olivia Garden eco-friendly brushes are made from natural bamboo. The ionic massage brush collection activates blood cell circulation to help stimulate hair growth, restore shine, reduce hair loss and promote a healthy scalp. $10.75-$14.95.

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the insider conversation pieces Inspired by Napa Valley’s topography and the sustainable design of St. Helena’s Newton Vineyard, The Puzzle wine tray is crafted from Forestry Stewardship Council-certified wood. Pieces pop out to hold serving dishes for cheese and hors d’oeuvres or wine glasses. $499. (click on Art Installations under Visit Us)

april showers Eco-conscious skincare by San Francisco-based Heliotrope is all natural, fragrance-free and made with the simplest organic ingredients. The collection runs the gamut from toners, scrubs, masks and essential oils to this body sugar scrub ($32). Recycled packaging can be used for refills.

hairapy session Kumani Essentials Sheapoo ($26) and Shea Shine Conditioner ($28) are safe for all hair types (including dry, colored and keratin treated). The products are 100 percent natural and organic Fair Trade Certified.

painted love The Painted Nail collection is certified vegan, eco- and PETA-friendly and free of formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate. We’re loving Pink Quin, named by celebrity sisters Hilary and Haylie Duff. $12.50.

leather … or not Jill Milan bags boast a growing following of celebs and fashion editors (pictured here: the Hollywood Hills crossbody, $850). Made by the same artisans behind Yves Saint Laurent, they’re hand-stitched from cruelty-free faux leather that feels and smells like the real thing. Proceeds benefit animal rights (CEO Jill Fraser, a vegan based in the Bay Area, is a longtime animal welfare activist).

wear the wild things Marin's Wildlife Works believes in “consumer-powered conservation” to keep wildlife habitats alive. The fashion line, beloved for perfectly buttery tees and fitted zip-ups (for women, men and kids) finds inspiration in East African style. It’s also recognized for collaborations with organizations such as One Lucky Elephant, supporting the endowment for a retired circus elephant. $35-$48.

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  17

119-A Kentucky Street, Historic Downtown Petaluma • 707-766-8519 •

make you smile? Does your smile

Dr. Armel has been providing comprehensive, aesthetically related dental therapy in Marin for 35 years. Let Cosmetic Dentistry change your life! Using the latest technology and a gentle touch, Dr. Armel can give you the smile of your dreams… often in just two appointments.

• Smile Design & Makeover • Laser Gum & Bone Treatment • Laser Therapy • Deep Power Bleaching • Veneers • Implants • Reconstruction

Joe Armel, DDS • (415) 927-4000 • “If your smile is not becoming to you… you should be coming to me” Before

Joe Armel, DDS Comprehensive Cosmetic Dentistry Diplomate, International Congress of Oral Implantology Fellow, American Academy of Implant Dentistry American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry The Cosmetic and Implant Dental Center of Corte Madera Corte Madera Town Center 770 Tamalpais Drive, Suite 304, Corte Madera CA 94925



shop talk

promises kept By Jennifer Shaw Photos by Nikki Ritcher

Tiburon’s meandering “retail row” on Main Street has an intimate feel, beckoning passers-by to duck inside the shops with the promise of myriad treasures. A sampling:

Christopher Home Perfect for: Those in search of laid-back, Hamptons-inspired home décor and furnishings Vibe: Christopher Downs, Marin’s self-described “celebrity stylist,” recently opened this shop adjacent to his hair salon. You can almost feel sand between your toes as you admire imported casual linens from Aid to Artisans, Italian cashmere pillows and throws, and classic blue-and-white porcelain dishware and posh candles. Also showcased are woven covered stainless pitchers, vintage silver trays and late-19th century vases-turned-candleholders that look as if they just washed up on the beach. Labels: Lafco and Votivo candles, Rani Arabella throws, Neely Mack handbags 90 Main St., 415.435.0111

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  19

Get in on the Scene!

Our next issue publishes on August 10: Fashion & shopping: On trend for autumn Body beautiful: Fresh looks, healthy living Fall arts & culture

Join us! To subscribe to Scene, please visit our website or contact or call 925.945.4781 find us on

Dress for Spring • Laundry by Shelli Segal • Yoana Baraschi • Eva Franco • DL 1961 Denim • Tart • Analili

• Single Dress • Red Haute • Cynthia Steffe • Level 99 Denim • Weston Wear • Nanette Lepore • Hale Bob

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800 Redwood Hwy., #114 | Strawberry Strawbe berry Vil Village llage 415.383.7300 Mill Valley, CA 94941 | 415.383.730 00

Your Style

Destination Featuring Trina Turk, Vince, Velvet, Donald, Pliner Shoes & Many More Photos by Trina Turk

190 Bon Air Center, Greenbrae, CA 94904 mon-sat 10-6:00 • sun 12-5:00 Friend us on Facebook @sandbox greenbrae 20  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

shop talk Citrus Perfect for: Seekers of “handpicked little luxuries,” according to the online store Vibe: A small boutique with copious eye candy, including 60 styles of sandals and vibrantly colored handbags. Citrus carries unique items with a great brand and a good story, be it the sumptuous Pine Cone Hill robes or local handmade bags and jewelry. Whimsy abounds, starting with a posted sign that reads, “Unattended Children Will Be Given an Espresso and a Free Puppy.” Labels: Sarah Oliver handbags, BedHead 100 percent fine cotton pajamas, DayNa Decker organic bath and body products, Jonathan Adler’s “happy chic” designs, Kathy Kamei jewelry 13 Main St., 415.435.1321,

Julie Tuton Arcadian Design Studio Perfect for: The person looking for a spectacular gift — for themselves or others Vibe: A hidden gem near the end of Ark Row (the second block of Main Street), this Italian Renaissance-style chandelier-appointed cottage simultaneously nurtures and empowers visitors. The former San Francisco-based jewelry designer’s work will make any woman feel special. Labels: Tuton’s handcrafted jewelry made on site, and her trademark MagicStones, with handwritten, etched affirmations on sandblasted glass 116 Main St., 415.789.9800,

Koze Perfect for: Women who want to feel as good as they look Vibe: Koze’s owner, Darla Fisher, found inspiration in a Shaker proverb: “Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.” The lifestyle clothing boutique offers luxurious and affordable items for all ages, such as its selection of Minnie Rose cashmere. “We want women to feel beautiful in their clothes and then get on with their lives,” Fisher says. Labels: Echo and Matta scarves, Isda & Co and Eileen Fisher clothing, Paige premium denim 16 Main St., 415.435.1916,

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Face Value Salon

Member Artwork

an interactive community gallery

Full Service Salon Catering to Men, Women & Children. Family Owned & Operated Since 1966

415.883.7841 Directors: Teri and Faith

featuring: ~ adult art classes ~ children’s art programs ~ birthday parties ~ workshops ~ events ~ member and guest artist exhibitions

434 Ignacio Blvd., Novato (Pacheco Plaza Shopping Center)

L ’ A mbiente F Fine gifts for a occasions all

offering: ~ paintings ~ photography ~ jewelry ~ sculpture ~ multi-media ~ giclee prints ~ unique small treasures ~ cards ~ clothing

Pacheco Plaza 440 Ignacio Blvd. Novato CA 94949 415-234-6114 22  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

European ceramics and linens. Unique jewelry, evening bags and scarves. American artisan crafts.

476 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur, CA 94939


shop talk Paparazzi Perfect for: Fashion-forward women of all ages, shapes and sizes who want classics with an edge Vibe: Attire and accoutrements alike offer a mix of classic and contemporary styles from around the globe, with affordable-to-upscale price points. Lightweight, hand-loomed and hand-dyed cashmere sweaters; cashmere-and-silk scarves; handwoven wool pillows inspired by various famous artists; brightly colored handmade dishware – all accent clothing collections of casual day to evening wear. 31 Main St., 415.435.2622,

Ruth Livingston Studio Perfect for: Devotees of concept luxury interiors and eclectic, one-of-a-kind decorative pieces Vibe: The longtime interior designer and furniture maker features both nature-based and whimsical items, from Brazilian ceramic cherry clusters with stainless steel stems, Gadi Efrat steel sculptural work with jade-colored patina, Burmese silk scarves and lacquer boxes to dramatic wood veneer vases from Schleeh Design in Montreal. Labels: Alex Marshall’s handmade dinnerware, Nikolas Weinstein’s handblown glass vessels, local ceramicist Alice Corning, Roost accessories 74 Main St., 415.435.5264,

Still Life Perfect for: “A woman who can afford anything, and someone on a budget,” says Natalie Didio, store manager Vibe: Awe-inspiring accessories, such as fair-trade Brazilian leather handbags and weightless, liquid metal earrings. Global influences include rich fabrics and designs from Canada, Italy, France and Russia. There is an impressive inventory of U.S. designers, too, for all shapes and sizes. Labels: Chalet; Cut Loose; Is Art, a jeweler fromJerusalem who crafts multimedia designs with Swarovski crystals, sterling silver, fabric and glass beads 82 Main St., 415.789.9460

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  23

Results You Can See and Feel

Karron L. Power MD, MPH Medical Director

• Restylane®, Perlane® & Juvederm® & Radiesse® Fillers • BOTOX® & Dysport® • IPL PhotoFacial for Sun Damage • Laser Hair Removal

Something Different Mon. - Sat. 10:30 am - 6:00 pm

Fancy That

• Zerona® Body Slimming Laser

Art, Gifts & Accessories 47 C Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera (415) 945-8863 • Next to DMV


• Obagi® & Neocutis Products • Latisse Eyelash System • Fraxel® Laser Resurfacing • TitanTM Skin Tightening • IllumiWave® Hair Rejuvenation

Serving Marin For Over 8 Years

Receive money for your designer clothing Karron Power, MD, MPH Laser Center of Marin Medical Group, Inc.

770 Tamalpais Drive • 3rd Floor

Corte Madera Town Center

Open Monday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm Consignments taken Tuesday thru Saturday 10 am-3 pm

415.945.9314 Monday - Saturday 8:30 am - 6:30 pm

24  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

415 456-7309 11 Mary Street, San Rafael Next to Whole Foods & Peet’s Coffee

beauty report

Oh, mon dieu!


cheek to jowl

Is Ultherapy the miracle skintightener we’ve been waiting for? By Stephanie Simons

A new weapon has emerged in the battle against lax skin, jowls and drooping brows — a corrective treatment that lifts and tightens facial skin and muscle without a needle or knife, and with no downtime. The wonder treatment is Ultherapy, which uses focused ultrasound to penetrate skin and, over time, improve its tautness and appearance. The technique, using high-frequency sound waves, is the same type of ultrasound used for body scans and tests during pregnancy. Energy from the ultrasound, when used to treat sagging skin, activates the production of new collagen. Not that Ultherapy is exactly new. Dr. Mehmet Oz breathlessly praised it as “revolutionary” on TV last year; the plastic surgeon who performed the procedure on the show lauded the treatment’s zero-recovery time and the fact that it needs no anesthesia and leaves no scars. Ultherapy has also been featured on “The Rachael Ray Show.” Though it’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration only for non-surgical brow-lifts, Ultherapy has been used for other parts of the face and even the thighs. Candidates include anyone with visibly relaxed skin and roughly $1,500-$3,500 to spend, but doctors are careful to manage expectations: Skin that requires traditional forms of surgery — meaning the sagging is severe — typically won’t yield big improvements. And it takes three to four months to see full results. Nevertheless, a broad spectrum of people claim Ultherapy works, from mature patients who want to maintain a “lifted look” gained by cosmetic procedures, injectables and laser resurfacing, to 30-somethings who take their beauty routine above and beyond a weekly antioxidant serum. “Prevention really is becoming the mainstay of treatment,” says Dr. M. Dean Vistnes, founder and medical director for Bay Area-

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  25

Girls Night Out ASK





Kimberly Henry MD 350 bon air road greenbrae

{415.924.1313} W W W. D R K I M B E R L Y H E N R Y. C O M

This is How Acura Engineers Dream.

Locally, Family Owned Since 1986 5860 Paradise Drive, Corte Madera • 26  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

beauty report based SkinSpirit, a medi-spa with locations in Mill Valley, Walnut Creek and Palo Alto. “The younger you can start your anti-aging efforts, the better … the slower you’ll age.” Physicians have long used different types of heat energy to stimulate collagen and tighten the skin, such as Titan and Thermage. “There are several differences between Titan and Thermage, which both utilize radio frequency energy to achieve tightening and lifting, and Ultherapy,” says Dr. Richard Noodleman, medical director at Age Defy Dermatology and Wellness in Campbell. “Ultherapy uses ultrasound, and the percentage of people who visibly respond to treatment is much higher (about 75 to 85 percent versus 30 percent). The treatment is able to deeply penetrate tissue without visible injury.” During the procedure (a big bonus point: only one appointment is needed), the patient’s face is “mapped out” with a pen, akin to how surgeons prep a patient, and the Ulthera hand-held device is placed on the desired areas in a back and forth motion that delivers ultrasound pulses in a linear pattern under the skin. Doctors are able to see underlying layers of skin and muscle on a screen, so the treatment can be precisely targeted. High-intensity, hyper-focused ultrasound waves penetrate the skin at varying depths. Tissue is gently heated, and loose skin is subtly tightened. Unlike Thermage and Fraxel, Ultherapy bypasses the upper layers of skin and safely heats the underlying connective tissue (where the skin joins the muscle) – the same layer tightened in a conventional face lift. The tissue contracts and eventually lifts. “[Ultherapy] creates a ‘thermal injury’ deep within the skin. As it heals, the area shrinks and tightens a bit,” Noodleman explains. Sessions can be done in an hour (additional treatments produce incremental improvements to your appearance). The gradual formation of new collagen over the next two to three months is what improves your appearance over time. Ultherapy helps reset the body’s regenerative process, at least for a while. The company that developed the procedure, Ulthera in Mesa, Ariz., says results can last a year or more. Some patients say they see immediate results. “My jaw line looks more defined, and the lines on my neck have gone away,” says Simone L., a patient of Noodleman. “It was instant. I didn’t really expect to see results like this so quickly.” Patients report no serious after-effects, such as crusting or peeling, so most can expect to go back to work as usual (some experience minor bruising, swelling, numbness or redness resembling a sunburn). “The worst thing I’ve seen happen is a hive-like bumpy rash or tingling that lasts for a few days and then goes away on its own,” Noodleman says. “I had the treatment done and continued to work that afternoon without any

Before and after an Ultherapy treatment. The procedure needs no anesthesia, and there are no scars or serious after-effects.

Courtesy of Ulthera

downtime.” Mild and temporary discomfort, comparable to a laser or rubber band snap, can certainly be expected, depending on the areas treated and the energy settings. SkinSpirit’s Vistnes says bony areas of the face are most susceptible to feeling pain — but it’s nothing oral pain medication can’t help. A small trade-off, many would say, for the promise of younger-looking skin. S

The anti-aging commandments To protect your skin in the first place (and possibly avoid or put off cosmetic procedures), these tips bear repeating: • Stay hydrated • Eat healthy • Don’t smoke • Wear SPF to ward off the slings and arrows of the sun “Most people are more concerned about UVB rays, which cause sunburn, but there’s also UVA,” says Dr. Dean Vistnes of medi-spa SkinSpirit. “You won’t see the photo-aging effects of those rays for 20 years.” Vistnes suggests broad-spectrum sunblock as your best daily defense against aging, since sun exposure degenerates collagen and elastic fibers. “It plays a huge role in sagging, creping skin.” SkinSpirit, offices in Mill Valley, Walnut Creek, Palo Alto, Age Defy, 3803 S. Bascom Ave., Suite 200, Campbell, spring 2012  •  Scene  •  27

Lagua Bendira Moroccanlook bikini, $228, Canyon Beachwear. Aqua hinged bangles, $28-$30 each, Bloomingdale’s

28  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

fashion Cut a fab figure – in the water or poolside – in one of these eye-catching suits

in the

swim See yourself emerging from a poolside cabana, carefree and confident in one of summer’s sun-loving suits. There will be no sullen, slimming black by the water’s edge this season. Fashion forecasters deemed color and techno fabrics as among the top trends for the coming warm weather, and what best showcases both? Stylish swimwear, of course. Dare to bare in a gem hue such as emerald, amethyst or hot pink tourmaline. Cue the ’80s in neon. Florals, stripes and pixelated prints give bathing suits personality, while metallics and crystals add a sexy shimmer on the beach. Feeling less va-va-voom? Consider ruffles, buckles, fringe and strappy details, or going sporty with racer-back tops and board shorts that can head straight from wave riding to waterfront dining. Pick your suit. Then settle in on your favorite seaside sunbathing spot.

By Donna Kato Photos by Paul Ferradas spring 2012  •  Scene  •  29

Vix coral bikini with gold clip embellishments, each piece $88, brand available at Bella James, San Jose; Samba Glow, Palo Alto; Time Out, Los Gatos; Bloomingdale’s; and Nordstrom. D&Y pareo, $29.99, select Macy’s and Sumiya multistone earrings, $150, Bloomingdale’s. Christian Dior aviator sunglasses, $345, Bloomingdale’s 30  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

Athleta “Emerald Bay” reversible racer back top, $52, and bottoms, $46, Athleta San Francisco and

Red board shorts, $69, and halter-style bikini top, $59, both Lynnina, Corte Madera. Also available in Canyon Beachwear stores. Marc by Marc Jacobs aviator sunglasses, $85, Bloomingdale’s

Milly asymmetrical striped dress, $550, Nordstrom. Dolce Vita crisscross platforms, $179, Bloomingdale’s. Argento Vivo sand dollar design earrings, $148, Bloomingdale’s spring 2012  •  Scene  •  31

La Blanca “Glimmer Girl” one-piece bandeau suit, $119, and ruffled short sarong, $75, brand available at select Nordstrom and Canyon Beachwear stores. Tom Ford sunglasses, $395, Bloomingdale’s. Sam Edelman perforated leather and cork wedges, $150, Bloomingdale’s. Kate Spade patent tote bag, $295, Bloomingdale’s. Marc by Marc Jacobs iPad cover, $48, Bloomingdale’s. Luxury Rebel patent peep toe platforms, $120, Bloomingdale’s

32  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

Betsey Johnson “French Pastry” bandeau bikini top, $102, and tie-side bottoms, $76, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Betsey Johnson boutiques and Ray-Ban sunglasses, $145, Bloomingdale’s

L Space fringe “Dolly” bikini top, $68, bottom, $62, Nordstrom, Palapa Lounge Beachwear, Los Gatos; Viva Diva, San Rafael; Aqua Surf Shop and WaterLilies Swimwear, San Francisco. D&Y pareo, $29.99, select Macy’s and (up this spring). Ralph Lauren turquoise multi-strand necklace, $108, Bloomingdale’s

Luli Fama “La Vida un Carnaval” bikini top with crystal embellishments, $78, matching bottoms, $76, brand available at select Nordstrom stores. Melissa Odabash cowboy-style hat, $135, Canyon Beachwear Desigual tankini, “Mix and Match” top, $54, and bottom, $38, Desigual store, San Francisco. Also available at Details, San Jose; Liliana Castellanos, Walnut Creek; and select Macy’s stores. Christian Dior sunglasses, $345, Bloomingdale’s. Aqua enamel hinged bangle, $28, Bloomingdale’s

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  33

Agua deCoCo “Frida” Brazilian maillot, $121, brand found at and

Saga Swimwear cap sleeve swim top, $70, available at, Wonderland SF and other stores listed on Saga website. Rachel Zoe “Venessa” silk maxi skirt, $495, select Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom stores. Chanel sunglasses with signature chain detailing, $550, Bloomingdale’s. Ralph Lauren hammered gold necklace, $178, Bloomingdale’s. Sam Edelson T-strap sandals, $65, Bloomingdale’s 34  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

Camilla “Pentacle Omen” balloon jumpsuit, $550, brand available at McMullen boutique, Oakland. Worn over Vix coral bikini with gold clip embellishments, each piece $88, brand available at Bella James, San Jose; Samba Glow, Palo Alto; Time Out, Los Gatos; Bloomingdale’s; and Nordstrom. Sumiya multi-stone earrings, $150, Bloomingdale’s. Christian Dior aviator sunglasses, $345, Bloomingdale’s. Tommy Bahama embellished sandals, $158, Tommy Bahama stores

A. Ché “Luna” peek-a-boo maillot, $150, Canyon Beachwear. Argento Vivo gold hoops, $60, Bloomingdale’s. Tommy Bahama crystal-embellished sandals, $158, Tommy Bahama

Spring 2012  •  Scene  •  35


How to choose the right swimsuit for your body

By Donna Kato

Tommy Bahama Twilight Magento underwire halter bikini top, $92, and hipster bottoms, $42, Tommy Bahama stores, including San Jose, Corte Madera and Walnut Creek

Shot on location at Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose Makeup: Joli de Jackie, Hair: Jade, Umbrella Salon, Styling assistance: Dionna Mash Photo assistance: Drew Sullivan Models: Michelle Casagrande, Stars Model Management; Brittany Ward, LOOK For a behind-theScene look at our fashion shoot, scan the code or see 36  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

Beach bod or beach blob? A flattering swimsuit can make a big difference. “It’s brutal, the process of finding a suit,” says Lynn Werner, the designer behind swim separates company Lynnina in Corte Madera. There’s only so much a bathing suit can camouflage, but modern design and fabrics can enhance assets and take attention away from trouble spots. What helps is expert design and fabrics with spandex, lycra and other combinations of high-tech fibers that work to slim and sculpt, visually taking off pounds and inches. The MiracleSuit was one of the first to brand itself as a slimming suit, firming bulges and flattening stomachs with a hidden tightening panel. Now there are a number of swimwear labels offering suits that help disguise imperfections. Spanx, the modern girdle ubiquitous in virtually every lingerie drawer, makes swimwear with the same body-shrinking technology used in its intimate wear. We asked Werner and Michelle Byrnes of Saga Swimwear in San Francisco for help on finding the best suit for your body. Werner was vacationing with her family in Hawaii in 2007 when the idea of designing board shorts came to her. Unlike most board shorts, Lynnina shorts are cut to flatter women’s figures. They come in two lengths, have an inner built-in brief and are meant to be paired with Lynnina’s coordinating bikini tops and tankinis, which have underwire and shirring for a better fit. Byrnes names her pieces after international airports in cities where she found inspiration for her designs. She notes that her suits “have versatility so they can work in other ways” beyond sitting by the water. A suit from this year’s collection, featured on Page 32, has cap sleeves, making it work as resortwear when paired with a long skirt. Unfortunately, there is no better way to find your best-fitting suit than surrendering to the indignities of the dressing room and a full-length mirror. But both Werner and Byrnes advise doing what you can to make the search less of a horror: Don’t gorge on carbs the


yourself night before shopping, wear a little makeup and selftanner, even try on suits while wearing heels. Anything to give yourself a boost of confidence.


Go to a store with a large selection and try on a variety of styles. Fight the urge to immediately tear off an ill-fitting suit. Instead, figure out what makes it look bad on you. Determine your problem areas as well as your best assets. To tame a tummy: • If the rest of your torso is in pretty good shape, consider a two-piece with bottoms that rise high on the waistline. It was a look sported by Betty Grable, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, and it’s right on trend this summer. Another option is board shorts. • One-piece suits hide the middle, but have a tendency to look mature. Look for built-in bras, shaped bustlines, V-plunges (not too deep!) and touches such as piping and color blocking. Shirring and draping help disguise bulges. Legs cut high on the outer thighs make a one-piece more youthful. • Colors such as sapphire blue, garnet, purple and emerald work for most women. Pastels do not. If you’re drawn to a print, check yourself from all angles to make sure the pattern doesn’t highlight your body in a place you’d rather not. • Consider one-shoulder suits, lace insets and halter styles, all details that take cues from the runway and current trends. • Tankinis tend to be shapeless and flare out at the hip. Because they are rarely made with molded cups and have skinny straps, they work best for women with small bustlines. (Lynnina is one company that make tankinis with slenderizing shirring and underwire.) Bust out Nothing ages you faster than a sagging bustline. A good swimsuit should lift and shape your chest with a built-in padded bra or boning and seamed construction. • To minimize a full bust, look for wide straps and halter styles that offer coverage plus solid support. Dark-

er colors, especially on top, give a leaner look. Racerback styles and tank suits are not for you. • Small-busted women can get extra shaping and fullness with padding, gel inserts and underwire. Bandeau and halter styles in bright colors and prints can give the illusion of curves. Slim the hips If you’re bottom-heavy, try a contrasting dark bottom and light-colored top. Make sure your bikini bottom hits your hips where they start to curve inward to meet your waistline, and leg openings are cut high. Don’t go near string bikini bottoms.

Thoughts on thighs Choose a suit with leg openings that are cut to flatter your figure. While a sexy sarong or pareo can veil upper legs, do not be tempted by a suit with a ruffle around the legs or an attached skirt. They’re for toddlers. Skip horizontal stripes, cutouts, shiny and whites These look great on hangers and models. But if you’re reading this, you’re neither, and trying on these options might send you screaming from the store. • Strategic cutouts call attention to the wearer – isn’t that what you’re trying to avoid? Cutout suits are generally designed for young women, but if you find one that features a peek-a-boo detail that’s becoming – and you’re very sure – then go for it. • Shimmery, glittery, sparkly. Metallics reflect light, which means you’ll not only look bigger under the sun, but also really, really bright. Resist embellishments such as crystals and sequins unless you’re genetically blessed and can stand toe-to-toe with Cameron Diaz or Helen Mirren. • Strike horizontal stripes – even though they’re in again this season, in kicky nautical themes and ombre rainbow hues (this includes tiger and zebra patterns). An acceptable option: suits designed with stripes going in different directions, which can be a slimming illusion. • Nearly nude. Wear a white suit or one without a built-in bra, and you might as well be naked. spring 2012  •  Scene  •  37

Marni Oliver Morin/Agence France-Presse

statement skirt A defining skirt that’s clearly the centerpiece instead of the anchor. We love them pleated and full.

Alberta FerRetti Oliver Morin/Agence France-Presse

flapperstyle dress We want to live in the aristocratic splendor of “Downton Abbey” or the romanticized Hollywood of “The Artist.”

What to wear to be on trend

Derek lam

Oscar de la renta Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images

Erin Baiano/New York Times

gelato colors Cantaloupe, blueberry, pistachio, strawberry, caramel and vanilla. Perfection is a tangerine dress with lattecolored platforms.

Alexander Wang Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images

dress-up gym clothes Sporty piping and stripes, zippered hoodies and drawstring pants are for going out, not working out.

a white shirt Laundry-fresh in crisp cotton or elegant lace. Either way, it’s effortless.

spring 38  •  Scene  •  spring 2012


Missoni Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

Dolce & gabbana Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

highwaisted shorts or pants Katy Perry does a fab retro reference, and so can you.

jewelry with a story Bold and ethnic or charmingly vintage, the most interesting accessories intrigue with the possibility of an eccentric history.

marc by marc jacobs Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images

platform wedges splashed in color Put a halt on metallics and neutrals. For an infusion of freshness, choose a crayon version of a summer shoe.

carolina herrera Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press

a boxy jacket

salvatore ferragamo Antonio Calanni/Associated Press

Slightly tailored and versatile enough to wear with jeans or a sweeping maxi dress. For the Bay Area, we’re hot for one in a summer-weight leather.

oversize clutch Credit cards, mad money, smartphone and iPad: Tuck it under your arm and be off.

things By Donna Kato

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  39

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These store does not carry Sub-Zero, Wolf, Viking & select other brands of Kitchen, Bath & Electronics. spring 2012  •  Scene  •  41


the strider How does a woman who was a runway model for the late fashion luminary Bill Blass, spent a decade making award-winning environmental films, studied German at the Goethe Institute in Munich, became a Master Gardener and every year takes a month off to walk the 215-mile John Muir Trail end up resuscitating Marin County’s only adult day care program for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias?

“Life is a journey,” says Cris Chater, the stylish, Mill Valley-born executive director of Senior Access in northern San Rafael, where participants receive vital services daily for Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Chater’s journey may seem circuitous, but its ending is not altogether unexpected. Her father was a brain surgeon, and her mother, Shirley Chater, is a noted nursing professional and a UC San Francisco visiting professor at the Institute for Health & Aging. “My parents taught me that what you do, if you can, if you are strong, is give back and take care of the people around you,” says Chater, whose leadership many credit with saving Senior Access and making it viable again. She is passionate about her work, insisting older people deserve as much respect and compassion as the young.

42  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

Cris Chater takes big steps in life and work, often to help those who need it most By Mandy Behbehani Photos by Stuart Lirette

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  43

Cris Chater heads up Senior Access, an adult day care program for those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

“I believe that society is judged by how it cares for its most vulnerable members,” Chater says. “We live in an ageist society, and people don’t want to talk about aging, let alone dementia. “[Seniors] created who we are, and when you add dementia to being older, you get a very marginalized, stigmatized group of people who cannot speak for themselves. Senior Access is the first line in everyday help for people with dementia.” That Chater is not most people’s idea of someone working with Alzheimer’s patients (she favors tight-fitting knee coats and sexy over-the-knee boots and lists some of her “other interests” on her résumé as “fashion and composting”) isn’t a bad thing. There is a dynamic energy to her that’s right for the job. It took Chater, 50, some time to find her metier. While on a post-high school graduation trip to New York, she was discovered in Bloomingdale’s by two Blass designers. She moved to Manhattan and spent a year serving as the designer’s showroom, runway and print model. Then Chater took off for Germany and Austria to study German, a language with which she was familiar from living in Zurich when she was 10 so her father could learn a certain brain bypass surgery. She transferred to UC Berkeley to major in German language and literature with a minor in film. After getting her master’s 44  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

degree in film at San Francisco State University, she spent a decade writing, directing and producing documentaries on environmental and historical subjects, including “Steaming Up Tamalpais” and “The Coast Redwood: Uncut Stories,” each of which garnered her a CINE Golden Eagle Award. To continue to make films meant Chater would have to move to Los Angeles — anathema to her. She changed course and trained to be a Master Gardener. When The Redwoods, a nonprofit senior retirement community in Mill Valley, offered Chater a six-month contract to

Senior Access Offers: The Club, a social program, based on physical and mental activities ranging from collage and painting to chair yoga and drum playing; Tour de Force, which takes clients on trips to play bocce ball and to places such as the Bay Model in Sausalito and Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland; and The Caregiver Club, an informal support group for spouses, adult children, family members and others who are caregivers for seniors or adults needing special care. 70 Skyview Terrace, Building B. San Rafael, 415.491.2500,


“I believe that society is judged by how it cares for its most vulnerable members,” Chater says.

plant a therapeutic garden, she made such a success of it that she was hired as the director of volunteers and activities. She was there for five years. She had found her calling. She left The Redwoods to get a master’s degree at the University of San Francisco in nonprofit administration, and in 2002 joined the staff of UC San Francisco’s John A. Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence. In 2005, Chater heard that Senior Access needed an executive director. “I wanted to return to direct care,” she says. She had quite a task ahead of her. Marin County has one of the largest populations of aging adults in California, according to county Supervisor Susan Adams. More than 6,000 people in Marin have some memory loss, and studies say 50 percent of people 85 and older have dementia. “Senior Access is one of the only programs that provide care for people who are dealing with dementia but also work with the family,” Adams says. “When I got to Senior Access, the agency was floundering,” Chater recalls. “The Medi-Cal reimbursements had never covered the program’s operational costs, and I had to do whatever I had to do to sail the ship. The agency needed leadership, someone to come up with a successful business model, create community outreach, lift low staff morale.” Over the next 18 months, Chater revamped internal

policies and procedures and worked to educate the local community about Senior Access, which was founded in 1973. She amped up fundraising efforts so that outside monies increased by 25 percent, with the agency raising $450,000 more than the previous year. She worked closely with the county Department of Health and Human Services and Board of Supervisors, who were able to release county funds and help connect her with other groups and organizations that could support Senior Access’ efforts. Ultimately, Chater was able to transfer the expensive Medi-Cal adult day health care portion of the program to another organization, saving the nonmedical section of the agency. Many consider Senior Access’ nonmedical services to be particularly critical, as they not only maximize quality of life for those with dementia but also help them continue to live independently. “It is so important for people who have dementia to be considered as still having something to offer, and that’s the key to this program,” says Nick Trunzo, director of the Marin County Division of Aging and Adult Services. “Senior Access offers a way to engage people and bring out the best in them even if they have functional limitations based on the aging process. Cris has done an incredible job of building this division and really reaches out and tries to serve everyone.” spring 2012  •  Scene  •  45

Chater poses with friends from Rip City Riders. In October, Rip City Riders will be auctioning off this Harley-Davidson 2012 Dyna Street Bob motorcyle, and proceeds will go to Senior Access.

“Cris is just a dynamo,” Adams agrees. “She was able to use her creative brain and connections to help turn around the program.” Today, even with an annual budget of $750,000 and funding from the Marin Community Foundation, Senior Access still is not solvent. Fifty percent of clients cannot afford the full daily fee, a shortfall the agency subsidizes. Chater adds that the economic downturn has adversely affected philanthropic giving. Though Senior Access is licensed to care for 30 people per day, its budget does not allow for that, and on any given day it serves 15 to 20 clients. “Our total enrollment is approximately 70 to 80 families,” Chater says. “We are experiencing a gradual increase as more people learn about our services. Our main challenge is reversing the stigma associated with aging and dementia.” Larry Meredith, director of the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services, says Chater brings not only passion and commitment to do the right thing but also important connections. “Her background in academia and with medical schools, nursing schools, and with a number of folks who are all experienced in addressing various aspects of the human condition is incredibly helpful,” Meredith says. “Her annual conference [of Senior Access’ board 46  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

and advisory council of some 40-plus experts in various fields] focusing on Alzheimer’s and dementia brings together people on all points of the compass. They all know Cris. She doesn’t have to cold-call anyone. Everyone wants to work with her because she’s so positive and upbeat, just an incredible force and really persuasive. She’s been able to attract an incredible staff, and that infuses this whole area with a richness and fidelity. She’s a national treasure residing in Marin.” In fact, Chater’s Point Reyes Spanish hacienda-style house with Inverness Ridge views is now for sale, but she plans to continue to live in Marin, probably still in Point Reyes. “I moved to Point Reyes to have more space and live in a smaller community,” says Chater, who lives with her 11-year-old rescue chocolate Lab, Lucy. “It reminds me of how Mill Valley used to be. I love being so close to the Point Reyes National Seashore.” Though she has little free time, Chater makes sure to either run in Point Reyes or swim at the Jewish Community Center in San Rafael every morning. On weekends, she does three-hour hill workouts at the shore. She also loves to entertain, calling her home “a party house.” And Chater does fashion and style consultation as a side job, giving clients a new look, updating their wardCHATER continues on Page 49

icons Cris Chater’s … indulgences: My trips to the High Sierra, a long hot bath, walking to downtown Point Reyes with [my dog] Lucy and a friend, sitting on a bench and people-watching. … fave designers & shops: Chanel, Tom Ford, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen, to name a few (not that I can afford them). Favorite fashion haunts include Personal Pizazz in Berkeley — it carries Zelda, Paperwhite, Equestrian Designs and Repeat; also Lola’s Depot in Fairfax, a great consignment shop with cool vintage hippie clothing and jewelry. … nightstand reading: Vanity Fair, Vogue, InStyle and also Nelson Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom.” It’s 544 pages, and I try to read a page each night before I go to sleep. I am also reading the Utne Reader and Jaida n’ha Sandra’s “Salons: The Joy of Conversation,” because Senior Access is launching a series of four salons this year. Salons are venues for

people to get together to discuss fundamental philosophical ideas that transform or will transform our society. … most-loved movies: “Lord of the Rings” — from which I get my trail name, and "A Single Man” by Tom Ford — the most gorgeous movie I have ever seen. … birthday tradition: My girlfriends and I run from Mill Valley to the top of Mount Tam and sing. This is a 22-year-long tradition. … inspirational quote: from “Long Walk to Freedom” — “I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  47

Accidents happen. Don’t let them ruin your season.

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Geriatric Care Management RN resource specialist and advocate for seniors and their families

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icons CHATER continued from Page 46

robe and dressing them for a party or other event. What she most looks forward to are her one-month hikes on the John Muir Trail. She completed her 15th consecutive trip last year. The trail parallels the Pacific Crest trail starting in Yosemite, traveling along the crest of the High Sierra for 215 miles and ending at the top of Mount Whitney. Last year, Chater did the trek twice — north to south and vice versa. “Most people can’t understand why I enjoy it so much — carrying my food and tent, sleeping on the ground, no showers. But the nature of my job — I work 24/7 — is that I am around people all day long, supporting my staff, our families, attending events and giving presentations. My backpack trip gives me time to myself and provides the respite I need to recharge my batteries. It is also the ultimate endurance athletic event. I start the trip in good shape, but I come out in phenomenal shape. “The JMT is the most beautiful place on Earth, in my opinion. I am way above the tree line, averaging 10,000 to 14,000 feet. Being in the wilderness that long is a humbling experience and gives me a fresh perspective on life.” Chater’s trek reminds her of the things she takes for granted, such as hot water, a soft mattress, the ease of

Chater says her annual John Muir Trail hikes help recharge her batteries. She finished her 15th consecutive trek last year.

living in a house in a city. And it also allows her to meet interesting people. “Two years ago, I met a man who was carrying his daughter’s ashes – she died that summer at the age of 24. Last year, I met another man who was deaf and could not speak — he told me his name by writing it in the sand on top of Muir Pass. I’ve also met many of the legends, including Billy Goat and Tree Frog. We all have trail names, bestowed on us by other legends on the trail. My trail name is Strider.” S


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DOODLEBUG doodlebug is a unique art studio, craft

supply and toy store. No reservations are required for pottery, painting and more. doodlebug is a great spot to pick up a birthday gift, to take art classes or sign up for summer camp. 641 San Anselmo Avenue 415.456.5989. Open 7 days a week at 10 am Closes Sunday-Wednesday at 7 pm Thursday-Saturday at 9 pm


gifted artisans Not merely hobbyists, these artists are creating works that say something – and sell, too By Crystal Chow

Everybody appreciates art, but not everybody can create it. Lucky are those with a talent for fashioning beautiful things that others might covet — an exquisite mosaic sculpture, for instance, or a joyful watercolor. What’s different is that, thanks to a mania for the handmade in our high-tech world, craftswomen have plenty of outlets for their stylish visions. Like their predecessors, they produce jewelry, textile goods, pottery and more, only now the market for even a part-time hobbyist literally can be global. Be it through a brick-and-mortar boutique or home business, juried show or Etsy (the e-commerce website), where there’s a ware, there’s a way to attract customers. We showcase a few such artisan/entrepreneurs, each with her own flair, but all with a shared passion for excellence.

Once a year, Andrea Holding hosted a sale of her whimsical crafts for colleagues at the San Jose Mercury News. The dolls, sachets and other assorted adornments, fabricated from vintage textiles and home-grown lavender, were a hit. Now the Danville resident, who left the newspaper in 2009, has an international audience because of her membership in Her “shop,” the Rosa Meyer Collection, purveys sachets, zipper pouches and market bags. There are also examples of her silver clay jewelry (she’s a potter, too), interspersed with the antique “objects of character and quality” she offers. Etsy, you see, is as much an emporium for collectibles as it is for original crafts. “It’s fun to check to see who’s bought anything,” Holding says of her daily drop-in after morn-

Andrea Holding repurposes vintage textiles in her bangles and other items.

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  53

Andrea Holding uses homegrown lavender in her whimsical sachets.

ing coffee. “It’s a real rush.” She ensures good customer reviews by packing and sending orders quickly, but her efforts are not about putting food on the table. “No, this is for entertainment value, to pay for my hobby and for a little extra pocket money,” she says of her venture, named for the grandmother who taught her how to produce pretty things by hand. Even pre-Etsy, which she joined in 2010, Holding sold at her own pace. “When money became more important than the creating, I’d back off,” she says. Now she’s free to spend as much time as she wants on turning disparate bits into desirable objects. “It’s all about recycling and reusing,’’ she says. “That and doing it yourself.’’

yearning refusing to die. Through those years, she also liked to send letters and cards. However, Atkins, an African-American, rued the fact she “wasn’t seeing anyone who looked like me” on the latter. In the 1990s, she decided to make her own greeting cards, initially by pasting copies of photos of family members on card stock. Co-workers took note, and soon she was selling them. When someone sent samples of her work to Victoria magazine, the publication made Atkins its Entrepreneur of the Month. “Boutiques from all over started calling,” she marvels, and a sideline career was launched. It became more than that when, in 2001, the financial expert was forced into early retirement. Four years later, after her father and a brother died a month apart, Atkins channeled her grief into painting, again standing up to the insult of decades past. At first, her work was literally small and somber. Now it is exuberant and expansive. It also adorns her cards, joining the images of her relatives. The greeting cards are sold in specialty shops from Hawaii to Canada; the San Jose Museum of Art is one of her best customers.

For Dorothy Atkins, a foray into art was squelched early on: Her seventh-grade teacher appallingly informed her she had no skill. “That broke my heart, so I decided to never draw again,” she recalls. Instead, she grew up to become an assistant vice president at Bank of America. For 20 years, Atkins drove from San Jose to Fremont, where she caught a BART train to get to her San Francisco office. She whiled away the commute by writing in a journal and making little sketches on a scratch pad — her artistic

54  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

A lifetime of memories inspires the art of Dorothy Atkins, who started out making greeting cards.


Sharon Searle shares her love of painting watercolors and creating jewelry in classes at her Mill Valley studio.

Sharon Searle says her artistic leaning “began when I was born. It’s been lifelong.” Like many artists, the watercolorist and metal-clay jewelry maker initially created for her own pure pleasure, not for financial gain. In the 1990s, however, she offered to teach friends who admired her talent. “The more I taught, the more people wanted to buy” her paintings. A full-time career, coming after 17 years as an editorial assistant at the San Francisco Chronicle, was born. Searle now owns a studio in Mill Valley, where she holds classes. She also teaches at Riley Street Art Supply in San Rafael. Yet another gift was discovered when her sister asked for a tallit (prayer shawl) for her nephew. The one Searle fashioned was painted on silk; one-of-a-kind scarves are now part of her offerings. Though she participates in small shows like the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival, Searle prefers even more intimate events in her studio. “Best of all is doing things one on one, or with a group of friends,” she says. Her signature look is “very bold, with strong colors,” where “life, with a capital L” serves as inspiration. Searle is also a practitioner of The Journey, transformative and healing work developed by Brandon Bays. Searle says The Journey is a process that accesses “the body’s own wisdom at the deepest level of being and inner knowing.” With it, she says, “More of a life force comes through me, the joy of being present and sharing that with others.

It’s becoming more honest, of being more self-aware.” It informs her artwork, for sure.

In the spacious downstairs studio where ceramicist

Cheryl Wolff turns out elegant pottery pieces,

the scene is quiet and composed. The bucolic Walnut Creek location near the downtown area allows for plenty of contemplation. “Sometimes,” she says, “I feel really inspired when I’m making things and envisioning how they’ll be used. I think about the fact that someone will take it out of their cabinet, and I say to myself, ‘Won’t this be beautiful on a table?’ ” Wolff’s art has been enhancing homes and gardens for more than 30 years. Her style is clean, uncomplicated. “I like to keep my glazes simple, because they feel calm and organic,’’ she says. That affinity for clay was discovered in her 20s; within a few years, she was expert enough to sell at progressively larger shows. Then, about two years ago, Wolff set up her first shop on Etsy. com, one devoted exclusively to homeware. Six months later, she opened a garden shop as well. Even though she can now reach buyers from as far away as New Zealand and England, Wolff still packs up

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  55

Ceramicist Cheryl Wolff creates items such as bird feeders and latte cups with durable glazes so that they are both useful and beautiful. Elena Katholos Jungsten Owner & Certified Pilates and Personal Trainer

The training sessions offered include many elements from Pilates as well as some of these other fitness tools to bring your body into alignment and improve your overall health: • Private Pilates training • FitPrint™ by Biotonix • BodyResistability™ Core Strength Program • Functional Movement and Core Stabilization • Egoscue Posture Alignment • Resistance Sculpting Bands

• TRX™ and PurMotion™ • Fletcher Towel, Feldenkrais, Mckenzie and yoga techniques • Kettlebell and Free Weight Training • Trigger Point Therapy • BALA™ Method Toning • Certified Nutrition Guidance • Educational Workshops

495 Miller Avenue Ste. 303A, Mill Valley, CA 94941

415.302.3214 •

FIRST SUNDAY OPEN STUDIOS First Sunday of Every Month, 11am to 4pm * Over 40 Artists in 3 Buildings * Museum Galleries * Museum Store Visit the Artists of Novato Arts Center and Marin Museum of Contemporary Art at Historic Hamilton Field: 500, 501 Palm Dr. & 781 Hamilton Parkway Novato, California For more information, please visit us at 56  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

her pottery and attends shows because “I love meeting people and getting personal feedback.’’ A must on her schedule is the annual Palo Alto Clay & Glass Festival, to be held this year on July 14 and 15. Whether in person or online, Wolff stresses one crucial aspect of her success: “When I make something, it’s made not just with my hands; my heart is in it, too. Communicating that to people is important.’’

passions As a child growing up in New Mexico, Kathy Richardson had no choice but to be creative. Her father insisted that she and her siblings make whatever gifts they gave one another. It helped that Dad had a full wood and metal shop at home, and that she joined a lapidary club in junior high. Today, though, the computer engineer with a doctorate from Stanford University concentrates on architectural mosaic and glass work — a skill she developed in earnest only eight years ago. A job at a startup had just ended when funds ran out, allowing Richardson to devote more than a year to the house she and her husband were building in Los Altos. All “the artsy parts” she added in and around the sunsplashed Spanish colonial revival included plenty of mosaic inlays. She also stained each of the residence’s 22 doors in a different vibrant color. Dozens of clients have discovered Richardson’s installations and fine-art pieces, mostly through the annual Silicon Valley Open Studios event held three weekends in May ( When she’s not busy in her backyard studio, she’s diligently writing and evaluating iPad apps that help people with brain injuries. It’s an altruistic endeavor, one she pursues with the same devotion as her other passion. “I’ve always been a researcher. I tend to work on things that people haven’t fully perfected or don’t fully understand," she says. “Which means that it allows for a lot of creativity. So I don’t see engineering and art as really different. It’s all about bringing a lot of different components together."

Visit Our Beautiful Showroom Free In-Home Design Consultation Over 30 Years Experience Unique Kitchens, Affordable Prices For the Kitchen of Your Dreams!

415.897.3800 Showroom 415.497.4593 Cell 715 Grant Ave., Novato Visit our website at: Kathy Richardson started doing architectural mosaic and glass work eight years ago.

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Richard Barnes

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home & design



Serene Low-impact and low-maintenance, an architectural gem sparkles with light, art and laughter The grand copper front door to Tawnie and John Farmer’s Tiburon showplace, which slopes gently down to a small beach on the eastern side of the peninsula, opens onto a long gallery that frames an unimpeded view of San Francisco Bay in the distance. That was intentional (of course), as is everything else in this peaceful, light-filled corner of heaven that celebrates nature with glass walls and Zen, citrus and fruit gardens; preserves it with renewable materials; and harnesses its power with custom exterior steel trellises of small solar photovoltaic cells that run the length of the house, providing shade from the sun while converting its energy to electricity. By Mandy Behbehani

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  59

Richard Barnes

The front door of the Farmers’ Tiburon home, above, leads down to the bay. In the center of the house is a courtyard that connects four wings. The hall walls take advantage of natural lighting to display an extensive art collection. And sturdy ceramic tiles make a great smooth surface for grandchildren to race toy cars on.

The senior director of Goldman Sachs and his wife, and their Italian architect Andrea Ponsi, left nothing to chance in creating this serene 6,000-square-foot home, whose center is a glass-walled courtyard garden from which four wings with individual copper roofs radiate outward. (The wings house guest quarters, service areas and garage, master bedrooms and living area.) The living area opens out to a waterfront deck and beach through a wall of sliding glass, and a naturally lit gallery encircling the interior courtyard displays the Farmers’ extensive modern art collection featuring works by German artist Joachim Bandau, African tapestry artist El Anatsui and several Britons, including ceramic artist Edmund de Waal, and painters Bill Jacklin and Andrew Mackenzie, whom the Farmers grew to love during their decade living in London. “Andrea wanted everything long and low,” says Tawnie Farmer of the one-story house, which sits low to the ground and steps down the four-acre site mirroring its sloping topography. The idea, she adds, was to mitigate the environmental impact of this ultra-modern house.

60  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

Stuart Lirette

home & design

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  61

62  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

home & design

Richard Barnes

Ventilated exterior walls of slatted renewable Brazilian ipe wood help passively cool the 6,000-square-foot house. Sliding glass walls allow for natural ventilation, and steel trellises with solar photovoltaic cells run the length of the structure.

Stuart Lirette

To this end, Ponsi created the house with natural materials. Exterior walls are made of slatted renewable Brazilian ipe wood that are detached from the walls behind them, thus using ventilation to help passively cool the house. In fact, the house is bio-climatic, with natural ventilation from sliding glass walls and solar power-generating electricity. Copper is used throughout the house for sun blinds, railings, roofs and the fireplace, allowing the glow and patina of the metal to permeate inside and out. Floors in the public areas of the house are laid with large, sleek ceramic tiles in a smoky anthracite that looks like slate, while all the bedrooms have cork floors. For the kitchen, Ponsi ordered custom-built pieces from the eco-friendly Italian company Valcucine, whose stylish and high-function Ricicla cabinets, jumbo drawers and pull-out pantries are all made of recycled, nonpolluting (no formaldehyde or synthetic varnishes) and energyefficient materials. Counters are made of Eurostone, a quartz-based surface that is resistant to impact, scratching, staining, acid and abrasives. “It’s the lowest maintenance ever,” says Tawnie Farmer, who moved into the home with her husband in 2008.

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Stuart Lirette

The low-maintenance home allows the Farmers to spend more time with their family, such as grandchildren Oliver and Larkin, above. A wing of the house accommodates families, with a children’s bedroom that can sleep several in the middle, and adult bedrooms at the ends.

“Just heaven. We wanted to take advantage of all of the opportunities to build in a responsible and environmentally sensitive way,” she adds. “And I wanted ongoing maintenance to be at a minimum. We want to live in the house … not spend lots of time caring for it.” Living in the house is exactly what they do, with their kids and grandkids often coming to visit. With that express purpose in mind, the Farmers built an enfilade of accommodations in one wing for their and their friends’ families, consisting of an adult bedroom right next to a bathroom, then a children’s bedroom that sleeps five kids and a baby, another bathroom next to that and Stuart Lirette

64  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

home & design

Stuart Lirette

The house on the Tiburon Peninsula affords stunning views of San Francisco Bay, with access to a small beach where the Farmers’ grandchildren can play. The home’s design emphasizes light and open space, blending the indoors and outdoors.

another adult bedroom finishing up the row. “The adults are at each end, and the kids are in the middle,” Farmer says. “It’s perfect.” “I had wanted a beach house all my life,” she adds, “and especially now, it provides a place for my children and grandchildren to come and play on the beach; use the tree house; have sleepovers; pick blackberries, apples, tomatoes and more. Our priorities were for light and good ’art walls,’ and Andrea did a beautiful job of creating a house with lots of art walls and windows and not broken into lots of small rooms. John and I just love the feeling of just living here … the beautiful views and the beautiful spaces.” S

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  65

Dine Out on Tuesday April 17

Gather your friends and join us! These generous restaurants will donate a percentage of sales to support Marin County School Volunteers BREAKFAST & LUNCH

Theresa & Johnny’s San Rafael Pine Cone Diner Pt. Reyes Sta. LUNCH & DINNER

La Toscana San Rafael Pia�i Mill Valley San Rafael Joe’s Bistro Vis A Vis Greenbrae DINNER

Harmony Mill Valley Jason’s Greenbrae Las Camelias San Rafael Whipper Snapper San Rafael Thanks to our major sponsors Bank of Marin Marin Community Founda�on

MARIN COUNTY SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS 66  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

at the table

the gluten-free gourmand Tasty options abound at local restaurants and bakeries By Dionna Mash

It used to be that gluten-free meant tasteless, a particularly sad state of affairs in foodie Bay Area. But with a rise in gluten-related disorders and sales of “GF” foods at $2.3 billion in 2010, restaurants and bakeries have stepped up their offerings. Now, even the most refined palates — GF or not — can find extraordinary savories and sweets. Some notable local purveyors:

Tom Tomkinson

Miglet’s Gluten-Free Bakery, Danville

Katie Alin's baked goods are carried at gluten-free shops and grocery stores all over the Bay Area.

Katie Alin, owner and founder of Miglet’s Gluten-Free Bakery, started experimenting with baked goods made with rice flour after her mother, Elaine Taylor, was diagnosed with celiac disease (see related story on Page 72). At The Taylor Family Foundation’s weeklong celiac camps, the children were so ecstatic about Alin’s gluten-free birthday cakes that she started Miglet’s in 2007 to make sure the GF community would no longer go without. Miglet’s, which opened a storefront in Danville two years ago, is a completely wheat-free facility that produces an array of sweet and savory treats, from cupcakes to quiche, that are moist and fluffy, and taste nearly identical to traditional baked goods. “I love the fact that the gluten-free food industry is finally emerging,” Alin says. “However, I hope businesses are careful when following this trend and make sure that even if their recipe is gluten-free, that it’s still made in a wheat-free facility.” Miglet’s also carries gluten-free grocery items such as frozen pizzas and specialty pastas, making their bakery spring 2012  •  Scene  •  67

a one-stop shop for those on a wheat-free diet. Fortunately, one doesn’t have to live near the bakery to partake: Alin’s goodies are sold at stores throughout the Bay Area, including Mariposa Baking and Draeger’s.

Miglet’s Lemon Bars For crust: ¾ cup unsalted butter 1 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1¾ cups flour substitute mix ¼ cup sweet rice flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon xanthan gum ¼ teaspoon salt

Courtesy of Katie Alin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugar in a bowl until light and creamy (3 to 4 minutes). Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth and fluffy. Add flours, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt, and beat until a thick, smooth dough is formed. Bake in an 8-inch-square glass pan for 10-12 minutes. Let cool. For filling: 6 extra-large eggs at room temperature 2½ cups granulated sugar 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 cup flour Whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and flour. Pour over the crust. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool.

Va de Vi Bistro & Wine Bar, Walnut Creek Va de Vi, known for its eclectic small plates, intimate ambience and hearty wine list, has a robust gluten-free menu. Diners can choose from a list of more than 20 wheat-free items, including pancetta-wrapped duck breast roulade and grilled bavette steak. The wait staff and chefs are very knowledgeable about the gluten-free menu, and are careful to make sure there is no crosscontamination in the kitchen by sanitizing work surfaces, using clean bowls and pans, and washing hands before prepping wheat-free dishes. Executive chef Shane McAnelly suggests the restaurant’s spicy Calamari a la Plancha as a gluten-free alternative to battered and fried seafood.

Executive chef Shane McAnelly offers an extensive glutenfree menu at Va de Vi restaurant.

68  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

Calamari a la Plancha 2 pounds fresh squid, cleaned and cut into ½-inch pieces 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped ½ teaspoon espelette pepper (or smoked paprika) 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper 2 shishito peppers, cut into ½-inch rings 1 Yukon gold potato, steamed and cut into ½-inch chunks Mix the squid with the oil. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high flames until it is red hot, about 5-6 minutes. Add the squid, cooking from 30 seconds to a minute. Remove the squid and place in a large bowl, then toss it with the garlic, seasonings, peppers and potato and put back into the skillet to serve.

at the table Scott McNeil's Quinoa Corn Salad Yields about 8 cups

Courtesy of Marisa North

Note: Quinoa has a resinous, bitter coating called saponin. While the coating is usually removed before being sold, Skinner always “scrubs” quinoa with his hands in warm water to remove any residue and ensure no bitter taste. He then runs it through a fine sieve under cold running water. 1 cup quinoa 1½ cups water ½ teaspoon salt (optional) 3 ears sweet summer corn, cut off of ears 2 red onions, diced finely ½ tablespoon vinegar 5 Roma tomatoes, diced to same size as corn kernel ¼ bunch basil chiffonade Fresh lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste

Sans recently opened a café inside its grocery store.

Siblings Marisa and Chad North started Sans Gluten-Free Grocery after battling gluten intolerance for much of their lives. The pair’s knowledge about GF foods and living a GF lifestyle makes shopping and eating at their store a more personal experience than buying from the larger health food and grocery chains. The Norths also can order hard-to-get items. Sans not only carries high-quality, often lo- Marisa North cal GF foods, but it also serves as a community and educational hub. For example, it recently hosted a lecture by Mill Valley nutritionist Willie Victor on “The Difference Between Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease.” Several months ago, the Norths added a café to their store that is currently open on Fridays and Saturdays. It serves sandwiches and paninis (often with bread from Natural Food Works in Davis), organic and vegan soups, and corn bread and homemade chicken pot pies that Marisa says have a “cult following.” One of Sans’ most popular items comes courtesy of longtime Bay Area chef and occasional Sans guest chef John Skinner, who credits fellow chef Scott McNeil with being the first to put quinoa and corn together:

Courtesy of Marisa North

Sans Gluten-Free Grocery & Café, San Rafael

Drain quinoa in a strainer, transfer to a cooking pot, add water and salt if desired. Bring to a boil, cover with a tight-fitting lid and turn the heat down to simmer. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes until little volcanoes appear in the surface of the quinoa. Remove quinoa from heat and allow to sit 5 minutes with the lid on. Place quinoa on a sheet pan/cookie sheet to cool, fluff it gently with a fork. Sear corn in a sauté pan and cool. Dip onions into boiling water for 10 seconds, drain into a bowl and pour vinegar over them to take away the heady top notes of raw onion and brighten the color. Mix all ingredients. Any grain salad will need to have the seasonings adjusted before serving: The taste will go flat, because the high notes will diminish as it sits. Re-season with lemon and salt prior to serving.

What is gluten and who should avoid it? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Sensitivity to gluten has been found to exist on a spectrum, though research is ongoing to determine diagnostic guidelines. Symptoms include pain or discomfort after eating foods with gluten. Those with wheat allergies can experience gastrointestinal, skin and respiratory problems. And people with celiac disease, which causes the immune system to mistakenly attack the body’s own tissue, must avoid gluten completely.

spring 2012  •  Scene  •  69








When Irene Kwock, a former pastry chef at Fleur de Lys, hung up her apron Irene Kwock after two decades in the business, she thought she’d never bake again. It wasn’t until her gluten-sensitive 9-year-old niece asked to bake a pie with her that she rose to the challenge of creating something delicious and gluten-free. After a lot of trial and error, Kwock was so pleased with what she produced for her family that she decided to start Iamori (which means “I found the light” in Tahitian). From biscotti to pizza crusts to fruit tarts and more, Iamori products can be found throughout the Bay Area at a wide range of restaurants and supermarkets. Very Berry Shortcake Serves 6 Cake: 7 eggs, separated ¾ cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1½ cups almond meal Filling: 2 cups heavy cream 4 to 5 tablespoons sugar, divided use ½ cup each of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, or a 2-cup combination of your choice 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or orange juice Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 10-by-15-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper and set aside. Place the yolks and ¾ cup sugar in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat the yolks until the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Set aside. Place the egg whites in another bowl. Using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat the egg whites until foamy,

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Thu Ly

Iamori, Hollister

at the table slowly add 2 tablespoons sugar, then raise the speed to high. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Add the vanilla extract and almond meal to the yolks mixture, and mix well. Fold half of the egg whites into the yolks mixture to lighten the batter. Fold in the remaining half of the egg whites and pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly brown.

Thanks to our loyal customers for your support pp for f 17 years! y Full Bar and Notable e Wine List

While the cake is in the oven, whip the heavy cream with 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar until stiff peaks form. Keep it chilled.

Comfortable Atmosphere

Remove the stems from the strawberries and slice them. The rest of the berries are left whole. Mix all of the berries together with 2 tablespoons sugar and Grand Marnier and set aside.

Let us host your next event!

To assemble the shortcakes:

11 G Street,t San S Rafael R f l|4 415-453-6427 15 453 6427

Allow the cake to cool first. To unmold the cake, cut around the edges of the pan. Place a sheet of parchment paper or cardboard on top of the cake. Position a cooling rack or the backside of another jelly roll pan on top of the cake, then quickly turn the cake upside-down. Peel the parchment paper off.

Lunch: Mon.-Sat. 11:30 am – 4:00 pm Dinner: Sun.– Thurs. 4:00 – 9:30 pm, Fri. & Sat. 4:00 – 10:00 pm

With a 3-inch round cutter or an inverted glass, cut the cake into 3-inch disks.

Thu Ly

Place a cake disk on a plate, add a dollop of whipped cream and top with the berries. Top with another disk, more berries and cream.

Iamori's Very Berry Shortcake is a glutenfree delight.

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at the table Elaine Taylor:

living gluten-free By Donna Lynn Rhodes

Do you cook gluten-free foods for your family and friends? Or do you cook gluten-free for you and “regular” for everyone else? My household is now strictly gluten free. Cross-contamination is not a viable option for me. The alternative grains I use are delicious, and after nine years, I work hard at making everything feel and taste like traditional cooking and baking. Where do you go to have a fancy meal out, or lunch with friends? Chef Michael at Yankee Pier, Chef Peter Chastain at Prima are caring and creative gluten-free chefs, Jule’s Thin Crust Pizza in Danville, Mariposa Baking in Oakland and of course, Miglet’s in Danville [owned and run by Taylor’s daughter Katie Alin]. Esin Restaurant in Danville does an amazing job. Va de Vi for the chocolate soufflé. In and Out’s Protein Wrap. Or Chipotle, where they assign a server to you who washes their hands and puts clean gloves on and walks you through the line. There are lots of restaurants that offer gluten-free menus, and while the menus look fantastic, the people preparing them do not understand what it really means to be gluten-free. Education and a true understanding of dedicated clean areas are so important. They need to learn what cross-contamination really means. I have been sick six times this month from going out to eat. Should people follow a gluten-free diet even if they don’t have to? This is truly a personal choice. A gluten-free diet is more expensive, and finding alternative products [can be hard]. If you are gluten-sensitive and have no choice, that’s one thing, but if you aren’t affected by it, you may lose out on many nutritious whole grains. That said, however, anyone can substitute wheat products 72  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

Tom Tomkinson

Elaine Taylor, co-founder and president of The Taylor Family Foundation, was 48 when she was finally diagnosed with celiac disease. She has been gluten-free in the nine years since, and is thriving after suffering for most of her life from “horrendous gastrointestinal issues, skin rashes, migraines, low thyroid, joint pain, severe backaches and monumental fatigue.” Her experience and subsequent research has made her an advocate for celiac disease education and gluten-free living. She started camps for children with the disease as part of Camp Arroyo, which is run and funded by the foundation. Each summer and about a dozen weekends the rest of the year, more than 3,000 children with life-threatening, chronic illnesses or special needs — such as a gluten-free diet — spend a few days at the camp, south of Livermore, enjoying nature and being kids.

Elaine Taylor and her daughter Katie Alin at Miglet's Gluten-Free Bakery in Danville.

Elaine Taylor’s resources: Sites • Celiac Disease Foundation, • • Gluten Intolerance Group, • Jacqueline Mallorca’s blog, The Gluten Free Expert, glutenfreeexpert. com/blog • National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, • R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids): Facebook “There are three fabulous pages to ‘Like’ so you can get all the updates”: • Gluten Free Foodies • The Gluten Free Lab • Celiac Disease Awareness Books • “Gluten-Free for Dummies,” by Danna Korn, 2006 • “The Living Gluten-Free Answer Book,” Sourcebooks, 2008

with nutritious gluten-free alternatives such as millet, quinoa and Teff. Do you have a favorite cookbook? I love “The Wheat-Free Cook” and “Gluten-Free Italian” – both by Jacqueline Mallorca. The recipes are easy to make and can be enjoyed almost immediately. I also like two magazines: Living Without and GlutenFree Living. Do you carry any “emergency” gluten-free foods with you? Always. I carry ready-to-use peanut butter packets and Nicole’s Divine Crackers, Zing Bars, Think Thin Bars and Pure bars. There is nothing harder than being hungry – watching everyone eating and you cannot eat. This condition is my problem, not that of the restaurant, banquet manager or airline. … I must always be prepared.


Anne Joerger

mill Barry and Elaine Taylor with campers at Camp Arroyo (which includes Camp Celiac).

Camp Celiac

Run and funded by The Taylor Family Foundation, its goal is to give children restricted to a gluten-free diet an opportunity to relax and have fun with kids their age (9 through 17), without worrying about social acceptance or what foods they can eat. 2012 dates (each week has a different group of campers): Week 1: Tuesday, July 24, through Saturday, July  28 Week 2: Saturday, July 28, through Wednesday, Aug. 1 For details, see

G N I Sat PtheRnew spot 2012 k c o l b e h t on 108 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley, CA 415.381.8801 • spring 2012  •  Scene  •  73

thirsty girl

get into the spirit Tips on stocking your home bar with the best By Leslie Sbrocco

As a wine expert, I’m often asked what I sip when not drinking wine. The answer is spirits. For me, it’s about stocking my bar with the staples. Bring on a classic martini, savory Manhattan or pristine margarita, and I’m a happy Thirsty Girl. This shopping list of “brown” spirits such as bourbon, scotch and tequila will get you started creating a home bar, but it is also a guide to top-shelf spirits to try when out on the town.

Wine expert Leslie Sbrocco founded Thirsty Girl ( for women who live by the TG motto: “Life. Drink It Up!” For more, see Page 13.

Bourbon The famous American whiskey primarily hailing from Kentucky is a favorite of mine for its brown sugar and toasted spice flavors. It’s strong, but because bourbon has been aged in new oak barrels and made mainly with corn, there’s an inherent sweetness to it. Not ready to drink it neat? An ideal way to sip bourbon is to pour it over ice with a dash of ginger ale. (Try an organic mixer called Q Ginger for a delicious cocktail.

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Shopping list Basil Hayden’s 8-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon, $38: My go-to bourbon for its elegance and style. The historic distiller uses rye in its whiskey to create a spicy, tea-like character. It is not as powerful as other whiskeys with a lighter body, and has a hint less alcohol. Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon, $45: As the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, Woodford is highly regarded. Falling on the powerful side of the scale, its mouth-warming flavors of vanilla and crème brûlée are an indulgent treat.

Scotch is a type of whisky (no “e” in “whisky” when referring to Scotch) made in Scotland. It is more of an acquired taste than bourbon because of its signature peaty, moist-earth aromas, but many bottlings capture a fruity freshness, too. Styles are dependent not only on the distiller but also the area of production. If you like aggressive flavors, look to producers from the isle of Islay (pronounced eye-la). I prefer slightly sweeter styles from the Highlands and Speyside areas. Shopping list Glenmorangie Original 10-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch, $35: Single malt Scotch is made only with malted barley at a single distiller, and Glenmorangie is a superstar. Its succulent “original” bottling is lighter-bodied than others, and silky smooth. It sports a citrusy freshness and floral aromas. I like to pour a dram over ice with a squeeze of orange zest. Johnnie Walker Black 12-Year-Old Blended Scotch, $30: Blended Scotch whisky is a mélange of different malt whiskies and regions to give layers of complexity to the spirit. Full-bodied and lush, it’s a richly styled sip.

Tequila Named for the Mexican city of Tequila and its local volcano, tequila is a fiery spirit I adore. Made from the blue agave plant grown in Tequila and surrounding hillsides of the Jalisco area, it is crafted in three primary styles: un-aged blanco (white) or plata (silver); reposado (rested), which is aged a year or less in oak barrels and has a hint of amber color; and añejo (aged), which spends up to three years in oak barrels gaining richness, color and complexity. Shopping list Casa Noble Reposado Tequila, $48: Casa Noble, whose distiller is partly owned by musician Carlos Santana, is like a designer suit — beautiful to look at and fits like a glove. Triple distilled, aged a year in French oak barrels and imbued with a stunning velvety texture with smoky aromatics, this is a personal favorite. Packaged in a handblown blue glass bottle, it makes an impressive gift as well.

Upcoming Thirsty Girl topics Special section on the LBDs of wine: Basics you need to be ready for anything White spirits: Gin and vodka

Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila, $28: Clear, crisp and pristine, this blanco is one to enjoy alone or use for mixed drinks. Tres Agaves’ many products also feature an organic agave nectar-infused margarita mix, and its website includes an education video series about tequila (watch with glass in hand).

Note: If you want to learn more about spirits, pack your bags. Visit the American Whiskey Trail (, the Scottish Highlands (, or head to Jalisco and take a trip to Tequila with Tres Agaves Tequila Tours and Academy (

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Portola Hotel and Spa

Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau


multiple choice Many kinds of wonderful in Monterey County By Katharine Fong

Breakfast arrived sometime after 9. We saw them coming: Mailika, the smallest elephant, lumbering alongside her trainers, who were pushing boxes of food in a cart. But we weren’t really focused on our breakfast — we were looking forward to giving Mailika hers. While we squealed delightedly from the cabin deck, she stood at the railing and with her trunk gently grabbed the apples and bananas from our outstretched palms. Her trainers explained why Mailika is so petite — she has food allergies, which means she’s on medications as well as a special diet of Sudan grass (grown in Oregon) and also 76  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

means she must keep her trunk up in the air at all times and not brush it along standard-issue grass as elephants are wont to do. We weren’t in the African bush. We were in Salinas, in Monterey County. Vision Quest Ranch, an exotic animal sanctuary and educational facility, to be exact. Sure, Cannery Row, the Aquarium, 17-Mile Drive and even the Steinbeck Museum are all known and loved Monterey County destinations. But there are also many other, slightly less-touristed gems to be found. And certainly getting up close and personal with pachyderms counts among these.

Spectacular outpost twigs off the trail? Woodrat houses, the first one built by a mother who turned it over to a daughter and who then built another a few yards away.) More than half of the reserve is underwater, meaning animals and plants in its rich marine habitat are protected. Don’t miss the tide pools at Weston Beach; the literal stars on the day of our visit were two huge starfish, one orange, one purple. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve Route 1, Carmel. Hours 8 a.m. to one-half hour after sunset (information station and Whalers Cabin Museum open 8 a.m.-5 p.m.). $10 vehicle entry fee. 831.624.4909;

Courtesy of Vision Quest

Another treasure is Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, three miles south of Carmel. Even those jaded by Highway 1’s endless vistas of crashing surf and rock formations are awed by Point Lobos’ natural beauty and thriving wildlife. Hike one of the trails along the shoreline to peer down into the coves and to admire the Monterey cypress. Photographers Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, among others, were captivated by the cypress’s fantastic shapes, achieved after years of battering winds. Adding immeasurably to a visit are the docents, many with telescopes, the better to view otters feeding in the waves and sea lions barking on the rocks. Our docent Paul Reps was a fount of information about Point Lobos’ history, flora and fauna. (An example: Those mounds of

Charlie Sammut (in brown shirt) with friends and participants in the Pachyderms & Patriots program.

One man’s vision The centerpiece of the Wild Things animal compound on Vision Quest Ranch in the Salinas Valley is the five-acre elephant area, where the pachyderms socialize, play, eat, sun themselves and dip into their pool. For many visitors, standing at the fence of the area is as close as they’ll ever come to these amazing creatures. Wild Things is also home to some 150 other exotic and domestic animals, including camels, a baboon, a hyena, and lions, tigers and bears. The daily public tour affords close-ups of many of them, as at that hour they’re in their outdoor enclosures. Many are veterans of film, television and live productions; several have been adopted from less-than-ideal environments. Owner Char-

lie Sammut’s passion for these animals, and for sharing them with others, is clear in his hands-on handling and website stories. Sammut, 50, stumbled into his passion. He studied to be a veterinarian, became a police officer, bought a kennel business, rescued an old cougar from a Seaside garage and gradually acquired a number of exotic animals, including an African lion named Josef whose good looks led to an appearance in a Dreyfus Fund commercial. That led to Wild Things becoming an animal rental company. Sammut now runs his sanctuary, animal rental company, kennel, an equestrian center, educational spring 2012  •  Scene  •  77

getaways programs, animal trainer school, “Elephants of Africa Rescue Society” and B&B on the 51-acre ranch. His latest venture, “Pachyderms & Patriots,” offers wounded war veterans and their families a week of hands-on bonding with his team of African elephants and other animals. The vets and their families stay at the African-style tent cabins, which are otherwise used for the B&B. The eight cabins are comfortably furnished and equipped with TV, space heater and other amenities. Décor corresponds with cabin name — for example, bedspreads and pillow cases in “Monkey Manor” are adorned with monkeys, and toy monkeys hang above the beds’ canopy netting.

Naturally Comfortable

412 Ignacio Blvd. Novato


Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Monday-Friday 9am-6pm • Saturday 9am-5pm

Vision Quest Ranch • Wild Things daily tour, 1 p.m.; adults $10, children 14 and under $8. Other tours (“Meet & Greet,” “Walk With the Animals,” the Pachyderm Package, etc.) available for additional fees • Bed & Breakfast, $175-$265 plus tax, double occupancy; children must be 4 and up; complimentary daily tour and breakfast (brought by animals and trainers); “Butch’s Bedtime” package available for a fee • or 800.228.7382 for details

Do feed the animals: At Vision Quest B&B, the elephants bring your breakfast and you feed them theirs.

78  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

Portola Hotel and Spa

Anytime Dining SM A Variety of Activities and Outings 60-Day Money Back Guarantee* Month to Month Rental 24-Hour Staff Portola Hotel & Spa is in the middle of the action, next to the convention center in downtown Monterey.

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Something old, something green Old Monterey and downtown have an easy vibe, with modern restaurants and shops lining streets rich with history, adjacent to landmark buildings and near the waterfront and old pier. The main thoroughfare, Alvarado Street, is part of the “Path of History,” marked by round yellow tiles set in the sidewalks. Monterey served as California’s first capital under Spanish, Mexican and U.S. rule, so there is much to explore on this two-mile, roughly rectangular walk. It can be joined at any juncture; its 55 historic buildings and sites include the spot where the Spanish first landed in 1602, one of the last remaining whalebone sidewalks, the house that Robert Louis Stevenson lived in in 1879 and more. The best part of strolling the path — and Old Monterey in general — is ducking into the alleys and through open archways to discover shaded courtyards and secret gardens. (The Memory Garden behind the Pacific House Museum, while not secret, is particularly lovely.) Tourists and clam chowder-hawkers at restaurants on the pier are not the only reminder of modern times: the

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Monterey Conference Center in the middle of the action in Portola Plaza draws conventioneers and eventgoers. Next door is the Portola Hotel & Spa, an eco-hotel perfectly located as a base for walking, biking (the 29-mile Monterey Bay Coastal Trail, for example) or — if you must — driving the area. The Portola received LEED silver certification last year, the first hotel in central California to earn this level. Its recently renovated rooms use low VOC (volatile organic compounds) carpeting and paint, low-flow plumbing and sustainable wood. Hot water is produced with a cogeneration machine that simultaneously generates electricity. Rooms feature beds made by the Monterey Mattress Company, with 100 percent organic cotton and recycled mattress springs. Path of History Information and map: mshp, 831.649.7118, or at the Monterey State Historic Park office, 20 Custom House Plaza; free audio tour download at Portola Hotel & Spa 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, 888.222.5851, 379 rooms, $199$329, 800.342.4295,

Upcoming events in Monterey County Pebble Beach Food & Wine April 12-15, Steinbeck Festival May 3-6, Monterey Bay Aquarium “Cooking for Solutions,” May 18-10, Monterey Wine Festival June 8-9,

mayfield&co 80  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

127 Kentucky Kentucky Street Street || Downtown Downtown Petaluma Petaluma 127 707.776.4950 || www.mayfi 707.776.4950

HOT restaurant alert: 1833, a semifinalist for a James Beard award for best new restaurant (winner announced in May)

calendar Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance Vintage automobiles star during this fourth annual weekend event, benefiting Hospice by the Bay and Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Southern Sonoma counties. Highlights include the Tour d’Elegance, a 90-mile driving tour through the scenic valleys of Marin and Sonoma counties, ending at Keller Estate Winery and including a private tour of Arturo Keller’s automobile collection. Saturday-Sunday, May 19-20. Tickets start at $20.

The Shoe Store Everybody Loves!

We have the best selection el ti off COMFORTA COMFORTABLE shoes in Marin for men and women. Kids Shoes Available in San Anselmo Only

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415-461-6226 Mon. - Fri. 10am - 7pm Sat. 10am - 6pm

San Anselmo Red Hill Shopping Center 872 Sir Francis Drake Blvd (next to Easy Street Coffee)

415-258-9954 Mon. - Sat. 10am - 6pm Sun. Noon - 5pm

Joanne Ho Young Lee

A special thank-you to Pat Danna Ed Eke Juliette Eke Eric L. Johnson Rudy Knight Gail Petty Diane Sartarelli Robin Siegfried Mark Yamamoto

2239 Larkspur Landing Circle (parking lot side)

The Dolce Hayes Mansion The mansion, site of our fashion shoot (see Page 28), is an elegant hotel, conference center, resort and spa in San Jose. The lush landscaping and dramatic views of the surrounding mountains, along with the beautifully restored Spanish Colonial Revival manor, makes it a perfect backdrop for weddings and other special events. spring 2012  •  Scene  •  81

Jocelyn Knight


Mimi Ogden, Raccoon branch president; Catherine Elizabeth Merrill Helm and Cindy Goodman, silent auction co-chairs; Liz Canady and Julie Flaherty, Gatsby Soiree co-chairs

Kerry Davidson, Cindy Goodman

Patti and Dave Stadlin

Bob Heller, Pat Montag, Emily Heller (special honoree), Jane Marra, MGH Foundation Board Chair Andrea Schultz Bobbi Buich

Sydney Joyner, Randi Curhan

Melissa Elbaz, Truth Doyle, Elizabeth Whipple

The Raccoons, a fundraising branch of the Marin General Hospital volunteers department, held a “Gatsby Soiree” last month at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon. Glamorous 1920s flappers were well represented; Zelda would have been proud. According to organizers, the event was the Raccoons’ most financially successful to date.

William Bucquoy

out&about in marin Mark Loupé, Annette Harris, Scott Wilson, Trish and Charles Loucks

Craig and Lynn Lubbock

Leon and Sallie Huntting

Roberta Wain Becker, GGO general director

The Golden Gate Opera staged a grand opening night for “Lincoln & Booth” in March at Dominican University in San Rafael. The new opera was created by John Cepelak and Christina Rose of Mill Valley, and examines the lives and times of Abraham Lincoln, his assassin and their contemporaries during the Civil War era. 82  •  Scene  •  spring 2012

Join your friends and discover‌

Extraordinary treasures of designer brand furniture, accessories and jewelry! Exceptional values at consignment prices.

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At Vintage Oaks you’ll find everything to pamper and care for you and your family.

Sephora N2H Salon Marin Beauty Company Bath & Body Works

Vintage Oaks is conveniently located off of Highway 101 in Novato, just 30 miles southwest of Napa and 20 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. We are proud to showcase over 50 stores for your shopping pleasure, all in one location.

Supercuts Panda Room Vintage Nails Sports Authority General Nutrition Center Vintage Oaks Dental Group Site for Sore Eyes + 45 more stores and restaurants

Vintage Oaks the center of it all

Marin Scene magazine spring 2012  

Suits and cover-ups that sizzle splash, plus the right suit for your body, the gluten-free gourmand, gifted artisans, thirsty girl Leslie Sb...

Marin Scene magazine spring 2012  

Suits and cover-ups that sizzle splash, plus the right suit for your body, the gluten-free gourmand, gifted artisans, thirsty girl Leslie Sb...