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Letter from the Editor The Winter Issue

Table of Contents Jim Sisley 6

“Always remember, energy flows where the mind goes. Mindset is vital.” –Pratima Ranjan The Winter Issue of NVSL Magazine has been a collaboration of multiple creatives living in the Northern Virginian region, with varied backgrounds and methods, and yet all whom are dedicated to their craft, their business, and their communities. A common thread connects the stories in this issue: the theme of second chances and celebrating opportunities. In this issue, we hear from Jim Sisley, a Leesburg resident, successful in real estate and art; who values public service and pours his energy into the local art world. Catherine and John Warren, founders of In the Buff, share how their clothing company has provided them the opportunity to embrace family and teach entrepreneurism to their children. Many who shared their stories of creativity also shared stories of sacrifice and of finding the time to make their dreams a reality. In “From the Boardroom to the Boulevard,” Chris Little profiles Sleepy Hollow Studios in Historic Herndon which hosts local, national, and global recording artists working with the likes of ESPN, Verizon, the NBA Players Association, and AOL. The owners reflect on the juxtaposition of their daytime work at the office and their night time work at the recording studio, “It’s not unusual that I could be sitting at a board meeting at 10:00 am and then recording an up-and-coming college band at 10 that evening. And I love that. I just wish there were more hours in the day.” 703-887-7745 Phalanx Facilities Management is a building operations and maintenance management firm specializing in commercial and government facilities. Phalanx Facilities Management guarantees cost efficient solutions and innovative building optimization. Our building operations and maintenance management process lends itself to unmatched operational efficiency, allowing customers to: • • • •

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Of course, wintertime coincides with the New Year which brings to mind setting new goals, starting fresh and celebrating. With Holly Chapple’s winter wreath making guide and Kim Moenke’s macaron and wine pairing, readers will be well prepared to host a winter gathering. And should anyone feel chilled by the season’s cold temperatures, warm up with a winter bourbon and put on a wool sweater from Franny Kansteiner’s Gum Tree Farm. Or visit Greenhouse Bistro in the bustling Tysons Corner, and sip tea in the lounge or dine on urban garden cuisine. Meanwhile, let Chef Daniel Wilcox Stevens inspire you with his love for fine foods while he pays homage to friendship, family, and tradition at Mokomandy in Sterling. Or relax with Anita of Rouge Spa in Leesburg as she educates and soothes you at her apothecary and spa, or with a reiki treatment that balances you at P.S. Reiki in Ashburn. Wintertime is, as Pratima Ranjan points out, a time for reflection, but also a time to explore, begin anew and celebrate. To help our readers make this season better than ever before, we share inspiring stories of those who are making, doing, and building their lives and the community that is Northern Virginia. From equestrianism, to working out with NFL players, to taking art at a gallery owned by a former Redskin player, those who visit Northern Virginia or who live here have a kaleidoscope of activities to choose from this winter. However you choose to spend your winter, when in Northern Virginia, you will have time to reflect, explore, savor, renew, and celebrate the good life. Jessica Monte Editor in Chief


Amaya Washington 8 Focused on Family: In The Buff


Sleepy Hollow Studios


Wreath Making with Holly Chapple


Macarons & Wine 24 Gum Tree Farm 28 Cooley Gallery 34 Shoe Shine 37 The Equestrian: Virginia Costa


The Greenhouse Bistro 44 People To Emulate: MASE Gym


Winter Whiskeys


Adventures Underground


Commonwealth Vault & Safe Deposit Co.


Winter Skincare 64 Curing the Winter Blues


Chef Daniel Wilcox Stevens


Chris Little

ite movie is Elf ) and ice skating with my daughter.

1. Your winter style must-have: Patagonia Jackson Glacier Jacket 2. Your culture fix: Jazz Music in general & Jazz era Christmas Carols through the winter months

4. Favorite winter beverage: I’ve been known to enjoy a glass of Egg Nog from time to time. 5. Design inspo for winter: Norman Rockwell

3. Winter adventure you’re most looking forward to: New York City with the kids Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree (my son’s favor

Jennifer the Beholder 1. Your winter style must-have: My winter style-must haves are warm, cozy soft sweaters that I can layer without getting too bulky. 2. Your culture fix: We’re both avid readers and are always up for a good concert. But MY favorite way to unwind is going out for a great meal. I love trying new restaurants equally as returning to old favorites. 3. Winter adventure you’re most looking for-

Gena Casagrande

1. Your winter style must-have: A quilted

Chai Latte​

vest to layer over an outfit and a cute but versatile pair of boots​ have it playing in the always makes me happy ​ 3. Winter adventure you’re most looking forward to: We are doing a few days in

Naples, Florida with the family.

Erin Washington 1. Your winter style must-have: my tall overthe-knee boots

4. Favorite winter beverage: My go-to wintertime cocktail would be a Gingered Pear Martini. It’s gorgeous to look at and it is delish.  Cheers!

2. Your culture fix: Dancing With the Stars - I could watch choreography all day, every day.

5. Design inspo for winter: My design inspiration for winter is all about survival. Anything under 72 degrees and I’m freezing.  I gravitate to soft textures like suede, soft leather, angora and cashmere. Cozy is the name of my game.

1. Your winter style must-have: A plaid blanket scarf and slouchy beanie! 2. Your culture fix: Going to visit new cities!! My favorites are Seattle and Nashville. Seeing other cultures - even other American ones- refreshes my mind and inspires my creativity. 3. Winter adventure you’re most looking forward to: I absolutely love the holidays - I am such a foodie, hosting Thanksgiving is

4. Favorite winter beverage: A glass of Chardonnay or Cabernet usually keeps me pretty warm in the winter 5. Design inspo for winter: Personal style blogs on Instagram.

3. Winter adventure you’re most looking forward to: My family is spread across the country so I always look forward to Christmas with everyone in my hometown in Ohio a dream come true for me! And decorating for Christmas begins the day after Thanksgiving - I plan out my wrapping scheme and immediately put presents under the tree... oh, and a real Christmas tree is a must :)  4. Favorite winter beverage: Mulled wine!  5. Design inspo for winter: Call me boring, but I still am enchanted by the rustic design vibe. I love my mason jar candles, chalkboard signs, lanterns and burlap runners!

Winter 2017-2018, Issue #2

Jessica Monte Editor in Chief

Published By Knepper Press 2251 Sweeney Drive, Clinton, PA 15026 724.899.4200

Matt Monte Chief Executive Officer


5. Design inspo for winter: The outdoors.

2. Your culture fix: I love music and always

ward to: This winter, I’m looking forward to a week-long cruise in December to the Western Caribbean.

Traci Medlock

4. Favorite winter beverage:​ Pumpkin Spice

Chris Little Advertising Director & Men’s Lifestyle Expert

Alex Mangione 1. Your winter style must-have: One hundred percent flannel, sweaters, and beanies. 2. Your culture fix: All I need is a couple hours at a coffee shop with awesome music and I know, its still work, but some really cool photos or videos to edit.  Or a nap.

4. Favorite winter beverage: COFFEE. And the occasional hot chocolate with whipped cream.   5. Design inspo for winter: Well being that its cold and I’m not a fan of being cold my inspiration is to make things warm.  Whether that’s by wearing more sweaters than necessary, or just adjusting the warmth on all my photos?  Who knows - we’ll see.

3. Winter adventure you’re most looking forward to: I’m looking to hit the slopes either skiing or snowboarding.

Brian Ventura

Vincent Sales Art Director For advertising inquiries, please contact: All other inquiries, direct to:

1. Your winter style must-have: Base layers! Wearing something like an Under Armor winter gear base layer in conjunction with a warm sweater or flannel and I’m ready to face any cold temps. 2. Your culture fix: Weather permitting, riding a motorcycle always is my go to as it requires 100% focus and keeps all the woes of the day out. A good cigar and a spaghetti western on those cold days.


3. Winter adventure you’re most looking forward to:My wife and I generally take a trip to Manhattan in the winter, it’s great exploring the city with a chill in the air! 4. Favorite winter beverage: A nice tumbler of bourbon, neat! 5. Design inspo for winter: This winter, I’m doing a lot of military style Henley sweaters with a 4 button placket and mock neck.


Tastemaker Profile

MANTRA: I don’t have a style mantra. It’s really about the season and what I’m doing over the course of the day. However, I tend to shop when I travel and I look for that one unique item that transcends the current fashion/trend. I prefer fashion forward pieces with materials and design. STAPLE WARDROBE: Denim and polo shirt in summer and fall; tee shirts and a jacket or a business shirt for more formal occasions. I really like the comfort of s Jockeys stretch t-shirt. FAVORITE PART OF GETTING DRESSED: I have a Ralph Lauren Black Label that I purchased at Saks Off Fifth, my go to jacket in the fall and winter. I also enjoy wearing Sisley and Benneton tee shirts— I own as many as I can find. In the winter, when I snow board, I am never without my Burton snow jacket.

admire Green Mansion Enterprises, LLC in Historic Leesburg owned by Rima Gerendas. Green Mansions is a mix between a gift and interior design store.

ENTERTAINMENT ART: My favorite local artists are HK Anne, Libby Stevens, Antonio Walker, and an artist named Alfred McAdams., who is unforunately deceased. You can buy their work online; it’s affordable contemporary art for less than $3,000 across the board.

INTERIOR DESIGNS & ARCHITECTURE: I love mid-century modern design. Previously, I served on the Board of Architectural Review for the town of Leesburg. The board has a mission to protect the historical assets in Historic Leesburg. There is a political dynamic to it, but people on the board are committed to protecting the authentic aspects of the buildings in the town.

BOOK: I’m reading a biography on Willem DeKooning, a contemporary with American Expressionism--Rothko, Pollock and other 1950’s painters centered in New York City. MUSIC: David Guetta more than anything else. I also listen to The Weekend, Sia, and Calvin Harris, and Concha Buika when I’m painting.

EAT TO LIVE BREAKFAST: I am habitual about having a liquid breakfast Tropical Smoothie Detox Island Green with B12. The reason is we all ingest toxins. The detox portions are ginger. 175 calories—great for weight management.

MUSICAL BACKGROUND: I was in the record business between 16 and 21. I used to have thousands of titles and I’m down to a couple hundred now. I love Jazz. Cyrus Chestnut is a great bass player.

SHOES SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS: I love my Lucchese boots. I grew up in San Antonio, Texas, the home of the Luchesse boots founded in 1883. There’s a specific boot with a medium round toe with a cut heal for riding that I love.

Jim Sisley , a Leesburg resident, has experienced success in commercial real estate since 2002.

Sisley is the Principal Broker at Paladin Real Estate; the owner of Simple Office Space providing fully furnished, tech-ready office suites in the Leesburg HUB Zone; and, he owns the Tryst Gallery, which shows contemporary art works, produced in various mediums, created by local artists.

SOUL RIDE: I recently purchased a 1988 Toyota LandCruiser, FJ 62. It’s a rare LandCruiser; Matte gray with dark windows--as dark as you can get away with in Virginia. Vinyl seats; kind of clunky. “There’s a direct thread from my soul to that steering wheel.”

MINIMALIST TRAVEL: I am a minimalist packer. I have owned black Wilson Leather Bags. Actually, I prefer black leather for almost all accessories. You can cover up any imperfections with black polish. Black is a matter of convenience and goes with almost everything.

Jim is active in the community as the at-large member of the Loudoun County Planning Commission, the 2017 Chairman of Leesburg’s Economic Development Commission, and as a lay member of the 7th District Virginia State Bar Committee on Lawyer Discipline.

CREATIVITY RUNS IN THE FAMILY: My son Jaime Sisley produced Farewell Ferris Wheel, which aired on PBS and won the Tribeca Film Institute’s Creative Promise Award. The film covers six years exploring how the U.S. Carnival industry fights to keep itself alive by legally employing Mexican migrant workers with the controversial H-2B guestworker visa.

SKIN SOLUTION: There’s a really great store called Rouge Boutique & Spa in the middle block of King Street. The owner, Anita, has a really great selection of men’s products. There is a Spanish shaving soap called Proraso. It provides the best shave I’ve had in my entire life.

He is also a visual artist and painter. His love for art guided his vision for Simple Office Space; however, art chose Jim in a roundabout way via Jim’s mother. He says, “My mother enrolled my little brother and I in art classes to keep us busy—we were adventurous so she tucked us in with an art teacher. It really stuck with me. I’ve been drawing and painting since I was 6 years old.”

FAVORITE GETAWAY PLACES: I love Shenandoah National Park, primarily because of its proximity. It’s large; you can get lost, which adds to feeling peaceful and isolated. Lots of natural water, streams and springs and really attainable climbing hike. I recently hiked hiked Yellowstone with my sons. Being in the outdoors is regenerative – restorative.

SIGNATURE SCENT: Anita sells a product called Thistle and Pepper. It’s made by a company called Black Jack. They make a water fragrance, which has a woody and pepper quality to it. SHOPPING LOCAL: 27 South Furnishings and Interiors in Historic Leesburg. This furnishing and interior design shop is owned by a couple who have their finger on the pulse of good residential design. I also

Jim attended the Alfred P. Glassell studio school at Metropolitan Fine Arts Museum of Houston.


Interview by Jessica Monte


Toddler Tastemaker: Amaya Washington

FAVORITE SHOPS: I’m a brand rep for The Tiny Hipster Co, and Evan Sent Threads When I’m not repping my brands, I wear a lot of Osh Kosh B’Gosh and Cat & Jack for Target.

Mommy’s passion for toddler fashion inspired her to create @theplaygroundfashionista, our Instagram page that features a compilation of all of my most fabulous outfits. We’ve developed a bit of a following and I’m currently a brand rep for a few small shops who’ve reached out to me on Instagram. They send me fabulous clothes in return for my most fierce modeling poses. This set-up definitely helps Mommy’s fashion budget – and so does shopping for versatile pieces that work for more than one season. The button down plaid shirt I wore in the fall doubles as a dress in the winter (we just add tights and a belt). My fall dresses go to winter with the addition of a puffy vest and tall boots. It’s all about repurposing.

FAVORITE CARRYALL: Mommy carries everything I need in the Marc Jacobs Eliza baby diaper bag. It’s functional and fabulous. http://shop.nordstrom. com/s/marc-by-marc-jacobs-pretty-nylon-eliz-a-baby-diaper-bag/3166879

STYLE SECRET: My style mirrors Mommy’s style. She dresses me in looks that she would wear herself and even allows me to choose my own accessories. Although my taste is eclectic, I always manage to complete the look. I’m two years old but that doesn’t mean I have to dress like a baby. STYLE MANTRA: Go Big or go home (see my sunglasses and bows for reference). DAILY THREADS: Right now, I’m wearing a lot of distressed denim and riding boots. Mommy can typically work these pieces into most of my outfits regardless of the weather.


WARDROBE STAPLES: I’m always rocking my big round sunglasses by Cat & Jack, mommy’s costume bangle bracelets, and an oversized bow.

Mommy has always had an interest in fashion, but it hit another level when she created someone else she could style – me! My fashion career was born when we started getting compliments everywhere we went. “Where do you find her outfits?” people always ask, as if Mommy is shopping in a secret bunker that no one else has access to. They are always surprised to hear that we get the majority of my outfits from Osh Kosh B’Gosh and accessories from Cat and Jack for Target.



Pro tip: Style distressed denim with leggings underneath to keep the look appropriate for kids my age.

TECHNOLOGY FIX: Mommy doesn’t usually let me play with her phone but she gets style inspiration from Instagram. There are so many style blogs out there, you just have to know what to search for! PLAYLIST: Music is my favorite! Right now I’m listening to Old MacDonald Had a Farm and Row, Row, Row Your Boat on repeat. I’m also working on my ABC’s and practice singing them all day and night– just ask Mommy.

ON HER FEET: I’m loving my Carters riding boots! They’re great for the cooler weather and they pair perfectly with most of my outfits (I have them in brown and pink).

BOOKS: I enjoy Goodnight Moon, Corduroy and anything starring Elmo. CLOSE TO HER HEART CAUSES: The March of Dimes is a wonderful organization that helped initiate the system of regional neonatal intensive care (NICU’s) for premature and sick babies. While I was born full-term, I encountered a spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lung) at birth and spent the first few days of my life in the Loudoun Inova NICU. You never know what can happen. Please support them here:

TODDLER BEAUTY CARE PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS: Mommy uses Mixed Chicks Kids, to keep my girls from going craycray. She carries Babyganics hand and face wipes so we make sure I am always camera-ready. I tend to get into stuff when she’s not looking, so it’s good to have these in the diaper bag.

FAMILY & FUN VACAYS WINTER GETAWAY: We’ll go see my grandparents in Ohio and Alabama. I’m a big hit in both places. I look forward to being the center of attention in a different venue.

SIGNATURE SCENT: Johnson’s Bedtime Baby Lotion is my signature scent. It’s heavenly.

RESORT: Mommy and Daddy were married at Alys Beach Resort just outside of Destin, Florida http:// I hear it is beautiful place to visit but unfortunately, I missed seeing it by just nine short months.

MAKING HEALTHY CHOICES START THE DAY OFF RIGHT: I start my mornings with a bowl of oatmeal, some cheesy scrambled eggs, and a sippy cup of milk.

- Erin & Amaya Washington

ENERGY PICK ME UPS: I’m a toddler. I have more energy than anyone you have ever met. I never stop (although, I’m feeling my best after my afternoon nap). INDULGENCE: There’s not much I won’t do for ap-


Focused on Family

“In the Buff is about family and community and the symbol of the buffalo; our company has become an opportunity to teach our kids about entrepreneurship and hard work.� Interview & Photography by Jessica Monte 10


In the Buff Apparel: The Passion of Entrepreneurs

and soft as well as durable. In the Buff is a brand that has grown beyond the region of Buffalo, New York because people in Northern Virginia and around the U.S. like the look and feel of our apparel.

John and Catherine Warren, residents of Ashburn, Virginia sat down with NVSL Magazine Editor-in-Chief Jessica Monte to share the story of their entrepreurial passion for In the Buff, a line of clothing created in 2012.

What was one of your most memorable sales thus far with In the Buff? One of the first shirts I sold was to a woman in North Dakota. She wanted to replace her husband’s favorite and disintegrating buffalo shirt. She told me that it was “literally falling apart.” The deal was she had to find him another shirt with a buffalo on it that was simple, classic, and high quality.

What inspired you to found In the Buff? Twelve to thirteen years ago, we were sitting around talking about all the apparel featuring an animal on a shirt . . . the buffalo is a masculine animal. We thought, why isn’t the buffalo on a shirt?

Where is In the Buff sold?

Years passed and in 2011 I said to my wife Catherine, “Let’s try to figure this out.” We had no idea what to do or how to do it, I just knew I wanted to get a buffalo on a shirt. We started with the idea of building a full apparel line. A friend helped us source material from Thailand. Today, we select the finest fabrics and materials for our line of apparel.

We are an e-retailer however we are currently located in a shop in Buffalo, New York called Bay 6 Clothing. Does In the Buff sell children’s apparel? Yes, one of our most popular products is the Hypercolor Shadow Shifter Children’s Tee. The shirts change color with the temperature of the wearer.

How did you come up with your brand name In the Buff?

What is your favorite part about starting a clothing brand?

To come up with a catchy name, we tossed a lot of ideas around. The brand In the Buff is not necessarily about a person who lives in Buffalo but about the energy that the buffalo represents. Our apparel has a classic, vintage look. We carry nice looking tees, fleeces and hats that our clients like to wear.

Fulfilling entrepreneurial passion. In the Buff is about family and community and the symbol of the buffalo; our company has become an opportunity to teach our kids about entrepreneurship and hard work. Additionally, it feels good to see our work being enjoyed by those who are wearing it.

On your website, you shared that you grew up in Dunkirk, New York, a suburb of Buffalo? What are some of your favorite parts about life in Buffalo?

Do you have a background in fashion, merchandising, or design?

There are lots of big extended families in Buffalo and it’s part of what I love about the city: love and passion for your city; when I moved out of the area after college, if I met someone from Buffalo it was an instant connection. People from Buffalo are passionate about the city and what it stands for.

We’ve always been creative and the idea for this company has been brewing for a while. We continue to learn everyday and invest the time to further our knowledge. What’s next for In the Buff?

Who is your apparel designed for?

Take the brand mainstream. Continue to broaden the delivery of the product.

Our ideal client wants a great design on high quality, comfortable fabric. Our color palettes change every season and the fabrics we work with are high quality



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From the Boardroom to the Boulevard:

S l e e p y Hollows S t u d i o s 15

If you were to attempt to search out Sleepy Hollows Studios on your own, you’d be up for a stiff challenge indeed. It’s that way by design, achieved with painstaking effort, all the way down to misleading geo identifiers and location addresses on the internet. So, only after receiving a speak easy style invite, would you find this underground studio tucked away in the middle of plain sight in historic Herndon, Virginia. Upon entering and kicking off my shoes at the door, one thing becomes apparently obvious: if cleanliness is Godliness, then this place is a creative slice of heaven. Visually, all the way down to the vacuum lines in the carpet and couches, nothing seems out of place. This place is a dream for a neat freak. In you knew Neal’s wife, that’s not by accident or just for an article photo shoot, it’s more of a way of life. Neal sums it up: “Everything is on purpose. From the color scheme to the lighting to the amenities. Our goal is to make everyone feel comfortable because that is when the best music is made.”

I was first introduced to Neal and his brother, Kyle, the foundation of Sleepy Hollows itself, through my wife. One of her best friends from Herndon High School and college married Neal. So, I’ve had a front row seat to watch the studio grow from its humble beginnings in Fairfax, Virginia, circa 2003, to what it is today: hosting local, national and global recording artists and providing custom music for small to large corporations such as ESPN, Verizon, the NBA Players Asociation, and AOL, just to name a few. “To be able to spend time with my brother, one of my best friends, and do something creative, is my favorite part. We have so much to show, and hear, for all the time we’ve spent together making music, and that will last forever. Ideally, I will be able to say the exact same thing about my kids someday.”

network of friends, artists, sound engineers, musicians, and writers, many of whom have corporate day jobs, but are still in search of a creative outlet and release at night. Neal, a partner at a Tysons CPA & Consulting firm, and Kyle, a prominent Program Manager at one of the nation’s largest government contractors, are the norm at “The Hollows.” Neal states, “It’s as common for us to record CFOs and database engineers as it is bartenders and construction workers. It really runs the gamut, just like the material we record. It’s not unusual that I could be sitting at a board meeting at 10:00 am and then recording an up and coming college band at 10 that evening. And I love that. I just wish there were more hours in the day.” The Hollows adopted the mantra “Where Family Makes Music & Music Makes Family” and that shines through starting with the welcome you receive from everyone when entering the studio. I have not visited the studio as often as I would have liked over the years, but like an old familiar face, it takes only seconds to feel right at home.

What started as “two turntables and a microphone” in Neal’s bedroom in Aspen, is now a full service music and voice-over recording facility, boasting cutting edge technology, equipment and engineering. In this day and age of the side hustle, that’s achieved through a





On this particular stop I found myself cutting up with members of RDGLDGRN, (pronounced Red Gold Green), a Reston based alt/rock hip-hop trio. They are home off their 2015 EP release and just about to kick off an eight stop tour across the US in support of their 2017 sophomore release album, Radio.

my phone and realize the depth, reach, and appeal of their music. I’d encourage readers to check out “I Love Lamp,” “Doing the Most,” or their “Radio Vol. 1” for a proper introduction to the band. Northern Virginia is a lot of things to many people, but typically the moniker of “music mecca” might escape the region. That’s what makes Sleepy Hollows Studio so special, the direct lineage from music legends, Dave Grohl and Pharrell Williams (both Virginia natives) to RDGLDGRN back to a handful of local artists present that night like Akshan, Laura Song and Bo Jankans.

Andrei Busuioceanu, aka “Gold”, is a personal friend of Kyle’s, they used to work a corporate gig together back in the day, and when the group is in town they often choose to tweak their music here. Andrei shares, “What I like best about [The Hollows] is when we come back to the area, it feels like we aren’t at a studio at all. It’s more of a place to chill and fine tune things for our group.” Red follows with “Good local guys, doing good things locally and we support that.”

Proving the point, on the second take of a recording session, an open call goes out from Neal, “Can anyone here play a bass track?” Green responds from across the room, “I can play a bass track, but the real question is, do you want me to play a bass track?” Just like that, the musical color palette deepens, and another track becomes whole.

True to form, it wasn’t until after leaving the studio later that night before I had a chance to lookup the group on

- Chris Little



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Wreath Making WITH


The first order of business is to make the grapevine be able to avoid using glue or wire. wreath, the frame for final creation. Each wreath will be different. You can put greenery all Start with a loop, over-under, around, creating tension. the way around, or in an asymmetrical pattern leavWeave your own wreath if you have the grapevine ing part of the wreath exposed. Your wreathe should available. The grapevine should not be stiff. However, reflect your personal preferences, so don’t be afraid to you can purchase a prepared wreath, adding to it for experiment with the design. Do avoid too much of a desired fullness. Remember in winter there won’t be Christmas look. In this case, Holly chose to create an much available in the garden, so you will need to use asymmetrical pattern. evergreen foliage. She uses Cryptomeria, a stiffer filler, wired beneath the Arborvitae, Camilla (preppy, clean look), Cryptomeria other greens to add fullness. The evergreen will last (grows fast, a little unusual) provide the living materi- for weeks without water and will hold its color. The al for the wreath, bringing the outside into your home. same with eucalyptus of which there are two types. The the armature is the foundation for the wreath. The seeded eucalyptus sports berries while the Silver Tuck the greenery into the armature. Use glue or wire, Dollar eucalyptus is bigger and looser. The difference if needed, but with a tight and full wreath, you should in color adds variety and texture to the wreath. Again, use wire or (floral adhesive) glue for fragile stems. Use Camilia for a clean, green leaf keeping in mind that there is always green in the garden, even in the dead of winter. Add mosses to make it more contemporary and use some binding wire to attach them.

Holly, Sydney, and Jack the Cat greeted me when I arrived at Hope Flower Farm in Waterford, Virginia. What a pleasure to watch Holly and Sydney pull the elements together: colors, side pieces, candles, and greens were arranged to the best advantage on the mantle.

Arborvitae, Camilla, Cryptomeria and Eucalyptus are greenery that work well for a winter theme wreath. The goal is to get some living material into the wreath, bringing the outside into your home.

Hens and Chicks, Succulents, and Air Ferns are other items to consider to add whimsy to your wreath. (The succulents and air ferns can be bathed or misted to keep fresh.) Air ferns often have a bit of red, adding color and flavor to the wreath. You can even add Spanish moss. Some mosses, like Spanish, are dyed. By using a variety of fillers, evergreens, and other accents your Winter Wreath will be whimsical, while keeping a traditional look.

The work table was set up in front of the fireplace, framing the work area. A grapevine wreath, more grapevine, clippers, floral adhesive (glue), wire and various greens, moss, succulents, and other possible additions to the anticipated finished product were laid out on the work table. The colors of the greens and other additions were not the bright holly greens of a Christmas wreath; instead they were more muted, more to the blues. Accent flowers were white and any ribbons muted in color.



You may also add broccoli or artichokes, or even blooming branches. Cut the greenery from outside during the winter. This not only takes you outside but it brings the outside in. As Holly says, it “scratches the itch to be outside�. In addition, using materials from the outside reduces investment in the wreath and can add to the relaxation of creating your wreath.

Your finished wreath can be hung on the wall, leaned on the mantle, or used as a centerpiece with a candle on the table. Relax, enjoy and make it yours!

Water tube the ranunculus. They hold well and have great formation. Push through the wreath with the water tube. If the flower wilts, it can easily be replaced.






No matter the season, Kim Moehnke, the owner of Pure Love Macarons, raises a glass to celebrate the pairing of macarons and wine in Northern Virginia’s wine region. For every occassion from bridal showers to winter hostess parties, Kim and her Pure Love Macarons provide a plethora of ideas to entertain and delight your guests. First, pairing wine with macarons will win praises from your guests at any occasion. There are many options when selecting the wine. Crisp and light sparkling wines pair well with the delicate flavors of light macarons; think almonds, creamy cheeses, buttercream, as well as the sweet and tart flavors of fruit. Full bodied wines with fruity notes pair well with richer chocolate macarons. Below are three blissful pairings to enjoy at your next gathering: 1. Red Velvet Macaron paired with a Sparkling White. While the fuller bodied wines compliment the chocolate flavors of red velvet, they may overwhelm the lighter cream cheese in this particular macaron. 2. Goat Cheese & Fig Macaron paired with a light, or medium body white. The rounder flavor allows for a fuller experience of the rich flavors of fig and goat cheese. When choosing wine, consider a Viognier, Virginia’s signature grape, or a Chardonnay, the most planted grape in Virginia. Both wines pair especially well. 3. Dark Chocolate Ganache Macaron paired with a vibrant red. I recommend a Bordeaux-style Virginian red such as the blend created by Linden Vineyards, the benchmark producer of Bordeaux blends. It is a match made in heaven.



Tastemaker’s Club

Retail across the United States and in the Northern Virginia region is experiencing a paradigm shift: a return to the requirement of quality and craftsmanship is on the rise. Over-processed and artificial are not what the people want. When it comes to shopping for food, the home, and for self care, consumers are returning to the comfort of knowing how and where things are sourced, grown, and made. Across the Northern Virginia region, residents and travelers enjoy the trend of Farm to Table dining, and now, thanks to the efforts of local farmers, high quality and locally sourced products are becoming available for apparel as well.

Gum Tree Farm Raised in Virginia, Made in America. By Jessica Monte

Franny Kansteiner and her family own Gum Tree Farm in Middleburg, Virginia. Franny was excited to raise her children on a farm where they could grow their own vegetables, educating her kids in the reality of where food actually comes from and the work that it takes to cultivate it. Early on, along with their beloved horses, they introduced three sheep to their farm. Over the years, those few sheep have grown into a flock of 100 Merino sheep. 28


Beyond being a farmer and shepherd, Franny is an avid knitter, committed to her craft so much, that she even spins her own yarn. She was quick to recognize the treasure that she was shepherding on her very own farm. Merino sheep grow fleece coveted in the fashion world for its high quality and performance properties of softness, elasticity, breathability, static resistance, and ease of care. Merino wool is an active fiber that reacts to changes in body temperature, keeping the wearer warm in cold weather and cool in warmer temps. 30


Farm to Fashion is a tedious path paved with hard work. Unlike conventional industrialized apparel production, the design arm of Franny’s farm, Gum Tree Farm Designs, controls the process from sheep to the sale of finished garments. This is a game changer for the fashion industry. In the mainstream process, one company owns a single step of the process, but Franny has her hand in the whole shebang, from sheering, to garment design, to order fulfillment.

ening the fibers in preparation for spinning. The nechanical twisting together of fleece fibers creates the yarn. Gum Tree Farm’s wool gets spun into yarn which is used to create hand knitted sweaters and baby accessories. Some wool also gets spun to a finer, smoother textured yarn destined for weaving into fabric yardage. Franny’s beloved sheep come in three dreamy colors: white, chocolate brown and silver. She has enlisted an East Coast dyer who uses plant-based dyes to achieve stunning colors. Vibrant colors such as lavender and crimson are derived by the introduction of dye solutions made from different varieties of wood.

For Gum Tree Farm Designs, the process begins with the breeding and birth of Franny’s lambs, something most of us haven’t thought much about. Then, the lamb must grow for up to a year into a healthy sheep and begin producing fleece. As the number of sheep Franny cared for grew, so did the amount of sheered wool. One sheep produces about 10 pounds of wool each year that must be sheered, or shaved, annually for the basic care of the animal. Thus was born her mission to do something meaningful with her sheep’s wool. As Franny would say, “I backed into the apparel industry by accident.”

Kansteiner prides herself on the fact that Gum Tree Farm Designs is 100% sourced, processed and made in America. Their company tagline is, “Raised in Virginia, Made in America.” Franny notes, “Not many shepherds get to see their wool all the way through to production and not many designers get to grow their own fabric. I knew that I had an interesting niche, and accidentally ended up there. But I am happily comfortable with right where I am.”

Once the fleece is sheared, it needs to be cleaned, eliminating a year’s worth of debris that has collected. After cleaning, the wool goes through a carding and combing process, removing knots and straight-



Cooley Gallery

Chris Cooley, a former Redskins tight end, owns this beautiful art gallery in historic downtown Leesburg. An art education major at Utah State, Cooley planned to become a high school art teacher and coach, but in 2004, he was drafted by the Washington Redskins and played nine years in the NFL. Throughout his career, Cooley continued drawing and painting and even became a self-taught potter. In 2012, he opened The Cooley Gallery on King St (and has since re-opened it in a larger space, just one block away).

I arrive, concerned I’d be walking into a tight-knit group of artists who meet every month, but most of these women are taking this class for the first time. We’re each asked to say something about ourselves and the introductions quickly turn into an impromptu networking session between female entrepreneurs. The instructor, Amy Manson, walks us through the entire process of jewelry making and then steps back to let us create. We roll out our clay, use an array of tools to design our pieces and then leave them to be fired in the kiln.

While I knew the gallery exhibited local artists (they are currently accepting submissions on their website), I didn’t realize that they offered classes to people of all skill levels. The mission of the Cooley Gallery is to “instruct, inform and inspire local artists, customers, and guests.” I’ve been called a lot of things, but artisan is not one of them. I decided to expand my horizons a bit and sign up for a clay jewelry making class at the gallery.

Amy was on hand to answer questions and help us with inspiration. “Our classes are a communal opportunity to meet women of all ages and from all backgrounds,” she describes. “We sit at a large table and immerse ourselves into the clay which has an inherent ability to engross your attention and to alter your mood for the better-it’s completely meditative and relaxing.”

I love getting together with my girlfriends, but the bar scene has lost its appeal. Aside from the occasional play date with our kids, meeting up for happy hour is all we ever do together. But if you’re not meeting at a bar or restaurant, where do you go for a fun, social outing with your girlfriends? The answer is The Cooley Gallery.



Classes range from $35-$225 (depending on class type), and you can learn everything from watercolors to clay ornaments to jewelry. One participant noted that unlike meeting for Happy Hour, this time she had a lovely souvenir from her night out with the girls. My ceramic jewelry ended up looking like a kindergarten art project, but that’s not the point. I enjoyed an evening out with other ladies, expressing our creative sides and getting a welcomed break from the normalcy of our existence as mothers. We laughed; we learned; we created.

propriate art activity based on a theme chosen by your child, and you can even bring in your own food and drinks. It’s a unique, artisanal way to commemorate another trip around the sun. Whether you’re looking for an artistic outlet for your child, a departure from the happy hour scene or just a relaxing evening to yourself, book a class at The Cooley Gallery. The experience is exciting and memorable.

And the gallery is not just for adults. It offers both art classes and birthday parties designed for kids, ages 7-14. If your child’s birthday falls in the winter and you’re searching for an indoor party idea, do yourself a favor and call them. An instructor will lead an age-ap-

SHOE SHINE By Chris Little

- Erin Washington

The Cooley Gallery 9 N. King Street Leesburg, VA 20176 703.779.4639

It was June of 1993 and at a mere 17 years old I found myself at US Army Infantry Basic Training in Fort Benning, Georgia. As I often recall it, Sand Hill had the market cornered on a handful of things: fire ants, pine trees, oppressively hot summer days, and ridiculously large and rage filled drill sergeants. Let’s just be honest and say I was grossly unprepared for what was about to happen over the coming months, even though I will forever be thankful for how it positively changed the trajectory of my life. On a whim, while in the reception station post exchange (PX), I picked up a kiwi shoe shine kit. I had never shined a boot before in my life, but everyone else around me seemed to be buying a kit, so I figured it had to be a good idea to have one. It didn’t take me very long to realize why it was a great investment. Having a team of drill sergeants yelling in your face over a lack luster level of boot shine, better known as chocolate bars, can be rather motivating. A few days of hot breath, the accompanying spittle showering and the ensuing non-stop push ups and flutter kicks were all I needed to experience. I was ready to learn how to polish boots and I was ready to be at the front of that line.

17 SOUTH KING ST. LEESBURG VA 20175 703-779-3700



Photography by Alex Mangione

One round of cotton swirls will not be sufficient. Expect several depending on your desired level of shine. The first time you shine your boots is the hardest and the most time intensive. Once you bring the boot to a good shine, future shines will be much easier to achieve and will typically take half the effort. Remember to use a new piece of cotton for each round of polishing and to keep making small circles until all excess polish is removed to create a glass shine finish. - Chris Little

Fortunately, I found a friend in a fellow recruit who had spent time in Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps ( JROTC). These are the steps as they were taught to me then, and I still use the same kit and process today: Step 1: Go outside or into your garage. Shoe polish always finds a way to smear or break apart and is very hard to get off of furniture or children and out of carpet. If you have to be inside, either lay down some protective covering to work over or call and book photo studio time at Stone Tower Winery (like we did).

Step 3: Cover the entire boot with a generous amount of polish, using your shoe polish brush. The polish I’m using is black Kiwi Shoe Polish. If your boots are a different color than black, ensure you are using a color polish that closely matches your boot. Make sure you get down in the seams of the boot and cover evenly with polish. I personally like to use the free toothbrush that my dentist gives me to apply polish to the sides of the soles. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for the polish to set. You want the polish to take on a flat black or matte appearance.

Step 2: Get the surface of the boot as clean as possi- Step 4: Brush the entire boot vigorously using the horseble so that the polish can lay flat on the leather. Clean hair shine brush. Here you are removing all the excess the dust and dirt off your boots with a horsehair shine polish, leaving a base coat shine over the entire boot. brush, a damp rag or a combination of the two. If your boots are muddy and you must get your boots wet to clean them, ensure you allow them time to dry before starting the application process.


Step 5: Set up a cold water cup or dish near your work station with a bag of cotton balls. We used to use the lid of the polish tin, but it inevitably rusts out and it’s just a better idea to have a small cup of cold water. Then use a lighter to ignite the polish in the tin, melting the top layer of polish into a liquid. Have a flat, non flammable item to place over the flaming polish tin in order to choke out the fire. Step 6: Dip a cotton ball into the cold water and squeeze out any excess moisture so it is damp, not dripping. Then get a little melted polish on the damp cotton ball. Next apply the polish on the toe and heel of the boot using small circular motions. This method will give you the “spit shine” finish.


The Equestrian Virginia Costa

Horse Lover, Mom, and Booz Allen Hamilton Contractor

Virginia Costa fell in love with horses when she was just 8 years old. As a wide eyed young lady from Richmond, she was enthralled by the Middleburg Hunt when her parents brought her to see it while visiting friends in Purcellville, Virginia. She begged her parents for riding lessons and eventually got involved with the United States Pony Club at a chapter in Richmond, Virginia —a great national organization that focuses on teaching horsemanship. She later advanced to hunter/jumper competitions right before college. While attending the University of Richmond, Virginia rode for her college ISHA team and trained with her long time dear friend Ada Cosby of Manakin-Sabot, VA, who continues to be a large part of her life and riding. Currently Virginia rides and trains with Jonelle Mullen of TuDane Farm in Middleburg. In this interview, Virginia talks about her intelligent and beautiful horse Marco, who she competes with in the Northern Virginia area. How did you get Marco? My trainer Jonelle Mullen has a knack for matching horses and riders and she helped me find him through Emil Spadone who imports a lot of horses from Europe. We were looking for a young horse that we could train for me to show. We looked at a lot of horses before finding him and he was worth the wait! What drew you to him? Oh gosh, with Marco it was love at first sight. He was so sweet like a big puppy dog. So cute. We tried him at a huge competition called Capital Challenge— it’s a large and busy  horse show—he just trucked around in a ring of craziness and was calm, cool and


collected. We knew he had a great brain and a great heart. What made you want to start riding? When I was 8 we visited with family friends who had a farm with horses in Purcellville. They went hunting with the Middleburg Hunt that weekend and we were able to watch - from then on, I was hooked! I have always loved animals but I was fascinated by horses after seeing the Hunt and would have done anything to ride. The tradition, formality and beauty of it all was so exciting to me as an 8 year old!  I pleaded, and my parents finally relented, and I finally saved enough money to buy my first pony (with a little help!) when I was 10. I had to work to pay for board and I was happy to go every day after school to clean stalls and feed him.  I eventually ended up fox hunting myself with that same pony with Deep Run Hunt Club right outside of Richmond. What do you do professionally? I am a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton. I currently work on the Millennial Talent Team, which strategizes to attract and retain millennial talent in the workforce.  What are your favorite events for showing Marco?  I try to support our local shows. Some of my favorites are: The Loudoun Benefit Horse Show Middleburg Classic Horse Show The Warrenton Horse & Pony Show The Upperville Colt & Horse Show How does riding affect your day to day life? My riding habit is time consuming and sometimes adds to the chaos of life as a working mother of three, but it also provides lots of happiness and serenity. With a busy schedule, I have to be very structured and disciplined to get my riding in, but, amid the craziness, it brings me a sense of peace and fulfillment. Riding is my happy place and a part of my life that I would not be whole without. I am also lucky to have a very supportive husband!


How does competing influence you?

of Olympians who live and operate their businesses in Northern Virginia and the chance to watch them compete at a local venue is exciting!

Competing helps me set goals and measure my improvement against those goals. I love horse shows and would do it every weekend if I could!  It’s hard for me to compete in the divisions that I want to since most of the amateur divisions are scheduled for the weekends when kid activities are at their max. I do what I can and am so thankful for any chance I get to show!

What divisions did you and Marco win? We had tri-color wins at both the Loudoun Benefit and the Warrenton Horse Shows this year. I was extremely proud of Marco at both events - he took good care of his mamma!

What does winning mean to you?

What apparel do you recommend for equestrians?

Winning is not necessarily a ribbon or a placing to me (although both are nice!). Winning is achieving a goal, overcoming a fear, or just simply  being happy with my and my horse’s performance.

I like Tailored Sportsman Breeches for equestrians, my Winston Show Coat for competing, and Ariat Monaco tall boots for the show ring. For everday barn wear, I prefer Ariat paddock boots with custom half chaps from Journeyman Saddlers in Middleburg.

What are your goals for the coming year with Marco? I would like to compete in the Adult Amateur division consistently but will be happy just to get to more shows!  How can the equestrian lifestyle be enjoyed by those who live in or visit Northern Virginia? Whether you are a rider or a spectator, there is something you can enjoy.  You can ride at the Salamander Resort in Middleburg, watch Olympic qualifying events in The Plains, tailgate at numerous races such as Gold Cup, or spectate wonderful horse shows such as the Upperville Colt & Horse Show which is the oldest show in the country.  There are a number




Greenhouse Bistro Situated in the bustling area of Tyson’s Corner, Greenhouse Bistro has been offering patrons a rich and dynamic experience since opening in 2016.

This hip and vibrant restaurant has something for everyone. In the lounge, you will find a space bursting with colorful tiles, lush fabrics, beautiful portraits, and internationally inspired flair. A wide variety of teas are offered, making this a one of a kind tea lounge. Adjacent to this space, the open kitchen and fresh herb wall, set the backdrop for farmhouse tables and a spacious dining environment. The garden cultivated on the wall space enables Greenhouse to offer fresh ingredients grown on site. The central dining area hosts a plethora of tables arranged for small group gatherings. The natural looking tables and comfortable bench seating, combined with the wood beams and crisp lighting fixtures in the ceiling, create a warm and inviting feel.



Several televisions line the walls and spill over into the bar area, where patrons can enjoy the sporting game of their choice while sipping one of the many craft cocktails or beers on tap. And if this isn’t enough, Greenhouse Bistro also offers a private dining room seating as many as 14 guests. The dining room boasts both an elegant and natural feel, with a sophisticated decor, and a dining table made of reclaimed wood. Guests can enjoy privacy with the logo-clad sliding glass doors that close off the space. Last, patrons can opt for an outdoor dining experience on the patio complete with glass enclosures and retractable walls. Greenhouse Bistro has created something for every-

one with a selection of experiences patrons can enjoy. Whether it’s dining while enjoying tea in the colorful and lavish tea lounge, casually gathering with friends at the farmhouse tables in the open kitchen, enjoying the urban garden cuisine in the dining area, soaking up sports atop the marble finished bar, or enjoying the fresh air and complex flavors complimented by the living garden wall, Greenhouse Bistro is sure to please.


- Gena Casagrande

PS Reiki tel. +1 703 957 8371 47

People to Emulate By Chris Little

We believe that imitation is the highest form of flattery, and it is quite common for us to look at those whom we admire and attempt to emulate their behavior. Professional athletes, celebrities, political figures and military leaders often become role models for those of us who have not achieved such notable status. What toll is taken on society when the integrity of its role models seem to be in decline? Has exercising a lifestyle of discipline to achieve a degree of virtue and sanctity gone out of style? With our constant conn-

nectivity, we are often fed a steady stream of negative storylines, imagery, and social instability that have slowly, over time, begun to paint our great nation as anything but great. I don’t buy it. I still believe that each of us get up each day to be a little better than we were the day before. It may just be that we do a poorer job of identifying the individuals worth celebrating these days and sharing there stories. Eddie Mason is the right kind of individual to emulate. He always has the biggest smile on his face, and is full of positivity, kind words, and joy. He’s the


type of individual that when you first meet him, you instantly know that he is in tune with his soul. An individual who understands that every day is tough, but a blessing, nonetheless. He gets that adversity is placed in one’s life, not as a stumbling block towards failure, but rather as an opportunity to help the individual grow, become better and achieve higher goals through the hard work, grit, and determination.

MASE Training Sports Performance & Fitness is composed of great people. From the staff to the clients, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better holistic environment for fitness and training. Coach Eddie Mason (Founder) is a former NFL linebacker, who was drafted in 1995 and played for the New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Washington Redskins. He and his wife Sonya have served their fitness community and family for over 15 years. Coach Chase Dixon, (Head Strength & Conditioning) played in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins and is an integral piece of the vision. Laura Nelson, the Director of Pilates, and Coach Jack Naugle, a retired Marine, are both motivational mainstays on the training floor. Together, they foster the fantastic atmosphere that has made their fitness community so unique.

As we officially start 2018 and resolutions abound, you may find yourself wondering how you could make yourself a better person this year. Therefore, I’m challenging all readers to consider taking a step towards better health, both mentally and physically, through training for the tough game of life with one of the best men I’ve met in my life.










plan. But, while I can be good by myself, I will never be great by myself. Something extraordinary happens in a supportive group atmosphere, programmed by NFL athletes, who are actively challenging and pushing you beyond your mind’s false limitations. So, make a step towards achieving your goals this year. Come out and train with Eddie and his team today. You won’t regret it. - Chris Little MASE Training Sports Performance & Fitness Center 21580 Atlantic Boulevard, Unit 110 Sterling, Virginia 20166 1(571) 434-6273

MASE, playing off Mason’s nickname, is an acronym for Muscle and Spiritual Empowerment.

versities. Chase offers, “Whether it’s your first day in the gym or your twentieth year, the workout is always hard. By design, it never gets easy.” The point is spot on and can be applied to almost every aspect of life, not just exercising. It relates to your job, healthy eating, yard work, getting in shape, jiu-jitsu, being a better husband, spouse, father or mother: the list could go on and on. Every aspect of improving one’s life takes ongoing attention, commitment and work that will never be easy. We just adapt, learn and become better at performing in life.

The idea for the gym was sparked in the Redskins locker room during a conversation between teammates and friends, Eddie Mason and James Thrash. The catalyst was the recognition that, too often, today’s youth are following poor role models and walking down wrong paths. Eddie and James realized that if they waited to speak to these individuals in college, or even after, that they would likely be too late. Thus, Eddie set out to create an environment that would help develop young people, both physically and mentally, into well rounded and prepared adults, regardless of their backgrounds or ending professions.

What makes MASE Training Sports Performance & Fitness Center different from any other gyms? I believe it is the overall focus on togetherness and community support. It’s easy to think that you can do it all on your own and that you don’t need the help of anyone else to achieve your goals. However, you won’t reach your highest potential by yourself. You need people in your life to push you beyond your natural limits, to stretch you to a higher level.

Eddie stated, “In the beginning, I never envisioned that I would be training adults, business owners, entrepreneurs, mothers, and fathers, in my gym. The idea was to give back to kids and to show them that through hard work and dedication in life, you can achieve your goals.”

This need for a challenge became evident after just one training session at MASE. I historically work out by myself, and plan my own workouts and eating

Coach Chase agreed that achieving success in life is about being mentally prepared to overcome daily ad-




WIN T E R WH ISK EYS TO CO PE WITH TH E COL D By Brian Ventura The winter season is in full swing and it is time to stock the shelves with some tasty offerings for visiting family and friends. With a nip in the air, nothing warms the sprits better than a few ounces of a good bourbon. No matter which way you enjoy it, neat, on ice, or blended in a cocktail, bourbon is a perfect accompaniment for any occasion!

Small batch whiskey. Small batch whiskey is produced by mixing the contents of a relatively small number of selected barrels. The majority of American small batch whiskies are produced in Kentucky, the state most traditionally associated with whiskey, especially bourbon. Rye whiskey has become one of the more sought-after styles of whiskey. Like bourbon, it has many of the same characteristics: it must be 51% rye (the rest can be other grains) and it needs to be aged in brand new charred Oak Barrels. It does not, however, need to be produced in the United States.

First, let’s cover bourbon basics. What does it mean to actually be categorized as Bourbon whiskey? Bourbon must be at least 51 percent corn –and– by law, must be aged in a brand-new, charred white oak barrel to be called straight bourbon whiskey. That means, a barrel can only be used once for bourbon and Now that you’ve been introduced the bourbon must be produced in to a few of the terms, here are two the United States. simple holiday cocktails incorporating bourbon for you to try: With bourbon’s increasing popularity over the past few years, simi- MAPLE BOURBON SMASH lar to the craft brew movement, the bourbon footprint in our local ABC Ingredients stores has expanded which can make the task of buying a bottle 1/2-ounce pure maple syrup, preferaof bourbon bewildering. Here are bly Grade A Dark Amber a few terms that you can expect to 1/2-ounce fresh orange juice see as you peruse the aisles: 1/4-ounce fresh lemon juice 4 dashes of Angostura bitters Single barrel whiskey (or single cask 1/2 orange wheel whiskey). Single barrel whiskey is 2 ounces bourbon a premium class of whiskey. Each Ice bottle comes from an individual ag- 1 1/2 ounces chilled seltzer ing barrel, instead of being created by blending the contents of various How to Make I t barrels. This process allows for uniformity of color and taste. In a rocks glass, combine maple syrup, orange juice, lemon juice and bitters. Add orange wheel and


lightly muddle. Add bourbon and stir well. Fill the glass with ice and top with chilled seltzer. CRANBERRY OLD FASHIONED

Ingredients 1 orange wedge 1 sugar cube Dash of bitters Crushed ice 1/4 cup bourbon 2 tablespoons whole-berry cranberry sauce Club soda Garnish: orange twist and fresh cranberries How to Make I t Mash orange wedge, sugar cube, and bitters against bottom and sides of a 10-oz. old fashioned glass using a muddler or wooden spoon. Fill glass with crushed ice. Stir in bourbon, cranberry sauce, and a splash of club soda.

Photography By Alex Mangione









As winter sets in, caves offer surprisingly balmy adventures. With interior temperatures hovering in the mid50s, a subterranean visit provides hours of active outdoor fun sans the extreme cold. From leisurely walking tours to rigorous guided explorations through wild caverns, the following resources will help you take advantage of the upper Shenandoah Valley’s unparalleled spelunking opportunities.


Skyline Caverns, Front Royal. Opened to the public in 1939, Skyline Caverns is one of the only caves in the world where you can view anthodites. Made of calcite, the rare clusters of perfect, six-sided crystals blossom like sea-urchins from the cave’s ceiling. Tours are offered daily, and feature about 1.8 miles of subterranean walking. $22.

Outdoor Adventure Experiences, Dayton. In addition to rafting, fishing, hiking, canoeing, and climbing, OAE offers guided tours of various wild caves throughout the Shenandoah Valley. Options vary in intensity and tend to include some degree of crawling, squeezing through narrow passages, rappelling, and climbing into and/or out of pits. Tours are scheduled both day and night, with the most intense experiences featuring wading or even swimming Shenandoah Caverns, Shenandoah. through underground streams and lakes. Tours start This hour-long walking tour takes you on a one-mile at $160 for groups of two to four. trek through 17 spectacular rooms. Inside, you’ll see the so-called “Diamond Cascade,” a massive tiered wall of pristinely glistening milk-white columns and Grand Caverns, Grottoes. stalactites hundreds of thousands of years old. Also, The first cave in America to offer public tours, Grand the one-of-a-kind “Breakfast Bacon” formations, the Caverns has been open for business since 1806. Desbizarreness of which landed them in the pages of Na- ignated by the National Park Service as a National tional Geographic. Other draws include psychedelic Natural Landmark, the cave system is 3.78 miles long. lightshows at “Rainbow Lake” — something you’re Inside, as long as a football field, with 70-foot-ceilings guaranteed to experience nowhere else, ever. $24. and rare petal-like disc formations, the massive “ thedral Hall” steals the show. Luray Caverns, Luray. Discovered in 1878, Luray constitutes the largest series of caverns on the East Coast and is the granddaddy of American grottos. With massive speleothems like stalactites, stalagmites, columns, mudflows, flowstone, and mirrored pools, a 1.5 mile hike through the caves offers eye-candy galore. A personal favorite is the smaller basins of water which, due to an excess of carbonic acid, feature crystal beds and translucent icelike sheets over their surfaces. A much-heralded draw is the Great Stalactite Organ, a manmade lithophone that taps stalactites of various sizes to produce tones similar to those of xylophones, tuning forks, and bells. Performances are both eerie and oddly moving. $27.

Nearby is the Fountain Cave, an unelectrified former show cave which has been closed for 100 years. Now, visitors can take 3-hour-long adventure tours through the lost caverns and explore hidden rooms accessible only by climbing and crawling via flashlight. Walking tours, $20. Fountain cave trips, $50.

Endless Caverns, New Market. Located 3 miles south of New Market at the southern foot of Massanutten Mountain, at 6 miles long, Endless Caverns is the world’s 120th largest system. Fascinatingly, much of the cave still remains unexplored. Tours are 75 minutes long and include an imagination-inspiring uphill stroll through the Yosemite Room, and an exquisitely creepy cauldron-like formation that, while technically created by tens-ofthousands of years of dripping water, have the look of something designed by Macbeth’s Weird Sisters.



S T A Y, E A T, E X P L O R E L’Auberge Provencale Bed & Breakfast / La Table Restaurant, White Post— The crowning culinary jewel of both Route 340 and the greater Shenandoah Valley, La Table is housed within a renovated stone manor dating to the dominion of Lord Fairfax, in 1753. “We have a AAA four-diamond rating and were founded in 1981 by fourth-generation French chef, Alain Borel, whom, among a very long list of accolades, was named a Great Country Inn Chef by the James Beard Foundation in the early 90s,” prides concierge Christian Bentley. With all the enveloping warmth and charm of a traditional French countryside inn — there are antique furnishings throughout and wall ornaments like heirloom 19th century copper cookware from Avignon, France — and NYC culinary guru Eric Ripert’s former righthand man Richard Wright helming the kitchen, L’Auberge is nothing short of a food-lover’s wonderland. Rooms from $199. Chef ’s tasting menu with wine pairing, $135 and $89, respectively. Pave Mint Smokin’ Taphouse, Front Royal— “We like to call ourselves a farm-to-street taphouse,” notes owner Christian Failmezger. The bar has more than 30 regional microbrews on tap, while executive chef Rachel Failmezger uses locally sourced ingredients to craft a slew of popular global street foods. The menu is chock full of items like beer queso fries and Polish sausage pulled fresh from the smoker and doused in heirloom-bean Appalachian chili and farm-fermented sauerkraut. The Car and Carriage Caravan Museum, Luray— With its entry no more than a few steps from the visitor’s center at Luray Caverns, the CCCM makes for a great plus-one. Inside, a self-guided walk-through-tour treats visitors to a chronological depiction of the automobile’s history. The adventure begins in 1725 with an authentic covered wagon and culminates in the luxury of the 1940s. Highlights include the oldest working automobile on display in America — a one-cylinder, five horsepower, 1892 Mercedes-Benz — as well as silent-screen star Rudolph Valentino’s 1925 Silver Ghost Rolls-Royce. Admission is included with a cave tour. www.luraycaverns. com/discover/carcarriagecaravan Mimslyn Inn / Circa ‘31, Luray— Specializing in high-class “vintage southern hospitality,” the 45-room, beautifully restored historic Mimslyn sits at the heart of downtown Luray, with the Shenandoah National Park for a backdrop. The Speak Easy Bar and Grill offers simple but upscale bistro-style eats, while Circa ’31’s executive chef, Chris Harris, provides elegant seasonally-crafted fine-dining. With high chandelier-lined ceilings and décor resembling a chic 1920s ballroom, the ambience is both classy and nostalgic. Menus change weekly and feature playful upscale twists on southern classics like shrimp & grits. Rooms from $115. Hawksbill Brewing Company, Luray— Opened in early 2017, this local brewery sits just blocks from the Mimslyn and specializes in making grass-to-glass beers with local ingredients grown in the Page Valley. Hawksbill leans toward experimental brews, with at least five offerings always on tap. River Hill Distillery, Luray— Located on a 180-acre horse-farm about a mile outside of town, the distillery has been crafting smallbatch bourbons, corn whiskeys and dessert wines since 2014. A local favorite, the tasting room is open by appointment and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.




703·625·0031 58



Commonwealth Vault & Safe Deposit Co. The Road Warrior Foundation provides adventures to improve the lives of veterans and empower them through challenges that honor their service. With the support of our corporate partner, Can-Am BRP, we are able to offer once-in-a-lifetime cross-country journeys on Can-Am Spyders so everyone can experience the exhilaration of the open road. Ride with us. Visit us at to make a tax-deductible contribution. And come out to meet our heroes as they pass through your hometown.




Typically, when you think “safe deposit box,” most of us think of a traditional bank or financial institution. However, many banks have begun to phase out this secure storage option, or in some cases have already dis-continued it. In spite of this industry trend, demand for off-site secure storage is not just steady, it’s growing; and if you need further evidence, just call your local bank or credit union branch and ask how long their wait list is to rent a safe deposit box (if they’re even still offering them). Fortunately, there is an alternate secure option in our area for safe deposit storage, thanks to the entrepreneurial efforts of a former banker. 61

When you visit “The Vault,” you’ll observe that the company has integrated many of the traditional security tenets of safe deposit storage (including dual-key safe box access) and married them with dozens of different hi-tech physical security features (ranging from seismic sensors to cameras). So you might be asking yourself, what makes the safe deposit boxes offered at Commonwealth Vault any different (or more importantly, better) than the ones you can still try to find at a bank? The answer lies primarily in the form of two subtle (but significant) procedural changes incorporated into the company’s business plan: 1) 24-hour box access for all renters, and 2) Anonymous insurance coverage for each renters’ stored box contents. How does the 24-hour access work? “We offer a ‘concierge-style’ form of after-hours access,” Stone said. “Once a box lease is signed and finalized, we provide an after-hours access number for our renters to call. It’s a similar process to having an on-call physician for emergency medical access.”

Bryant Stone is the Founder/President of Commonwealth Vault & Safe Deposit Company, which opened in 2014 as the only non-bank traditional safe deposit storage business in the Eastern US. During his former banking career, he noticed two trends about bank safe deposit box storage: disconnect between supply and demand, and limited access. “Some bank branches have multiple-year wait lists to get access to a box, and other branches don’t even offer the box sizes that their customers need - especially when it comes to larger sizes,” Stone said.

panded to house over 500 different safe deposit box and locker units, with 10 different size offerings. To meet ongoing demand, the company plans to add another auxiliary vault on site by early next year, which will contain somewhere between 250-300 more units. “Right now, you have literally hundreds of fin-tech companies in America trying to capture the attention of most major banks, trying to convince them to invest in the latest gadget, app or feature, all of which are designed to streamline or improve that bank’s customer service experience” Stone said. “And in almost every case, either deliberately or inadvertently, the services these fin-tech companies are offering will steer the average bank consumer towards their smart device, and away from the traditional ‘brick and mortar’ branch.” Less branch foot traffic means fewer new bank branches being built, and fewer bank branches means there are even fewer safe deposit boxes available. “The need for safe deposit storage is out there” Stone said, “and our mission is to fill that need.”

Commonwealth Vault has benefited from an emerging trend in the financial services industry related to local bank branch availability; or arguably, the lack thereof. According to data from the FDIC, US banks have trimmed the number of traditional branches by 6% since it peaked in 2009, and the 93,283 branches open at the end of 2015 was the lowest level in a decade. Yet since its inception, the company’s headquarter location in Ashburn (aka “The Vault”) has ex-


How does the insurance coverage work? Contrary to popular belief, banks and credit unions don’t insure their safe deposit boxes, and neither does the FDIC or NCUA. However, every safe deposit box and secure storage unit at Commonwealth Vault includes $5,000 of all-risk annual contents coverage at no cost. Additional coverage for can be easily be obtained up to $1 million. The company partnered with the Safe Deposit Box Insurance Coverage Company (SDBIC) of Elgin, IL to insure the contents of all its safe deposit boxes. SDBIC coverage is offered in partnership with AXA ART, a member of the global AXA Group, one of the largest insurance companies in the world. “Our goal here is to deliver a superior form of safe deposit storage to our customers,” Stone said. “By collaborating with SDBIC, we are able to offer our customers a superior product and experience in comparison to banks or credit unions, which do not provide insurance.” Through this partnership, Commonwealth Vault provides each renter a policy in their name covering legal property stored in their box against all natural disasters—including all forms of flooding, as well as burglary, robbery, terrorist attacks and other man-made catastrophes. Confidentiality and privacy are preserved, as disclosure of the contents of the box is not required to be insured. As part of the collaboration, the company was accredited under the SDBIC SecurePlus program. To become accredited, Commonwealth Vault underwent a rigorous independent assessment of its physical design and operations, involving analysis and inquiries in over 200 different areas ranging from vault design and construction, physical and electronic security, access technology and controls, fire detection and suppression, institutional policy and procedures, and management oversight. For most of us, preservation of wealth (both tangible and intangible) is an integral part of the Northern Virginia lifestyle and experience. In order to help accomplish this goal, Stone recommends that most families should consider creating an off-site secure storage and recovery plan. Such a plan would establish a central location where each family could store their own unique combination of mission-critical documents and various possessions of both nominal and sentimental value. Commonwealth Vault’s headquarter location, “The Vault,” is located in the Broadlands Marketplace shopping center in Ashburn, VA and can be reached at 571-919-4912.






Anita Henry, the owner of Rouge Boutique & Spa, a specialty apothecary located in the quaint Historic District of Leesburg, Virginia is a fountain of knowledge and joy. Customers cherish her shop and wisdom when it comes to healthy and safe skincare.

Henry got her start as an expert in skincare as the Beauty Director at Nordstrom. There, she evaluated new products and their ingredients that influence the health of the skin and entire body. She gained further insight into the apothecary business when she interviewed designers of fine toiletries and perfumes. Starting her own line of products came naturally. “Dry skin is a common problem I see among my clients from the Northern Virginia region especially in wintertime.” Henry recommends a reliable formula to cure dry skin, exfoliate, cleanse, and hydrate. “Dry skin must be exfoliated, fresh skin cells must be hydrated and protected. I remind my clients that one bad winter can age you years. In the winter, light reflects off of the snow and exposed skin is at risk for damage from the sun.


and stimulates collagen production. In addition, she also recommend the inclusion of a serum for winter skincare. Henry explains how a serum improves skin health, “It’s like giving your skin a drink of water. You can layer a serum and then a moisturizing cream.” Last, Henry emphasizes the importance of wearing a basic SPF moisturizer.

AVENE SKINCARE Available at Route Spa & Boutique


Selecting a Cleanser Henry recommends clients use a cleanser for their specific skin type. Skin types can range from oily and sensitive, dry and sensitive, and dry to normal. “Each one’s skin care must be catered to—skin care is not one size fits--all.”

I do advise my clients who wear a lot of makeup to do a double cleanse; first, cleanse to remove makeup and second, cleanse the pores. We With an active lifestyle in carry a skincare line called Avene that Northern Virginia, outdoor exercise I recommend. and simply running errands can increase sun exposure in winter. And sun damage can increase the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.


Smooth plump lips are the best way to display lip color and gloss during any season. Winter weather can lead to dry, chapped lips which can lead to truly pouty lips. Fortunately it’s easy to smooth and nourish your lips all winter long. Mix granulated sugar, honey, and a drop of organic coconut or olive oil. Then in rotational strokes, massage across the lips to remove dead, chapped skin. Apply a drop of the plain oil to hydrate your lips.

Henry recommends a cleanser with a granular scrub or an enzyme that helps get rid of dead skin cells. Products that include an enzyme that reaches down to the pores helps skin cells stay fresh and new. Once you have cleansed and exfoliated your skin, hydration is key. This keeps the skin cells plump



“By observing the patterns of nature during the year, I made the most of the energy of each season, especially winter.”


he winter cold has kicked in and it can be an unpleasant time of year for many who enjoy the summer sunshine and the extended daylight hours for outdoor fun. I have always struggled with seasonal blues during the winter months. As soon as daylight savings came around, I realized my energy and mood were very low, and nothing short of a robust pot of coffee would get me out of bed. I tried many things to lift me up such as sunlamps and extra Vitamin D supplements. While some helped, my mood and energy still remained low.

Curing the Winter Blues By PRATIMA RANJAN, RMT

Then, through my own research and energy healing study, I learned how each season has its own innate energy. By observing the patterns of nature during the year, I made the most of the energy of each season, especially winter. Here are my top three creative ways to lift your spirits to ease your winter blues.

WARM UP WITH HERBS & SPICES Food is vital in the colder months, and you should be looking at increasing certain types of foods you eat and using more ‘warming’ herbs in your diet. Certain herbs and spices can help you warm up from the inside out. Why not introduce or add a little extra to your dishes? Ginger is not just good for an upset stomach, but has been shown to improve circulation of your blood. Good circulation will help relax shivering tense muscles, and you won’t feel as cold. Plus it helps improve your immunity to infections. In the same ‘warming’ category are Garlic, Black Pepper, Cardamom and Cayenne Pepper. All have antioxidant and antiseptic properties which improve your circulation and heat things up from the inside out. Any of these herbs and spices can be easily added to your dishes, hot chocolates, or teas. It will be much more challenging to be moody when you are warm and comfy!


AWAKEN WITH AROMATHERAPY Aromatherapy is another way to help beat those winter blues. Besides the cold and lack of sunlight, one of the most significant contributors to unhappiness in the winter months is the stagnant air. Our olfactory senses are desperate for the variety and fresh smells others seasons offer. There are so many options and combinations of aromatherapy that can be applied. Feeling depressed? Try an uplifting citrus oil such as lemon, bergamot, or grapefruit, which are mood boosters. Fresh floral and herbal scents such as sage, basil, jasmine, lavender, rose, or patchouli also provide mood-lifting benefits. Feeling fatigued or lacking focus? New herbal scents such as peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, basil, and rosemary are each wonderful for promoting clarity and mind activation. Shivering cold? Spicy oils such as cinnamon, clove, and ginger are each helpful for creating a warming sensation. Add oils to a diffuser and allow the scents to infuse your home, or add a few drops to a warm bath to clear and balance your system. RECHARGE WITH REIKI AND CRYSTALS Reiki energy healing can help improve your mood and overcome feelings of sadness during the darker winter months. Reiki, known as universal energy, is a gentle holistic healing technique that helps reduce physical tension by calming the mind, allowing the body to reset to a natural balanced state. With the profound relaxation benefits of Reiki, it can help alleviate anxiety and restore feelings of balance when the weather is out of our control. Reiki can be complemented with crystals, which are a great ‘pick me up’ when there is a lack of sunlight. Crystals with red, orange, and yellow colors have a warming, stimulating energizing effect on the body. Together, Reiki and crystals can activate and balance your energy, providing feelings of well being which are much needed during the colder darker days. Furthermore, always remember, energy flows where the mind goes. Mindset is vital during times of lesser sunlight. With fewer daylight hours, winter is the time for introspection, time to visualize and manifest goals for the upcoming new year. Winter provides us time to recharge our energy! - Pratima Ranjan, RMT Pratima Ranjan is a Reiki Master/Teacher and owner of PS Reiki in Ashburn. She offers Reiki Healing sessions which incorporate crystals and aromatherapy to help promote one’s self-healing process, by aiding the body in clearing energetic imbalances, it restores balance to the physical, emotional and spiritual self.


Friendship & Family First:

Chef Daniel Wilcox Stevens

Chef Daniel Wilcox Stevens says that family, friendship and paying repect to heritage and autonomy are the ingredients for a successful and independent restaurant like Mokomandy in Sterling, a favorite among Northern Virginians. “I don’t know [of any other] relationship between owners and chef that is as familial as mine is with the Kims,” says Stevens of their friendship and work relationship. In fact, the friendship between MokoMandy Owner Thaddeus Kim and Chef Daniel Wilcox Stevens began many years ago when Stevens met Kim who was attending law school with Stevens’ brother. Early on, Stevens consulted for Mokomandy and was brought as a full time chef in December of 2009. The name Mokomandy and the Cajun and Korean foods served there are inspired by Kim’s family heritage. His father Yong Ki Kim, otherwise known as Y2K, is of American Korean descent, and his mother Miranda is from Louisiana. Moko symbolizes modern Korean while the “Mandy” aspect of the restaurant’s name comes from Kim’s mother Miranda, or Mandy. While Mokomandy does serve dishes inspired by Kim’s parents, the restaurant does not fuse the two traditions but instead serves

family style dishes of the two heritages as accompanying one another. Stevens emphasizes, “At no point were [the owners] tempted to put kimchee in jambalaya but [rather]serve the two side by side. We keep the two inherently separate and do not fuse the two.” Likewise, Steven’s upbringing and family heritage influence his creativity as a chef. “I spent summers with my grandfather in Cape Cod and he picked up cooking as a hobby. He didn’t know how to cook all that well beforehand. After the fact, he got into James Beard, all the classics. A lot of people may grow up cooking and baking with family but my grandfather got me cooking directly from a cookbook--using the cookbook as a starting point and then taking risks, recognizing that the juiciest part is the challenge. When you’re trying something you’ve never done before you’ve got to use your wits to pull it off.”

“A little bit of deductive reasoning, a little bit of trial and error. Humility gives you the best odds. It’s always a discussion. Everything we do here is legal, ethical and fair. Thaddeus, as a practicing attorney can decipher the legalities. Ethics—we take all of the information and have a thorough discussion. We always ask, is this the right thing to do? And fair is, do both perspectives feel like they are getting an even and fair shake out of things? It’s not coming from the ether, it comes from a lot of understanding and good discussion.”

When we are cooking Korean or Cajun dishes, we have to cognizant of the fact that this is somebody’s culture. Likewise, with the influence of Steven’s family and Thaddeus’ work as a lawyer, logic and fairness come into play for Mokomandy.





For the Filling

750 g Foie Gras, cubes, trim 15 g salt 10 g sugar 2 g Instacure no. 1 300 g heavy cream 8 g gelatin 15 g Yellow Chartreuse 15 g Tawny Port 1 drop almond extract

3 each shiitake mushroom sliced thin, stems reserved 2 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon Olive oil 2 sprigs Thyme 1 clove Garlic - smashed 1 tablespoon white miso 1⁄2 cup pea shoots 2 tablespoon Grana Padano Cheese - grated fine

Using your method of choice, gently temper the Foie at 130 degrees with the salt, sugar, and Instacure for at least 30 minutes. In a separate pan, bloom your gelatin directly into the cold cream, and once bloomed warm gently until dissolved. Remove the cream from the heat and add the tempered Foie mixture, the Chartreuse, the port, and the Almond Extract. Blend thoroughly, and force through a fine sieve to remove any long tissue, or pieces. Blend once more to homogenize & pour into a container and cover with wax paper or plastic wrap so as no air can touch the mixture. Chill completely and serve cold or slightly chilled.

Using the same nonstick pan you’ll use for the omelet, warm the mushroom stems, the thyme, and the smashed garlic in the pan until the leaves fall off, and the ingredients brown and become aromatic. Immediately add the butter to cool the pan, and remove all the stems and the clove. Add the miso and stir in until homogenous and then spread the sliced mushrooms in until they start to brown. Turn off the heat and pat flat so that the miso clings to the mushrooms. While warm, sprinkle the cheese evenly over the mixture and fold together with the peashoots. Remove the solids from the pan and set aside in a bowl, reserving the fat in the pan.

Mulled Wine Jelly

The Omelet

750 ml Low tannin red wine - if you have left over Beaujolais Nouveau from Thanksgiving that’s Perfect! 1 Star Anise 1 2-3” stick Ceylon Cinnamon 1 green Cardamom pod cracked 1 black Cardamom pod cracked 1 whole Clove 10 seeds of Fennel ¼ of a nut of Grated Nutmeg 10 Black Peppercorns 1 slice of Ginger 1” x 1/8” x 1” 1 Lemon Peeled and Juiced 1 Orange Peeled and Juiced 600 g sugar 1 pinch of salt 1 packet of Liquid Pectin (3 oz.)

4 eggs, plus 2 yolks 1 tablespoon butter 1 clean lint free towel, or sturdy paper towel 2 oz of picked crab dressed with a squeeze of lemon, and salt, and Korean chili flake Whisk your eggs until homogenous. Return the pan to high heat. Add ½ T of butter. Once hot, pour the egg mixture evenly in the pan and working quickly, stir until they become creamy curds, using a rubber spatula so as not to leave any corner or curve of the pan untouched, and remove from the burner briefly. Pat the eggs into an even layer, and place your filling perpendicular to the handle of the pan. Next, briefly return the pan to the heat and using your spatula tuck in around the circumference of the pan to release all the edges. Turn off the heat, grab the pan and inverse your grip, so that your thumb points away and your palm faces up. Use the spatula to turn one third of the egg over the filling, tilt the pan, and pat down firmly but gently. In one deft motion, turn the omelet by inverting the pan over the serving plate, nudging the omelet with the spatula out of the pan and into place, and shape the omelet into an ellipse on the plate. Now rub the remaining ½ T of butter on the surface of the omelet to make a sheen that salt and pepper can adhere to easily. Season, and then surgically slice the omelet down the center about ½ inch deep and squeeze slightly to create a crevasse for the Crab Salad.

In a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan, toast all spices and citrus peels until aromatic - move the pan constantly. Add the wine and allow some alcohol to cook off if you choose, and if so light with a stick lighter to watch it flambé. Dissolve the sugar, salt, and the pectin, and then strain into the jars of your choice. Use, freeze, or “can,” - it stays perfect up to 10 days in the fridge. To Assemble the Sandwich: Assemble as though you were making any normal PB&J. Toast the bread, allow it to cool and use thin sparing layers of the jelly and foie, and garnish with a bit of Maldon salt and pink pepper corn. Serve open faced if you want it to be a bit more fancy.



Chef Wilcox’s Top Five Kitchen Utensils

“If we can do the next thing, and have an hour a day to think in, we can accomplish marvels.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

1. Takeda San Kiritsuke 2. R. Murphy New Haven Shucker 3. Victorinox Serrated 4. Offest Fish Spatula 5. Sturdy Table



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