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winter 2014


Capturing the CSI luxury living lifestyle

and the Presidential Pastry Chef who knew him An unparalleled historic global collaboration

An unusual meeting of three greats on South Beach

MURANO AT PORTOFINO Miami Beach, Florida

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Winter 2014

Winter 2014

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Winter 2014

Great places are defined by their moments of nature We began with six-hundred feet of undisturbed beachfront and the intention to keep it as is. By letting the outside world flow seamlessly in, we created timeless spaces that bring more of the natural world’s comfor t and clarity into your life. This is the nature of South Beach.

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SOUTH FLORIDA winter 2014

south florida opulence magazine

T o p F E AT U R E S

Capturing the CSI luxury living lifestyle

for connoisseurs of luxury living

And the PresidentiAl PAstry chef who knew him An unPArAlleled historic gloBAl collABorAtion

An unusuAl meeting of three greAts on south BeAch

winter 2014 horizon publishing llc

58 THE REAL BUTLER And the Presidential Pastry Chef who knew him The movie Lee Daniels' The Butler is set against historical events... but the title character, Cecil Gaines, is fictional. The real White House butler that loosely "inspired" the character was Eugene Allen. Presidential Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier worked alongside Mr. Allen and helps sort out the facts vs. fiction.




Galeries Lafayette The historic Galeries Lafayette is an upmarket

As if a vortex of historical events had set down near Miami Beach, famed American flag maker Betsy Ross and British rockers, the Beatles and Rolling Stones, are mingling in eclectic wonderment at a restored colonial-style hotel saved from bankruptcy.

French department store company located on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris. For more than 100 years, with its stunning neo-Byzantine architecture and Art Nouveau appeal, Galeries Lafayette has dazzled fashion shoppers from all walks of life, especially during the holiday season.


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Winter 2014


MUrano Chandelier Glassblower An intimate interview with Murano Master Glassblower, Giuliano.

Town Center at Boca Raton | 561.367.8970



83 Sensuous Steel Automobiles influenced by the Art Deco movement.

30  Blue Man Group Three guys clad in cobalt bald caps. Twenty years of success. One countrywide tour.

88 Chivalry Thrives in America’s Oldest Priory

36 The Colorful Legend

Discover the little known acts of kindness from the centuries old Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller.

of Captain Tony’s Saloon

Find out how a rustic dive bar in Key West attracted celebrity patrons from Ernest Hemingway and John F. Kennedy to Jimmy Buffett and Shel Silverstein.


94 Deck the Halls with Aventura Mall

Miami’s premier fashion destination holiday gift highlights.

T he Legacy of Florida’s Oldest Family-Run Restaurant 100 years of family, paella, tradition and sangria at Columbia in Ybor City.

100  Meet David Hamilton Koch South Florida Opulence Series on Philanthropy.


102 Golfers vs. Winemakers

Meet the real Jack Daniel, a diminutive guy orphaned young, then taken in by a Lutheran preacher who taught him his trade – not ministering, but distilling.

Lady golfers from France fly to Portugal to golf with lady winemakers.

106 Total design Tranquility Steven G. weaves artistry, architecture and high style for the ultimate in seaside glam.

44 History of Pizza  pizza phenomenon started as a The peasant-style street food in Naples, Italy — especially in the regions of Liguria and Sicily.

48 Learn to Cook Just Like Mama At Home in Italy

 ichael and Paola Kovnick share a M cultural journey most travelers never get to experience.

70  Impressionism,

Fashion & Modernity

A 19th century art movement meets French fashion.

76  The Mystique of Alchimie Photographique

Philosophical photographer Diego Quiros’ Alchemic Photography. 20

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Stunning custom Living Color Aquariums dazzle upscale resort guests.


Tinkering DNA for a Glowing Future

Could genetically-modified glowing trees soon light your way down the interstate?


to light up the party circuit in 3.1 PHILLIP LIM




features (continued) 114  Artography Kasha Style Discover a unique ‘photo montage’ photography technique.

116 Living on a Limb


the bull run American thrill seekers get the chance to run alongside 1,000 pound rodeo bulls for the adrenaline rush of a lifetime.

142  The Family that Plotted Assassination America’s most notorious mother-son crime partnership’s conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.

Television’s Treehouse Masters star, Pete Nelson, on couture treehouses.

150  Italian Fashion Designer Roberto Cavalli

120 The Author from the Land of Gullah The intriguing tales of Roger Pinckney and his life on historic Daufuskie Island.

124 Tales of the

Frisian Caribbean

A rare glimpse of family life and heritage on a little-known German island.

Launches Line of Luxury Flooring

Luxury tiles by Roberto Cavalli Home are inspired by the iconic prints and patterns of the most significant collections of the Maison: from animal print to damask, the colors and textures overlapping.

departments Gadgets 26

130 Mystery of Stoney Jack

and the Cheapside Horde

Discover the rarest of finds, found encased in the clay of a crumbling basement dating back to the mid-1600s.

134 Sedan Seduction The striking Audi R8 sedan.

136  Guy Cosmo’s Need for Speed

Calendar of Events


Dining Guide

33, 34

Landscape Design


Men’s Grooming


Women’s Fashion


Women’s Beauty


Cultural Insights: Q&A with Ava Roosevelt

Guy Cosmo, now with Level 5 Motorsports, at the American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, shares his passion for racing with Ava Roosevelt.


Must Reads from the Desk of Edwina Sandys


Real Estate Trends


The CSI Difference


Condo Law

144, 152

Condo Living 151, 155, 156 Social Living


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158, 160

Editor’s Letter

The Open Christmas Letter And Christmas Truce of 1914 “Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to,” said Fred Gailey in 1947’s beloved Christmas movie Miracle on 34th Street. No matter what your faith, nothing warms the soul like a holiday miracle – especially an authentic one that’s more than mere silverscreen make-believe. Two real miracles, now a century old, are worth retelling: The Open Christmas Letter and the 1914 Christmas Truce. Both reveal timeless humanitarian lessons that have thought-provoking applications even today. In 1914, as the first Christmas of World War I drew near, Emily Hobhouse of Britain wrote the Open Christmas Letter. It was a public message for peace that she drafted in response to letters sent by a group of German women to American suffragist leader Carrie Chapman Catt. You see, at that time, it was illegal for British women to communicate directly with German women, so each side did so via their neutral American “sister.” ”On Earth Peace, Goodwill Towards Men,” was the letter’s salutation. Hobhouse continued, “Sisters: Some of us wish to send you a word at this Christmastide…The Christmas message sounds like mockery to a world at war, but those of us who still wish for peace may surely offer a solemn greeting to such of you who feel as we do…May Christmas hasten the day…” 101 British women signed the Open Christmas Letter, which was mailed to Catt in the U.S. for publishing. Soon, a fond reply letter came signed from 150 German and Austrian women. It said, “To our English sisters, sisters of the same race, we express in the name of German women our warm and heartfelt thanks for their Christmas greetings…This message was a confirmation…that women of the belligerent countries, with all faithfulness, devotion, and love to their country, can go beyond it and maintain true solidarity…” The Open Christmas Letter, a communication miracle in itself, may have influenced yet another miracle that same year: The Christmas Truce. World War I historians say the miracle took place during Christmas week along The Western Front. A sequence of unsanctioned and unexplainable ceasefires transpired. On Christmas Eve, Capt. Bruce Bairnsfather saw German soldiers singing carols and decorating trenches and trees with candles. British soldiers joined in the singing. On Christmas Day, 100,000 soldiers exchanged songs and greetings – crossing lines to swap gifts of chocolate, schnapps, uniform buttons, and even a game of soccer. “I wouldn't have missed that unique and weird Christmas Day for anything,” said Capt. Bairnsfather. Captain Edward Hulse Bart agreed. ”We ended up with auld lang syne which we all, English, Scots, Irish, Prussians, Wurttembergers, etc., joined in. It was absolutely astounding, and if I had seen it on a cinematograph film I should have sworn that it was faked!” Earlier that month, Pope Benedict XV had pleaded for an official truce “at least upon the night the angels sang.” Governments snubbed the request. But that didn’t stop The Christmas Miracle of 1914. May the spirit of the season encourage you to “reach across the lines” and share a toast of goodwill. Robin Jay, Editor-In-Chief 24

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Executive PUBLISHER & Owner Geoff Hammond, CEO Jayne Hammond, President Associate PUBLISHERS Mark Blackburn David Hammond EDITOR IN CHIEF Robin Jay CREATIVE ART DIRECTOR Adriana Naylor 954-331-3912 PR AND MARKETING MANAGER Chantal Forster 954-331-3390 Business Development Erika Buchholz 954-609-2447 Editorial Assistant Melissa Bryant CONTRIBUTING WRITERS John. D. Adams Michael Bender, Esq. Donna Berger, Esq Mike Bondurant Melissa Bryant Ernst Frudden Julia Hebert

Dale King Andy Rand Ava Roosevelt Edwina Sandys Alex Starace David O. Stewart Mary & Hugh Williamson

Photographers Douglas Lance Diego Quiros PROOFREADER Susie Shaw South Florida Opulence Magazine is published quarterly by Horizon Publishing LLC. Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. Horizon Publishing LLC, 6700 North Andrews Avenue, Suite 400, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 – Vol. 3, No. 4, Winter 2014 (ISSN # 2157-5274) Subscription Rates: $40 per year, $10 per issue. For subscription inquiries or change of address, contact the subscription department, (954) 308-4300 Ext. 4312, Fax: (954) 331-6028. Horizon Publishing, LLC, its affiliates and contributing writers have exercised due care in compiling the information contained herein, but with the possibility of human or mechanical error, cannot assume liability for the accuracy of this data. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in part or in full in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording and any information storage and retrieval system without first obtaining permission from the publisher.

For the Love of Food. For the Love of Life.

Where the story of Greek Yogurt began. Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE



The Connoisseur’s Vault Made in Germany by Döttling, this is the home vault with secure, dedicated storage for those with refined taste. The three-door vault has eight integrated watch winders, a suede-lined jewelry drawer, and a cigar humidor drawer lined with Spanish cedar and an electronic humidification system. $155,000 The Authentic 1966 Batmobile So accurate it requires almost a year to complete, this is the officially licensed, roadworthy replica of the Batmobile featured in the iconic 1960s TV show. Built on a Lincoln chassis, this cruiser’s cockpit honors the gadgetry of the TV series with a blinking Batphone, switch-operated electric actuators that open the hood and trunk, and a rotating red beacon. $200,000

The Wireless iPhone to TV Converter The Wireless iPhone to TV Converter is a device that streams video or audio from a smartphone to an HDTV. The wireless receiver simply plugs into a television’s HDMI port, connects to a smartphone or tablet computer via Wi-Fi, and displays 1080p HD video or plays audio from the mobile device on the television screen. For televisions that lack HDMI ports, the included MicroUSB cable enables wired connection to a larger screen. $99.95

The Route 66 Gumball Machine A nostalgic reminder of the friendly service stations that dotted the landscape along the legendary Route 66, this chrome-trimmed gumball machine is a full-scale replica of a 1950s-era gas pump. It has a lighted glass globe, gas hose and nozzle, and holds approximately 3,500 gumballs. $2,500


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Winter 2014

Showcase South of Fifth Miami Beach Condominium True flow-through condominium with unobstructed views of the Ocean, Fisher Island, and the downtown Miami skyline. Featuring numerous top of the line upgrades and attention to detail – this beautifully appointed residence features a stainless steel kitchen, built-in bar, upgraded doors and closets, electronic window treatments, stone flooring, custom built-ins, and an entertainment system. Includes two terraces with unobstructed Ocean and City views.

1000 S. Pointe Drive #1802 3 Bedroom / 3.5 Baths Living Area: 2,618 S.F. Total Area: 3,112 S.F. Maint. Dues: $1,932

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305-673-3809 $ 4,199,000, ÂŁ 3,048,000, R$ 9,198,000

Up & Coming Events november-december

January 2014



The Book of Mormon




26-12/22 1-2/23 Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale Morikami Museum and A new Broadway musical Japanese Gardens, that Entertainment Weekly calls Delray Beach “the funniest musical of all time.“

Contemporary Kōgei styles in Japan bring together approximately 90 Kōgei-style artworks comprising ceramics, textiles, dolls, and works of metal, lacquer, wood, bamboo, and glass created by 40 of Japan’s most influential and leading Kōgei artists of international renown.


31-1/5 ELF

Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami ELF is an original musical that brings to life the heartwarming and hilarious tale of Buddy, an orphan who mistakenly believes he’s really one of Santa’s elves.



Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale “We’re off to see…“ Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic, totally reconceived for the stage.


12-4/23 The Frederik R. Weisman Art Foundation

Boca Museum of Art, Boca Raton


Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, West Palm Beach

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables

Go to Fairchild’s 8th Annual International Chocolate Festival for their most delicious event — three decadent days of chocolate!

Pop Culture: Selections From



The works demonstrate conceptions of Pop art as they emerged in the 1950s and 1960s. Pop Culture illustrates how the movement’s extensive history has influenced artistic production in our present cultural movement.

The program will feature a mix of classic Graham works and new commissions. They include Nacho Duato’s Rust, as well as Lamentation Variations — a series of vignettes inspired by Graham’s iconic 1930s solo piece, but interpreted by three of today’s most noteworthy choreographers.




See what’s new at the Greatest Boat Show in the World! Florida’s largest annual event spans three locations — the Miami Beach Convention Center, the New Yacht & Power Boat Show at Sea Isle Marina and Strictly Sail® at Miamarina at Bayside — and features more than 3,000 boats and 2,000 exhibitors from all over the globe.

Adrienne Arsht Center 1300 NE Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL December 19-24, 2013

SEASON 2013/ 2014

The Nutcracker 28

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Kravis Center 701 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach, FL December 27-30, 2013 Broward Center 201 S.W. Fifth Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale, FL January 3-5, 2014

Up & Coming Events february





The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) is a world-class platform for International and Ibero-American film. Presenting its 31st edition in March 2014, MIFF showcases the work of the world’s best emerging and established filmmakers to the diverse South Florida community.


Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, West Palm Beach World-renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli is returning to South Florida for his fifth annual appearance at the BB&T Center. The audience entrancing singer is set to give another incredible performance featuring beloved arias, crossover hits, and music from his newest release, Passione, a most perfect fit of famed love songs for Valentine’s Day.



Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with Zubin Mehta Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami

Of Israel’s oldest and most influential cultural institutions, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is an eloquent voice for peace as well as Israel’s powerful, most exquisite cultural ambassador. 305.949.6722


14-23 march-April 2014

THE DELRAY BEACH OPEN Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center, Delray Beach

The 2014 Delray Beach Open by The Venetian® Las Vegas is known for the full-fan entertainment experience. The tournament will kick off on Valentine’s Day and Presidents' weekend and run through February 23rd. This year, competing celebrity Andy Roddick will make his ATP Champions Tour debut, and the tournament will feature all-time number one ranking doubles team, the Bryan Brothers. delray-beach-tennis


American Idiot

Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale

The Nutcracker

Friday, 11/29/2013-7:00PM Saturday, 11/30/2013 at 2PM & 8PM Sunday, 12/1/2013 at 2PM Boca Ballet Theatre continues to captivate audiences with its beloved version of this holiday classic.

Gingerbread Ball

Post Matinee Children’s Party. Tickets sold separately.


One Show Only. Wednesday, 3/5, 2014-7:30PM Daniel Ulbricht, New York City Ballet principal dancer and founder of Stars of American Ballet, brings his troupe to join forces with Boca Ballet Theatre.

dance Fest

Saturday, 5/3/2014-8PM Sunday, 5/4/2014-2PM A spicy blend of classical, neoclassical and contemporary works.







New World Symphony, Kravis Center for the Performing Miami Beach The New World Center transforms into Arts, West Palm Beach Closing the season, Miami City Ballet brings back its joyous fulllength production of Don Quixote, set to the irresistible Minkus score, with its oom-pah-pah rhythms and Spanish accents. Skirts will swirl, fans will flutter, and the stage will be overrun with macho bullfighters and sensual gypsies in this all-time popular work.

a hip, late-night lounge — complete with club-style lighting and video projections — during this genre-bending, innovative event. A DJ spins electronic grooves alongside performances by the New World Symphony of contemporary and classical works for orchestra and ensembles.

Tony Award® winning hit musical AMERICAN IDIOT tells the story of three lifelong friends forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia. april 800.764.0700



Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami The 2011 Tony Award-winner for Best Play based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo comes to a city near you. 305.949.6722 Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


By Dale King

Blue Man Group – the frenetically mute crew of three guys clad in cobalt bald caps and head-to-toe body paint – was the 1987 brainchild of Chris Wink, Matt Goldman and Phil Stanton in the streets of Manhattan. The founders’ idea of populating a stage with three indigo-headed men who speak nary a word, bang out rhythms on plastic plumbing supplies, splash fluorescent paint into the audience, and stuff their pieholes with gads of marshmallows and cereal, grew out of extensive discussions over various


South Florida OPULENCE

Winter 2014

libations with friends who, like them, were tired of the humdrum drama scene of the 1980s. To counter that culture, Wink, Goldman and Stanton concocted shows and concerts that abound in experimental music (emphasizing percussion), bizarre comedy, multimedia and just plain silly stuff.

Two Decades of Serious Success Today, the rampant popularity of the bizarre bunch has grown into a national theatrical phenomenon. Since first hitting the

stage in New York, Blue Man Group has played to audiences as small as 300 and as large as 100,000. They perform loud music, employ odd props, and prank people in the audience with cannonball loads of recycled confetti and rolls of toilet tissue. Russell Rinker, who joined the Blue Man franchise after a 2002 audition in Chicago, says, “It’s amazing what you can say by saying nothing. Being a Blue Man transcends language and cultural boundaries, age and race.” Rinker and other folks from the Blue Man ensemble are currently on the road in the group’s second 10-month North American tour that swings through Miami May 13-18, 2014. A Blue Man show is typically atypical, Rinker says. “We go out into the audience and climb on chairs. We bring people up on the stage. There are things you can do when you’re in Blue Man makeup that you wouldn’t do as yourself.”

Keeping It Real To keep their show material fresh and dynamic, Blue Men often take to the streets with stage makeup intact to experiment with varied art and comedy forms. People approach these innocent, childlike, blue-topped creatures without a hint of trepidation. “They pull out their phones and take pictures with us,” Rinker says. The new tour includes some classic Blue Man bits. “We catch marshmallows in our mouths, drum vats of glowin-the-dark paint and make weird faces,” Rinker says. But the performance also abounds with new material that maintains the blue guys’ obvious illusion of innocence.

The shows are family-oriented, humorous and energetically crazed. But regardless of the tumult on stage, says Rinker, “The Blue Man characters are always the focus.” To find details about tickets, venues and showtimes, go to

Trivia from the Azure Entourage It takes a Blue Man about an hour to get into costume before the show. They wear grease paint that never dries on their heads. This effect allows them to maintain that wet gooey look throughout the show. Throughout a week of 14 shows, the Blue Man Group throws and gobbles down approximately 500 marshmallows, 3,000 Hostess Twinkies, 1,800 pounds of Captain Crunch cereal and more than 87 gallons of Jell-O. In one week, the Blue Man Group uses more than 78 gallons of mixed tempera paint. The azure entourage uses eight different types of drumstick to beat on 68 drums and more than 550 feet of PVC tubing in each show. Winter 2014

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FEBRUARY 20-23, 2014 TITLE






Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management




Confirmed sponsors as of October 2013


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Winter 2014

Dining Guide

Miami / Miami Beach The Island Bistro 605 Brickell Key Drive Miami (305) 364-5512 Savor classic French-inspired cuisine at The Island Bistro in Miami. This traditional neighborhood café is a welcome retreat from the bustling shuffle of Brickell Key.

De Rodriguez Cuba 101 Ocean Dr. Miami Beach (305) 672-6624

The Island Bistro opened in early September 2013 at the Courvoisier Bacon-wrapped Shrimp Centre and revealed a newly designed entrance and custom-built cocktail bar. Café specialties include delicate pastries, fresh baked breads and Panther coffee — a premium coffee roasted in small batches. Panther coffee is also a feature ingredient in signature cocktails and of their signature Panther espresso-encrusted New York Strip. “The Island Bistro is the best-kept secret in Miami,” said Robin Jay, Editor in Chief of South Florida Opulence. “The Rosemary veal chop — served on the bone — slices like butter. The escargot risotto was to-die for!” Bon appétit.


Ceviche Sampler Chef Douglas Rodriguez’s ‘Nuevo Latino’ restaurant, De Rodriguez Cuba at the Hilton Bentley Miami-South Beach, offers chic diners a luxurious poolside oasis on South Beach away from popular tourist spots. Mouthwatering ceviche, including Big Eye Tuna and Watermelon with kumquat, yuzu, thai basil and tarragon, Main Lobster Thai infused with coconut water and thai chili, Mixed Seafood with mussel, clam, shrimp, octopus, calamari, lime juice, aji amarillo and sweet potato slices all exemplify Chef Douglas’ innovative Nuevo Latino style. Cuban-style cocktails, live music and performances and an incredible beachfront view are all under one roof at De Rodriguez Cuba.

Macchialina Taverna Rustica 820 Alton Rd. Miami Beach (305) 534-2124

The District Miami:

A Cultural Taste of the Americas Casual Italian tavern, Macchialina Taverna Rustica, recently launched their weekly ‘No Bull, Just Brunch,’ featuring a-la-carte selections, a three-course chef’s breakfast and mid-morning cocktails.

Try their polenta and eggs with crispy prosciutto and arugula or Polenta and Eggs sweet Italian toast made with panettone, maple pecan butter and crispy prosciutto for a fresh rendition on basic breakfast staples. “Macchialina’s casual, eclectic charm was the perfect setting for a relaxing Sunday Brunch,” said Robin Jay, Editor in Chief of South Florida Opulence. “The authentic home-style Italian breakfast was as unique as it was delicious.”

190 NE 46th Street Miami (305) 573-4199 At The District Miami, guests are invited to delight in contemporary Pan-American cuisine for a culinary journey like no other. Pan-American cuisine incorporates tastes of North, South and Central America as District Prime Angus Steak well as the Caribbean for a diverse blend of cultures and dishes. Tuna Tartare and Lobster Malanga Tacos, Florida Gulf Swordfish and a slow-roasted marble pork shoulder highlight the best of each region. End dinner on a sweet note with homemade warm Pastelitos, with guava and goat cheese, served with homemade walnut ice cream and an array of homemade ice creams and sorbets made from real fruits such as Lychee, Mandarin, Raspberry and Lucuma. “The District Miami is tucked in a quaint residential neighborhood,” said Robin Jay, Editor in Chief of South Florida Opulence. “The rare craft brews, upscale cuisine and intriguing décor make a statement that defines the Miami Design District.” Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


Dining Guide Davie/Boca Raton

Coral Gables SUSHISAMBA Coral Gables

Southern Swank Kitchen 4198 S University Dr. Davie (954) 727-5497 You don’t have to be a Georgia, Alabama or Mississippi native to appreciate fresh, locally grown ingredients, down-home cooking and that unmistakable Southern hospitality. Just ask South Florida Opulence’s New York-born Marketing Manager, Chantal Forster, who dined at Southern Swank Kitchen in Davie when they first opened for business in early October. “Southern Swank Kitchen cleverly mixes the comforts of Southern hospitality with a laid-back contemporary-country style interior and an upscale twist on stick-to-your-ribs home cookin' — like chili so thick you can eat it with a fork, an enormous cowboy steak served up on an iron-branded cutting board, and beer-can chicken with a side of gravy served in a Pabst Blue Ribbon can,” said Chantal Forster. This is Haute Lowcountry Fare for foodies who aren’t afraid of a few extra calories.

180 Aragon Avenue Coral Gables It’s pronounced SAMBAHOUR. Everyone’s favorite time of day is Monday through Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. to close at SUSHISAMBA Coral Gables — a Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian fusion restaurant on Miracle Mile in the Gables. Bar patrons who enjoy an afternoon cocktail are treated with an assortment of drinks and menu specials only available at the bar like spicy tuna, yellowtail jalapeño and salmon avocado gunkan – an imagiSteamed Lobster Samba native twist on nigiri sushi with the finest Coral Gables Roll fish and nina fresa – a tasty mix of vodka, strawberry, grapefruit, guava rhubarb, bitters and lime. “The food dishes at SUSHISAMBA are artistic sculptures on a plate — and they’re as delicious as they are beautiful. A must-try, exclusive at this location, is the steamed lobster Samba Coral Gables Roll!” said Robin Jay, Editor in Chief of South Florida Opulence. Unwind and refresh at SUSHISAMBA in Coral Gables for a much-needed workday recovery.

Beer Can Chicken

JAZZIZ Nightlife 201 Plaza Real, in Mizner Park Boca Raton (561) 300-0730 JAZZIZ Nightlife is a perfect blend of a live music venue and fine-dining. Located at Mizner Park in Boca Raton, the buzz-worthy restaurant hosts performers like Spyro Gyra and Jon Secada and even sells a 2-disk CD featuring their notable musical guests. Stage-front seating at Jazziz Nightlife “As a Chicago native, I am a huge jazz fan, so I was smitten the moment I stepped in JAZZIZ. The lights, the stage, the acoustics, the piano bar, the art-deco decor — they've left no aesthetic detail undone. The epicurian creativity of both the chef and mixologist knocked my socks off. The Chicago Allen Brother’s prime NY strip was, seriously, better than Peter Luger’s in New York! Luke, the mixologist, surprised me with his latest creation: Channels and Straits — a clever cocktail made with 12-year-old bourbon, French Normandy apples and drunken pomegranate seeds. I couldn’t have been more impressed!” For a symphony of music flavor, visit JAZZIZ Nightlife in Boca Raton. 34

South Florida OPULENCE

Winter 2014

“If you haven’t wanted to hug your lawyer lately...”

Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


Photo courtesy Joe Faber, Captain Tony's Saloon

The Colorful Legend of

Captain Tony’s i Saloon

By Melissa Bryant

f you’re a Floridian, chances are you’ve visited Key West — a charismatic city known for its history, peculiarities and the unique, offbeat people it draws. Among them is Captain Anthony Tarracino, purveyor of a rustic dive bar called Captain Tony’s Saloon. Captain Tony’s spicy past inspired music, novels and film, and an impressive following of celebrity patrons including Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Buffett and Shel Silverstein. Still, what truly gives Captain Tony’s an undeniably Key West flavor is its building on 428 Greene Street, which has operated as an ice house, morgue, telegraph station and a gay bar in centuries past. The story reads like an intriguing movie script. Let’s take a ride back in time.


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Building at 428 Greene St. Built in 1851, the building on 428 Greene Street was initially an ice house. The wide building’s doors made it easy for horses and their ice shipments to fit through since electric refrigeration had not yet been invented. Next, came its conversion into a morgue — a natural progression because of the need to keep bodies cold. Throughout the 1890s, the building on 428 Greene Street housed a wireless telegraph station. In 1899, during the Spanish-American War, the first word of the USS Maine being destroyed came through on wire at the building on 428 Greene Street. To this day, there is a hole in the top of the roof where the telegraph pole went through. The building became a ci-

gar factory in 1912, and then several speakeasies, the last of which was called The Blind Pig — which specialized in gambling, women and Hoover Gold (the locals' nickname for bootleg rum). Joe Russell opened Sloppy Joe’s at 428 Greene Street in 1933. It is this Sloppy Joe’s where Ernest Hemingway went to drink while he lived in the Keys from 1928-1938. After a rent dispute in 1938, the owner of Sloppy Joe’s moved the bar half a block down. Morgan Bird, the new owner of the building on 428 Greene Street, operated a gay bar in the 1940s and 50s called the Silver Slipper. In the early hours, Bird had Happy Hours that drew in military men. After the Navy placed the Duval Club “off limits” because of its clientele, sales declined and Bird sold the building.

The Legend of Captain Tony Anthony Tarracino became the next proprietor at 428 Greene Street. But to properly set the scene, there are some important issues of his past worth noting. Captain Tony was born Anthony Tarracino on August 10, 1916, in Elizabeth, New Jersey. A rabble-rouser by birth, Tarracino left school in the ninth grade to manufacture and sell whiskey. Soon after, he gambled his way into hot water with the New Jersey mob, using his father’s television to beat the bookies. The mob pummelled Tarracino and abandoned his body at a Jersey dump. He recovered and then escaped on a Greyhound bus headed south with $16 in his pocket. Tarracino landed in Miami and noticed a poster that read: “Visit Key West.” He hitched a ride on a milk truck headed to Key West. In the wee morning, Tony jumped into the nightlife scene of downtown Duval Street, which boasted gambling, bars, ladies of the night and loud music. That was 1948. By 1961, Tarracino, now a boat captain, became known around Key West as Captain Tony. He worked as a gunrunner, bringing weapons to the rebels in Cuba during the Bay of Pigs Invasion, all before buying the building on 428 Greene Street in 1958. He renamed the establishment Captain Tony’s Saloon, which quickly became a favorite watering hole for locals. Tony was savvy enough to preserve the historical elements of the building. For example, patrons can see chains in the walls that were once used to tie up horses after they transported chunks of ice into the building when it served as an ice

The historic hanging tree remains inside Captain Tony's Saloon

What gives Captain Tony’s an undeniably Key West flavor is its building on 428 Greene Street, which has operated as an ice house, morgue, telegraph station, cigar factory and speakeasy in centuries past. house. Captain Tony also kept a historic tree in his bar’s main pool room. Murderers, pirates and a woman accused of killing her family were all hung on Key West’s ‘Hanging Tree’. Locals say the woman who murdered her family haunts the saloon wearing the same blue dress she was hung in.

names of the people on the barstools are not the names of people who had a drink and left — it’s names of people who came to the saloon over time and kept drinking there,” said Joe. And so, the legend lives on.

Remembering Captain Tony Although Captain Tony passed away in November of 2008, his legend lives on through the history and traditions of his saloon. Every year on August 10th, Captain Tony is honored with a birthday party. Fans gather to hear personal retellings of his best stories and watch video interviews with Captain Tony. The present owner of Captain Tony’s, Joe Faber, says, “When you walk into the saloon, it’s filled with memorabilia about Captain Tony and his life.” And therein lays the key to Captain Tony’s 55-year success. “If you go into that bar today, it’s like going back to the bar 55 years ago. The history is still there and it looks exactly the same. You come and drink where legends drank. The

Hemingway’s cat water bowl, formerly a urinal in the saloon Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


The Columbia’s Patio Dining room, as it looks today, built in 1937. It was designed to resemble an outdoor patio, like the ones in Andalucia. This is one of 15 distinct dining rooms. The Columbia is Florida’s oldest restaurant.

Legacy of Florida’s Oldest Family-Run Restaurant:


If you’ve ever dined at Florida’s oldest restaurant – the Columbia in Ybor City – you may have presumed the name related to the style of cuisine or region of origin.



nterestingly, the founder of the famous family-operated restaurant was Cuba-born Casimiro Hernandez Sr. who chose the name “Columbia” to symbolize his pursuit of the American dream. You see, the term Columbia stems from the surname of Christopher Columbus and, in honor of the great explorer, personified liberty. Hernandez first heard the name in a song called Columbia, The Gem of the Ocean, an unofficial anthem of the United States during the Civil War era. Fast-forward to present day and you’ll discover that Hernandez’ great- grandson, Richard Gonzmart, is now at the helm of the Columbia – serving guests in the same historic brick-and-mortar building his great grandfather established and using the same sound business principles that the family patriarch held dear. Richard Gonzmart, 4th generation family member and president, in one of the Columbia Restaurant Ybor City’s wine cellars.

A Nostalgic Look Back

The Family Business In spite of the Columbia’s changes, the restaurant has preserved heritage through strong family values. Richard remembers, back By Melissa Bryant when he was 3 years old, the first time he entered into the kitchen through a walk-in cooler door. There lay fresh grouper, red snapper, papillot and trout — heads and tails intact. Frightened, Richard ran out to his grandfather, telling him the fish were going to bite him. His grandfather took him back to the cooler and taught him how to tell if the fish were fresh — “look at the eyes for clarity, open up the gills to see if it’s dark bright red inside.” Since then, it became Richard’s job every Friday to go to the cooler and check the fish for freshness. “So that’s what I did,” Richard said. “I would go in there, so proud, and report back — until the day the fish had already been filleted — heads removed to make stock for the paella. Startled, I ran out of the cooler crying. My grandfather asked, “What’s wrong now?” I told him, “I can’t tell if the fish are fresh, there’s no heads!”

South Florida Opulence spoke with Richard, who eagerly recalled his family’s story. Hernandez Sr., his wife and four children, came to Ybor City when it was the cigar capital of the world, home to more than 180 cigar factories during the 1800s and early 1900s. Upon his arrival, Hernandez Sr. began working at a brewery. The brewery eventually opened a small bar called the Columbia Saloon — the tavern that would later become the oldest family-run restaurant in Florida. In what seems another historic moment of serendipity, the Columbia Saloon opened on December 17, 1903 — the very same day Orville and Wilbur Wright took their first flight. By 1905, Hernandez Sr. realized that he wanted to be his own boss, bought the Columbia Saloon and renamed it the Columbia Café. Known for its Cuban coffee and authentic Cuban sandwiches, the Columbia Café soon became a gathering spot for cigar factory workers who walked to and from work early in the morning and late at night. Business boomed. However, Richard says his family’s success didn’t come without its challenges.

Changing with the Times After 14 years in business, in 1919 the Columbia Café had to reinvent itself due to Prohibition. No longer able to depend on the sale of beer and alcohol, the family had to recast their direction by merging with a restaurant next door to focus more on food. Then the Great Depression hit. Richard’s grandfather, Hernandez, Jr. took a courageous risk and borrowed $35,000 to build what was the first air-conditioned dining room in the city of Tampa, complete with a bandstand for social gatherings. A tremendous success, they built another dining room with a skylight that opened electrically. “It felt as though we were in the south of Spain,” Richard said.


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One of the Columbia’s signature dishes, Paella "A la Valenciana," The National Dish of Spain. Although the Columbia now has a state-of-the-art kitchen, the door to the cooler remains where Richard went through to check the fish for freshness. Every time he walks by the door, he remembers what his great grandfather taught him. Richard says remembering tradition is how they survive. “It’s embedded in us. We are born with a passion, and it is passion we pass on, from one family to another.” For more than 100 years, the Columbia Restaurant has thrived off its award-winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine, century-old family recipes and live entertainment. They make their own rum, bourbon and tequila and hold the title of World’s Largest Spanish restaurant. Yet Richard credits the enduring success of the Columbia Restaurant to traits much more down-to-earth: family, community and tradition.

Do You Know By Dale King


If you don’t know

Jasper Newton Daniel,

then you don’t know


Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE



hat quirky entrepreneur was Jack Daniel, a diminutive guy orphaned young, then taken in by a Lutheran preacher who taught him his trade – not ministering, but distilling. With that knowledge, Daniel created his namesake sour mash Tennessee whiskey. And though he died in 1911, the company still distills the way Jack did – to the tune of $120 million-plus net income a year.

Some 235,000 people have visited the distillery and visitor center just this year in the picturThe "real" Jack Daniel: esque, tree-shrouded Tennessee community Jasper Newton Daniel where Jack and his whiskey both entered the world. While Lynchburg is in ”dry” Moore County, the state allows distilleries to sell commemorative bottles and to conduct “sampling tours.”

The Life of Jack “Jack was born under some pretty tough circumstances,” said Jeff Arnett, the seventh master distiller for the firm and only the second not related to Daniel. “He never knew his birth mother, Lucinda Cook Daniel. She died of complications from his birth or shortly after. His father, Callaway Daniel, an immigrant fromWales, remarried, so Jack had some half-siblings. When he was a teen, his dad died of pneumonia. He didn’t get along well with his stepmother. He worked at a neighbor’s farm to pay for room Jeff Arnett, the seventh and board.” master distiller for Jack That farm was owned by the Rev. Dan Call. He ran the town’s Daniel's and only the second general store, which was also the local pharmacy. At age 7 or not related to Daniel. 8, Jack began helping the minister make medicinal whiskey. “Jack worked himself into a position to buy the equipment and move it to the site of the current distillery,” said Arnett. When Jack began distilling at age 16 [in 1866], the town’s population was barely 300 – a tally that’s noted on the iconic and highly recognizable black label of his Old No. 7.

Jack’s Mash “Jack’s whiskey is made in copper stills, which mix mash made of corn, rye and malted barley with spring water that is a consistent 56 degrees Fahrenheit all year. It is the perfect water to make whiskey. Tennessee’s weather, very hot summers, very cold winters, also force the maturing liquor to move around in the oak barrels. “All the color and half the flavor come from the barrels,” he notes. Charcoal mellowing makes Jack Daniel’s unique. “We drip every drop through 10 feet of charcoal, which filters out a lot of the impurities left behind from the distillation process,” said Arnett. “That’s what makes Jack Daniel’s a Tennessee whiskey.”

On a personal note He said Jack’s old office was in a small shack at the mouth of the cave spring. The 56-degree water acted as air conditioning in summer, but winters were chilly. And frugal Jack had only a small stove for heating.


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The distillery founder didn’t spend all his time in that office. Jack never married and had no children, which gave him ample time to promote his product outside of Lynchburg. “He won a gold medal at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.” He also had several girlfriends. One in particular “broke his heart,” says Arnett. “We have his love letters, and there is one from Miss Ophelia. Clearly, from reading this letter, she crushed him.” Jack “was very passionate aboutmusic, but the only way to hear it was live. He established the Original Silver Cornet Band, which continues to perform. He bought all the instruments for the players to perform in the town square.” Even today, Jack Daniel’s sponsors stages, particularly for up-and-coming entertainers, and also promotes performing artist tours. Arnett said Jack Daniel’s “has been so well received” because it “shows an interest in the next generation.”

Jack’s Legacy Long before he passed, Jack brought two nephews, Lem and Jess Motlow, into the business. They held it through Prohibition and World War II to 1947, when Lem bequeathed it to his children. Today, Jack Daniel’s Distillery sells four different brands. It’s the oldest registered distillery in the country and a national historic site. The firm also offers Jack lovers the opportunity to purchase a barrel of his 94-proof whiskey in the price range of $9,000 to $10,000. People or companies interested can arrange the deal through a local package store. Arnett said Jack Daniel’s bottles the contents of a selected barrel, which yields between 200 and 300 decanters. Purchasers also receive the empty barrel, a customized bottleneck medallion, a brass plaque and framed certificate of ownership.

The legend of Jack’s death is a bit tragic. “The story goes that Jack kicked the safe in his office in anger and broke his toe,” which, untreated, led to his death from infection. But Arnett said Jack “may have been a diabetic – and for diabetics, a foot injury can be fatal. Jack had multiple amputations up to his hip over a period of five years.”

The first Jack Daniel's office, which contained the infamous safe that Jack kicked that led to a cut and infection that led to his demise.

Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE




Li t


e Sl H i ce o f

o t s i

By Robin Jay

Oh, do Americans love their pizza. This year alone, pizzerias have raked in $32 billion, with consumers devouring 350 slices of pizza every second. Having a pizzeria on virtually every corner in this country, it’s easy to take its novelty for granted. Yet, for a dish with very humble beginnings, the history of its rise to popularity is quite rich.


he Origins of Pizza

University of Denver history professor Carol Helstosky, author of Pizza: A Global History, says the pizza phenomenon started as a peasant-style street food in Naples, Italy – especially in the regions of Liguria and Sicily. Naples became a Greek settlement in 600 B.C., and by the 1700s, was a bustling waterfront kingdom, with an abundance of lazzaroni, or working poor, who bought pizza from street vendors. It is said that fishermen would fuel up on pizza for breakfast; a custom that led to the term ‘pizza marinara,’ or pizza of the seafarer.


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Legend says people traveled from far and wide to Naples to try the region’s novel pizza. However, many foreigners at first took aversion to the dish. One of them, Samuel Morse, inventor of the telegraph, visited Naples in 1831 and described pizza as, “a loathsome local specialty, a species of the most nauseating cake, resembling bread that has been taken reeking out of the sewer.”

However, in 1835, journalist Alexandre Dumas (author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo) voyaged to Naples and afterward published a much more uplifting notion about pizza, “The Neapolitan of the lower class…is not wretched; for his necessities are in exact harmony with his desires. What does he wish to eat? A pizza or a slice of watermelon suffices. Pizza is a sort of bun or talmouse [French term for “pastry shell with a filling of

cheese”] like we bake at St. Denis in France, and it is round in shape and molded by the same dough as bread. At first glance, the pizza appears to be a simple dish; after examination, it manifests as a compound dish. The pizza is with oil, the pizza is with bacon, the pizza is with lard, the pizza is with cheese, the pizza is with tomato, the pizza is with small fish; pizza is the gastronomic thermometer of the food market: it increases or decreases in price depending on the course of the ingredients named above, depending on the abundance or scarcity of the year. When the pizza with fish is priced half a grain, the fishing has been good; when the pizza with oil sells at one grain, the harvest has been bad. The more or less degree of freshness of pizza also has an impact on its price.”

How Tomatoes Became a Pizza Staple According to Professor Helstosky, no one knows exactly when or why tomatoes were

first introduced as a pizza ingredient. “Brought over from the New World, tomatoes were first recorded in 1544. And while many Europeans thought tomatoes were poisonous, Southern Italians embraced the fruits, hence the flattering name pomi d’ oro, or golden apples. Tomatoes grown in Naples are sweet because of the volcanic soil. Preferred tomatoes are from San Marzano.” Rosario Buonassisi, author of Pizza: The Dish The Legend, theorizes pizza vendors combined tomatoes and bread as a means to compete with Neapolitan macaroni makers who peddled pasta garnished with tomatoes. Some speculate the pizza craze skyrocketed, especially with tomatoes as a topping, after Queen Margherita and King Umberto visited Naples in 1889. reports that the royal couple became tired of their usual French haute cuisine and ordered a selection of pizzas from Pizzeria Branding, the predecessor of which was Da Pietra Pizzeria

Italian Queen Margherita originated in 1760. The Queen took a liking to a dish called ‘pizza mozzarella.’ Ironically, it was topped with ingredients symbolic of the Italian flag: white cheese, ruby red tomatoes and green basil. As a result of the Queen’s fancy, the dish was renamed “pizza Margherita” and is a globally popular pizza recipe even today.

Original Pizza Margherita Recipe Neapolitan pizzaiolo, Raffaele Esposito, created the pizza margherita in 1889 for Queen Margherita’s and King Umberto I’s visit to Naples. Recipe Source: Disciplinare di Produzione della Specialità Tradizionale Garantita “Pizza Napoletana” Pizza dough:


• 2 lb Italian “00” flour • 1 oz fresh yeast • 2 cups water • 1 teaspoon salt

• 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil • 1 lb buffalo mozzarella cheese • Basil leaves to taste • 1 lb canned tomatoes • Salt to taste

Mix flour, water, salt and yeast. Pour a liter of water into a deep mixing bowl, dissolve 50-55 g of salt, add 10 percent of the total amount of flour. Dissolve 3g of yeast and mix gradually, adding the remaining 1.8 kg flour until the dough is smooth and very pliable.

Rising: Let the dough rest on a marble slab or a wooden surface for 2 hours covered with a damp cloth. Divide into ball-shaped portions of 180 grams each. Set aside in a container to rise again for4-6 hours at room temperature.

Rolling: With a round motion, use your hands to roll out the dough on a marble slab covered with flour until it becomes 3 mm thick with a 1-2 cm edge. Filling: Use a wooden spoon to place 60g to 70g of chopped tomatoes in the center of the dough. With a spiraling motion, spread the tomato over the surface. Add a pinch of salt on the tomatoes, 80-100g of sliced buffalo mozzarella, and some basil leaves. Starting from the center with a spiraling motion, add 4 to 5 grams of extra virgin olive oil. Cooking: Bake in a wood-brick oven at a temperature between 450C° to 480C,° rotating the pizza frequently to ensure heat is spread evenly. To figure metric conversions into U.S. portions, go to

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South Florida Opulence Votes:

America’s Best of the Best Pizzerias With more than 70,000 pizzerias scattered across the United States, it’s not an easy task to pick the best of the best. South Florida Opulence decided to ask its publishers and editor to identify their personal picks for the title of America’s Best Pizzeria. Our nominations came with nary a hesitation. Publisher Jayne Hammond’s Pick For Best Pizzeria:

Squan Tavern in Manasquan, New Jersey

“When we moved to the shore in New Jersey, everyone told us about the pizza at Squan Tavern. Anyone who lived in that area knew about it – it’s legendary,” said Jayne Hammond, Executive Publisher of South Florida Opulence. “My favorite pizza at Squan Tavern is their very thin crust with sausage, onion, sun dried tomatoes and, of course, extra sauce! It’s so good, and it has been around a long time – half a century. I bet Bon Jovi, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Willis, and Bruce Springsteen have all eaten there.” “Squan Tavern is famous for our pizza,” said Dominic Bossone, who founded Squan Tavern with his wife Marguerite. “We offer lots of toppings and combinations. We encourage you to let your imagination run wild and create a pizza masterpiece.” Dominic’s parents came to America from southern Italy as teenagers. They had worked in the restaurant business most of their lives. Dominic inherited not only his parent’s recipes, but also, he says, their commitment to quality and service. It all began in 1964. Dominic and Marguerite, from a small corner in the back of the Squan Tavern bar, served pizza and sandwiches. At that time, Dominic was a meat cutter at a supermarket during the day and drove down to Manasquan at night to work at Squan Tavern, serving the foods that he was raised on.

As their food gained a loyal following, business flourished. “In 1969, we expanded the restaurant into what is now the main dining room and built the current kitchen,” said Dominic. “In 1975, we bought the bar from the owner and Squan Tavern became our own. Since then, we have poured our hearts and souls into establishing the Squan Tavern as one of the premiere Italian restaurants in Monmouth County. We have been through many changes over that time, but what has never changed is our commitment to providing our customers with Italian food that would make our ancestors proud.”



Mellow Mushroom came from humble roots, born out of the freewheelin' hippie culture of the 1970s. They are the self-proclaimed originators of hand-tossed, stone-baked classic southern pizza. "The idea back then was the same as it is now: to make the most delicious, cravable slice of pizza on the planet," said President and CEO Richard Brasch.  Geoff Hammond selected Mellow Mushroom in Hilton Head as his pick for America's Best Pizzeria because of the crust. "It's made with Appalachian spring water and high-protein wheat flour. It makes me think of rustic Italian pizza from the old country." Hammond's favorite specialty pizza is the Mighty Meaty, with pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, ham and applewood smoked bacon. The first Mellow Mushroom popped up in in 1974 in Atlanta on Spring Street. In 1976, due to demand, the staff cut a hole in the 46

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wall and attached a school bus to the building for additional seating. Stores have been mushrooming across the country ever since. With original artwork, designs and custom signage, each store is a unique experience. "We like to think of ourselves as a "friendchise," not a franchise," said Brasch.

Associate Publisher David Hammond’s Pick for Best Pizzeria:

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Boca Raton

“I had to go with Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza because of the mini meatballs and the texture of the ricotta. I love the sweetness of the onions, the crispiness of the crust and the smoky flavor of the coal,” said Associate Publisher David Hammond. With the right mix of ingredients, Anthony Bruno, founder and CEO of Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, has created great recipes and a unique concept. Growing up on Long Island in a traditional Italian family, Anthony’s passion for great food started at a young age. His father, Anthony Sr., was inspired by his wife and mother, both excellent cooks, to open a restaurant. That dream became a reality when the family moved to South Florida in 1982 and father and son debuted Anthony’s Runway 84, an Italian restaurant near the Fort Lauderdale airport. In 2002, Anthony unveiled a new concept is introduced the taste of coal-fired pizza to South Floridians. He believed there was a great opportunity to create pizza that rivaled the ones he enjoyed growing up in New York. “We cook our pizzas in an 800-degree oven that provides a ‘welldone’ flavor that has become our trademark,” Anthony says.

The popularity of this unique pizza, which takes only four minutes to cook, and the restaurants’ classic, casual ambiance has helped Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza build an almost cult-like following. Today, customers also enjoy a variety of “Italian Soul Food” items, including Eggplant Marino (named for Dan Marino, an Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza partner). Anthony often compares the restaurant industry to sports, pointing out an athlete could be cheered by the fans one game, then booed the next. His motto: “I’m only as good as my last pizza.”

Editor Robin Jay’s Pick for Best Pizzeria:

Lou Maltnati’s in Schaumburg, Illinois

Having grown up in the suburbs of Chicago, for me, Lou Maltnati’s and pizza pie were synonymous. “Let’s get some Lou’s” was a common Sunday phrase at my house. Until I moved to Florida, I had no idea Lou’s ‘upside-down’ build – with fresh tomatoes on top and ingredients buried deep beneath the cheese – wasn’t how everyone loved their pizza. How could it be otherwise? My favorite location is in Schaumburg, nestled inside an old, quaint Victorian-style house, with an atmosphere that makes you feel right at home. Having a slice of Lou’s is on the itinerary every time I visit Chicago, and when I need a little taste of home here in Florida, we have it shipped in. This iconic Chicago pizzeria has been family owned and operated for generations. Lou Malnati began making deep-dish pizza with his father Rudy in the 1940s. In the 1950s, they co-managed Pizzeria Uno. Lou and his wife Jean opened their first Lou Malnati's Pizzeria on March 17, 1971. “A ‘Lou-Mal’ pizza has a buttery, flakey crust which is cooked in a seasoned pizza pan. We pat out the dough, then raise the sides up to create a base strong enough to hold all of our other ingredients,” said Jim D’Angelo, COO of Lou Malnati’s who started working at Lou’s as a teenager. “The ingredients are placed in the opposite order of a traditional pizza. A thick layer of mozzarella cheese slices is placed directly on the dough. Then additional ingredients like mushrooms, onions and sausage are spread on top of the cheese. The sausage is layered on the pizza piece by piece creating what seems like a ‘sausage patty,’ but there are holes for the cheese to

bubble through. The pizza is then topped with a sauce made with chunks of plump juicy tomatoes. Before the pizza goes in the oven we sprinkle it with a combination of Romano and Parmesan cheeses.” After Lou Malnati died in 1978, his wife and sons Marc and Rick took over the business and continue to operate it today. "We are in a bit of a growth spurt right now,” Marc Malnati told South Florida Opulence. “We're opening four new stores in 2014, a feat we have never attempted. I truly believe the reason we have been able to continue to grow is because of the people we have working here. They are just as committed as I am to delivering consistent, high quality products and excellent service that my father and grandfather did more than 40 years ago."

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Learn to Cook Just Like Mama at Home in Italy By John D. Adams

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” – James Michener For so many of us, what begins as a carefully planned Italian getaway quickly becomes a race against the clock. “How many sites do we have time to see today?” becomes a vacation mantra. In our zeal to get everything under our belts, we often come back with little more than a blur of monuments. What if you could take a vacation as if you were visiting old friends? What if you could immerse yourself in another culture by learning to cook regional dishes alongside locals and other travelers? Now that would be an unforgettable experience.

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All in the family Michael and Paola Kovnick, founders of Culture Discovery Vacations, certainly believe so. Michael, a Los Angeles native, and Paola, born and raised in Soriano nel Cimino, Italy, were together 25 years and living half the year in Italy, before they realized they could share a culture that most travelers never experience. “We often had friends and families visit us while we were in Italy,” says Michael. “We would take them to our favorite restaurants, introduce them to our friends – one of whom makes olive oil – cook together and have parties. We would take them to see nearby towns, but not in a guidebook tour way... just as friends going out for a stroll, stopping in a cafe, enjoying time together. Instead of talking about the history of a particular building, the tendency was more to talk about our personal connection to where we were.” Once a few real estate investments became available, Michael and Paola decided to offer vacation rentals with a personal bent. In 2006, the couple opened “Discover Soriano.” It was an instant hit. “Just as had always happened

Guests get to experience traditional Italian food shops – like this sausage maker's stand. They can also choose to take a charcuterie class on making authentic prosciutto and other cured meats. Michael and Paola Kovnick


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“Italian home-based cooking classes 100 percent hands-on, four- and five-course meals. We cook, we drink, we laugh, we eat, we dance, we sing…”

with our friends and family, our paying guests left with the same feelings and comments. We quickly realized we were really on to something, so we put it all together. Cooking classes, excursions to famous sites and hidden treasures, immersion into the local culture, unique hands-on experiences, and small groups…all tied together by what we had always done: Those who come would be treated like friends and family, not customers…but in the truest sense.” A Culture Discovery vacation is quite different than most travelers are accustomed to. And that’s a very good thing. These are not sightseeing tours. With group sizes that never exceed 18 people, you become a member of the family while experiencing “quite literally a symphony of rich cultural experiences, local immersion, family, friendship, bonding, and a balance of new and largely uncharted destinations mixed in with a dose of popular sightseeing. Our goal with each vacation is to make you feel a part of the place you are visiting,” says Michael.

Cook like an Italian You will collect a lifetime of special memories, and perhaps even come away with some authentic Italian cooking skills. “Our cooking classes are not demonstrations,” stresses Michael. “They are 100 percent hands-on, Winter 2014

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Wrist-deep in dough Held in the couple’s restored 18th century country villa, “Cooking classes are, without question, what we are best known for. After all, what better way is there to really get to know a culture than to dive deep into its culinary traditions,” says Michael. Everything is made by hand the way Italians have been cooking for hundreds of years. Olive oil comes from trees growing right outside the villa; nuts in the biscotti come from the couple’s own orchards; and, of course, the wine is produced at local vineyards. “The menus for cooking classes are full meals, and they are always based on the local recipes of the area we are in." Depending on the excursion you choose, you will find yourself learning how to make: Pappardelle with Bolognese sauce, Tuscan Roasted Chicken, Homemade Fettuccine, Tiramisu, Risotto, Biscotti and more. “Prepare to put your apron on and go wrist-deep in dough,” says Michael.

Budding cooks making homemade ricotta. four- and five-course meals. We cook, we drink, we laugh, we eat, we dance, we sing…” Depending on the travel package, you might visit the Perugina Chocolate Factory for a private, 3-hour chocolate-making class right in the factory. When you cook fish, it is fish that you have caught yourself that morning. When you make pastries, you’ll use the ricotta cheese that you made the night before.

Still growing, still exploring Now in their seventh year, Michael and Paola continue to hone their hosting skills while expanding travel options for guests. “In 2011 we opened our second location in the town of Norcia, in the heart of Umbria. Then in 2012, we opened in Sicily on the tiny island of Favignana, off of Sicily’s west coast… another popular spot for Italians, but unknown internationally. For our 2013 season, we have 52

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opened up a location in the north: Barolo. Famous for Barolo wine, of course. “On our Norcia excursion, we spend an afternoon with a local shepherd in the mountains there and make cheese together,” says Michael. “We have also added an evening in Norcia, during which we have a BBQ at a local farm with the locals. The meats we grill are from the pig farmer and the butcher whom we get to know while there, and their families come to the BBQ. It is an absolutely amazing evening, and our guests really get the feeling of what a local Italian party is like.  I just did it for the first time in September, and it was absolutely amazing. We do something similar with a grill on the cliffs in Sicily.” With no end in sight to their hospitality, Michael and Paola are working on a location on the Amalfi Coast. “We will be launching the itinerary in the next several weeks on our website. Additionally, we are going to be opening a location in Chianti, Tuscany, next year.” We’re already packing our bags! To learn more about Culture Discovery, visit their website at:

Oils Well That Ends Well -

By Melissa Bryant

Touted for its health benefits and coveted for its flavor, olive oil is a healthy fat most culinarians wouldn’t dream of cooking without. However, in August 2013, the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) published a report directly correlating increases in demand for olive oil to numerous companies taking advantage of burgeoning consumer interest by marketing fraudulent virgin and extra virgin olive oils as the real deal. Although olive oil producers face increased scrutiny due to these allegations, their faulty practices persist. The USITC’s investigation, Olive Oil: Conditions of Competition between U.S. and Major Foreign Supplier Industries, states that “These practices mislead consumers through either mislabeling or adulteration. Mislabeling occurs when olive oil does not meet the standards for the grade (usually “extra virgin”) that appears on the label, while adulteration occurs when olive oil is blended with other oils, yet is labeled as 100 percent olive oil.” This is not to say that all olive oil is unauthentic. Many groups exist for olive oil aficionados seeking quality and authenticity. One such group, The Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club, offers a select few, rare, fresh-pressed olive oil, at their fingertips. Interested in joining? Visit today to become a member. Winter 2014

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From “Art in the Landscape” to “Art on the Table”

Art In the Landscape: Series Part IV By Mary & Hugh Williamson

The Kitchen Garden?

It’s an old, functional idea with incredible contemporary applications. Once the hobby of affluent royals, the results of your reinvention of this stunning landscape art will be the pleasure of your guests as they discover that the spectacular dinner prepared for them was wrapped, infused and inspired by the herbs, fruits and vegetables cultivated in your kitchen garden. Every course, soup to dessert, will present new excitement and interest that will add to your personal entertaining brand. Typical vertical vegetable gardens? Decidedly not. Are these spectacular pungent and extravagantly beautiful versions of the ‘potager’ viable on South Florida terraces and decks? Definitely yes. And, of course, when incorporated into large and meaningful estates, they are stunning.


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Some Background What are kitchen gardens and what is their historical and current importance? In France it is called a potager; in Scotland, a kailyyaird; in Italy, an orto; and in England, a kitchen garden. Originally these were walled and separated from the residential gardens. They provided all the vegetables, herbs, flowers and garnishes needed for the table of the extended family and their guests. Kitchen gardens and the magic they produce can inspire menus, or your favorite recipes and entrées can inspire the plantings! Lemon grass chicken? Rosemary lamb? Maybe with some mint sauce?

A Royal Precedent Queen Victoria’s Consort Prince Albert conceived and designed the circa 1850 kitchen garden at Windsor Palace, the royal

Kitchen Garden at Windsor Palace couple’s favorite residence. The garden was over 22 acres, and the art of kitchen gardening was reinforced as ‘gentleman’s recreation.’ The plans for elaborate state dinners were often months in the making.

Photo courtesy authenticsuburbangourmet.

Crostini with Pear and Prosciutto Crostini di Pera e Prosciutto BY NINO PERNETTI 2 ripe but firm Bartlett or Comice pears, unpeeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges each 1/2 cup mascarpone

The Royal kitchen, which produced the succulent dishes afforded by the garden’s produce, was expansive. Kitchen gardens have historically included undulating, heated ‘peach walls,’ pineries to host pineapples, and covered orangeries. While picturesque, they are rarely needed in our nearly yearlong South Florida growing season. However, kitchen garden walls and trellises can be beautiful, and in our Zone 9 climate, they do not require the flues and heaters!

English Knot Garden

Meet Herb-Friendly Chef Nino Pernetti Consider a rosemary hedge; easy to grow and beautiful to look at. It will be an incredibly fragrant addition to your estate, garden or patio. It also makes a splendid maze or can be incorporated into an intricate knot garden. A delectable repast that features this amazing herb can include the swordfish and rosemary

1 tablespoon soft mild goat cheese (such as Montrachet) 2 tablespoons whole milk

main course conceived by celebrated restaurateur, Venice-born Nino Pernetti of Caffe Abbracci in Coral Gables. Another delectable choice would be Chef Pernetti’s beef tenderloin with aromatic herbs, including fresh rosemary and oregano. Since 1988, Chef Pernetti has been catering to his elite, expectant clientele at his Aragon Avenue location while defining the updated art of coupling herbs and local fare. His recipes include shrimp, swordfish, mussels and oysters combined with selections of fennel, basil, peppers, mushrooms, oregano and mint –- all herbs and vegetables very conducive to a beautiful kitchen garden of any size. The results are great success and surprise, and can be as important to your residential dining as they are to this Coral Gables institution. Nino Pernetti’s fabulous “Crostini with Pear and Prosciutto” appetizer can be the inspiration for a pear espalier, or a series of dwarf pear trees, happily thriving in containers on your balcony or patio. Dwarf trees became popular in the 18th century, and Keiffer, Orient and

16 1/4-inch-thick slices French baguette, lightly toasted 16 thin slices Italian prosciutto 4 julienned cups radicchio Bring enough water to boil in a saucepan to cover the pear wedges and boil the pears for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from water. Let them cool to room temperature. In a blender, combine the cheeses and millk to form a spreadable mixture. Spread the mixture evenly over each baguette slice. Place 1 pear wedge on each baguette slice and cover with a prosciutto slice. Serve on a plate with the julienned radicchio. Serves 4.

Pineapple pears can be very successful in South Florida. Bartlett pears can be substituted with any local soft pear. Your landscape gardener will know how to prune and nurture these bearers of wonderful resources for your table. The recipe is easy and will be greeted with the enthusiastic reviews of your guests. Winter 2014

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Eugene Allen (left) and Chef Roland Mesnier (right)

The Real Butler and the Pastry Chef Who Knew Him By Robin Jay


oveted Best Actor Oscar nods from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will almost certainly be in store for Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey for their portrayal of Cecil Gaines and his wife Gloria in ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler.’ The compelling movie was loosely inspired by the life of White House Butler Eugene Allen, who served for 34 years under eight United States presidents, from Truman to Reagan. “My father was a magnificent human being,” said Charles Allen, the only son of Eugene Allen, in a televised interview. “And now the world knows, too. But I had to be the instigator. Dad was private and reserved. I told him, ‘You need to do this for Mom,’ and so he signed a contract. Left to his own devices, he never would have done it.”


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At a cast press conference about Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Oprah referred to director Daniels as a “truth-seeker.” What she was referring to, however, was his passion for a sense of realism as it pertained to events from the Civil Rights Movement from the perspective of a black American family – not that he intended to create a documentary-style biography about the life of Eugene Allen. “The movie is set against historical events…but the title character, Cecil Gaines, and his family are fictionalized,” said the film’s screenwriter Danny Strong in a forward of The Butler: A Witness to History, a book by Wil Haygood, the Washington Post reporter whose brief article about Allen in 2008 struck Strong’s idea for the film.

learn the butler profession somewhere, and when he came to the White House, he knew the job already. “The way they depicted Gene in the movie; I didn’t like them changing his name. Calling him Cecil. His name is Gene. I see no reason to change his name because he was a fantastic person, a very cool guy. I never saw him getting excited, getting upset, getting angry. The former maitre d’ did that very well,” Chef Mesnier said. “Knowing where Gene worked before the White House would have been a real inspiration to many people; why they took that out and instead replaced it with people fighting on the street and stuff like this, I said to myself, ‘Why?’ Gene didn’t fight on the street. That’s not who he was. Gene would have never gotten involved with anything like that. He was the most gentle person you could ever meet. This is where my disappointment comes in. I went to the movie to see Gene Allen because, in my opinion, he had a lot of things to share with people."

Photo: Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library

MEET GENE'S WHITE HOUSE COLLEAGUE: CHEF ROLAND MESNIER With this in mind, moviegoers who were expecting a biopic about the White House Butler may have left the theater wondering just who is the real Eugene Allen? Others, particularly some kitchen colleagues who actually worked alongside Allen at the White House for decades, left the theater scratching their heads, confused about why the movie didn’t focus more on the real life of the man they had grown to know and admire. South Florida Opulence sat down with Presidential Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier, who served for five administrations, from the Carters to the Bushes. “I met Gene Allen at the end of 1979,” he recalled. “But let me tell you, there are many missing and incorrect parts in the movie. Gene started his profession as a butler at the Homestead Hotel in Southern Virginia. And that is where I also started; that is where I took the pastry chef job when I first came to the states. When I came to the White House, Gene greeted me and said, ‘Oh, by the way, I worked at the Homestead, too… Did you know so-and-so?’ Of course I knew the people he asked about. Yes! In the movie, there’s no word of The Homestead, even though it’s such an historic place. I had many private conversations with Gene, because we had this in common. The Homestead is where and how he got started in this job. He had to

December 7, 1983 – Eugene Allen with dessert served at state dinner for King and Queen of Nepal . But there were some parts of the movie Chef Mesnier thought were more accurate – such as the issue regarding proper compensation. “I remember back when Gene went to see the head usher, the man who ran the White House, to get a raise, to get more money. Gene was denied, and the man he went to see for that, of course, they changed the name. He would have been the same man I went to see for a raise myself. And my raise was also denied.

“Like Mrs. Reagan, everyone loved Gene at the White House. He didn’t talk about politics, he didn’t talk about the first family. He was always business, business, business.” — Presidential Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier

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Photo: richard m.nixon Presidential Library

October 26, 1969 – Chef Henry Haller and butlers (Eugene Allen and John Johnson) in the Family Dining Room .


o when I saw the movie, I thought to myself, ‘things haven’t changed much in that respect.’ I don’t think Gene was denied the raise for racial reasons, because they denied me, too. It’s just that at the time, the person who was managing the White House, the head usher, was very strict. I mean they just didn’t pay any money. They had a certain vision of what the White House should be and everything was very, very tight. It was impossible to make a decent salary. For the first 10 years I was in the White House, I needed to have a second job, as a teacher, to survive. I couldn’t make it on my White House salary. Washington is an extremely expensive city to live in.” Another aspect Chef Mesnier could relate to in the movie was the impact the job at the White House had on his own wife and family. “We had to work very long hours. I remember in the movie Gene’s wife complaining that he was never home. My wife was with me at the movie when I said,“Do you recollect anything like it? Of course, she did! My wife Martha lived it – for 26 years.

executive of the White House, Mr. Henry Haller, who worked with Gene for 22 years. He’s still alive; he’s going on 91 years old. “Of course they talked to Gene’s son, they talked to the family, but this is not like somebody in the White House, you know? I tell you that if they had done that, I believe they would have had so many interesting things that happened between the butler and the presidential family – which was absent really, there was very little of that. For example, Mrs. Reagan highly loved Gene. She had full confidence in him, trusted him fully in his judgment, and this is why she promoted him to maitre d.’ Gene did an excellent job balancing his job working with the kitchen and other places to make sure everybody was happy. Gene and I would coordinate everything from tea service to whether dinner platters should be china or metal. The butlers who worked under him loved to work for him because he was a gentleman, and he treated them so. Compared to the previous maitre d,’ who was very rough with the staff, Gene did not do that. He was friendly.

“It was stressful worrying about doing the job right, worrying about when a new election would come up. Are they going to keep me, are they going to let me go? There were many things to worry about. At the White House, you never knew from one day to the next what the politics of the day would be. They showed some of that in the movie with Gene and the maître d.’ But, again, I wish they would have shown more about his real life. “When they were talking about making the movie, I got a phone call from a reporter who lived close to the Homestead Hotel and the reporter asked for my opinion, what I thought about doing a movie on Gene Allen. And the newspaper did a wonderful writeup. Before they started making a movie about Gene Allen, The Butler, I thought they would be talking to other people who really worked with him. But I don’t know of anybody, none of my friends were contacted…and some are very old. I mean, we have the former


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Maitre d’ Eugene Allen serving Chef Mesnier's petit fours decorated with a sugar basket filled with sugar violettes and a sugar ribbon to Queen Noor of Jordan and Mrs. Ronald Reagan.

“Like Mrs. Reagan, everyone loved Gene at the White House. He didn’t talk about politics, he didn’t talk about the first family. He was always business, business, business. The White House does not operate like a hotel or restaurant; there’s not an employee lounge. So there was very little socializing going on among staff outside the workplace. You have to understand, staff at the White House spent so many hours on the job; the last thing they wanted to do after work was to meet again somewhere socially. Nobody lived very close to the White House. I don’t believe Gene even had a car; he used public transportation to come to work, so he wanted to head straight home to his family because it was going to take awhile to get there. And speaking of his family, the movie was incorrect about the timing of Gene’s invitation to attend a state dinner with his wife. Some felt the movie made it seem like he and his wife were uncomfortable being guests at the state dinner and that it may have impacted his reason for leaving his job. But the truth is that Mrs. Reagan invited him to the state dinner after Gene had retired. He and Helene had a nice time at the dinner. [He said so himself in

interviews]. I remember it vividly. The tradition is to be invited to a state dinner after you retire – that is how it happened with Mr. Haller, and that’s when Laura Bush invited me. My wife and I enjoyed it very much. You realize how nice things are on the other side because you never had a chance to live it when you were working. The butler who served our table knew me well; he kept my wine glass full all evening long. And that was a nice addition! “I don’t think the movie reflected really, fully, who Gene was. And it’s a shame because this man was a very special human being and did a very special job at the White House, a very superior job.”

The Butler: What’s Fact, What’s Fiction? For confused moviegoers who thought “inspired by a true story” meant they would be seeing a biography about the life of butler Eugene Allen, here’s a look, in part, on what’s fiction and what’s not in Lee Daniels’ The Butler. Fiction: Eugene Allen, the real life butler portrayed as the movie character Cecil Gaines, didn’t grow up in the cotton fields of Georgia; he didn’t witness the gruesome lynching shown in the movie; his mother wasn’t raped by a slave owner; and his father wasn’t murdered. Allen never broke into a hotel to steal food and he didn’t work at a Country Club. He didn’t have a rebellious son who joined the Black Panthers; and the son that he did have didn’t die at war. Allen’s wife wasn’t an alcoholic or a philanderer. He didn’t quit his job after overhearing President Reagan say that he’d veto sanctions against Apartheid, or because he felt uncomfortable as a guest at a state dinner hosted by the Reagans. Fact: Allen grew up in Virginia on a plantation. “There was nary a hint of bitterness in his voice about his upbringing,” Wil Haygood, a reporter with the Washington Post said. He worked as a waiter at a Virgina Hotel, and when he later earned a job at the White House, he started as a pantry stocker. Allen never missed a day of work. Jackie Kennedy did give Allen one of the president’s ties after his assassination. When asked who his favorite White House figure was during his career at the White House, he’d often say he was especially fond of Nancy Reagan who, incidentally, had promoted Allen to maitre d.’ It was after Allen retired that Mrs. Reagan invited him and his wife as guests at a state dinner. “What an enjoyment!” Allen said in a filmed interview by the Smithsonian about attending the state dinner with his wife Helene. Allen’s son Charles said in a television interview, “People would ask my dad, ‘Who was your favorite president?’ And he would answer, ‘Well I liked all of them.’ And he really did. And those feelings were reciprocated. Forest Whitaker captured the essence of my father’s behavior just about spot on. He studied archived film clips and talked to me and had a butler coach. Some of the scenes shown at home when my parents were older were so realistic that my cousin had to be carried out of the theater from being overcome by emotion. Ms. Winfrey’s interpretation of my mother doesn’t follow her behavioral patterns, but that’s because my mom was also quiet, and they needed her character in the movie to play off against Cecil Gaines. I thought Ms. Winfrey did an amazing job.”

Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


Once Upon

a Century

of Parisian



South Florida OPULENCE

Winter 2014

Celebrating the centenary of the Dome at Les Galeries Lafayette By Florence Brachet Champsaur, Curator of Galeries Lafayette Archives and Corporate Legacy, with excerpts from Éditions La Martinière nce upon a time, in 1893, two cousins from Alsace, Théophile Bader and Alphonse Kahn, formed a partnership in Paris to take over the lease of a modest dry goods store and opened, in 1894, the first novelty shop “Aux Galeries Lafayette,” at 1 rue Lafayette. The rapid success of the store was to allow the founders to greatly enlarge the initial retail space of 70 square meters. In 1902, Galeries Lafayette purchased the buildings at 38, 40 and 42, boulevard Haussmann. The block of buildings delimited by Haussmann boulevard, Chausée d’Antin, Mogador and Provence streets was redesigned for oriental bazaars, where the hodgepodge of merchandise and departments was intended to drive customers into a buying frenzy. Galeries Lafayette attracted with equal appeal the ladies of the high society and working women, those shop and office employees, seamstresses and other area workers who made time during their lunch breaks to go shopping. They were literally known as “midinettes,” literally known as light lunchers. The excellent location in the heart of an active shopping quarter brought a large clientele each day, to the point where expansion became unavoidable.

Constructing the Monumental Stained Glass Dome


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It was during the expansion carried out between 1909 and 1912 that the Dome was erected. It became the emblem of Galeries Lafayette – indeed the signature of the store in the eyes of the customer, and a very powerful tourist attraction for the French capital. Famed architect Ferdinand Chanut was hired to design the ambitious project, which introduced a new circular conception of space. The central hall with its balconies, the monumental staircase and the Dome formed a tiered theater-like ensemble at the center of the store. Chanut commissioned major artists from the Art Nouveau movement, including Jacques Gruber, a master glassmaker of the Ecole de Nancy, who created the colorful neo-Byzantine stained-glass windows adorning the Dome; and Lois Majorelle, who produced the ironwork of the balconies and the commanding staircase of the main hall. The inauguration of the Galeries Lafayette Dome on 8 October 1912 marks the highpoint of the “built-in-stone” building strategy that defined the conquest of the Haussmann area of Paris. This pioneering use allowed the architect to give expression to the curves and sinusoidal shapes of modernism of the early years of the century. Ironwork bundles, shaped into floral motifs and attributed to Edouard Schenck, spring from the concrete to frame the Dome’s 10 glass panels. Gruber’s stained-glass windows alternate blue and orange hues to cast a warm light, much loved by Théophile

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From the rooftop terrace, one could see all of Paris, with an unobstructed sight of the new Eiffel Tower. To add to Chedanne and Chanut’s masterpiece, were the magnificent storeshop windows, creating desire by passersby, something that continues still today…

Bader, who had instructed the architect to create a “luxury bazaar.” Forty-three meters high, the Dome was capped with a lantern made of metal; inside, a pulley served to hoist the department store’s famous Christmas tree, and many other objects over the years, including an airplane in 1949!

A Plane Landing on the Roof of the Haussmann Store Before the war, Galeries Lafayette promised 25,000 Francs to the aviator who could successfully land a plane on the terrace of the store. On January 19th, 1919, Jules Védrines took off from Issy-Les-Moulineaux at 12:40 aboard his Gaudron G3 aeroplane and landed it a few minutes later at the store. He was awarded the grand prize, but was given a 16-Franc ticket for having flown over Paris and landing in a forbidden area. After the dark years of the 1929 crisis and the war, it wasn’t until the ’50s when business started to pick up again. To celebrate the economic recovery, André Labarthe took off from England on July 4th, 1948, with his aeroplane full of packages. He landed on the store’s terrace to be greeted by a curious crowd and eager journalists. The store grew to 96 departments, adding to the traditional offerings such innovations as haberdashery, photography, lighting, furniture, travel goods, toys and tableware. On its higher floors, the store offered a tearoom, a library and a hairdressing salon for its cherished clients to unwind or just to escape from the pressures of the city. The store was constantly diversifying their offers: In the more traditional departments, menswear, furniture, toys and dinnerware were then also added to the repertoire.

Galeries Lafayette is a private and independent family group, heir to nearly 120 years of history built on distribution and the retail trade, with a vocation to make all that is beautiful and good within the reach of as many people as possible.

Once Upon a Christmas This year’s Christmas spectacle Once Upon A Christmas, before the clock strikes 12 – a magical number – leads to the most fanciful dreams: A fairy-tale romance where time and imagination run wild, setting the scene for a wonderful Christmas for young and old. Visitors can take time out to visit the enchanted forest and its clockwork pieces, see Lili, Martin and their menagerie of legendary creatures in the window displays, and marvel at the dazzling Christmas tree, which is illuminated every hour by Swatch, the Christmas present village and the exceptional guest film Beauty and the Beast. Said Philippe Houzé, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Galeries Lafayette Group, “Prepare to be amazed!”

The Goude Touch A Ten-Year Campaign for Galeries Lafayette by Patrick Mauriès


ver since the poster and advertising assumed a major part in our culture in the 20th century, great creative artists have made a huge visual impact on the feeling of every era that they have filtered and formulated. The most outstanding graphic artists give life and expression to their epoch, making an indelible mark on our memories.


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Jean-Paul Goude is one of the world’s most brilliant and unorthodox imagemakers. This book assembles a collection of advertising artwork he created over a 10-year period for Galeries Lafayette — Paris’s most celebrated department store.

Jean-Paul Goude is one of the world’s most brilliant and unorthodox imagemakers. The Goude Touch: A Ten-Year Campaign for Galeries Lafayette assembles a collection of advertising artwork he created over a 10-year period for Galeries Lafayette – Paris’s most celebrated department store. In an inspired moment, Galeries Lafayette gave Goude a rare degree of creative freedom, and Goude responded with some of the best work he has ever made. His campaign for Galeries Lafayette is a celebration of Goude’s creative zest and perfectionism, and his unique affinity for making fresh and engaging commercial artworks. Goude has worked at the forefront of commercial art, advertising and illustration for over three decades. From his work at Esquire magazine in New York in the 1970s, with Grace Jones in the 1980s, and organizing France’s Bicentennial Parade in 1989, to notable advertising campaigns for Chanel and many other brands before his triumphant partnership with Galeries Lafayette, he has captured or created some of the most memorable visual legends of our time. Jean-Paul's books, The Goude Touch, So Far So Goude, and Jean-Paul Goude, A Retrospective, are available at

Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


How the

Beatles & Rolling Stones Met Betsy Ross on South Beach By Dale King and Julia Hebert


It may be serendipity that the ex-money manager, Jonathan Pluznik, tired of that trade, would buy at auction the failed Betsy Ross Hotel at 1440 Ocean Jonathan Pluznik Drive six years ago. After spending two years and millions of dollars on a total restoration, he turned the floundering business into the only Four Star boutique hotel in Miami.

The Betsy Ross, built in 1942, apparently got its name through war-related patriotic fervor, says Jonathan. “We still have Betsy Ross on top of the building,” he says, laughingly commenting, “Not the real person, of course.” During the upgrade, he was careful to retain original style points – even the tiny, mahogany elevators – though he changed the name to “The Betsy-South Beach.”

Arts, Culture and Philanthropy Another element accompanied the resurgence of the only colonial-style building on a street where Art Deco predominates. Jonathan and his sister, Deborah Briggs, vowed to make the place a center for cultural arts and encouraged creative travelers from around the globe to engage in “things that matter.” Jonathan, the hotel’s chairman and principal owner, and Deborah, who arranges all the cultural events, said The Betsy’s artistic offerings include live music, art exhibitions, jazz nights, poetry readings, book signings, guest room libraries, poems placed on pillows at nightly turn-downs and, since 2009, a charitable collaboration with more than 200 service-driven organizations.



s if a vortex of historical events had set down near Miami Beach, famed American flag maker Betsy Ross and British rockers, the Beatles and Rolling Stones, are mingling in eclectic wonderment at a restored colonial-style hotel saved from bankruptcy by a former Wall Street financier with an overpowering interest in the arts.

Mick Jagger (December, 1965- Beverly Hills, CA) 66

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The Betsy - South Beach at dusk. are only seen in posed pictures or in concerts. Even the so-called ‘candids’ were really posed.”

“I didn’t want it to be a place selling luxury rooms for a lot of money inside a protected bubble,” says the hotelier. Instead, he has created “a welcoming space,” one where visitors arrive by cab, limo or right from the beach to enjoy culture, most of it free.

These photos were different, capturing views of the boys preparing for performances and lounging about at a multitude of venues. A five-person partnership that includes Larry and Alex opened the Not Fade Away Gallery to display the rare pictures. “We were overwhelmed by the attention it got. Keith Richards’ daughters were the DJs at the opening party,” said Larry. Two books of the photos have since been published.

Hotel Gallery for British Rock Stars

“Alex’s dad died in 1992,” says Larry. “He kept the items until 2008 when he decided to sell them.” Bob Bonis, described as “a surrogate father” to the Beatles and Stones, never tried to make money from the pictures during his lifetime. “These are the only photos I have seen that are from an insider’s point of view,” said Larry. “The Beatles and the Stones were the most photographed groups in history. But they

John Lennon (1966)



The search for media “that matters” reached north where Larry Marion, curator of the Not Fade Away Gallery in Brooklyn, N.Y., learned of the quest. The art center opened in 2009 after he acquired thousands of “lost” photos of the Beatles and Rolling Stones from Alex Bonis, son of the late Bob Bonis, road manager for the British groups during 1964-1966 U.S. tours. Bob shot thousands of photos as a sideline to his job as tour manager for both bands. Later, he tucked his memorabilia, including pictures, into a duffle bag.

Keith Richards (1965) Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


The charming Colonial-style terrace at The Betsy - South Beach

The Godfather of Soul James Brown with Mick Jagger (1964)


Jonathan and Deborah, two of four children, were born into a literary family. Their father, Hyam, a three-time Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet and professor, died when Jonathan was 7. He has brought dad’s desk to the hotel where it occupies the “Writer’s Room,” which


Deborah and Larry met – and many photos soon flowed to The Betsy. Now, a youthful Mick Jagger stares down at diners at BLT Steak, the hotel’s elegant steakhouse. Another shows John, Paul and George sitting in a circle, tuning their guitars. Jonathan says the photos are on “long-term loan,” and are also for sale.

The Beatles in Toronto (1964) 68

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Winter 2014

can be used for five to seven days by a scribe in return only for a talk at the hotel or speech to students at a Miami-Dade school. Another “Writer’s Room” is located in the former Carlton Hotel, just behind The Betsy, which Jonathan recently bought. It will offer longer stays to those with a facility for the written word – and more space to all manner of artists. Based on Jonathan’s long-term plans for “cultivating the sights and sounds of art, music and literature” at The Betsy, Ms. Ross will likely be hanging out with the top “British Invasion” musicians for quite some time.

A first-ever exhibit of art’s historic passion for 19th century By Robin Jay


South Florida OPULENCE

Winter 2014

French fashion

In certain circles, it was a widely held belief that 90 percent of the body’s fashion sense escaped through the scalp. Hence the importance of the hat. ~Jean-Paul Brunier

Frederic Bazille (French, 1841-1870) Painting name: Pierre-August Renoir, 1867 Oil on canvas, 61.2 x 50 cm, Musée d'Orsay, Paris, on deposit to the Musée Fabre, Montpellier

Jean Beraud (French, 1849-1935), A Ball, 1878 Oil on canvas, 65 x 117 cm, Musée d'Orsay, Paris "Women in white and men in black are self-consciously posed across the expansive ballroom. The frieze of black figures punctuated by the pastel ball dresses with languid trains speaks of these formfitting, mermaid-style dresses, a model invented by Charles Frederick Worth," said Gloria Groom.

"In Bazille's portrait, Renoir is rakishly posed but respectably dressed, his posture adding interest to an outfit that is indistinguishable from that of other society men. His boots have elastic inserts, an innovation of the nineteenth century that enabled men and women to pull their boots on without closures. These boots and his coordinating, but not matching, coat and pants were all appropriate for daytime. Although Paris was the center of women's fashion, London dictated taste in menswear. As the decorated trimming of women's clothing escalated, supported by the established luxury industry of Paris, men's garments became more sober and focused on fit and the precise details championed by British tailors," said Phillippe Thiebaut. Winter 2014

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aris’ prominence as the international capital of style ignited in the latter half of the 19th century, when countless artists yearned to capture nuances of modern life. Impressionist luminaries – like Jean Beraud, Gustave Caillebotte, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre-August Renoir and Georges Seurat – saw fashion as the ideal instrument for defining and expressing modernity. In the first-of-its-kind, world-touring exhibit, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris collaborated to compile an incredible collection focusing on fashion in the works of Impressionists. “Working with paintings of this caliber is thrilling for a curator,” said Gloria Groom, David and Mary Winton Green Curator of 19th Century European Painting and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. “But equally exciting is to be able to add dimension to the works of art by the presentation of period dresses and accessories. Establishing the conversation between the paintings and the actual artifacts – dresses, gloves, corsets, fans, hats parasols…have made this exhibition unlike any other presented at the museum.”

Couture Inspiration Back in the day, the Impressionists found inspiration in fashion as a result of the city’s burgeoning new department stores, made-to-wear clothing and fashion magazines.

Albert Bartholomé (French, 1848–1928) In the Conservatory (Madame Bartholomé), ca. 1881 Oil on canvas; 91 3/4 x 56 1/8 in. (233 x 142.5 cm) Musée d'Orsay, Paris, Gift of the Société des Amis du Musée d'Orsay, 1990

The swiftly evolving styles, adventurous dress cuts and enterprising suit shapes evoked a modern essence that charted the social, commercial, economic and artistic modifications that more directly take after today’s way of life. The collection examines the booming middle-class consumerism during the period and shifting silhouettes as seen, for example, in the switch from crinoline to the bustle. Actual period fashion pieces – some the identical item depicted in a painting – provide a never-before opportunity for visitors to see in person the flourishing consumer culture from the 1860s to

Summer dress worn by Madame Bartholomé in the painting In the Conservatory, French, 1880. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, gift of the gallery Charles and André Bailly, 1991, ODO 1991 1.


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Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926) Madame Louis Joachim Gaudibert, 1868 Oil on canvas; 85 7/16 x 54 9/16 in. (217 x 138.5 cm) Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Acquired thanks to an anonymous Canadian gift, 1951 Day Dress French, 1865–67 Gray silk faille The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mrs. Alfred Poor, 1958

the 1880s. Take, for example, Albert Bartholomé’s In the Conservatory (c. 1881) and the purple and white summer dress worn by Madame Bartholomé or Claude Monet’s Camille (1886) and an English promenade dress (1865/68). The Impressionist canvases not only accentuate the intimate correlation between fashion and art, but also represent how artists utilized, manipulated and altered fashion as a stage for their trailblazing examinations.

1887 – French Brown silk velvet trimmed with ostrich feathers and gold metallic thread The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Edgar Degas. Millinery Shop, 1879/86. The Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Larned Coburn Memorial Collection. Winter 2014

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Madame Georges Charpentier and Her Children, 1878. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund.

BY Katie Rahn, Art InstituTe of Chicago

Because there are too many fun facts about Madame Georges Charpentier and her children to pass up, in no particular order, here are five pieces of trivia about Renoir’s illustrious painting.


In the 1870s and 80s, Renoir was an in-demand society painter and it all started with this painting. Madame Charpentier and Her Children was commissioned in 1878 and first exhibited at the Impressionist Salon of 1879. Viewers and critics instantly recognized socialite Madame Charpentier as the wife of Georges Charpentier, the head of a successful publishing house. Society followers took note and a trend was born.


This painting features Madame Charpentier with her son and daughter. Yes, you read that correctly. Her son is in the painting. Paul is seated on the sofa next to his mother while his sister Georgette perches on the family’s Newfoundland. And while it was fairly common for young boys to be dressed like girls while they were very young, it was much less common for a boy to be dressed exactly like his older sister in matching white silk reception dresses. 74

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This portrait also reflected the relatively new development in portrait painting of including the subjects’ surroundings. We can clearly see the Charpentier’s luxurious living room decked out in the of-the-moment Japanese style with painted screens and bamboo furniture.


The Charpentiers had very close relationships with many 19th-century French luminaries. In addition to Renoir referring to himself as the Charpentier’s court painter, Madame also hosted a very influential Parisian salon, welcoming artists like Degas, Monet and Manet into her home.


When the Charpentier’s collection was sold at auction in 1907, The Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased it through an intermediary for the unprecedented sum of 92,400 francs. It was thus the first painting added to the Met’s collection of Impressionist art.


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The Mystique of

Alchimie Photographique By Alex Starace


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Cubaborn and Spain-raised, Diego Quiros – who now hangs his hat in Miami – is not a man to shy away from grandeur. Nor is he a man to ignore his impulses. A natural born scientist with an affinity for math and physics, the degreed engineer left his day job to follow his passion – as an author and photographer. Quiros has developed a unique photographic style that he dubs Alchimie Photographique, which is French for Alchemic Photography.

Image: Diamond Winter 2014

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Trailing behind, Quiros snapped a photo he would later title The Name of the Rose, an image that captures so well the haunting mystery of that afternoon.



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As Quiros puts it, “Everything can be broken down into the four classical elements … space (air), matter (earth), energy (fire) and the flow of time (water). I catalogue my photography in a similar fashion – passion, sunrises and sunsets are categorized as fire, for example.”

Philosophical Photographer The Quiros aesthetic is heavily influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and the Symbolists, both of whom “believed that art should represent truths that could only be described indirectly,” according to the artist. His biggest influence, however, is the poet Louise Gluck, whose essay on the “unsaid” points out that a deliberate silence in a written text can touch a reader in a way that a description or a spelling-out of the story simply can’t. Quiros incorporates this theory into his photography. For example, in his piece The Name of the Rose (left, page 78),

a monk walks down the hallway of an abbey, while the viewer is left to wonder what the monk is thinking and where he is going. It’s an image pregnant with possibility. In speaking with South Florida Opulence, Quiros lifted the veil on that particular photograph. It started when he was visiting what he had been told was an abandoned monastery. The main building was locked – he had tried unsuccessfully to open it using a heavy circular ring of a handle that had thumped against the door when he let go. A few minutes later, to his surprise, a monk opened the door and asked what he wanted. Quiros apologized and began to leave, but the monk invited him inside. As soon as he entered, the monk locked the door behind them. Quiros was led deeper into the ancient building, each room becoming more elaborate

and featuring more and more valuable ornaments. The monk locked every door behind them, causing Quiros to fear for his safety and develop a plan by which he would grab a bronze candle holder to defend himself, should it be necessary. Eventually, they came to a courtyard far inside the building, where Quiros was shown a cemetery. The monk explained that every monk who had died at the monastery was buried there – and that there was an empty plot where he himself would one day be buried. After then showing Quiros three sundials nearby – the tools he used to track time – the monk began to lead him out of the courtyard. Trailing behind, Quiros snapped a photo he would later title The Name of the Rose, an image that captures so well the haunting mystery of that afternoon.

When you do a painting, there’s always the primary colors. You have red, yellow and blue. But the most beautiful colors are all the other colors that you can mix, like the greens and purples, the violets and the oranges. I feel like I’m more of a mixture of those three primary colors. …

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Global Adventure Quiros has travelled the world plying his art. “I don’t feel like I belong in any specific country,” he said. “I see myself as a mixture of all three cultures: Cuban, Spanish and American. When you do a painting, there’s always the primary colors. You have red, yellow and blue.


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But the most beautiful colors are all the other colors that you can mix, like the greens and purples, the violets and the oranges. I feel like I’m more of a mixture of those three primary colors. … I find that it really opens your horizons to explore and be open to different lifestyles and people, and what they’re all about.”

Quiros certainly has no trouble keeping an open mind. An avid reader, he is currently exploring Celtic history and folklore and plans to travel to northern Spain and Ireland to photograph Celtic ruins. “I’m looking for ancient burial grounds, abandoned Celtic villages and castles.” Such an

St. Paul’s Cathedral

exotic, far-ranging project might seem like the opportunity of a lifetime – but for someone devoted to the classicism of Alchimie Photographique, the trip is simply the fulfillment of the human urge to create. To view Quiros’ online gallery, go to www.

“Everything can be broken down into the four classical elements … space (air), matter (earth), energy (fire) and the flow of time (water). I catalogue my photography in a similar fashion – passion, sunrises and sunsets are categorized as fire, for example.” — Diego Quiros Winter 2014

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CREED: Spice and Wood Sixth-generation master perfumer of France, Olivier Creed, presents a new fragrance for men and women, Spice and Wood, an homage to the romance of Antony and Cleopatra. It is the second in the Royal Exclusives collection that celebrates CREED’s 250th anniversary in 2010. One of the most ambitious projects in CREED’s history, the Royal Exclusives are a statement to the aesthetic world about the legacy, quality and collectability of fragrance as art. $675 at Neiman Marcus, Bal Harbour.

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Sensuous Steel


Winter 2014

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1930 Cord L-29 Cabriolet


ascination with automobiles transcends age, gender, and environment. While today automotive manufacturers often strive for economy and efficiency, there was a time when elegance reigned.  Influenced by the Art Deco movement that began in Paris in the early 1920s and propelled to prominence with the success of the International Exposition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in 1925, automakers embraced the sleek new streamlined forms and aircraft-inspired materials, creating memorable automobiles that still thrill all who see them. Sensuous Steel: Art Deco Automobiles at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee, is an exhibition from some of the most renowned car collections in the United States. Inspired by the Frist Center’s historic Art Deco building, this exhibition features spectacular automobiles and motorcycles from the 1930s and ‘40s that exemplify the classic elegance, luxurious materials, and iconography of motion that characterizes vehicles influenced by the Art Deco style. With the Art Deco style so iconic in Miami Beach, South Florida Opulence thought you’d enjoy a front-and-center look at some of the very classic cars that likely cruised down the streets of South Beach. Buckle up and enjoy the ride! Errett Lobban Cord rose to national prominence after rescuing the Auburn Automobile Company of Auburn, Indiana, in 1928. Seeing an opportunity for a uniquely engineered luxury automotive brand, Cord encouraged Fred and August Duesenberg to

build what he envisioned as America’s finest motorcar. Noted racecar constructor Harry A. Miller was retained to engineer a radical front-drive chassis. The innovative and luxurious L-29 Cord was unfortunately introduced just as the New York Stock Market crashed. The lowslung bodylines were exquisite. Features include an Art Deco styled transaxle cover, an elegant streamlined grille that evoked the styling of Harry Miller’s racing cars, sweeping clamshell fenders, and a low roofline. These are embellished by myriad Art Deco styled details ranging from accented fender trim, tapered headlamp shapes, etched door-handle detailing and tiny, but exquisite instrument panel dials. The L-29 Cord’s art modern styling and engineering prowess attracted buyers of taste and style who were not afraid to try something different. Owners included the era’s most prominent and controversial architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, who bought a new L-29 Convertible Phaeton in 1929. Wright had many of his cars painted in a bright hue called Taliesin orange.

1930 Cord L-29 Cabriolet. Collection of Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum. [Photograph by Peter Harholdt]


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1936 Delahaye


his stunning Delahaye was one of French coachbuilders Joseph Figoni‘s and Ovidio Falaschi’s first aerodynamic coupe designs. The coupe’s striking design emphasized

flowing lines with teardrop-shaped chrome accents on the hood and the front and rear fenders. The door handles and headlights were flush with the body. The dashboard was made of rich, golden wood, a Figoni & Falaschi signature. A sliding metal sunroof and a windshield that opened outward at the bottom afforded ventilation.

A French racing driver named Albert Perrot commissioned this coupe. The Comtesse de la Saint Amour de Chanaz displayed it at a concours d’elegance in Cannes. It was successfully hidden from the Germans during World War II. After the war, it reportedly belonged to actress Dolores del Rio, a wellknown owner of exotic cars who lived in Mexico City and Los Angeles.

1936 Delahaye 135M Figoni & Falaschi Competition Coupe. Collection of Jim Patterson/The Patterson Collection. [Photograph by Peter Harholdt]

Winter 2014

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1938 Tatra


ne of the most advanced designs of the pre-World War II era came from Czechoslovakia. Czech-based Koprivnicka vozovka evolved into Nesseldorfer Waggonfabrik and was renamed Tatra in 1927 after the country’s prominent mountain range. The Tatra was a perfect platform for the new emphasis on streamlining being pioneered by aircraft and Zeppelin designer Paul Jaray. A short front end flowed to a curved roofline that gracefully sloped into a long fastback tail. When integrated fenders and a full undertray were added, wind resistance was dramatically reduced. According to automobile designer Raffi Minasian, “The Tatra T97 was one of the most interesting and well-developed engineering and design intersections of the Deco period.” It may have lacked the usual flamboyance of the traditional French coachbuilders of the period, but it manifested the expression of Art Deco design as a merger of science and industry where form was dictated by function. To see more Sensuous Steel of the Art Deco era, go to

1938 Tatra T97. Collection of Lane Motor Museum. [Photograph by Peter Harholdt]


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Winter 2014

Chivalry Thrives in America’s Oldest Priory Discover the Little-Known Acts of Kindness from the Centuries Old Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller By Dale King and Julia Hebert

nighthood is still in vogue and chivalry continues to flourish – at least among members of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller. For nearly 1,000 years, they have lived those noble traits and cared for the poor, sick and injured while fighting to protect its own ranks and citizens of the Holy Land. First put to the test at a hostel-turned-hospital in Jerusalem during the 11th century, the Order was officially established in 1099 as a military and religious organization with its own Papal charter. This heraldic fellowship created hospitals around the world even as it fought to maintain its home base. Forced out of Jerusalem and Rhodes, the organization struck a deal in 1530 with Spain’s Emperor Charles V to acquire the island of Malta for an annual payment of a falcon to the Viceroy of Sicily. Thus originated the phrase, “Maltese Falcon.” Napoleon forced the Order off the island in 1798, but it returned to Malta in 1985 to establish its new world headquarters. Despite the scattering of its members following several conquests, this elite coterie has grown to number 1,000 people worldwide, organized into Grand Priories, Priories and Commanderies in 14 countries. The Americas Priory consists of commanderies in New York, Texas, Florida and the West Indies. “Fast-forward to the 21st century and the Order is still providing assistance in much the same way as it did nearly a millennium ago,” said OSJ Chevalier Gregory W. Schultz of Wellington, Fla. This includes the construction and furnishing of a hospital in the Holy Land and custom-designing ambulances for the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. “We do a lot of things in South America as well as domestically, such as helping out after Hurricane Sandy and at St. John’s Hospital in Long Island.” While it continues to make worthy contributions today, the Order is not widely recognized. “Nobody seems to know about us until they receive a letter telling them that two people have recommended them for membership,” says Schultz. Europeans are “much more conscious” of the Order and its work and “have a longer memory,” says OSJ Chevalier James Gavrilos. But “in America,” says Schultz, “we fought a revolution to change the hereditary monarch system.” So while the concept of regally dressed people knighting fellow members and conducting rites while dressed in royal red robes with white collars bearing gold 88

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or silver stripes of organizational rank may be intriguing, it seems a bit medieval. In the Order of St. John, however, knighthood is earned, not passed down in bloodline. “Individuals that have distinguished themselves in philanthropic and volunteer initiatives within their communities and abroad” can be invited to join. Relatives are not automatically accepted. “Florida is the most active commandery in the U.S.,” with 23 Knights and Dames. Another 11 will soon be invested. Once part of the Order, they can work their way up to the coveted rank of Grand Cross – the highest rung. One of the few to attain the Grand Cross title is Henrietta, Countess de Hoernle Henrietta, Countess de Hoernle of Boca Raton, Fla., who has donated more than $40 million to upwards of 30 charities in Florida and New York. To honor the countess for her ardent generosity, the Knights of St. John held gala celebrations for her 100th birthday in 2012 and her 101st birthday this year. St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, is built on the premise that “every nation, every age and every people call out for the true knight. Theirs is a life of duties to be performed, ideas to be upheld. Their voice speaks for fairness and justice.” In the 21st century, this ancient and chivalric Order thrives on its collective mission: “Faith and service to humanity.”

Le Gala Des Mystères Rami Kadi's latest collection tells the tale of a graceful beauty, who, on a starlit night, was invited to attend a lavish gala in a faraway palace, only to find time had betrayed her and she was standing amidst the remains of a party, torn and tarnished by the years gone by, and left at the mercy of nature which was claiming back its stolen territories.

Draped Silk Jacquard Gown

It is within the décor of what used to be a palace, now taken over by rust, moist and climbing foliage, that the scenery of this collection unfolds, taking us on a journey mixing luxury and grandeur to the whispers of a revolting nature and a hurried time… From exquisite embroideries to dramatic volumes, where lace embraces noble fabrics in a ballet of creativity, Kadi's collection for this season is set to bring yet another chapter of success to the young designer's journey. To view more fashion collections, go to

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Haute couture hand-beaded lace evening gown


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Hand embroidered Swarovski dress

Lace & tulle gown

Hand embroidered jersey dress

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Intricate hand-beaded evening gown


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Lace top & feather skirt

Haute couture evening gown

Lace & feather dress

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Luxury Jewelry and Watch Brands Highlight Holiday Gift Giving


rt is the cornerstone of fashion. And at Aventura Mall, style is embraced by a setting that’s more than your traditional shopping mall, but an inspiring cultural experience.

It’s no wonder Aventura Mall is Miami’s premier fashion destination and ranked one of the most visited malls in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure. The center features world-renowned luxury brands, alongside a private art collection positioned throughout its corridors, making it an alluring shopping destination among South Florida residents and visitors. Highlighting Aventura Mall’s extraordinary retailer mix is its high-end jewelry and timepiece selections. With access to brands such as Cartier, Rolex, Dior, Omega and Breitling, the center has become a haven for the watch and jewelry connoisseur. Cartier at Aventura Mall welcomes guests with breathtaking chandeliers and glistening display cases that are filled with stunning jewelry and intricate watches. As the second largest boutique in the U.S., featuring both classic and newly debuted collections, Cartier is sure to please the most discerning clientele. Omega – which recently expanded its store – Breitling, Montblanc, TAG Heuer, Ulysse Nardin and the newly opened Corum provide an unparalleled selection of watches for men and women. Tourneau, the Dior boutique at Bloomingdale’s and the Rolex and Chanel shops at Mayors offer even more options to those looking for high-end timepieces.


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This year, Louis Vuitton opened a magnificent, two-story flagship store at Aventura Mall. With exquisite interior appointments and a private entrance, the store enjoys a section dedicated to fine jewelry. Offering more than what meets the eye, Louis Vuitton also boasts an extensive collection of leather goods, fashion apparel and shoes, as the brand’s second largest location in the U.S. Exclusive to the Aventura Mall boutique, men can custom design a pair of shoes to fit their personal style. Carrying more luxury goods than ever, Aventura Mall’s extensive jewelry and timepiece collection is complemented by an exceptional lineup of fashion brands, such as Emilio Pucci, REDValentino, Philipp Plein, Sandro, Burberry and more. While Aventura Mall has a diverse selection of retailers, it provides more than just a shopping experience. Recognizing the positive impact that art has on the lives of others, it strives to bring a cultural and artistic presence into its center. Aventura Mall features a private collection of works by renowned international and South Florida artists through its cultural program Turnberry for the Arts. On display are site-specific installations that include Untitled by Jorge Pardo, Eye Benches by Louise Bourgeois, and Back of a Snowman by Gary Hume. For the latest news in fashion and the best in art, culture and events in South Florida, as well as Aventura Mall happenings, visit

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Fleurs de Gardenia Sixth-generation master perfumer Olivier CREED looks beyond our times to revive innocence and the first bloom of love with new Fleurs de Gardenia fragrance for women. He blends First Love gardenias, which grow only in pairs, to rewrite romance the way we first felt it: a pure, gentle, dreamlike reality of fluttering hearts and soaring spirits. Fleurs de Gardenia’s feminine bottle seems to blush with the heady romance of this new perfume. 2.5 ounces $260. Available at Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour.

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Tailored to your taste. Key Biscayne

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Contact Thania Vernon 305.582.3761│ These images are for illustrative purposes only. The final product and the material used are subject to significant change at the sole discretion of the developer.


Iris Cantor: Sharing Rodin with the World

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rooklyn born and fiercely proud of it, Iris Cantor, a statuesque former model and stockbroker, is cited among the 50 top philanthropists in the United States and is head of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation since 1978. With primary interests in medicine and the arts, the foundation has donated several hundreds of millions to museums and hospitals.

Iris’s late husband, B. Gerald Cantor, Bernie to his friends, was the pioneering founder of Cantor Fitzgerald L.P., one of the largest government bond brokers in the country with a blue-chip institutional customer list that includes the nation’s biggest banks, pension funds, mutual fund managers and corporate treasurers. Iris and Bernie were married nearly 20 years until his death in 1996.

Low-key and known for her no-nonsense style, Iris has received the National Medal of Arts awarded by President Clinton in 1995 and the rank of Chevalier in the French National Order of the Legion of Honour in 2000; but you’ll never know it meeting her.

Bernie Cantor’s love-at-first-sight encounter in 1945 with Rodin’s sculpture The Hand of God in marble, at the Met, inspired what was to become the largest and most comprehensive private collection of the works by Auguste Rodin in the world.

Over the years, the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation has donated approximately 450 Rodin pieces to New York’s Metropolitan Museum, Brooklyn Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Stanford University. In addition, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts: Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Film Center, Faye’s Café in honor of Iris’s mother, the College of the Holy Cross-The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery were created. Since 1995, Iris has been a Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum. She is an Honorary Trustee of the North Carolina Museum of Art and a former Trustee of the Brooklyn Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Legend has it Bernie was strolling one day on Madison Avenue and saw The Hand of God, in bronze, displayed in a gallery window and immediately walked in. “I was just at the Met and saw one in marble, is this one authentic?” Bernie inquired. “Yes, it is. Rodin worked in many mediums and he did enlargements, as well as reductions, of his works. This is the bronze reduction of the marble Hand of God. If you’re interested in Rodin, you must visit the Musée Rodin in France,” the dealer responded. “One day I will. For now, how much is The Hand?”

The scope of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor’s generosity truly hit home when I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art with an ultrasophisticated Francophile friend this spring. A serious art collector herself, who lives steps away from the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsey, she was awed by the span of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor exhibit. Basking in the soft light, Rodin’s sculptures mesmerize thousands of the museum’s visitors each and every year.

The Thinker

“Ninety five dollars.” “I’ll take it.” Bernie said, and then he thought about it. “I just spent two months rent.”

The Sculptor: Auguste Rodin In 1880, Auguste Rodin was commissioned to create his most ambitious endeavor, 20 years in the making: an entrance portal for a new decorative arts museum, which was never built. A set of doors was later named The Gates of Hell. In 1978, more than 100 years later, Iris’s and Bernie’s foresight and their iron will saw The Gates of Hell, nearly 21 feet high, cast in bronze. The large-scale commission took more than three years to complete and achieved a lasting legacy of one of the most celebrated artists of the turn of the century. It made Auguste Rodin, the progenitor of modern sculpture, a household name worldwide. At Iris’s suggestion, the project inspired an award-winning documentary called Rodin, the Gates of Hell. Q: Tell us about the process; what inspired this project? Iris Cantor: “Foremost, it was Bernie’s love and passion for Rodin, and the enormous challenge it presented. Our commission, the fifth such undertaking, turned out to be a very historic event because it was the first time in more than a century that a painstaking lost-wax process to cast The Gates of Hell in bronze was successfully completed. All other versions were made in sandcasting. Bernie was once asked why he waited so long. ‘Simply, I didn’t have the money,’ he said.” Q: What do you feel when you visit Stanford University’s exhibit? Iris Cantor: “I feel a sense of accomplishment that my late husband,

Newly installed Rodin exhibit courtesy of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Bernie, resurrected Rodin. Because of his passion for Rodin’s works, Bernie’s goal was always to share it with the public, and he did. And so do I.” Q: Spreading the gospel of Rodin’s greatness and funding numerous museums and universities and hospital expansions clearly has been the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor foundation’s mantra. How do you determine who will become a recipient? Iris Cantor: “Before I become personally involved in a project, I look for two essential qualities. First, the cause must be something I feel passionate about. And second, I want to make a real difference by supporting that cause – and by encouraging others to do the same.” Q: From where do you draw the inspiration to foresee the impact your generosity will have on the future generations?

headquarters prior to 9/11 miraculously survived. What prompted this move? Was it fate? Iris Cantor: “When Bernie was alive, we actually had a museum there at one time, by appointment only. With numerous visitors, it became disturbing to the day-to-day functions of the firm. The collection then was moved and was divided between the Met and the Brooklyn Museum. Fate, I don’t know, perhaps.”

“My excitement about the project inspires me. I know when I finish, the impact will be there for everyone to see and share.”

Iris Cantor: “My excitement about the project inspires me. I know when I finish, the impact will be there for everyone to see and share. Generosity lives on and there will always be generous people. Hopefully my generation will ignite a spark in the generations to come to share their good fortunes with others.”

Q; And what message or advice would you give to a ‘budding’ collector today? . Iris Cantor: “Buy what you love, that’s what I would tell them.” Q: What more do you aspire to achieve personally in the years to come? Iris Cantor: “As much as I can do! I would love to be the inspiration to the young people around me. I believe one person can make a difference.”

More about the philanthropy of Iris Cantor: Mrs. Cantor was instrumental in the creation of the UCLA Women’s Health Center, and the New-York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Iris Cantor Women’s and Men’s Health Centers, the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Ambulatory Surgery Center and B. Gerald Cantor Laboratory for Immunological Research in Diabetes, has funded a Senior Chair at Memorial SloanKettering Cancer Center and serves on the Board of Trustees of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

— Iris Cantor

Q: The part of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor collection that was removed from the World Trade Center Cantor Fitzgerald

Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


By Ava Roosevelt

South Florida Opulence Series on Philanthropy

Meet David Hamilton Koch


ne of the most generous, lowkey philanthropists in America, a married father of three, David Hamilton Koch has donated during the course of his life over a billion dollars to charity. Philanthropist, political activist, MIT educated chemical engineer, and former basketball player, David is an executive vice president of Koch Industries, the second-largest pri-


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vately held company in the United States that employs 50,000 people in the U.S. alone. He is also the fourth richest person in America as of 2012, and the second richest resident of New York City as of 2010. We met in our single days, in Washington at the Senatorial Dining Room, during David’s bid for Vice-President in the 1980 Presidential Election and we have remained friends ever since. The then Libertarian’s Party’s VP candi-

date shared a ticket with presidential candidate Ed Clark and received 1.06 percent of the total nationwide vote, the Libertarian Party’s best showing to date. David broke with the Libertarian party in 1984 and has been a Republican ever since. Yet, from a 32-year perspective, and with all that went wrong with the Republicans in 2012, a chance to recover from the defeat to President Obama seems like a tall order.

Time Magazine included David and his brother Charles among the 100 most influential people in 2011, but meeting David you’ll never know what actions have earned him this distinction. Apart from David’s family life, his accomplishments are vast, life-changing and have created tens of thousands of jobs. David’s concerns about Obamacare, runaway government spending, looming inflation, and rising interest rates are well known. He’s in favor of individual liberty, lower taxes and smaller government. After surviving a plane crash in 1991, he said, “I felt like the good Lord spared my life for a purpose. And since then I’ve been busy doing all the good works I can think of.” David clearly believes in a better America, a prosperous one, and yet he is wildly criticized for conservative views which many share with each other quite openly without so much scrutiny. Personally, I’ll never know how it feels to be singled out because of one’s wealth, but I can’t fathom it not being

When last year, Koch’s family treasured Christmas card did not arrive, I called David. “David, have I fallen off ‘the list’?”

In 1992 David was diagnosed with prostate cancer. On August 31, 1997, (the night of Princess Diana’s untimely death), David, surrounded by his family and friends,

“We are keeping a low profile,” David answered. “You’ll receive a Valentine’s Day card instead.”

celebrated five-cancer-free years at his house

As promised, the Valentine’s Day card materialized. The sight of David surrounded by Julia his wife of 17 years, and their three children, depicted a barefooted, casually attired family, not unlike yours or mine. If I didn’t know any better, I would dare to contradict F. Scott Fitzgerald to say that the rich are not different from you and me.

stopped with Diana’s passing but David’s tire-

“Lord knows I don’t need a job,” David was quoted as saying in a recent interview, yet he reports to his office every day at 9 a.m., and will usually leave by 7 p.m. “I love business,” Koch says. “My brother Charles and I are going to be carried out of our offices feet first. We’ll work until we drop.”

David H. Koch Cancer Research Building, the

Fortunately for our generation and those to come, the massive fortune generated

in Southampton, an evening all of us present will never forget. The music and the fireworks less quest to find the cure for cancer continues. Since 200O, David H. Koch Charitable Foundation has pledged more than $750 million to cancer research, educational and cultural institutions, arts, public policy studies and medical centers, such as John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the Hospital of Special Surgery in New York City, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson





New-York Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center, a new ambulatory care center at New York–Presbyterian Hospital and MIT, his alma mater.

It is not without reason that, since 2006, the Chronicle of Philanthropy has listed Koch as one of the world’s top 50 philanthropists. a good feeling in David’s case, since he has been sharing his good fortunes so selflessly. Koch’s name is not only synonymous with a colossal affluence estimated to be a hundred billion dollars (and the power it yields) but, also seldom has one man, in one generation, donated so much to so many diversified causes as David H. Koch has done over the years. Should you take a stroll in Manhattan, whether you’re an art devotee, ballet enthusiast or simply love to take your kids to see dinosaurs, the hard-to-miss monuments of David’s generosity, the American Museum of Natural History David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing, The New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, home of the New York City Ballet, now renamed David H. Koch Theater, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s outdoor fountains, are all in plain view and inspire awe and respect. Yet, it might be generations before David H. Koch’s charity is fully appreciated.

by fierce work habits (instilled by his father Fred and the Koch brothers’ business savvy extraordinaire) is put to work to promote research to eradicate cancer and to inspire us, while living, supporting theaters, music and ballet. David has contributed to the Public Broadcasting Systems (PBS), to the Smithsonian, to Deerfield Academy, to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and he was honored with the Double Helix Medal for Corporate Leadership. It is not without reason that, since 2006, the Chronicle of Philanthropy has listed Koch as one of the world’s top 50 philanthropists. Should you be one of the handpicked recipients of the most coveted invitation in Palm Beach, The Coconuts’ New Year’s Eve party, you’ll never forget the almost hour-long pyrotechnical and musical extravaganza provided by David’s generous contribution (worthy of Monte Carlo’s heydays) to be seen for miles by all residents of the Palm Beaches.

Thanks to David’s bequests, countless lives are saved daily, but it wasn’t until my late husband, Bill Roosevelt, was diagnosed with prostate cancer himself that the scope of David’s generosity got personal and truly hit home. I credit him (and I am eternally grateful) for prolonging Bill’s life by facilitating access to the newest treatments at the time, including experimental ones. On December 13, 2013, David’s being honored at Palm Beach’s Mar-a-Lago Making Cancer History Award Gala, which also celebrates the life of the late Maria Floyd. For more information, please visit: events@ “David Koch is a great American and a wonderful human being,” said Donald Trump. “I concur with Mr. Trump’s view, wholeheartedly.” ~ Ava Roosevelt.

Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


Golfers VS W


BY ROBIN JAY ine wine and pristine golf links. In Europe, both have been woven into the cultural fabric for centuries. But the pairing of golf and wine made history this year in an unusual, unprecedented tee off: ViniPortugal challenged three golf pros from the Ladies European Tour (LET) and three lady winemakers to meet each other’s worlds – both on the golf course and in the vineyard. The idea was to create a positive association between golf and wine. A fine union indeed. Golfers Daniela Holmquist from Sweden, Holly Emma Aitchison from England and Marion Ricadeau from France flew to Portugal and swapped experiences with winemakers Martta Simões, Sandra Tavares da Silva and Susana Esteban.

Golf from a Winemaker’s Perspective Portugal is a serene country with vineyards that produce intensely flavored wines and an ideal climate and contiguity to the ocean that makes for a breathtaking golf experience. During the ViniPortugal challenge, golfers taught the winemakers a few rules of engagement for the sport and then, together, they hit the links. The lady winemakers gave it their best shot on the putting greens


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and bunkers – and all three agreed the game of golf is “quite demanding!” Here’s what the winemakers had to say: Martta Simões: “The similarity with golf is that you have to practice and [with wine] we have to taste a lot and a lot,” said Martta, with a grin, from the winemaker’s team. Martta, whose grandfarther was a farmer, practically grew up on a vineyard. “Every year in September, since as long as I can remember, I would participate in the grape harvest. My dad became a founding member of Confraria dos Enófilos da Estremadura (Wine Society of Estremadura). With all of this, at 16, I knew my only option was a degree in oenology – the study of winemaking.”


In Portugal, Martta works in the Tejo Wine Region. “The Tejo region has been known for producing wine since the Middle Ages, with large-scale exports to England in the 13th century. The river separates the land in three different areas of wine production: Bairro, Charneca and Leziria. This allows us to play with them when we are conceiving a wine, either going for a fruitier, softer wine or a strong and complex one. We have very hot summers, which translates into wines with good maturations, but also cold nights during the vintage time to preserve the acidity that is much needed to have fresh wines.” Simões’ favorite wine – Marquesa de Alorna White and Red. “These two wines are a tribute to a great Portuguese woman, a very important person in Portuguese history! She was a poet, a painter and very influent in politics in the 18th century. The estate where I work holds her family’s name, Quinta da Alorna.” Sandra Tavares Da Silva: “The most amazing part was to discover how golf and wine are so close and similar. We both have to be persistent and never give up! We need to be very concentrated and focused in both areas. It’s also funny to realize both love nature and both depend on it,” she said. “It was great to meet three great golf players and

see the passion they have for golf. It’s exactly the same we have for wine!” ViniPortugal calls Tavares one of the most brilliant winemakers in Portugal, responsible for some of the most internationally awarded Portuguese wines. In 2009, she was given the highest score for a Portuguese wine, with 95 points. “For me, it was a natural decision [to become a winemaker], as my parents own a property in the Lisbon Wine Region, called “Quinta de Chocapalha,” Tavares said. “I was lucky to have inherited amazing old vines. Every plot has a personality of its own… And this is what we like to show – the character and diversity of old, single vineyards. We make very balanced wines with complexity, concentration and elegance.” Tavares’ favorite wine – Pintas Douro Red. “It’s from a single vineyard, a wine made from 80-year-old vines, a field blend of over 30 different grape varieties, fermented in presses and aged for 20 months in French oak barrels. It´s a special wine with lots of personality, it has a vibrant nose, beautiful fruit and a very long finish.” Winter 2014

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Susana Esteban: Susana relished the chance to try her hand at golf. “I think the biggest similarity is that, in both cases, it takes a lot of dedication and persistence to get good results. In both cases, we are in direct contact with nature. That’s priceless!” Spanish by birth but self-proclaimed Portuguese at heart, Esteban earned a degree in chemistry and a master’s in viticulture and oenology in Rioja, Spain. “I fell so deeply in love with wines when I was 18 that I started working in wineries during the harvest season.” Esteban was awarded a scholarship to intern in the European Union country of her choice. She selected the Douro Valley in Portugal. “I was very interested in Port at the beginning. I also fell in love with Douro Wine.” Esteban’s favorite wine – Procura 2011. For two years, Esteban toured through Alentejo in search of the best vineyards. She selected grapes from a combination of two special low-production vineyards — near Evora and Portalegre — with rich soils and cooler temperatures. Procura offers a bouquet with “unusual freshness and complexity.”

Wine Tasting from a Golfer’s Perspective Daniela Holmquist: “I’m really surprised because I haven’t had that many Portuguese wines in my life at all. I think they are all very good,” said Holmquist, who is based in Stockholm. Holmquist has an impressive golf record. She earned a runner-up finish in the 2012 Ladies Norwegian Golf Challenge, and winning finishes at the SAS Masters Volkswagen Open in 2009, the Skyways Open and The Chrysanthemum in 2008. In 2013, she has played full time in the Ladies European Tour. Holly Emma Aitchison: “I’ve never been at a wine tasting before, and I’ve decided that I loved it!” said Aitchison. “I know I made it this far on my own, which is a very, very amazing thing. So I know exactly how these ladies feel about their wines, as well.” Holly started playing golf when she was 11. The Bedford, England native is a member of the Bedfordshire Golf Club, winning the County Championship on three occasions. She joined the Ladies European Tour in 2009. “My dad played golf for ages, since I was


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born. When my brother started, I decided that I wanted to beat him and that’s the only reason I started playing! To beat my brother!” laughed Aitchison. Marion Ricordeau: “I’m French, so I thought the only good place to make wine was France. Now I realize that Portugal is a very good country for wine, and I loved it!” said Ricordeau. “I thought we had almost nothing in common before coming [to meet the winemakers], and now I realize that we are really similar in different ways, but that’s a good thing.” As for golf, Marion says sports and her competitive spirit go hand in hand. She aspires to play one day at the Evian Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.

No Need to be a Pro to Experience Portuguese Golf and Wine FirstHand ViniPortugal is an avid sponsor of the Ladies European Tour – a great way to spread the word about Portugal’s winemaking revolution. Without abandoning tradition, the world-class winemakers in Portugal have eagerly adapted to modern technology and insist on strict quality control standards. With an exceptional assortment of indigenous grape varietals, the winemakers produce modern wines with “incomparable Portuguese character.”

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C O N TA C T M E M B E R S H I P A M B A S S A D O R S TA C E Y P E R S I N G E R AT 3 0 5 - 9 3 3 - 6 5 9 5 P R I V A T E B E A C H | M I C H A E L M I N A’ S B O U R B O N S T E A K | S P A | T E N N I S | P O O L S

Total tranquility Steven G. weaves artistry, architecture and high style for the ultimate in seaside glam By Robin Jay

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othing says “welcome home� more elegantly than this spectacular high-rise condominium interior design by Steven G. Evoking the same awe as when entering a five-star hotel penthouse suite for the first time, this savvy and soothing spacious residential layout is woven with an inviting neutral palette, plush textures and smart lines.

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The Great Room What a grand way to relax in a great room with warm wood tones, a splash of mosaic sparkle, rich imported Italian marble and a spectacular multi-dropped ceiling peppered with spot-on LED lighting. This is one inviting great room you won’t want to leave – especially with a 70” TV centered on the wall! Handcrafted soji screens complete the window wall leading to the spectacular ocean view. A mirrored back dining wall, wood-based glass tabletop groomed with a quadruple arrangement of floral accents, and soft upholstered chairs bring the majestic theme to reality. What could be a more perfect respite for an afternoon sunlit gaze?

The Master Bedroom Spacious, subtle and sophisticated, this master bedroom suite design combines a range of textures with a soft color palette to complement its greatest feature – the amazing ocean views. A luxuriously dressed custom king bed and lounge seating area invite owners to relax while reading, watching the playoff game or just enjoying the azure horizon. A few great coffee table books, authentic antique clock, cable-knit throw and a splash of color in the whimsical wall painting add the perfect finishing touches to this down-to-earth, contemporary design.

Live the Dream With galleries in Florida and New York, the Steven G. design team brings its talent throughout the Eastern Seaboard, nationally and internationally. Team members are fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, French and German, with a vast array of design styles to accommodate and fulfill every client’s needs. Their 100,000 sq. ft. main headquarters, located in Pompano Beach, is a state-of-the-art showroom that will take your design fantasies to a level beyond your dreams. To see more dreamy interior designs by Steven G., go to Winter 2014

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Star Aquariums at Luxe Resorts Living Color Aquariums of South Florida brings exceptional skill to the art and artistry of luxury hotel aquariums. By John D. Adams

Vivid, natural-looking corals are custom designed and hand cast by the artisans at Living Color Aquariums.


Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa

quariums bring with them an innate sense of relaxation and tranquility. Is it any wonder that a number of luxury resorts around the world incorporate that quiet mystery of the deep into their guests’ getaway experience? We asked Mat Roy, President and COO of Living Color Aquariums in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and star of the Nat Geo WILD series, “Fish Tank Kings,” to comment on some of his company’s iconic aquariums in landmark properties.

and location are strategically suited to usher guests through the lobby and into a gift shop on the other side. “It’s the centerpiece of their renovated lobby,” said Roy. “This saltwater aquarium re-creates a lifelike Caribbean coral reef by using museum-quality corals and reef structures. Guests are drawn to its size and splendor which, in turn, allows them to see into the gift shop. Guests are bound to visit the store so they can view the aquarium from the other side.”

Loews Miami Beach Hotel

For a number of years, Fontainebleau’s 12 rectangular custom aquariums were not just aesthetically pleasing, but also served a practical purpose. All of the sea life contained within are “fished out” and served by the resort’s 12 award-winning restaurants. Now in a first for

The show-stopping 1,000-gallon, double-sided custom aquarium at Loews Miami Beach Hotel-South Beach is stunning. Alex Tonarelli, the hotel’s managing director, says, “This was the vision from our Chairman, Jonathan Tisch. He always looks for ways to creatively enhance the arrival experience for all guests. It seemed like a natural thing to do, to add an aquarium at an oceanfront resort.” Its size 108

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Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Main photo: Loews Miami Beach Hotel

the hospitality industry, some privileged guests are offered a tour of the mechanical wizardry behind the curtain. With this unusual amount of attention paid, a remodel was in order. Roy explains, “We dismantled the 12 custom aquarium systems we had installed previously, and now everything is brand new and accessible to VIP guests. You will see two custom aquarium seafood ‘towers’ that house the resort’s menu items. You learn just how seafood live-stock holding systems work for these five-star establishments. In addition, Fontainebleau added dynamic graphics on the walls, special lighting throughout to accentuate all of the details, even the plumbing has been painted blue. This is something completely unique for the hospitality industry.”

Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa, Miami Beach This breathtaking 1,260-gallon,14-foot-long custom aquarium is the ideal introduction to the Canyon Ranch Hotel’s spa. Because

Belize at Cape Marco, on Marco Island

of its size, Living Color Aquariums was able to incorporate larger artificial corals and sea life. Thanks to the addition of custom lighting, aquatic blues and greens accentuate the marble reception desk, lending to a cohesive, tranquil environment before you have even entered the spa. Roy adds, “We wanted to create a specific reaction. Namely, if this is what they have in the reception area, what must the spa be like?” To experience the grandeur of hoteliers’ custom aquariums, visit one of these beautiful resorts – even as a “day-cation.” You can also tune into an episode of “Fish Tank Kings” on Nat Geo WILD, or visit Living Color Aquariums online at:, or in person at 6850 NW 12th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. To request a tour, call 954-970-9511. Learn more about Nat Geo WILD and “Fish Tank Kings” at: Winter 2014

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Tinkering DNA For A Glowing Future Genetically modified bioluminescent plants are no longer the stuff of science fiction By John D. Adams

Imagine driving down an interstate at night and having your way lit not by rows of concrete and steel streetlights, but by DNA-modified, glowing trees. Sounds like something out of the movie “Avatar,� but entrepreneur Antony Evans and his colleagues at Glowing Plant, a San Francisco-based synthetic biology company, have already made enormous strides introducing bioluminescent DNA into the structure of plants.

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Shining light in a bold direction Evans and Glowing Plant are not the first scientists to develop a glowing plant hybrid. Back in the 1980s, scientists successfully integrated firefly genes into a tobacco plant. While successful, the process is primarily used to study plant development. Evans is taking this technology in a far more audacious direction. “We have just recently begun the most significant experiments,” he says. “We have refurbished a Gene Gun, which allows you to fire DNA at cells to get the DNA into the cells. We have also been doing some agro bacterium transfers, which is another way to introduce a foreign DNA into existing cells. We hope to have our first glowing plants as early as January 2014.”

Enlighten us So how does this all work? Incredibly, we are at a point where DNA can be designed on a computer, which can then be produced synthetically. “You can now write DNA sequences on the computer and have them made for you,” Evans says. “We are at the level where we can manipulate individual molecules and atoms in a DNA strand.” We source the DNA sequences from bioluminescent bacteria that squids store in their bellies, which allows them to hunt at night using this organic “flashlight” and then modify the designs to optimize the ability for plants to read them. That manufactured DNA is then introduced into the plants either by use of a Gene Gun or by an agro bacterium transfer. A Gene Gun fires the manufactured DNA at extraordinarily high velocity at a plant’s cells. Some of that DNA is left behind in those cells, creating that bioluminescence. With agro bacterium, the researchers are using a modified version of the wild type agro-bacteria - this is nature’s own genetic engineer which has figured out a way to insert its DNA into a plant. As for those who may have worries about what genetically engineered plants could do to their surrounding 112

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populations or environments, Evans stresses: “We have obviously thought about that a lot. We are not introducing antibiotic resistance or herbicide resistance; we are doing anything that gives these plants a selective advantage to other plant species.”

Lighting the way In April, Glowing Plant began a highly successful fundraising campaign through The company raised nearly $500,000 in just two months, highlighting the interest and excitement investors and the general public feel toward the project. Now that their infrastructure is in place, Evans believes they will have viable bioluminescent plants and, hopefully, a special glowing rose in 2014. “Doesn’t everyone want to show their partners how they light up their life?” jokes Evans. “Then we want to move to bigger and brighter projects. Perhaps a houseplant, and ultimately we want to concentrate on much larger plants that can be used as outdoor lighting sources in your own backyard or on Interstates… Synthetic technology probably has the biggest potential as a source of good for the human race in the next 50 years,” states Evans. “The reality is we live in a world where we are continually having population growth that impacts all of our current energy resources. We see ourselves as one piece in a much greater movement that is helping to advance this technology.” Learn more about the Glowing Plant team and their research by visiting

Scientists at Glowing Plant, a synthetic biology company in San Francisco, say DNA can now be designed on a computer. They source DNA sequences from bioluminescent bacteria in squids and optimize plants to read them. "Glowing Plant" created for South Florida Opulence magazine, John D. Adams, PhoenixPhotography,

Artography Kasha Style rt scene

When photography was film and the industry relied on labs for processing and locations to print, Toronto native KASHA made rounds with her second-hand camera with such zest that it was easy for her to make friends and be acknowledged as an IT girl on the scene. Over the years, the digital evolution changed the landscape for photographers, for artists, and KASHA adapted seamlessly. “My personal technique is what I call ‘photo montage’ via digital photography and Photoshop. Taking a quality photograph is only part of the process now. It is my challenge to create art from that digital photograph.”

Finding her niche took time “In university, I should have been a painter, but my art professor scared the daylights out of me about being prepared to be poor and suffer for my art,” she recalled. “I was disillusioned and confused about 'what to be.' I visited a girlfriend in downtown Toronto at Ryerson University and I fell in 'sync' with the vibe there. I came back to life.”

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KASHA reentered school with her mind set on interior design, but her photography-major roommate reinvigorated her zeal for the darkroom. “She walked me through the entire process, including printing in the darkroom. This is what sealed the deal for my destiny. I quit interior design, took an introductory course to black and white photography and never looked back,” KASHA said. “I still ended up poor and suffering for my art for many years, but now I understand that suffering is integral for an artist to experience. It makes you believe in yourself.”

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In 2008, KASHA spent the winter in South Beach, shooting her environment. It revived her artistic appetite. Today, she exhibits throughout South Florida, supporting her favorite charity, 'More Birthdays,' which benefits children with cancer through the American Cancer Society. “Exhibiting is very special for any artist. Witnessing how the anonymous react to what they see is captivating on its own. I desire to capture their gaze, to mesmerize, to present the opportunity to experience the stream of consciousness through looking. My new work expresses technical precision paired with intricate natural beauty. The ying and yang of myself.”

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Interior Design, Architectural Services and Construction Management Most projects begin with an idea or concept. The next step in the process is to create a plan or drawing in order to bring this idea to life. Our aim is to give the best possible service from the inception to the completion of your project.



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Integrity. Ethics. Honesty. Knowledge. Performance. Service. Experience. Winter 2014

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Visions of Tinkerbell, Peter Pan or Swiss Family Robinson may come to mind at the mention of the term “treehouse” – certainly a fantasy for every child whose imagination comes alive in a backyard tree-based clubhouse. Interestingly, the world has romanticized treehouses long before Walt Disney brought them to the silver screen. In fact, the oldest of record, 1692, is the famous Tree House of Pitchford in England – still in existence today in the very same lime tree – which attracted British elite, including at least two prime ministers. In 1760, architect Thomas Farnolls Pritchard restored the notable tree house with glazed doors leading to a stunning interior, complete with an intricate cornice ceiling, oak-planked floors and gilded gothic windows. Keeping the couture treehouse genre alive in modern-day America is none other than Pete Nelson. The treehouse guru showcases his luxe masterpieces on the television show Treehouse Masters. “Anytime you say ‘treehouse,’ people just light up,” said Nelson with a childlike grin. Nelson sat down with South Florida Opulence and explained that convincing people to let him build a luxury treehouse wasn’t always easy, particularly in the early 1990s. “Back in the day, everybody felt like a treehouse was something you’d cobble together with things you’d find on the curb. That’s very much the spirit of a good old American treehouse. So for someone to ask to make a living wage doing this kind of thing was breaking the mold.”

Turning a Hobby into a Career And, in the early years, Nelson was often so excited about a given project that he’d build it without considering the financials: “I call it the school of hard knocks, where you do it and [then] you realize, ‘I made about $5 an hour there; that’s not going to support my family.’ ” However, Nelson didn’t give up. In 1994, he wrote Treehouses: The Art and Craft of Living Out on a Limb, a book which features some of the world’s finest treehouses, and which allowed Nelson to position his projects as something far more substantial than just a few boards nailed into the crook of a tree. With this new cache and a growing portfolio, his client list grew, as did his business. Today, Nelson works on treehouses full time, and his company, Nelson Treehouse and Supply, builds upscale constructions for clients around the world.

Irish Cottage One of Nelson’s more eye-catching projects is an Irish cottage built in Southern California. The treehouse has circular walls, a homey, open interior and a grass roof, for which Nelson installed an irrigation system, complete with timed sprinklers. It sits in an ancient olive tree and includes man-made support posts, a technique that Nelson calls a hybrid construction. While some purists insist that true treehouses must use only trees as support, Nelson begs to differ. His creations are occasionally in excess of 70,000 pounds, and he says putting undue stress on a tree can prove dangerous. Besides, his goal is simply to provide an experience where the visitor feels the serenity that comes from being amidst the trees.

Sky is the Limit Nelson’s creations are limited only by his clients’ imaginations. For one commission, Nelson developed a (private) treehouse bar called

The Brew House makes for a perfect sylvan hideaway of conviviality and good cheer.

The Brew House. “I think it’s a brilliant idea, frankly,” said Nelson, “even though it’s a little bit counterintuitive. Drunk people in trees doesn’t really seem like a great idea, but, you know … there are rooftop bars for crying out loud.” In this project, with a cathedrallike structure and a peacock window, The Brew House makes for a perfect sylvan hideaway of conviviality and good cheer. For another commission, called Jack’s Treehouse, Nelson built a functioning year-round residence. Jack, who is his clients’ 12-yearold son, lives in the treehouse, essentially in his parents’ backyard. It’s a model of recreation and relaxation, and possibly the best clubhouse a pre-teen has ever had. The full bar (which Jack doesn’t use) is put into action on football Sundays, when Jack’s parents and friends come over to watch the Seahawks on the massive flatscreen television. Jack’s Treehouse is equipped with electricity, heat and plumbing, including a full shower. “Clients are often fascinated with treehouse plumbing, but the simple answer is that it’s very much like plumbing in a land-based house. The trees, if they move and blow in the wind, don’t necessarily snap your pipes. They just simply sway and move as they need to.” Winter 2014

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A true treehouse evangelist, Nelson has elevated his construction to an art form, whether it’s building a treehouse spa, a farmhouse treehouse, or a bed-and-breakfast treehouse retreat. As for his next project, Nelson says he’s always open to new challenges – and he travels frequently for commissions. He’s even built in the Sunshine State: “The live oaks in Florida can be pretty spectacular. I would be thrilled to venture down there [again],” he said. In short, Nelson is lucky enough to do what he loves, and to do it well. Not bad for a former carpenter who didn’t quite let go of his childhood dream.

Bed & Breakfast – in a Tree!

By Alex Starace

Treehouse guru Pete Nelson poses with his construction crew. Imagine spending an evening above a babbling brook, taking in the forest view before allowing yourself to be lulled to sleep as the shadows lengthen and turn to night. It’s a daily occurrence for guests at Pete Nelson’s Treehouse Point, a bed and breakfast outside of Seattle. All the rooms are custom-built treehouses that allow guests to appreciate their natural surroundings. For Nelson, it’s a culmination of years of hard work as the country’s treehouse master. “Yes, it’s a place for me to express my greatest passion and experiment and have fun.” But, according to Nelson, what’s most gratifying is that the visitors are frequently on the same wavelength. “They’re coming fully expecting to enjoy a place that is literally in the arms of nature,” Nelson explained. As popular as Treehouse Point is now, Nelson was only able to build it thanks to a pair of fortuitous coincidences. First, he found three landowners with adjacent wooded properties, all of whom were selling at the same time. Second, he had to obtain a milliondollar bank loan, a daunting task for someone who was not yet the


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Winter 2014

famous treehouse builder he is today. But, by sheer coincidence, when Nelson applied, lending practices were at their loosest. “They were lending carpenters a million dollars. It was hilarious. I got the note back from applying [for the loan] and it said, ‘We’re not going to be able to do a low-documentation loan – we’re only going to be doing a no-documentation loan.’ I said, ‘Oh, okay! Fine!’ ” While Nelson laughed, he was quick to acknowledge that he was grateful for the opportunity. Treehouse Point now has six treehouses, with the seventh (and final) treehouse nearly completed. Nelson says it as a romantic retreat – no children under age 13 are allowed. It’s a place where serenity and nature reign. His wife, Judy, runs the day-to-day operations, and under their joint stewardship, the bed and breakfast has thrived – it’s generally booked at least three months in advance. To book a reservation for treehouse accommodations, go to

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The Intriguing Tales of Roger Pinckney and His Life on Historic Daufuskie Island BY ALEX STARACE PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Meacham


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Winter 2014

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Roger Pinckney’s family has lived in South Carolina’s Lowcountry since the 1690s. So, to say

he knows the area is an understatement. He’s spent his life writing about the historic region, and two of his novels, Little Glory and Reefer Moon, have been optioned for film. So he knows Lowcountry, a coastal plain in South Carolina marked by islands and estuaries, where the tides run high – as high as nine or ten feet along its concave coastline. “My county, for instance, Beaufort County, at high tide it’s half under water,” explained Pinckney without a hint of exaggeration.


aufuskie Island, where Pinckney now lives and writes, in many areas looks just like it did years ago, despite its being sandwiched between the much more developed Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head, South Carolina. The region runs thick with rivers stained by tannins from the surrounding subRoger Pinckney tropical wetlands. “The freshwater rivers are about the color of strong coffee,” Pinckney said. And, indeed, it’s an area dependent on its waterways, for both food and transportation: “We grew up on these rivers, they’re like a freeway in Los Angeles, you know, that’s part of life. On Daufuskie, there’s no bridge; it’s about a 7,000-acre island with 300 people on it – about a 45-minute boat ride from the nearest traffic light.” Pinckney has long been enchanted with the waterways. As a boy, he would sometimes travel with his father, a dock builder who was also “a gifted storyteller in the best Southern oral tradition – he could keep you spellbound,” said Pinckney. It’s a talent that runs in the family: Pinckney’s maternal grandmother, Chlotilde Rowell

Martin, was the first female journalist in South Carolina. She wrote the “Lowcountry Gossip” column for the News and Courier during the Depression. “She was a widow; she raised two babies banging on a typewriter. She was an enormous influence on me,” said Pinckney. As Pinckney explained, Lowcountry has a distinct Southern subculture – and it’s also known as an African outpost. For 200 years, slaves made up the majority of the area’s population. The slaves retained an African-based language (often referred to as Geechee) and created a culture that eventually became pervasive. Among the descendants of the slaves, who are referred to as the Gullah, the art of African Magic is prevalent. A practitioner is called a Root Doctor – and Lowcountry has its own distinguished line: “These hoodoo men will take the name of an animal. There’s a Doctor Snake, a Doctor Crow, a Doctor Fly and a Doctor Bug. And, actually Doctor Buzzard is the most famous,” said Pinckney. Success breeds fame: In the early 1980s, developers intended to make Daufuskie the “Martha’s Vineyard of the South.” Foolishly, they promptly built their real estate office on top of a slave graveyard. This infuriated the Gullah, who went to see Doctor Buzzard. According to Pinckney, the Gullah “put The Root, which is the bad mojo, on the developers in Daufuskie. And so they’ve suffered any number of collapses. [There’s]

Gullah residents on Dau­fuskie Island often paint their home shutters "heaven blue" to keep out the "haints" (spirits).

PHOTO Courtesy the Hilton Head Island Visitor & Convention Bureau


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Winter 2014

Most native residents of Daufuskie Island are descendants of freed slaves, who have made their living oystering and fishing for decades.

PHOTO: SCS historic preservation office

A historic school building and sign from Daufuskie Island.

In fact, Daufuskie remains mostly undeveloped to this day, though it’s not without its problems. One of Pinckney’s most popular novels, Reefer Moon, deals with drug smuggling. “As you can imagine, with its high tides and flat country and all these rivers and inlets and creeks, this has always been – even since Colonial days – a hotbed of smuggling. During the 1970s and early 1980s, the preferred product was South American marijuana… I think probably half of my graduating class in high school went to Federal prison,” said Pinckney. He dubs Reefer Moon a “smuggler’s love story,” and notes that while it’s fictional, it’s heavily based on real-life events. These days, Pinckney notes, the cocaine trade is rampant. However, with its heightened violence and danger, it has the locals on edge.

Amos Hummell, a Lowcountry area artist, specializes in bright and happy paintings of local surroundings. A self-taught artist, Hummell uses vibrant colors and bold compositions to capture the joy, beauty and humor of the Lowcountry.

As for Pinckney, he just keeps writing what he sees. He’s currently working on his fourth novel. He’s previously collected his non-fiction essays in Signs and Wonders and Seventh Son on Sacred Ground, and he’s a two-time winner of the South Carolina

Fiction Project. He’s even authored a work of cultural anthropology, Blue Roots, that catalogues the Gullah’s African Magic. Clearly, his talent is far ranging, even if his subject matter is confined to the fascinating, little-known Lowcountry. PHOTO courtesy: Lorraine Silva (Gracie Law on Flickr)

a saying here, if a corporation goes bankrupt, or a developer has a nervous breakdown, or the tractor won’t start, any mishap large or small, the standard response is: ‘The Buzzard got ‘em.’ There’s a strong belief that the African ancestors are still protecting the island,” explained Pinckney.

Abundant wildlife surrounds Daufuskie Island. Winter 2014

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Tales of

the Frisian Caribbean:

Insel Föhr

A rare glimpse of family life and heritage on a little-known German Island from the perspective of one’s childhood memories By Ernst Frudden My parents, Inge and John Frudden, are from Insel Föhr, a small island off the coast of Germany nestled in the North Sea between Amrum and Sylt. This island is the second largest of the Frisian Islands and has plenty of rich history and beauty – childhood memories of which I hold vividly from visiting there with my family and from the nostalgic stories my father would tell when I was a boy.

Whaling was prominent from the 17-19th centuries and was primarily what put Föhr’s heritage on the proverbial historic map. Breathtakingly quaint thatched-roof captains’ homes scattered throughout the island’s 11 sugar-sanded villages were telling of the whalers’ wealth.

Inge Ketelsen Frudden

The people of Föhr can trace their ancestries back a few hundred years. This is a close-knit community where everyone knows your name and what’s going on even before you make it back to your house! The major occupation on this charming, old-world island is either seamen (whalers) or farmer.  My family has been both. 

Captain Johannes Frudden


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Growing up, I was always interested about my parents’ upbringing and where I get my traits. So when I was young, every Saturday night after my dad had a few generous sips of his Manhattan, I would listen to his childhood tales of Föhr.  Coming from an island, isolated from the big cities, one has to be creative when it comes to entertainment.  One of Dad’s favorite stories was about the adventure of walking – yes, walking – between islands. When the tide of the sea goes out, the people of Föhr would walk to their neighboring island, Amrum.  One would have to know the right path, as there were times

Qu a int th at ch ed-roo f hou se on Fo hr Is la n d.

when unaware people got trapped (and drowned) as the tide came back in. I especially remember one year when we were visiting Föhr with my family. My dad took  my brother, Lorenz, and I spearfishing. We walked out to meet the tide and had our spears ready for action. We were so engrossed in catching fish that we never noticed the water steadily rising higher and higher. But my dad knew what to expect and he kept telling us, “Fall back!” We were so far out from the shore that I could hardly see my mom and sister, Eleanor.  Interestingly, I was never afraid. I always felt secure knowing that my dad knew what he was doing all along. Another of my father’s favorite stories took place when he was a young boy growing up on this island. As he told it, he would, at times, be accused of borrowing fruits from other farmers.  He always seemed to be blamed, but never caught. This did not encourage me to go down the wrong path; it just gave me a better insight of my dad and I loved his stories of mischievousness.  My parents grew up on farms on Föhr. Their day started before the sun peeked over the dike. The dike surrounds the island to protect residents from the elements of the sea.  Every year, the islanders celebrate the festival of Himmelfahrt – the 40th day of Easter – with a traditional stroll around the


l il d f


ie ld f r e


island. This is not an easy task, as I have done this with my cousin, Heidi, and it took us about 12 hours. You cannot get lost, just follow the dike around, enjoy the beauty of the island, and splendor in the endless scenery of the sea and vast horizon.  At one time, Föhr Island had more horses than habitants.  The people of Föhr celebrate one’s skill of riding with Ringreiten. This is when, while holding a pole in one’s hand and riding the horse at a gallop, you aim to get the pole to go through a ring suspended overhead on a string.  The islanders are strong with tradition and value. The best mode of transportation is by bicycle.  Now you can always drive a car, but as soon as you get the car up to speed, you would have reached the other side of the island. Riding a bike, you enjoy the beauty and the heritage that has made this island unique. 

King Christian VIII of Denmark

One story that my dad never tired of telling me was about my great grandfather, Captain Johannes Frudden. He was the  captain of  Pisagua.  He took this ship from Germany to Chile in 1893  and was awarded a beautiful grandfather clock. This clock, now located with my mom in New Jersey, continues to be in my family. The heirloom is cherished by my family and all who come to see it and appreciate Great Grandfather’s accomplishment.

Historians say that in 1842, tourism to Föhr flourished. The reason humors the generations on the island. You see, it was then when King Christian VIII of Denmark spent the summer at a health resort on the island – which was renown for its clean air. Good tidings of the King’s experience spread throughout the land, making Föhr a much sought-after vacation destination. It has been said that in 1844, author Hans Christian Andersen followed the King’s advice, traveled to the Föhr town of Wyk, and remarked, “I bathed every day, and I must say it was the most remarkable water I have ever been in.” If you should visit Föhr Island, just drop my name, Ernst Johann Frudden. After all, everyone there knows your name.  

Wa is l a lki n g n d f ro m wh e n t h isl a n d e ti to de i s ou

t. Winter 2014

Tra dit io n a l w ha lin g fa m ily from th e 1800 s.

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maestro of Murano

Glass Chandeliers

A rare glimpse behind the scenes in an intimate interview with a Murano Master Glassblower By Robin Jay Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


All the world knows the finest handmade glass comes from the master craftsmen of Murano, the Venetian island tucked just off the shores of Venice, Italy.


ith a history richer than most people fathom, Murano’s distinction as the epicenter for glassmaking started in 1291. This is when rulers of the Venetian Republic worried enemies would burn Venice to ruins because it contained mostly wooden structures. Officials mandated glass foundries relocate at once to the safety of the island of Murano. The revered glassblowers there grew quickly in stature. They were granted special immunity from prosecution, allowed to be armed with swords in public, and their daughters were encouraged to wed into the affluent families of Venice. The one stipulation? Master glassmakers were forbidden from leaving Murano. As a result, by the 16th century, nearly half of the island’s population worked in some aspect of glassmaking. While researching stories for this issue of South Florida Opulence, I met Pierfranco Rossi of, purveyor of the best Murano chandeliers online. He arranged for me to interview one of their finest Murano artisans, Giuliano, a Master Glassblower of more than 43 years. Our conversation is a compelling look inside the world of Murano chandelier making.

"Iris" Vase Lamp Q. Why is Murano glass the finest in the world? A. Giuliano, Master Glassblower: No doubt, Murano has a tradition of showmanship in giving a “soul” and a meaning to the glass, not only for the beauty of the glass itself, which is unique, but for being able to give a “feeling” to this magnificent glass. This can only mean one thing: art! It is easy to understand why so many people who work here say, “you live in glass.” Above all, there is the passion that brings you to choose your true path in Murano glass. The work is very hard and the conditions are extreme, very hot both in summer and winter: If you lack the passion you will never, ever do this job. My family has worked in glass for generations, my father, my grandfather and so on. Q: How long does it take to learn the art? A: Regardless of the learning ability of the future Master Glassblower, the period called “apprenticeship” is five years, during which you must attend to the teacher, cleaning, washing and so on: Your job was “garzone di bottega” (apprentice). You have to know that our environment is different, special and unique. The names of tools, the stages of the processing, the way we work. We use terms which are handed down for generations, and it takes a long time to learn all this. In my house, we used to talk about glass, to “breathe” glass, we “ate” glass, we lived in the glass, but not obsessed to the point of forgetting the good-night kiss.

“Poppies” Vase


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Q: What special skills do you need, especially when it comes to chandeliers?

You are forced to use your bare hands, to keep a close contact with fire and molten glass. Forcing Glass Masters to use gloves, glasses, earplugs, leather bibs etc., degrades and depresses our manual labor.

Mocenigo Murano Chandelier

It is not feasible to describe in a few lines all processes involved in the making of a chandelier: There are so many! In summary, after a draft, a drawing or a sketch, we prepare the various mixtures of colored sands. These sandy mixtures are melted into separate ovens, the night before the manufacturing. The next day we start, at 6 o’ clock in the morning, the production of each component, divided by type: the arms, the central body, the cups and finally the flowers, leaves, curl and any other decorative item. Each gesture is almost automatic, but requires utmost care.

Close-up detail

A: Mostly it is work experience: analyzing the work of the past, admiring the works of fellow Glass Masters. You must coordinate your thoughts. That goes beyond the mass of red-hot glass you have in your hands, with all the movements needed to complete the piece you are creating. With the experience of years, your hands move by themselves. It is at this moment that the ‘soul of the artist’ is expressed. The Murano glass is a glass that reveals its artistic beauty because of its forms and its colors. The ability to give a shape to the glass itself, with lines and colors that are always different, but especially to include in these forms a feeling, a soul and an expression. In my own words “to animate the glass.” Q: What would surprise readers most about the art? A: When we talk about the preciousness of Murano glass, it is not the glass itself that is the true value, but the time necessary to make it and the skill needed to make each part of a chandelier. Yes, we can give the Murano glass shades and unique colors, shapes and stunning curves, but the real secret is the art. The new technologies have helped; everything has become easier. Once, ovens ran with coal or oil. When you took out the glass, it was necessary to remove a black outer crust thick up to 3 cm; the gas did not exist. The glass often came out stained and with bubbles. But, to be honest, some of the safety rules repress our artisanship. Who issues these rules is not familiar with our traditional methods of working. Therefore imposing rules which affect the ability of expression and craftsmanship of our work, makes it more difficult and increases the working time, too. There must be risks for certain jobs, as they were performed in the past, if you want special results.

After that, the parts are put into another oven for “re-cooking.” The glass can’t go from a high production temperature of 500/800 degrees, to an ambient temperature too quickly, or it will likely suffer a thermal shock with terrible consequences: cracks, breaks or small explosions. Then each piece is cut to an exact size, smoothed and polished from its sharp edges, and then inspected to remove any imperfections, such as scratches or dust deposits. For the flowers, leaves and curls are applied to the bushings. The arms are then wired according to the country of delivery. Finials and pendants are then tied with wire. Q: Do you have any interesting stories you’d like to share about your career? A: Yes, one in particular. It is an anecdote that could be useful if you require a special diet for weight loss. When I was apprentice, in the morning, when I began my work, I weighed 87 kg. By the evening, when I was back home, I weighed 82. I used to recover those kilos greedily eating during the night. I would like to add one more thing: In our industry there might not be educated, polite and respectful persons. But no doubt those people share a great passion for their work. Despite their ignorance and rudeness, they are pure and genuine people – artists who make a tough and difficult job, working in a hard and difficult environment, but always with their heart and imagination free from any bond. To see more magnificent work of Murano’s Master Glassblowers, go to Winter 2014

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Mystery of Stoney Jack and the Cheapside Hoard



he Cheapside Hoard isn’t just a collection of nearly 500 exquisite pieces of jewelry unearthed in 1912 by pick-and-shovel workers who were demolishing a cellar in a building on the corner of London’s Cheapside and Friday Street. It is the rarest of finds, an inestimably valuable ensemble found encased in the clay of a crumbling basement dating back to the mid-1600s. “The pieces are priceless, no question about it,” said Hazel Forsyth, curator of the exhibition, The Cheapside Hoard: London’s Lost Jewels, at the Museum of London through April 27, 2014.

Emerald & Diamond Ruby Pendant


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Winter 2014

to date the Hoard to the period between 1640 and the Great London Fire of 1666.”

Emerald Watch

A local goldsmith may have buried The Hoard for safekeeping during the Civil War among England, Ireland and Scotland. But Forsyth also acknowledges another theory involving a Dutch merchant named Gerard Polman who was traveling from Persia to England with his stash from a lifetime of trading in the east. He died when the ship reached the Comoros Islands – perhaps poisoned by a crewman who stole his jewelry and hid the loot when he reached shore.

Keeping The Investigation Alive “There’s a lot of scope for research, and I hope the exhibition will prove a catalyst to launch it on the international stage, and get scholars from around the world – where the gems came from – working on it,” said Forsyth. But she doesn’t expect every query to be expunged. “It may be impossible,” she said. “There were five cellars under the properties at Cheapside and Friday Street razed 101 years ago. We don’t know which one the Hoard was found beneath.” From researching deeds for the buildings that stood in what was once London’s busiest mercantile area, “we have identified 18 possible jewelers connected with these properties. It’s going to be hard to pin it down to anyone in particular.” While the Hoard is beautiful to the eye, it is also shrouded in mystery involving men of questionable repute, the possible murder of a traveling gem merchant and a passionate antiquarian known as “Stoney Jack” whose timely intercession prevented thousands of historical pieces from ending up on the mucky bottom of the Thames River.

Digging Deeper “The intrigue surrounding this whole collection is who buried it, when and why was it buried and what does it signify?” said Forsyth. “The Stafford intaglio (an engraved gem) with the heraldic badge of William Howard, the only Viscount Stafford, allowed researchers

The Hoard includes necklaces, rings, Byzantine cameos and a one-of-a-kind watch inside a hollowed emerald from Colombia, says Forsyth. Clearly, the precious items come from many corners of the globe – Sri Lanka, Burma and India, among other trade-heavy places, during the Elizabethan and early-Stuart eras.

Stoney Jack How the jewels reached England is not exactly certain. But one thing is clear. Assistance from George Fabian Lawrence – known to the shovel-ready

Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


Salamander Emerald & Gold Pendant

diggers as “Stoney Jack” – saved many pieces of jewelry-makers’ art from being lost forever. From roughly 1895 to his death in 1939, Stoney Jack, a passionate antiquarian who sometimes personally raided construction sites for precious items, bought gems and other treasures that excavators – called “navvies” – spotted in the strata of soil they worked by hand. They had full access to what the ground yielded – and often helped themselves, knowing Stoney Jack was an eager buyer. Each Saturday, they would bring their finds – hidden in pockets, caps or handkerchiefs – to Stoney Jack’s shop at 7 West Hill. He paid well, even “generously,” says Forsyth, for the items he later sold to museums. Among the hard-drinking navvies, “he was renowned for his honesty,” said H.V. Morton, a journalist who often visited Lawrence’s shop in the 1920s and 1930s. “He never turned away a visitor empty-handed. He rewarded even the most worthless discoveries with the price of half a pint of beer.” Morton, who was 19 at the time, said the Cheapside Hoard was found in “a ball of congealed mud and crushed metalwork resembling ‘an iron football.’ ” Workmen carried it in a sack to Stoney Jack’s shop and when they were gone, Jack took it to the bathroom and turned on the water. “Out fell pearl earrings and pendants and all kinds of crumpled jewelry.” Stoney Jack paid the Hoard’s discoverers about 100 English pounds each, said Morton. With their fists full of drinkin’ money, “they disappeared, and were not seen again for months.”

George Fabian Lawrence, better known as “Stoney Jack,” parlayed his friendships with London navvies into a stunning series of archaeological discoveries between 1895 and 1939. 132

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Before the time of regulated archaeological digs, Stoney Jack took it upon himself – gladly and unabashedly – to preserve history. Sir Mortimer Wheeler, keeper of the Museum of London in the 1930s, said of Jack: “Important prehistoric Roman, Saxon and medieval collections of the museum are largely founded upon his work of skillful salvage.”

Winter 2014

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sedan seduction By Robin Jay


Exuding extravagant modern elegance, the striking Audi R8 sedan is the unprecedented pinnacle of performance – taking technology to new heights in a sports car that’s more dynamic than ever before with a seven-speed S tronic transmission. Propelling from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 3.3 seconds, the powerful R8 musters a top speed of 196 mph, producing true race-winning technology. Exceptional performance features have equipped the Audi R8 to garner prestigious wins at all of the foremost auto races, including Daytona and the famed Neurburgring.


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Winter 2014


T Take a Seat

The innovative, ultralightweight 2014 R8 model incorporates a number of compelling aesthetic modifications – such as the LED headlights, hexagonal single-frame grille, newly designed side mirrors and sizable, round tailpipes. Audi’s engineers devised the R8 interior around a driver-oriented cockpit with diamond-stitch leather seats and a leather-covered multifunction sports steering wheel. The new R8 badge accentuates the steering wheel, gearshift lever, door sill trims, instrument duster and the start screen onboard monitor. The R8 showcases unconventional technology options for which Audi is renowned, including the Audi MMI Navigation plus and a Bang & Olufsent Sound System. The Coupe and Spyder R8s are equipped with a Bluetooth microphone in the seatbelt to reduce wind noise while the driver is talking through the Bluetooth system. Seats in the Spyder model are fabricated with thermal-resistant leather, reducing the surface temperature by up to 68 degrees on sweltering days. “The launch of the R8 represented the turning point of the Audi brand and placed luxury on notice,” said Scott Keogh, President Audi of America. “The 2014 R8 will continue to build upon that success for our halo sports car and for the Audi brand as a whole.” To test-drive the 2014 Audi R8, visit Prestige Imports in Miami.

Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


Guy Cosmo’s BY Ava Roosevelt

Guy Cosmo, former co-driver of Tequila Patron’s Extreme Speed Motorsports’ Honda Performance Development ARX-03b LMP2, now with Level 5 Motorsports, at the American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, shares his passion for racing with Ava Roosevelt. My anticipation to witness the famed American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix this year ran deeply in my veins as we picked up our press passes. As a result of the merger between Grand-Am and the ALMS series, the now official name, United Sports Car Racing, will commence new branding with Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2014. It has been 17 months since the Palm Beach debut of The Racing Heart, where Guy Cosmo, in his Tequila Patron’s Ferrari 458 GT, flanked by Badgley Mishka’s attired models, stopped traffic on Worth Avenue. My novel has become the mascot of the racing and the modeling world all at once and hence our friendship was forged. To follow Guy Cosmo’s career will make your head spin. I decided to watch him race live at the Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. Should you visit the Lime Rock Park, don’t be misled by the tamed appearance of this world-famous racetrack. Unlike the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the race is only 2:45 minutes long, but is notorious for its speed and challenging turns, baffling even the most seasoned professional drivers. Lime Rock’s history, with its famed contestants, such as Newman, Andretti, Penske, Posey and McNish, is deeply imbedded in memories of the fans, participants and members of the Drivers Club – founded by Skip Barber, champion driver and creator of the ‘single most successful racing and driving school in the world.’ “Lime Rock Park is not a track that just anyone can start lapping quickly if they‘ve not been here before. It’s nuanced. It’s subtle… where you find the speed is not obvious. It can take drivers years to figure Lime Rock out without coaching,” said Barber. My insatiable curiosity and the love of the sport keeps me following the racing season, as I want to understand why these fearless


South Florida OPULENCE

Winter 2014

Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


“more speed, more performance, a better handling car, a better strategy... all these things combined, and many more still, are what set drivers apart.” — Guy Cosmo

men, often married with children, would want to risk their lives in sleek,

“Crashes in racing are simply par for the course,” Guy said.

aerodynamic mechanical bullets, and spend millions of dollars doing so.

“We repair the car, get back on track and get right back to racing

I thought I knew a thing or two about racing. After all, I wrote a

at 100 percent.”

book set at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Sadly, I was quite mistaken, as

Guy was initially prompted to drive for Tequila Patron and

for the life of me, I could not figure out who actually won the North-

Extreme Speed Motorsports by Ed Brown and Scott Sharp. Now,

east Grand Prix in LMP2 class with only two teams participating.

three years later, Extreme Speed Motorsports is transitioning from

The points were applied after the race. Level 5 kept the 1st and 3rd

GT to LMP2. “Although we found success in that ultra-competitive

position but lost the points. Extreme Speed Motorsports got first

category, it’s very difficult to keep up with the factory efforts from

place championship points – but, oddly in my point of view – not

both a technical and financial aspect. By switching to P2, we will

the winning title. Confused? Don’t be. I asked Guy if he felt Extreme

get a head start on learning these new cars and gaining valuable

Speed Motorsports was robbed of a win at Lime Rock this year.

experience to be strong for 2014.”

“I do, but as they say, ‘that’s racing’ and these things happen,” Guy said.

The Racer’s Edge

“Ultimately, we were granted 1st place points for the race, and at the

When put in two identical cars what makes one driver better than

end of the day, winning the annual championship is our main concern.”

the other?

Born to Race

“That’s a question that could take all day to answer, but ultimately

Guy’s father got him started in racing in go-karts on Long Island when he was 11 years old. He made it to the World Championships of karting in France when he graduated from high school.

it all comes down to skill. The driver is the only thing that slows the car down. The driver who slows it the least – wins. That’s certainly an oversimplified answer, but it is the reality. Determin-

“Sports car racing is unique in that it’s all based around endurance

ing how ‘little’ to slow down for corners, how a driver creates the

racing,” Guy explained. “The races range anywhere from three to 12

inputs to the car‘s controls (steering, pedals), his finesse, accuracy,

and even 24 hours long, so it’s very exciting. Lime Rock is a leg-

feel for grip, ability to read the chassis, engine, tires, track, condi-

endary, unique road racing circuit because it’s only 1.5 miles long

tions, retain information, give proper feedback to steer the team

and has only 1 left-hand turn. Despite its ‘small’ nature, it generates

and car’s setup in the right direction... his realization of speed and

some of the highest average race speeds in our circuit.”

determination to always strive for more – more speed, more per-

To the dread of every driver’s loved ones, Guy experienced a serious accident in 2012’s race in his Ferrari 458 GT at Lime Rock. Yet, it didn’t impact his need for speed. 138

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formance, a better handling car, a better strategy... all these things combined, and many more still, are what set drivers apart.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF Jennifer Brankin


Art of the Book

Two books in different ways, both related to the art world. One true novel…both riveting and not-put-downable.

My Mother, My Father and His Wife Hortense by Dialta Alliata Amazon 2013 $24.95

My Mother, My Father and His Wife Hortense is the poignant love story of the author’s Italian grandmother, Elsie, and the renowned English art collector, Arthur Acton. Set against the backdrop of Florence’s celebrated Villa La Pietra, the saga spans more than a century … and it still continues to this day. The story is seen through Elsie’s eyes, verbatim, from the erotic diaries she wrote daily, no doubt to unload the woes and register the joys of her illicit love affair.

As a young man, Arthur Acton worked as an agent for architect Stanford White, scouting out treasures from Europe and sending them off to America. Together, Acton and Elsie restore the fabled Villa La Pietra, filling it with priceless works of art. Things become complicated when Acton marries Hortense, an American heiress from Chicago, and all three of them live together at the Villa. As Acton and Elsie’s love affair continues, we get a guided tour of Villa La Pietra as our Adam and Eve frolic through the gardens, pausing to embrace near one statue after another, using the work of art as a prompt and an aphrodisiac. “It is just a question of the place he chooses. We all know how the evening will end for us. We were walking past a life-sized Roman statue of a young god, his legs crossed and one arm curved on his knees, when Acton turned to me, and smiled like a naughty boy.” This is also Dialta’s story, as digging deep, she discovers the secrets of her mother and grandmother, and the identity of her grandfather. Dialta bravely battles through a quagmire of lawyers and bureaucracy, taking on established art institutions in Florence, London and New York to win her just acknowledgement and legal inheritance. Delightfully, Dialta asked me if I thought the book was too spicy. “Not at all,” I said. “It’s Shades of Grey with class!”

Edwina Sandys

Ponzi & Picasso is a novel that seems fantastic until you see that every month or so revelation upon revelation in the art world confirms that fact is overtaking fiction. It is unusual that a female writer can put herself so realistically into the mind and motivation of a male character, but Rochelle Ohrstrom, an artist herself, has created Classico, an extraordinary character who is devious, devilish and dishonest. Desperate to raise cash, Classico sells the same Picasso twice, first to a Russian oligarch, then to one of his own lovers. One of Classico’s saving graces is his genuine love for art, and in particular his treasured Picasso, yet one cannot resist identifying with Classico, hoping somehow that he will extricate himself from the spiraling disaster in which his pride and greed have landed him. “Classico knew it was not often one had a second chance in life after teetering so precipitously on the cliff of fiscal disaster… Long ago, he had come to understand that he was not like everyone else – he was unable to place a limit on acquiring beauty.”

Ponzi & Picasso by Rochelle Ohrstrom Amazon 2013 $14.36

Rochelle has also created a strong female character in the artist Alouisha, who struggles to achieve recognition for her art in spite of the very real bias against female artists, who are asked time and again to barter their beauty in return for a gallery show. This fast-moving story never lets you down, taking you on a breathtaking journey from inside the top auction houses and galleries of New York to the shocking scene with a master forger in China and his counterparts in Manhattan’s Chinatown. All art dealers should buy the hardback book so they can turn the dust jacket inside out when clients visit. Edwina Sandys is an artist and author and is currently exhibiting at Grounds For Sculpture, NJ.

Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


The Bulls Are Coming By Melissa Bryant

American thrill seekers get the chance to run alongside 1,000 pound rodeo bulls for the adrenaline rush of a lifetime. In the Middle Ages, Spaniards initially used ‘The encierro’ or ‘running of the bulls,’ as a means to transport bulls from an off-site corral to a bullring where they would participate in another noted Spanish tradition — the bullfight. The spectacle — usually held in towns and villages across Spain, France, Portugal and a few other Spanish-speaking countries — gained worldwide notoriety when it was depicted in Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises. Now the tradition has crossed the pond for its first U.S. tour thanks to Rob Dickens, Chief Operating Officer of The Great Bull Run.

Centuries of Tradition Part celebration, part ceremony, the 14-century-old tradition of the running of the bulls is adapted from the ancient Spanish practice of men running with a dozen or so bulls across a sectioned-off course through 140

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public town streets. Over time, this custom evolved into the highlight of the Fiesta de San Fermin — a 7-day festival held every year in Pamplona, Spain, from July 7-14 in honor of patron Saint Fermin. Dickens says the appeal of this venturesome dash is the same for Americans as it is for Spaniards. “You’re putting yourself out there in very serious harm’s way, mortal danger, and that’s not something that you get to experience every day. For example, with a roller coaster or some other simulated type of rush, there’s not true danger. Very rarely in this day and age do people get to test themselves against true danger.”

Good Clean Fun Although the American running of the bulls uses rodeo bulls, which are less aggressive than their Spanish fighting bull counterparts, they are still nothing to clown about. On the low end, rodeo bulls weigh in at 1,000 pounds and still threaten runners with the possibility of goring, ramming and trampling. Rob Dickens’ team took several measures to ensure the bulls were healthy and safe at all times.

Bulls and runners are allowed to run only on dirt or grass to prevent slips and falls. The bulls are accustomed to large crowds of humans and trained to run the course beforehand, making them less fearful. Lastly, a veterinarian is on-site at all times to monitor the bulls' health and treatment. More than 8,000 spectators and participants came out for the first stop on the American Great Bull Run tour in Petersburg, Virginia, on Saturday August 24, 2013. The all-day event closed with Tomato Royale — an American take on La Tomatina — an event where participants battle in a food fight using thousands of pounds of tomatoes. Ready to grab life by the horns? Visit and register for one of the bull runs going on now through July 2014 in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Dade City, Lake Elsinore, Mohnton, Chicago, Petersburg and the Twin Cities — you’ve had fair warning.

Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


The Family that Plotted

Assassination By David O. Stewart Mary Surratt of Maryland and her son John were America’s most notorious mother-son crime partnership of the 19th century. Their crime was infamous: conspiring to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. In late 1864, when John Wilkes Booth was organizing his plot against Lincoln, he met John Surratt Jr., only 20 years old but a seasoned agent for the Confederate Secret Service. They John Surratt Jr. hit it off. Surratt helped Booth find recruits in Southern Maryland, including his mother, the redoubtable Mary Surratt. Born in 1823, Mary lived most of her life in tobaccogrowing southern Maryland, a region with a long tradition of slavery. As a teenager, she married John Surratt, 10 years her senior, and together they built a tavern, accumulating a half-dozen slaves. Upon John Sr.’s death in 1862, Mary became Mary Surratt proprietor. The family’s Confederate allegiance was strong. Older son Isaac joined the Confederate Army in Texas. John, 18, joined the Confederate secret service while succeeding his father as federal postmaster. The tavern became a key communications link for Confederate spies. 142

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Southern Maryland was the

best route for secret messages between Richmond and its agents in the North, and John was good at the work. “I devised various ways to carry the messages,” he recalled after the war, “sometimes in the heel of my boots, sometimes between the planks of the buggy.” He crowed that he easily evaded the “stupid set of detectives” sent after him. John loved the game. “It was a fascinating life to me,” he said. “It seemed as if I could not do too much nor run too great a risk.” His adventures were no secret to his mother, whose tavern was flypaper for Confederate agents and couriers.

Enter John Wilkes Booth Then came Booth. Like his father and brothers, he was a star of the American stage. In December, Booth wanted to kidnap Lincoln and exchange him for Confederate prisoners of war. Perhaps, Booth implied, Lincoln might be bartered for an honorable peace. At the same time, Mary leased her tavern to a neighbor and moved into Washington to open a boarding house on H Street Northwest, near 7th Street. It swiftly became a way station for Confederate agents. Booth and John Surratt recruited more men for the kidnapping team and used Mary’s house as their meeting place. Through early 1865, Mary and Booth became an unusual pair: the dashing young actor and the middle-aged landlady, described as stout, who attended daily Mass. He called frequently at the house, sometimes to see only Mary. On March 17, 1865, Booth, John, and six others waited beside a lonely road in Washington to kidnap the president. A schedule change kept Lincoln away, frustrating the plotters. In early April, Booth’s gang reassembled for a second try. This time, they aimed to murder the president and at least three other Northern leaders: Vice President Andrew Johnson, Secretary of State William Seward, and General Ulysses Grant. Booth shot Lincoln during an April 14 performance at Ford’s Theater, then fled. Another conspirator stabbed Seward in his bed. Johnson’s intended assassin lost his nerve. General Grant unexpectedly left Washington, thwarting any attempt on his life. John Surratt claimed he was far from Washington on April

The reading of the death warrants while the conspirators await hanging. 14. Shortly before the assassination, he carried Confederate messages to agents in Montreal, then traveled to Elmira, New York, to plan an uprising at a large prison camp. After the assassination, he fled to Canada.

Wheels of Justice Union soldiers killed Booth 11 days after the assassination while investigators rounded up Mary Surratt and others. Four weeks later, eight defendants faced trial for plotting against Lincoln. The accused, in addition to Mary, were Lewis Paine (Seward’s attacker), George Atzerodt (who failed to attack Johnson), David Herold (who guided Booth’s escape), Edman Spangler (who held Booth’s horse during the shooting), Dr. Samuel Mudd (who treated Booth’s broken leg during his escape), plus Samuel Arnold and Michael O’Laughlen, who had been part of the kidnapping plot. Prosecutors highlighted Mary’s actions on April 14. She met Booth twice that day. After the first meeting, Mary rode to Surrattsville to direct the tavern manager to expect visitors that night and to give them whiskey and rifles. Mary met Booth again an hour before the assassination. That night, Booth and Herold collected the guns and whiskey from the tavern. Mary’s aid showed that she knew Booth’s plan. The commission of nine convicted Mary of assisting the conspirators, but disagreed on her sentence. Five urged clemency because of her sex and age. President Johnson entertained no doubts and ordered her hanged with Paine, Herold and Atzerodt.

The One Who Got Away John’s talent for evasion kept him alive. In midSeptember, with a $25,000 reward on his head, he sailed in disguise from Canada to Britain as John McCarty. Traveling to Italy, he enlisted as John Watson in the Pope’s army in Rome.

Another American recognized him. John was arrested in early November but escaped again, this time to Naples. A “British gentleman” paid his way to Egypt under another false name. In late November, American officials arrested him in Alexandria, Egypt, and sent him home in chains. In the summer of 1867, the trial focused on John’s whereabouts on the assassination day. For the defense, several tailors from Elmira testified to seeing the dapper John on April 14, but 13 prosecution witnesses swore he was in Washington. Prosecutors brandished railroad timetables showing John could have traveled from Elmira to Washington, then fled to Canada. The jury deadlocked. John walked free. He journeyed to South America, then tried school teaching. He gave public lectures boasting of wartime exploits but denying any role in the Lincoln assassination. In the 1870s, John joined a Baltimore shipping company and worked there for 40 years. He died in April 1916, in bed. Some despised John as a coward who left his mother to hang for his crimes. Many saw Mary, as President Johnson put it, as the temptress who “kept the nest that hatched the egg” of assassination. Others insisted she was the innocent victim of national hysteria. Between them, they made a unique family of crime. David O. Stewart is the author of many works of history. His first novel, The Lincoln Deception, was released in August. A longer version of this article appeared on

Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


Condo Law

By Michael S. Bender, Esq., Kaye Bender Rembaum, P.L.

2013 Legislative Changes

Affecting Community Associations Following the conclusion of the 2013 Legislative Session in Tallahassee, Governor Scott signed into law several pieces of legislation which effect Condominium Associations. Some of the more pertinent legislation is set forth in detail below: Changes to Section 718.111(8) F.S. removed language regarding approval requirements for the association to purchase any land or recreational lease, referring such issues to the provisions of Section 718.114 F.S.

change from fewer than 75 units). The minimum reporting requirements continue to be able to be reduced each year upon a vote of the membership, unless the bylaws mandate a specific level of reporting.

Section 718.111(11) F.S. regarding association insurance clarifies that certain obligations of the association apply to damages only when caused by an “insurable event.� Additionally, it further clarifies unit owner responsibility for reconstruction costs, including that such costs are collected as an assessment against the unit through the lien and foreclosure process.

With respect to unit owner meetings and board service, Section 718.112(2)(d)(2) F.S. has been revised to remove the requirement of a vote of owners to affirm 2 year staggered terms when they are expressed in the articles or bylaws. This subsection also clarifies when an owner is ineligible to be a candidate for the board and listed on the ballot. If the person desiring to be a candidate is delinquent with any monetary obligation, in any amount at the 40-day cut off for ballot eligibility, that person is not eligible to be on the ballot.

Copying of Official Records by an inspecting owner is addressed in changes to Section 718.111(12)(c) F.S. The new provision allows for a portable device to be used by a member or his or her authorized representative for copies and, in such event, at no charge. Subsection (c)5. has been revised to allow for the creation of a directory containing the name, parcel address and telephone number of each owner, but any owner may request, in writing, to withhold telephone number. Section 718.111(13) F.S. has been revised to increase threshold gross budget levels relative to the specific financial reporting requirement. Associations with annual revenues between $150,000 and $300,000 minimally are required to prepare a compilation; those with annual revenues between $300,000 and $500,000 must minimally prepare a reviewed financial report; and, those with annual revenues of over $500,000 must minimally prepare an audit. Associations with annual revenues of less than $150,000 must prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures, as must associations with any level of annual revenues if it operates fewer than 50 units (reduced by the


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Section 718.112(2)(d)(3) F.S. has had a provision added that an association is only required to broadcast notice of meetings if it is the only means of notice. Section 718.112(2)(d)(4) F.S. clarifies that the prohibition on proxy voting for director elections do not apply to timeshare condominiums. Subsection (b) has been revised to add that director certifications are to be maintained for the greater of the length of term on the board if uninterrupted or 5 years. A new subsection (c) indicates that any challenge to the elections process must be commenced within 60 days after the announcement of the results. Section 718.112(2)(j) F.S. has been revised regarding certain recall related issues. New subsections (5) and (7) were added, authorizing the unit owner representative for a recall attempt to file a petition for arbitration to challenge the failure of the board to act on the recall, and a recalled board member to file such

a petition to challenge the validity of the recall in the instance that the board otherwise does not. A new subsection (8) provides that no petition will be accepted by the Division if there are 60 or fewer days until the next scheduled election, or when 60 or fewer days have elapsed since the election of the board member sought to be recalled. Changes to Section 718.113(5) F.S. address the hurricane protection provision and attempt to clarify that doors and other types of code-compliant hurricane protection are included in what can be installed by the association or unit owner. The definition of what is permitted to be installed has been expanded to include impact glass, doors or other types of code-compliant protection. Section 718.115 F.S. has been revised to incorporate the same clarifications as in Section 718.113 F.S. as to expenses of installation of hurricane protections and also clarifies that for an owner to receive a credit for the costs associated with the installation of hurricane protection by the association, the owner installation must comply with current applicable building codes and be the same type of code-compliant protection being installed by the association. Section 718.303 F.S. further clarifies areas of the condominium property which cannot be suspended for violations of the governing documents, adding limited common elements, common elements needed to access the unit, utility services, parking spaces or elevators. Should you have any questions regarding any of these changes, please contact your association legal counsel.

Real Estate Trends

The New Standard in Integrated International Real Estate By Alex Starace


his winter marks the emergence of a highly specialized company to South Florida — Opulence International Realty (OIR), dedicated to providing turnkey service to international clients in conducting luxury real estate transactions throughout the world. OIR leverages strategic partnerships with a variety of real estaterelated servicers to offer clients an all-in-one transaction experience. “OIR is a win-win for the entire South Florida real estate industry – for customers, developers and other real estate firms. Because OIR is primarily a buyer capture program, the idea isn’t to compete with other realtors for listings, it's to bring qualified international buyers to the South Florida marketplace,” said Geoff Hammond, Founder and CEO of CSI International and its portfolio of companies. “The truth of the matter is that Opulence International Realty is part of a bigger power player in Miami. With that platform, we’ve entered into the luxury real estate brokerage business,” said the President of OIR, James Hoffman.

A Closer Look at the Value Proposition Owned by CSI International, OIR makes use of its parent company’s strengths: CSI International is a commercial property management giant that owns CSI Management Services, a leading luxury residential property management company, and Horizon Publishing, which produces South Florida Opulence magazine. These connections to the real estate and luxury industry allow Opulence International Realty to provide comprehensive services that, in many cases, a client would otherwise need to go to multiple companies to receive. Giving it a unique marketplace differentiation, OIR also offers clients access to financial and wealth management services through UBS, a Swiss financial services firm; connections to luxury fashion and automotive brands; and – of particular importance to international buyers – access to high-quality tax attorneys and immigration experts. Opulence International Realty even has a Financing


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Winter 2014

Division that specializes in international financing, so clients don’t have to worry about finding a mortgager for an international loan.

Developer Solutions Division Among OIR’s novel platforms is the Developer Solutions Division, which brings together all the components that a property developer needs to scout, purchase, develop and run a property. These include project capital financing, management services, a sales and marketing force, operations management and a vast international network. “This is really very unique. There are no other companies out there capable of doing what we’re doing, from a developer standpoint,” said Hoffman. OIR creates a more efficient method for conducting business in the real estate industry. This carries over to its approach to connecting clients: OIR allows for potential buyers and sellers to meet at faceto-face social events that promote not just real estate transactions, but also a lifestyle of luxury. Hoffman is well aware that Opulence International Realty must be technologically advanced to attract and retain customers. To that end, OIR is completely paperless, both in-office and with its real estate agents, and uses the latest techniques to market its services, including digital media, interactive videos and campaigns through social media, as well as traditional media exposure. “The company has the experience to execute top-to-bottom,” said Hoffman. “We’re adding real estate brokerage into a strategic portfolio of companies that began with CSI International,” said Hoffman, who noted that those who work at OIR have years of experience in the industry. According to Hoffman, this will translate to satisfied clients, whether they be developers or home purchasers, whether they’re looking to buy or sell. *For more information about Opulence International Realty, located at 2060 N. Bayshore Drive, visit or call 305-615-1376.


Love where you live. For more than two decades, CSI International has been the name that property owners have turned to for flawless management and high-end real estate insight. Now, we’re bringing our exclusive expertise to all of South Florida with premier brokerage services for buying, selling, or managing your picture-perfect home or condominium. Let us help you live an Opulent life.

2060 N. Bayshore Dr. | Miami, FL 33137 Phone: 305.615.1376 |

Condo Living

Italian Fashion Designer Roberto Cavalli Launches Line of Luxury Flooring


n keeping with the philosophy and the DNA of the Cavalli brand that has famously combined the concept of fashion and design with glamour and sensuality, Roberto Cavalli Home is inspired by the iconic prints and patterns of the most significant collections of the Maison: from animal print to damask, the colors and textures overlapping. Great care and attention is devoted to the choice of materials and the matching of pieces and processing, drawing on different materials, set off by a single print, dye or effect, and transforming them into exclusive pieces. "When I create a dress, I want it to emphasize the femininity of a woman at all times; and so as with designing for the home, I try to identify the character of the people I'm designing for, thinking how I can diffuse this with the colors, the warmth and joy of living that

first of all one gives oneself,” said Cavalli. “My Home Collection was born from a personal desire to share the optimism of my fashion with those who love me-derived from my creativity, my philosophy, and my style, which is also evident in the decoration of the home. There is no difference between the thinking behind designing a clothing line and a home ware line. My lifestyle is always hugely driven by passion." Marble Of The World, with locations in Fort Lauderdale, Palm City and opening soon in Miami, recently became an authorized distributor of luxury tiles by Roberto Cavalli Home. The new ultra-luxury line of tiles are unique materials inspired by the Roberto Cavalli style, applied in the interior of his own homes, his yachts, boutiques and clubs. Fantasy, memories of a journey, a dream, a passion for beauty... each is a source of inspiration for the creation of Roberto Cavalli luxury tiles. “We are thrilled to become a distributor of Roberto Cavalli luxury tiles,” Marble Of The World CEO Charles Urso announced. “As we plan to open our new Miami showroom before year’s end, we are excited about adding new and exclusive product lines. Roberto Cavalli luxury tiles are part of our brand strategy to offer exclusive and unique materials to our style-savvy customers.” Marble Of The World is a leading U.S. importer of rare and exotic natural stone for flooring, countertops and more. The world’s finest travertine, onyx, granite, marble, quartzite, limestone, semiprecious and engineered stone are featured at its Fort Lauderdale, FL and Palm City/Stuart, FL showrooms. A new Miami, FL location is opening soon. Worldwide shipping available. For more information, visit or call 800-537-6995.


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Winter 2014

Yacht lovers have options! By Mike Bondurant, Private Client Group Officer, City National Bank Whether as an individual or a corporate entity, purchasing for the first time or refinancing, or whether the dream yacht is gently used or ready to make its first splash, there are many facets to financing a marine vessel. As a capital investment, a yacht requires considerable expertise during the acquisition and financing process. Each purchase is unique and, therefore, the proper financing objectives must be evaluated. For example, some buyers may only be comfortable financing with a fixed rate while others, based on personal cash flow, may recognize the value in a variable rate. Many banks don’t understand the psychology that accompanies a significant luxury purchase and lack the insight to assist a buyer in making an informed financing decision. Bankers with a background in private client lending, however, are more likely to recognize the financial complexities of a yacht purchaser. Since various closing elements accompany most yacht sales such as registration, documentation, tax and insurance, it is essential to manage the loan process until it is complete. The buyer, broker, banker, closing agent and attorney(s) must all work together for a successful closing.

Buyers need to have knowledge of the various repayment options, must carefully evaluate and understand amortization schedules and realize that a yacht’s value may depreciate more quickly than the loan amortizes. In today’s world of sophisticated financing, someone may choose to incorporate an interest rate swap as a risk management strategy. Is this a good idea and do you plan on holding the asset until the swap matures? It is best to have a candid conversation with a knowledgeable banker early in the financing process to ensure that, as a borrower, you are matched with a lending program that does not place you in unnecessary lending risk. Yacht financing is a bit more complex than buying other luxury assets. It is important to find a bank that works with clients individually to achieve the right financing objective. Your banker should be able to provide the best credit solution: one that is tailored to your specific needs and financial ability, while incorporating privacy and confidentiality along with best-in-class client service. For more information about yacht financing options, call Mike Bondurant at 954-761-4254.

Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


Condo Law

By Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq.

Have You Ever Been the Victim of a Crime in Your Community Association?


ver the weekend, I finally watched a movie called The Bling Ring. It is based on a true story of a group of fame-obsessed LA teens who robbed the houses of various celebrities.

While it was not shocking that these teens might have been disaffected, lacked parental oversight and behaved badly, what was unbelievable was that one celebrity after another had left a door open to the house, had not turned on their security alarm system and had wads of jewelry and money either under their beds or in unlocked safes. In true Hollywood fashion, the bad guys were eventually caught although their actual time served was a little light-handed. Watching the teens in the movie scale walls and fences and open expensive, unlocked cars parked in neighborhoods brought up memories of the one time I was the victim of crime inside my community association. I live in a community which has both a wall and a manned guard gate as well as video

cameras at our entrance. Still, we have not been without security incidences over the years, but most of those were related to owner error as I am about to relate. Given the difficulty one has in entering a community like mine, it may be that residents get a little looser with their own security measures. Cars may be left unlocked, garage doors stay open during the day or at night, a door or window remains unlocked and alarms are not routinely activated when an owner is "just running out for a minute." A few years back, a number of cars in our neighborhood, including mine, had items removed from them one night. All of those cars were left unlocked, including mine. I had no one to blame but myself when I realized all of my CDs were gone. Our board did everything right by getting the word out that the incident had occurred and reminding residents to lock their cars as well as their homes. Of course, one always assumes that these incidences are caused by other people and not the folks living in

our own community, but the reality is that crime occurs inside our ranks as well as outside them. Have you ever been a victim of crime in your community association? If so, did your own error contribute to your loss as mine did? Were you lulled into a false sense of security that walls, gates, guards and cameras provide at times? There is a happy ending to my own story. A few days after the incident, I noticed my CD case tucked into a bush in one of our common parks while I was out walking my dog. Apparently, the thieves were not so keen on my musical taste so they threw away the spoils. I had my Chicago and Journey CDs back where they rightfully belonged! Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq. is one of the Founding Partners of the statewide law firm, Katzman Garfinkel & Berger (KG&B), a firm that devotes its practice to the representation of community associations. Ms. Berger can be reached directly at 954-315-0372 or via email at


Our experts understand the needs of community associations. We can finance your essential projects, including: • Building Repairs • Improvement Projects • Insurance Premiums up to 100% In addition, we offer depository products with excess FDIC insurance coverage limits, as well as Lockbox and Cash Management services.

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Humanitarian Spotlight 2nd Annual G-Man Shoot Out Raises $50,000 to Benefit Families of FBI Fallen Heroes


gents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation serve on the first line of defense when it comes to protecting the United States from acts of terrorism. When brave agents lose their lives in the line of duty, their families can face hardships. The FBI Miami Citizens' Academy Alumni Association and the FBI Agents Association support families in Miami by hosting an annual G-Man Shoot Out and luncheon. This past October at Indian Creek Country Club, at the soldout 2nd annual golf tournament, 88 golfers and 225 awards luncheon attendees raised approximately $50,000 to benefit the FBI Fallen Agents Association. The proceeds provide college financial support to the children of agents killed in action, and the FBI Miami CAAA education programs.

The chairman of the event is Stephen H. Schott, a successful entrepreneur by day; a great humanitarian by night. Schott serves on the board of directors of the FBI Miami CAAA. “It’s tremendously rewarding with a significant sense of patriotism to help families whose loved ones in the FBI have fallen in the line of duty,” said Schott, who graduated from the FBI Miami Citizens Academy in 2010. “It’s important that we spread awareness in the community about the significant work the FBI does.”

Serving the community with honor South Florida Opulence would like to tell you more about this humble man of integrity. Schott worked on Wall Street in New York City in the 1980s at Drexel Burnham Lambert. In 1988, he moved to Cincinnati and served as the chief operating officer of the World Champion Cincinnati Reds until 1991, overseeing all aspects of team management and representing ownership. He is a graduate of Denison University with additional studies in business and finance at Warnborough College in Oxford, England. Furthering his studies, he completed an executive program on Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition, he serves on numerous local and national boards, including the Professional Football Hall of Fame, The Orange Bowl Committee and Schott Communities, a long-standing South Florida Program which serves individuals with physical and mental disabilities.

Rita Scott (President-FBI Miami CAAA), Michael Steinbach (SAC, FBIMiami), Austyn Rumaner, Scott Craige, Hal Anderson, Tim Donovan, Brian Waterman FBI Miami Agents Association, Stephen Schott (BOD, FBI-Miami CAAA, Golf Tournament Chair).

the firing range for instruction on firearms and safety. Upon graduation, students participate in a two-day field trip to Washington, DC where they tour FBI Headquarters, the FBI Academy at Quantico, and CSI Lab. Among other requirements, potential Academy attendees must be a business, civil, religious community leader, nominated by a Bureau Employee or Citizens Academy graduate and approved by the Special Agent in Charge in Miami. South Florida Opulence is pleased to announce that Mark Blackburn, Associate Publisher and Chief Operating Officer of CSI Management Services, has been accepted into the FBI Citizens Academy program. “I got involved to be alongside other business leaders who have a passion for law enforcement,” said Blackburn, who was one of the 88 golfers during October’s G-Man Shoot Out. “It’s an honor to participate in such a worthy cause and to use my influence to help raise funds for the FBI Fallen Agents Association.” For more information about the FBI Miami CAAA, go to

FBI Miami Citizens Academy The Federal Bureau of Investigation recognizes the importance of forging strong alliances with local communities and community leaders. To accomplish this directive, the FBI developed and implemented the FBI Citizens Academy program. Delivered throughout the country, this intensive, interactive eight-week program was designed to educate civilians about the roles and responsibilities of the FBI agency, and how the communities play a key role in the agency's successful operation. Students cover a curriculum that includes counter terrorism, white collar crimes, organized crime, cyber crimes, and civil rights, which are taught by Special Agents in Charge (SACs), Assistant Special Agents in Charge, and Senior Agents. Participants also partake in a live fire day at 154

South Florida OPULENCE

Winter 2014

Mark Blackburn (Chief Operating Officer of CSI Management Services and Associate Publisher of South Florida Opulence) and Stephen Schott (BOD, FBI-Miami CAAA, Golf Tournament Chair).

Condo Living

Meet the VP in Charge of Exceeding Your Expectations Your home is your sanctuary. Condominium associations that hire CSI Management Services to manage their pristine properties expect white-glove-level service in a luxurious, stress-free atmosphere, where behind-the-scenes logistics are seamless and virtually invisible to the homeowner. Meet Dan Brooke. Some call him Vice President of Exceeding Expectations. Officially, he’s the Vice President of Residential Operations at CSI. He leads the division at CSI that continuously stays ahead of the curve when it comes to cutting-edge processes and procedures, making quality control top priority. Providing everevolving staff training at every level at CSI, Brooke drills down on efficiencies to enhance fluid operations from the field to the back office. All of this contributes to greater customer service. And that is what CSI is all about. “After all, we are welcomed into the home of our clients to care for their home and business. The goal is always to have association members enjoy their home, with the best of luxury service and without worry of the day-to-day business operations,” said Brooke. “We deliver not only the highest quality of service, but we do so

Dan Brooke, Vice President of Residential Operations at CSI

with a team that is very passionate about their profession. It is great to see our team go into action in a new site and begin identifying issues and make immediate improvements. I highly value working for a luxury property management company that truly has the best interest of our client in mind.” Dan is a licensed Stationary Operating Engineer with 25 years of hospital engineering and facilities management experience prior to joining the CSI team in 2003. He has held the positions of Chief Engineer, Operations Manager, and Property Manager in the telecommunications and other commercial facilities. A licensed Private Pilot, Dan enjoys the freedom of flying to relax in his spare time. If you have an operations question regarding your association, email Mr. Brooke at

Winter 2014

South Florida OPULENCE


Condo Living

Are Your Association Bank Signature Cards Up to Date? By Andrew Rand, Director of Association Accounting at CSI Management Services *

What a great time to do some housekeeping on a very important money-related task: ensuring all association bank signature cards are up to date. We are coming into the time of year when associations typically hold their annual meetings. Important business is conducted, such as annual elections and appointment of board directors. Updating the signature cards to the current board members who will be the signers on the association bank accounts is an important and necessary task with all your association financial institutions. The reason it is so important always to have the correct information on file with the bank is because if a new board member signs an association check but has not been added to the bank signature cards, the bank can deny the processing of the check. The last thing you would want to happen is to have an emergency – such as a windstorm – and not have current signers on the reserve accounts. The checks would not be honored. Updating signature cards is also necessary because it can prevent fraud. As a board member with a fiduciary responsibility to the association, being educated is the most important tool one has. The Community Association Institute is an important resource and tool

to use. We have more than 30,000 members and sponsor many education events throughout the year. Recently, at our local chapter’s Annual Education day held at Gulfstream Racetrack, Vishnu Sharma, CPA, CFE and President of the local chapter, held a class with Lisa Magil, Esq on Fraud, Theft and Embezzlement in Community Associations. Mr. Sharma said, “As for signature cards, from an audit perspective as a matter of good internal controls, which is necessary to prevent fraud from occurring, the updating of signature cards is essential. It removes former board members who would otherwise be able to transact business with the bank on behalf of the association. The bank can only enforce the information they are provided. If the association fails to provide updated information on who the authorized signers are on an account and there is an incident of misappropriation of funds, the association will most likely be responsible for the loss with no recourse for recovery, other than to go after the errant board member. To make the process as easy as possible, all boards should set a policy so the updating of signature cards is done immediately following all elections and for all banking relationships.” *Mr. Rand is also Chairman of the Education Committee for the CAI SE Florida Chapter

Extensive Industry Experience, With a Personal Touch




South Florida OPULENCE



Winter 2014







Social Living

3rd Annual Opulence Golf Classic

3rd Annual Opulence Golf Classic Raises $10,000 for ORBIS Saving Sight Worldwide Thanks to our generous sponsors, golfers, and the Hammond Family, the 3rd Annual Opulence Golf Classic, in partnership with CSI Management Services, raised $10,000 to benefit ORBIS, which has provided eye treatments for more than 23 million people globally!

Mark Blackburn (left) with first place winners the Valley Crest team, and Geoff Hammond

COO/Publisher Mark Blackburn with COO David Hammond

Jayne Hammond, Robin Jay, Geoff Hammond, Chantal Forster and Mark Blackburn

Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders Megan and Monica TSARS Vodka Tyler and Nate Dougherty from Golf BioDynamics with the Trackman.

Prestige Imports Rolls Royce Phantom 2013


South Florida OPULENCE

Winter 2014

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Social Living

(l-r) Michael Jay, Robin Jay, Baron Philippe Sereys de Rothschild and his son, Nathan Baron Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, Chairman of Champagne Barons de Rothschild hosted an exclusive VIP reception at the St. Regis Hotel in Bal Harbour to introduce the Champagnes of Barons de Rothschild.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach officially welcomes watch and jewelry boutique, Timeless, to The Shops at Fontainebleau.

Ed and Tracey Dikes, co-owners of Weston Jewelers, hosted a fabulous cocktail party for United Way of Broward County Tocqueville Society on Thursday, November 14th at Weston Jewelers.

Ayana Boucher, Sebastian James, Sandra Scemia, Brooke & Carol Soffer at the Timeless opening at Fontainbleau .

Guest at the United Way party at Weston Jewelers.


South Florida OPULENCE

Winter 2014

Kamal Hotchandani, Zarina Raja, Kelly Gazo and Phillip Goldfarb at the Timeless opening.

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South Florida Opulence Magazine Winter 2014 Issue