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Fixins’ “Fix-A-Plate” soul food chef Claudia Teague shares her favorite holiday recipes.

Claudia Teague’s Delicious Christmas Cornbread Recipe pg. 100

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The Exclusives H O LIDAY 2 0 1 4 FEATURES


HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Gifts From The Finest Charlotte Purveyors


CLAUDIA’S CHRISTMAS 12 Delicious Southern Christmas Recipes


HOLIDAY DECOR DESIGN & FLORALS Tis’ The Season For The Best Professional Home Design Tips

Claudia Teague’s Cornish Hens served with green beans and shallots, and whipped parsnip potatoes. 20 • • oct/nov 2014 pg. 107

116 THE QCEXCLUSIVE AWARDS FOR 2014 Superlatives Recognizing The Queen City’s Finest People and Businesses Of The Year

Contents H O L I DAY 2 0 1 4



The Good Life

The Supper Club


TASTEMAKER After three years of hard work and determination, Justin and Sarah Brigham open Southend’s newest Brewery, Sycamore.


CHARITY The March Of Dimes Annual Signature Chef’s Auction kicks off the season of giving.


HANDMADE Charlotte native Jerry Aiken of Attitude Furnishings creates some of the finest wood pieces in the country.


STYLE Laura Vinroot Poole and Travis Parsons’ new iPhone app House Account transforms the boutique shopping experience.

56 22 • • oct/nov 2014

65 70 74 78

SPICES Carolina Table Salt RESTAURANT Clark Barlowe’s Heirloom RECIPE Passion 8’s Short Rib DESSERTS Rugelache & Sufganiyot


Home & Design 81

ARRANGEMENTS Lily Bee’s Holiday Florals


REAL ESTATE A Rococo Penthouse


ARTISTRY Six Local Abstract Artists


86 Abstrat art by Arthur Brouthers



hristmas and all of its festivities: family, friends, food, gifts, and celebration, came early for all of us at QC Exclusive Magazine. First and foremost, I’d like to introduce you to the Barters! In early November, we boarded a plane with forty of our closest family and friends, traveled to the Yucatan and celebrated the marriage of one of my best friends and co-Publisher, Brett Barter, to his lovely and gorgeous wife, Layne. Sorry fellas...she is now off the market! This joyous seven days of exploration, laughter, love, and lots and lots of food and drink culminated with a beautiful ceremony and reception that I will remember forever. It was a true gift for all of us including the happy newlyweds, one that will last a lifetime. On our return to the Queen City, we were greeted with holiday cheer perfect to showcase in this issue. Jamey Price, one of our talented photographers and I, met up with Charlotte’s soul food diva, Claudia Teague and her sons, to gorge on a Christmas dinner like none other. We tasted rib roast and cornish hens, lots o’ fixins from collard greens and green beans to cole slaw, Thelma Lou’s potato salad, and my favorite amuse-bouche: the crunchy, salty, artery clogging southern goodness that is fatback. A sweet potato cheesecake drizzled with pecans and caramel and Ma Pinkie’s fresh coconut cake did us in. I haven’t eaten since and don’t plan to until I get Claudia’s next “fix-a-plate” invitation. Check out all of her Christmas recipes in the “Exclusives” of this issue. On top of the meal of my life, we had an opportunity to interview the accomplished Charlotte interior designer, Jaclyn Ehrlich, and share her tips on decorating for the holidays. We met Heidi and Brandon of Lily Bee’s Events and Florals to see how the professionals create a sophisticated holiday flower arrangement. We photographed the coolest gifts in Charlotte for our annual Holiday Gift Guide and tasted some delicous rugelache and sufganiyot. All of the holiday-themed content has this issue bursting at the seams, yet there’s more. In this issue you will also meet Jerry Aiken of Attitude Furnishings, learn about Laura Vinroot Poole’s House Account, savor a delicious short rib recipe from Passion 8’s Chef Luca, and wash it all down with the complex flavors of Southend’s newest brewery, Sycamore. Happy Holidays Charlotte. Here’s to you in 2015! Sincerely Jon-Paul Grice, Publisher

24 • • oct/nov 2014

Holiday 2014 Vol. 3 | No. 8


For A Subscription Get eight issues delivered right to your door for just $19.99/year. Visit for more details or contact us through the methods provided below: Subscription By Email Subscription By Phone 704.219.9088 Subscription By Mail Exclusive Media Group PO Box 25968 Charlotte, NC 28229 (please include a check or money order for $19.99 and your address and contact information when subscribing by mail)

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26 • • oct/nov 2014

Holiday 2014 Vol. 3 | No. 8


PUBLISHERS Brett Barter Jon-Paul Grice SALES Barbara Herd Fern Howerin CONTRIBUTORS Melissa Justice Kit Mackie Kasey Murray PHOTOGRAPHERS Jamey Price Lunahzon Photography Taken By Sarah Photography Thien La


We welcome commentary. If you have any comments or questions about any articles featured in the magazine or on our website, QCExclusive. com, please email them to

28 • • oct/nov 2014

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Holiday 2014 Vol. 3 | No. 8


Contact Jon-Paul Grice by phone at 828-773-4922 or by email at ADVERTISING Contact Brett Barter by phone at 704-219-9088 or by email at INTERN OPPORTUNITIES We are always open to interns with a desire to gain experience in advertising, graphic design, copy writing, and more. Please contact us at 704-268-9497 or email us at EVENTS If you would like to post an upcoming event that you are hosting in an issue of QCExclusive or online at our website please contact us at 704-268-9497 or email us at If you are interested in having QCExclusive as an event partner or media sponsor please contact us at 704219-9088 or

30 • • oct/nov 2014

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Jamey Price is an award winning motorsport photojournalist based in Charlotte. His work has been published by Road and Track, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Southern Living, The Washington Post, and more. View his work at

Layne is a Charlotte based makeup artist specializing in bridal, print, and beauty. Check out her blog for beauty tips, inspiration, and more.

As a food writer, Kit has an appetite for the written word. Having spent over ten years cooking in the industry, her passion for food and drink is only exceeded by her love for telling stories.




A College of Charleston graduate and massage therapist, Kasey loves to paint and travel. She specializes in pet portraits and commissions. View her work at

A displaced Yankee, Melissa has embraced the south. After teaching for over a decade, she now spends her time sitting on her porch, lazily reading, writing, and drinking ice tea.

Taken by Sarah Photography is a husband and wife team photographing weddings and editorials with a love for timeless, artful photography. They photograph in both film and digital to bring your vision to life..

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Nutcracker - 12/12/14-12/23/14 - Everyone’s favorite holiday tradition celebrates the sights and sounds of the holiday season. Bring your family and friends along for this holiday voyage featuring choreography by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, live music from the Charlotte Symphony and over 100 performers. | www. Casa en el Cielo 11/28/14 - 12/19/14 - The Latin American Contemporary Art Projects is excited to have works by Cristina Toro on display. Taking inspiration from her native home in Puerto Rico, Toro makes intuitive paintings that explore our relationship to nature, inner worlds, and unknowable things. • British Invasion 11/28/14 - 2/18/14 - The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art presents an exhibition of prints, drawings, paintings, and sculpture that represent 56 different works by 11 artists from Britain. These pieces became a part of the Bechtler’s collection between the 1950’s and the 1970’s. •

A Christmas Spectacular 11/30/14 - Charlotte Civic Orchestra will perform a Christmas Spectacular at the Halton Theater. With the holidays just around the corner, this concert will surely put you in a joyous mood. The full 65 piece CCO Orchestra, the Charlotte City Ballet, The Eddie Mabry Dancers, and the popular Holiday Singers will perform. • Sister Act 12/1/14 - Broadway musical comedy and film by the same name is a must see for those who love music, laughter, and a happy ending. The show will be for one night only at the Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. •

Apotheosis of the Archguitar 12/2/14 - The Bechtler’s Music and Museum program will present a concert featuring works by Pierre Attaignant, Gaspar Sanz, and JS Back. Guest artist Peter Blanchette will be performing. • Art Fusion: Illuminate 12/3/14 - If you enjoy illuminated manuscripts and medieval art, you have to see local artist Clara Nguyen put a contemporary twist on an old art form. • The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical 12/3/14 - 12/28/14 - Based on the new play by Betsy Kelso and with music/lyroct/nov 2014 • @qcexclusive • 35



“Bah, Humbug” attitude drives everyone away. Don’t miss this holiday show for the kids! • Jazz Room Holiday Edition 12/9/14 - The top jazz pianists from Charlotte will come together to perform the classic hits of Vince Guaraldi. The performance will be held at the Booth Playhouse. All proceeds will benefit the Jazz Arts initiative programs. • A Train to Somewhere 12/14/14 - The Mint Museum Uptown will present Alson Skinner Clark’s signature exhibition work, In the Lock, Miraflores 1913, as well as Charlotte native artist Romare Bearden’s permanent exhibit, Connecting the World: The Panama Canal at 100. You won’t want to miss either of these exhibits. •

EDITOR’S CHOICE Queen’s Feast - 1/16/15 - 1/25/15 - Charlotte Restaurant Week® returns for its Winter 2015 outing featuring over 100 upscale restaurants in the metro Charlotte area offering three courses or more at dinner for just $30 per person. Visit the Queen’s Feast website beginning in late December to peruse participating restaurants’ prix fixe menus and reservation information. | •

ics by David Nehls, the Actor’s Theater of Charlotte presents a funny holiday season made up of the eccentric residents of Armadillo. Prepare for the new holiday with a decoration contest, a new Scroogelike-resident, plus a whole lot more fun. • Magic of Christmas 12/4/14 - 12/7/14 - You won’t want to miss this season’s performance of traditional music at the Belk Theater. The Charlotte Symphony has several surprises in the works and even a sing-a-long. • 36 • • oct/nov 2014

The Nutcracker 12/5/14 - 12/7/14 - The traditional Nutcracker Ballet will be performed by the Charlotte Youth Ballet. Watch Clara as she travels to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy where flowers dance, the Prince battles the Mice King, and other wonderful things take place at the Halton Theater. • Scrooge! 12/5/14 - 12/22/14 - The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte is excited to celebrate the holidays with a wonderful musical about Ebenezer Scrooge who with his

Winter Dreams 12/12/14 - 12/14/14 - CPCC Dance Theater presents Winter Dreams at Pease Auditorium. The performance will feature classics from their repertory, re-staged, and ready to make this season wonderful. • Charlotte Ballet Nutcracker 12/12/14 - 12/23/14 - The beauty of the season is enhanced by the classical production of the Nutcracker featuring choreography by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, and live music from the Charlotte Symphony performed at the Belk Theater. • David Benoit Christmas 12/13/14 - Recording contemporary jazz pianist David Benoit will perform a holiday concert at the Halton Theater. With

“Coming face-to-face with a vibrant father of two, and realizing he was my patient years ago, that’s when it all came full circle.” I was at a party and was approached by a young man asking if I remembered him. I paused for a few moments before it came to me. Fifteen years ago he was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia as a 20-year-old college student and underwent a bone marrow transplant. He introduced me to his young family by saying, ‘This is Dr. Avalos. She saved my life.’ Seeing this healthy grown man with a wife and children in tow … it just hit me. This is what it’s all about.

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over 25 solo recordings, and several Grammy nominations, Benoit’s career spans 40 years. Watch as he reflects on his passion for and love of music. • Christmas Traditions 12/14/14 - The Charlotte Chorale, a fourpart harmony choir, will be performing at the McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square. Come listen to traditional holiday carols, music from the Nutcracker, Handel’s Messiah, and so much more. • LIGHTING OF THE MENORAH 12/16/14 - Visit Chabad of Charlotte at SouthPark Mall in the Circle Court for the annual Menorah Lighting Ceremony. • HANDEL’S Messiah 12/17/14 - The Belk Theater will present Handel’s Messiah performed by the Charlotte Symphony and Oratorio Singers. This is a masterpiece of choral works you won’t want to miss. • A Soulful Noel 12/18/14 - 12/19/14 - The On Q Ensemble of Creatives will be presenting A Soulful Noel at the McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square. The performance is like a tapestry using music, dance, and the spoken word to tell the story of why we celebrate the season. • Dives To Dining 12/20/14 - The diversity in the historic Plaza Midwood neighborhood is on display as you enjoy the food and local craft beer of the popular neighborhood. • 38 • • oct/nov 2014

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Belk Bowl 12/30/14 - The Belk Bowl returns this year to Bank of America stadium, home to your Carolina Panthers. This exciting championship game features a matchup between teams from the Southeastern Conference and ACC. The Belk Bowl is thrilled to announce the Grammy Award winner, Miranda Lambert as the featured act at the 2014 Belk Bowl. • Post Holiday Blues 1/2/15 - The Ziad Jazz Quartet will perform music by John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Jimmy Hath and others during its annual post-holiday blues concert at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. •

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40 • • oct/nov 2014

Newsies 1/6/15 - 1/11/15 - They delivered the papers, until they made the headlines. Direct from Broadway comes NEWSIES, the smash-hit, crowd-pleasing new musical from Disney. Winner of the 2012 Tony AwardsÂŽ for Best Score and Best Choreography, NEWSIES has the praise of audiences and critics alike. Filled with one heart-pounding number after another, it’s a high-energy explosion of song and dance you just don’t want to miss. • Charlotte Symphony Pops Classic Soul 1/9/15 - 1/10/15 - Nationally acclaimed vocalists Darius de Haas and Capathia pay tribute to the giants of soul. From “Respectâ€? to “Signed, Sealed, Deliveredâ€? Classic Soul will showcase the smooth grooves and vibrant rhythms of Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Tina Turner, Marvin Gaye, and other soul legends. •














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CAD with Wendell Castle 1/15/15 - The Contemporary Architecture + Design lecture series explores innovative perspectives and insightful stories on architecture and design. This month’s CAD features Wendell Castle. Wendell Castle helped establish the studio furniture movement in the 1960s and remains influential today. His innovative lamination techniques have resulted in works that bridge traditional definitions of craft, design, and sculpture. • charlotte symphony presents don quixote 1/16/15 - 1/17/15 - Part of the Classics Series, Don Quixote features Gerard and Julian Schwarz along with the Charlotte Symphony. This performance is sure to be a memorable one. • Queen’s Feast 1/16/15 - 1/25/15 - Charlotte Restaurant Week® returns for its Winter 2015 outing Friday, January 16 - Sunday, January 25, featuring over 100 upscale restaurants in the metro Charlotte area offering three courses or more at dinner for just $30 per person. Visit the Queen’s Feast website beginning in late December to peruse participating restaurants’ prix fixe menus and reservation information. • Travels Through Latin America with music 1/18/15 - Inspired by Connecting the World: The Panama Canal at 100, local musicians Ana Lucia Divins and Carlos Crespo will take attendees on a unique musical journey. •

42 • • oct/nov 2014

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GoodLife C H A RLOTTE ’ S





DRINK CAROLINA PROUD After three years of hard work, long hours, one hell of a build out, and lots and lots of delicious taste testing, Justin and Sarah Brigham open their doors to Southend’s newest brewery, the highly anticipated Sycamore Brewing. PHOTOS BY JAMEY PRICE






hree years of hard work. That's how long Justin and Sarah Brigham's goal of opening a 15 barrel brew house took. But on November 1, 2014, the doors to Sycamore Brewing officially opened. With a huge crowd in attendance, food trucks, music, and of course craft beer, Sycamore celebrated their grand opening. Located at 2161 Hawkins Street in Charlotte, the brewery is housed in what once was a 1950's auto garage. Gutting the building to the bare walls, Justin and Sarah created an inviting space for the taproom, as well as a working space for brewing beer. “If you had told me 10 years ago that I'd be getting ready to open a Craft Brewery the year I turned 30,” says Sarah, “there's not a chance I'd believe you.”

Top Six Charlotte Beers To Taste

1 • NoDa Hop Drop N Roll • 2 • Unknown Over The Edge 3 • Birdsong Jalapeno Pale Ale • 4 • Sugar Creek Pale Ale 5 • Sycamore Friday Star IPA • 6 • Triple C Dude Imbibes

46 • • oct/nov 2014


Beer was not a favorite of Sarah's until Justin explained the difference between industrialized fizzy, yellow beer and craft beer made with various ingredients such as Ecuadorian cocoa nibs, coffee, citrus forward hops, lemongrass, high grade barley, and organic chicory. Justin had a good knowledge of the brewing industry. While attending the University of Colorado he spent his summers working in Coors’ grain elevator purchasing barley from farmers. It was during this period of Justin's life that he started home-brewing. “For the last ten years, he has been working on recipes and making some amazing beer. For eight of those years, I've been the head taste tester. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. I'm also an avid cook, so I have had a hand in the recipe development of some of our funkier brews.”

Justin and Sarah Brigham stand proudly in front of their new brewery, Sycamore.

Our aim is simple, use the freshest ingredients possible and brew allnatural, extraordinary

beer Carolina Cans


Spend some time here. From retail fashion to gourmet delights, there are over twenty stores and restaurants to keep you outfitted, well-fed and entertained at Metropolitan. Right on the greenway and just south of uptown, it’s an ideal location. Meet some friends, stay a while, and see why Metropolitan is one of Charlotte’s favorite destinations. Learn more at | : MetropolitanCharlotte

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“We have some great agricultural producers in this state, and we’re all about supporting and keeping that tradition going”

Copper engraved taps time in which they are added during The brewing process is all about dawn the Sycamore “knowing where your ingredients name. Sarah and Justin the production process determines a where the magic haplot.” As a brewer, “it's all about being come from and knowing the people pens. What’s on tap adventurous, and how far your imagithat helped to produce them.” Using including the popular Friday Star IPA nation takes you!” local ingredients is important. Their Having embraced the brewery scene, Charlotte “aim is simple, use the freshest ingredients posmakes for a great place to open a brew house. sible and brew all-natural, extraordinary beer.” “There's a tremendous craft beer evolution taking Because the basic ingredients of beer are water, place in Charlotte.” After the first craft brewery yeast, malt, and hops, Sarah and Justin's dream opened--John Marrino's Olde Mecklenburg--the beer is locally sourced. Last summer they succity has seen a “wave of craft brewery openings.” cessfully “captured [their] own wild strain of Demand for craft beer is to blame. But this is a North Carolina yeast off the blueberry bushes in good thing. “As more breweries, bottle shops, [their] backyard.” Locally grown hops come from and craft beer bars open and attract attention, Piedmont Hops; the Riverbend Malt House in more interest is stimulated and more mass marAsheville supplies them with locally farmed artiket beer drinkers are converting to craft beer. It's san malts. “We have some great agricultural proa beautiful cycle,” says Sarah. ducers in this state, and we're all about supporting Opening a craft brewery is not without its difand keeping that tradition going.” ficulties. Time, perseverance, passion, and a In the 1400's the Reinheitsgebot established a belief in one another all play a role in a brewGerman purity law for beer; however, Justin and ery's success. Having come home to Charlotte Sarah don't really subscribe to that law. “There to open Sycamore Brewing was the right thing to is a good chance that some local fruits or spices do. “There is something to be said for opening may also go in the brew. The sky is the limit!” a business in the city where you grew up, and Since water is crucial to brewing beer, “filtration where you have a strong network of friends and for purity is a must.” Grains affect the “color, family. We both love it here, and we're excited roastiness, and sweetness, of the beer, so good for Sycamore Brewing to become part of the barley is essential. Hops, which craft brewers community. For further information visit Sycause many different varieties, lend unique flavors, more online at aromas, and the necessary bitterness to beer. The

48 • • oct/nov 2014


Olde Mecklenburg brewery Olde Mecklenburg’s new digs just down the road from their old location are impressive. The outdoor beer garden is beautiful, the production area is massive, and the beer is as tasty as it has ever been.

Sugar Creek Brewery Taking over the former Olde Mecklenburg location, Sugar Creek opened with a bang. The atmosphere and decor is inviting and the beer is simply delicious.

Lenny Boy BrewiNg The tap room is now open and pouring some of the best organic beers and kombucha you can find anywhere.

oct/nov 2014 • @qcexclusive • 48

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oct/nov 2014 • @qcexclusive • 49




March Of Dimes

The March Of Dimes Annual Signature Chef’s Auction kicks off the season of giving with another successful evening of fundraising.


PHOTOS BY Tony Ulchar Applewood Gallery

armel Country Club provided the setting for what has become one of Charlotte’s most anticipated kick-offs to the season of giving. The November 6, 2014 March of Dimes Annual Signature Chef’s Auction brought together over 300 people willing to open their hearts and wallets. Their mission? Joining together to improve the health of babies. Co-Chaired by Alysa Kelly-Jones, M.D. (Novant Health/Platinum Sponsor) and Tom Marcham (Mercedes of South Charlotte/Gold Sponsor) the sold out event was a lively evening of dining, entertainment, silent and live auctions, and common purpose. Chef Michael Rosen of Carolina Commercial Kitchen led seventeen renowned local culinary experts who presented amazing signature dishes in tasting size portions. The auctioneer expertly energized the bidding on donations from eighty benefactors. The purpose of the evening was illustrated in a beautiful, yet sobering video by the 2014 Ambassador Family. Scott and Christine Witte shared their experience of premature birth and their personal experiences with March of Dimes. Triplet daughters Collins, Elle, and Lillie Witte were born at twenty-seven weeks gestation, just shy of the third trimester. Weighing less than two pounds each, as tiny as birds and as fragile as eggshells, the girls had the odds stacked against them. “They were whisked away and put on life support within seconds of being delivered. Each day presented a new challenge and our girls fought furiously to overcome the many obstacles that came along with their prematurity. From blood transfusions to brain surgery, they experienced a broad spectrum of terrifying procedures and operations. Scott and I had educated ourselves on the many complications that accompany a premature birth, as we were aware Clockwise from left: Historical photo of early on in our pregnancy that the girls would likely be delivered before their FDR counting dimes. Diamonds Direct gift due date. With the help and support of March of Dimes, we were able to box raffle. Bidders for research, inform and prepare ourselves by utilizing available resources and the silent auction. educational tools,” explained Christine Witte.

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Headbands For Hope

Jessica Ekstrom started Headbands for Hope with one goal: for every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fund life-saving childhood cancer research.

Levine Foundation

Well-recognized because of their outstanding philanthropies, the Levine family has donated millions to hospitals, schools, non-profits, and museums, as well as the American Red Cross and CPCC.

Giving Back

Valaida Fullwood, is author of Giving Back, a book that celebrates the philanthropic traditions among Americans of African descent. The book is wonderful because it inspires people to give back to the community and the proceeds of the book go towards the philanthropic causes of the New Generation of African American Philanthropists.

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QUEEN CITY Charities To Support [cont. pg.50]

Patriot Charities

The local non-profit raises funds to financially assist other non profits and local organizations concerned with the immediate welfare, care, and support of our wounded military and their families.

Speedway Children’s Charities

The mission of the Speedway Children’s Charities is a noble one: to care for children’s educational, financial, social and medical needs in order to help them lead productive lives

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“The March of Dimes allows miracles to happen and our daughters are living proof of this. We are compelled to support this organization in their lifesaving mission to raise awareness for, prevent, and treat premature births. Without the research and medical breakthroughs that have been funded by this incredible foundation, it’s likely that Collins, Elle, and Lillie would not be thriving two year olds today. Each morning, we wake to our little miracles giggling in their bedroom, ready to start their adventurous day. Each evening, we kiss them goodnight and thank God for blessing our lives with such incredible daughters.” It all began 75 years ago when Eddie Cantor asked the public to send dimes to President Roosevelt’s National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in the fight to conquer polio. Thus, the March of Dimes was born and that battle was won. The March of Dimes continues lifesaving research and programs and works to end premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality. One million and six hundred thousand dimes were put together in three hours on November LEFT:Christine and Scott Witte. RIGHT: 6, 2014 raising $160,000 toward continuing the fight Historical photo from 1954 of March to improve the health of all babies. Well-done, Charof Dimes and the lotte. Well-done, March of Dimes. Polio Pioneers. To learn more about the March of Dimes and local fundraising efforts visit

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This natural slab from Africa features beautiful live edges that add personality to the piece.

Furniture With


Charlotte native Jerry Aiken, of Attitude Furnishings, is creating some of the finest wood pieces in the country using exotic species, intricate burls, incredible live edge table tops, and precision fabricated modern legs. BY JON-PAUL GRICE | PHOTOS BY JAMEY PRICE


iddenite, North Carolina is known for its emeralds. In fact, the largest one ever discovered in North America, a massive 310 karat boulder of a jewel, was found there just four years ago. However, emeralds, the namesake of this town, aren’t the only source of industry and intrigue found in this place. Its location in North Carolina, nestled in the shadows of the Blue Ridge, smack dab in the middle of historic Carolina furniture and textile country, make it the perfect place for a renaissance. In a large, open,

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drafty, Hiddenite warehouse, Attitude Furnishings, a gem in-and-of-itself, is helping return A rare and unique growth on a tree the Old North State furniture industry to its forthat is is prized for its detail and beauty. mer glory, one handmade piece at a time. Founded by Charlotte native Jerry Aiken, Attitude Furnishings specializes in unique designs that promote style and grace. Their one-of-a-kind pieces are made with some of the most unique bounties of the natural world from aged indigenous and exotic wood species, to semi-precious stones, metals of bronze, brass, copper, forged steel, stainless steel, and star-fire glass as well as antique mirror. A walk about through their industrial space shows off Attitude’s wide variety of impressive pieces: Colossal, twenty-foot long tables made from African hardwood slabs, massive yet delicate wood burls intricately carved by the chisel of God himself, copper and stone inlays executed with unmatched precision; so many dramatic conversation pieces evoking an undeniable mystique, exuding attitude. According to Aiken, “Attitude is a way of designing your environment.” You're the one in charge, so it makes sense to apply

oct/nov 2014 • @qcexclusive • 54

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oct/nov 2014 • @qcexclusive • 55





your ideology, your identity, to the “architectural com- Jerry Aiken showing off ponents that surround you.” the natural textures of Having been intimately involved in the furniture and the burl and live edge design industry while working at Hi End Residential the of a massive Furniture Mfg., Aiken was drawn to the idea of open- African live edge table. ing his own business. His legacy would be one associated with “true custom made furniture,” with an emphasis on the various types of woods and materials used. With so much beauty found in nature, Aiken’s goal was to take nature’s designs and turn them into true works of art. “I like nature. There's a lot of interesting things out there. I'll see something in nature and wonder how that can be applied to what we do,” says Aiken. Using “all types of wood species, exotic veneers, metals, stones, and upholstery,” each piece of furniture is meticulously constructed. By “paying close attention to detail, using quality materials, and never, ever taking shortcuts to cut costs in labor,” Aiken works closely with clients to achieve their desired aesthetic. When building and creating pieces, it is best to “keep it simple and unique.”

There should be a “timeless style, and when you look at it the first time, all you can say is 'Wow'!” Attitude Furnishings clientele varies from residential to hospitality to the commission world. The Live Edge collection is their title line, and for good reason. The extraordinary line is based on nature and “personally selected to the client’s specifications” in order to “work in their environment and suit their desires.” Instead of boards that are planed, jointed, and cut perfectly like traditional furniture, each piece of the flagship collection features large, exotic slabs that are selected because of their rare natural beauty, edges, colors, and details. An amazing dichotomy presents itself when Attitude places these seemingly opposing aesthetics together to form the table. The beautiful natural live edge slabs atop modern precision-fabricated, shimmering stainless steel, metal, or acrylic


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legs makes for perfectly executed design that is unique, cohesive, natural yet modern, and ultimately awe-inspiring. Aiken keeps his mind open to new ideas and techniques often drawing from outside the realm of furniture, such as architecture,

Wood has no flaws, just its own individual personality and characteristics.” - JERRY AIKEN ATTITUDE FURNISHINGs

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aviation, boat building, and automobile design. In the end, he takes what he learns from other industries and applies it to furniture. Adapting like this helps Aiken and his team thrive in almost any design and build situation. One of the most challenging experiences Aiken recalls is having had to design, engineer, and manufacture a 20 foot long conference table plus a 14 ft. dining table that needed to fit into an 8' x 6' elevator. The challenging order was placed with a delivery and installation date of just 10 weeks. Aiken and his team were able to do what seems almost mathematically impossible, meet the deadline, and maintain a high level of quality and satisfaction. This level of quality and satisfaction is responsible for Attitude Furnishings’ success in the biggest of markets from New York to Miami and Los Angeles, and with the highest profile clients in the country. As far as the future of Attitude Furnishings is concerned, Aiken plans on designing more one-of-a-kind pieces, unique in every aspect of creation. “Nature creates some really wonderful pieces of art taking centuries to develop. Wood has no flaws, just its own individual personality and characteristics,” said Aiken. Likewise, Attitude Furnishings’ personality and success has been defined by their exceptional, rare, and original creations. For more information or to see sample works visit

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travis parsons and laura vinroot poole of house account

lotte made perfect sense. As a child, she remembers her family traveling all over to buy clothes. “I just didn’t understand why they couldn’t do it here, so I did.” It’s been seventeen years since Poole opened the doors to her first boutique. Throughout the past decade-and-a-half, Poole has molded both of her boutiques, Capitol and Poole Shop, into style juggernauts that draw national attention to Charlotte’s fashion scene. Her proven track record for success stems from her years of experience in the industry, her keen fashion

House Account Laura Vinroot Poole and Travis Parsons’ new iPhone app, House Account, is transforming the boutique shopping experience.



he retail business is not easy. Between the incredibly long hours, deciding what styles to buy, displaying the clothes, acquiring new clientele, and keeping your loyal customers happy (and

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coming back) it can be very challenging. You’ve got to have that special fashion sense and personable disposition to thrive in the industry. For Laura Vinroot Poole, starting her fashion empire here in Char-

“If boutiques don’t help one another, we’re going to be crushed.”

sense, and her ability to multi-task. While running her thriving businesses, she also juggles a husband, a ten year old, eight to ten trips a year to New York and about four trips to Europe searching for the newest designs and designers. As if this didn’t keep her busy enough, Poole has widened her scope in the high-end retail world by introducing House Account. Poole has always been interested in technology and how the world of retail fits into the online realm. Because of this, Poole and partner, Travis Parsons, CEO of NY product development firm Cloud Castle, came together to create an app that makes the buying and selling aspect of online purchasing far more intimate. “I’ve built ecommerce, but it wasn’t what I needed or was accustomed to. I felt like it needed to

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G OOD L IFE be more diverse because boutiques look at things differently. For us to be able to compete with the larger mega brands, we needed to do it in our own way.” House Account was created for those who love to shop and for boutiques that want to compete with the big dogs. A network of small boutiques display their styles in an attractive and intuitive way to members of the app. Members can follow stores that they frequent or stores that they simply are curious about. The power of the app is in the numbers, both styles and network of boutiques. With over 500 boutiques currently showcasing thousands of designs, the offerings of House Account are plentiful. According to Poole, a network was the smartest way to go. “People can find us without difficulties, search for a particular brand, item, or by category, text with a query, comment, and be guaranteed a response.” The concierge service House Account provides answers any questions that may arise. “My girls receive each text, as do I, but if one has to research the query, and another knows the answer, both can respond to the text.” This kind of communication is a beautiful thing often not found online; texting is directly between the customer and the seller or shop owner, creating a truly personal experience. The boutiques that participate reap the rewards as well. The analytics that House Account provides help shop owners become more aware of the types of styles they should carry to meet the needs of their customers. It also gives the boutique a professional online aesthetic often difficult to achieve. “We have a ton of data. I can see what all my followers have liked, and I can

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iPhone; it’s free and can be downloaded from the Apple Store. For those boutiques that want to join and be a part of this service, they simply pay a nominal $100 per month. The app is easy to use. Once you download the app and sign up to become a member, you have full access to browse your favorite boutiques by newest arrivals, categories, or brand. You can even search by city to discover the offerings of the “most popular boutiques across the United States.” Unlike most apps, with House Account, there is a “warm feeling when shopping,” says Poole. “You can develop a relationship with the client and fully communicate with them.” Retail is incredibly competitive but House Account has united and promoted boutiques across the country, helping them compete with the larger brands and department stores. “At first, nobody wanted to talk to me. That bothered me a lot because I wasn’t raised like that, but it’s different now. If we don’t help one another, House Account App Available in the apple store we’re going to be crushed,” said Poole. Luckily for fashion enthusiasts, move ahead from there. We don’t want to with House Account growing exponenbe embarrassed, so we show our best in tially, the outlook for the small boutique photography and in content.” looks brighter than ever. Since House Account’s launch, the serFor further information on House Acvice has grown to over 35,000 members count visit their website at www.houseand 500 boutiques throughout the United, their tumblr at houseacct.tumblr. States. With House Account seeing such a com or download the app on your iPhone. huge amount of success in our city, and our country, Poole and Parsons plan to expand to European cities. The House Account app is for the

“For us to be able to compete with the larger mega brands, we needed to do it in our own way.”

Geena Woodard’s famous lowcountry shrimp and grits seasoned with tasty Carolina Table Salt.

Stewards of Southern Food, Charlotte’s own Michael and Geena Woodard, have created a delicious spice blend, Carolina Table Salt, that’s good on most anything. BY JON-PAUL GRICE | PHOTOS BY JAMEY PRICE



SALT OR THE EARTH Michael and Geena Woodard’s Carolina Table Salt Is Good On Most Anything.


ichael Woodard started cooking with his mother at the ripe old age of five. “I was always in the kitchen with her. I was one of those kids who loved food and was always concerned with where my next meal was coming from.” That flame for food has never burnt out. Instead, it helps define Woodard. At 19, Woodard started working in the restaurant industry. From humble beginnings flipping burgers to college - where, instead of getting a master's degree he was mastering the charcoal grill - to his current endeavor, Carolina Table Salt, nearly every part of his life has been impacted by the culinary world. Woodard's epicurean influences are many. It all started with his mom, his greatest inspiration, but he also learned a lot from a friend named Ruby who helped him “put the soul into cooking.” “Ruby weighed north of 300 lbs.,” recalls a smiling Woodard. “She could sing Amazing Grace like you've never heard it, and her fried chicken made Price's Chicken Coop taste like scraps...I used to love watching her cook.” His experience working at a fondue restaurant expanded his horizons. While running the kitchen he became a diligent pupil. “The chef was fantastic. I was able to learn a lot and move outside my comfort zone of simple southern eating.” Then there was his wife, Geena. "I married her for her shrimp and grits," says Woodard. That's where this adventure all began. Their "whirlwind romance" fittingly started at a pig pickin' in 2010 where Woodard's eastern North Carolina barbecue was introduced to Geena's low country shrimp and grits. It was a match made in heaven; destiny some might say. Head over heels for each other, the two were quickly engaged. With very little money to their name they were tasked with doing a wedding on the cheap and that meant they had to be creative with their wedding favors. Together, embracing their love for food, they came up with a simple, affordable gift

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for all of their wedding guests. The idea: bottle a rub for everyone. Geena tweaked the barbecue rub recipe Woodard created while in college. What she came up with was the “perfect combination of both [of their] upbringings in one bottle." After receiving the wedding favors, several guests requested to take extra seasoning packets home with them. Then, just a couple weeks later, a friend and firefighter from Pensacola, Florida, placed an order for his entire firehouse, requesting 50 bottles. Once they met that order they instantly received another order for an additional 50 bottles. "It took fire!" They started to realize the true potential of their wedding rub and after talking at length and taking a closer look at the reality of starting a business, Woodard and his wife decided to take the plunge. Carolina Table Salt was born.

We live our life through a southern lens, and we want to spread the warmth, hospitality, and community that has held the South together for so long.”


First, they needed to find investors to propickin's, oyster roasts, low country boils, duce the blend on a larger scale. This turned shrimp and grits; food that is represented out to be far easier than they ever could've by the South." imagined. Maybe it was because of how The catering has worked. Tasting the deligood their product was, or maybe they just cious flavors has "opened people's eyes to had really good friends that truly believed the possibility of [our product] becoming in them. Either way, they were funded. A more of an everyday type of seasoning.” friend who had the capital, and another who It's combination of salt, brown sugar, super attended college with Woodard provided secret ingredients, and a pinch of love make the initial infusion. The two are now the the mixture versatile. “It is a rub, a base, a “main sounding board for advice and direccrust, a searing, a topping, or a garnish.” tion, a great addition to the team.” Their slogan definitely rings true: Carolina Second, they needed to get their product Table Salt "is good on most anything." out there. They figured the easiest way for Currently, Carolina Table Salt is availthe public to become familiar with Carolina able for purchase at the Fresh Market, Table Salt was to simply taste it on deliReid’s Fine Foods, The Butcher's Market, cious food. So, Woodard did what any selfthe Sporting Gent on Selwyn Avenue, respecting southern swine enthusiast trying and Charlotte Grill Company. With hopes to sling his own rub would do, he purchased of expanding into other stores, markets, his very own smoker and trailer. The masspecialty foods and perhaps a “brick and sive cooker features a smoker, oyster roastmortar environment,” the Woodards are er, and grill perfect for any catering event. experimenting with a couple of additional On any given weekend you can find Wooseasonings, sauces, bacon jam, take-n-bake dard somewhere around the tomato pies, and other tasty Queen City cooking up his specialty items. “Our catering’s Country Chic - pig pickin’s, oyster roasts, favorite fare and peddling All of these new goodies low country boils; food that is are planned and prepared his tasty table salt. Woorepresented by the South.” dard considers their catertogether as a family in their ing “Country Chic - pig humble country kitchen.

- Michael Woodard

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Always there to help in product development - their tasting panel if you will - is their daughter Harper Leigh, and their pup, Captain Willis. The Woodards’ recently welcomed their second daughter and future tastemaker, Harlan Larue, to the world. With an expanding family and business, things tend to be both fun and challenging. “Geena bears the bigger burden as she raises the kids, helps out with Carolina Table Salt, ships packages, and absorbs the majority of responsibility of our home while I'm juggling work and the business, making for long hours away from home,” says Woodard. The long hours and hard work are paying off. The product is delicious, the brand is strong, and their mission is authentic: Carolina Table Salt is the steward of southern culture lived through food. Woodard sums it up, "We live our life through a southern lens, and we want to spread the warmth, the hospitality, and the community that has held the south together for so long.” In a very short amount of time, Michael and Geena Woodard have watched their product evolve. “As I'm sure you know, entrepreneurship is like taking a beautiful ship across the ocean for the first time,” says Woodard. “You've got tons of pride and passion mixed with excitement and a little fear. Some days seas are calm, and the sailing is smooth. The next day you're getting tossed around in a storm praying you make it out alive, but the beauty is waking up every day wanting more. This year has been challenging and stressful, but also one of the most exciting of our lives.” For more information or to purchase your very own bottle visit them online at

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ife in food service often starts on the ground floor. This was no different for Clark Barlowe who began his career as a professional dishwasher in 2003. Five years later, with a lot of hard work and perseverance, he moved up the ladder. Barlowe cooked twice at the #1 Restaurant in the World (3 Michelin starred) El Bulli.” Since then, he has cooked at The French Laundry, been influenced by Matt Gennuoso at Chez Pascal in Providence, RI, and Clyde’s Restaurant Group in Washington, DC. You can say Clark Barlowe has run the gambit in food service; however, he has

Heirloom by melissa justice | photos by jamey price

Clark Barlowe’s Mountain Island restuarant, Heirloom, incorporates fine local North Carolina ingredients to deliver some of the most sophisticated dishes in the Queen City.

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Our current food system is unsustainable, and we will need to focus more on whole animals in the future if we as a society want to progress.” returned to his North Carolina roots with the desire to bring Charlotte’s food scene to the next level. Growing up in Lenoir, NC, Barlowe was “inspired to become a chef after his first job in high school left [him] with a thirst for more knowledge.” “With JWU opening in Charlotte that year, it was a serendipitous set of circumstances that started me on my path to becoming a chef.” For six years, he traveled working in the food industry as a chef. Now with his return and the opening of the Heirloom Restaurant, Barlowe hopes to re-educate the public with respect to sustainable living



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SUPPER CLUB and the whole animal. Focusing on the whole animal makes the Heirloom Restaurant unique. “I personally love butchery of fish or land based whole animals. It’s a challenge and forces us to be creative as chefs to create a more sustainable model moving forward. Our current food system is unsustainable, and we will need to focus more on whole animals in the future if we as a society want to progress.” Some of us grew up on stories told by our grandparents of life away from the big city when families lived off the land, growing crops and canning for winter, raising cows, butchering hogs for meat and salted pork. Milking and churning butter, raising chickens, and collecting eggs each morning was a daily chore performed by mom and children. Grandma made fresh apple pie with apples picked from the orchard and homemade strawberry preserves were made from berries growing outside the kitchen door. Homemade honey might be served with buttermilk biscuits due to Grandpa’s beekeeping skills, but these days are only memories long gone, or are they? With the new sustainable movement exploding on the horizon and chefs like Clark Barlowe, the days of fast food eating is lessening. With that said, the Heirloom Restaurant is unique. The “products we serve,” says Barlowe, “focus on the whole animal. We only source from North Carolina which separates us from other restaurants nation or worldwide.” Because the menu is based on the local ingredients including beer, wine, and liquor from NC, it changes daily. Each evening, the kitchen team collectively writes the next day’s menu. “It’s based on what our farmers are harvesting. I love duck preparations


“You must focus on the product and have tremendous respect for it. If you have that everything else will fall into line.”

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and the fresh fish, but we are fortunate to have such amazing farmers and producers in NC. It’s a constant inspiration and motivator as a chef,” says Barlowe. A typical day for Barlowe consists of “writing the menu, meetings with several farmers, daily prep, and preservation of ingredients. Kitchen cleaning, family meal with staff, dinner service, more cleaning, plus a post dinner culinary meeting” makes for a very long day. The hours of which fluctuate between 12 to 16 hour days. With the new breed of chefs rising up in Charlotte, the city’s idea about eating is changing. Barlowe feels the “food scene that once was stagnant” is no longer true. Corporate restaurants are finding themselves competing with local restaurateurs

and chefs who believe very strongly in the sustainable movement and mantra: buy local; support local; eat local. As a chef, Barlowe has traveled extensively working with photographers and videographers. “I have met truly amazing people. That wouldn’t have been possible in many other careers,” he says. “Also my relationship with my farmers is truly a blessing.” Barlowe believes that to be a great chef, “you must focus on the product and have tremendous respect for it. If you have that everything else will fall into line.” For Barlowe, it’s all about “loving the ingredients and the stories they tell.” For further information on Heirloom visit their website at www. oct/nov 2014 • @qcexclusive • 72

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Braised Short Ribs T photos by jamey price

he former Passion 8 Bistro of Fort Mills, SC - a restaurant that has received high acclaim both locally and nationally - has now relocated to Charlotte’s popular Elizabeth Avenue,


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also known to many as “Eat Street”. Passion 8 Fine Dining is a beautiful restaurant with a sophisticated aesthetic and ambiance matched only by the culinary talents of their Chef Luca. Bon vivants in the Queen City should be very excited for this infusion of passion and artistry into uptown’s food scene. There is no doubt that Passion 8 and Luca will raise the epicurean bar, and raise it very high. Luca has so kindly shared one of his most popular recipes with QC Exclusive. Passion 8’s Braised Short Rib is a simple yet sophisticated dish featuring a tender local short rib by Hickory Nut Gap braised in ginger, served with delicious accompaniments of wilted greens, whipped potatoes, and Earl Gray apple.


• 6 Hickory Nut Gap farm bone-in short ribs (about 5 3/4 pounds) • Kosher salt • Extra-virgin olive oil • 1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces • 2 carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces • 2 cloves garlic, smashed • 1 and a half cups tomato paste • 2 to 3 cups hearty red wine • 2 cups water or beef stock • 1 bunch fresh thyme • Rosemary tied with kitchen string • 2 bay leaves



Season each short rib generously with salt. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well (about 2 to 3 minutes per side). Do not overcrowd the pan. Feel free to cook in batches if necessary. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. While the short ribs are browning, mirepoix all the vegetables and garlic. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pan with fresh oil and add the vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crud has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately

76 â&#x20AC;˘ â&#x20AC;˘ oct/nov 2014


5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the crud and let it reform. Scrape the crud again and add the tomato paste. Brown the tomato paste for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn. Reduce the mixture by half. Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups water or beef stock until the liquid has just about covered the meat. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more stock, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid.

For a ginger flavor blend fresh ginger and water and add that to the braising liquid reduction. For more information or to make a reservation visit ENJOY THE RECIPE AND LOOK FOR THE FULL STORY ON PASSION 8 AND CHEF LUCA IN THE JANUARY 2015 ISSUE OF QC EXCLUSIVE.


Holiday Treats


The Festival of Lights is a celebration of the rededication of the Holy Temple and includes the lighting of the Menorah, spinning the dreidel, and our favorite: eating lots and lots of delicious fried foods. This holiday season enjoy two of the very tastiest Hanukkah treats, Rugelach and Sufganiyot (jelly donuts).


RUGELACH • 2 cups of flour • 1 Cup unsalted butter • 8 ounce of cream cheese • 1/2 Cup of sour cream • 1 Tbsp of cinnamon • 1/2 Cupf of raisins • 1 Cup chopped walnuts • 1/2 Cup of sugar • Pinch of salt • Powdered sugar, jam Mix cream cheese, butter, sour cream, flour, salt in processor. Roll mixture into five equal size circles. In a bowl mix

walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, and sugar. Take this mixture and lightly shake onto equal sized circle rolls. Cut the circles into 8 pieces and roll like a small croissant. Place rolls on baking sheet and put in refridgerator for half an hour. Preheat your oven to 375F, remove baking sheet, and place in oven. Cook until the rugelach are golden. Remove and sprikle with powdered sugar. Serve with jam and enjoy.

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• 2 cups of flour • Yeast Packet • 1/3 Cup of granulated sugar • 2 Egg yolks • 1 Cup of milk • 2 Tbsp of butter • 1 Cup of jam • Salt, Powdered Sugar In a mixer, mix yeast, sugar, flour and salt. Add milk and egg yolk and on low, mix together for two minutes. Add the two tablespoons of butter to the mixer and mix on high until creamy. Move the dough to a bowl lined with oil and coat the dough completely. Set aside. After

two hours use roller to roll out dough to a little over a quarter-of-an-inch high. With a two-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out as many doughnut rounds as possible and set on a cooking sheet. Let dough rise to over a half inch (may take up to one hour set aside). Heat fryer to 350F and place dough rounds into fryer for one minute or until golden. Remove from fryer and let dough balls cool. While dough cools, add jam to pastry bag. Cut a small pocket into dough balls with small knife and fill with jam. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy.

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Holidays in


Heidi and Brandon Garcia of Lily Bee’s Events And Florals share their tips and tricks to creating beautiful Christmas arrangements. PHOTOS BY SARAH COLLIER OF TAKEN BY SARAH PHOTOGRAPHY



Heidi and Brandon Garcia of Lily Bee’s Events and Florals share their tips for amazing holiday flower arrangements. What were you doing before you started Lily Bee’s Events + Florals? I worked for a company providing the florals and decor for the NASCAR and IRL race series nationwide. Brandon worked for Charlotte Motor Speedway doing sales and events. What inspired you to start your floral business and what was appealing to about owning your own business? We wanted to be with our kids more and live our lives on our own terms. Not waking up to an alarm every morning! We wanted to escape that 9-5 rat race. [We wanted to] provide something special that we were proud to put our names on and that we believed would make a difference. Who taught you how the florals business and how to arrange? I started learning from two ladies actually, in Southern California, that have

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Heidi, Brandon, and the namesake, Lily, of Lily Bee’s Events And Florals.

been florists for years. They’re so talented with such amazing stories and are still great friends today. But I love all the designers I’ve learned from over the years and love to watch other florists work today and to see what they do. What is the best thing about Lily Bee’s? The couples are the absolute best! We’ve had so many couples that just touch our hearts and we enjoy staying in touch and seeing their relationships grow.

How do you select what flowers, textures, colors for your arrangement? I take various elements out of the images we collect on our inspiration boards and then select from what will be in season and is highest of quality. Then when the time comes, I’ll browse through what’s available from the growers and add to the order as needed. What flowers are staples in many of your most popular arrangements? Hydrangeas are always great because they’re cost effective, large, and available year round. The other staples are roses, calla lilies, peonies, orchids. I also love to mix it up with different greens and various textures too. When designing holiday flower arrangements where do you start? I start with a theme: classic, silver and gold, candy-land, traditional, modern, etc. If you walk into any retail store during the holiday’s you will see that every thing is based around the theme. I start there to make specific arrangements that emphasize my theme.

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What features of the home can come to life with added flower arrangements? The mantle, dining table, and entry are always first, but I think the unexpected areas are equally important - a little vase in the bathroom, an arrangement in the guest bedroom, and your bedroom too, is always welcoming. Also any accent tables just scream for vignettes during the holidays! What are your top three tips for our readers when they want to create their own holiday flower arrangements? Make sure you find fresh, healthy blooms and greens, change the water often, and have fun! Don’t feel stressed to make it look “just like the picture”. Put your own style to it!

Is there such a thing as overkill when it comes to your holiday floral arrangement and how do you stay away from that? There’s a time and a place - you may have a large mantle to go all out on or maybe a two story foyer - those places are great to go big or go home! Dining tables with mass flowers and decor is a huge pet peeve of mine. Keep your guests in mind. No one wants to try and eat that amazing meal you’ve crafted with flowers, twigs and sappy greens in their face and on their plate. Simplistic elegance wins every time. I think we’ll start selling shirts that say that!

What types of flowers are perfect for the holiday season and why? Roses and carnations are great for some festive color, hydrangeas, evergreens and berries, and the seasonal blooms like paper whites, amaryllis, and poinsettias.

What can a beautiful flower arrangement add to your overall theme? Look in all the magazines and and on all the shows. The ones with gorgeous spaces decorated to perfection have flowers. We all want that fresh element and it can completely transform any space, especially on a cold, dreary day. A burst of colorful, fresh flowers are sure to brighten anyone’s day!

What kinds of decor aspects do you incorporate into the arrangements? I love mixing in non-floral touches! Iced branches, twigs, berries, pinecones, ornaments, vintage decor, and so much more.

What kinds of natural wreaths and other features do you use to accompany your flower arrangements? Whatever I can find! We order in items, collect from our own property, and buy

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from various sources along the way. I love the natural touches that aren’t the same “expected” things then I mix in the fresh flowers. I think they make such a statement! What is the most important thing for our readers to consider when creating their holiday arrangements? Have fun with it! Is it for a party, a dinner, just to enjoy each day? Get into it and be creative, it’ll make such a difference. What do you think is the biggest challenge when creating or selecting their holiday flower arrangements and how can they overcome this challenge? I think sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. We’re all so busy during the holidaysparties to attend, so much shopping to do, travel, guests, the lists are always a mile long! Especially when floral design is not in your “normal” activities it can be very intimidating, that’s where sharing with our team what you’re looking for and letting us take that stress off can be very helpful. Your guests will never need to know!

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The Artists

Top Left: An abstract by Arthur Brouthers. Top Right: A representational piece from Sharon Dowell. Bottom Right: A painting by Windy O’Connor.

Abstract These six talented Charlotte artists are painting some of the most creative abstract pieces in the regional art community.



harlotte’s art scene is growing with rapid speed throughout our dynamic uptown neighborhoods. Art in Charlotte isn’t on every corner like New York City or San Francisco. You have to look for it, and while we aren’t a city known for our visual art scene, there is some extraordinary talent right in front of our noses. There are many ways to view and define abstract art. The word in itself “abstract” can take on a number of meanings and in reference to visual art can be found in almost every art movement in the history of modern art. There are a number of very talented abstract artists here in Charlotte that produce a variety of work for every taste. With the holidays coming up, you should consider investing in something original, local, and straight from the heart of one of these talented Charlotte artists.

KENT YOUNGSTROM Kent is a no frills, go-getter kind of guy with a raw unadulterated passion for what he does. A self-taught painter who paints from sun up till sun down, Youngstrom started painting one day because he simply wanted to. After several orders and

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new opportunities arose, he woke up one day and realized that he was a full time painter. Youngstrom is abstract in that he paints what he feels. He is not defined by a genre, he just does what he loves to do, and he is happy and eager to share with whomever will listen. •

CHARLOTTE FOUST An abstract artist in the truest of forms, Charlotte Foust is an intuitive explorer. She enjoys creating non-objective art because she finds the process honest and satisfying. Mostly experimenting with mixed media on canvas or paper, Wendy starts with a line or a brush stroke and explores the surface resulting in an idea or image that has never been seen or discovered. •

WINDY O’CONNOR Though visually, Windy’s paintings are non-representational, she always starts

HOME&DESIGN with a thought, feeling, or emotion to set the tone of her painting. With color, texture, and movement, she tells a story through the energy of her brushstroke. Her compositions are a combination of color blocking, lines, and rhythm with color. Vibrant and on a large scale, Windy is able to share her passion with everyone that comes in contact with her work. •

SHARON DOWELL Sharon Dowell explores many concepts in her works. She is especially interested in changing environments, man versus nature, and abandoned structures or spaces. So while she starts with a specific idea or place, she alters it to capture the energy it exudes.

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Her compositions are partially abstract: some images within her works are representational or recognizable to the viewer. •

ARTHUR BROUTHERS Recently taking a break from founding and co-founding local artist promotional groups like Aspyr Productions

A painting by Kent Youngstrom

in Charleston and Culture Initiative in Charlotte, Arthur decided to take a break from creative event planning to focus on his one-of-a-kind abstract pieces. His art is inspired by natural formations, are organic but aren’t referenced by anything specific. With a background of mindful meditation practices, the viewer can pick up on the influence of spirituality in his works. •

ROBERT LANGFORD Influenced by the world around him, abstract artist, Robert Langford, is drawn by the energetic use of color. Not knowing all the motives that drive him are important to his artistic process that are both simple and complex. •

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The Queen’s Road penthouse boasts elaborate yet delicate details to achieve a level of unsurpassed grandeur. This listing truly is Myers Park luxury at its finest.


ith two terraces, a private lift in building garage, and 5,284 square feet of pure luxury; this full floor, top floor penthouse overlooking Edgehill Park is both elegant and impressive. Accessible by elevator that opens directly into the private residence, it offers five bedrooms (3 guest bedroom suites), 4.5 baths, wine room, billiard room, kitchen, and living room plus other areas that make the home ideal for “people of any age.”


Based on the owner’s family home in the Netherlands, as well as grand estates and castles she visited while traveling throughout the continent, the home conveys an age old European flare with warm colors running throughout. Preferring the Rococo style of the 18th century, the living space is designed to flow with grace and lightness. “I wanted the feel of a European castle which has over the top surroundings.” Because the living room overlooks the park, it “feels like you’re in a forest gazing out at the trees. [It’s] very peaceful.” The home is “very quiet and stretches over the entire building making it easy to get around.” With an open floor plan, the asymmetrical designs, elaborate curves, a foyer with 24K gold leaf, several rooms with murals on the ceiling, and faux paintings (all common to the Rococo style), the home is warm and inviting. Delicate details and extraordinary furnishings boast of

More Luxe Listings


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a grand interior. Burr walnut chests from the 1740’s, a Burr walnut clock of the same period, a Dutch rosewood and ebony armoire - 19th c. Rococo - with winged cherubs and foliage above the lion’s mask, a Dutch Bombay chest and linen chest, Italian carved walnut, and a Monopol 10 disc Dutch music box from the late 1800’s all add to the home’s castle-like character. Delft porcelain is displayed throughout, as are antique oriental carpets of silk and other wool hand knotted rugs. More contemporary pieces such as

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a bronze doorway from a chateau in southern France to a 12’x12’ stained glass dome from the former Cellar in the Sky restaurant located on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center are also part of the interior design. In addition to the extensive thought and emphasis placed on the decor and furnishings of this impressive home, just as much attention was paid to the functionality, comfort, and layout with features and amenities like an open kitchen that opens into a second large living room, second butlers kitchen, and bar and billiards room. With the owner’s overall vision for the home with opulent decorations and furnishings, the atmosphere remains one of perfection where both family members and guests can enjoy the comfort of one another’s company. This one of a kind property is located at 974 Queens Rd just a mile from Uptown, 1.5 miles from Freedom Park, and just a few blocks off the Greenway. For more information on this property and more visit or contact Randy Cernohorsky or Shane McDevitt with The McDevitt Agency at 704.905.5569 or by email


WE NAILED IT. 2015 STICKLEY COLLECTOR EDITION GUS WOVEN LEATHER BENCH, SALE $999 Our Gus Woven Leather Bench is a blend of rich leather, nail head trim, pinned tenons and a boatload of opportunity to beautify any area of your home. Available in solid quartersawn white oak or solid cherry, in specially hand rubbed finishes. This piece will be crafted only in the year 2015. Own it before it’s history.

7215 Smith Corners Blvd. (I-77 and Harris Blvd.), Charlotte 704.597.0718 complimentary interior design service

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The Exclusives HOLIDAY 2014 FEATURES

Perfect for tailgating, The Hopper Tote by Yeti from The Sporting Gent


The pair of cuffs she’ll want to be in this holiday season. Enhance any ensemble with these beauties available only at Amina Rubinacci.

This supple green leather Majo slouch handbag from Amina Rubinacci will quickly become a staple of your wardrobe.

A tasty gift basket from Reid’s Fine Foods are perfect for anyone in your family this holiday season!

The Montblanc Meisterstick Classique Fountain Pen is one of Montblanc’s statement pieces. Get it today at their SouthPark boutique.

The Brackish Bowtie is sure to be a conservation starter. Pick one up at The Sporting Gent.

A three foot tall lantern makes a bold statement and adds to any home’s ambiance. Available at Hearth And Patio.

OyoBox luxury eye-wear organizer accommodates up to eight pairs of your favorite sunglasses and is a stylish accent piece offered exclusively at Sally’s Optical Secrets.

Step out in style this holiday season with these waterproof Merrell Espresso Captiva Buckle Up Boots available at Great Outdoor Provision Co.


Blue Topaz and stainless steel cuff links from Ike Behar

Vintage snap cuff links from Taylor Richards and Conger

Simon G Sapphire Lapis cuff links from Diamond Direct

Montblanc Meisterstuck Cuff links from Montblanc Southpark Boutique

Interchangeable pattern cuff links Taylor Richards and Conger

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C Tweed herringbone dopp kit, tortoise shell razor, and fragrant handmade soaps made in Pinehurst from Taylor Richards and Conger

WOMEN’S Jewelry

Keep your sportsmans’ stogies fresh with this Beretta Shotgun Shell Humidor from Beau Outfitters.

Say goodbye to lukewarm drinks with THE FREEZE by Host. Just pop it in the freezer, pour, and enjoy. Available at Blackhawk Hardware

No tailgate is complete without this rightsized portable Lotus Smokeless Charcoal Tailgate Grill available today at Blackhawk Hardware.

Make yourself a master mixologist with the flavors of Bittermilk of Charleston. Just add the liquor! Pick some up at Beau Outfitters.

This freestanding 11-liter capacity foot pump pressure shower comes in a neatly nested kit and is perfect for camping. Pick one up at Great Outdoor Provision Co.

Traveling just got whole lot easier and stylish with these assorted cosmetic and accessories travel cases from Leah & Co.

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A) 18k yellow gold and champagne rose bud earrings from Diamonds Direct B) 18k yellow gold and diamond tennis bracelet from Diamonds Direct C) Blue and red pendent necklace and earrings set from The Gifted Box D) Black carved with jade necklace from Allens Jewelers E) Lokai bracelet from The Pink Hanger

Leather and Twill with accent stitching, this foldable mens wallet by Filson is as equally durable as it stylish. From the The Sporting Gent

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Montblanc Meisterstuck Men’s watch with black leather band from Montblanc Southpark Boutique

IWC Portuguese Chronograph Classic Gray Dial on Santoni Leather Strap from Windsor Jewelers

Ulysse Nardin 37mm Ladies Dual Time Steel watch with Diamond Bezel from Windsor Jewelers

Ball Stainless Steel Fireman Storm Chaser Pro Chronograph with Aluminum Bezel from Davids LTD

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Ball Stainless Steel Lady Conductor watch with Mother of Pearl dial from Davids LTD

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A) Royal Coachmen Bucktail lapel pin and Little Brook trout bucktail lapel pin from The Sporting Gent B) Lapel flower from Ike Behar C) Robot lapel pin from TRC D) Bird skull lapel pin fromTRC



The Van Gogh “Self Portrait” Rollerball pen by Visconti available at Windsor Jewelers in Phillips Place.

Reinvigorate your home and senses with these Himalayan hand poured soy candles from Dutchmans Casual Living

An assortment of baskets are available at Dean & Deluca in Phillips Place or you can customize your own basket!

This beautiful handmade leather coaster and carrying satchel made by Colsen Keane for 1816 by Remington is available at tThe Sporting Gent.

Reactive Intelligent Headlight by Petzl from Great Outdoor Provision Co. adjusts automatically and even dims itself when you are face to face with someone.

White iKitchen Thermometer syncs to your smart phone so you can walk away and still never burn the meat. Available at Blackhawk Hardware

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A) Get out of your decor shell with these colorful glass pieces available at The Gifted Box. B) This unique piece combines the character of driftwood and handblown glass creating a stunning visual juxtaposition and character to any home. Available at Dutch mans Casual Living

Dress it up or dial it down with this stylish men’s Montblanc Iconic Lines Bracelet with leather band from Montblanc SouthPark.

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laudia Teague, grew up in Newton, NC, or as she calls it “the center of the world, didn’t you know.” As a child she worked in the garden with her great aunt, parents, and grandparents, growing vegetables, canning vegetables, and dressing meat from hogs, cows, and chickens. That experience was a true life lesson. “It is all about perespective. You don’t think about it when it is happening but when you get older you have a real appreciation for it. It builds character.” When Claudia wasn’t tending to the garden, she spent her time with her great aunt learning how to cook. And boy, did she learn. Claudia now lives in bustling Charlotte but her country roots and love for food are as strong as ever. This is evident in her weekly “Fix-a-Plate” concept, an idea that is both simple yet brilliant. Claudia enjoys cooking for her friends, but simply put, it can get expensive, especially when she’s trying to keep up with a growing demand. “Fix-a-Plate” for friends and family solves this problem. She simply sends out a text message to see who wants a plate, they respond with a “yay” or “nay”, and for those that want one, they simply stop by on Saturday, pay ten bucks, and pick up the goodness. The concept works for everyone! Claudia gets to do what she was meant to do, and her friends love it too because they just can’t ever get enough of her cooking. We met Claudia and her two delightful sons, Brandon and Dustin, at her home to see what all the fuss was about. What followed was a truly personal epicurean experience. As we photographed, they worked their tails off in the kitchen, whipping, chopping, sauteing, and baking up some fantastic food: one of the greatest meals of our lives. It was a memorable experience and a joy to watch the true spirit of a Teague Family Christmas. For the Teagues, the holidays were never about gifts. Instead they simply enjoy spending time together, time spent mostly in the kitchen cooking up soulful dishes as a family. Something we all should do a lot more of. To help you with that, Claudia has shared her top secret holiday recipes with us in hopes that you will try to cook, laugh, and love like her family this holiday season. We present to you, Claudia’s Christmas Dinner, a twelve course meal featuring everything from cornish hens and rib roasts to coconut cakes, pecan cheesecakes, and every fixin’ in between.


Breakfast Casserole

Prepare this casserole the night before, refrigerate overnight, and pop in the oven Christmas morning. INGREDIENTS • 6 Slices of Bread • 2 cup Cheddar Cheese (grated) • 1 lb *Turkey Sausage Crumbles (precooked) • 6 large Eggs (beaten) • 2 cups Half and Half • 2 TBSP Butter • 1 tsp Salt • 1 tsp Black Pepper • 1 tsp Garlic Powder • ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes Preheat oven to 350˚. Melt butter and brush on both sides of bread and place in 102 • • Oct/nov 2014

the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Layer turkey sausage crumbles on top of the bread, then layer grated cheese on top of crumbles; set aside. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, add half and half and continue mixing. Next add salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and mix well. Pour over cheese. Cover casserole and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes. *Substitute a vegetable or mix of vegetables and make this a vegetarian entrée.

Cornbread with Pan-Roasted Veggies


• 1 cup Self-rising Corn Meal • ½ cup Self-rising Flour • ½ cup Vegetable Oil

• 1 cup Milk • 1 cup Fresh Corn (cut off the cobb) • 1 cup Onion (chopped) • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese (grated) • 4 large Eggs (beaten) • 4 Hot Peppers (seeded and diced) • 1 TBSP Butter • 1 cup Mixed color bell peppers (diced) Preheat oven to 400˚. In a large cast iron skillet, sear corn, bell peppers and onion. Remove from heat and stir in hot peppers. Place vegetables in a separate bowl. Wipe out cast iron pan and add the oil to the pan. Heat the oil in oven for about 5 minutes. While oil is heating, add remaining ingredients to the seared vegetables and mix well by hand. Pour the oil in the mixture and finish mixing quickly and return to hot iron pan. This gives a nice, crispy edge to the cornbread. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until it is golden brown and done in the center.

Creme Brulee French Toast


• 1 stick Butter • 1 cup Brown Sugar • 2 TBSP Corn Syrup • 5 Large Eggs • 1 ½ cups Half and Half • 1 TBSP Vanilla Extract • 1 TBSP Grand Marnier • 1 loaf French or Italian Bread • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

of sugar and butter mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, half and half, vanilla, Grand Marnier. Slowly pour egg mixture over bread making sure to saturate each piece. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator at least 30 minutes. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Blueberry-Cabernet Topping


• 1 cup Fresh Blueberries • ½ cup Cabernet Sauvignon • ¼ cup Sugar • 1 tsp Lemon Juice • 1 TBSP Cornstarch • 3 TBSP Water

Preheat oven to 350˚. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter, add brown sugar and corn syrup. Stir for 3-5 minutes or until smooth. Pour mixture into a 13x9 baking dish. Slice 6 thick pieces of bread and place on top

Combine blue berries, wine sugar and lemon juice in a heavy sauce pan. Cook on medium high until it comes to a boil, turn to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Create slurry with the cornstarch and water.

Gradually add slurry to simmering wine and berries and stir until it reaches desired consistency. Serve over the French toast. Bananas Foster Topping • 4 Under Ripe Medium Bananas • ½ cup Dark Brown Sugar • ½ stick Butter • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon • ½ cup Dark Rum • 1 tsp Orange Zest • 1 TBSP Grand Marnier In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and cook on medium-high and stir. When mixture starts to bubble add banana slices and toss or mix until bananas are coated and caramelized. Remove from heat and add Grand Marnier and rum. Light Return to stove. After flames dissipate, add topping to French toast. oct/nov 2014 • @qcexclusive • 103


Uriah Collard Greens With Red Bell Peppers


• 2 Bunches Collard Greens (cleaned and cut) • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper (sliced) • 1 TBSP Olive Oil • 1 tsp Salt • 1 tsp Black Pepper • 1 tsp Sugar • 1 tsp Garlic Power • ½ cup Chicken Stock METHOD In a cast iron skillet, sauté red peppers in a splash of the oil until tender. Place peppers in a bowl and set aside. Add remain-

ing oil to pan and add greens, cook a bit then add chicken stock. Cook over lowmedium heat until tender; season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and sugar to taste. Add red peppers to greens and mix.

Asiago-Parm Mac & Cheese


• 1 ½ cup Large Elbow Macaroni • ½ cup Asiago Cheese (grated) • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese (grated) • 1 pint Light Cream • 1 cup chicken stock • ½ stick Butter • 1 tsp White pepper • 1 tsp Salt • 1 TBSP Corn starch • ¼ cup Water • ½ tsp Smoked Paprika

METHOD Fill a large pot with water, add salt and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8- 9 minutes, remaining firm. Transfer pasta to colander and until completely drained. Prepare sauce while pasta is cooking. Over medium heat, melt butter in a heavy sauce pan, add stock, then cream; stir constantly. Add corn starch slurry until sauce gets to desired thickness and remove from heat. Place pasta in a 9 x 13 baking dish and add sauce and cheese and mix. Sprinkle with grated asiago and bake for 30 minutes. Add some additional cheese and broil on high for about 2 minutes watching constantly to make sure that the cheese doesn’t burn but instead turns golden. Remove the macaroni and cheese from the oven and let cool down ever so slightly, then serve to guests when perfect and gooey.

Jessie Brown’s Cole Slaw

The Veggies

• 1 lb Head of Cabbage • ½ each Bell Peppers (all colors) • 1 Small Vidalia Onion • 6 Pickling Cucumbers (julienned) • 12 Tiny Tim tomatoes

The Dressing • ½ cup Olive Oil • 2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar • 2 TBSP Lime Juice • 1/8 tsp Garlic Powder • 1/8 tsp Onion Powder • 1 tsp Fresh, Cracked Pepper • 1 TBSP Honey • 1 TBSP Dried Parsley

METHOD Use a mandolin slicer or extreme patience and a sharp knife to thinly slice the cabbage, onion and bell peppers. The result is a light and fluffy pile of veggie loveliness. Constantly will the oil while adding the vinegar, lime juice and honey. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour over the veggie loveliness and toss. Enjoy the freshness of the vegetables with light tanginess of the dressing.

Thelma Lou’s Potato Salad


• 2 Lbs Russet Potatoes • ½ each Green, Red Bell Pepper (diced) • 3/4 cup Mayonnaise • ¼ cup Sour Cream

• 1 tsp Salt • 1 tsp Sugar • 3 Eggs (hard boiled) • 2 stalks Celery (diced thin) • 1 tsp Garlic Powder • 1 tsp Onion Powder • 1 tsp Black Pepper • 1 TBSP Vinegar • ½ cup Sweet Salad Cubes • ½ cup Bread & Butter Pickles (diced) • Dash Paprika • ½ tsp Mustard • 2 tsp Dried parsley METHOD Wash, peel and dice potatoes in large chunks. Fill a large pot with water, add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain completely. Place potatoes and all other ingredients and mix well. Sprinkle paprika on top, cover and chill until you are ready to serve. oct/nov 2014 • @qcexclusive • 105


Dustin Michael’s Brown Sugar and Sage Cornish Hens



Slow Roasted Rib Roast

• 4lb Rib Roast • 1 TBSP Salt • 2 TBSP Fresh, Cracked Black Pepper • 2 TBSP Garlic Powder • 2 TBSP Onion Garlic Powder • 2 tsp Garam Masala • 1 TBSP Smoked Paprika • 2 TBSP Canola Oil • ½ cup All Purpose Flour • 2 Whole Carrots (peeled) • 2 Stalks Celery • 2 Whole Parsnips (peeled) • 1 Large Onion (peeled and quartered) • 3 cups Chicken stock • 1 TBSP Olive Oil • 5 sprigs Rosemary METHOD Preheat oven to 200˚. Rub the roast with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, garam marsala, smoked paprika and 2 sprigs of rosemary. Using a large prong fork, gently poke the roast all over. Place in a large zip lock bag and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Allow the roast to sit out and come to room temperature before cooking.

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Flour the roast and set aside. In a large cast iron skillet add 2 tbsp of Canola Oil on medium –high heat. Sear the roast on all sides. While doing so, add the prepared vegetables to the bottom of the roasting pan and pour in the chicken stock. Place the roast bone-side down in the pan. Cover and bake 4-6 hours. Using a thermometer is the best reference for desired doneness. For reference, a roast internal temperature of 130F is medium. Once it has reached desired temperature, remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes before serving. Dust with corn starch and flash fry 3 sprigs of rosemary for garnish. INGREDIENTS FOR GRAVY • 2 TBSP Corn Starch • 1 cup Water METHOD After removing the roast from the pan, strain drippings into a small pot and heat on medium-high until it comes to a boil. While drippings are coming to a boil, make slurry corn starch and water slurry. Add slurry to drippings until the gravy reaches the desired consistency.

• 4 Cornish Hens • 2 cups Dark Brown Sugar • 2 TBSP Rubbed Sage • 2 TBSP Cumin • 2 TBSPAncho Chili Powder • 2 TBSP Salt • 2 tsp Cracked Black Pepper • 2 stalks Celery • 1 large Orange (quartered) • 2 Shallots • 2 TBSP Olive Oil METHOD Preheat oven to 450˚. Mix all dry ingredients to create a rub. Quarter orange, dust in the rub and set aside. Massage olive oil over Cornish hen, then massage in the rub. Cut stalks of celery in half and shallots into quarters; stuff into hen cavity. Close the cavity with the dusted orange quarters. Use a black, cast iron skillet or line a sheet pan with heavy duty foil. Bake for 30 minutes, and then turn down the oven to 300˚ and cook for another 30 minutes. Tent the Cornish hens with foil, if necessary, so the skin does not burn.

Green Beans With Shallots


• 2 lb Fresh Green Beans • 2 large Shallots (julienned) • 1 TBSP Butter • Salt To Taste • Pepper To Taste

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METHOD Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and remove from heat. Blanch for about 4 minutes then rinse in cold water. This can be done a day or so before; simply place in a zip lock bag and keep refrigerated until ready to prepare. In a cast iron pan melt butter and sauté shallots until softened and caramelized. Add green beans and cook for 7 minutes on medium high heat. Add salt and pepper and any other seasonings that you prefer to taste.

Whipped Parsnip Potatoes


• 3 Lbs Russet Potatoes • 4 Parsnips • 1 pint Heavy cream • 1 stick Butter • 2 tsp Salt and White Pepper METHOD Wash, peel and cut potatoes and parsnips into large chunks. Fill a large pot with water, add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low until the potatoes and parsnips are fork tender. Reserve about 1 cup of the potato water in separate container to add later, if necessary, to thin the potatoes. Add butter, cream and pepper and mash potatoes with a potato masher. Stir and mix well with a large spoon. Taste and add any of the seasoning ingredients to get to the “happy taste place.” Stop at this point for old fashion potatoes. To create whipped parsnips and potatoes, break out the hand mixer and whip away, until it has a smooth, creamy, light texture. Top with a dollop of butter.

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DESSERTS In a separate bowl, mix egg whites and cream of tartar and beat until it forms stiff peaks. • 6 large Egg Whites • ½ tsp Cream of Tarter Preheat oven to 350˚. Using a spatula, fold egg whites into batter. Evenly distribute into two 8” cake pans and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and done in the center. Cool and split into two layers. The Filling • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream • 1 teaspoon Clear Vanilla Flavoring • 1/2 cup Sour Cream • ½ cup Powder Sugar • 1 cup Fresh, Grated Coconut or 2 packs (6 oz.) Frozen Coconut Add sugar and vanilla to heavy cream, then beat until thick. Add sour cream sugar and coconut.

Ma Pinkie’s Fresh Coconut Cake

Fresh Coconut Prep

The Cake

Preheat oven to 400˚. Use a cork screw to put a hole in the softest “eye” of the coconut. Work the hole until large enough to drain the coconut milk into a glass. Taste to ensure freshness. It should have a mild smell and taste.

In large bowl, sift, mix these ingredients. • 2 ¼ cups Cake Flour • 1 ½ cup Sugar • 1 tsp Salt • 1 tsp Baking Powder

Bake coconut for 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Crack shell with a hammer. Carefully remove the coconut meat from the shell with strong knife. Remove the brown skin with a knife or vegetable peeler. Grate coconut or make curls with the vegetable peeler. Fresh coconut lasts a week in the refrigerator and three months in the freezer.

Building the Cake Place a dollop of filling in center of plate and place half of the first layer. Moisten with some of the reserved coconut milk. Add 1/3 of the filling on the layer. Add the 2nd half of the layer and repeat moistening with the milk, adding filling. Repeat for the last layer. Wrap the cake in foil and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. The Icing

In a another bowl or large measuring cup, mix these wet ingredients. Slowly add to bowl of dry ingredients and blend well.

• 3 cups Heavy Whipping Cream • 1 teaspoon Clear Vanilla Flavoring • 3 TBSP Powder Sugar

• 6 large Egg yolks • ¾ cup Cold Water | ½ cup Vegetable Oil • 1 TBSP Vanilla Extract • 1 tsp Lemon Juice

Add sugar and vanilla to heavy cream, beat until thick. Ice the cake with whip cream and cover with the grated coconut and coconut curls. Serve to your family and friends and enjoy!

Old #3 Sweet Potato Cheese Cake With Pecan Topping

Old #3 Hot-Red Cap ginger ale is made by Blenheim Ginger Ale Company of S.C. It is an old fashion ginger ale with a tradition that dates back to the 1800s. Ginger Snap Crust • 20 Ginger Snap Cookies • 2 TBSP Butter (melted) • ½ cup Pecan Pieces Butter 8” spring form pan. Mix ginger snaps, butter and pecans. Press the crust mixture on the bottom and halfway up the side of the pan. Bake at 325F for 10 minutes and cool while mixing the cheesecake. Sweet Potatoes • 2 large Sweet Potatoes • ¼ cup Sugar • 1 TBSP Butter Nut Flavoring • ½ Bottle Old #3 Blenheim Ginger Ale Peel, cube and place potatoes in medium pot; add other ingredients. Stir and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until liquid has totally reduced. Cool and puree potatoes while warm. Set aside and cool. Two large potatoes typically yield 2 cups of puree.

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream sugar and cheese until it is smooth. Beat eggs in a separate bowl, add gradually. Continue by adding sweet potato puree, extract and spices. Be careful not to over mix. Pour batter into prepared pan. Set pan on baking sheet and place in oven. Pour water into the baking sheet to create a water bath. Bake at 300 for 90 minutes. Turn off oven and allow cake to cool. Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan. This extra effort keeps from cracking and creates a smooth texture.

Cheese Cake Pecan Topping • 4 – 8oz.Neufchâtel Cheese • 4 large Eggs • 1 TBSP Vanilla Extract • ½ tsp Ground Ginger • 2 cups Sweet Potato Puree* • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon • ½ tsp Ground Nutmeg

• 4 TBSP Butter • ¼ cup Corn Syrup • ½ tsp Cinnamon • ½ cup Brown Sugar • 1 pinch Salt • 1 ½ cups Toasted Pecans

Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Over medium-low heat, add sugar and syrup. Heat until sugar dissolves; stir 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add toasted pecans, cinnamon and salt. On a cool cheese cake, spread the pecan topping with a spatula. Allow 20 minutes for topping to cool before serving. We would like to say thank you to the Teague family for preparing such an amazing holiday dinner. We had such a great day with Claudia and her sons, Dustin and Brandon. It was a photoshoot that we will remember for a long time. While they were hard at work in the kitchen cutting, mixing, baking, and sauteing, we gorged ourselves on some of the best homecookin’ we’ve ever had. These three truly embody what family should be and when they cook together you could feel the joy and love they have for one another. We at QC Exclusive are truly grateful for the experience. For more information about Claudia Teague and her recipes or “Fix-a-Plates” befriend on her Facebook,, email her at or call her at 828-310-4821.


A SENSORY EXPERIENCE For award-winning interior designer Jaclyn Ehrlich, design is an emotional and sensory experience, one that she is truly passionate about. Jaclyn sat down with us to talk about her simple yet sophisticated designs, French inspirations, holiday decor tips, and so much more. INTERVIEW BY JP GRICE | PHOTOS BY JAMEY PRICE

charlotte designer, jaclyn ehrlich sat down with qcexclusive to talk about design & decor.We’d like to thank Jaclyn

for sharing her tips and tricks and we hope you enjoy. Now, meet Charlotte’s own Jaclyn Ehrlich and see what she has to say about simple yet sophisticated design, her French and Italian inspirations, making neutral colors stand out, how to achieve a sophisticated holiday design aesthetic, and so much more. INTERVIEW BY JP GRICE | PHOTOS BY JAMEY PRICE

Where are you originally from? I grew up in rural southeastern Idaho. We lived in Rupert until I was 11 and then moved into “town”, Heyburn, Idaho, a few miles up the road. From a young age, I had dreams of traveling, seeing the world and meeting new people. When I was in high school, I asked my French teacher if she could help me arrange an exchange trip to France. With her contacts and help (and my parents open-mindedness); I flew in an airplane 112 • • oct/nov 2014

(only the 2nd time in my life on a plane) to Paris, France. I was by myself and just 16 years old. I lived in France for a year in high school. I travelled around Europe, seeing and experiencing so many amazing things. This year of my life planted seeds and nurtured dreams and talents that are still deeply rooted within me to this day. After returning, I realized that I needed to live in a big city and moved to New York City to work, shortly thereafter.

How did you get involved with design? Design and entrepreneurship have been a passion and journey for me that started when I was very young. I have been drawn to color, beauty, and creating since I was a little girl. When I lived and worked in NYC, I had several amazing work opportunities that exposed me to different fields that were art related, such as helping out at Bergdorf Goodman in the buying office, working for a couple of non-profit organizations on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in their Art departments and working in the art department of a small but very successful health advertising firm in the Flatiron District, also in NYC. These experiences ultimately lead me to the interior design field. Did you go to school for design or does this come naturally to you? I am a true example of the American Dream. After returning from Europe to

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my very small town for my senior year of high school, I realized it wasn’t for me. I took my GED and moved to NYC to work. While it is not the path I encourage my children to take, I did not go to college. I have taken different courses and studied on my own while working very hard. I had a passion and I went for it. Who are your major influences in the design industry if any? Philippe Stark, Alexa Hampton, Phoebe Howard, Barclay Butera are at the top. Iconic fashion designers, such as Coco Chanel, Tom Ford and Christian Dior inspire me because fashion, beauty and design are all so closely connected. How would you classify your style and design aesthetic? C’mon! You should know I’m not someone who likes to be “classified”! I will say, however, that I love simple beauty that 113 • • oct/nov 2014

has just the right details, and neutral color as a backdrop to beautiful and harmonious pieces. I appreciate a “collected” aesthetic that is not matched but works together. Although the details are tremendously important, I am a “big picture” kind of girl. Explain your French and Italian inspirations in your designs? Design is an emotional and sensory experience. Having been exposed to authentic French and Italian lifestyle and culture at a very critical age in my life, these amazing aesthetics have been intricately woven into me. I constantly find inspiration in European design and travel as often as I can, in the US and abroad, to keep my inspiration and knowledge fresh.

What have you learned through your travels to places like Paris and Rome that are evident in your designs? The most amazing aspect of French and Italian design and architecture is the ever-present and intriguing mix of the old and the new. I go crazy for spaces that are old - timeless but with fresh air blown in - bringing new, fresh and modern pieces. I love Philippe Starke for this. It’s old herringbone wood floors and a century old fireplace mantle in a room with antique chairs that have been refinished in amazing colors and fabrics next to a clean-line and insanely comfortable sofa and pillows topped off with that a modern statement chandelier.

Although the details are tremendously important, I am a “big picture” kind of girl.

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“ In order to accomplish a new and beautiful space, there is a good amount of trust that has to be bestowed to the designer. - Jaclyn Ehrlich

You use a lot of neutrals and muted colors in your designs. What draws you to these hues and why do you think they make a room look elegant? I love the right neutrals because they are calming and easy to live in and they create appreciation for individual pieces that can be more bold. That being said, keeping neutrals elegant and beautiful is about balance because neutral can turn to “blah” or “cold” very easily. Statement pieces abound in your home. What types of pieces make for amazing statement pieces and conversation pieces and why? At the end of the day, it’s all about pieces you are drawn to. JP, you have quickly identified some of the pieces that I love the very most in my home! And that is because there is something magical about finding and collecting things you love. They always work together and they bring your personality and emotions into your home for anyone who is there to enjoy. My dining table, for example, is something that I knew I wanted to invest in. I went with Habersham, one of my very favorite lines. I decided to do away with a dining room and instead make one eating area in our home. I am very sentimental and I wanted that table to be the one that we raised our children around. It’s my most prized material possession. The French sign is something that I fell in love with instantly. It is from Sugarboo Designs out of Atlanta and reads (in French) “ I love you more than yesterday, less than tomorrow”. I had to have it. The Persian rug ottoman just has that simple luxury quality to it that I appreciate. 114 • • oct/nov 2014

How do you source the decor for designs and what stores do you use? I see things when I travel and pick up lines and ideas that way and I also attend the furniture markets to keep on top of what’s great and out there. I typically buy everything directly from the manufacturers or wholesale design companies so I don’t go to a lot of retail stores. Some of my favorite furnishing lines are Caracole, Gabby Home, Century, Highland House, Habersham, Vanguard, Global Views and Arteriors, to name a few. What is the biggest challenge of your design process? Helping people to see the big picture and not let them get caught up on details. When you see something by itself, it’s not always obvious how it will come together. In order to accomplish a new and beautiful space, there is a good amount of trust that has to be bestowed to the designer. How does it make you feel when you execute a client’s design flawlessly? Making sure that the client’s home is the “client’s” home and not mine is the top goal. I have always had an intuitive knack to be able to understand people’s design aesthetic and I have taken that a step further and developed a process that helps me learn more and zone into that aesthetic. It’s amazing to help people find their style and then create it! When you design for the holidays where do you start? The color theme is the starting point. This year, I’m into ivory, gold and mocha. I love Target for yearly holiday updates!

What features of the home come to life with added holiday decor and how? I focus on stair railings, mantles and the tree, and then try to scatter holiday pieces around, like tree-bark candles or a reindeer on a tabletop, bells on doors, etc. How do you steer clear of an over themed holiday aesthetic? Choose a color combination and stick to it. Keep the colors limited to two or three choices. Choose items that offer more feeling and emotion. I try and stay away from Santa Claus themes and keep more of a festive spirit through suggestive décor. Ideas include crystal candleholders, bell wreaths, the use of accent or candle lighting, holiday pillows, and throws. Ambient music and festive scents are huge proponents to my holiday décor. How do you select holiday linens and what do you pair them with to achieve a sophisticated look? I love gold and/or silver paired with ivory and one other color. I look for sparkle and simplicity as well as comfortable and usable additions to make the home feel inviting. For example, white cable-knit comfy pillows for the sofa and trays of beautiful assorted candles on a tabletop. Luxurious ivory table linens embroidered with holiday or winter symbols. A ceramic pair of turtledoves on the bookcase, a bowl of pinecones on a table for the amazing smell and whimsical stockings hung at the mantle. I love garland that is full of ornaments, ribbon and other decorative items, and pre-lit so that you can light everything up at night. It’s so magical. oct/nov 2014 • @qcexclusive • 114

What are your tips for the tree? Stick to your color combination. It has to be full of ornaments and well lit. The key to a beautiful tree is tons of consistent ornaments and color. What are your specific tips for designing a holiday tablescape? The key here is a layered and complete look with full place settings, simple but beautiful napkins and rings, a centerpiece(s) using fresh flowers, festive place holders, beautiful serving dishes and as much candle light as you can. What is the most important thing to consider when designing and decorating for the holidays? For the holidays or for any other day, the most important thing about designing your home is incorporating things that you love into your home. When you are surrounded by things that you find beautiful, you are happier, more inspired, more relaxed and have a better sense of self. It is actually life-changing for people when they create a home that they love to live in.

FOR MORE DESIGN TIPS & INFORMATION Jaclyn Ehrlich | Award Winning Designer Best of Houzz 2014 704-705-4530

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Best Of 2014


ver the course of a year we hoard all kinds of information, food, products, mementos, interviews, emails, photographs, clothes... you name it and you’ll probably find it at our offices, in our files, or on our computers. Throughout the year, we have the privilege of meeting great people and documenting their stories, eating great food, and having many great experiences and adventures. At the end of every year as we hit the reset button and clean out the proverbial closet, we take account of some of our favorite experiences, people, things, places, and more. Enjoy!


Best Local Brewery Birdsong Birdsong has a great atmosphere, really friendly staff, and not to mention some really tasty local brews on tap. The Higher Ground IPA is definitely a standout and has become known as their flagship and most recognized beer. Another favorite among patrons that offers something completely unique is their Jalapeno Pale Ale. • Best Bartender/Mixologist Andy Mauer Andy Mauer is truly a student of the almost extinct classic cocktail era and has dedicated himself to becoming a bonafide “bar chef.” He mixes his own tonics and bitters, is infusing different spirits with fresh herbs and flowers, and is constanlty trying to push the boundries by coming up with new and innovative drinks or even twists or reinterpretations of the classics. He’s a barroom chemist and he makes a mighty fine cocktail. •

exceptionally smooth with a great taste and smoky profile. It was named whiskey of the year in 2013, been featured at the Super Bowl VIP, as well as the Grammy, Oscars, and New York Fashion Week. It’s available at your local ABC store as well as through private distributors. • Best Wine Shop Vintner Vintner is known for their over 1500 different wine selections from all over the world but not only that, they also offer one of the best microbrew selections in Charlotte. The staff is also very friendly and knowledgeable. • Best New Restaurant Fahrenheit Chef Rocco Whalen brought his concept from Cleveland to the rooftop of the Skye Condominium in uptown Charlotte. The atmosphere is amazing, the views from the restaurant are incredible, and the food is absolutely delicious. •

Best Local Spirit Defiant Whisky

Restaurant of The Year Passion 8 Bistro

Defiant Whisky is a single malt locally made and hand poured whisky that is

Passion 8’s dedication to using locally sourced ingredients and tasty execution,

makes it one of Charlotte’s best kept secrets. Located in Elizabeth, their unique approach to their menu and style of cooking will not disappoint. Stop in and revel in their inviting and romantic atmosphere and please your taste-buds with their delicious cuisine. • Best French Cuisine Georges Brasserie One of Charlotte’s best French restaurants, the welcoming ambiance and the blend of traditional and modern cuisine will keep you coming back for more. Located in Southpark, stop by to enjoy their $15 bottomless mussels on Tuesdays or the ever popular $1 oysters on Fridays. Enjoy a glass of wine in the expansive bar area, or people watch on their amazing patio. Whatever you choose, you will not be disappointed. • Best Pizza­ True Crafted Started in 2012, True Crafted offers the best pizza in Charlotte. More than that, they distinguish themselves as a business that serves its community. Located in Stonecrest Shopping Center, their dough that blends three different flours and their “grilled” pizzas are what separates them from all the rest. Keep your eyes peeled for Big Red, a 1947 Ford farm truck transformed into a mobile pizzeria which is used for catering and cooking on the go. • Best Steak Beef and Bottle The minute you walk in to this Charlotte staple, you’re transported back to a time where the music was smooth, the martinis flowed, and the food was plentiful. With a wide variety of steaks to choose from, you’ll have no problem finding something that’s right up your alley. One item you must order: the Oysters Rockefeller. And the filet; it’s like butta, baby. You’ll definitely thank us! •

Best Dessert Bistro La Bon

Best Sustainable Facility Lucky Clays Farm

Their Brioche Bread Pudding is constantly showing up on best of lists because it will not be denied. It features a thick caramel sauce, creamy vanilla ice cream and just the perfect amount of carmelization via a blow torch to give it a great texture. •

Lucky Clays is a state of the art farm and sporting clays preserve whose mission is to conserve the natural beauty of the land through sustainable resources and growing practices. They provide a unique venue that caters to sportsmen and women, corporate retreats and events, and outdoor enthusiasts, all while being conscious of their carbon footprint. •

Best Barbecue 521 Barbecue This gem has some of the best Boston Butts around that are rubbed with their signature sauce blend and then smoked for 14 hours. The baby back ribs are also a must try at 521 with just the right amount of smoke and carmelized signature sauce to satisfy your bbq craving. It’s right off of 521 which is where it got it’s name. • Best Sushi­ Yama Offering some of the highest quality sushi in the Queen City, Yama is at the top of the game! Their attention-to-detail is incredible, from design and quality to service and presentation. In addition to the mouthwatering sushi, they have the best selection of rare Japanese sake and whiskey in the region. If sushi is not what you have a hankering for, they also offer traditional seared, steamed, and hibachi dishes. •


Best Wingshooting ­The Fork Farm and Stables Located in Norwood, NC, this 1,600 acre farm is a world class hunt preserve and equestrian center offering some of the best in sporting clays and upland game and duck hunting in the Southeast. The land is worked and groomed to attract and reintroduce wildlife. It’s great for the recreational sportsmen, as well as corporate retreats and organized groups. •

Best Sporting Apparel The Sporting Gent The name tells you everything you need to know about what you will find here. They have created a gentlemen’s clothier and outfitter that carries one of the best selections of specialty gifts, locally made, and outdoor and casual brands in Charlotte. You’ll find brands from Duck Head to Southern Tides, Beretta to High Cotton Ties, and Williams Knife Co. to Yeti Coolers plus so many more. • Best Outfitter ­Great Outdoor Provisions This one stop shop for all your outdoor needs offers everything from hiking, fishing, camping, and hunting gear to gadgets, tools, and coolers. Located in Park Road Shopping Center, this Charlotte staple allows you to demo and test their gear to make sure its right for you before you purchase. They also give back by supporting local land trusts, which allows land and open space to be preserved for adventures. • Best Sporting Destination Primland This 12,000 acre resort located along the Blue Ridge Parkway is the ultimate in refined dining, world class golf, and endless outdoor activities: ATV and horseback riding, clay and wingshooting, mountain biking and kayaking. Primland’s extensive efforts to minimize its impact on

nature through their eco-conscious and thoughtful approach in developing this luxurious mountain sanctuary is what makes this destination unforgettable. • Best Spectator Event­ The Queen’s Cup Steeplechase Bow ties, sundresses, crazy hats, mint juleps, amazing food, awesome tailgates, and intense horse racing is what makes The Queen’s Cup so memorable. Whether you’re a first-timer or a veteran, the scene never gets old. Join in on the hat and tailgate contests, place some friendly wagers on the ponies with your tablemates, or take a jaunt around the track, you’ll definitely come back year after year for more fun! •


Best Contemporary Gallery Shain Gallery Shain Gallery garners the reputation of being one of the finest contemporary art galleries in Charlotte and represents over forty different regionally and nationally acclaimed artists. They specialize in carrying contemporary art that has a timeless quality and it is for this reason that over the years they have amassed a following of discriminating clientele consisting of local and regional private collectors, homeowners, and corporations. • Best New Art Gallery LaCa Projects LaCa Projects focuses on the development, presentation, and promotion of Latin American art within the US and is an innovator in doing so in the region and the country. It specializes in showcasing emerging, mid career, as well as established Master Latin American artists that illustrate modern and contemporary Latin American works that dispel the sterotypes that are traditionally associated with art from the Latin American Culture. The gallery as a whole is made up of three

Best Of 2014

phases-the gallery, artists studios, and a food concept and offers a wide cariety of programming, exhibits and events. • Best Museum Mint Museum

From it’s beginnings as the original branch of the US Mint to it’s founding as North Carolina’s first art gallery in 1936, the Mint continues to be an innovator and leader as the art and cultural hub of Charlotte and the the entire Southeast. Today the Mint has 2 locations-the original museum on Randolph Rd which houses art of the Ancient Americas, ceramics, fashion, European and African art and the Uptown location which houses the internationally acclaimed Craft + Design Collection as well as collections of American, contemporary, and European art. • Best Music Venue NC Music Factory Uptown This great outdoor venue attracts some of the hottest touring acts from around the country and offers fantastic views of the Uptown Skyline. Think PNC Music Pavillion with a more intimate setting, but offering the same combination of lawn and traditional seating along with VIP areas and a killer concession area serving up everything from cocktails to local brews. • Best Local Theatre Company On Q Performing Arts, Inc On Q is a theatre company whose mission is dedicated to producing contemporary, classic, and original works that reflect the Black Experience. More then that, On Q is telling stories that we can all relate to with themes of struggle and triumph, love and hate and everything in between. In their short history they have been awarded the Blumenthal Center Stage Award, nominated for the MTA Company of the Year Award and have taken their signature work, “Miles and Coltrane” on the road to Atlanta, Washington DC, New

York City and across the pond to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. • Best Visual Artist Alexandra Loesser Loesser’s technical abilities are downright impressive but her creativitiy and passion to constantly improve her skills are what make her a truly great emerging contemporary artist. She describes her art as ‘Perceptional Naturalism” and her art is dedicated to capturing the nuances of people, animals and the natural world while adding her own unnatural perceptions and interpretations. • Best Craftsman Hamrick Woodwright Woodworking and design runs deep through the veins of this father and son duo made up of founder Eddie Hamrick and son James. Eddie has been working and carving wood with his grandfather and father since he was 6 years old and has since gone on to achieve the title of “Official Craftsmen of North Carolina.” Some of their notable work and pieces can be found anywhere from museums and cathedrals throughout NC to the White House and the Smithsonian, while their client list consists of the likes of George H.W. Bush, Donald Trump, Willie Nelson, Ralph Lauren, and Reggie Jackson among others. •


Best Men’s Habadashery Taylor Richards and Conger A hand curated selection of men’s (and women’s) styles and accessories, attention to detail, top notch personal service, and superb quality is what you can expect from TRC. Their selection of designers like Billy Reid, Canali, Brunello Cucinelli, and Ermenegildo Zegna among others are regarded as the most sought after and finest in the fashion industry and consdiering that TRC is a consistent winner of

Esquire Magazine’s Gold Standard award of excellence in men’s clothing year in and year out, so are they. • Best Women’s Boutique Amina Rubinacci Located in SouthPark’s Specialty Shops on the Park, Amina Rubinacci, Charlotte is one of only four Flagship Boutiques in the US. The brand is undeniably one of Italy’s most important women’s fashion houses and specializes in wool and neutral colors. Their clothing is as versatile as it is sophisticated and along with stunning Italian made clothing, they offer shoes, clutches and handbags, belts, wallets, scarves, eyewear, jewlery and accessories and more. • On Trend Women’s Fashion The Pink Hanger This adorably classy boutique carries a well edited and meticulously curated selection of trendy tops, dresses, denim, accesories, jewelry and handbags. If you need a little help, their attentive and knowledgeable sales people will help you find just the right outfit for your next date night, day at the office, weekend getaway, or special event. • Most On Trend Men’s Fashion Revolution Revolution is the go to spot for those that appreciate eclectic and trendy style. They carry apparel and accessories for both casual and formal attire, as well as a great selection of shoes and kichey gift items. It’s kind of like Urban Outfitters only better. Bonus-they also have an entire women’s section with more of the same. • Best Local Fashion Designer STAN FRAZIER Founded by Brooklyn native turned Charlotte transplant, Stan Frazier, Anarke Jeans and Straight Stitch & Co. is produc-

ing some of the most well-made denim jeans, bags, shirts, vests, jackets and more you can find with the strict use of selvedge denim. If you aren’t familiar, selvedge is of higher quality that utilizes better and more durable denim that is less likely to frey or ravel and is far superior in wear and durability, and it shows. Fit and detail are the mainstays of Frazier’s brand, so much is so that he even offers custom made denim products through his Straight Stitch bespoke program allowing you to fully customize your garment from the pockets, interior fabric, and buttons to the type of denim used style and weight, rivets, hems and more. • Best New Boutique Ike Behar With humble beginnings working alongside the likes of Ralph Lauren back in 1970, Ike Behar is now viewed as one of America’s premiere menswear brands. With their tasteful use of vibrant colors and patterns along with their unrivaled quality and construction, they have truly built a style of their own that screams class and sophistication. With their newest men’s boutique recently opened in Phillips Place, you now have an opportunity to see firsthand what all the rave is about. •

Home & Decor

Best Custom Homebuilder Lake Norman Augusta Homes Recognizable by their creation of awe inspiring and truly unique custom homes, Augusta Homes is widely regarded by both their peers and clients as leaders and innovators within their industry. Their main focus is in the Lake Norman are and they are regarded with such high esteem because of their tireless dedication to achive their clients goals and their knack for identifying and insistence on only working with the best trades and craftsmen in the region. If you can concieve it then they can achieve it, no matter how intricate the details or how far out of the

box your vision may be. A prime example of some of their amazing work can be seen in our 2014 Home Issue that featured their 4,200 square foot masterpiece known as “Carrol’s Luck.” • Best Custom Homebuilder Charlotte New Old New Old sets themselves apart with the unique quality and design of their houses, as well as their attention to detail. They specialize in many different building styles from European to classic, to modern; but they are true masters of the American Farmhouse style. This style is most recognizable with exterior design elements like large open front porches, stained wood accents such as barn door shutters and window boxes, as well as interiors that combine rustic accents with the use of reclaimed woods and stone that have developed unique patterns and character over time with modern fixtures and comtemporary design resulting in the perfect balance. • Best Kitchen and Bath Shop The Majestic Bath This is the place to go for anyone looking to renovate or custom build a kitchen or bathroom. They offer an extensive selection of of the finest faucets, tubs, sinks, cabinets and hardware and as a certified premier Kohler showroom, they specialize in luxury and designer fixtures that you can’t find at a lot of the bigger retail chains. Their team of designers and experts are very helpful and their extensive knowlendge of the industry are apparent as soon as you walk through the door. • Best Home and Garden Store Blackhawk Hardware Bllackhawk is arguably the best store in Charlotte period-maybe even in the entire country. It’s classification as a hardware store does it no justice. Yeah it has everything that a normal hardware store would

have for your next home improvement, garden, or renovation project. But that’s just the beginning. if you have a tailgate coming up, go to Blackhawk. If you are looking for a great gift idea for any adult, male or female, go to Blackhawk. If you are a grilling or barbecue junky, go to Blackhawk. If you need some nice decor, lighting, home accessories, plates, pots and pans, or appliances, go to Blackhawk. The best thing about it is the free and endless supply of popcorn that you’ll need to keep you sustained for what will inevitably turn into at least a 2 hour adventure. To top it all off the customer service and knowledge of the store associates are second to none. • Best Selection of Furnishings and Decor Good’s Home Furnishings Good’s boasts high quality, brand name furniture and decor at affordable prices and offers something for every room in the house. If you don’t see what you want in their inventory, their design center gives you the ability to create completely customized furniture pieces based on your choice of frames, body and pillow fabrics, and finishes. • Best Craftmanship of Home Furnishings Stickley, Audi & Co. Known the world over as one of America’s most historic high quality furniture makers, Stickley has been making some of the best and longest lasting furniture for over 100 years. Stickley’s success lies in their famous “Mission Oak” designs that emphasize superior craftmanship, the highest quality woods and an honest no frills approach. The furniture is so well built and their designs so timeless that they have gained the reputation as being heirloom pieces for many American families. • TO NOMIATE A CHARLOTTE BUSINESS FOR THE 2015 BEST OF THE YEAR PLEASE EMAIL US AT QCEXCLUSIVE@GMAIL.COM

SPONSOR INDEX Please support our sponsors and let them know you saw them in this issue of QCExclusive Magazine. Allen’s Jewelers .................................................40 Amina Rubinacci ................................................30 AttitudeFurnishings........................................85 Augusta Homes .................................................16 AZN ..........................................................................76 Beau Outfitters ..................................................18 BentleyofCharlotte.........................................10 Black Lion ..............................................................85 Blackhawk Hardware ..................................123 Blush Beauty ................................................52, 63 Bridgewater Capital ........................................94 City Barbers .........................................................40 Classic Attic ..........................................................92 Cottingham Chalk Hayes ..............................12 David’sLTD..............................................................2 Dean & Deluca ..................................................71 Diamond Springs ..............................................79 DiamondsDirect............................BackCover Doll A Boutique ..................................................38 Dr. Robert Lowe, DDS ...................................23 Dutchmans Casual Living ............................28 EileenFisher.........................................................25 Elizabeth Bruns, Inc ........................................39 Fahrenheit ............................................................73

122 • • oct/nov 2014

Georges Brasserie ...........................................75 Good’s Home Furnishings ............................59 Graylyn ...................................................................53 Great Outdoor Provisions ..........................59 Hearth And Patio ..............................................93 Hunstad/Kortesis ............................................51 I.C.London.............................................................52 Ike Behar ................................................................61 Jaclyn Ehrlich ......................................................63 Keffer Hyundai ...................................................34 KLMMassage......................................................58 LaCa Projects ......................................................88 LakeNormanRealty...............................55,123 Land Rover Charlotte................................... 27 Lantern & Scroll ................................................89 Leah & Co. ..............................................................85 LevineCancerInstitute..................................37 Lily Bee’s Events & Florals ...........................91 Lucky Clays ...........................................................57 Majestic Bath ....................................................83 Mercedes-Benz of South Charlotte .......11 Metropolitan ......................................................47 Montblanc ............................................................33 New London Arms Co. .................................57

Om Spa ..................................................................53 Omni Hotels .........................................................69 Pandora ..................................................................31 PiedmontTownCenter..................................77 Premiere Home Theater ...............................80 Providence Plastic Surgery ..........................43 Reid’s Fine Foods ...............................................67 RemaxExclusive....................................................4 ReSalon .................................................................38 Scarlett Boutique ..............................................28 ShainGallery........................................................87 Sotheby’sPremier................................................8 Steinway Piano Gallery ..................................41 StellaArtois...........................................................64 Stickley Audi & Co. ...........................................93 Taken By Sarah ...................................................42 Thai Orchid ...........................................................69 The Fork Farm ...................................................44 TheMcDevittAgency......................................21 ThePinkHanger.................................................42 The Sporting Gent ......................................6, 49 TheVirginian........................................................14 WilliamsKnifeCo...............................................26 WindsorJewelers.............................................29


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QC Exclusive - No. 22 - Holiday 2014  
QC Exclusive - No. 22 - Holiday 2014