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A YEAR LATER Local leaders refuse to be defined by the oil spill crisis DELICIOUS DESTIN Six tempting new hot spots and why you should try them

The Emer ald Coast Maga zine

THE ART OF TATTOOS Removing the stigma of permanent stains

Artist of the Year Allison Wickey paints the coast’s dreamy landscapes


Selected as the best of the emerald coast for 6 years running in a variety of categories: Best Salon, Best Hair Stylist and Best Massage In the top 200 salons by Salon Today for 10 years

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a v a n t g a rd e a v e d a . c o m Massage #8650


Shops of Destiny • Emerald Coast Pkwy. Destin • 850.654.5057


Destin Commons • Destin • 850.654.1303

LOVE YOUR STYLIST? ADORE YOUR SALON? Nominate your salon to compete for the honor of being named the Top Salon of the Emerald Coast! At the Top Salon celebration in September 2011, at the Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village, ten salons will be invited to provide a head-to-toe makeover, which will be revealed at the exciting event. The beautiful results will be judged in a runway show. The competition is sure to be fierce, but only one establishment will earn the title of “Top Salon”!




The TOP SALON OF THE EMERALD COAST wins an advertising campaign developed by Rowland Publishing and a year-long ad campaign in Emerald Coast Magazine. Plus, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the winner’s favorite charity. Your favorite salon can’t win unless you nominate them. Nominations must be received between April 1-30.

Visit to nominate.

PRESENTED BY: April–May 2011


4 April–May 2011

contents The Emerald Coast MagazineApril + May 2011

The flavors and feel of Italy await diners at Tuscany in Destin.


54 Hot Dining Spots in Old Destin Haunts

From old city buildings and historic family homes to Destin’s former famed restaurants, six new eateries are serving up a new look, feel and taste in a storied space. By Christy Kearney

62 Gulf Coast: One Year Later

Two revealing stories look at the coast’s single largest catastrophe. What the crisis uncovered about our tourism leaders and the first-hand experience of a boat captain who went fishing for oil. By Zandra Wolfgram + Thomas Monigan

Photo by Jacqueline Ward April–May 2011


contents in the e.c. 17 Snapshot Mary Romair delivers art from her heart, naturally. 18 Chat We volley with Brett Beattie: king of the courts in Niceville. 20 What’s Haute From fabulous finds to top trends, this is what is happening in retail. 24 Personality Inside the magical life of Rick Moore. 27 Scene This is what we’ve seen and heard about your Emerald Coast colleagues, friends and neighbors. 28 Well Worded An unconventional boydoesn’t-meet-girl first novel by Jim Clark.


happenings 31 Spotlight Raise a glass to the highlyanticipated Destin Charity Wine Auction paired with the 25th annual Sandestin Wine Festival weekend. Cheers!


32 Culture Artist of the Year Allison Wickey “painted” her dream life, and now she’s living it.

36 Calendar Spring forward to fabulous events, lively concerts, fun festivals, memorable movie nights and more.

the good life 71 Eudaimonia The most beautiful way to put your guests in their place.


72 Going Places Ann Arbor, Mich., is a true American beauty. 76 Mind + Body Tainted stain or tantalizing skin? Meet two tattoo artists who bare all. 80 Flavor These local authors are cooking the books. Taste the recipes of their success. 84 Dining From casual to fine dining, savor the delicious flavors of the Emerald Coast with this comprehensive guide.


A word with You 10 12 13 14 90

6 April–May 2011

Follow us @emeraldcoastmag

F rom the Publisher E ditor’s Note C  ontributors Feedback T he Last Word

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Photos by Scott Holstein (Magician and Tattoo), Cody Jordan (Wine) and courtesy Tegu (Blocks)

35 Social Studies Are you on the scene in the EC? Find out who is. April–May 2011


8 April–May 2011

QUALITY WIGS Vol. 12, No. 2 April–May 2011 The Emerald Coast Magazine

Publisher Brian E. Rowland Editor Zandra Wolfgram Associate Editor Wendy O. Dixon Designer Beth Nabi Staff Writers Jason Dehart, Lilly Rockwell STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Scott Holstein Contributing Writers Rachel Bruce, Wendy O. Dixon, Christy Kearney, Jack Macaleavy, Thomas J. Monigan, Julie Root, Zandra Wolfgram Contributing Photographers Brandan Babineaux, David Eggleston, Jody Felder, Brittany Godbee, Cody Jordan, Mike Olivella, Jacqueline Ward, Allison Yii Editorial Interns Brittany Barriner, Holly Brooks, Ana Goni-Lessan, Terrika Mitchell, Bianca Salvant, Janeen Talbot TRAFFIC Coordinator Lisa Sostre sales executives Jessica Hathorn, Rhonda Simmons, Chris St. John

Lightweight synthetic or human hair. Custom cut, thin, alter, clean and style. Private dressing area. Full and 3/4 hairpieces | Ponytails | Braids | Falls Wiglets | Supplies | Extensions | Scarves

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President Brian E. Rowland Director of Publishing OPerations Lisa Carey Creative Director Lawrence Davidson Production DIRECTOR Melinda Lanigan Director of Editorial Services Linda Kleindienst Manager of Finance and HR Angela Cundiff Manager of Integrated Sales Dan Parisi Administrator of Sales and Events McKenzie Burleigh Client Service Representative Caroline Conway Assistant Creative Director Saige Roberts Art Director Tisha Keller Senior Editorial Designer Beth Nabi Graphic Designers Marc L. Thomas, Daniel Vitter Network Administrator Daniel Vitter Receptionist Amy Lewis, Editorial Office 1932 Miccosukee Road, Tallahassee, FL, 32308 Customer Service & Submissions EC Magazine and Rowland Publishing, Inc. are not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photography or artwork. Editorial contributions are welcomed and encouraged but will not be returned. EC Magazine reserves the right to publish any letters to the editor. Subscriptions & Availability $24.95 a year (six issues). To subscribe, call 850-878-0554 or visit EC Magazine can be purchased at Barnes and Noble in Destin and Books-A-Million in Destin and at Sun Plaza in Mary Esther. Copyright April 2011 Emerald Coast Magazine Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Proud member Florida Magazine Association and Florida Press Association April–May 2011


from the publisher A new EC designed especially for you.

Several mentors have repeated the same mantra to me over the past decade as I’ve worked to guide and develop this publishing company. Although it was said in many different ways, the message reduced to the bottom line simply states: Surround yourself with talented professionals, provide them with the guidance and tools needed to succeed, empower them to attain tangible goals — then stand back and let them do their job. The key is to set up a series of milestones to “inspect what you expect” and provide ongoing support, guidance and affirmation. Their talent, coupled with their innate quest for excellence, will allow this company to exceed its goals and expectations for success and growth. In my last column I shared with you the creative editorial journey of Emerald Coast Magazine, and with this issue I humbly present a publication that has been editorially and creatively redesigned. In this issue you will see major changes, from our EC nameplate to new departments to the way we present our stories. And for just an extra touch, you’ll even notice a very tiny EC at the end of each story. This has been a team effort and I want to recognize the talented individuals at Rowland Publishing who pushed their professional envelope to bring our look and content to a new level of excellence. Our newest team member is EC editor Zandra Wolfgram. Her first request to me was to embark on a research project to find out what readers want in our magazine — and then to be willing to embrace change. The community spoke, we listened and Zandra jumped into the task of reinventing our editorial line-up. Next came the re-design stage and the difficult task of developing a fresh, new look. Beth Nabi, a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, embraced the challenge. Her innate talent for design, coupled with support from veteran creative director Larry Davidson, resulted in the fine piece of intricate artwork you have before you today. The words and creative layouts have come alive through the lens of staff photographer Scott Holstein, an extremely talented professional I like to think of as a young male version of Annie Lebowitz. He brings the words to life by capturing the soul and personality of his subjects. Scott collaborated with Tisha Keller, our art director, a stickler for detail and overall visual excellence. I urge you to page through EC several times before you read the stories, to get a feel for the imagery and the creative visual energy. Then allow the content — which are all our original stories, written by professional journalists — to draw you deeper into the magazine. This is fine publishing work done by experienced professionals who have done their best to reflect the Emerald Coast region — its people and lifestyle — for your reading pleasure. We want you to enjoy the new EC – The Emerald Coast Magazine. We are, as always, staying true to our company motto: Current. Quotable. Well Read. We have worked hard to bring you our best. I look forward to hearing your feedback.

— Brian Rowland

on the cover

Allison Wickey at World Six, her gallery and studio space in Rosemary Beach. Photo by Brittany Godbee/Marla and Shane Photographers. 10 April–May 2011

Photo by David Eggleston

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editor’s note Putting things into perspective: yours.

12 April–May 2011

—Z  andra Wolfgram

Photo by Allison Yii

editor’s picks

With so many wonderful ways to discover your senses all along the Emerald Coast, it is hard to choose just a few, but we managed to do it, so here are our four Top Picks. SHE WROTE THE BOOK ON STYLE Local author Lynn Nesmith has published “30A Style.” This 192-page, glossy, coffee-table book — with stunning photos by Jean Allsopp — showcases our very own historic communities and new urbanist towns along Scenic Highway 30A and gives readers a “visual tour” of 22 private homes. Check out the calendar listings for details on her book signing event on April 6. AN “A” FOR THE EMERALD COAST AUTISM CENTER April is Autism Awareness month. We salute the Emerald Coast Autism Society, dedicated to educating and improving the lives of young children with autism in Walton and Okaloosa counties. LUCKY MOM For Mother’s Day we love Lucky Girl Jewelry by Destin artist Julia Vijacka, available at BICO Australia in HarborWalk Village. The designer has married delicate freshwater pearls with BICO’s stylized pewter pendants into pieces perfect for the laid back lifestyle of the Emerald Coast. HeARTful THANKS Kudos to the South Walton Center of Northwest Florida State College for gracing its walls with the talents of some of the finest artists on the Emerald Coast. The work of landscape artist Allison Wickey (our “cover” girl) will be showcased in April. The exhibitions rotate monthly and are free and open to the public.

Photo (book cover) courtesy Lynne Nesmith

Just in time for spring, we are thrilled to bring you a freshly revamped magazine. You asked for more coverage on events, people and travel. You said you would love to read even more about local dining and shopping. You shared you wanted our stories to carry more photography, sidebars and extras. And if we could add in some interesting local facts and figures you would appreciate it. You challenged us to extend our coverage all along the coast and to focus on what you care about: locals just like you. We thank you for giving us your feedback in the form of surveys, e-mail, phone calls and focus-group sessions. We listened intently and hope you enjoy the iteration of Emerald Coast Magazine now called simply — EC. We are still the original lifestyle magazine on the Emerald Coast, but happy to present you with a fresh, new perspective on the subject. We couldn’t imagine a better “cover girl” for our redesigned issue than Allison Wickey. A fresh new face on the Emerald Coast, this talented artist reminds us that dreams really do come true. And when they land us here, the ordinary can become extraordinary. As with the efforts of our tireless tourism leaders tapped to disperse the lingering layers of doubt of longtime loyal visitors. In a package of two stories called “One Year Later,” we take a look at how two distinctly different professionals tackle the area’s single concern: bringing visitors back to the beach. Then we climb aboard a Vessel of Opportunity to share a fisherman’s personal story as he struggles through the BP muck to find the horizon of a brighter day. In “Hot Dining Spots in Old Destin Haunts,” we tempt you to the tables of six Destin restaurants that may be familiar to you from days past. We keep the Flavor coming as we serve up sample recipes from a diverse range of locally authored cookbooks. Speaking of authors, there are many who make their homes right here along the Emerald Coast. Jay Clark is the first to be featured in our new column, Well Worded. His first book, “Making Friends with Candy,” is an unconventional approach to an intensely personal love story about two people who never met. New columns help you take stock of the local Scene, show you What’s Haute and introduce you to a local with a truly “magical” personality — and much more. We hope you enjoy this refreshed issue as much as we’ve enjoyed crafting it for you. We sincerely appreciate what you think, so please continue to share your opinions through our website or feel free to contact me directly at Thanks for reading,


rachel bruce

brittany godbee

thomas monigan


photo g r a ph e r


Bruce is a freelance writer from Tallahassee. She graduated Flagler College in St. Augustine in April with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with emphases in journalism and advertising. She enjoys spending her free time at the beach, working on photography or traveling. ▪ Rachel pulled out of her hat a great article about magician Rick Moore in this issue and “inked” a story about the art of tattoos.

Godbee has lived in Santa Rosa Beach for 14 years. When she’s not working on her photography, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Joe, who shares her deep passion for healthy, clean eating and the culinary world. She and her husband are expecting a baby girl in April and are excited to raise her here on the Emerald Coast. ▪ Brittany beautifully framed Beaches of South Walton artist of the year Allison Wickey.

Monigan is a career reporter and editor who has covered everything from Little League to big business in locales stretching from the Carolinas to California. But his “life changing experience” came when he first saw the Gulf of Mexico from the Navarre Bridge at age 26. He realized a longtime dream by returning to the Emerald Coast in early 2008. ▪ Thomas tells fisherman Mike Eller’s tale as a BP Vessel of Opportunity.

christy kearney writer

Kearney, a self-proclaimed reading addict and freelance writer from Fort Walton Beach, can often be found sipping coffee at the neighborhood Starbucks with her nose in a good book. She also enjoys spending time with husband, Travis, and Cairn terrier, Gidget, as well as cooking and traveling. ▪ Christy dishes up our delicious feature story on Destin dining and serves up a terrific profile on local tennis pro Brett Beattie.

jacqueline ward

photo g r a ph e r

Acclaimed photographer Jacqueline Ward moved to the Emerald Coast three years ago, bringing her artistic photographic style to weddings, families and local businesses. When not behind the camera, she likes to spend her time with her sweet husband, her three zany children and reading good books. ▪ In this issue, Jackie aptly captures the camaraderie of our tourism leaders on the beach and has no reservations about tempting us with Destin’s newest eateries on the scene. April–May 2011


ch k us out! Don’t miss a single issue of the all new EC Magazine. Send a check to: Emerald Coast Magazine, P.O. Box 1837, Tallahassee, FL 32302-1837 Questions? 850.878.0554


$24.95 for one year (6 issues)

I just saw the February/ March magazine and read “Fun Lovin’ Love Stories” and I don’t even know what to say … It looks AMAZING! I’m so excited to be part of it and can’t thank Zandra and Wendy enough for doing such a great job. I’m so honored to be included and can’t wait to start sharing the magazine with every single person I know. Jami Ray Seagrove Beach

Thank you for doing a story about my humanitarian projects (“A is for ... Artist, Actress, Activist,” February/March). By reading this, many people will learn about Art Miles Shoes of Hope and be encouraged to help less fortunate children. Ms. (Lilly) Rockwell wrote a great article. I read your bio and I know you will be a wonderful editor since you have such passion for reading and writing. I also love to read and write and I just won first place in a district essay contest for fifth grade. Now I’m very motivated, so I’m going to enter a Barnes and Noble essay contest. [Photographer] Scott [Holstein] was a lot of fun to work with, and I like the photo with my story. Ally Woodard Miramar Beach 14 April–May 2011

Have a thought? E-mail your comments and corrections to

Looking forward to future issues of “Historicity”! The whole magazine looks good. You guys did a great job! You need to see about more local outlets selling it. Kathy Marler Blue Associate Director, Destin History & Fishing Museum

Love the latest issue. You killed it. Can’t wait for the redesign. Heather Thomas Destin

I read your article “I Like to Move It” (February/March) and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I have always had an adaptable gene and realize we all need to keep moving and continue to be positive. Geana Wilkerson Destin

Steven Clark, MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon


Congratulations on the move to editor of Emerald Coast magazine. Great February/March issue; love your piece on “Five Places You Should Go” highlighting the Dunes Lakes and Walco Eco Tours. Lynn Nesmith Santa Rosa Beach

I enjoyed reading the latest issue of Emerald Coast Magazine. I loved the Best Bet full page showing Cattle Barons’ Ball. Thanks so much — great coverage! I particularly like the new features incorporated into the magazine. Nice job, Zandra and team. Kay Phelan Destin

Susan, Mary Esther “Dr. Clark is a perfectionist, and that’s exactly what you want in a plastic surgeon. My tummy tuck made me look and feel like a new woman. Aftercare was amazing; kind, caring, gentle staff. Pain was minimal. Scar has faded into thin line and is practically not noticeable. Guess you can tell I’m thrilled with the results. Thank you Dr. Clark, Liz, and EVERYONE at Bluewater Plastic Surgery.”

THANK YOU TO EMERALD COAST MAGAZINE for inviting our practice to be the presenting sponsor of the first ever “2011 EMERALD COAST TOP SALON” event.


Correction In the February/March issue we should have noted that Tiffanie Shelton with Panache Event Services beautifully styled Traci Markel’s wedding décor.

Miramar Beach — Bluewater Bay 850-267-4582 |

Visit our website April–May 2011


16 April–May 2011

in the e.c.

Peopl e + St y le + H y p e


Mary Romair, florist

“Be a spiritual gardener and the soul of nature will smile as the earth sings a song of everlasting joy.” This quote from poet and philosopher Michael Teal can be found on postcards in GG Bloom, a florist and garden shop in The Shops of Destiny in Destin. Mary Romair has owned the shop since 2009, naming it for her daughter, Gillian. The goal was to bring Destin a florist that would move away from the stereotypical tropical look toward a Southern coastal look typical of New Orleans, where Romair was raised. Specializing in the natural foliage of our area, Romair loves to customize arrangements, especially with her flower favorites: peonies and hydrangas. She says her shop specializes in floral décor with an “English-garden” feel. Romair is proud to be an official FTD florist and has added a floral designer to the staff just in time for Mother’s Day — one of the biggest holidays of the year for the shop. The most popular request for mom? Mixed spring bouquets. A true romantic and trained artist, Romair is thrilled to bring the joy of spring flowers to the Emerald Coast all year long. “I have always been creative. My grandmother encouraged me from a very young age. When I was young all my gifts were created from my heart,” she says. One visit to GG Bloom and it is clear Romair is still creating works of art from her heart. — Zandra Wolfgram

Photo by Scott Holstein April–May 2011



Brett Beattie Holds Court in Bluewater Sometimes thinking small can serve up big returns By Christy Kearney


ennis professional Brett Beattie is finally teaching tennis his way — in a small, personalized environment and on his own terms. The Florida native found his way to the Emerald Coast six years ago with his wife, Kara, and son, Grant, and quickly made an impact on Northwest Florida’s tennis scene. After four years working with the award-winning Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort tennis program, Beattie decided to set out on his own and start Emerald Coast Tennis in January 2009. Based on three hard courts in Bluewater Bay’s pine tree-bordered Gleneagles neighborhood, Beattie’s infant tennis organization has already taken big steps to make a name for itself within the local tennis community. With more than 75 active players including some of the topranked local juniors and highly competitive ladies’ teams, Emerald Coast Tennis proves that being super-sized isn’t the only way to be successful in sports. EC Magazine recently sat down with Beattie to learn more about what he’s serving up at Emerald Coast Tennis.

EC: What inspired ECT? BB: After 25 years of teaching, I was ready to do tennis differently. I worked in larger clubs my entire career, and I’ve always dreamed of running a smaller, more personalized training organization. I began talking to Mike Duggan, owner of Recreation Services Inc. in Bluewater Bay, about three years ago. He was getting ready to renovate three courts in my neighborhood, and the idea for Emerald Coast Tennis was born. EC: What’s the best part of owning your own business? BB: Having the freedom to completely focus on training and tennis without the sometimes stressful demands of larger

18 April–May 2011

clubs. Not only do I love tennis as much as ever, but I am able to teach in a more relaxed environment.

time. The more intimate environment enables us to give the attention of private lessons in almost everything we do.

EC: Do you specialize in anything as a coach? BB: Much of my experience has been in junior player development and ladies’ team training. One of the things I have been most excited about is the ECT Junior Traveling Team. I attend tournaments with the team to encourage them, give feedback and support them in every way I can. When we get back on the courts the next week, I can focus on what each player needs to work on to be the best he or she can be. It’s been very rewarding to see our ECT juniors thrive in local tournament play.

EC: What has been the key to your success? BB: I think people instantly feel comfortable because we are located in a neighborhood. We provide high-level training in an unintimidating environment. Just because we are a smaller operation doesn’t mean we aren’t serious about tennis. We take a personalized approach with a focus on fundamentals, so our players are quickly finding success on the courts. When they are confident in their play, they are having more fun — which really is the point of playing in the first place.

EC: What makes ECT unique? BB: Because we work on three courts, we are physically limited in the number of players we have on the courts at once — and that’s intentional. I don’t want any players to get lost in the shuffle, which can easily happen when there are a dozen courts running at the same

EC: So, what’s next for ECT? BB: We’ve already started working with residents in Kelly Plantation and Swift Creek in Niceville, offering lessons and clinics. That’s the beauty of ECT — we have our small headquarters in Bluewater, but we can travel anywhere along the Emerald Coast. ec

Photo by Scott Holstein April–May 2011


what’s haute Shop Talk Are you ready for your close up? Destin Commons has opened the first Sephora on the Emerald Coast. Launched in the U.S. in 1998, Sephora is well known for its unique retail concept, which is rooted in its distinctive store design, the beauty expertise of its sales consultants and its extensive cache of 200 beauty product brands. Faster than you can say “spring sale,” Silver Sands Factory Stores is churning out several new name-brand retail outlets. Joining the new Sperry Top-Sider this spring are Merrell, featuring adventure-seeking shoes, boots and sandals for outdoor and urban pursuits, and DKNY, featuring everything from evening wear to weekend wear for women and men. Esprit is also making its regional debut, featuring “affordable luxury” apparel and accessories for men, women and juniors. If you like Ann Taylor, you’ll love the feminine and versatile women’s line at the LOFT Outlet. After all that power shopping, you can cool down with 32 Degrees Yogurt Bar, a new self-serve yogurt bar serving up sweet treats and all the toppings. Cleaning up our fashion faux pas is The French Laundry. The dry cleaners recently opened a new location, Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. This full-service store provides a wide array of specialty services including alterations; pressing; wedding dress cleaning and preservation; shoe, belt and purse repair; leather cleaning; bed- and table-linen cleaning; and drapery cleaning. They even offer a wash, dry and fold service. Nous approuvons!

In the creation of her self-titled debut fragrance, Jennifer Aniston evokes memories of sunny days at the beach and happy summer nights. Her new signature scent combines light, blooming florals against a sensual base of musk and woods. Even the elegant bottle shape is suggestive of cresting waves. $35–$70, available at Sephora.

Today’s Boutique in Destin, owned by Jim and Kim Dettle of Destin, is celebrating 30 years in fashion retail. Coincidentally, the Dettles will also toast their 30th wedding anniversary this year. Today’s (which offers exclusive discounts to locals) forecasts bold and graphic prints as a hot trend this spring. “Desigual, a quality line from Italy, is a great example of this trend,” says Kim Dettle. The Desigual top (pictured) features a scooped neckline and flirty ruffled short sleeves. $65-$80 Do you have retail news? Share it with us at

20 April–May 2011

Photos courtesy Tommy Bahama, Sephora and Desigual

Tommy Bahama at Grand Boulevard assures us that classic tropical apparel in sea-inspired hues and earthy chocolates are in this season. For her, Blue Lagoon Halter swimsuit top, $89, and Blue Lagoon Sash Front Hipster, $63. Both pieces are featured in Ocean Teal Multi fabric by Tommy Bahama Swim. For him, Bourbon Cowboy swim trunk in black, $68, Tommy Bahama Relax. April–May 2011


what’s haute

In this day and age of all that is disposable, it’s nice to find a lasting, durable toy that is also “green.” Fitz and Emme, an adorable children’s boutique in Rosemary Beach, carries Tegu’s magnetic wooden blocks harvested from mature trees in Honduras. The large set of 52 pieces targeted to kids ages 3 and up is $128. We also love Hape’s cars, truck and airplane (from $26 to $32) — all made from bamboo.

The perfect rainy day distraction has got to be the Chocolate Moose Mousse Kit by Sassafras including mousse mix, sprinkles, cook hat, paper cups, whisk and rhyming recipe, $18.95.

Owner Shawn Chick believes Fitz and Emme is the first children’s boutique in the United States to carry Mayoral, a Spanish line of children’s clothes. She describes it as: “Ralph Lauren meets Europe hip.” Just in time for Easter, you can top your tot with a fetching linen Fedora hat in chocolate/orange (pictured) black, plaid or white, $32.50.

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Photos by Scott Holstein (fedora) and courtesy Tegu, Hape, Sassafras Enterprises and Mayoral

Child’s Play

“Don’t Miss This Opportunity to Position Your Company in Grand Boulevard’s Thriving Business Hub”

The central location of Grand Boulevard’s Town Center at the entrance of Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort provides a vibrant and creative work environment, strikingly beautiful public spaces and state-of-the-art business amenities. With convenient access to fine restaurants, national retailers, exclusive boutiques, professional services, two Marriott hotels and Publix, Grand Boulevard is a complete destination in itself.

“Our recent relocation to Grand Boulevard has already exceeded our expectations. The Town Center offers our firm an easily accessible, high profile location with a multitude of on-site amenities. When we meet clients, we can walk to a number of great restaurants while continuing the business discussion and not lose momentum.”

“After three successful years in Grand Boulevard, we have seen our business thrive exponentially to the point that we had to expand. It is truly a great place to work and play!” Joe Capers, Owner/Partner Insurance Zone

“Since my relocation to Grand Boulevard, my law practice has grown significantly, requiring a larger staff and expanded offices within the Town Center. As I suspected, Grand Boulevard has become the professional business hub for this area.” Shannon L. Widman, ESQ, Founder Porath & Associates, P.A.

Tim Fulmer, Partner Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, Destin/South Walton Office

We invite you to contact us to assist with your office lease: Merlin Allan, Vice President of Real Estate --- or



personality Rick Moore has had audiences under his hypnotic spell for more than 30 years. Below, magic trick, kits and wands are available at Rick Moore’s Magic Shop in The Village of Baytowne Wharf.

Moore Than Meets the Eye This magician has spent a lifetime traveling the globe to charm audiences who love him for being tricky By Rachel Bruce


ifty-three years ago, a grandmother gave a young boy his first magic kit. And before you could say “abracadabra,” Rick Moore had found his calling. For this 58-year-old magician, what you see is what you get. And that equates to a lot of charisma and a little goodnatured mischief. Moore has traveled the world performing his opening act for stars such as Johnny Cash, June Carter and Bruce Willis; and taking the spotlight with the entertainment division in the U.S. Air Force. Now he appears daily in his own magic shop in The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. As if from a magic hat, Moore produces one adventurous tale after another. The Making of a Magician Moore grew up in a small town outside of Chicago called Michigan City, Ind., where his grandmother nurtured his love for magic. “I started doing little pocket tricks that were so simple to do and I would intrigue my family with all of this amazing magic I was doing.” His parents also encouraged him to focus on it. “Some days I couldn’t come out to eat dinner until I had a trick down,” he said jokingly. After he practiced for several years, he started performing for every imaginable scout banquet, and was often the youngest magician to perform at trade shows. He even attended a magic school for a while. When he was 18 he went into the military for eight and a half years. “I was pulled out of my job and put into the entertainment division in the Air Force,” he said. Moore went on to compete in 62 acts at McConnell Base in Kansas. He toured with Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn for many years. Later, he performed with stars such as Johnny Cash, June Carter, Jim Nabors, Cindy Crawford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Danny Glover and many others. He frequently performed at the Opryland Theme Park and Hotel in Nashville.

24 April–May 2011

This year marks the 31st consecutive year Moore has traveled with the Department of Defense to entertain military troops at bases around the world. Before moving to the Emerald Coast, Moore and his wife, Donna, lived in Nashville, Tenn. Three years ago, he and Donna, who is his stage assistant, performed at some campgrounds while visiting Destin. On a tip, they visited The Village of Baytowne Wharf their last night in town. “It looked like Opryland without the theme rides,” Moore said. He negotiated a deal and opened Rick Moore’s Magic Shop. That’s Entertainment In Rick’s shop, the intriguing memorabilia from his travels cover the walls. From riding on camels by Egyptian pyramids to being sung to by a gondolier in Venice and running with bulls in Spain, he’s done it all. “My favorite place overseas is Turkey because the locals are so humble and they love people,” he said. Swimming in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland and the Dead Sea and standing in the River of Jordan make for an eventful life, but he says there were some dangerous times he experienced. “I was in Athens, Greece, when terrorists were clearing out all of the clubs and I had my bus tires shot out,” he said. Then there was a time in Jordan where he was almost killed for showing locals a magic trick which required the Jordanian dollar to be ripped in half. Even after magically restoring the dollar, Moore still had to escape the town. “There are places I’d read about in books but when you stand there and actually see it, it’s absolutely amazing,” he said. One of Moore’s passions is helping others. He’s given prostheses and wheel chairs to those who needed them. He said he’s been so fortunate with his talent that he was able to give something back to those in need. He was performing in Europe during the Iraq war for families who had recently lost a loved one. Smiling children came to see him after the show. The mothers told him they were so thankful that he could

Photos by Scott Holstein April–May 2011



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bring smiles to their children’s faces. “I still have a pencil a child gave me to thank me that night,” he said. Moore is still motivated by his grandmother’s memory. And his purpose is still to fill the world with entertainment in his own special way. “You have to be different from all the other magicians out there and you don’t want to be like everyone else — you have to be yourself,” he said. The Moore the Better There’s nothing like being yourself when you’re stuck in a straight jacket suspended 175 feet above a concrete floor by two small cords — especially when the ropes are lit on fire and only minutes remain on the clock. Evidence of this escapade are proudly framed on a wall in Moore’s shop. Mentalism, illusionism, street performing and escapology are all forms of magic that Moore likes. What he doesn’t like is seeing dangerous magic acts televised to impressionable viewers. As for walking on water, he laughed and said the only man who is able to do that is Jesus Christ. Moore has worked with some large equipment that he stores in Nashville. He also had two tigers, Cleo and Leo, who worked with him in 1983 but he said they got too

“My bag of tricks isn't about anything but making people laugh or smile.” – Rick Moore wild. His view of magic these days is funfilled family entertainment. “I love when the audience can’t believe their eyes with something that’s so simple and so fun, not necessarily dangerous,” he said. During the spring and summer, Moore performs shows on the main stage in the Events Plaza of The Village of Baytowne Wharf, as well as in his 40-seat theater in the back of his shop. During the season, he performs in the evening a few times a week at the Sandpiper Beacon in Panama City Beach. He performs at birthday parties, summer camps and private functions. His shop has magic kits for any beginner or professional, including a brand new version appropriate for all ages that just hit the market. Different tricks can be found in the shop as well. “My bag of tricks isn’t about anything but making people laugh or smile,” he said. ec 26 April–May 2011

scene Here are a few things we’ve heard about on the EC scene … ▪ The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) named Legendary, Inc., chief executive officer Peter Bos Hotelier of the Year. ▪ Legendary Marine has appointed Wanda Kenton Smith of Orlando to head up strategic dealership marketing efforts. ▪ Tiffanie Shelton and Julie Richardson have formed Panache Event Services, an event management company. ▪ Joel Linn and Sue Ann Armstrong Cagle, Allied ASID, both designers at Linn’s Prestige Kitchens, will serve as board members of the Emerald Coast Chapter of the National Kitchen & Bath Association for the upcoming year. Linn has been elected vice president of communications and technology, while Cagle has been chosen as the vice president of academic relations. ▪ The Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa is proud to announce that Gary Brielmayer has been promoted to General Manager from his role as Manager of Hotel Operations at Northwest Florida’s largest full-service beachfront resort hotel. ▪ The Hilton Sandestin Beach is the 2010 recipient of Hilton’s “Best Social Media Engagement” brand award in the Americas region. ▪ The company led by Mike Ragsdale that has distributed more than 140,000 “30A” stickers all along the coast will partner with numerous retailers in the weeks ahead to offer a wide variety of new products sporting the 30A icon. ▪ The culinary talent of the Emerald Coast has gotten the attention of the acclaimed James Beard House, which has selected the Pensacola Celebrity Chefs to showcase Gulf Coast cuisine this summer in New York City. On June 28, chefs Dan Dunn of H2O at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front, Irv Miller of Jackson's Steakhouse, Jim Shirley of the Fish House, Gus Silivos of Skopelos/Nancy's Haute Affairs and Frank Taylor of Global Grill will prepare a regional tasting menu for an intimate foodie audience at the James Beard House. ▪ Cotton & Gates Attorneys at Law announce the addition of attorney Chris E. Smith, Esq. Smith joins the firm from the Office of State Attorney, 1st Judicial Circuit of Florida and will handle cases involving personal injury, product liability, criminal defense, civil litigation, foreclosure defense and wills and estate litigation. ▪ Brian Voyles has been named general manager of Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. ▪ Suzanne Tuzzeo has joined ResortQuest as director of marketing, working out of the Fort Walton Beach headquarters. ▪ EC Magazine bids a fond farewell to two wellrespected marketing and public relations professionals: Traci Markel and Angela Triplett of Silver Sands Factory Stores. We will certainly miss seeing them on the scene and wish them much luck in their new endeavors. April–May 2011


well worded

What Friends Do For Candy Jim Clark’s first novel is a poignant personal tale of “virtual” love By Zandra Wolfgram


ike many friends, they shared the highs and lows of what life throws at you. Like many friends, they spent a lot of time together, especially on Facebook. Like many friends, they brought out the best in each other. And, like many friends, they fell in love. But unlike many friends we know, they never actually met. This is the “boy-doesn’t-actually-meet-girl” story of “Making Friends with Candy,” an intriguing first novel by Jim Clark of Santa Rosa Beach, written as a memoir to his “virtual” friend, Candy, who died of cancer Aug. 5, 2010. The book is intentionally conversational in style and, because of that, highly relatable. Email exchanges, text messages, photos and, as Clark says “whatever comes to mind,” detail a kismet bond growing stronger by the day. Conversely, Candy’s daily battle with cancer inevitably weakens her health, but not her resolve to live life and love friends to the fullest. After sharing his story over 17 chapters, Clark transcribes Candy’s journal and closes the 260-page book with contact information for support resources such as the American Cancer Society, Locks of Love and National Domestic Violence.

28 April–May 2011

While romantics will surely love this unconventional story of unconditional love, naysayers may wonder if Candy ever existed. As Clark notes in his book, “Even though this is a work of fiction to some people, many of the events are very real.” Whatever you believe, whether fictional or real, the story is still gripping. After Candy died, Clark immediately began writing her story, and just five months later, it was published. Though it was an “emotional roller coaster” to relive a relationship when her death was still new, Clark says it was the least he could do to honor her memory. “I believe people are put into our lives and it’s up to us to make the most of those encounters,” he writes. “And, that you can find love within the most troubling times or darkest moments in your life, as well as in the lives of others. This is the story of a chance meeting and my commitment to do what that voice in my head, as well as my heart, said was the right thing to do.” ec

This excerpt from “Making Friends with Candy” follows with the author’s permission.

Getting to Know Candy After talking through the chat area with Candy a few times I really started to like her spunky personality. She is a little bit of a smart ass like me, but with a bit of “Southern girl” thrown in on top. She didn’t mind voicing her opinion on how she felt about something or someone. She would tell someone if they were being an ass or just plain mean to people. She said this about herself: “I am just me. A far cry from amazing. I’m a little complex and confusing at times, but that’s just who I am … if you want to know the real me … hang on, fasten your seatbelts … it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!” I didn’t know the journey I was about to begin by just meeting her. Chapter 16 Sharing Candy with Strangers One day, I was having lunch and checking my e-mails and Facebook messages at Johnny Rockets. After receiving my cheeseburger, I see a little smile made in catsup by the server. I thought Candy would enjoy seeing it too, maybe it would put a smile on her face. So I took a picture of it with my phone and posted it online. While doing this, my server Christine asks me what was I doing and if everything was alright. I told her about Candy and the battle she is going through. I decided to ask her if she, and maybe the other servers, would like to say hi to Candy as well. She said: “let me check”; they said “yes,” so I got my computer ready and took our group photo. I sent it to Candy who says it was “so sweet.” I told her it was nothing but me acting like a fool. Candy told me to continue being “you” because it’s a good thing for her. The servers asked me to let them know if there was anything they could do to help, and that they would keep Candy in their thoughts.

Photo by Scott Holstein

Photo Courtesy Jim Clark (book cover)

Jim Clark, 52, with Candy's journal, which he transcribed in the book he promised her he would write.

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30 April–May 2011

happenings Events + Culture + Causes


Wine and Dine in Paradise

The Emerald Coast is filled with gourmands passionate about great wine, great food — and giving back to the community. Since it formed in 2005, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation has become the largest single charity in the area, and has raised more than $3,000,000 for children-focused charities. In concert with the 25th annual Sandestin Wine Festival, DCWAF will host a series of wine dinners on April 29 and its highly-anticipated annual wine auction on April 30. The Walkabout and Auction feature distinctive wines from internationally acclaimed vintners paired with fine cuisine created by the area’s top chefs, topped with an entertaining live auction of rare wines, spectacular trips and more. Prices are from $250. Sandestin Linkside Center, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy. Miramar Beach.(850) 650-37232,

Photo by Cody Jordan April–May 2011



A ‘World-Win’ Career Artist Allison Wickey emerges to be one of the coast’s most sought after artists | By Lilly Rockwell


llison Wickey moved to the idyllic seaside community of Santa Rosa Beach four years ago to pursue her dream of becoming an artist. She wanted to stop painting murals for other people and start painting for herself, selling her finished products in local galleries. She wasn’t the only one. The communities along Highway 30A have developed a reputation as a haven for artists, and Wickey faced stiff competition in the push to sell paintings to some of the well-heeled clientele that vacation or live in picturesque south Walton County.

32 April–May 2011

“There’s a million artists here,” Wickey said. “You wonder how you are going to survive.” She didn’t have to wonder long. Wickey has not just survived but thrived in the four years since she moved to the Emerald Coast. By almost every measure, her instant success has been astonishing. Her paintings regularly sell between $500 and $4,000, she is the exclusive artist for Rosemary Beach’s upscale World Six gallery and was selected as the 2011 Beaches of South Walton Artist of the Year by the Walton County Tourist Development Council. And she has developed a loyal fan club of

Top, Wickey at World Six, her gallery and studio space in Rosemary Beach. Above, this untitled painting made from venetian plaster and acrylic paint on wood was inspired by the stunning coastal nature along Highway 30A.

Photo by Brandan Babineaux

Former Artists of the Year homeowners throughout the country that now includes famous chef and television personality Emeril Lagasse. His wife bought an Allison Wickey painting that will hang in the kitchen area of their New York home. Those who know Wickey say it’s a testament to her talent. “Allison’s language is art and she is tapping into deeper truths and feelings that the rest of us don’t always see,” said Anne Hunter, who owns World Six gallery. “That is what makes art something people want to buy.”

The Walton County Tourist Development Council has selected one local artist for special recognition for each of the past nine years. Each year, the council receives several entries and must narrow them down to one winner. Here is a glimpse at past winners: 2010, Michael Granberry This fine art photographer takes environmental portraits that capture the beauty of South Walton County. His work can be seen in Art of Simple gallery in Seaside. 2009, Michael McCarty This acrylic painter produces contemporary art and experiments with mixed media. McCarty has also done artwork for dozens of major recording artists, such as James Brown and Willie Nelson.

Though she grew up in an Illinois suburb

of St. Louis, Wickey looks as if she were raised on the white sand beaches of the Emerald Coast with her wavy blonde hair and blue eyes. Wickey comes by her talent naturally. Her father was a teacher and her mother a nurse. Though her grandmother, also an artist, thought she had talent, Wickey shrugged it off. She never took art classes in high school, at most just doodling in the margins of her notebook. Wickey took her first art class at the University of Missouri, a drawing class in which she had to sketch nude models. “It was funny, but it wasn’t uncomfortable,” she said. “It was more interesting to me than drawing a vase of flowers.” Her talent was noticed by the teacher, who took her aside and encouraged her to focus on art. Wickey scoffed at the idea. “All I knew was the ‘starving artist’ stereotype,” Wickey said. “I never at that point knew that was a dream of mine and never thought I would do it.” At the time, she wanted to be a photographer or graphic designer. After a stop at Florida Atlantic University, she transferred to Columbia College, a fine arts school in Chicago. She took more art classes and teachers again encouraged her to consider art as a career. After graduation, Wickey went back to her hometown of Belleville, Ill., and began picking up jobs painting murals in people’s homes. She would paint a safari in a baby’s room or a Tuscan countryside on a living room wall. Soon, those odd jobs grew into a full-fledged business. She also met and married her husband, a software consultant. They had a child together, a son, and by the time Wickey was pregnant with their second child she was eager to move outside of the St. Louis area. Her sister had a vacation home along Highway 30A in Northwest Florida. After a Christmas holiday visit, Wickey and her husband decided to relocate there. Wickey was thrilled because this gave her the chance to break out from painting murals, which she had grown tired of. “I knew I could do something else but I also knew I would not go back to murals and from now on I would be painting pictures,” she said.

2008, Donna Burgess With a focus on watercolors, Burgess is inspired by her surroundings, depicting scenes of coastal life and marine creatures. Her gallery is located in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. 2007, Bill Stephenson Using a unique medium of salvaged wood, Stephenson is known for his talent in “woodturning,” which uses a stationary tool to carve and shape wood. Stephenson has a permanent exhibit at the Coastal Branch Library in Santa Rosa Beach. 2006, Phil Kiser This artist is known for glass mosaics. He creates art from mason jars, glass, recycled mirrors and antique plates, stitched together to make one image. His work is available at Big Mama’s Hula Gallery. 2005, Justin Gaffrey This painter is known for laying thick layers of “impasto acrylics” on top of painted canvas. He has studios in Blue Mountain Beach, Rosemary Beach and Seaside. 2004, Susan Lucas This Santa Rosa Beach artist is inspired by nature and is known for acrylic landscape paintings. Her work can be seen at Signature Studios in Destin or by appointment at her Santa Rosa Beach gallery.

After giving birth to her daughter, Wickey had a few

months to figure out what she wanted to paint. She gravitated toward using wood frames and mixing plaster and paint, playing around with colors and textures. “I started doing landscapes and animals,” she said. “It was either landscapes or something totally abstract.”

Sources: The Beaches of South Walton and the artists’ websites.

2003, Dorothy Starbuck This Miami-born artist paints landscapes so realistic they look like photographs. She is most inspired by nature and Florida’s tropical landscapes. Her work is shown in Judy Shillingburg’s Special Touch Gallery in Destin’s HarborWalk Village. April–May 2011




24706 U.S. Hwy 331 Santa Rosa Beach, FL (850) 267-1764 524 A Hwy 90 E. Defuniak Springs, FL (850) 892-5153

culture She finally settled on a 13-step, four-day process that involves using Venetian plaster, acrylic paints and glazes and a wood frame. The result is an antique look, as if the painting could have been stashed in grandmother’s attic for decades. Wickey took her first paintings to Hunter, who agreed to try and sell three of them.

It’s clear that Wickey is in tune with the fact that she is selling a lifestyle, one of lazy, carefree beach days and beautifully furnished cottages. They sold quickly. Hunter was so taken with Wickey that she decided to open a new store just for her in Rosemary Beach that is a combination gallery and studio called World Six. World Six isn’t the only spot to find an Allison Wickey painting. She also sells at Grayton Beach’s Lily Pads, a market store in which artists show off their work in booths, and at Lovelace Interiors in Destin. But at World Six, patrons can watch Wickey make art and converse with her while she is doing it. “She is a very sensitive person to her clientele,” Hunter explained. “There are a lot of artists who aren’t able to bridge the gap between the world of art and the world of commerce. Allison has all of those aspects.” This is no idle hobby for Wickey, who is now divorced and relies on her art for income. Hunter said Wickey dutifully spends hours each day in the studio working on her art. Wickey has a knack for making paintings that people want to buy. On her website, she sells dreamy landscapes depicting what most people see when they live off 30A — glimpses of dune lakes between tall pine trees or the crisp blue Gulf of Mexico. She also has abstract art, such as a painting with bold, textured splashes of red against a creamy white background. It’s clear that Wickey is in tune with the fact that she is selling a lifestyle, one of lazy, carefree beach days and beautifully furnished cottages. “I’m just following my heart and intuition,” Wickey said, reflecting on her success. “If it’s something you are really good at and it’s what you love to do, then do it.” ec

34 April–May 2011

socialstudies Laura Mutter, Carol Tendrich

Stacey Brady, Myra WIlliams Mo and Carol Williams

‘Love Is Chocolate & Champagne’ We fell for “Love is Chocolate & Champagne,” a new tasting treat at Wine World in Grand Boulevard. Photos by Zandra Wolfgram Trisha Kiswell, Rob Wallace

Reid Soria, Dominique Lannaman, Jason Pate, Ann James, Evan Strickland

Dick and Carla Reinle, Tom Rice, Amy Baty, Bill Addington

Okaloosa Art Alliance Tom & Peggy Rice, owners of The Magnolia Grill in Fort Walton Beach, hosted a cocktail reception for the Okaloosa Arts Alliance. Photos by Jean Dutton

Peggy and Tom Rice, Susan Kneller April–May 2011


thecalendar april + may

+ visual arts

ArtsQuest Fine Arts Festival May 6–8 Since its humble, yet inspired beginnings in 1989, ArtsQuest has developed into one of the country’s top juried fine arts shows, attracting thousands of people to Seaside each year over Mother’s Day weekend. This lovely outdoor art event showcases the talents of more than 100 artists from across the country. Meet the artists and ask them about their paintings, poster art, sculpture, pottery, mixed media, jewelry, paper and fabric art and more. Enjoy great food, live entertainment, fun children’s activities and student art exhibits — all in picturesque Seaside. For a detailed schedule of the weekend’s art events, contact the Cultural Arts Association. FREE. Downtown Seaside. Fri 4–7 p.m.; Sat 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.–5 p.m. (850) 622-5970,

+ events

Sandestin Wine Festival April 28–May 1 Like a fine vintage, the Sandestin Wine Festival has

+ music

NFSO Season Finale: Prayer, Strength and Beauty April 30 Witness the power of music to move listeners

in countless ways as the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra concludes its 24th season with works by Mozart, Beethoven and Faure. Beethoven’s towering “Piano Concerto No. 3” features guest artist, pianist Anna Bulkina, the 2009 Gold Medal winner of the prestigious Wideman Piano Competition. Also performed will be the rarely heard Mozart motet “Misericordias Domini” and the immensely popular and sublime Faure “Requiem,” combining for an extraordinary concert of contrasts and emotion. Tickets are $22.50 for adults; $16 for youth and active duty military. Mattie Kelly Performing Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College, 100 College Blvd., Niceville. 7:30 p.m. (850) 729-6023,

36 April–May 2011

matured over the past 25 years into a memorable event wine lovers across the country anticipate all year long. The festival welcomes both wine aficionados and novices to taste, learn about and purchase more than 600 domestic and imported wines, artisan cheeses and, this year, a range of fine bourbons — all within the animated atmosphere of The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin. This year’s Culinary Pavilion theme is “The Food Treasures of Spain.” It will feature artisan cheeses, specialty meats such as chorizo and jamon serrano, authentic Spanish paella — all served with warm baguettes. Also featured are fresh Spanish olives and tapas, and chocolate/almond and fig/almond cakes. Unlike many wine events, once you find a favorite vintage during the tasting, you may purchase it by the bottle or the case in the retail tent available each day during the weekend. Winemaker dinners in The Village of Baytowne Wharf are on April 28. Destin Charity Wine Auction Patron Dinners are April 29. The Grand Wine Tastings begin on Saturday, April 30, from noon to 5 p.m. and continue through Sunday, May 1. Admission is $80 (Sat) or $120 (Sat and Sun). The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Miramar Beach. (850) 267-8110,

Photos courtesy Lorri Honeycutt (Lily), Northwest FLorida State College (Symphony) and Ramal Productions (Fashion)

‘Lily’ by artist Lorri Honeycutt of Austin, TX, who is this year’s ArtsQuest poster winner.

Compiled by Bianca Salvant & Zandra Wolfgram

Through April 16

For more events in the EC, visit

+ fashion

Creative Ambitions Night of Fashion April 9 Lights, camera, fashion! High fashion hits the Emerald Coast when four designers with distinctly different points of view bring their innovative creations to the runway. With collections inspired by the ’50s and ’60s, punk rock and even Japanese culture, there will be something for all fashionistas. All proceeds benefit Children in Crisis. $50, $75 at the door. Purchase tickets at Silver Sands Factory Stores Shoppers’ Services kiosk. Grand Boulevard, 545 Grand Blvd. Seating begins at 6 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m. (850) 543-2532,

‘Honky Tonk Angels’ This toe-tappin’ country classic is a story about three good ole gals who follow their dreams to Nashville. Songs include “Stand By Your Man,” “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “9 to 5,” and “Harper Valley PTA.” $30. Seaside Repertory Theatre, 216 Quincy Circle, Seaside, 7:30 pm. (850) 231-0733,

April 1–2

Festival on the Green University of West Florida is hosting its annual festival where you’re invited to eat great food, witness a magical talent show and enjoy the diversity showcase. FREE. University of West Florida, 11000 University Parkway, Pensacola. Beginning in Library Green at 10 a.m. (850) 474-2610,

April 2

Kids Fest at HarborWalk Village A fun festival designed with kids in mind. Hands-on activities, entertainment, and the first 100 kids receive a complimentary photo with the Easter bunny. FREE. HarborWalk Village, 10 Harbor Blvd., Destin. Noon. (850) 424-0600,

April 2–3

Pensacola JazzFest Celebrate all that jazz at the 28th annual Pensacola JazzFest. Great food, drinks and jazz merchandise will be available for sale. FREE. Located in the historic Seville Square beginning at 10:25 a.m. (850) 433-8382,

April 3 Ashley Stuart models an ambitious rendition of “rocker chic.”

On the Coast Magazine’s Spring Inspire Fest Come enjoy this family-friendly event for all ages. Entertainment, hands-on activities, bounce houses and much more. FREE. Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, 545 Grand Blvd. Noon– 5 p.m. (850) 642-5439,

April 5

‘Duck for President’ “Baby Mouse the Musical” by Jennifer and Matthew Holm, “Duck for President” by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin, “Fancy Nancy” by Jane O’Conner, “I Have to Go!” by Robert Munsch, “Leonardo the Terrible Monster” by Mo Willems, and “Pirates Don’t Change Diapers” by Melinda Long are all part of a TheatreworksUSA presentation that you and the kids won’t want to miss. $6 student/chaperone. Mattie Kelly Performing Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College, 100 College Blvd, Niceville. 11:30 a.m. (850) 729-6000,

April 6

‘30A Style’ Book Signing and Reception Local author Lynn Nesmith will be signing copies of her recently released book, “30A Style.” The 192-page coffee-table book features the historic communities and new urbanist towns of Scenic Highway 30A, as April–May 2011



Sarah Brazwell, Lesan Gouge Andrea Farrell, Staci Berryman, Julie Hurst

Lydia Smith, Scott Russell, Michelle Russell Peter and Terri Bos

Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation ‘Tasting of Champions’ The “Tasting of Champions” Wine Walkabout & Tasting hosted by the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation treated wine lovers to more than 600 imported and domestic wines at The Palms of Destin. Hear, hear. Photos by Zandra Wolfgram

Lorrie and Bob James

Marti and Ronnie McGee

Sinfonia Gulf Coast Gala Romantic scenes presented by the Northwest Florida Ballet company dancers and electrifying original compositions written by Chris Brubeck and performed by violinist Nicolas Kendall brought patrons to their feet at the 2011 Sinfonia Gulf Coast Gala. Photos by Zandra Wolfgram

Gale Culling, Richard Bulger

Chris Brubeck, Tish Brubeck, Stacey Brady, Demetrius Fuller

38 April–May 2011

thecalendar well as 22 private homes. Wine and refreshments will be served. FREE. Tracery Interiors, 72 Main St., Rosemary Beach, 2–6 p.m. (850) 231-6755,

+ events

Memorial Day Concert Celebration May 28–29 Observe Memorial Day Weekend in honor of those who have served our nation at a festive summertime event along the beautiful Destin Harbor. Gather with family and friends to enjoy live music, children’s activities, shopping, dining and a fantastic fireworks display over the Destin harbor.

April 12

10th Annual Sacred Heart Charity Golf Classic If you’ve been trying to find a way to assist your community, then tee up! Support the ongoing heart and vascular services to improve the health of the area. FREE. 2003 Wild Heron Way, Lake Powell. 10 a.m. (850) 278-3700,

FREE. 6 p.m. HarborWalk Village, 10 Harbor Blvd., Destin. (850) 424-0600,

April 13–17

Seabreeze Jazz Festival Extraordinary artists such as George Benson come to town for a memorable weekendlong entertainment event filled with jazz and soothing music. $80. Pier Park, South Pier Park Drive. 5:15 p.m. (850) 267-3279,

April 13–23

Strut Your Stuff Ever wonder about the end result of an art class or workshop? This exhibit is full of work from workshops and classes taken at the Art & Design Society’s Art Center Studio. FREE. The Art Center, 17 First St. S.E., Fort Walton Beach. Gallery hours: Tues–Fri Noon–4 p.m., Sat 1–4 p.m. Reception Fri, April 15, 5–7 p.m. (850) 244-1271,

April 14-16

White Sands Music Festival Venture to the largest Bluegrass festival in Northwest Florida, featuring food, arts and crafts vendors and nonstop jam sessions in the Farmers’ Opry House. One-day pass $20, three-day pass $50 in advance, $55 at the gate, children under 12 FREE. 8897 Byrom Campbell Road, Milton. 2 p.m. (850) 994-6000,

April 15–16

Pensacola Wine Festival Come sip, swirl and sample wines from all around the world. On April 15, savor wine and dinner at participating Pensacola restaurants. Prices vary. The grand tasting is April 16 in downtown Pensacola’s Palafox Place. 3-6 p.m. $25. (850) 434-5371,

April 15-16

‘Dance Facets 2011’ A variety of dance pieces performed by the young people in your community. $6. Mattie Kelly Performing Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College, 100 College Blvd, Niceville. Fri 10 a.m., Sat 7:30 p.m. (850) 729-6000,

April 16

Record Store Day at Central Records Independently-owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music during this noteworthy day. Special vinyl and CD

+ events

HarborWalk Village Kentucky Derby Festival May 7 Tip your hat to spring

at this festive May Day event along Destin’s scenic harbor front. Gather with family and friends to enjoy live music, family fun and a chance to earn bragging rights with the Most Creative Derby Hat Contest and Fashion Show. Come join in the race-day games or watch the spirited race on television while sipping a refreshing Mint Julep or Kentucky Derby beverage of your choice. FREE. 1 p.m. HarborWalk Village, 10 Harbor Blvd., Destin. (850) 424-0600, Fireworks photo by Jody Felder April–May 2011



Jeanne Dailey, Vickie Warner

Silver Sands Factory Stores Bids Farewell to Traci Markel EC Magazine bid a fond farewell to Traci and Mark Markel at a tearful reception held at the ArtStrings Violin Exhibit in Grand Boulevard. Photos by Zandra Wolfgram Myra Williams, Angela Triplett, Traci Markel, Ashley Watkins Nancy Stanley, Valeria Lento

Destiny Cat Fanciers ‘Beauty & the Beach’ Cat Show

Beverly White with Pandora, a monthold Bengal cat

Judge Kim Tomlin inspects a beautiful Bombay.

It was a “purr-fect” day at “Beauty & the Beach” — this year’s theme for the Destiny Cat Fanciers show at the Emerald Coast Conference Center. Photos by Zandra Wolfgram

Judge Lynne Sherer with a 6-month-old Main Coon cat

Pam Maddox with Duchess Tallulah May

40 April–May 2011

thecalendar releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the event, and hundreds of artists in the United States and in countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Central Records, FREE. 89 Central Square, Seaside. 9 a.m. (850) 231-5669,

April 16

Pensacola Community Soulfest Gather the entire family to enjoy great soul music at this annual event in the West Pensacola Ballpark. $5 adults, children 12 and under FREE. 1600 North W St., Pensacola. 10 a.m. (850) 438-4882

Center, 17 First St. S.E., Fort Walton Beach. Gallery hours: Tues–Fri noon–4 p.m., Sat 1–4 p.m. Reception Fri, April 29, 5–7 p.m. (850) 244-1271,

April 29–May 1

Musical Echoes A Native American flute, art and cultural event honoring Northwest Florida’s rich heritage. Now in its 11th year, the festival has earned a reputation as the premier Native American flute festival in the country. FREE. The Landing in downtown Fort Walton Beach. The opening ceremony led by the Thunderbird Honor Guard begins at noon on Fri. The festival continues Sat

from 10 a.m.–8:30 p.m. and Sun from 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. (850) 243-4405,

April 29–May 1

27th Annual Interstate Mullet Toss A unique and fun tournament in which participants compete in tossing actual mullets across state lines. If you think you have what it takes, don’t hesitate to bring your friends and family to watch. $15. 17401 Perdido Key Drive, Perdido Key. (850) 492-0611,

April 29–May 1

27th Annual Pensacola Crawfish Festival Bring your appetite with you as you enjoy a

April 21–30

‘Matt & Ben’ When the screenplay for “Good Will Hunting” drops mysteriously from the heavens, these Hollywood golden boys realize they’re being tested by a higher power. $25, Seaside Repertory Theatre, 216 Quincy Circle, Seaside, 7:30 p.m. (850) 231-0733,

April 23

Easter Explosion An inspiring family event where you can enjoy a mini theme park that includes balloon animals and inflatable fun zones, among other activities. FREE. The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Miramar Beach. Noon. (850) 267-8000,

April 24

HarborWalk Easter Breakfast and Egg Hunt Hop over to this Easter Eggstravaganza followed by a Bunny Buffet in the Emerald Grande Ballroom, 10 Harbor Blvd., Destin, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. (850) 337-8100,

April 24

Extraordinary Easter Sunday Brunch Here is your chance to enjoy Easter dinner outside of home in a festive setting. Dishes like snow crab legs and oysters will be served. $39.50 adults, $19.50 children. Magnolia Ballroom, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Miramar Beach. 11 a.m. (850) 267-8000,

April 27–May 1

Emerald Coast Volleyball Week Spike your way to fun with friends at this beach event. Assemble a team of four players, register each for $70–$85 per player for a chance to win $1,000 at this year’s Volleyball Week. Or just come watch and enjoy the pool party. The Boardwalk, Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach. 9 a.m. (850) 243-2555,

April 27–May 28

Just Sculpture The Art & Design Society presents a juried art show exhibition of 3-D art work. FREE. The Art April–May 2011


thecalendar wide variety of crawfish while listening to great music straight from the bayous of Louisiana. $5 adults, children under 12 FREE. Pass for Fri, Sat and Sun is $10. Join us for lunch on Fri and get in FREE before 3 p.m. 211 W. Main St., Pensacola. (850) 433-6512,

April 30–May 1

5th Annual Goombay Gulf Coast Truly a family event, you can enjoy calypso by day and reggae by night with amazing Caribbean food and entertainment. This popular event is the second-largest gathering of steel drum bands in the United States. FREE. Historic Belmont-Devilliers neighborhood, Pensacola. 10 a.m. (850) 748-1728,

May 3

“Alligator Under My Bed” Come experience a children’s book come to life right before your eyes in a musical play that everyone in your family can truly enjoy. $6 student/chaperone. Mattie Kelly Fine & Performing Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College, 100 College Blvd., Niceville. 9:45 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. (850) 729-6065,

Thursdays in May (Starting May 5)

15th Annual Concerts in the Park Join the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation for its outdoor concert series featuring a variety of music and a special performance by the United States Air Force Band to salute our military. Bring a lawn chair and picnic or purchase dinner on site from Carrabba’s Italian Grill. $5 per adult, children under 12 FREE. The Village Green, Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village, 4323 Commons Drive West, Destin. 7 p.m. (850) 650-2226,

May 7

Cantina Laredo Cinco de Mayo Party An evening of dancing under the stars with a live salsa merengue band. FREE. Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, 585 Grand Blvd. 5 p.m. (850) 654-5649,

May 13–14

Relay for Life of South Walton Join in this 18-hour overnight event in which teams gather to celebrate cancer survivors, remember those who have lost their battle and fight back by fundraising. $100 per team of five to 10. Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, 585 Grand Blvd. Fri 6 p.m.–Sat 10 a.m. (850) 244-3813,

60 Years Experience | (850) 863-4335

New Location: 420 Eglin Pkwy., Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548 (across from Goofy Golf)

DROP OFF LOCATIONS: Santa Rosa Beach • Seaside • Destin • Navarre • Niceville • Crestview • Florosa • Defuniak Tiger Point • Gulf Breeze • Baker • Fort Walton Beach • Sandestin • Miramar Beach 42 April–May 2011

May 13–22

America’s Great Plein Air Paint-Out Being able to freely express yourself is an art. This is a limited opportunity when artists can create portraits by trusting their own interpretation in finding the truth within nature. Six exhibits along the coast will be presented along with art sales. FREE. Events are held at various locations between Mexico Beach and Alligator Point. 11 a.m. (800) 378-8419,

+ beyond the coast

events worth the drive

+ film

Tallahassee Film Festival April 6–10 Organizers of the fourth annual Tallahassee Film Festival are promising more than 70 cutting-edge indie films — from full-length features to animated shorts — over the course of the four-day event. Learn about the art of storytelling in seminars and Q&A sessions with the filmmakers, and socialize with industry names at upscale after-parties thrown in some of downtown Tallahassee’s most popular nightspots. This year’s event celebrates the 25th anniversary of the black comedy “Something Wild,” which starred Melanie Griffith, Jeff Daniels and Ray Liotta and was largely filmed in Havana and Tallahassee. — Tony Bridges Admission is $25 for an all-access pass; $10 for entry to Opening Night or the Best of Fest Screening on Sunday; $5 for general admission to individual events. Tickets go on sale 15 minutes before show time. Seats are first-come, first-served. Regal Miracle 5, Florida State University Student Life Center, Florida A&M University, All Saints Cinema. For a complete schedule visit

+ visual arts

Baroque at the Brogan

Photo (Baroque) courtesy Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science

Through July 24 The emotion and

passion of Italian Baroque art comes to the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science in Tallahassee through July 24 with the opening of the exhibit “Baroque Painting in Lombardy from the Pinacoteca di Brera.” Fifty paintings worth $32 million from Milan’s Brera museum will be on display — the first time the museum has exported a complete collection outside of Italy. The exhibit features the paintings of artists who worked during the 16th through 18th centuries, including Daniele Crespi, Nuvolone, Sofonisba Anguissola and Vincenzo Campi, and is sponsored by the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities. In a unique collaboration, the Brogan is not paying a fee to display the works, but has agreed to finance painstaking restoration on nine paintings. Anyone can become an arts patron by logging on to to donate. “Our hope at the moment is that by offering our constituents exhibitions and programs of such outstanding caliber, people cannot resist,” says Chucha Barber, chief executive officer of the Brogan. “We hope that will keep us alive.” — Terrika Mitchell FREE with general museum admission. For more information, call (850) 513-0700 or visit

+ sports

Tallahassee Tennis Challenger

Pro circuit player Ryan Sweeting at the 2010 Challenger

April 9–16 Competitors from around the globe will find their way to Tallahassee to play world-class tennis — while supporting Vogter Neuro-Intensive Care Unit and the Sharon Ewing Walker Breast Health Center at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. This year’s 12th edition includes a qualifier tournament, main draw and final for singles and doubles. The excitement isn’t only for adults; children are welcome to join the fun. Since it began in 2000, more than $375,000 has been donated to the Vogter NICU and more than $40,885 has been raised to support the Walker endowment. This year, $6,000 was also given to the Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs Department to help improve tennis around Tallahassee. — Bianca Salvant For a copy of the full schedule and ticket information, call (850) 545-8740 or visit

Tennis photo by Mike Olivella April–May 2011


thecalendar May 14

Annual American Business Women’s Assocation Billy Bowlegs Boat Poker Run Launch your poker party from the Shalimar Yacht Basin and cruise to several local ports to play a hand or two. The top three hands win prizes. Return to the Shalimar Yacht Basin for a party with live entertainment. $45–$160. Proceeds go to the scholarship program of the Emerald Coast Chapter of ABWA. Shalimar Yacht Basin. Register May 13, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Poker run is Sat, 9 a.m –6 p.m. (850) 863-9082,

May 14

4th Family Fun Arts Fest Okaloosa Arts Alliance partners with Friends of the Emerald Coast State Parks to present a day of family fun including performances by local arts groups, activities, arts and crafts, vendor booths, a silent auction and more. FREE. Henderson Beach State Park, 17000 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin; 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (850) 499-8335,

May 14–15

Sandestin Beach Bicycle Tour Pedal your way through the scenic Emerald Coast on a casual, guided bicycle tour with

friends and family. Bring your own bike or rent a beach cruiser at Sandestin. $50 event only; $40 military; $35 overnight guests; $30 military overnight guests. The event fee includes admission to the kickoff party at Baytowne Marina Friday night, three bike tours throughout the weekend and a goodie bag including a T-shirt. Enter the raffle for a chance to win an overnight resort stay, and a dog/bike trailer. Winners announced Saturday at Dine for the Dogs dinner/bonfire at Finz Beachside Grill. Proceeds benefit Alaqua Animal Refuge. Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Baytowne Marina, 9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy. 8 a.m. (877) 319-9961,

May 20

Gallery Night Enjoy a night with the community as you appreciate the work of local artists. Downtown Pensacola offers an evening of music, art and cuisine, featuring the works of artists from throughout the area. FREE. Downtown Pensacola. 5 p.m. (850) 434-5371,

May 21

Little Black Dress Party The White-Wilson Center for Woman’s Imaging is hosting a party celebrating this fashion classic. Women will have a chance to win a health package that includes a screening mammogram and a little black dress from Dillard’s. To be eligible to win you must be a woman 18 years or older and a resident of Okaloosa, Walton or Santa Rosa counties. $60. 1005 Mar Walt Drive, Fort Walton Beach. 6 p.m. (850) 863-8204,

May 21

Perdido Key Wine and Art Festival While enjoying local arts and crafts, you can sample dozens of wines paired with cheese and fruits. $20-$25. 13700 Perdido Key Drive, Perdido Key. 1 p.m. (850) 492-4660,

May 27–30

Memorial Day Weekend Festivities Celebrate the traditional American Memorial Day weekend with live music, events and rides for both adults and children to enjoy. FREE. The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin, 9100 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Miramar Beach. (850) 267-8000,

May 30

Best Women’s Clothing

44 April–May 2011

Gate to Gate Run/Walk Eglin Air Force Base’s 4/4-mile Gate to Gate Run/Walk draws participants from around the country. A 1-mile kids’ fun run, door prizes, refreshments and post-race party with live entertainment are all included in the event. $20 until May 14; $25 May 15–27; no race day registration. Register in person on May 14 at the Air Armament Museum, or online at through May 27. Eglin Air Force Base West Gate. 7:30 a.m. start for the run/ walk, 9:30 a.m. start for kids’ fun run. Park at Oak Hill Elementary School. (850) 882-8561, ec

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MEDICAL PROFILES The doctors are in, and they are answering questions. In this special section, Emerald Coast Magazine offers you a chance to get to know some of the area’s leading health care providers. From delivering physicians to heart surgeons, and everything in between, these medical professionals discuss their specialized skills, backgrounds, philosophies and how they can help with your all-important health care choices. April–May 2011


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Dr. Nitin Bawa What type of services and specialties do you offer? We are a general medicine clinic with a special focus on bio-identical hormones, weight loss and holistic medicine. We also use different lasers and procedures to help people look younger.

Why is there such a strong emphasis these days on bioidentical hormones? Bio-identical hormones are more natural and have fewer side effects. Many doctors still use horse hormones when the human versions are generic and better. Lots of people including Oprah and Suzanne Somers try to raise awareness of bioidentical hormones because bio-identical hormones are generic and there are no pharmaceutical companies advertising and promoting them.

What do you find to help with trying to lose weight? We use several different things like HCG, MIC injections, Zerona laser, Medifast meal plans and different supplements to help with weight loss. Even adjusting hormone levels makes a big difference with trying to lose weight. The important thing is getting to know the individual and finding what works for them.

What do you do to help people look better? We use a machine called Thermage that helps to tighten skin and reduce wrinkles and fine lines. We use different skin care products and procedures that help to even out skin tone. We can use fillers to help people look younger.

What is your educational background? I earned a Medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master's degree from Loyola University and a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University.

What is the "secret" to your professional success? We have a special focus on weight loss and bioidentical hormones, which is a specialty niche not many physicians take the time to understand.

Do you use any new technologies? We use laser treatments and offer 46 April–May 2011

Most physicians do not bother with natural therapies, but I research what works and try to use natural, holistic options whenever possible. different options for weight loss, including supplements and hormone adjustments.

Do you have any expansion plans? We doubled our office space, hired new staff and are planning to open a new location.

How do you measure your professional success? We measure our success by our satisfied patients, who give us positive feedback. We are fortunate to have many testimonials from happy patients.

What are your hobbies and interests? I enjoy swimming, running and I am the vice president of the board of the Sinfonia Gulf Coast.

Tell us about your family. My wife is Shruti Bawa and we have a three year-old son who is also a big swimmer like his dad.

CONTACT 45 Sugar Sand Lane Santa Rosa Beach (850) 534-4120 E-mail:

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I am truly a student of dentistry. It is my passion and I am always learning. In fact, I have more continuing education than 95% of all dentists world-wide. It is so important to me to make sure that everything we do is in line with my practice philosophy – treat our patients as we would want to be treated. I truly listen to my patients, and because of my advanced training, I am able to offer treatment options that fulfill their wants and needs and not just those that fit dentistry’s standard solutions.

Dr. Olivier Broutin Bluewater Bay Dental What do you do and what services do you provide? We provide the most advanced cosmetic dentistry procedures to date: neuromuscular dentistry, sedation dentistry, implant surgery and restoration; TMJ and facial pain therapy, smile makeovers, Invisalign, advanced periodontal maintenance, veneers, bridges and crowns, root canals, cosmetic dentures, emergency dental appointments, digital x-rays among

other services. We also offer Juvederm, Botox and Zoom teeth whitening.

How long have you been working in the field? I’ve been in the dentistry for 12 years, with 11 years right here on the Emerald Coast

Why did you enter this profession? My father was a dentist, my wife is a dentist and her father is a dentist. You could say it runs in the family. I’ve wanted

to be a dentist since I was 5 years old. The sense of excitement and love for dentistry continues to sustain me and I feel truly fortunate to do what I love.

Do you provide any new technologies? With my advanced training in cosmetic and neuromuscular dentistry at Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies — widely considered the premier post graduate training program in cosmetic and neuromuscular dentistry in the world — I am able to provide my patients with the newest techniques and materials.

CONTACT 4400 Hwy 20 #101 Niceville, Florida (850) 897-4488 E-mail: April–May 2011


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"I wholeheartedly believe everything happens for a reason, and that we meet people to help us grow and learn. My goal is to positively impact the quality of life of my patients through my profession."

Jennifer Clark, P.A.-C., M.P.A.S. Vascular Associates, LLC. How long have you been in practice on the Emerald Coast? I came to Tyndall Air Force Base in June 2007.

Assistant of the Year for the Air Education Training Command in the United States Air Force in 2008.

Why did you choose the Emerald Coast as a place to work?

What lead you to this profession?

I was stationed here while on active duty in the United States Air Force and fell in love with the area.

I have been a Physician’s Assistant since 2007 working in Family Practice. I joined Vascular Associates in March 2011.

What is your educational background?

Describe your business philosophy.

I earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. I was honored as the Physician

I strive to provide the best care possible for patients in order to help them improve their quality of life.

48 April–May 2011

What is the “secret” to your success? Showing compassion and having good listening skills are critical to providing exceptional patient care.

Tell us about yourself. I am married to Gregory Clark. I have an 11 year-old stepson named Griffen and a 15 month-old daughter named Ayla. I am an avid runner and enjoy golfing. I am very much looking forward to participating in local community events and organizations.

CONTACT 1836 Florida Ave Panama City, FL (850) 872-8510

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Bud Shuler, M.D., F.A.C.S. Vascular Associates, LLC. Business and education background Dr. Shuler received his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine and completed his internship and residency training in general surgery at Georgia Baptist Medical Center, where he served as chief resident. Upon completing his medical training, Dr. Shuler served in the U.S. Air Force as a general and combat surgeon deployed to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2002. He also completed fellowships in laparoscopic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania and in vascular surgery at Atlanta Medical Center.

Awards, honors, recognitions Dr. Shuler is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a charter member of the International Society of Vascular Surgeons, the Society of Vascular Medicine, the Society of Vascular Ultrasound and the Society of Vascular Surgery. Dr. Shuler’s work has appeared in numerous publications, abstracts and presentations throughout his practice history.

Clark Stream, Certified Physician Assistant Vascular Associates, LLC. Business and education background Mr. Stream received his bachelor of medical science degree from the physician assistant program at Midwestern University. He has been certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants since 1999.

photos (SHULER AND STREAM) by scott holstein

Awards, honors, recognitions As an active participant in the medical community, Mr. Stream is a member of several professional organizations, including the Florida Academy of Physicians, the American Academy of Physicians, the Association of Physician Assistants in Cardiovascular Surgery and the Infectious Disease Society of America.

“We are committed to making a difference.” April–May 2011


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“Medicine has changed greatly, but I believe in old-fashioned values and approaches to treating patients and their families.” obtained a degree in chemical science. Upon completion of my undergraduate degree, I moved down to Gainesville where I received a doctorate in dental medicine from the University of Florida. I also completed a craniofacial/orthopedic/orthodontic fellowship with Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital and received orthodontic certification from Nova Southeastern University.

What is the “secret” of your practice? The ability of my staff and I to personally connect with our patients. We strive to understand exactly what each patient's goals are concerning their overall facial appearance. Once our goals are established, we use the latest technologies in our industry to help them achieve their new look in a relatively short amount of time. Beyond providing a beautiful and healthy smile, we also work hard to meet and exceed our patients’ expectations by going the extra mile in whatever we do.

What inspires you and what do you hope to accomplish?

Stubbs Orthodontics Why did you choose the Emerald Coast as a place to work? I am actually from this area, so coming back, after 11 years of education, was a must. Like they say, “There's no place like home.” The families in this area are like no other. My staff and I truly enjoy working for such warm and loving individuals.

Why did you enter this profession? Becoming an orthodontist has always been a dream of mine. To be able to improve 50 April–May 2011

someone's self-esteem, one smile at a time, is so fulfilling for the doctor and so life changing for the patient. There are many patients who are too ashamed to show their teeth at their initial appointment, who then develop into a more confident person once the orthodontic treatment is complete. Seeing their new smile for the first time, it is a true time of celebration.

What is your educational background? I attended Florida State University where I

I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Tell us about your family. My husband of 10 years is Zack, who also manages our office. We have two beautiful daughters, Elle and Brycelyn.

CONTACT 4566 Hwy 20, Suite 102 (just across the Mid-Bay Bridge) Bluewater Bay (850) 678-8338

photo by Scott Holstein

Casi B. Stubbs, D.M.D., P.A.

I am the only doctor in my practice, yet I know I do not work alone. I have a wonderful support team in my staff, and more importantly, I hope that my Christian faith shines through to my patients daily. Psalm 16:8 is one of the many verses that inspires me:

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Leslie Fleischer, M.D., Cardiologist White-Wilson Medical Center Cardiology The Conversation Some of the most difficult conversations I have with patients are not about cardiovascular diagnostics or therapeutics, but about the issues surrounding the end of life. There is a lack of information in the public regarding this issue, and I hope that this article encourages patients to talk to their families in advance. Families who have a clear idea of their loved one’s wishes have an easier time at the end. Many patients are adamant about not being kept alive by machines. Some wish to have everything possible done. In most cases the issue is reversibility: is there hope of returning to a reasonable life after a serious event? The conversation usually centers on the definitions of hope and hopelessness. Unfortunately, things are usually not so cut and dry as there is always a glimmer of hope. Even the Living Will in the Florida Statutes states: “no reasonable medical probability of my recovery.” Conversations with families in the critical care unit after an event are daily, measuring “reasonable probability.”

photo by Kerri Price

A Living Will deals with the hope of recovery; using all therapies, including machines, until that time when everyone is convinced that all hope is extinguished. Some patients, preferring to avoid this situation altogether may consider another option, a Durable Health Care Power of Attorney. Choose someone to fill the role and be very clear to them about carrying out your end of life wish never to be put on a machine.

A different choice is a Do Not Resuscitate order, mandating that no extra-ordinary actions be performed if the heart stops or breathing stops. No medical treatment is withheld, so all therapies including the use of machines continue until the natural end.

CONTACT White-Wilson Medical Center Cardiology 1005 Mar Walt Drive Fort Walton Beach (850) 863-8294

Although a difficult one for all concerned, this conversation allows patients to enjoy a high quality of life and a graceful exit. April–May 2011


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What services do you provide and to whom?

Tell us about your recent expansion and new services.

We serve the Emerald Coast area in need of Orthopedic, Spine, Podiatry, Rehabilitation, and various Imaging services.

We opened a new office in Fort Walton Beach in 2008. In June, we will open a brand new 7,500 square-foot office with digital x-ray and physical therapy in Destin. We have also added the Spine Institute at Orthopaedic Associates lead by Dr. Polestra and Dr. Kellogg. All of our offices feature the latest technologies: Electronic Medical Records, Digital X-ray and MRI services. With offices in Fort Walton, Niceville and Destin, Orthopaedic Associates is here to serve our community throughout Florida’s Panhandle.

Why did you choose the Emerald Coast as a place to work? To our physicians the Florida Gulf Coast is home. We are a locally owned business that is proud to work and raise our families here. It is an honor to be a part of such a wonderful community.

Describe your business and educational background. All of our surgeons are board-certified specialists with extensive specialty training in a variety of musculoskeletal areas.

How would you describe your business philosophy? Orthopaedic Associates physicians and staff are here for our patients as our first and only priority. We strive to create an unparalleled experience that allows our patients to receive first-class service that is both efficient and professional. 52 April–May 2011

How do you measure success in your business profession?

CONTACT (850) 863-2153 1034 Mar Walt Drive Fort Walton Beach

Positive patient outcomes combined with excellent patient service is how we confirm our excellence of care.

(850) 837-3926 36500 Emerald Coast Pkwy. Destin

Describe your involvement with the community.

(850) 678-2249 554-D Twin Cities Blvd. Niceville

Giving back to our community in as many ways as possible is very important to Orthopaedic Associates. We sponsor and support more than 50 local charities and organizations as well as many local schools. E-mail:

photo by Kerri Price

Orthopaedic Associates

“For more than 30 years, Orthopaedic Associates has been delighted to serve the Florida Panhandle by providing local, expert care to those in need. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your community.”

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Dr. Esses and baby wyatt sturgeon

E. Jennifer Esses, M.D. OB/GYN

Women and Children First How long have you been practicing? I have been practicing in obstetrics and gynecology for 14 years, ten of which have been in private practice on the Emerald Coast.

What is your business and educational background? Boston University, six-year medical program; OB/GYN residency at Wright Patterson Air Force Base/Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio; four years of active-duty service as the OB flight commander on Eglin AFB.

Why did you get into this specialty? I can relate to my patients on a personal level, as well as professionally. That connection allows me to care for them not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually also.

Where do you practice? I deliver at the Family Birth Place and at Sacred Heart Hospital Emerald Coast, and am accepting new patients.


31 E. Mack Bayou Rd. Santa Rosa Beach Miramar Beach: (850) 267-2292 Niceville: (850) 729-7344

Grand Boulevard Health and Rehab Center What services do you provide? Grand Boulevard Health and Rehab Center is a ninety-seven bed Skilled Nursing Facility with an attached seven bed Assisted Living Facility. In addition to traditional long and short term nursing care, we offer a variety of specialty services such as physical, occupational, speech and joint replacement therapy pain management, and restorative nursing. Our residents enjoy spacious rooms, extraordinary cuisine, personal laundry and housekeeping services, beauty and barber shop services, and daily activities catered toward their individual interests. We are dedicated to caring for our residents – and their families – in an individualized and nurturing way.

Area of specialty Specialty care includes wound care management, therapy, stroke rehabilitation, and short and long term skilled nursing care.

Awards, Honors, Recognitions We have recently been awarded the Bronze commitment to Quality AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award.

What is your business goal or target? Our goal is to restore our residents to their highest possible level of independence.

Mission Statement

dr. esses photo by Kerri Price

To provide a compassionate community of caring for our residents, family and associates. Grand Blvd. Health and Rehab Center is conveniently located on the edge of Sandestin Resort and just west of Sacred Heart of the Emerald Coast Hospital. Please stop by for a personalized tour at any time!


138 Sandestin Lane, Miramar Beach, FL 32550 (850) 267-2887 April–May 2011


Hot Dining Spots in Old Destin Haunts Destin’s newest eateries find their roots in familyinspired hospitality By Christy Kearney

A well-known Hindu proverb states, “Food offered without affection is like food offered to the dead.” For the newest group of eateries opened in Destin over the last two years, the carefully prepared cuisine is only enhanced with each restaurant’s sincere passion for the art of dining and joy of hospitality. Six restaurants — Aegean Greek Restaurant, Poppy’s Dancing Iguana Tequila Bar & Grill, Dewey Destin’s Harborside Seafood Restaurant, Fishbar, The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint and Tuscany Italian Bistro — have transformed old haunts in Destin to create memorable new dining experiences along the Emerald Coast. The familiar stomping grounds along with the seasoned restaurateurs and inspired entrepreneurs who have taken them over together bring history, insight and excitement to Destin’s dining scene. From old city buildings and historic family homes to Destin’s former famed restaurants, each new eatery has set up shop to serve up a new look, feel and taste in a storied space. Photo by Scott Holstein

54 April–May 2011

Aegean owner Chris Rakas April–May 2011


Tuscany Italian Bistro With its inviting golden hues, dark wood furnishings and pops of colorful artwork, this alluring Italian bistro whisks guests away to a whimsical village café in Northern Italy. The overall bistro ambiance is created by two outdoor courtyards, as well as beautiful indoor dining areas canopied by a painted sky-like ceiling and clay tile villa roofs. Debut Date: February 2010 Old Haunts: Bianco/Cava Blue, Royal B Restaurant, Breeze Bar and Grill The Vibe: The energy and passion of owner Guglielmo Ianni and his staff carry over into every aspect of the bistro causing diners to question whether or not they are actually sitting at a corner café in Tuscany. The Cuisine: Authentic Northern Italian, Tuscany-style specialties. The menu is a true Italian sampling — not just spaghetti and meatballs but lamb, steaks, pastas, pizzas and seafood — made by first-generation Italian chefs. Signature Dishes: Pesce del Giorrno (whole fish), Agnello al Forno (rack of lamb), Linguine al Pescatore (pasta with clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops and fish) and crispy gourmet pizzas Hospitality Philosophy: Guests should feel like they are part of the family. Insider’s Tip: Test your sense of culinary adventure with the four-course family-style dining featuring appetizer, salad and then chef’s choice for pasta and meat courses. The Entertainment: Live music on select evenings The Drinks: Full bar with specialty drink menu and wine list Serving Up: Dinner, Sunday Family-Style Lunch Bottom Line: If you love the sound of someone speaking Italian as much as you enjoy Mediterranean flavors and would like to take a European vacation over dinner, make a trip to Tuscany Italian Bistro. 36178 Emerald Coast Parkway, 850-650-2451

From left, Tuscany owner Guglielmo Ianni, Michelle Hershkowits and Tony Antoniadis

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Dewey Destin’s Harborside Old Destin is resuscitated in the most charming of ways with this carefree harbor-side eatery. Opened as a way of accommodating large crowds at the much-famed original Dewey Destin Seafood Restaurant & Market on Calhoun Drive, Dewey Destin’s has quickly earned both a local and regional following. Debut Date: February 2009 Old Haunts: The Marler House, Fishing Docks, the Blue Room The Vibe: Cool, comfortable laid-back style channeling Destin’s quaint fishing-village heritage. A courtyard right out of New Orleans and an open deck overlooking Destin harbor and its prized fishing fleet just increase the charm of this family-run restaurant. The Cuisine: Fresh-from-the-sea specialties ranging from seafood gumbo and salads to wild-caught fish, crab, oysters, scallops and shrimp, as well as chicken options and Black Angus USDA Choice steaks. Food Philosophy: The fresher the seafood the better. Signature Dish: Fried Shrimp Hospitality Philosophy: Fine dining without all of the fluff Insider’s Tip: Asking the server which fish the chef has cleaned that day guarantees the absolute freshest catch. Chef’s Pick: Fried Shrimp and Blackened Triggerfish (when available) Best of the Emerald Coast 2010: Best Seafood Restaurant Serving Up: Lunch, Dinner Bottom Line: If you are a seafood buff who wants a taste of the past, Dewey Destin’s just might be the best catch in town. 202 Harbor Boulevard, Destin, 850-837-7525, Photos by Jacqueline Ward April–May 2011


Poppy’s Dancing Iguana Perched along one of Destin’s most impressive harbor views at the very western end of HarborWalk Village, Poppy’s Dancing Iguana Tequila Bar & Grill combines the natural beauty of Destin’s waterways with the sizzle of authentic Mexican cuisine and the relaxing sounds of a largerthan-life courtyard fountain for a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. Debut Date: April 2010 Old Haunt: Pat O’Brien’s The Vibe: A casual waterfront Mexican cantina and grill with sweeping views of Destin harbor and open-air dining areas. Grab a margarita and your favorite Mexican dish for a breathtaking dining experience. The Cuisine: Fresh, made-to-order Latin-inspired Mexican fare covering everything from seafood ceviche and chicken tortilla soup to local seafood and specialty steaks, not to mention tacos, enchiladas, burritos and more. Signature Dishes: Grilled Sirloin Fajita, Iggy’s Seafood Cazuela The Drinks: Full bar including more than 130 varieties of tequila and creative margarita and mojito lists Insider’s Tip: The chef will serve up specialties family-style for larger groups or planned events. The Entertainment: Ask about Latin Night on select Saturdays. Serving Up: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night Sister Restaurants: Poppy’s Crazy Lobster, Poppy’s Seafood Factory Bottom Line: If you’d prefer a flight of tequilas over a flight of wines, and amazing harbor views to boot, you might want to two-step it to the Dancing Iguana. 2 Harbor Boulevard, Destin, 850-460-2350,

Photos courtesy Legendary, Inc. (Dancing Iguana) and by Scott Holstein (Aegean)

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Taking Happy Hour Out of Its Box Happy hours and daily lunch specials are mainstays, but many restaurants employ creative ways to attract new customers and keep loyal patrons coming back for more good eats and treats. Check out these special offers and promotions available at eateries throughout the Emerald Coast. Stimulating Specials ▪ “Beers from the South” Menu Marlin Grill, Miramar Beach ▪ Hook and Cook The Lucky Snapper, Destin ▪ Tuesday Family Dinner Night To Go Joey Tomato’s Café, Niceville ▪ Cooking Classes One 20 A Modern Bistro, Niceville ▪ Half Price Sushi (Noon–6 p.m. daily) Crush, 30A

Aegean Inspired by the Parthenon, but with a contemporary twist, the family-owned Aegean Greek Restaurant, donned in navy blue and soft ivory décor, enchants diners with subtle columns, playful Greek music and a large mural of a Mediterranean fishing village — all working to transport guests to the coast of Greece. Debut Date: October 2010 Old Haunts: Blues Jazz Bar and Restaurant, The Copper Grill The Vibe: An elegant flashback to the Old Country with family-cultivated service, food and style. The Cuisine: Traditional home-cooked and hearty Greek village food featuring tzatziki, an assortment of soups and salads, oven-baked meals such as moussaka and roasted chicken, grilled souvlaki options, sandwiches, gyros, steaks, seafood and pastas. Food Philosophy: Food is a way of Greek life and should be celebrated. Live longer, eat like the Greeks. Signature Dish: Petite Rack of Lamb. The Drinks: Full bar, drink of the day special, 14 Greek wine offerings and Mythos (one of the only Greek beers available). Hospitality Philosophy: Every diner is a guest in their house. Insider’s Tip: The menu offers a variety of vegetarian-friendly options. Serving Up: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Sister Restaurant: Aegean Restaurant in Shalimar. Bottom Line: If “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” made you smile, Mamma Mia made you want to book a one-way ticket to a Greek island and a Mediterranean cruise beats a Caribbean cruise every time, then Aegean is the place for you. 11225 US Highway 98, Miramar Beach, 850-460-2728,

Kids Rule ▪ $1.99 Kids Menu (4–6 p.m. daily) Harry T’s Lighthouse, Destin ▪ Kids Eat Free with Adult Purchase (4–8 p.m. Tuesdays), Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Miramar Beach and Niceville The WiFi’s Have It ▪ Amavida, Seaside and Rosemary Beach ▪ Adonna’s Bakery & Café, Fort Walton Beach ▪ Emerald Coast Coffee & Grille, Niceville ▪ Mellow Mushroom, Destin ▪ Not Just Bagels, Destin Day by Day ▪ $3 Monday Margarita Madness Dancing Iguana, Destin ▪ Taco Tuesday, Jim ‘N Nick’s Barbecue, Destin ▪ Tuesday and Thursday Wing Ding Night (5–10 p.m.), Buffalo’s Reef, Fort Walton Beach ▪ $5 Stoli Wednesdays (7–11 p.m.) Fishbar, Destin ▪ Friday and Saturday Half-Price Dessert or Appetizer, Big City American Bistro, Fort Walton Beach The Brunch Bunch ▪ Angler’s Beachside Grill, Fort Walton Beach ▪ Big City American Bistro, Fort Walton Beach ▪ Harry T’s Lighthouse, Destin ▪ Rutherfords 465, Destin ▪ LJ Schooners, Niceville ▪ Santa Rosa Golf and Beach Club, 30A ▪ Crush, 30A ▪ Fire, 30A Note: Specials are subject to change. Please contact the restaurant for more details and confirmation. April–May 2011


The Shed

Barbeque & Blues Joint This no-fuss barbecue joint keeps it down and dirty but delicious and fun. Everything in the joint is mismatched and rustic, and that’s how they like it. With barbecue awards under its belt, a focus on the blues tradition and a prime location in HarborWalk Village, The Shed will surely have the opportunity to share its eclectic charm with locals and tourists alike this year. Debut Date: April 2010 Old Haunts: Destin City Hall, Capt. Kidd’s Seafood Buffet The Vibe: A funky, down-to-earth hangout where blues, brews and barbecue reign supreme. Rope lighting, old records and dented license plates establish the “family food drinkery” as a true-blue juke joint. The Cuisine: Pecan wood-smoked barbecue favorites such as pulled pork, beef brisket, chicken, sausage and ribs in a style the owners like to call “sweet Southern, down-home” barbecue. Diners order at the bar then find a seat to eat. Signature Dishes: Pulled Pork, Baby Back Ribs The Drinks: 109 beers with 18 on tap; $1 Mystery Drafts Monday through Friday Sweet Treat: Nanner Puddin’ Hospitality Philosophy: Not fancy but full of funky charm Insider’s Tip: For a good laugh, check out the signs throughout the joint for famed Shed Philosophies such as, “ShedHeads put the Fun in Dysfunctional,” and “If you lend somebody $20 and never see them again, it was probably worth it.” The Entertainment: Live blues music and local bands Serving Up: Lunch, Dinner Bottom Line: If your idea of dressing up is wearing your “nice” flops, then this is the joint for you — no fuss, no frills, just tasty barbecue in a fun atmosphere. 100 Harbor Boulevard, Destin, 850-460-2271, Photos by Jacqueline Ward (The Shed, right, and Fishbar) and courtesy Legendary, Inc. (The Shed, top)

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Fishbar Stunning views and an outdoor dining area showcasing the docks and Destin Harbor take center stage in this fresh family atmosphere. Debut Date: April 2010 Old Haunts: Flamingo Hotel, Yacht Broker, Flamingo Café, Destin Chops The Vibe: Casual meets cool at this new harbor-side hot spot showcasing Destin’s picturesque docks with large windows and outdoor seating. The Cuisine: A simple yet edgy take on American classics and seafood specialties. The diverse menu includes sliders, oysters on the shell, soups, salads, tacos, sandwiches, pasta, fish, seafood, chicken and steaks. Signature Dish: Grilled Fish Tacos The Drinks: Full bar with specialty drink menu Hospitality Philosophy: A neighborhood place where “everybody knows your name.” Insider’s Tip: Request the private dining area for parties of 15 or more people. Manager’s Pick: Red Grouper Special Offers: Happy hour specials from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and regular lunch and dinner specials Serving Up: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch Sister Restaurants: Marina Café, Crush, Destin Chops on 30A Bottom Line: If you like casual but prefer not to eat off a paper plate, Fishbar provides a nice mix of contemporary and casual, stylish but not stuffy in a comfortable environment. 414 Harbor Boulevard, Destin, 850-424-5566,

New Restaurants Pepper the Emerald Coast The less-than-ideal national economy has not scared off entrepreneurs with the vision of opening restaurants along the Emerald Coast. From sweet shops and pizza parlors to organic cafés and fine dining, below are some of the newest eateries to set their tables and open their doors over the last year. Navarre Helen Back Again / D’won’s Bayou Cafe / Paco’s Grill and Bar / The Slippery Mermaid Sushi Bar Fort Walton Beach Fish Lipz Bar & Grill / Holly’s on Main / Citrus Organic Café / Five Guys Burgers Destin/Miramar Beach Fat Daddy’s Pizza / Chef Tim Creehan’s Cuvee Bistro / Twirl Frozen Yogurt / Sago / The Florida House / San Gelato Cafe Niceville/Valparaiso Compass Rose Restaurant & Bar / Fresh Greece Pizza & Grille / Little Joe’s Street Food South Walton/30A Louis Louis Restaurant & Bar / Little Italy Ristorante / Crush / Marie’s Bistro / Good Apples / Sweet Jeni’s April–May 2011


a Year Later: The Gulf Coast Oil Spill

Back to the Beach The tourism leaders who market the Emerald Coast have different backgrounds, different leadership styles and different perspectives. But they have two things in common. Both were on the job only days before the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster last spring. And both now share a top priority: bringing visitors back to our beaches, fast. By Zandra Wolfgram + Photos by Jacqueline Ward

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Mark Bellinger and Dawn Moliterno take the lead to fill more than 50 miles of beach with visitors.

On April 20, 2010, there were many unknowns for the Emerald Coast area. Community leaders wondered: What will the impact of the oil spill be? What should we do about it? How will we pay for it? BP answered one question by providing a series of grants to each of the coast’s tourism organizations: the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau based in Okaloosa County received $2.1 million and the Beaches of South Walton Tourist Development Council based in Walton County received $7.82 million. Here is a look at how the two leaders countered what, to date, has been the biggest crisis of their careers. April–May 2011


a Year Later: The Gulf Coast Oil Spill

Dawn Moliterno Executive Director, Beaches of South Walton Tourist Development Council (TDC)

Moliterno began her career in retail marketing and eventually formed her own company working as a business strategist for 16 years. Before being selected to lead the Beaches of South Walton in April 2010, Moliterno served as president and CEO of the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce for five years. Why She Took the Job “It presented a challenge and an opportunity. And that’s how I’m wired, I love a good challenge. I

particularly have a passion for leadership development and team cultivation and that’s one of the things the county was interested in.” Her Self Assessment Moliterno recently shed 26 pounds in two months. Whether related to business or her personal life, her focus is the same. “When I set my mind to something, that’s it,” she said. The First Days “We didn’t just want to get through it, we wanted to beat it and I think we did, given the circumstances.” The First Line of Defense: Research “I do think this organization has had an advantage

in that we are research driven. That has afforded us a faster, more strategic approach to everything.” What the Crisis Uncovered “A crisis will reveal your weaknesses and strengths and we were able to work on both tracks at the same time. We were able to cement our relationship faster. When you are dealing with a crisis of this magnitude you look at every dollar and you become very strategic in every decision.” A New Normal “None of the TDCs normally have the funds to do the kind of electronic media we did. But what we learned is not to be afraid as we move forward. We’re

Reports say BP has distributed $1.5 billion dollars in payouts to the tourism industry. Thousands of local employees and businesses have experienced decreased business at the least and some have been forced to close their doors. Despite the catastrophe, many local business owners remain positive, while others remain cautiously optimistic. We spoke with a few locals who work in tourism-related businesses about their outlook for the 2011 season and this is what they said: 64 April–May 2011

The BP grants provided the Beaches of South Walton Tourist Development Council with $7.82 million. Here’s where it went:

1.4 million

viewers nationwide reached by a satellite media tour broadcast on 22 network television stations. Television commercials on CNN, Food Network, Fox News, TLC and Weather Channel.


radio commercials in Atlanta, Baltimore, Birmingham, Dallas, Houston and Nashville. Celebrity endorsements by Amy Grant, Bubba Watson, Sean Payton and Bobby Bowden.


gift card to guests who booked three nights or more, as part of a voucher program.

going to be more aggressive, because the analytics showed us what worked and what didn’t. So we can apply that to our normal budget. Like anything, it is adaptability and a learning experience. “This experience gave us a white board. No matter how we’ve done things in the past, everything has changed. The crisis allowed me to see strengths and weaknesses quickly and gaps in the organization come to light. We did a complete reorganization and put people in the right seats. It was a really healthy thing.” The Future “Our priority is to have a strong season. We will go back to research and deploy our strategies based on it.”

Some of the TDC’s efforts will include promoting experiences “beyond the beach” and launching a partnership with the E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center, an environmental facility focused on the conservation of Florida’s land, wildlife and plant life, to open it for public tourism marketed to families as an eco-friendly day trip. What She Learned “It was like being on a crash course of a final exam. I knew the community, the players, but I didn’t know all the aspects of the beach maintenance. Normally you start a job you’re just trying to figure out where the bathroom is the first week; I was trying to find 66-plus beach access points and what our risk was.” The Outlook “I don’t want to minimize that there were severe impacts to real people, real businesses that will have devastating effects. Those are really real and raw emotions that we have in this community. We can’t change that. That said, Northwest Florida is by nature an optimistic community. There is a sense of resilience that comes out in this area. Our visitors went other places, but they didn’t have the same experiences. They found they missed the experience and the quality of Beaches of South Walton, so they will come back.”

Mark Bellinger

President and CEO, Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) During 28 years in the hospitality industry, Bellinger has worked for hotels, park systems, destinations and convention and visitor bureaus across the country. He also worked in administration for pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. Why He Took the Job “I wanted to get back to the Southeast, call it home and settle down.” His Self Assessment “To work in a tourism agency, you should be a Type A personality; you’ve got to be outgoing, cordial; you’ve got to be a sales and marketing person; you’ve got to be flexible. I’ve been fortunate to move around the United States often, and I’ve lived in locations in which you do share ideas and best practices. You’ve got to.” The First Days Though he was new to the area, he says he “kicked it into fifth gear” and Bellinger Continues on page 69

“To me it looks like a great year. I expect all the tourists to come back. The fishing’s going to be great. Baring any other surprises, it should be one of the best years we’ve had in a while. A lot of tourists laid off taking vacations because of the oil, so they’re going to come back and spend money with us.” — James Duff, Manager, Destin Ice Seafood Market & Deli April–May 2011


a Year Later: The Gulf Coast Oil Spill

When ‘Opportunity’ Calls Capt. Mike Eller Shares His BP Experience By Thomas J. Monigan + Photo by Scott Holstein


ince Mike Eller left school 29 years ago to work on his father’s charter fishing boat, he’s seen his share of challenging situations. But nothing compares with last spring and summer, dealing with the oil spill created when British Petroleum’s (BP) Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded and sank off the coast of Louisiana. Eller is tall, lean and sinewy. Self-described as a “lumberjack-looking fisherman,” he has a steady gaze toward the horizon, but he’s not the silent type. Ask a simple question and you’ll get a yarn or two. For the record, Eller owns and operates two charter boats: Lady Em, a 60-footer that can take 16 passengers, and Fish N Fool, a 45-footer that can take six passengers. And last summer both became Vessels of Opportunity (VOO), boats hired by BP to spot and clean up oil. Lady Em started June 21 and worked as a VOO for 34 days. Fish N Fool started July 26 and worked for 18 days. How would Eller characterize the summer of 2010? “It sucked,” he said. “People were just out of whack. The apprehension and the fear were very real, palpable things. People were mad at each other, because some were getting work and others weren’t. It just threw the whole

66 April–May 2011

town into a stumbling mess, because nobody had control over their own destiny.” BP’s catastrophe occurred on the night of April 20. In less than two weeks, effects of the disaster were being felt in Destin, which bills itself as “The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.” In early May, oil had not yet impacted local beaches, but negative regional and national news reports kept potential visitors away. By the first week of May the phone calls in to Eller’s charter business were just a trickle. Guests simply asked a lot of questions at first, but after a week reservations slowed and then stopped altogether. By the end of May, guests began to ask for cancellations until the phone was ringing off the hook. “It was a very tangible, real thing for us,” Eller said. Soon after that, BP started its Vessels of Opportunity program, which did not prove very impressive to the local charter boat crews. “It was such a mixed blessing for all of us, because on one hand it took the place of fishing, and that was a blessing, but on the other hand, it was mismanaged. And the boats were being not utilized properly to deal with that oil,” Eller summarized. According to this co-president of the Destin Charter Boat Association, Destin’s band of fishermen, though vocal, were not

Capt. Mike Eller aboard Lady Em, a Vessel of Opportunity for 34 days last summer. April–May 2011


a Year Later: The Gulf Coast Oil Spill heard. “While we did have representatives of our industry saying things, and BP heard them and shook their head ‘yes,’ nothing ever changed. And that became our mantra with BP: ‘They say all the right things. They just don’t do all the right things,’” Eller said. Those who worked as Vessels of Opportunity were well paid. Forty- to 60-footers made $2,000 a day plus expenses and crew and others made $1,500 a day, Eller said. But the actual work proved to be less than fulfilling. “It got us all out of our groove,” Eller recalled. “Normally we work seven days a week in June, July and August, and that wasn’t happening for everybody. There were a lot of deckhands without work.”

what was happening,” Eller said as his face creased into a wince. “I noticed the bartenders and waitresses suffered.” But the financial restraint went well beyond socializing. “I didn’t buy any fishing tackle or any supplies,” he added. “I didn’t buy anything non-essential. We all cut it to the quick.” There were some costly side effects. “Oil got on my brand new $6,000 paint job that I spent 41 days last winter painting,” Eller recalled with a wry twist of a grin. It took three days and a lot of solvent and “elbow grease,” but eventually he removed it. In addition to the Vessels of Opportunity pay, Eller also received some BP compensation. “For Lady Em I filed a six-month claim and got it within 10 days,” he said. “The other boat I filed earlier and I still haven’t seen anything.” And even though the actual environmental impact didn’t come anywhere near the negative economic impact of last summer, Eller and his fellow charter boat captains have been left with plenty of worries.

“They told us repeatedly, ‘You’re no longer fishermen, you belong to BP, so just be quiet and do what you’re told.’ ” — Capt. Mike Eller Since BP’s VOO headquarters was the main dock in Destin Harbor, the overall atmosphere changed dramatically. “Down at the dock it was just deserted, no people, no locals,” Eller said. “You couldn’t go down there and hang out, and since the boat belonged to (BP) you couldn’t have a beer on the boat or anything.” Accustomed to being in charge at all times, Destin’s charter captains were no longer giving orders. “They told us repeatedly, ‘You’re no longer fishermen, you belong to BP, so just be quiet and do what you’re told,’ and for a bunch of independent owner-operators that’s hard to swallow,” Eller said. Even when BP money was finally flowing, the local economy was seemingly at a standstill. “Deckhands and captains normally go and have a drink and a bite to eat after a day’s fishing, but nobody was spending any money, because nobody was sure of

“We’re not gonna know for a minimum of five years. Until time goes by and we start seeing what’s not there. And the National Marine Fisheries is going to be right on top of this. They know long-term damage was done to fisheries that were already under pressure,” Eller said. Overall bookings were down 70 percent last summer, and Eller said he believes there will be some lingering hangover there for at least the next two years. “But by then, we’re just going to get an inkling of the resources we lost,” he said. Summing it all up, Eller called short-term help from BP “very helpful.” But when this charter captain looks ahead, he still worries. “I just don’t think there’s gonna be a whole lot of fish they’re gonna let us catch and keep. Short term it could be three to five years. I think it’s going to be ugly. I think if you’ve got money now, you’d better save it,” he advised. ec

BP’s Payout to Florida $963,200,000 Vessels of Opportunity Payments

$72,700,000 Response & Removal

$65,100,000 Tourism Grants

$32,000,000 Individual and Business Claims Paid

$10,000,000 National Resource Damage Assessment Grants

$8,000,000 Behavioral Health

$3,000,000 Research Grant


Community Contributions


Total Payout (as of Dec. 9, 2010) Source:

“I really think that because of what the media did to us, we’re going to be hurting for two to three years before people will have faith that the fish are OK. CNN and Fox News did more damage than the beach itself … last year during the Destin Fishing Rodeo I did 48 trips. Even though BP raised the prize to $70,000, this year I only ran four. I hope to get my customers back, but they want to wait and see how things go. No one is committed.” — Steve Land, Captain, Miss B Haven and Sportsman ii 68 April–May 2011

Thousands gathered on Okaloosa Island for Rock the Beach concerts performed by the Doobie Brothers, Kenny Loggins and Lynyrd Skynryd.

Bellinger, Continued From page 65

convened a marketing committee representing a cross section of the city’s businesses and stakeholders to assist him in developing the marketing plan required to get the BP funds. “We got the community involved. They had buy-in and felt good about it. We ranked our programs and chose the top two or three and rocked and rolled with it.”

Photos Courtesy Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau

Where to begin? “The media caused the national perception that the entire Gulf Coast was covered in oil. I don’t care how much money we thought we had, no one had enough money to even counteract that.” The First Line of Defense: High Impact Visuals The Tourist Development Council launched a television campaign called “The Coast is Clear” with current photos of people enjoying the beach placed daily in key drive markets. Once the oil made impact, the campaign was immediately changed to “Beyond the Beaches” and the commercials showed attractions, activities and experiences off the beach. What the Crisis Uncovered “This agency had 95 percent of its budget spent on traditional advertising. When you’ve got to kick it in gear you’ve got to use current technology. We needed new tools to do marketing, public relations and advertising. And a lot of local folks helped us do that. It was a team and community effort.”

Patrick Simmons of the Doobie Brothers was “takin’ it to the beach.”

The BP grants provided the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau with $2.1 million. Here’s how it was spent: F ilming daily news updates on the beach and streaming the video on the home page of the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website. Providing $200 debit cards to guests reserving overnight lodging stays with select partners. Sponsoring the Destin Seafood Festival, Armed Forces Appreciation Day, the Destin Fishing Rodeo and the Mullet Festival.

Placing the destination’s name and website on the hood and tail of a professional race car during an Atlanta NASCAR event.

The Outlook “This spring and summer we’ll do very well. Fall went well, especially weekends outpaced last year because of the events and initiatives we did. We are marketing to snowbirds (winter guests from northern climates) and partnering with Vision Airlines to get Northerners down and really gear up for a strong marketing push for 2011.”

A New Normal “I think having everyone work together for a common cause, having all different industry types in the same room with the same goals and objectives — I think that was a home run. “We had increased communication with the other tourist development councils. We talk on a continual basis. We are not afraid to talk about best practices. We still do that on a weekly basis.”

Future Plans “We need to get up with the times and surpass the times. We need to measure the return for our investment in anything we do for marketing. “I like things with big impact,” Bellinger says. “Next year, I want to partner with an electronics company and film the area in 3-D. There is no other tourism agency in the United States that is doing it. There is no one doing virtual reality for travel writers.” ec

Two “Rock the Beach” concerts featuring The Doobie Brothers, Kenny Loggins and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

“We continue to experience the shortest booking window we have seen in a decade, which of course increases the difficulty in managing and projecting long term. However, our call volumes continue to outperform year over year and have for several months. Guest feedback is at an all-time high which is encouraging for upcoming peak seasons … bookings for spring and summer are tracking at our projections and with everything above considered we are very optimistic.” — Jon Ervin, Director of Public Relations & Marketing, Cottage Rental Agency in Seaside April–May 2011


18 Hibachi Tables Sushi Bar • Private Dining Sushi Take Out Authentic Japanese Cuisine 850.351.1006 Located in the Village of Baytowne Wharf ™

70 April–May 2011


850.650.4688 or 850.650.4689 34745 Emerald Coast Parkway / Destin

the good life Food + Travel + Hea lth + Home


Photo Courtesy AMicus Public Relations

Places, please!

Spring is here. It’s time for al fresco dinner parties and garden parties. Make a big impact with one small gesture – personalized place settings. These stylish, erasable, ceramic accent labels are perfectly suited as table place cards for guests. Be creative and use them as a clever way to describe each dish being served. PlaceTiles come in a variety of styles such as Bliss (pictured), Medallion, Fleur-de-Lis, Vine, Shell and others. The erasable feature allows you to use them again and again; making this little luxury functional and affordable. Purchase them online at or at The Golden Pear boutique in Gulf Breeze for $35 (set of six). Here’s to tiny touches that make lasting memories along the Emerald Coast. — Zandra Wolfgram

*happiness is ... April–May 2011


going places

Vibrant, interesting, artsy and down-to-earth. We love this American beauty. By Zandra Wolfgram


f Ann Arbor, Mich., were a movie star she would be Jennifer Garner — earthy, smart and as approachable as the-girl-next-door, but with an unexpected artsy edge. She makes everyone feel at home. She is an authentic American beauty who is just as comfortable debating the Wolverine’s season in a pub as she is the theater season at a gallery opening. And once you are charmed by her, you can’t help but think there is so much more to her. Founded in 1824, Ann Arbor was supposedly named for the wives of the two men (John Allen and Elisha Rumsey) who founded the town and for the lovely trees — 50,000 varieties — that give the town such a lush, fresh feel. Ann Arbor is found just 30 miles west of Detroit. It is a three-hour jaunt from Cleveland, Ohio, or four hours from Chicago. The town centers around the University of Michigan, which has drawn some of the best minds in science and art since 1817. There are four hubs where most of the hustle and bustle centers: Kerrytown, Main Street, State Street and the university

campus. Nearby Chelsea, an artsy village minutes west of Ann Arbor, and historicsite filled Milan just 20 minutes southeast, are also must sees. Ann Arbor is savvy and sophisticated: Borders, the Aveda Institute, Google Ad Words and Domino’s are headquartered here. Avant-garde in nature from its early founding days, it’s no surprise that the University of Michigan’s Museum of Art (UMMA) is home to one of the first formal art collections formed in the country. UMMA boasts the largest collection of James McNeill Whistler paintings, as well as stunning decorative pieces by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The exterior of the museum is home to several amazing public art sculptures created by artists all around the globe that have greeted passersby since the 1960s. Though illustrious, the university is only the beginning of what’s impressive about Ann Arbor. A Taste of Ann Arbor It doesn’t surprise that Midwest Living voted Ann Arbor “Top Midwest Food Town” in 2010. What is a pleasant surprise is the diverse range and caliber of the cuisine, from flavorful falafel sandwiches at Jerusalem Garden to heaping helpings of shepherd’s pie at Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub and from pierogies at old-world Amadeus to traditional Italian dishes at upscale Gratzi Ristorante and carefully prepared sea bass at the popular Common Grill. Within its 28 square miles, Ann Arbor dishes up every imaginable kind of cuisine with care and it tastes like it. The Midwest loves its suds and Ann Arbor doesn’t disappoint. According to the

Michigan Beer Guide, there are 83 brewpubs and microbreweries in Michigan, and 30 of those are located in the Ann Arbor area. If you love fresh, flavorful ales, belly up to the bar at Original Gravity Brewery. Operated by 35-year-old Brad Sancho, formerly a mechanical engineer, this no-frills bar is filled with locals filling their growlers to the brim with a half-dozen delicious microbrews on tap. We recommend the Belgian Orange Peel Wheels and the Mason Brewer, a peppery ale named for the brew master’s son. Wine lovers need not despair. Vinology, operated by the Jonna family out of a historic building on Main St., is just one memorable example of the many wine bars in town. It boasts 100 wines by the bottle and 50 by the glass. You can enjoy them by the glass or flight, or purchase a bottle from the retail shop to take home with you. When you dine here, be sure to peek into the Bubble Room to see the display of 400 beautiful hand-blown glass orbs. Soulful Arts Scene They say the soul of a town is measured by its art scene. If so, Ann Arbor is soulful. The town is known for its music offerings, namely The Ark, an intimate 400-seat club on Main Street showcasing local, regional and national artists performing acoustic music 300 nights a year. Apparently Shakespeare lives in Ann Arbor, or seems to thanks to director Kate

Destination: Ann Arbor / Distance from The E.c. Approx. 1,015 miles / Airport: Detroit Michigan Airport (DTW), 25 miles east of Ann Arbor off I-94 / Air Service: AirTran Airways, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, US Airways

72 April–May 2011

Photos by Richard Barnes (University of Michigan Museum of Art) and courtesy Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Ann Arbor: The Girl Next Door and More

Clockwise from top left: The Michigan Theatre, Ann Arbor Art Center, the Mark di Suvero sculpture outside the University of Michigan Museum of Art and Zingerman’s Deli. April–May 2011


going places

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Mendeloff, who staged a glorious environmental performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the woods of the Nichols Arboretum, a 123-acre living museum nestled in the hills of UM’s central and medical campus. The 2010 summer performance marked the 10th anniversary of Mendeloff’s first such staging at the Arboretum, and if her Puckish charm over the audience is any indication, the UM drama professor will be staging many more performances. Other art gems are The Purple Rose Theatre Company, founded by actor Jeff Daniels in 1991. The colorful, mod, 168seat house in Chelsea employs local actors and has staged 39 world premiers. Performance Network, another small, professional theater conveniently located downtown on Huron St., begins its 11th season in 2011. The Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, in operation for more than 80 years, anchors the town’s art scene with a full season of musicals, drama and children’s plays. The visual arts in Ann Arbor also thrive. Dozens of art museums, galleries and studios dot the tree-lined streets. Interestingly, the

From Darth Vader to ‘Death of a Salesman’ Fun Facts about the University of Michigan

As early as 1861, students and alumni began referring to themselves as Wolverines. Though there are many theories on why the ferocious animal became the university mascot, the definitive answer remains a mystery. Each home football game generates about $2.2 million for the local economy. Graduates of the UM include actor James Earl Jones, President Gerald Ford, playwright Arthur Miller and Olympian Michael Phelps. John F. Kennedy



announced the formation of the Peace Corps during a presidential campaign speech at 2 a.m., Oct. 14, 1960, on the steps of the Michigan Union. JFK announces the Peace Corps

Best Heating and Air Service

74 April–May 2011

Original Gravity pours 15 delicious original-recipe porters, ales and IPA at this neighborhood microbrewery in Milan, Mich.

Photo courtesy Original Gravity Brewing Company

An Eventful Summer 2011

Ann Arbor Center for the restaurant featuring Alex Ann Arbor Art Fairs Arts is housed in an airy Young, one of the James Ann Arbor Summer Festival century-old building that Beard Foundation’s Best Chelsea Summer Fest Chelsea Painters Art Fair used to be a carriage facChefs in America. Taste of Ann Arbor tory, mortuary and Sears The big cheese at ZingMilan Bluegrass Festival store. The gallery showerman’s Creamery is … Michigan Summer Beer Festival cases the work of more you! As cheesy as it may For a complete schedule of events, than 200 Michigan artists sound, we thoroughly encontact the Ann Arbor Area a year, features impressive joyed our turn as cheese Convention & Visitors Bureau:, 800-888-9487 gift shops and hosts adult maker. Groups or indiart classes and creativity viduals can don white camps for kids year-round. aprons and hats and head The Chelsea River gallery, owned by Deboto the back of the Creamery to master mozrah Greer and Patricia Schwartz, is well zarella. We made three kinds: plain mozworth a visit, too. This modern, inviting zarella, mozzarella infused with myrtle and space, located in an 1898 brick building, feaburrata, a delicate mozzarella cheese filled tures an eclectic range of select established with what else? Shredded mozzarella and and emerging artists — from painters and whipping cream. sculptors to fiber and mixed media artists. Detroit may be the motor city, but MotA labor of love, the gallery has become an awi Tileworks looked to Toyota titan Jeffrey important part in the local community by Leitner’s best business practices to rev up frequently hosting music, dance and art its efficiency. Known to be unconventional, fundraising events. owner Nawal Motawi partnered with a local college student interested in taking on the Hand It to Ann Arbor 17,000 square-foot art factory as a case study. Put your hands together for Ann Arbor — Within three years, Motawi revamped its where you can learn to make custom books, entire business operation and is now an offiartisan cheese and ceramic tile. cial “lean manufacturer” transforming 9,000 Hollander’s is the Mecca for paper pounds of local clay into thousands of decohounds. With 1,500 papers, Hollander’s rative tiles each week. You can tour Motboasts the largest collection of decorative awi’s impressive plant and see first-hand the papers in the United States. But the real involved process for creating custom clay page turner in its story is what’s upstairs: tile. And with the help of stencils, sticks and the School of Book & Paper Arts. Led by stamps of all sorts, you can design a ceramic Cindy and Tom Hollander, it offers a range tile of your very own. Motawi will dry it, of printing, paper making, paper marbling fire it, glaze and fire it again, and then ship and bookbinding classes under $95 per perit home to you. son, year-round. From its sophisticated academic and art Paul Saginaw and Art Weinzweig began scenes to its upbeat vibe and offbeat factoZingerman’s Deli in 1982. Their success ries (think: “Jiffy Mix” and teddy bears), to led to a mail order business, online sales, a know Ann Arbor is to love Ann Arbor — bake house, a creamery and the Roadhouse especially the unexpected. ec

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76 April–May 2011

mind + body

From Tainted Stain to Tantalizing Art Form Local Tattoo Artists Put Their Stamp on the Emerald Coast By Rachel Bruce


nk, needles, bare skin and an open mind are what one needs to appreciate the art of tattooing. Tracing back nearly 5,000 years, forms of tattoo art have been around since ancient Egyptian life. But even while tattoos have been around for thousands of years, the idea of decorating bodies with permanent ink remains controversial. While the tattoo business once thrived only during tourist season, it’s now turned into a year-round success, said Jeff Bullard, owner of Tattoos Forever. Shops like Tattoos Forever and Tattoo Zoo, both located in downtown Fort Walton Beach on Miracle Strip Parkway, are popular places for military and locals, as well as tourists. “It used to be that tattooing was most popular amongst tourists in the spring and summer, and winter seasons would be slow. But now, it’s become so popular that spring break is just a big boost for us,” said Bullard, who sports 35 tattoos. A tattoo artist for more than 20 years, Bullard opened the first tattoo shops in Panama City Beach (1993), Destin (1994) and Fort Walton Beach (1996). The 52-year-old Fort Walton Beach native explained that he loved tattoos so much he just hoped he could grow the business. “I thought that someone else would want tattoos just as much as I wanted a business creating tattoos,” he said. Over the years, he has seen trends come and go. But, generally speaking, the most popular tattoos have been butterflies and roses for women and ancient tribal symbols for men. Depending on the size of the tattoo, prices can range from $50 to whatever people are willing to spend. For Tattoo Zoo owner Jim Wolfe, tattooing is a lifestyle. “The reason I chose this form of art versus something else is that it’s kind of a mix between the personal interaction with clients and the economics of it. It’s one-on-one with a customer, they will have

“I’m just not quite finished yet,” says Jim Wolfe, owner of Tattoo Zoo in Fort Walton Beach. Photos by Scott Holstein

Think Before You Ink Before stamping Make sure you’ve put a lot of thought into a tattoo. Knowing what you want is very important to the artist as well. Keep in mind that tattoos on lips or skin that’s frequently exposed to the sun will fade. How to prepare It’s like a medical procedure. Get a good night’s sleep; eat a good breakfast. Don’t come in with a sun burn to get a tattoo. Post stamp Stay off the beach and out of the sun. Avoid heavily chlorinated water. Clean the tattoo with a soft soap and moisturize the area with a non-perfumed lotion. The healing process takes up to 10 days.

it forever, and they buy it right Between his Walton there,” he said. The 54-year-old Fort Beach and Fort Walton Beach local has a series Crestview of tattoos on 75 percent of his body locations Bullard including a spider on the back of Jeff showcases the his head, Jesus Christ praying on talents of eight his back, and random letters on his tattoo and piercing artists. hands. Still, Wolfe confesses, “I’m just not quite finished yet.” Both shop owners urged prospective customers to put thought into getting a tattoo before they make the plunge. Because it’s permanent, they want their customers to love what they have selected or designed. These “ink” artists recommend their clients take time to look through the thousands of graphics available and consider putting their own personal twist on their favorite, so the design is original and represents who they are. The artistic aspect of applying tattoos is what Wolfe enjoys most. “I’m making a mark on someone who wants it forever,” he said. He’s glad to see more people “warming up” to the art of tattoos and to see that it’s becoming much more mainstream. April–May 2011


mind + body The tattoos on Not surprisingly, Wolfe has never appreciated the calves of the way people stereotype those who choose tatTattoos Fortoos. He recalled a client from the early ’80s, a ever employee “Milk” include well-respected businessman whose suit covered his many tattoos because he was afraid of others’ interpretations of the comedy reactions to his body art. “That was when people and tragedy masks along really didn’t like the look of people with tattoos,” with the words Wolfe said. “Smile now, cry later.” These tattoo aficionados say their clientele runs the gamut from musicians and sailors to attorneys and doctors. Bullard describes the average customer as being 25 to 30 years old, eclectic and open-minded. Fort Walton Beach local Angela Harper is a mother in her early 30s and a regular at Tattoos Forever. “I got my first tattoo in 1997 because I wanted something for my boyfriend at the time. Since then I just get things that mean something to me,” she said. Harper has seven tattoos — two of them are her children’s names — and likes the idea of permanently stamping her body with things that mean so much to her. “The way everyone judges people these days, especially women, is so awful. But I still have to deal with the reality, so I put my tattoos in places where I can hide them,” she said. Putting tattoos in the right place is very important cautions Bullard. Depending on the person’s work environment, at the least, visible stamps could send negative vibes to some employers. At the worst, they could be against company policy. But for Bullard, giving someone a tattoo is an honor. “I’m making a mark on someone that they’re going to carry with them until the day they die. That’s such a profound thing that someone wants to wear your art and carry it around forever,” he said. ec

Need We Say More? Come to the USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger and see the greatest tennis stars right in your own back yard.

Mark J. Katzenstein, M.D. FACC, FSCAI

■ April 9–16, 2011 at Forestmeadows Tennis Complex in Tallahassee, FL. ■ For more information about tickets, sponsorships or volunteer opportunities, visit our web site at or call the TMH Foundation at (850) 431-5389.

Michael L. Yandel, M.D. FACC, FSCAI

Joseph A. Pedone, M.D. FACC, FACP, FSCAI

Juan Carlos Zarate, M.D. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Winner of the 2007 Tallahassee Tennis Challenger; 5 career singles titles; 2010 Semifinals Australian Open; plays Davis Cup for France; currently #13 in the world. Photo by Mike Olivella

John Isner Winner of the 2009 Tallahassee Tennis Challenger; Winner 2010 Heineken Open; Winner longest tennis match in tennis history, Wimbledon 2010; plays Davis Cup for USA; currently #19 in the world. Photo by Mike Olivella


78 April–May 2011


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Fresh ideas, styles and personalized services can all be found on the Emerald Coast, just in time to celebrate mothers, fathers and graduates on their special days.

spring gift guide

Avantgarde Salon & Spa

Now you can indulge yourself at one of “The Best” on the Emerald Coast every week. Choose from several AVEDA Spa Specials services such as the Manicure and Pedicure package ($50), the 50-minute Facial ($50) or a 50-minute therapeutic Massage ($50) now available on Mondays and Tuesdays. 36236 Emerald Coast Pkwy | Destin | (850) 654-5057

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Every girl loves a little glamour! Hand-poured in central Texas, these luxurious candles for the home are rhinestone-studded and full of fragrance. A proprietary non-soy wax blend enables her favorite fragrance to permeate the room. Lux candles are available at Lovelace Interiors. $25–$78 12870 U.S. Highway 98 West | Miramar Beach | (850) 837-5563 |


Voted the best women’s shoe store on the Emerald Coast, Teena Haven offers an extensive selection of women’s designer apparel, shoes and accessories. This upscale boutique carries a range of designers such as Tory Burch, Elie Tahari, Diane von Furstenberg, Giuseppe Zanotti, Tibi, Chloé and House of Harlow among others. Need fashion advice? A personal consult with Teena Haven will ensure your spring and summer wardrobe is on trend. $125–$395 12555 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Suite B (between Destin and Sandestin) | Destin | (850) 269-0781 April–May 2011



Cooking The Books Excerpts from local cookbooks feature the talents and passions of local foodies By Wendy O. Dixon

80 April–May 2011


he Emerald Coast has an abundant array of cookbooks that dish out a taste of life in Northwest Florida. We asked some local cookbook authors to share their favorite dishes with our readers. Now you, too, can re-create the mouth-watering dishes and start your own collection of regional cookbooks.

Persimmon Champagne Punch

Bulgogi (Korean Barbecued Beef)

From “Seaside: Pastels & Pickets” published by the Seaside Town Council

From “Heavenly Delights: A Collection of Recipes from Mission Love Seeds”

Makes 25 servings

Serves 4

3 (750-milliliter) bottles dry white wine 2 (46-ounce) bottles pineapple-grapefruit juice 2 (26-ounce) bottles Champagne 2 (6-ounce) cans frozen lemonade concentrate Chill wine, juice and Champagne well. Combine wine, juice and lemonade concentrate in a punch bowl; mix well. Add Champagne just before serving; mix gently. Add ice ring if desired. Buy at: Sundog Books in Seaside.

3 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon sesame oil 1 tablespoon sesame seeds 1 clove garlic, minced 1 ½ teaspoons white sugar or honey ½ teaspoon ground black pepper ¼ teaspoon MSG, optional 1 pound beef top sirloin, thinly sliced 1 green onion, chopped ½ yellow onion, chopped In a large re-sealable plastic bag, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, garlic, sugar, black pepper and MSG. Place beef and onions in the bag. Seal and shake the bag to coat the vegetables and beef with the sauce. Refrigerate for at least 2 ½ hours. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Remove meat and vegetables from marinade and place on a large sheet of aluminum foil; seal. Discard marinade, place on a grill and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or to desired doneness. Buy at: Proceeds from sales go to Mission Love Seeds, a not-for-profit formed in Destin in 2004 to help feed families in the Philippines.

Beach Walk Cookies

Key Lime Fudge

From “Henderson Park Inn Exceptional Taste: Tales and Recipes” by Chef Tim Creehan of Destin

From “Bay Fêtes” compiled by The Junior Service League of Panama City

Makes 4 dozen

Makes 64 squares

1 cup soft butter ⅔ cup sugar 1 cup brown sugar 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking soda 1 tablespoon salt 2 eggs 2 cups filling Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar together. Sift remaining dry ingredients together, set aside. Add eggs to butter and sugar one at a time. Add dry ingredients slowly and mix until just combined. Fold in filling (filling can be any dry ingredients such as chocolate chips, oatmeal, nuts, raisins, etc.). Bake at 350 degrees for 6 to 10 minutes. Buy at: Henderson Park Inn, Books-A-Million and Barnes and Noble in Destin and at and

3  cups white chocolate chips 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 2 tablespoons Key lime juice or lime juice 2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts, toasted Line an 8x8 inch or 9x9 inch dish with foil, allowing a 4- to 5-inch overhang. Coat the foil with butter. Combine the white chocolate chips and condensed milk in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat just until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lime juice and zest. Add 1 cup macadamia nuts and mix well. Spread the chocolate mixture in the prepared dish and sprinkle with coarsely chopped macadamia nuts. Chill covered for 2 hours or until firm. Lift the fudge out of the dish using the edges of the foil. Cut the fudge into squares and store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months. Buy at: and April–May 2011



1 portobello mushroom cap, sliced ¼ cup diced scallions 2 cups chopped fresh spinach 2 cups heavy cream 3 cups smoked Gouda cheese grits White wine Salt, pepper, hot sauce to taste

Serves 8-10

½ pound unsalted butter 2 ½ p  ounds fresh mushrooms, chopped 3 medium white onions, chopped fine ½ teaspoon granulated garlic ½ teaspoon granulated onion 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon white pepper 1 cup all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon nutmeg ½ cup sherry 4 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 1 cup of hot water 1 cup whipping cream 1 pound crabmeat, picked over ½ gallon whole milk 9 jigs Tabasco sauce, or to taste ¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper, or to taste salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 bunch green onions, chopped Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms and onions until onions have softened. Add garlic, onion, Worcestershire, soy sauce and half of sherry. Stir in flour, a little at a time until smooth and the mixture forms a paste. Add nutmeg and cook about 3 minutes. Place in a large soup pot and add bouillon mixture and remaining sherry, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 3-5 minutes. Add whipping cream and crabmeat, stirring gently. Maintain heat, do not let mixture boil. Add milk, stir and simmer until desired consistency is reached. Add Tabasco, cayenne, salt and black pepper to taste. Stir in green onions and serve. Buy at: and

82 April–May 2011

Grits a Ya Ya (Smoked Gouda Cheese Grits)

From “Good Grits! (Southern Boy Cooks)” by Chef Jim Shirley of the Fish House in Pensacola and Great Southern Cafe in Seaside The Smoked Gouda Cheese Grits: 1 quart chicken stock 1 cup heavy cream 2 cups Dixie Lily grits ¼ pound butter 1 (14 to 16 ounces) can creamed corn ½ pound shredded smoked Gouda cheese The Ya Ya: 8 strips applewood-smoked bacon, diced 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 tablespoon minced shallots 3 tablespoons butter 1 pound peeled, deveined jumbo shrimp

Buy at: Great Southern Café, and

Photo courtesy The Great Southern Restaurant Group

Crabby Mushroom Soup

From “Seasonal Florida: A Taste of Life in North Florida” by Jo Manning of Santa Rosa Beach

First, make your grits. Run the chicken stock into a thick-bottomed saucepan and turn on high till it boils. Mix in the grits and stir like crazy. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cream if you need more liquid. Then tumble in the butter, drizzle in the rest of the cream, and stir till it’s all in the family. Shake in the shredded cheese and stir till it’s all smooth. While your grits cook, bring a large saucepan to medium heat. Add bacon and cook for about 3 minutes, then add garlic and shallots. Sauté and then add butter and a splash of white wine. When the butter is half melted, add the shrimp. When the downsides of the shrimp become white, flip them and add mushrooms, scallions and spinach. Sauté for 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp. Pour in heavy cream and let simmer while stirring. When reduced by one third, add salt, pepper and hot sauce. Return shrimp to the sauce and combine. Spoon the sauce and shrimp onto heaping mounds of cheese grits. April–May 2011


dining The Key

The restaurants that appear in this guide are included as a service to readers and not as recommendations of the EC Magazine editorial department, except where noted. ★ b l D

Best of the Emerald Coast 2010 Winner Breakfast Lunch Dinner Outdoor Dining Live Music

$ Inexpensive $$ Moderately Expensive $$$ Expensive

Alys Beach George’s at Alys Beach American. Seafood, burgers and sandwiches at the perfect beachy-casual spot. Open daily 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5–9 p.m. 30 Castle Harbour Dr., 850-641-0017. $$ l D

Blue Mountain Beach Basmati’s Asian. Asian and Asian-inspired meat, seafood, poultry and vegetarian dishes. Open Mon–Sat 4 p.m. for sushi and 5 p.m. for dinner. 3295 W. Hwy. 30A, 850-267-3028. $$$ D Grecian Gardens Restaurant Mediterranean. Traditional Greek cuisine served in an open-air atmosphere perfect for special occasions or parties. Open daily 11 a.m.–9 p.m. 3375 W. Hwy. 30A, 850-267-3011. $$ l D

Destin Aegean Restaurant Greek. Sip an ouzo at the beautiful stone bar before savoring the flavors of the Mediterranean at this authentic Greek restaurant. Breakfast 8 a.m.–11 a.m. Lunch 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Dinner 4 p.m.–9 p.m. 11225 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 850-460-2728. $$ b l D AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar ★ Seafood. Choose from fresh local seafood, sandwiches, pasta, chicken or specialty dishes like the oysters Eugene or Rockefeller. Open daily 11 a.m. 116 E. Hwy. 98, 850-837-1913. $$ l D Another Broken Egg café ★ Breakfast. Breakfast all day, plus sandwiches, patty melts, specials, soups, salads and desserts. Open daily 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Closed Mondays. (Open Memorial and Labor days.) 979 E. Hwy. 98, Suite F, 850-650-0499. $b Bonefish Grill ★ Seafood. Daily seafood specials cooked on an oakburning wood grill. Bang-Bang Shrimp is a crowdpleasing appetizer. Mon–Thu 4–10:30 p.m. Fri–Sat 4–11:30 p.m. Daily happy hour 4–7 p.m. 4447 E. Commons Dr., 850-650-3161. $$ D Cabana Café American. This eatery, boasting specialty coffee and ice cream, was voted Best New Business in 2008. Open daily 11 a.m.–2 a.m. 112 Seascape Blvd., 850-424-3574. $b l D Callahan’s Restaurant & Deli ★ American. Voted Best Locally Owned Restaurant of 2008, Callahan’s serves up great sandwiches, seafood specials and prime rib. Mon–Sat 10 a.m.–10 p.m. 791 Harbor Blvd., 850-837-6328. $ l D Capt. Dave’s on the Gulf Seafood. Enjoy delicious fresh seafood dishes. Open daily 4:30 p.m. 3796 Hwy. 98, 850-837-2627. $ D Carrabba’s Italian Grill ★ Italian. Carrabba’s blends warm Italian hospitality with family recipes handed down for four generations. Mon– Thu 4–10 p.m. Fri–Sat 4–11 p.m. Sun 11:30a.m.–9 p.m. 10562 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 850-837-1140. $$ l D

on the menu

Ciao Bella Pizza Da Guglielmo Italian. Authentic Italian pizza, pasta, salads and more. Open daily 11 a.m. 29 E. Hwy. 98, Silver Sands, 850-654-3040. $$ l D The Crab Trap Seafood. Offering fresh seafood, steaks, salads and soups beachside. Mon–Thu 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Fri–Sat 11 a.m. –10 p.m. 3500 E. Hwy. 98, 850-654-2722. $$ l D Dave’s Dogs ★ American. When only a hot dog will do, Dave’s serves it up right, grilling the bun on each side. Open Mon–Thu 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Fri 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Destin Commons, 850-240-3353. $ l D Dewey Destin’s HarborSide ★ Seafood. One of Destin’s most popular restaurants serves up charm and award-winning seafood in a quaint house overlooking the scenic Destin harbor. Open daily 11 a.m.–8 p.m. 202 Harbor Blvd., 850-837-7525. $$ l D Dewey Destin Seafood Restaurant & Market Seafood. For true local charm in an outdoor setting, visit Dewey Destin for some of the freshest seafood around. Open daily 11 a.m.–8 p.m. 9 Calhoun Ave., 850-837-7575. $$$ b l D Donut Hole Bakery Cafe ★ American. Head to the Donut Hole for an out-of-thisworld breakfast or savory lunch — don’t forget the cinnamon raisin bread. Open 24 hours. 635 E. Hwy. 98, 850-837-8824. $ b l Emerald Grande Resort Grande Vista bar and grill Seafood. Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Fresh seafood, steak, pasta, salads, sandwiches and more. Indoor and outdoor dining available. Full bar. Open daily 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Located in HarborWalk Village. 10 Harbor Blvd., next to the Marler Bridge, 850-337-8100. $$$ b l D Fudpucker’s American. Burgers and sandwiches, and specialties like the Fried Fudpucker (triggerfish). Open 11 a.m.–10 p.m. 20001 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 850-654-4200. $$ D Graffiti Italian. Traditional Italian favorites and house specialties like seafood pizza. Sun–Thu 5–9 p.m. Fri–Sat 5–10 p.m. 707 E. Hwy. 98, 850-654-2764. $$ D


ith so many delicious distractions all along the Emerald Coast, it’s easy to eat your heart out. From fine dining restaurants to holein-the-wall local haunts, we love that we always find what we’re hungry for. We don’t know about you, but when we eat out, we don’t mind sharing, so here is “On the Menu” — a new column of menu samples of what we have enjoyed recently while dining around town.

Breakfast The Summer Kitchen Café in Rosemary Beach dishes up tasty

French toast, made with French bread slices soaked in orange juice, milk,

vanilla and cinnamon and dusted with confectioner’s sugar. The coffee was served in a paper cup and the juice in a plastic cup, but it still hit the spot. $6

Appetizer If you didn’t “go Greek” in college, no worries. With such an

expansive menu, you could go Greek every night at the Aegean in Destin. The mussels appetizer is served with crusty bread perfect for soaking up the garlicky white wine sauce. Though it’s listed as an appetizer, if you add a small Greek salad, it would be a perfect portion for dinner, too. $10

Lunch We love breakfast any time. Another Broken Egg on Sandestin Golf

and Beach Resort’s bayside goes to the egg-stremes with its smoked salmon quiche (pictured). It is filled with fresh eggs, smoked salmon, creamed cheese, red onion and capers, and topped with a whipped cream cheese and salmon rosette and fresh diced tomatoes. It comes with country potatoes and a choice of fruit salad or mixed green salad. We’d definitely go upstream if we had to for this one. $10.49

Dinner When you want to wing it, head to Buffalo’s Reef in Fort Walton

Beach, where the buffalo chicken wings are award winning. The orders (10 and up) are served in a basket with carrots and celery and the world’s best blue cheese dressing. (You can also get ranch flavored.) To this sports bar, we say, “Touchdown!” $9.80 —Zandra Wolfgram 84 April–May 2011

Photo by Scott Holstein

Harbor Docks ★ American. This surf-and-turf restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Open daily 5 a.m.–11 p.m. 538 E. Hwy. 98, 850-837-2506. $$ b l D Hard Rock Café American. Rock ’n’ roll, great drinks and mouthwatering menu. Open daily 11 a.m. 4260 Legendary Dr., Destin Commons, 850-654-3310. $

l D

HARRY T’S BOATHOUSE Seafood. Lounge on the beautiful patio and watch the passing boats as you enjoy an endless variety of delicious dishes. Mon-Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Sun 10 a.m.–10 p.m. 46 Harbor Blvd., 850-654-4800. $$ b l D Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q ★ Barbecue. Southern smokehouse barbecue. Beer and wine. Open daily 11 a.m. 14073 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 850-351-1991. $ l D Johnny O’Quigley’s ★ American. Award-winning steak, seafood and barbecue in one of Destin’s favorite sports bars. Mon– Thu 11 a.m.–midnight. Fri–Sun 11 a.m.–1 a.m. Double Happy Hour Mon–Fri 3–6 p.m. and 10 p.m.–close. 34940 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 850-837-1015. $ l D Louisiana Lagniappe ★ Cajun and Seafood. View the Old Pass Lagoon while dining on steaks and a wide variety of fresh seafood. Open daily 5–10 p.m. 775 Gulf Shores Dr., 850-837-0881. $$ D Lucky Snapper Seafood. Family-style, open-air overlooks Destin Harbor. Open daily 11 a.m. 76 E. Hwy. 98, Destin, 850654-0900. $$ l D Marina Café American. Gourmet pizzas, Creole and American cuisine. Open daily 5–10 p.m. 404 E. Hwy. 98, 850837-7960. $$ D McAlister’s Deli American. The popular chain offers hearty soups, crisp salads, a variety of hot and cold sandwiches and “Famous Sweet Tea.” Open daily 10:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m. 10859 W. Hwy. 98, 850-650-6646. 985 E. Hwy. 98, 850-650-0923. $ l D McGuire’s Irish Pub ★ Irish American. Drinks, steaks, burgers and fries and Irish fare. Open daily 11 a.m. 33 E. Hwy. 98, 850-654-0567. $$ l D NOT JUST BAGELS ★ American. Bagels, breads, pastries, salads, soups and sandwiches. Mon–Fri 6 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat–Sun 7 a.m.–3 p.m. 4447 E. Commons Dr., Suite 112, 850-650-0465. $ b l Osaka Japanese. Known for its sushi, but serves a variety of dishes including chicken, steak and seafood. Lunch 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Dinner 5–10:30 p.m. 34845 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 850-650-4688 or 850-650-4689. $$ l D Panera Bread ★ American. Fresh-baked breads and pastries, sandwiches and salads. Destin Commons and Sandestin. Mon–Thu 7 a.m.–9 p.m. Fri–Sat 7 a.m.– 10 p.m. Sun 7 a.m.–8 p.m. 850-837-2486. $$ b l D Pepito’s ★ Mexican. Voted Best Mexican on the Emerald Coast, locals love Pepito’s for its authentic Mexican cuisine and mouthwatering margaritas. Happy Hour specials all day Mondays, including small rocks margaritas and all beer and well drinks for $1.99. Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m. 757 E. Hwy. 98, 850-650-7734. $$ l D Rutherfords 465 at regatta bay American. Located inside Regatta Bay Golf & Country Club. Open to the public for lunch 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Offering a variety of salads and sandwiches. Full bar. Specializing in on- and off-site catering including weddings, receptions and special events. 465 Regatta Bay Blvd., 850-337-8888. $ b l D Ruth’s Chris Steak House Steak and Seafood. New Orleans-inspired appetizers, desserts and award-winning wines. Mon– Sat 5:30–10 p.m. Sun 5:30–9 p.m. Silver Shells Resort. 1500 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 850-337-5108. $$$ D Sarah k’s gourmet ★ Gourmet Take-out. Chef-crafted, ready-to-heat cuisine. Jumbo lump crab cakes and fresh chicken salad are the house specialties. Open at 11 a.m. 34940 Hwy. 98, 850-269-0044. $ l D Vin’Tij Wine Boutique & Bistro ★ French. Traditional favorites and unique house dishes. Open daily 11 a.m.–midnight. 10859 W. Emerald Coast Pkwy., Suite 103, 850-650-9820. $ l D April–May 2011


dining ZoËs Kitchen ★ American. Healthy sandwiches and salads. Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Destin Commons, 850-650-6525. $ l D

Fort Walton Beach Benjarong Thai Cuisine & BBQ Thai and Barbecue. Barbecue, chicken, ribs, steak and spicy Thai food. Lunch and dinner Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m. 251 Mary Esther Blvd., 850-362-0290. $$ l D Big City American Bistro ★ American. This little gem has big charm, a vibrant vibe and amazing food, not to mention great service. Big City is open for lunch and dinner and serves an award-winning brunch on Sundays. Lunch Tues–Sat 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Dinner Tues–Sat 5 p.m.–close. Brunch Sun 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. 171 SE Brooks St., 850-664-0664. $$ b l D The Black Pearl Steak and Seafood. Dig into some coconut shrimp and a juicy steak while enjoying a lovely view of the gulf. Located in The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island. Open daily 4 p.m. 1450 Miracle Strip Pkwy., 850-833-3016. $$ D Fudpucker’s American. Burgers, sandwiches and specialties like the Fried Fudpucker (triggerfish). Open daily 11 a.m. 108 Santa Rosa Blvd., Okaloosa Island, 850-243-3800. $$ l D Magnolia Grill Steak, Seafood and Italian. Steak, seafood, pasta, soups, salads and desserts. Lunch Mon–Fri 11 a.m.– 2 p.m. Dinner Mon–Sat, open at 5 p.m. Closed Sun. 157 SE Brooks St., 850-302-0266. $$ l D Old Bay Steamer Seafood. Fresh, steamed and grilled seafood served in a lively atmosphere. Dinner served daily from 4 p.m. No reservations. 102 Santa Rosa Blvd., 850-664-2795. $$$ D Pandora’s Steak and Seafood. Early evening specials weekdays 5–6 p.m. Happy Hour weekdays 5–7 p.m. Weekdays 5–10 p.m. Weekends 5–11 p.m. 1226 Santa Rosa Blvd., 850-244-8669. $$$ D Sealand Steak and Seafood. Serving American cuisine as well as Thai offerings in a homey atmosphere. Lunch Sun 11 a.m. until. Dinner Tues–Sat from 4:30 p.m. 47 SE Miracle Strip Pkwy., 850-244-0044. $$$ b D Staff’s Steak, Seafood and Pasta. In operation for more than 100 years, Staff’s is the oldest family-operated Florida restaurant and a local favorite serving homemade American cuisine in a casual, rustic atmosphere. Open daily for dinner from 5 p.m. 24 Miracle Strip Pkwy., 850243-3482. $$ D

Grayton Beach Another Broken Egg café ★ Breakfast. Breakfast all day, plus sandwiches, patty melts, specials, soups, salads and desserts. Open 7:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Closed Mondays. (Open Memorial and Labor days.) 51 Grayton Uptown Cir. , 850-231-7835. $ b Fire ★ American. With New Orleans natives in the kitchen, it’s no surprise that this casual fine-dining restaurant is hot. Lunch Thu–Fri 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Dinner Mon–Thu 6–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 6–10 p.m. Brunch Sun 11 a.m. 55 Clayton Ln., 850-231-9020. $$ l D Pandora’s Steak and Seafood. Warm, traditional steakhouse with early evening specials beginning at 5 p.m. Weekdays 5–10 p.m. Weekends 5–11 p.m. 63 DeFuniak St., 850231-4102. $$ D Picolo’s restaurant Seafood. Dine on delicious fresh seafood while listening to live music. Open daily 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5–10 p.m. 70 Hotz Ave., 850-231-1008. $$ l D Red Bar ★ American. A favorite among locals, visitors and celebrities, The Red Bar is a must-visit when in Grayton Beach. Kick back on the funky furniture and listen to

86 April–May 2011

live music while enjoying great food and cocktails — especially the award-winning Bloody Mary. Breakfast 7–10:30 a.m. Lunch 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Dinner 5–10 p.m. Bar open 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight. Cash or check only, no credit cards. 70 Hotz Ave., 850-231-1008. $$ b l D Trattoria Borago Italian. Enjoy a balsamic-laced pork tenderloin or panseared grouper from the open kitchen. Open 6 p.m. daily. 80 E. Hwy. 30A, Grayton Beach, 850-231-9167. $$ D

The Melting Pot Fondue. Dip into something different and enjoy an interactive, hands-on, four-course dining experience with a cheese fondue, salad, entrée and chocolate fondue dessert. Open Sun–Thu 5–10 p.m. Fri–Sat 5–11 p.m. 11394 Hwy. 98., 850-269-2227. $$$ D

Royal Orchid ★ Thai. Escape to Thailand at this authentic Thai restaurant. Sink into a traditional sunken table surrounded by pillows or dine American style at a table or booth. Thu–Tue 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Closed Wed. 11275 Emerald Coast Pkwy., 850-650-2555. $$ l D Rum Runners American. Caribbean/coastal/Mediterranean menu with sandwiches, seafood, steaks, chicken and pasta. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Village of Baytowne Wharf, 850-267-8117. $$ l D

Miramar Beach

Mitchell’s Fish Market ★ Seafood. Chef-driven dishes such as Cedar Roasted Atlantic Salmon or Hoisin-Glazed Yellow Fin Tuna. Lunch Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sun 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Dinner Mon–Thu 4–10 p.m. Fri–Sat 4–11 p.m. Sun 3–9 p.m. Grand Boulevard Sandestin, 850-650-2484. $$ l D P.F. Chang’s China Bistro ★ Asian. Sample crunchy lettuce wraps or Chinese favorites like Kung Pao Chicken in a chic atmosphere. Open Sun–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m. 10640 Grand Blvd., 850-269-1806. $$ l D

Another Broken Egg café – On the Bay ★ Breakfast. Breakfast all day, plus sandwiches, patty melts, specials, soups, salads and desserts. Open daily from 7 a.m.–3 p.m. The Village of Baytowne Wharf, 850-622-2050. $ b Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Family Sports Pub American. Wings, sandwiches, salads, burgers. 24 TVs, plus a kids’ game room. Open Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Sun noon–10 p.m. Happy hour Mon–Fri 3–7 p.m. 9375 E. Hwy. 98 (The Market Shops at Sandestin), 850-837-9710. $$$ b l D Bistro Bijoux ★ Steak and Seafood. Coastal cuisine with a New Orleans flair. Fresh seafood daily. Featuring our signature dish — “Black Skillet” filet mignon topped with a tempura-fried lobster tail. Open daily 5–10 p.m. Village of Baytowne Wharf, 850-622-0760. $$$ D Cantina Laredo ★ Mexican. Boasting a contemporary décor and fiery flavor, the new addition to Grand Boulevard offers gourmet twists on Mexican favorites. Save room for dessert, and check out the Sunday brunch. Sun–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m. 585 Grand Blvd., 850-654-5649 $$ b l D Carrabba’s italian grill ★ Italian. Flavorful dishes, including calamari, chicken Marsala, fresh fish, seafood and grilled steaks. Open Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon–Thu 4–10:30 p.m. Fri–Sat 4–11:30 p.m. 10562 W. Hwy. 98, 850-837-1140. $$ D Fajitas Grill Mexican. The freshest ingredients and best-tasting Mexican food in Northwest Florida. Try one of our many flavored margaritas. Open Sun–Thu 11 a.m.– 9:30 p.m. Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m. 12889 Hwy. 98., 850-269-7788. $ l D Fat Clemenza’s ★ Italian. Feel like part of the family as you enjoy homemade classical Italian cuisine. Lunch Mon–Fri 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Dinner Mon–Wed 5–9:30 p.m., Thu–Sat 5–10 p.m. Holiday Plaza/Hwy. 98, 850-650-5980. $$ l D Finz Beachside Grille American. Wide range of seafood and American dishes. Catering available. Open seasonally. Please call for hours. Beachside at Sandestin, 850-267-4800. $$ l D Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar ★ Steak and More. This award-winning restaurant offers prime steaks, chops, chicken, seafood, fresh salads and a variety of unique sides and desserts served in a comfortable but elegant atmosphere. Featuring 100 wines by the glass. Open Mon–Thu 5–10 p.m. Fri–Sat 5–11 p.m. Sun 4–9 p.m. 600 Grand Blvd., 850-269-0830. $$ D Johnny Rockets American. Enjoy a smooth milkshake with your burger and fries as you jam to the tunes on the jukebox. Mon–Thu 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun 11 a.m.–7 p.m. 625 Grand Blvd., Suite 107, 850-650-3100. $l D Lillie’s On Pigs Alley Barbecue. For lip-smacking good barbecue, try Lillie’s sandwiches, ribs, beef or chicken. The restaurant won the Barbecue World Championship in Memphis in 2007. Open Tue–Sat 11 a.m.–7 p.m. 9848 W. Hwy. 98, 850-654-3911. $ l D Lin’s Asian Cuisine Asian. Chef Qun Lin whips up steaming portions of your favorite Chinese and Southeast Asian dishes. Open Mon–Thu 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Fri–Sat 10:30 a.m.9:30 p.m. Sun noon–9 p.m. 130 Scenic Gulf Dr., Suite 5B, 850-424-5888. $ l D Marlin Grill Steak and Seafood. Fresh seafood, steaks, salads and appetizers served inside or outside. Open nightly at 5 p.m. Village of Baytowne Wharf, 850-351-1990. $$$ l D

Poppy’s Seafood Factory Seafood. Enjoy fresh seafood, steak and poultry dishes with a view of the bay. Open 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily. Village of Baytowne Wharf, 850-351-1996. $$$ l D

Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood ★ Steak and Seafood. Premium steak, fresh seafood and caviar. Open 6 p.m. daily. Hilton Sandestin. 4000 S. Sandestin Blvd., 850-622-1500. $$$ D Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant & Bar ★ Caribbean. Get a taste of the islands with jerk spices, fresh fish and the best desserts on the coast, as voted by readers of Emerald Coast Magazine. Open Sun–Thu 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight. 525 Grand Blvd., 850-654-1743. $$ l D April–May 2011


a taste for ... Grilling. Mmmm, smell that? It’s outdoor grilling season. Before you crack open the grill, keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be all steaks and kebabs. Gas or charcoal grills can be a creative cook’s best friend, generating everything from warm soups to savory shrimp or oysters and even desserts. What you make on a grill is limited only by your imagination. Grills have a way of coaxing new tastes and textures from a dish that can’t be produced on traditional stovetops or in ovens. Charcoal grills can especially add a nice smoky flavor to any dish. Thanks to the exploding popularity of outdoor grilling, there are many websites and books developed for grill masters who want to refine their art. One site,, has tempting recipes for margarita-marinated skirt steak with tomatillo sauce or swordfish with mango citrus salsa. And it’s not all meat and seafood. There are instructions for a corn and arugula salad or grilled pineapple with toasted coconut. One of the most surprising revelations was the ease with which grills can even create delicious desserts, such as a pound cake with espresso chocolate sauce. Only minimal kitchen prep work is needed for most grill-friendly recipes, which are primarily cooked over the flame of a grill. It doesn’t matter whether you have charcoal or gas, or whether you spent $50 or $5,000 on your grill, elegant meals can be prepared with ease. — Lilly Rockwell 88 April–May 2011

dining Niceville Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Family Sports Pub American. Wings, sandwiches, salads, burgers. Open Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Sun noon–10 p.m. Happy hour Mon–Fri 3–7 p.m. 4540 E. Hwy. 20, 850-897-3964. $ l D Giuseppi’s Wharf Seafood. Proudly serving steaks, pasta and sushi. Newly remodeled. Open 11 a.m.–10 p.m. 821 Bayshore Dr., 850678-4229. $$ l D Trade Winds Italian. Fish, shrimp, scallops, clams and mussels combined in a marinara or white wine sauce with pasta; thin-crust pizzas. Open Tue–Sat 5 p.m. 205 Government St., 850-678-8299. $$ D

Santa Rosa Beach Basmati’s Asian Cuisine & Sushi Asian. Asian dishes and full sushi bar. Open 4 p.m. daily. 3295 W. Hwy. 30A, 850-267-3028. $$ D Café Tango American. Seafood, poultry and pasta served with specialty sauces. Homemade desserts. Open Tue–Sun 5–10 p.m. 14 Vicki St., 850-267-0054. $$$ D Fish Out of Water Restaurant Continental. Southern coastal cuisine with an Asian flair: tuna, crab cakes, shrimp and scallops. 5:30–10 p.m. daily. Located in the WaterColor Inn, 850534-5050. $$$ D Louis Louis ★ American. The only thing that isn’t over the top at Louis Louis is the menu pricing. The Moulin Rouge-inspired interior décor is outrageously wonderful. Dine outside or in. The menu has six tasty items, from crab cakes, panned chicken, blackened fish and a few pastas. Mon–Sun 5–10 p.m. 35 Mussett Bayou Rd., 850-267-1500. $ D Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club American. Seafood, beef, poultry, lamb, veal, pastas, soups and bisques. Open Tues–Fri 11 a.m.– 2:30 p.m., Wed–Sat 5–9 p.m. 4801 W. Hwy. 30A, 850-267-2305. $$ l D

Seaside & Seagrove Beach Bud & Alley’s Restaurant American. Serving fresh seafood, steak and vegetarian options. Open 11:30 a.m. Mon–Fri. Roof bar open 11:30 p.m.–2 a.m. in summer. 2236 E. Hwy. 30A, 850231-5900. $$$ l D Café Thirty-A Seafood. Seafood, lamb, duck, filet mignon and pizza. Open daily 5 p.m. 3899 E. Hwy. 30A, 850-231-2166. $$ D Crush American. Crush features an extensive wine menu, sushi and small plates. Open daily for lunch and dinner, noon–10 p.m. 25 Central Sq., 850-468-0703. $$ l D Gravel Road American. Cozy bistro serving chicken, fish, beef and pasta. Lunch 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon–Sat. Dinner served at 5 p.m. 4935 E. Hwy. 30A, 850-534-0930. $$ l D Great SOuthern Café Southern. Jim Shirley serves up Southern comfort food with a twist. Open daily for breakfast 8–11 a.m., lunch 11 a.m.–4 p.m., dinner 4-11:30 p.m. 83 Central Sq., 850231-7327. $$ b l D La Botana Tapas. Small plates of  Latin-inspired cuisine served in a casual but elegant atmosphere. Wine bar. Lunch and dinner Mon–Fri 4–11 p.m., Sat–Sun 11 a.m.–11 p.m. 4281 E. Hwy. 30A, 850-231-0716. $$ l D La Cocina Mexican Grill & Bar Mexican. Traditional Tex-Mex with a coastal twist. Open daily 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5–9 p.m. Bar open until 10 p.m. 10343 E. Hwy. 30A, 850-231-4021. $$ l D Seagrove Village Market Café Steak and Seafood. Enjoy surf-and-turf and a glass of wine, then shop for gifts and souvenirs in the adjacent gift shop. Open 10:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m. daily. 3004 S. County Rd. 395, 850-231-5736. $$ l D ec April–May 2011


the last word

Locals eagerly await the return of loyal visitors to share its priceless sunsets.

An Oily Aftertaste Emotions of locals still run the gamut long after oil recedes from our shores and headline news By Zandra Wolfgram

he calls began as a trickle in April, then dwindled to just one a day and by mid-May — a month after the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill began gushing in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010 — cancellations due to guests changing travel plans were flooding in to local hotels, charter boats and area attractions. Local tourist development organizations received nearly $8 million in BP grants to implement marketing campaigns to try to counter negative images that flooded the media channels across the country. Despite their best efforts, tourist visits for the summer were down by 14 percent in the 26-mile Beaches of South Walton area alone. Shops, restaurants and businesses all along the Gulf Coast suffered, and unfortunately some businesses even closed their doors permanently. Though the few tar balls that made impact on area beaches are long gone, for many an emotional aftertaste lingers. For some it is bitter, for others bittersweet. Yet for some, the future couldn’t be sweeter. One year later, this is what Emerald Coast residents are saying:

90 April–May 2011

“We’re looking forward to a good year. Reservations are picking up and people are calling in. The biggest question is whether the fish are clean. That’s easy. Our fish were never tainted to begin with.” — Greg Featherston, Harbor Master, Destin “I feel BP might be stifling what is really going on. Some information may come out next year or the year after and everyone will have signed away rights to everything. I don’t feel I’m getting all the information.” — Stacey Troy, Retailer, Santa Rosa Beach “BP stole the whole fishing season from us.” — Steve Land, Boat Captain, Fort Walton Beach “I think we’re going to have a hell of a summer. The economy isn’t great, but consumer confidence is getting better. People will start

enjoying the finer things. And I think we’re going to see new faces, too.” — Joni Johnson, Boating Sales & Leasing, Destin “As far as looking forward, and that’s all we can do, we’re about to have a really good season. With my 30 years experience, we’ve always had a sense of what will be based on winter holidays and we just had a tremendous Thanksgiving and Christmas. It just lit up. It’s tea leaves, but it’s worked in the past.” — Tom Rice, Restaurateur, Destin “We prepared for the worst and were given the best. As far as the main impact, we were spared. Locally, business owners are still waiting for BP to step up. We are very optimistic about our next business year. We’re planning and forecasting for a terrific year. The visitors may have gone

elsewhere, but they’re coming back to Destin.” — Steve Wilson, Charter Boat Owner, Destin “We don’t know how it will be, but Panama City is experiencing more bookings this year than the 17 years before. It’ll be from zero to 200.” — Alex Correia, Cook, Freeport “I’m looking forward to this summer. We have high hopes.” — Erin Jackson, Student/Server, Seacrest “We can’t see (the oil) now, but it’s not gone. I wonder what kind of legacy we are leaving for our kids.” — Jackie Gibson, Catering Director, Destin “I hope we don’t get a hurricane and (the oil) comes up from the bottom. That’s my fear.” — Mary Gaynoe, Server, Fort Walton Beach

“I think we were extremely lucky. I think our beaches are gorgeous and precious. And if people feel like I do, they’ll be back.” — Barry Dalton, Retailer, Destin

Photo courtesy Beaches of South Walton Tourist Development COuncil


David Yurman | Kwiat | Gurhan | Daniel K | Marco Bicego | Roberto Coin Jean-Francois Albert | Konstantino | Erica Courtney | Oscar Heyman Paul Morelli | Alex Sepkins | Louis Glick | Jude Frances


133900 Hw 1339 Hwy. y 9988 We West st | D Des estin, FL (850) 65 650.2262 | McC c as aski killandCom ompa p

Emerald Coast Magazine April/May 2011  
Emerald Coast Magazine April/May 2011  

Capturing the essence of Florida’s thriving Emerald Coast with award-winning writing, bold layouts and stunning photography, Emerald Coast M...