Sophisticated Living St. Louis Nov/Dec 2022

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Nov/Dec 2022 14 Home Again 20 Still a Great Time to Buy or Sell a Home 26 The Mushroom Farmer Next Door 30 MOTHER Model Management Celebrates Milestone Year in Style 33 Upping the Ante on All-Inclusive 38 Charmed, I’m Sure 40 All in Good Fun 46 Why I Want to Collect Art 48 The Evolution of an Industry 50 Grape Expectations 52 Of Note... Board Games 54 A Symphony of Art & Science 56 New Books & Haute Looks 58 Best of Show 60 Ball & Chain 62 The Force of Emotions 64 Gift of Time 66 Change Begins with Us 69 Traveling the World on Wydown 74 Passion Project Brings Susie Busch-Transou Home slmag.net Nov/Dec 2022 five dollars on the cover: 10 Years of St. Louis’ Finest 69 Wonderful on WydownExcellent wine and Champagne selection at Bistro La Floraison. Photo by Carmen Troesser 2 slmag.net
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Still life of wrapped gifts from Lusso. Photo by Patrick Lanham.
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In celebration of Kit Heffern’s 50th anniversary at Elleard Heffern, the local Saint Louis fine jewelry company is honoring some of the city’s most dynamic women.

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The last 10 years didn’t seem to fly by as they were happening, but in retrospect they did.

I wasn’t looking to start a magazine, especially at a time when magazines were failing. But for some reason I did. I figured that it was something I could do into my seventies whereas I thought running a public relations firm that long would be difficult.

Little did I know that running an agency would become overwhelming after Type 2 diabetes, six stents, two heart attacks, and two back surgeries. In 2016 I sold the PR firm to allow more time for the magazine, sail 12,000 miles, and concentrate on the next chapter of my life which, at the rate my health was going, I figured I wouldn’t make it past my seventies.

In December 2021, I was diagnosed with 12 new coronary blockages, and it was strongly suggested by my cardiologist that I have a four-way coronary bypass. So I did. Now my doctors tell me that I will likely live longer, so for a second time in my life I am figuring out what to do with my time.

Luckily, I love Sophisticated Living: writing for it, collaborating with my colleagues, and sharing a positive point of view on our city. For my next chapter, Sophisticated Living will be my primary focus. As I double down on this, I want to acknowledge and thank all the people who have played major roles since the beginning. First and foremost, Cortney Vaughn has been here from the start and has been as loyal and consistent as anyone who has ever worked for the magazine. Lou Ann Wilcox, who has been our editor since 2020, has been the perfect partner. She approaches everything methodically and has been so easy to work with. As she starts her retirement, I wish her the best and welcome Courtney Scott as she takes over that role. Carrie Edelstein was the editor before Lou Ann and has overseen our special issues like Sophisticated Giving. Prior to Carrie, Christy Marshall and Veronica Theodoro held this position and each brought something new and unique to our growing luxury lifestyle brand. Our team has been steady and a joy with which to work.

With this November/December issue, we begin our second decade during troubling times, among them our city’s challenges, the deepening environmental crisis, our country’s political internal battles, and the world’s economic woes and shifting balance of power. But I am more optimistic than ever that Sophisticated Living fills an important role in the St. Louis landscape. While we occasionally receive some nasty comments about our focus on luxury lifestyles, we are committed to presenting positive stories about our city, its leaders, and people dedicated to making St. Louis better. If we simply responded to the naysayers, nothing new or bold would be attempted. We certainly need to address the issues of all St. Louisans, but, in my view, not at the expense of those of us who are working hard to make St. Louis the best it can be even though few of us will see all the benefits in our lifetime.

Like many of you, I was glued to the pomp and circumstance of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, the mourning of the British people, and the outpouring of affection for a monarch we all knew so little about. While I wondered if all of the pageantry was necessary, I was simultaneously impressed with how the Brits celebrated their admired royals. I’m sure some people have little tolerance of the royals, but it appeared, at least to me, that they, apart from the politicians, offer a distraction from the day-to-day realities of life. Afterall, the Brits don’t have the Cardinals and Blues to cheer for, so they do it for their monarchs. There is something so refined about this.

And this is why Sophisticated Living is a bit of an escape from daily life too. It’s a glimpse into the best of St. Louis, a calling to see ourselves in the best light possible,and to strive for our own inner royalty. When I married my wife Debbie in 1988, I always commented on how her family thought of St. Louis as a royal kingdom of sorts. A place steeped in history, family, traditions, and a more refined way of life. Now I look back on this with fondness and affection, realizing that so much of how we see ourselves, our city, and our traditions are man-made and a reflection of our imaginations, and allow us to aspire to the best possible life we can construct.

During this holiday season and 10th anniversary of Sophisticated Living in St. Louis, let’s commit to making the next 10 years the best possible. Sure, let’s address the problems, but let’s not forget to dream about the St. Louis we hope to create.

From the Publisher
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One resource to create all your #NothingOrdinary karr bick kitchen & bath design • construction • interiors Schedule your free design consultation today at 314.645.6545 or karrbick.com
PLEASE CONSIDER A SUBSCRIPTION HELP US STAY INDEPENDENT slmag.net July/August 2020 {St. Louis' Finest} slmag.net Sept/Oct 2020 {St. Louis' Finest} slmag.net Jan/Feb 2021 {St. Louis' Finest} slmag.net July/August 2021 {St. Louis' Finest} If you enjoy reading about St. Louis’ luxury lifestyle in our print and digital media, please consider subscribing. sophisticatedstlouis.com/subscribe PUBLISHER Craig Kaminer craig@slmag.net EDITOR Lou Ann Wilcox louann@slmag.net ADVERTISING Cortney Vaughn cortney@slmag.net DIGITAL CONTENT Courtney Scott courtney@slmag.net CONTRIBUTORS Writers Susan Barrett Jessen O’Brien Photographers Alise O’Brien Joe Martinez Carmen Troesser Design Stephanie Grateke SOPHISTICATED LIVING MEDIA Eric Williams Bridget Williams Greg Butrum Jason Yann Sophisticated Living® is published by High Net Worth Media, LLC and is independently owned and operated. Sophisticated Living® is a registered trademark of Williams Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Sophisticated Living® is published six times a year. All images and editorial are the property of High Net Worth Media, LLC and cannot be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission. Annual subscription fees are $25.00; please add $5 for subscriptions outside the US. Single copies may be purchased for $5 at select fine retail outlets. Telephone 314-82-SLMAG. SLMAG.NET

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HOME AGAIN

The renovation transformed a relatively traditional 1970s house into a glamorous home fit for a modern family.

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Inheriting your parents’ house as an adult comes with its own set of unique challenges – especially for those who decide to turn their childhood home into one for the next generation. Chief among them: How do you honor your own memories (as well as those of your parents) of living there with the need to create a home of your own, one that’s right for your family?

This is the situation that one St. Louis homeowner found herself in after her parents passed away. “I debated what I wanted to do with the house,” says the homeowner. “Since I was so close with my parents, I decided to keep it and make it my own, but I still wanted it to have a lot of the feel of the house I grew up in. It turned out so much better than I could have expected.”

She knew she would need the help of a designer for the project but was struggling to connect with one until a friend recommended April Jensen of ADJ Interiors. “The second I met with April, she got me,” says the homeowner. “We immediately had a great rapport and we became really great friends. It was almost sad when the project ended because I couldn’t spend time with April and her team anymore. She 100% understood what I wanted.”

The renovation required a team that not only was able to tackle the look and functionality of the home, but also understood the challenges the homeowner faced in changing the space.

“Even though she wanted the transformation, it was emotional for her,” says April. “The first thing I did was meet with her at her childhood home so that I could understand how much it meant to her. As she walked me through it, she shared a lot of her memories of the space, which helped me understand where she was coming from.”

April worked along with architect Paul Fendler of Fendler + Associates and Troy Duncan, the owner of PK Construction, to turn a very traditional house built in 1979 into one that would work for a modern family with a much more glam and easy aesthetic. That involved adding on a hearth room, sun porch, and master suite –complete with a home office – as well as renovating most of the existing home, including the kitchen, dining room, and finished basement.

“Change is hard, so in the beginning, we took it slow, and focused on functionality,” says April. “We documented each part of the home and the transformation so that she’ll have the story to share with her kids. She can say, ‘This is the day we demoed the kitchen.’”

The homeowner was drawn to fireplace screens by John Richard that double as works of art, here adding to the living room’s sophisticated aesthetic.
slmag.net 15

The kitchen stayed largely in its original location but was expanded and modernized. “We have these beautiful chandeliers over the island, which add so much,” says the homeowner. The other big statement piece is the island: a tiered, double waterfall. “The amount of math, physics, and teamwork between the builder, the electrician, and the plumber to create something that looks so simple was incredible,” says April.

The challenge was making such a large island appear seamless. The three-inch difference in the levels created just enough space to fit in the electrics while achieving the look the homeowner wanted. As an added benefit, they were able to use counter stools instead of bar stools so that anyone sitting at the island remains at eye level with the cook.

On one end of the kitchen is a sleek black bar with a backsplash of white marble tiles grouted in gold. Glass shelves and pendant lights add sparkle while keeping the space open. The homeowner’s parents loved antiques, including a cherished blackand-gold clock displayed on the bar. “It’s so interesting to see some of these pieces look so perfect in a space that now, 30 years later, looks completely different,” says April.

To honor her parents, the homeowner commissioned a gold painting of two birds from St. Louis painter Zach Smithey, which

hangs by the bar. “Whenever I see birds, I think of my parents,” explains the homeowner. “Zach has such a unique eye; I thought about commissioning one or two pieces from him and ended up with five or six that really add so much to the home.”

The homeowner loved the idea of commissioning pieces to mix in with some of the oil paintings her parents had collected over the years, and April has always been a big fan of tapping local artists to make a space feel personal while giving back to the community. In addition to Smithey, they worked with several other local artists to create pieces that were just right for the space. Carrie Gillen’s work hangs in the master bedroom; pieces by Ted Collier are in the dining and hearth rooms; and Sheppard Morose’s artwork is in the entryway and dining room.

The dining room is also home to another impressive custom piece: a round, 84-inch dining table which local furniture maker David Stine fashioned from a single slab of white oak then treated with the Japanese method of shou sugi ban. The wood is carefully charred, which preserves it and turns it a rich, dark color that showcases the grain. “It’s a masterpiece,” says April, who notes that the table is practical in addition to being beautiful. “There’s plenty of space to fit 10 gorgeous chairs around it.”

Two crystal chandeliers from Metro Lightning hang over the custom-built, two-tiered kitchen island.
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There are two one-of-a-kind pieces in the dining room: the custom table by David Stine and abstract painting by Sheppard Morose. A painting of two birds representing the homeowners’ parents hangs in the bar.
slmag.net 17

One of the homeowner’s favorite parts of the master suite is its many views overlooking nature.

At first, the homeowner wasn’t sure she wanted a tub in the master bath; now, she’s grateful April persuaded her to include a larger soaker in addition to the rainfall shower.

Two vintage brass chandeliers the homeowner’s father had collected from a local bank add character and a touch of eclecticism to the hearth room.

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Much of the first floor is rendered in blacks and charcoals that are paired with gold, white, and a silvery-blue for contrast. In the hearth room, the balance flips. The walls and many of the fabrics are in light blue or gray tones, while the vaulted ceiling is painted white. From it hangs two remarkable brass chandeliers, another antique from the homeowner’s father’s collection. “He collected it from a bank building in downtown St. Louis,” says April. “They are the kind of pieces you can’t find just anywhere. I love that there are these remnants of her family home and history that look so cool in the space.”

The light and contemporary color scheme continues in the master suite. “I had never had a big closet, so in every meeting, I would ask, ‘Could we go a bit bigger?’ Now my kids laugh because it’s bigger than their bedrooms,” says the homeowner. “The whole master suite is so relaxing and beautiful; I have big picture windows that look out on the pool, and it’s just perfect for me.”

The suite also includes a home office with a wall of dark, black cabinetry, a comfortable magenta armchair, and stylish Platner side table. It’s an eclectic collection that just works, creating a mood that is cozy, modern, and glamorous all at once. A landscape by painter Luc Cossier dit Walles that was picked up in New Orleans hangs in front and center in a new black frame, juxtaposed with a piece by Zach Smithey of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on a skateboard.

It’s this mixture of the old and new that makes the home’s transition so successful. “We found the pieces of her parents that really meant something to her and put them in strategic places so that when she walks through her home, there are little reminders that bring her comfort,” says April. “As a designer, it’s our responsibility to make a space for the things that truly matter to our client – the things that nurture them and are important to them.”

sl
A serene first-floor master suite was added to the house, giving the homeowner a spacious and comfortable retreat.
slmag.net 19

STILL A GREAT TIME TO BUY OR SELL A HOME

Sophisticated Living recently caught up with Julie Lane, a numberone selling agent with Janet McAfee Real Estate focusing on luxury homes, who assured us that the St. Louis residential real estate market is strong and stable. “Although the market is not like it was a year ago and the inventory of homes for sale remains low, it is still a great time to buy or sell,” she says. While home prices have dropped in California as well as cities such as Austin and Seattle, “Because St. Louis is a conservative city, the highs and lows are not extreme,” she explains. “We have not seen huge price drops in this market. And, there are plenty of opportunities for first-time home buyers who are interested in building equity.”

Lane sees her role as an agent as being that of an advocate –whether for the buyer or the seller – and was happy to share her observations about the evolving market as well as recommendations for maximizing the buying and selling outcome.

“I always advise buyers to purchase as much house as they can afford,” she says. “It is a long-term strategy that provides the most value. Lane notes that buyers are financing the purchase of a new home differently now that interest rates are higher. “People are putting more money down initially, knowing they can refinance later, say within 15 years. The likelihood of interest rates going down during that time is very high.” She encourages buyers to discuss options with their financial managers and banks as well as their agent.

“For sellers, our goal is to maximize their options,” Lane says. “We don’t want to leave money on the table. I recommend showing the house to as many potential buyers as possible.” Lane notes that some sellers prefer to keep the listing within the brokerage company they choose to employ. However, statistics show that the seller may not get the absolute top dollar for their home. “Privacy is always paramount with any of my listings, whether an owner prefers the property to be on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and let ALL agents know about it, or to keep it as an ‘in office’ listing. With an MLS arrangement, I am able to share the listing with all agents who work in that specific price point across our region and further to ensure that everyone who is qualified to purchase the home knows it is for sale.”

“We sometimes get push back on the recommendations we make for preparing a home for sale. Trust your agent,” she says. “One of the most important things affecting the sale of a home is its condition. Homes which are on the market for a long period of time may be priced too high or are in less than ‘showing’ condition.

Buyers cannot see the potential in the home because there are too many obstacles – clutter, dirt, or too much of the homeowners’ stuff. We emphasize clean, maintained, and neutralized,” she says. “Windows, ovens, carpets should be deep cleaned. It should be apparent to buyers that the home has been well maintained. It also means decluttering and for the most part depersonalizing.”

Lane says there’s some misunderstanding regarding depersonalizing a home. “It’s a fine line. I advise to eliminate clutter and depersonalize to a degree. For example, remove family photos and collections. In St. Louis, people know each other. When people leave the showing, you want them talking about the house – not the homeowners, their kids, their things. We want buyers to focus on the features of the house and how they might live in it.”

“All homes, particularly high-end homes, are very personalized and customized. The home works for the seller but it may not work so well for others. Neutralizing the house means more than just removing personal effects. The goal is to make the house appeal to as wide of an audience as possible,” she adds.

According to Lane, it is worth it to hire an interior decorator for a few hours to rearrange furniture and accessories after decluttering. If the house is empty, she suggests staging it. “An agent, stager, or interior decorator typically can help make a home more appealing to a broader audience. You might want to re-purpose rooms, for example. It is a fact that houses that are staged sell faster than empty houses. It would be an interesting study to determine if houses that were not depersonalized take longer to sell than houses that are more neutral, but we see it in the reactions of potential buyers. If they cannot picture their own possessions in the space, they will move on.”

“A little extra effort goes a long way,” she concludes. sl

A number one-selling agent at Janet McAfee Real Estate several times, Julie Lane has been in the real estate business since 2008. She can be reached through her website julielanerealestate.com.
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THE MUSHROOM FARMER NEXT DOOR

For the last few years my signature meal that I cook on most Sunday nights is shiitake mushroom pasta in a light sauce made only with the mushrooms, olive oil, sea salt, cracked black pepper, grated parmesan cheese, and pasta water. If you like mushrooms and Italian food, this is the best of both worlds, with distinct flavors, a subtle creamy texture without cream, and simple ingredients from Italy and St. Louis, where the mushrooms are grown year-round – believe it or not – in the Central West End.

This love of mushrooms started when I lived in Italy and had fresh porcini and white truffles regularly. Since then, we begrudgingly settled for dried varieties from online retailers such as Urbani. Recently however, I discovered an amazing mushroom grower at the Tower Grove Farmers Market by the name Ozark Forest Mushroom Company, a 30+ year passion project of the Hellmuth family, perhaps better known as one of the founders of world-renowned architectural firm HOK (Hellmuth is the H).

In addition to selling at famer’s markets, Ozark Forest Mushrooms provides specialty foods to restaurants, grocery stores, coops, and porch pickups to individuals in the St. Louis area. They specialize in distributing unique mushroom varieties and wild edibles alongside the products they grow on their 2,000+ acre family farm in Timber, Missouri. But they are best known for their log-grown shiitake.

The family farm – called Timber Farms – dates back three generations and is in the Big Springs region of the southern Missouri Ozarks. This truly wild and beautiful area abounds with vast tracts of oak forest, clear springs, caves, and sparkling streams. The humid microclimate and oak/hickory forest along Sinking Creek, which runs through the Hellmuth’s farm, provides ideal conditions and substrates for cultivating shiitake mushrooms. By blending Ozark ingenuity, traditional Japanese techniques, evidence-based sustainability philosophies, and a lot of hard work, they have expanded the shiitake production to over 25,000 logs.

With the pandemic and a fleeting work force in southern Missouri, Henry Hellmuth, 30, who recently took over the business from his mom, focuses the majority of his growing in the Central West End. On the day I met with him for this story, I walked around the back of the family’s historic home on West Pine Boulevard to find two good-sized growing tents and a converted carriage house which includes commercial refrigeration, a sorting and packing area, and easy access for loading their delivery vans.

As I peeked into the tents a rush of humidity escaped and fogged my glasses unexpectedly. Henry led me into the tents where I found rows of mushroom packs (more on this later) stacked from floor to ceiling in various growth stages. It was a venerable Alice in

Henry working in the grow tent.
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Wonderland experience seeing, smelling, and tasting their prized shiitakes as well as the other mushrooms they grow in St. Louis.

In the Central West End location, all of the mushrooms are grown in (or better described as on) grow bags which are made of sawdust mixed with other things like soybean hulls, wheat bran, and lyme for the various nutrients. To minimize the risk of power outages which would wipe out their crop, back-up generators run the air conditioning and humidifiers that are needed for the operation. “If there is a power outage, we can load everything from our fridges, run the generators, and have multiple grow tents so we can quarantine the crop. Buying, selling, and growing mushrooms ourselves; getting stuff in from all over the place; and having multiple different fail-safe and backup options is part of the key to our success,” Henry said.

The principal crops in St. Louis are shiitakes, blue oyster, yellow oyster, chestnut, and lion’s mane. On the farm, they grow heirloom log shiitakes, which have a better flavor, a little bigger cap, and denser texture. “In addition to the six varieties of mushrooms we’re producing, we buy from another local farmer who grows exclusively for us. We buy the hen of the woods and the king oysters, which require a bit different growing conditions. Then we buy the beech mushrooms and any wild mushrooms

that are in season from various farmers, plus portobello, cremini, and white button mushrooms. In total we are selling 10 to 15 mushroom varieties every week.”

Besides the mushrooms they grow themselves, Ozark Forest Mushrooms distributes products from other mushroom farms and foragers. Every week shipments of creminis, button, and portobellos arrive from a large organic farm in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, wild mushrooms from the west coast and Europe arrive on Monday, and hen of the woods and king oysters arrive from another local Missouri farm on Thursday.

“My mom started growing mushrooms about 32 years ago,” Henry explained. “She was a biology teacher and worked at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. My dad was an architect and had a family farm where they ran cattle. Both were very interested in agriculture and had a big garden. My mom started experimenting growing mushrooms and realized that it was a really good climate. Her chef friends started buying our mushrooms when she grew too many for her own personal use. Before long she decided to start a business selling the mushrooms. Back in the day there were no local mushrooms. In fact, there weren’t a lot of local farm businesses. She was at the forefront of the local food movement as we know it today.”

Packing chestnut and blue oyster mushrooms for restaurant Assortment of mushrooms ready for delivery to restaurant Blue oyster close-up Beautiful yellow oyster cluster
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Now, it is a seven-day per week business for 52 weeks a year. Henry and his five associates in St. Louis pack mushroom orders for grocery stores and make deliveries. That can take up to three hours. At some point in the day they harvest all the mushrooms from the greenhouses in St. Louis. “We run to the airport every Monday to pick up mushrooms. On Thursdays we do a special Columbia, Missouri, run and pick up the mushroom bags from another farm. Thursdays are also a heavy unloading and loading day in the afternoon. We’re growing mushrooms, picking mushrooms, and delivering mushrooms Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday we do farmer’s markets and someone makes the three-hour run to the farm, takes over for the farm manager, and then brings back all the products to St. Louis.”

Ozark Forest Mushrooms is building a facility in the Fox Park neighborhood with scheduled completion in 2023. It will be the new home of the St. Louis operation and approximately three times larger than the current Central West End location.

According to Henry, “The mushroom industry is very regional. There are a lot of small mushroom growers because it’s a quicker turnover business than most crops which are planted in the spring and harvested in the fall. Mushrooms grow quickly – often doubling in size every day – so you can grow and harvest

after only 30 days and you can fruit it inside on a small scale. Also, the shelf life is very poor for mushrooms so the business lends itself to buying local and fresh.”

After a difficult couple of years during COVID when the restaurant business dried up, Henry took over the family mushroom business after graduating from the University of Missouri - Columbia where he got a bachelor’s degree in plant science and agri-economics and then a Master’s degree from the University of California-Davis. “I helped my mom through the tough times and decided to take over a little bit after finishing my Master’s. After a year or so, I decided to stick around full time and try to grow the business. The goal is to double the staff, buy a new building to expand operations, and be able to take some time off. Each of us currently does every job, every day, but I hope with growth each person will have a specific job, like a harvester, someone who specializes in marketing, someone who’s the delivery driver, a general manager and then a full-time money person to deal with the books. We’ll all have distinct jobs and time off.”

“Mushrooms are definitely trendier than they’ve ever been,” Henry noted. “The average person doesn’t know a lot about mushrooms; most think they grow out of the ground and that while you can eat some of them, others will kill you. One of the things we deal with is that they have a very short shelf life and you need to

Log grown shiitakes 28 slmag.net

refrigerate them. At farmer’s markets I spread the word on how to care for them because people regularly purchase them, leave them in their car, and then stick them on the counter. They come back the next week and say they were rotten before they tried to eat them that night.”

He continued, “From harvest, they’ll probably last about two weeks if you keep them refrigerated the whole time and you’ve picked them at the ideal maturity for most varieties. Typically, you want to eat them within a week of harvest. Once harvested, we refrigerate them instantly. We sell them no more than three days after harvest to the end consumer. There should be four to five days of peak quality, but they will last a little longer. They just get ugly but they’re still totally edible, even though most people think they’re rotten at that point.”

“Back in the day, we’d work more closely with chefs, but now a lot of chefs know how to work with mushrooms, especially professional chefs at high-end restaurants. We frequently drop off samples and try to build a relationship with new chefs. They understand that ordering from us is really easy. They text us an order and we quickly deliver what they need the same day.”

Many of St. Louis’ most acclaimed restaurateurs are regulars including Lou Rook at Annie Gunn’s and Gerard Craft at Brasserie and Pasteria. Restaurant customers include Lucky Accomplice, The Four Seasons, Little Fox, Edera, Sidney Street Cafe, Juniper,

Winslow’s Table, Vicia, Olive & Oak, and Katie’s Pizza. These restaurants spread the good word about Ozark Forest Mushrooms to the other chefs. “That’s how most of our marketing works – just delivering a quality product every single week without fail for a long time,” laughed Henry.

As we wrapped up our lively chat about all things mushroom, Henry shared some of his personal favorites and recipes with me. “The log-grown shiitake that we’re best known for are still probably my favorite. They have an amazing shelf life and an earthy flavor with a very distinct umami note. Nothing else tastes like a shiitake with that one little flavor note.” Henry shared a favorite mushroom stir fry recipe that they have made at a couple of festivals. “It’s super simple; just corn oil, garlic, and ginger, stir fried with shiitakes and you throw in some bok choy with a little soy sauce and maybe a dash of plum sauce for sweetness. Serve that over rice or noodles. I really like putting shiitakes in coconut curries too. They really add a lot of depth to cream sauces or a risotto – or just sauteed with butter and garlic – which is what most people do. Getting them golden brown and crispy and spreading them out in the pan is like a key to extra deliciousness.” sl

You can find Ozark Forest Mushrooms at Tower Grove Farmers Market on Saturdays like me, or order online at www.ozarkforest.com.

Henry examines justpicked yellow oysters
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MOTHER MODEL MANAGEMENT CELEBRATES MILESTONE YEAR IN STYLE

When you walk into the office of MOTHER Model Management, you are instantly transported into their world. Mood music plays on surround sound, like it would on the set of a photo shoot, and the walls are lined with framed fashion magazine covers, namely Vogue, that feature their clients. I sat with Mary Clarke, co-owner with her husband Jeff, to discuss their milestone anniversary celebrating 25 years in business and 10 years producing their TRIBUTE fashion show, which takes place this November at new venue, The Hawthorn, on Washington Avenue.

Mary had just returned from New York Fashion Week, where two new St. Louis models, Ava Christian and Aaliyah Buford, made their debut. The models walked in several prominent shows including a spectacular show by Vogue and another by Proenza Schouler. There, they ran into Karlie Kloss who went out of her way to assure the new models that they were in good hands with MOTHER Model.

After two years of events affected by pandemic protocols, Mary remarked that it finally felt more like a normal fashion week. “It is fun to see fashion back,” said Mary. “Fashion has become broader in the sense of what it is, from street style and everything in-between. That is what we try to do at TRIBUTE and I think we are good at presenting all of the aspects of fashion.”

“TRIBUTE began as an acknowledgement of the success that we were having globally which we wanted to share with the community,” remarked Mary. “It’s evolved into a showcase for local talent from designers to stylists and we love having Caleres as our sponsor.”

It has become a launching pad for models, which for many is their first show. From there, they will go on to sign contracts with renowned labels like Gucci. “We certainly never would have thought that’s what it could be, but that’s what it’s become,” beamed Mary. Now the attendees include agents, casting directors, and writers from fashion publications who come to see who might be the next to catapult into the scene.

Every year, Mary aims to include as many attendees as she can. She wants everyone to join in the excitement of the show, which is

always different and packed with surprises. “TRIBUTE is the least stuffy, most fun fashion experience,” Mary gushed proudly.

It is not their only side project. During lockdown, the Clarkes had a lot of time to soul search on what else they wanted to do. Mary took some time to sift through old cards and emails from people they had worked with, some of whom went on to model and some who didn’t. Their messages reflected how their time with MOTHER Model was positive for their personal growth. One of the things the Clarkes have provided over the years for their models is a retreat-style weekend, when everyone puts their phones away and gets to know each other.

They developed Model You Weekend, which any aspiring model over the age of 13 can attend. It was designed to help participants tap into their inner potential and build esteem. It culminates with a photo shoot on the second day. “We all struggle with confidence and feeling good about who we are,” said Mary, who noted that Model You Weekends are the most rewarding part of her work now. One mother of a participant shared with Mary how much her daughter had gained and grown from the weekend, stating, “The daughter that I dropped off is not the daughter that I picked up.”

In an age where social media reigns, MOTHER Model can’t ignore the fact that it is a huge influence in booking modeling jobs. Fashion companies will often select models on how many Instagram followers they have or how they present themselves on the platform. Mary explained that they talk to their models about how to use the platform to authentically stand out by creating positive content. They stress that it is important to use their influence for good.

The thing that differentiates Mary Clarke and her team is that they go beyond the superficial aspects of what makes a model. It is apparent in their approach that they really care about the individuals, working with them on building their esteem and honing their craft, which often in the process, forms a sense of family and a support system among the models. As Mary said in her ever-soothing voice, “That is why I think the name MOTHER is so appropriate, because we are there to say it is okay.” sl

Mary at a previous Caleres TRIBUTE fashion show. Photo by Richard Nichols
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Mary in her office. Photo by Bibi Photography Studio Mary Clarke at a Model You Weekend. Photo by Bibi Photography Studio
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UPPING THE ANTE ON ALL-INCLUSIVE

Sandals rolls out its “next-generation Luxury Included experience," with the opening of Sandals Royal Curaçao.

The most successful businesses actively engage in an ongoing battle to stave off complacency. Butch Stewart purchased a dilapidated Jamaican hotel, renovated and reopened it in 1981 as Sandals Montego Bay. Chances are he didn't envision the 99-room allinclusive resort eventually burgeoning to 251 rooms in 19 categories and serving as the flagship for a brand with sixteen distinct properties. Rather than resting on its reputation among loyal clientele, Sandals is focused on innovation, particularly in the luxury space, with its "next-generation Luxury Included experience," which debuted with the opening of Sandals Royal Curaçao this past June.

Nestling up to the spot where the serene and sheltered waters of Spanish Water Bay, one of the most well-protected

anchorages in the Caribbean, meets the Caribbean Sea, the west-facing resort occupies 44 acres within the 3,000-acre Santa Barbara Estate. Ringed by rugged hills ideal for hiking and mountain biking, the property also lies alongside the protected Underwater Marine Park.

The 351-room resort includes many firsts for the brand, including more all-inclusive luxury options than ever before. The most coveted keys are those that open the door to the Awa Seaside Butler Bungalows, boasting a private infinity pool steps away from the beach and a large covered terrace with an alfresco soaking tub. Amplifying the experience is the attentive services of a personal butler.

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Guests of all-inclusive resorts typically have little incentive to leave a given property. However, at Sandals Royal Curaçao, several intentional initiatives encourage the exploration of this colorful Dutch Caribbean island, home to more than 35 stunning beaches and a diverse heritage spanning 55 different cultures. Guests staying in the Kurason Island Poolside Butler Bungalows and Awa Seaside Butler Bungalows have a stable of MINI Cooper convertibles, painted in varying hues to mimic the iconic buildings in nearby Willemstad, at their disposal. We dropped the top and took ours to Shete Boka National Park (shetebokapark.org). The park's lunar-like landscape offers plenty of hiking trails and the opportunity to cool off in the arid environment by getting close to the sea spray from sizeable waves pounding into underground caverns and the jagged coastline.

Further immersing guests in the unique flavors of the island, Sandals Royal Curaçao offers the brand's first-ever offsite dining program, Island Inclusive, which expands its all-inclusive dining options to eight partner restaurants around the island. Valid on sevennight minimum stays, the program is available exclusively to guests

booked in Butler suites and Sandals Select Reward Members, offering one voucher to dine out at one of the eight partner restaurants, with offsite roundtrip transportation included. We chose MosaCaña (mosacana.com), a lively and exceptionally popular fusion-style spot tucked away in the heart of Willemstad.

The resort has also partnered with Island Routes to provide authentic experiences all over the island. For example, during an afternoon guided e-bike tour through the capital city, we crossed the floating Queen Emma Bridge to admire the pastel-colored colonial buildings and stopped midway for a refreshing artisan fruitsicle at Popcultr.

As someone with limited all-inclusive experience, the on-property dining was certainly a highlight for me, with seven of the eight restaurants being new concepts for the brand. Arriving early and before our room was ready, we were ushered to the beachfront food truck area, where we didn't mind waiting while sampling small bites of Curaçao fare from Toteki, Spanish tapas from La Palma, and Asian fusion from Kishi.

The Beach Club is located on the inlet leading to Spanish Water Bay.
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Interior of a Kurason Island Poolside Butler Bungalow. Sunset view from the soaking tub at the Awa Seaside Butler Bungalow. Originally conceived by artist Serena Israel, a sculpture of a Chichi, representing an older sister who is a strong, proud, voluptuous Caribbean woman, greets guests at the main entrance.
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The entrance to Gatsu Gatsu Small plates from the La Palma foodtruck. Photo by Bronwyn Knight
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Throughout our group's stay, the combination of a tempting menu, the all-inclusive format, and an inability to choose prompted several travel mates to select multiple appetizers and even more than one entrée at dinner, which was particularly easy at the Japanese-style restaurant Gatsu Gatsu. The most aesthetically unique spot, with plating to match, is European-fusion restaurant Vincent, whose interiors pay homage to the famous Dutch painter.

While diving is part of the all-inclusive package, most guests seemed content with bobbing about in the double-decker Dos Awa infinity pool (a design first for the brand). A DJ at the swim-up bar kept the energy up, along with games to inspire friendly competition. We opted to seek out a shady spot on the calmer and quieter beach adjacent to Spanish Water bay, where we made fast friends with a couple who were Sandals devotees and introduced us to their favorite shot—a Lemondrop. With 13 bars on the property, you're never

lacking for a libation, including many premium brands. Still not accustomed to late-night activities eliminated during the pandemic, it was a treat to head to the resort's al fresco nightclub after dinner for a show followed by a dance party and then a nightcap in the piano bar. Visiting soon after the property opened, we expected a few hiccups in service. Happily, we experienced only affable, engaging, and accommodating assistance, a testament to the brand's well-oiled machine methodology. Jamaican-born GM Kevin Clark, a Sandals veteran, explained that they achieved high standards from the get-go by importing top staff from other properties in their portfolio to work alongside island-based employees and bring them up to speed on the Sandals standard of services. And, with a ninety-two-percent occupancy rate and their Kurason Island Poolside Butler Bungalows booked through 2024, that strategy is paying off. sl

For more information, visit sandals.com/royal-curacao.

Kurason Island Poolside Butler Bungalows are oriented around a heart-shaped pool. Photo by Bronwyn Knight.
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ALL IN GOOD FUN

Virgin Voyages’ adults-only cruises bring out the kid in everyone.

Not even a hand-written note signed by his five grandchildren was enough to persuade Sir Richard Branson to change course from the adults-only policy aboard his Virgin Voyages cruise line. This endearing anecdote came to light on a balmy evening this past May during a champagne toast with the affable entrepreneur as the Valiant Lady pulled out of the harbor in Barcelona for the ship's maiden voyage in the Mediterranean.

The 72-year-old billionaire, fresh from the fitness studio and still in his workout gear, possesses a natural gift of gab and effortlessly worked the crowd of media and VIPs assembled for an al fresco reception at The Dock lounge before sitting down to recount the story of how Virgin Voyages came to be. Branson said he was planning on spending a few days on board before jetting off to South Africa for a meeting of a group initially brought together by Nelson Mandela called The Elders. The independent global leaders works together on peacekeeping and human rights issues.

After the pandemic pushed back Virgin Voyages’ initial launch multiple times, Branson, who says he'd never been

interested in a cruise vacation until he designed his own line from start-to-finish using insight gleaned from creating Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Active, Virgin America, and even Virgin Galactic, is buoyed by the early enthusiastic response and numbers of fellow first-time cruisers.

My twenty-two-year-old daughter, a cruising newbie, accompanied me on my first big ship sail since 1996. The memories of that budget experience had set the bar low in my mind, and I'd even warned my daughter about a cramped cabin, mediocre food, and long lines - all of which were quickly disproven as soon as we entered the cruise terminal. We breezed through check-in, received bracelets that served as our room key and credit card, and were swiftly escorted to our room, where our bags were already waiting for us. En route, we admired the chic, sometimes cheeky interiors conceived by a global team, a sizeable number of those chosen because they'd never worked on a ship before. The design directive from the top was to create forward-thinking premium spaces that are both glamorous and fun.

Sir Richard Branson poses in a porthole window in The Wake restaurant. Photo by Peggy Sirota.
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Massive Suite living room with a view into the music room. The Roundabout, the ship's central hub. Photo by Gina Joy. Designed by artist Hillary Wilson, Valiant Lady’s Black mermaid is intended to convey the energy of a woman moving confidently towards her dreams.
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Our central sea terrace room felt much roomier than its reported 225 square feet, with boutique-hotel-inspired design elements; a Seabed, the first-ever transformational cabin bed at sea, specially engineered and handcrafted by Walter Knoll in Germany; tablet-adjustable mood lighting; and a roomy rain shower. I am not one for sitting still, but I spent quite a great deal of time in the early mornings soaking up the sea scenery in our terrace's signature red woven hammock. Created by artisans from Yellow Leaf, the social enterprise fosters women's empowerment and community transformation in rural Thailand. Eighty-six percent of Virgin Voyages' cabins feature a balcony.

Each ship features 78 suites on board. These RockStar Quarters sailors get backstage access at every corner, including first dibs on reservations for dining, entertainment, and shore excursions. At the top of the food chain is the Massive suite (2,17 square feet), which includes its own music room, complete with guitars and an amplifier, as well as a private hot tub, an outdoor dining area for six, and a marble-clad bathroom.

My daughter and I are like two peas in a pod, but we definitely have different agendas when it comes to travel. The cruise format allowed us to have a personalized holiday experience together. So, while I was an early riser who relished gym time and partaking of complimentary classes ranging from boxing to bungee, she could sleep in and meet me for brunch at The Galley. In this expansive food hall, she indulged her love of sushi, and I went old school with bacon and eggs at the 24-hour retro-styled Diner & Dash.

The ship is a haven for wellness enthusiasts, with a secluded yoga sundeck with 360-degree views, a running track, an outdoor training area complete with a boxing ring, and massive fitness studios with separate spaces for cardio and strength training. Pampering is provided by the Redemption Spa, where there's a hydrotherapy pool, mud room, salt room, cold plunge pools, and quartz beds. In addition, the spa is host to evening soirees where a DJ transforms the thermal suite into a mermaid hideaway extravaganza.

At the launch cocktail reception, Tom McAlpin, President & CEO of Virgin Voyages, said that in the initial planning stages, it

Virgin Voyages' ships feature an exclusive patent-pending cabin layout that includes the Seabed, the first-ever transformational cabin bed at sea, specially engineered and handcrafted by Walter Knoll in Germany. Virgin sign illuminated with a view of a gorgeous sunset over The Runway running track. Photo by Gina Joy. Boxing area at Training Camp. All terraces feature custom-designed hammocks, handwoven by artisans from Yellow Leaf, a social enterprise that fosters women's empowerment and community transformation in rural Thailand.
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became evident that people weren't overly enthusiastic about the beige buffets synonymous with mass-market cruising. So instead, they opted for a made-to-order format for each ship's 20 dining outlets, with menus created in collaboration with Michelin-starred chefs. This improves quality and reduces waste as part of a larger initiative to "green" the cruise industry.

And, for those who relish in bounteous buffets, fear not, as a wide variety of high-quality dining options (akin to what you'd find on dry land) are available around the clock. While reservations are often a must outside The Galley, Gunbae, a lively Koreanstyle barbeque, is the only restaurant where your party is seated with strangers. The arrangement presented no problem as the cheerleader-like servers had us playing a soju drinking game like we were old friends in no time.

An amuse-bouche for the eyes, the unique interior design of each dining venue is perfectly in-step with the cuisine. At The Wake, a surf and turf spot leaning towards the refined side, descending a grand staircase reveals a large window at the ship's aft. Euro-centric

styling with touches of mid-century mod complements the elevated Italian fare served at Extra Virgin. Mirroring its "naughty or nice" menu is a bold graphic black and white theme at Razzle Dazzle Restaurant. The uniquely illuminated entrances at the sleek Tom Dixon-designed Pink Agave restaurant and The Manor nightclub are Instagram gold.

Each of the seven bars and lounges on board has a similarly unique flair. I loved how you could go directly from beer, air hockey, and arcade games at the Loose Cannon pub to a refined afternoon of high tea in the elegant environs at Sip Lounge.

The aforementioned The Manor is inspired by Branson's history in the music industry and his first-ever Virgin music studio of the same name. It's the site of everything from a 1980s-inspired workout class, complete with Shakeweights, to Never Sleep Alone, a participatory show starring Dr. A, a funny and straight-talking relationship therapist. Richard's Rooftop, an exclusive outdoor lounge reserved for the ship's suite guests, was our daily go-to for an afternoon glass of bubbly.

Gunbae Korean BBQ. Photo by Scott Grummett Razzle Dazzle, the vegetarian-forward (and omnivore-friendly) restaurant. Servers lift the covers off of a dish in the Test Kitchen. The Manor’s glittery entrance is one of the most photographed and Insta-worthy spaces on-board.
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View from the ship while docked in Port of Marina di Carrara, Italy. A leather artisan at the Hippie Market in Ibiza, Spain. Bandol aging at Domaine de l'Olivette in Le Castellet, France
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Nearly every night, we went to The Red Room, the first transformational multi-form theatre for a dance party or a jawdropping cirque-style performance. Then, inspired by Voyage Vinyl, the onboard record shop, we booked a private room at The Groupie and sang karaoke to our heart's content, happy knowing that no one but us could hear.

The diversity of the enthusiastic staff, dedicated to the principle of providing "RockStar" service, is reflective of the clientele. For example, Virgin Voyages proudly proclaims that each ship's 1,160 crew members are permitted to have visible tattoos. "We encourage our Crew to express their individuality and 'come as you are,'" said McAlpin. After my daughter and I took first place (and a complimentary cocktail) in a dodgeball tournament held on the ship's basketball court, we talked with the event hostess. She affirmed McAlpin's sentiment and expressed how much she enjoyed her time working aboard. This heterogeneity is highlighted during Scarlet Night, a ship-wide party full of as much debauchery as you'd like it to be. It culminated in a pool party where octogenarians danced alongside buff twenty-somethings clad only in teenie weenie sequined bikini bottoms.

And, speaking of tattoos, a cruise ship is the last place I’d think of to get inked for the first time. However, following a casual peek inside Squid Ink—the first tattoo studio at sea operated in partnership with the world-renowned artisans of Tattoo Ink—my daughter convinced me to sign us up to get matching “points in common” on the inside of our wrists. Though I felt we were

insulting the artistic skills of the tattooists with our simplistic scheme, they made the experience fun and memorable.

While many of our fellow sailors seemed content lounging poolside and enjoying the fantastic soundtrack presented by a rotating lineup of DJs every day, there was a full schedule of programming covering topics such as acupuncture to anti-aging workshops. Ports of call also offered scores of creative shore excursions. While we were sad to miss the tour of Sienna behind the wheel of a vintage Fiat, we enjoyed an e-bike tour and tasting at a French winery with a visit to a medieval castle, visiting a honey "farm," and checking out the "hippie market" during a two-day stop in Ibiza. However, at most ports, we enjoyed a lot of DIY wandering. Disembarking to stroll the streets of old Ibiza at sunrise presented us with a curious parade. The trudge of glitter-covered revelers with smeary eye makeup who felt immortal just a few hours ago contrasted with the brisk pace of early bird exercisers chasing immortality in an entirely different fashion. Yachts lined the harbor like bikes in a rack outside a vinyl shop on record day. Phones make it nearly impossible to truly get lost these days. So, at each ancient Mediterranean port of call, it was fun to pocket it for a bit to get temporarily turned about in a maze of alleyways and staircases where the likes of Napoleon once tread and then return to the ship in time for a king's feast of a dinner. sl

Valiant Lady sails seven-night Mediterranean itineraries out of Barcelona, Spain. These sailings include three feature itineraries: "French Daze & Ibiza Nights," " Irresistible Med," and "Spanish Obsession." For more information visit virginvoyages.com. UNTITLEDDANCEPARTYSHOWTHING performance Lasers in the Manor night club. Photo by Gina Joy. Created in collaboration with circus company The 7 Fingers, Duel Reality examines the age-old tale of Romeo & Juliet with a modern twist using acrobatic storytelling.
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WHY I WANT TO COLLECT ART Practical Guidance from an Art Consultant

Congratulations! You've decided to start collecting art. As this should be an enjoyable exercise, I have a series of questions I like to ask potential clients as an art consultant. I've listed a few possible answers to help us along. Of course, the answers are as varied as you are, as they should be.

Why do you want to collect art?

• I love art, want to focus more on it, and surround myself with works I love. I want to meet new people who also love art, and I want art to become a bigger part of my life.

• Have you seen the stock market lately? I really need to diversify.

• Just got an inheritance and have always wanted to have my own collection.

• I'm having a midlife (maybe a later life) crisis and I need to start thinking about legacy.

• There's lots of wall space in my new house.

If you are a seeker of authority approval, you instinctively know that my favorite answer is the first one. Remember, though, I will be much more helpful as your art consultant if you answer honestly. There is no right answer, as my therapist used to say. Next question:

What is the end goal of your art collection?

• I have no end goal but just want to enjoy it while I can.

• Hopefully, we can make money from my collection (or at least not lose money).

• I want to give my collection to my kids so they can add to it when I am gone.

• By donating my collection to my favorite museum, my name can live on.

• I want to start a collection but make it plastic enough so that I can trade up when I can afford better.

Knowing your goals is important so that you and your art consultant can focus on the collection. And I strongly recommend

having an art consultant. The art world is like no other business, and after 30 years of being in it, I still have to explain to lawyers and accountants why a collection's value isn't based solely on the material used to make it. Beauty is subjective, and conducting business in the art world is not the same as selling a corporation. It's not business as usual.

The art world has been traditionally mired in mystery and inaccessibility. If you think getting a table at the newest restaurant is difficult, you've seen nothing. Going to an international art fair and not being able to buy the painting hanging on the temporary wall will drive you crazy. Countless unspoken rules in the art world have to do with hierarchy. For example, you can't buy the painting on the wall because it is pre-sold. This is not a unique sales tactic, but one that works perfectly in the art world. The less likely that you can buy something, the more you want it.

The art world is all about appearances. If all art in a fair is sold, it must have been 'The Art to Buy,' right? There are some practical reasons too for not being able to purchase what you want. For example, the gallery is obliged to the artists it represents to create the most value for them. The most value in the art world is when the art hangs in a museum, even if the museum wants a discounted price or takes a long time to purchase because it's dependent upon the approval of its board and purchasing committee. Once a museum acquires an artist's work, the value of not only the piece sold increases but the artist's entire reputation, and therefore oeuvre (body of work) also increases in price and prestige.

If you, as the collector, happen to have one of this artist's works in your collection, not only does your individual piece increase in value but your entire collection increases. Your collection is as valuable as your strongest work.

The next level in the hierarchy, just below museums, are known collections and collectors. The value of a work can be adjusted according to who counts among its collectors. That is why "provenance" is so essential to the value of art.

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What do you want to collect?

•Contemporary. I want to collect what is being created in the world now.

•Modern. Not to be confused with Contemporary Modern encompasses most of the art of Europe and America during the majority of the 20th century.

•Does it have to be an art genre? I want to collect images of cats.

•NFTs.

•Can I collect pottery?

The easy answer to all these questions is, of course! Your collection should be as individual and unique as you and reflect what interests you; not only in the art world but in the world at large.

Do you want to collect Contemporary art? The present era is as chaotic as times have ever been, resulting in an extremely varied field. In terms of the Art world, with a capital "A," this genre is one of the most expensive and complex fields to navigate. It encompasses constantly changing mediums: painting, computers, performance, environmental, and NFTs. Prices can be very high, and obtaining the works can be fiercely competitive. I say anywhere there is money there is market manipulation.

The markets for African and African-American contemporary art have been immensely hot in the past few years. Part of your art consultant's job is to understand trends. How culture is being affected, so goes the art market – as well as any other market that has money. The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014 and the summer of Black Lives Matter awakened the world to the disproportionate violence against people of color. Artists created works about it. I'm proud that in St. Louis, activists/artists were especially vocal. The works of many of these young artists are now in international galleries and museums. Cultural institutions are now adding works by other minorities, including women, to balance their collections. If you want to understand the art world, try to understand our world and see how each affects the other.

Are you more interested in collecting Modern art? I hope that the inheritance you received is massive, as this is the world of Picasso, Basquiat, and Warhol! As an aside, Picasso's sale record is No. 2 in the top 10 art auction results at $179.4 million in 2015; Basquiat is at No. 10 with $110.5 million in 2017; and Warhol is at No. 12 with $105.4 million in 2013. If these numbers are out of the budget, don't worry, as prints and multiples of these artists offer a more accessible starting point. In the 1930s, when the U.S. was recovering from the Great Depression and the government hired artists to put everyone back to work, prints were sold generously in magazines and five-and-dime stores to encourage support for artists. Now there are limitations in editions, but the accessibility aspect is still an idealist's dream. Depending on who you are collecting, don't count on magazine pricing – especially for Modern works. Still, I often recommend starting a new art collection with prints and photography. Please don't mistake my respect for multiples as "lesser than" any other art medium. Obviously, multiples and photography have Masterworks and rest amongst every other genre in art.

If you want to start your collection based on one of your passions, like cats, that is a very appropriate beginning point. A famous collector in New York City collected art only about hands: sculptures,

photography, paintings, ceramics, etc. I find this a fascinating understanding of the art world through personal passion. Your art consultant should be thrilled with your focus.

Do you want to collect NFTs? This is such a specialized and new art form that I'm afraid I should not comment. But that's never stopped me! An NFT is a non-fungible token created to "live" in cyberspace. Here's how I describe it: the art world wanted to sell art to these ka-billionaires and was having a terrible time doing so despite opening multiple galleries within walking distance of their virtual offices. What was not realized by those in the art world is that these computer geniuses are part of a subculture that is not part of the same culture as the rest of the art world: they're mostly young men who live online, inventing their own worlds. Art on a wall is not of interest, but art in their cyber worlds is exciting to them. If you have kids who play Roblox, you understand this world without realizing that it's not just a game but a culture with its own aesthetics, communication, and money. In 2021, Christie's Auction House opened Pandora's box by having an NFT auction that sold for $69 million. Since then, Christie's has become a bank by accepting cryptocurrency and launching a cyber art division. Is this for you? I recommend an art consultant who is also fluent in cryptocurrency!

If you want to focus your collection on a specific medium, like pottery, that is an excellent and very traditional approach. Collecting styles is a Rorschach personality test, often asking the same question: do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond? Remember, there is no right or wrong answer.

Ultimately, your experience of art collecting should be, well, fun! I know that's not a sophisticated term to use in the art world but collecting art is personal. It should reflect your personality and lifestyle and get you just what you want from it. If you wish only to use it as another financial portfolio option, this is a good time to do so. But if you let collecting lead you to places you never expected, congratulations. Art has enriched your life. Art is simply a communication, a perspective on how to exist in this world. Artists' translations have reflected and questioned this mortal coil on which we all currently find ourselves. It's a strange time, one that demands alternative interpretations of a time and places many of us no longer recognize. Who better to search for answers than artists?

Personally, the art world has given me almost everything: a career, a means of self-expression, travel, community, and a universal language to help me understand my little place in this world. I hope that collecting art can open the door for any discovery you want to explore. But please get an art consultant, preferably me. sl

From left, opposite page: Andy Warhol, Reagan Budget, 1985-86, synthetic polymer and silkscreen ink on canvas. Zoe Buckman, Bubblegum Boxing Glove, 2016, blown glass. Kehinde Wiley, After Pontormo's "Two Men With a Passage" from Cicero's "On Friendship", 2009, archival inkjet print. Sandra Payne, Untitled 11 (from jewel collage series), 2017, collaged paper on matboard.

Susan Barrett is the owner of Barrett Barrera Projects in St. Louis. Her company and its subsidiary spacesprojects+gallery, projects+exhibitions, and Guest House - produce exhibitions and projects that create a dialogue on contemporary issues through art and design. For over 30 years, Susan has fought for the arts to be a part of public transportation, city planning, and social change. She is a visionary with a background in painting, architecture, and fashion design, which has influenced the projects she has spearheaded and championed. Photo by Suzy Gorman

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THE EVOLUTION OF AN INDUSTRY

Club dVin, the world's premier global non-fungible token (NFT) wine club, has announced an unprecedented opportunity for oenophiles to participate in one of a series of weeklong excursions during Bhutan's first wine grape harvest. Spanning ten weeks from late July through late September 2023, each trip will host 15 members.

The 150 Club dVIN members will join a mix of several esteemed founding members, including co-founders David Garrett and Behdad Shahsavari, Masters of Wine David Forer and Philip Harden, and VII(N)-The Seventh Estate co-founders, Carmelo Anthony and Asani Swann.

"If you love wine and adventure, this is an unmatched opportunity to fill your cup with both while taking in the breathtaking beauty of Bhutan," said Garrett. "This is the first harvest in a region that is expected to produce incredible wines for generations to come, and we're thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Club dVIN members along for this fantastical journey."

Club dVIN officially launched to the public in late June with an initial offering of 4,000 functional NFT memberships, which come in two tiers: Genesis and Global Insider. The entry price for

the initial release of 3,500 Genesis NFTs is 1.5 ETH, currently valued at approximately $2,475/USD. The entry price for the initial 500 Global Insider memberships is 3 ETH, presently valued at roughly $4,950/USD. Some 950 Genesis NFTs and 50 Global Insider NFTs have been gifted to friends, family, and founding members. Club dVIN provides its member access to a global community of winemakers, wine experts, wine collectors, and wine lovers. It also opens the door to rare wine offerings and curated food and wine experiences, like the Bhutan Harvest.

The club has created a new, proprietary Digital Cork™ technology that is a game-changer for an antiquated, multi-billiondollar industry ripe with counterfeits. Digital Cork™ creates an NFT-backed digital identity providing a valuable certificate of authenticity, chain of custody, and proof of provenance.

Also key to Club dVIN is their Tasting Token™ technology, which are functional and collectible NFTs that serve as proof of experience. The tokens are minted when a bottle connected to a Digital Cork™ is opened and can be shared among those drinking the wine - taking the inherent community aspect of sharing a bottle of wine to the Metaverse. Each token contains vital information

Club dVIN, an NFT wine club, is offering members the opportunity to participate in Bhutan's first wine harvest.
View of Tiger's nest monastery, Bhutan
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about the bottle it is associated with and will soon come with a customization utility that enables holders to add personal memories like pictures and tasting notes. As Tasting Tokens are collected, holders gain access to Club dVIN's curated experiences, plus unique benefits and rewards from winemakers and sellers. These NFTs become an immersive virtual tasting journal over time.

The Bhutan member's trip is ideal for adventurers willing to take on the high altitude in Bhutan, which offers one of the best-preserved, least-spoiled ecosystems on the planet. Oncein-a-lifetime experiences will encompass snipping grapes in the vineyards, visiting monasteries, speaking with scientists, crossing Bhutan's longest suspension bridge, and even river rafting through the rapids of the Mo Chhu River. Notably, Club dVIN members selected to participate will also have the opportunity to work in various facets of breaking ground on the new Ser Kem Winery, the first in the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Club dVIN members have access to a community of likeminded wine and web3 enthusiasts and experts, spanning more than a dozen nations. Included among the 100 founding members are sommelier-turned-winemaker and author Rajat "Raj" Parr;

leading sommelier Michael Madrigale, who is co-founder of Grande Cuvée; Bordeaux expert Jane Anson; accomplished winemaker and vintner Sashi Moorman; several members of the Bored Ape Yacht Club; wine fraud expert Maureen Downey; Master Sommelier Desmond Echavarrie; Anne Krebiehl, Master of Wine and editor of Falstaff ; cult California winemaker Dan Petroski; Angela Scott, Master of Wine candidate and Liquid Icons/ Golden Vines Diversity Scholar; Simon Pavitt, wine collector and COO of the London Technology Group; and MJ Towler, The Black Wine Guy Experience podcaster and wine auctioneer.

A comprehensive outline of privileges of membership can be found on Club dVin's website (clubdvin.com). Here members can access Club dVIN's extensive network of winemakers, wineries, wine experts, collectors and more; learn about rare wine tastings and experiences around the globe; receive exclusive offers, including highly coveted library wines and first releases straight from the producer; and enjoy exclusive content from winemakers and insider knowledge shared directly from Club dVIN's community. Global Insiders also receive 24/7 concierge services. sl

Walking suspension bridge lined with prayer flags in Bhutan Photo of Club dVin s creen closeup by Emily Wild. Club dVin screen photo by Emily Wild Terraced vineyard at the Bhutan Wine Company in Yusipang, Bhutan. Photo courtesy of Bhutan Wine Company.
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GRAPE EXPECTATIONS

Oenophile-centric gifts and getaways to present or pine for.

This page, clockwise from top left: Ferruccio Lamborghini, the founder of Automobili Lamborghini, was the son of grape farmers in Renazzo. The four bottles of wine in this Lamborghini Limited: LUXE Collection set are from Ferruccio’s Umbrian vineyard, where he retired in the late 1970s ($300; winebylamborghini.com). Louis Vuitton’s Coffret Champagne is fitted with an insulating wedge, and can hold champagne of various sizes fresh with ease. The insulating wedge can also be put in the freezer before utilization to maintain the perfect level of coldness of the bottle for up to 15 hours once inside. It is also equipped with a metallic water-resistant inside tray that can be used as an ice bucket. Price upon request (louisvuitton.com). Ranked the #1 Australian luxury-by-the-bottle producer on-premise and holding more 90+ scores than any other New World producer, Penfolds is beloved among wine aficionados all around the world. Bin 389 was often referred to as ‘Baby Grange’, in part because components of the wine are matured in the same barrels that held the previous vintage of Grange. First made in 1960 by the legendary Max Schubert, this was the wine that helped forge Penfolds reputation with red wine drinkers by combining the structure of cabernet sauvignon with the richness of shiraz. Exemplifying the judicious balance of fruit and oak, Bin 389 highlights the generous mid-palate Penfolds in known for (penfolds.com). Berkel Superior Champagne saber with black buffalo grip and forged stainless steel blade ($439; theberkelworld.com). Esteemed sommelier Enrico Bernardo shares his vision of the perfect cellar, and the list, featuring the most exceptional wines of the twentieth century, is the stuff of connoisseur’s dreams. This hand-bound oversized luxury edition with hand-tipped images, is presented in a wooden crate and delivered with white gloves and a signature canvas tote bag. The Most Impossible Collection of Wine: The 100 Most Exceptional Vintages of the Twentieth Century—204 pages, Assouline ($995; assouline.com). Cakebread Cellar’s flagship Napa Valley Chardonnay opens with aromas of ripe green and golden apple, accented by fresh white peach and light oak. Across the palate, this golden wine is silken in texture with flavors of apple, citrus and pear balanced by refreshing acidity. The long finish is clean, with underlying hints of minerality, vanilla and lemon. This is a versatile pairing wine—we love it with grilled seafood and nearly any selection of cheeses (cakebread.com).

Etude Winery’s 2018 Estate Heirloom Pinot Noir exemplifies the iconic, superb flavors that make Etude a leader in Pinot Noir. Dark black cherry, red raspberry and cola spice are delicately interwoven with lavender and rosemary, which will impress your readers and those they toast alongside. While this is a structured wine with depth and balance, it is not overpowering, so it’s an ideal pair for a variety of holiday dishes, like a simple appetizer of tomato bruschetta or a heartier main course like roast beef (etudewines.com).

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A delight for all the senses, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis’ VIP wine cellar is located in the heart of the hotel. Their 6,000-plus bottle inventory includes a private collection of wines, rare vintages like Burgundies going back to the 1930s, along with liquors such as a Macallan 25-year Highland Single Malt and Louis XIII de Rémy Martin Cognac. Meetings and events can be hosted in the cellar, where creative cuisine is paired with wines to enhance the flavors and textures of each dish. The space itself is intricately designed with 1,029 mahogany wine bins, Murano glass sconces and an oil mural depicting an Italian vineyard (ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/st-louis).

Rock Angeel COTES DE PROVENCE 2020 from Château d'Esclans is made from grapes grown from the most choice land in the surrounding region of La Motte en Provence. Consisting of primarily Grenache and Rolle, this bottle gives rosé lovers a bigger and richer wine that is fabulous as an aperitif or paired with a broad range of cuisine such as roast chicken, grilled game hens or pasta with cream sauce. Far from seasonal, this refined stunner is full of strawberry and red currant flavors with a tangy touch of pepper (esclans.com).

White Orchid toasting flute from Michael Aram ($140/set; michaelaram.com) "The legendary Badrutt’s Palace Hotel (badruttspalace.com) is home to a 120-yearold hidden wine cellar, set 6,000 feet above sea level in the Swiss Alps. The collection includes more than 30,000 bottles: from the Palace’s own Completer wine made from a special local grape variety, to aged rarities like Château Lafite Rothschild 1900 and Château Ausone 1945, and delectable wines from iconic producers like Domaine Romanée Conti, Krug and Dom Perignon. Guests can book a private experience at the rustic Krug Stübli within the hotel’s historic wine cellar and enjoy an exclusive truffle fondue with Krüg Champagne pairings or visit the property’s newest mountainside dining destination, Paradiso, featuring an extensive wine list with more than 500 wines and a robust selection of exclusive Champagnes."
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Of Note... Board Games

This page, clockwise from top left: The Chenault James ping pong dining table from EJ Victor in solid walnut with maple inlay, brass fixtures, and hand-tooled vegetable-tanned removable leather net (ejvictor.com). Jacques game table from Jonathan Adler in clear acrylic with brushed brass corners ($2,200; jonathanadler.com). SKY dice cup & dice from Georg Jensen ($79; georgjensen.com). Wesson Foosball table from Four Hands is hand-crafted from Guanacaste wood and metal that's been aged through a manual, month-long process using natural elements ($6,999; burkedecor.com). Louis Vuitton Skateboards ($2,660; louisvuitton.com). Opposite page, clockwise from top left: Made-to-order in England, the playing card set with case from Scully & Scully comes with a leather case and two sets of silver or gold bridge cards, richly coated to protect them from wear and tear ($1,150; scullyandscully.com). ASPREY Hanover chess case in saddle leather exterior and calf leather interior ($7,750; asprey.com/us). Place Your Bets fragrance for men from AMAFFI ($3,800). AMAFFI fragrances are all created in Grasse, France from natural ingredients and encased in vessels made in Germany and France from the highest quality glass and crystal and hand- decorated with exquisite materials including gilding, silver, crystal and jewelry. Available at the AMAFFI boutique in NYC or amaffi.com. Baccarat Tic-Tac-Toe board ($1,995; neimanmarcus.com). Tiffany & Co. x Andy Warhol limitededition playing cards (tiffany.com). Backgammon set from Four Hands’ Wesson Collection is handmade by skilled artisans. Featuring inlaid veneers, this one-of-a-kind game includes a self-storing box made of spalted primavera and dice hand-cast from recycled glass ($2,089; laylagrace.com)

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A SYMPHONY OF ART & SCIENCE

Milan, Italy, hosted the world premiere of a brand new hypercar, the Pagani Utopia, the third chapter in the Modena-based atelier's history. Enhancing the ties that Horacio Pagani sees between the design of Pagani Hypercars and Leonardo da Vinci is an exceptional loan from the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, which, for the presentation of the new car, granted permission for six original drawings of Leonardo's studies on air, to leave its vaults temporarily for the exhibition, "The shape of air: from Leonardo to Pagani Utopia," set amidst the grandeur of the Sala del Cenacolo refectory hall in the National Science & Technology Museum, home to the world's largest permanent exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci - engineer, humanist and scholar of nature.

"The presentation of our new car in the extraordinary setting of the National Science & Technology Museum in Milan

has a special significance," says Horacio Pagani, an ArgentineItalian businessman who worked his way up the ranks to become chief engineer at Lamborghini before founding Pagani in 1992. "Leonardo was very creative here in Milan, where he enjoyed a wonderful period. He has been a huge influence in my life since I was a boy; he is the inspiration for the fundamental concepts of Art and Science that guide our work. So to be in the museum that bears his name and to have his original drawings next to our car is a truly indescribable emotion for me."

The exhibition is enhanced by two historic models also on display – the Zonda C12 (1999) and the Huayra Coupé (2011) – to tell the story of a brand that will soon be celebrating its 25th anniversary. The exhibition's musical accompaniment is a

Written by Andre James Pagani Utopia unveiled at the National Science & Technology Museum in Milan surrounded by Leonardo da Vinci's original drawings.
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symphonic work written by the Milan Conservatory based upon the compositions for piano of a young Horacio Pagani.

Six years in the making and cloaked in a carbon-titanium and carbo-triax monocoque frame (150lbs lighter than its predecessor, the Huayra), the sleek lines of the Utopia are apropos for a museum setting. Where some hypercars have a multitude of spoilers, Utopia incorporates the function of these appendices into its overall shape, achieving greater downforce and reduced drag solely through its design.

As powerful as it is pretty, Utopia boasts an 864 horsepower sixliter twin-turbo V12 engine. A seven-speed manual transmission or an automated single-clutch gearbox routes power to the rear wheels.

Ergonomics, efficiency, and ease of access remained at the forefront in designing the cabin. For example, there are no

screens apart from the minimal display in front of the driver. The company says that big screens would have been easier to fit and saved a lot of effort in the design, but it would have diminished much of the beauty. All the instruments are purely analog, and each of the easy-to-read dials subtly reveals part of its mechanism as if it were revealing the skeleton movement. The steering wheel is fashioned from a solid aluminum block; likewise, the pedals are made from a single metal block.

Horacio Pagani says he builds the cars he has dreamt of and that Leonardo da Vinci has always been a crucial figure for him, allowing him to believe that it is possible to combine art and technology. sl Pricing for the Pagani Utopia starts at $2.19 million.

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NEW BOOKS & HAUTE LOOKS

Book An exploration of the best and brightest in interior design around the globe. Gestalten— House of Joy—hardcover, 256 pages (us. gestalten.com). Looks Known for their luxury, sustainable cashmere, Bellemere New York celebrated its first NYFW debut with Flying Solo, a collection designed for the fashionable skier who enjoys looking good in the après (bellemerenewyork.com). Ella hot pink clutch from Ariel Taub ($570; arieltaub.com).

Book The latest tome featuring the work of Peruvian fashion photographer Mario Testino—widely regarded as one of the most influential fashion and portrait photographers working today—is a visual homage to the symbolism of weddings. Mario Testino. I Love You—hardcover, 248 pages, Taschen (taschen. com) Looks (Top) Serena gown from Liz Martinez’s Bella Donna FW22 Collection (lizmartinez.co.il) / (Bottom) Hailey grown from Rivini’s SS23 collection (ritavineris.com)

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Book In their first book, timed to commemorate Juliska’s 20th anniversary, husband-and-wife co-founders Capucine De Wulf Gooding and David Gooding share their philosophy on love and the art of living well. Together at the Table: Entertaining at Home with the Creators of Juliska—hardcover, 240 pages, Abrams (juliska.com) Looks The Jessy vest ($1,085) and skirt ($1,455) from luxury Latin-founded RTW brand, Flor de Liz Guior. Pre-order at fdlbrand.com/collections/ ss23. Michelle Wilhite Roberto ostrich clutches with gold-plated knot hardware and detachable shoulder strap ($1,795/each; michellewilhite.com)

Book In his first book, interior designer, speaker, business coach and on-air contributor John McClain offers up a roadmap for aspiring interior design professionals and homeowners by pulling back the curtain to break down each step of the design process for every room, from conception to completion. The Designer Within: A Professional Guide to a Well-Styled Home—hardcover, 224 pages, Gibbs Smith Looks Runway images from Stefan Djokovich Couture FW 2022/23. Photo by Carlo Scarpato (instagram.com/stefandjokovich)

Book This revised edition of Grospierre’s celebrated tour of modernist architecture has been expanded beyond Europe and North America to a truly global reach. Nicolas Grospierre (photographer), Alona Pardo, Elias Redstone, Adam Mazur and Martino Stierli (contributors)—Modern Forms: An Expanded Subjective Atlas of 20th-Century Architecture— hardcover, 288 pages, Prestel (penguinrandomhouse.com) Looks Daniela Uribe Together We Can sneaker ($755; daniela-uribe.com). Daniela Uribe Entwine sandal in lime green ($745; daniela-uribe.com).

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BEST OF SHOW

This year, 220 cars from 19 countries and 33 states pulled onto the competition field of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and the car named Best of Show was the 1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo, owned by Lee R. Anderson Sr.

"This rare Duesenberg marries American might with European style," said Concours Chairman Sandra Button. "It did well in some early rallies and concours. Then, its history took a turn, with chassis separated from body. The story of its resurrection is one of pure passion."

An American car last won Best of Show in 2013, when a 1934 Packard Twelve took the top spot. However, Duesenberg has long been the winningest American marque at Pebble Beach, with six prior wins.

"My goodness, we're overwhelmed," Penny Anderson exclaimed after the confetti settled. "We just can't believe we won Best of Show! We've met so many people through the years, enjoyed all the people that participate. It's just a joy and an honor to be here."

Lee Anderson echoed Penny's sentiment. "We've been doing this for years, and we've come close in the past, but we've never won actually, so Penny is right, it's overwhelming. All the preparation—the story behind this car is just amazing. There's only one Figoni Duesenberg, ever ever, and it's this one right here. So, it's like all these things coming together to make a real champion. We're so excited."

This year's race for Best of Show featured other strong contenders, including Fritz Burkard's 1937 Talbot-Lago T150C-SS Figoni & Falaschi Teardrop Coupé, Sam and Emily Mann's 1930 Duesenberg J Graber Cabriolet, and Merle and Peter Mullin's 1951 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Stabilimenti Farina Cabriolet.

The Pebble Beach Concours raised more than $2.67 million for charity this year, bringing the event's total charitable donations to over $35 million. Through the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, the primary charitable partner of the Concours, these funds will benefit more than 95 local charities, impacting the lives of more than 10,000 children annually in Monterey County.

Gooding & Company, the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, concluded its 18th annual Pebble Beach Auctions realizing over $105 million in sales. Several star cars set new world records, including the 1990 Ferrari F40, which sold for $3,965,000, and the 1994 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport, which achieved $3,167,500. The weekend's top sale was a stunningly elegant 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante, which earned a final sale price of $10,345,000.

The 72nd Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance will take place on Sunday, August 20, 2023, and will celebrate famed coachbuilder Joseph Figoni and Pegaso. Additional 2023 features include Invicta, Mercedes-Benz S / SS / SSK, McLaren, Alvis, and American Dream Cars of the 1950s. sl

Opposite page, left to right, top to bottom: Best of Show: A 1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo. Winner of Class B: McFarlan was a 1923 McFarlan 154 Twin Valve Six Knickerbocker Cabriolet owned by The Nethercutt Collection/Helen & Jack Nethercutt, from Sylmar, California Winner of the Class C: American Classic category was a1933 Chrysler CL Imperial Custom De Villars Cabriolet, owned by Mary & Ted Stahl and Mark Hyman, from Chesterfield, Michigan Winner of the FIVA Prewar Trophy was a1900 De Dion Bouton Tricycle owned by Rob Kauffman/RF Motors, from Charlotte, North Carolina Best of Show Nominee: a 1937 Talbot-Lago T150C-SS Figoni & Falaschi Teardrop Coupé, owned by The Pearl Collection/Fritz Burkard, from Switzerland Winner of Class L-2: Postwar Preservation was a1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS Coupe, owned by Audrain Collections, from Newport, Rhode Island Winner of the Gran Turismo Trophy was a 1969 Autobianchi 112 Bertone Concept Car, owned by ASI Automotoclub Storico Italiano, from Turin, Italy Winner of Class o1: Postwar Racing was a1953 Aston Martin DB3S Race Car, owned by Wayne & Ruth Gray, from Fife, United Kingdom Winner of Class O-1: Postwar Rain was a 1953 Aston Martin Tyron owned by Wayne & Ruth Gray of Fife, Scotland Winner of The Phil Hill Cup was a1955 Jaguar XDK Le Mans Race Car, owned by The JSL Motorsports Collection, from Redwood City, California

Written by Bridget Williams / Photos by Kimball Studios A 1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo wins the coveted title at the 71st Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
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CHAIN

This page, clockwise from top left: B Square beaded bracelet in pink and blue from Bea Bongiasca ($1,250; beabongiasca.com)

Monbouquette Chubby Hot Drops earrings ($485; monbouquettejewelry.com)

Darius Jewels emerald & diamond signature chain ($66,000; dariusjewels.com)

Nadine Aysoy Catena pearl drop earrings ($10,890; nadineaysoy.com)

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Samantha Tea Revolution rainbow sapphire drop earring ($2,860; samanthatea.com)
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Pacharee Klom chain (from $550; pacharee.com)
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Akaila Reid pink opal, gold and pavé ball necklace ($22,000; akailareid.com) | Mateo New York malachite beaded choker ($595; mateonewyork.com) | Dorado Positano necklace from Vincent Peach, which won the “Best in Silver” award at the prestigious 2022 Couture jewelry trade show in Las Vegas ($14,999). Available at the Vincent Peach flagship store in Nashville and vincentpeach.com. | Luis Morais gold ball necklace (luismorais.com) | Meadowlark Maya lapis necklace (from $392; meadowlarkjewellery.com) | David Yurman box chain eight-row bracelet ($1,450). Available through Diamond Cellar in Columbus, Moyer Fine Jewelers and Reis-Nichols in Indianapolis, Corbett-Frame in Lexington, Davis Jewelers in Louisville, King Jewelers in Nashville, and at davidyurman.com. | Ananya Chakra bracelet (price upon request; ananya.com) | Bondeye Jewelry vintage gold ball drop earrings ($600; bondeyejewelry.com)
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THE FORCE OF EMOTIONS

Although tuning house ALPINA, based in Buchloe, Bavaria, has been making BMWs speedier for more than five decades, the partnership was only formally cemented this past March when BMW acquired the rights to the ALPINA brand. The longstanding cooperation agreement will expire on December 31, 2025.

“Acquiring the trademark rights will allow us to shape the longterm course of this brand steeped in tradition. We are delighted to welcome the ALPINA brand to the BMW family,” said Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management responsible for Customer, Brands, and Sales.

The 2023 BMW ALPINA Xb7 features an all-new V8 engine, now with BMW mild hybrid technology, placing it firmly among the highest performing Sports Activity Vehicles worldwide. It produces 630 hp (up 18 hp from the previous generation) and 590 lb-ft of torque, available from 1,800 rpm to 5,600 rpm. As a result, the luxury seven-seater SAV accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, completes the quarter-mile sprint in 12.4 seconds, and can reach a top speed of 180 mph with the available 21-in wheel and performance tire package (a no-cost option).

Responding within milliseconds to driver inputs, the 8-Speed Sport Automatic Transmission with industry-original ALPINE SWITCH-TRONIC wheel-mounted shift buttons delivers effortless and instantaneous power. Effective torque distribution is guaranteed by the intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system and an electronicallyvariable limited-slip differential at the rear axle.

The two-axle air suspension with ALPINA-specific dampers and kinematics is primarily responsible for the balance of driving dynamics and ride comfort, allowing for a noticeable 1.6-inch

change in ride height, depending on the driving situation or the chosen suspension mode. In addition, the rear wheels can pivot up to 2.3-degrees left or right, increasing agility at low speeds and aiding maximum directional stability at high speeds.

The BMW iDrive 8 Operating System allows for even greater degrees of personalization. Per the BMW design principle of “eyes on the road – hands on the wheel,” all displays offer logical orientation and can be tailored to drivers’ individual needs. Among the available upgrades to the driver assistance systems is the Maneuver Assistant, which uses GPS and trajectory data from steering inputs to record and store up to ten maneuvers covering a distance of up to 200 meters. Inside the cabin, several distinguishing characteristics separate the ALPINA model from the pack:

• A glass IDrive controller with the ALPINA design.

• Blue illuminated great selector.

• ALPINA production plaque.

• Illuminated ALPINA door sills.

• ALPINA sport steering wheel hand-finished in LAVALINA leather with trademark blue-green stitching.

• Myrtle wood interior trim (piano lacquer and natural walnut anthracite are available options).

“The ALPINA brand has matured alongside BMW over the past 50 years and has everything it takes to make the heart of an automotive connoisseur beat faster all over the world. It finds the right balance between cultivated sportiness, luxury, and exclusivity,” said Jens Thiemer, Senior Vice President of Customer and Brand BMW. sl

Pricing for the Alpina XB7 starts at $145,995, with deliveries scheduled to begin in early 2023.

Written by Andre James / Photography by Frederic Schlosser, courtesy of BMW
For 2023, the BMW ALPINA XB7 benefits from several updates, including a new generation engine, an even sharper, more progressive design, and advancements in driving assistance and connectivity.
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GIFT OF TIME

This page, clockwise from top left: The OMEGA Speedmaster ’57 is emblematic of the original Speedmaster design, which was released in 1957 for racing car drivers and engineers on the track. As a tribute, today’s Speedmaster ’57 collection of eight new watches has been delivered with a slim style, colourful dial choices, a vintage bracelet, and an outstanding Co-Axial Master Chronometer 9906 movement – reaching the pinnacle of precision, magnetic-resistance, and performance. Shown is the stainless steel model with a PVD blue dial ($8,600). Available from Richter & Phillips Jewelers in Cincinnati, Moyer Fine Jewelers in Indianapolis and a omegawatches.com. For the design-obsessed, a Kross Studio and Alain Silberstein collector set makes the gift of a lifetime. The famed designer approached the Swiss design firm to help bring his high horological vision to life: a lotus-inspired titanium timepiece that captures the essence of the sacred Asian flower, delivered in a unique and functional totemic art object. Only eighteen Lotus timepiece collector sets will ever be made. A seemingly delicate titanium lotus flower floats atop the tourbillon cage and central regulator of the famous Kross Studio KS 7'000 caliber. Silberstein's signature bold graphic style is artfully employed throughout the timepiece, heightened by Kross Studio's ingenious technical flourishes such as the peripheral hour and minute display and a clever and intuitive D-ring winder on the case back (price upon request; kross-studio.com).

Limited to 28 pieces, the new Luna Magna platinum timepiece from Arnold & Sons boasts a spherical astronomical moon is adorned with a sand-colored, PVD-treated meteorite dial surrounded by a platinum case. The past of the moon in shadow is also made from meteorite. A Super-LumiNove coating on the moon hemisphere and opal sundial lend a distinctive glow at night (arnoldandson.com). The 43mm Sonomaster Chronograph Modern from RESERVOIR takes its inspiration from measuring instruments widely used in the world of sound or Hi-Fi. The two retrograde hands reproduce the hands of power measurements or VU meters from analogue stereo amplifiers. The timepiece is powered by a new RSV-Bi120 watchmaking caliber : a bi-retrograde manufacture chronograph movement with automatic mechanical winding and a column wheel ($6,750; reservoir-watch.com). The BR 05 Copper Brown from Bell & Ross is adorned with a golden-brown dial, enriched by a sunburst finishing ($5,100). Available through Diamond Cellar in Columbus, Moyer Fine Jewelers in Indianapolis, King Jewelers in Nashville, and bellross.com. Released in March, this colorful version of Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 Rolex is cast from 18 ct white gold – a first for the model – and features a rotatable bezel set with trapeze-cut diamonds, and pink, purples and blue sapphires. The case shines with 46 brilliant-cut diamonds from the lugs to the crown guard. Available in Cincinnati through The Richter & Phillips Company, in Columbus and Nashville at The Diamond Cellar, in Indianapolis at Reis-Nichols Jewelers, in Louisville through Davis Jewelers, and at Simons Jewelers in St. Louis.
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CHANGE BEGINS WITH US

Growing up Jewish in New York City, everyone seemed Jewish… although I knew they all weren’t. It was common to know many people whose family perished in and/or survived the Holocaust. My mother’s cousin and her siblings were survivors, and the numbers on their arms tattooed by the Nazis were a constant reminder of what they endured during their childhood. While we talked about this in school and among my immediate family, I don’t remember talking about it around my cousins. It just felt too painful and raw for us to bring up unless they did - and they didn’t. My mother’s cousin later wrote a book about her experience as an 11-year-old girl and a prisoner in the Lachva (Poland, now Belarus) Ghetto called, The Abandoned: A Life Apart From Life. Later, when I was in high school, my mother shared stories about her family in concentration camps and those relatives who escaped the Nazis by hiding in the forests of Germany, braving the harsh winters and organizing resistance to the Nazis. While I was one generation removed from the atrocities of the Holocaust, it was a part of my life like many other first-, second-, and third-generation Jewish Americans.

While this is a Jewish-centric story, it is not a Jewish exclusive story. It’s about all of us. Over the years, I have visited numerous Holocaust museums to learn what I could about this tragic time in history and vowed to never let this happen again. Despite how many people knew about or witnessed six million Jews being murdered during the Holocaust for no reason, we are still

experiencing the same non-sensical hate of Jews and so many other minority groups today.

So, you can only imagine my interest in the new and expanded 36,000 square foot St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum - with its new permanent Holocaust exhibition, classrooms, a performance auditorium, archives, and a special exhibit spacewhich opened on November 2nd on the campus of The Jewish Federation at Lindbergh and Schuetz Roads. In addition to its many exhibits, it also includes a new Impact Lab, which will challenge all visitors to reject hatred, promote understanding, and inspire change. In this highly interactive space, visitors will be empowered to consider contemporary issues and challenges through the lens of the Holocaust.

When I met with Helen Turner, the director of education at the museum, I came prepared with a list of questions. Turner is a petite academic, with a subtle but charming British accent and an abundance of knowledge and perspective. She received her bachelor’s degree in history from Binghamton University and her Master’s in history, specializing in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, from Stony Brook University, all part of the State Universities of New York. Turner’s Master’s thesis focused on collective Holocaust memory and memorial representation in museums.

As I toured the new building with Turner and Marketing and Communications Manager Amy Lutz, I was impressed with how differently other museums present the same or similar

From left: Amy Lutz, Lory Cooper, Zach Turner, Helen Turner, Haley Stodart, Jillian Howell, Brayden Swathwood
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subject matter. “We’re not in the business of traumatizing; we’re in the business of teaching. I think that’s the core philosophy of who we are,” said Lutz.

The approach of the new museum is to take people safely in and out of the exhibition. That means not leaving them with the horrors of mass graves or really graphic images but letting visitors see the gravity of what happened. “We don’t shy away from those images, but we make sure they also see how lives were rebuilt after the war and how the Holocaust fits in today’s context,” said Lutz.

In fact, the design of the exhibition is from the vantage point of the roughly 800 people who lived through the war, survived the Holocaust, and rebuilt their lives in the greater St. Louis area.

Turner, who is new to this community, has seen firsthand the pride, passion, and dedication of these St. Louis Jewish families who tell their stories. “They are a very strong, committed community. The Holocaust impacts every St. Louisan and beyond. We are not looking to be just a local museum, but a regional powerhouse. We want everybody to come to this museum,” she said.

She emphasized, “I would say some museums lean too hard on the horrors. We decided to meet in the middle with keeping a very realistic tone of the people who survived, who built incredible lives and beautiful families, and at the same time, we remind everyone this should never have happened. As you know, events like this are ongoing and they’re not okay. Our survivors deal with tremendous

trauma. And so many of them live below the poverty line. They suffer mental health issues. They don’t have caregivers in their old age.”

When I asked about the Holocaust in comparison to the many genocides throughout history, Turner quickly clarified that the Holocaust refers to the period in time from 1933 to 1945. “It’s specifically the attempted annihilation of the European Jewish population along with millions of others with a Nazi ideology. So that is the Holocaust. But there are many genocides like the Rwandan genocide, the Bosnian genocide, and the Armenian genocide. These are all very separate things. What they all have in common is that they are genocides. But they each have a very unique specificity to them.“

As you enter the museum, you’ll notice an array of light tubes and glass which is a reminder of Kristallnacht, a pogrom against Jews carried out by the Nazi Party along with participation from the Hitler Youth and German civilians throughout Germany and Austria on November 9 and 10, 1938. The name Kristallnacht (literally “Crystal Night”) comes from the shards of broken glass that littered the streets after the windows of Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues were smashed.

The first gallery is the history of the Holocaust, beginning with the Nazis coming to power from 1918 to 1933. It includes the end of World War I, the Treaty of Versailles, and the creation of the Weimar Republic. All these events contributed to Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. Each room or gallery has a visual timeline to give visitors a sense of where they are in time.

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Throughout the exhibition are quotes and photographs from people associated with the museum. Turner says, “These are people that we know in St. Louis.”

The next section of the museum documents the attempts of Jewish people to leave Germany, the annexation of Austria, and the 1936 Olympics. Also depicted is the ghettoization of Jewish communities and the outbreak of World War II.

According to Turner, most people have a misunderstanding of two things. One, how Hitler came to power, and two, the narrative of the concentration camps. “Most people only know of Auschwitz, which happens to be the largest camp, but there were 40 sub camps. People think that everyone who went through Auschwitz was tattooed. That’s not the case, for example. Our museum has taken a lot of time and space to make sure that we clarify those narratives.”

Turner continued, “While the Jewish experience is the central story that we’re telling, it’s not the only story. We know there are many other victims of the Holocaust. We can all find ourselves in this story. It’s the story of how we treat one another, how we take care of each other, or how we abandon each other. That is a universal language. Anybody can identify with that story. That’s why I also think the museum will draw a lot of people because everyone can find themselves in this narrative.”

“Sometimes I think we’re very motivated by bias, fear, and power. Until we truly see each other for the magnificent people that we are, I think we will always struggle with this. The museum is all about

dispelling bias and stereotypes and calling out discrimination for every human being. We all have so much more in common than we have differences. I think that’s why visiting the museum can also be a wonderful connector to other communities and to other experiences. I think everyone will find something that touches them, moves them, challenges them, and changes them in the museum,” Turner continued.

The tagline for the grand opening is “Change Begins with Us.” “We struggle with a lot of things in St. Louis. We struggle with divisions and with different prejudices. We can say that we want to empower people to begin that change and hopefully that change will start when they come through the permanent exhibition, when they come to a program, when they go to the Impact Lab. Because all of us have the ability to make St. Louis a better place than it already is,” said Turner.

The museum will be open from Wednesday thru Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will have an admission price of $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $6 for young adults. Survivors, members, and children under 10 are free. How long will it take to visit the museum? Turner said, “There are skimmers, swimmers, and deep divers. Everyone will be a little bit different, but I’d say to fully see the exhibition, give yourself at least two hours.” There will be both guided and unguided tours, and it is recommended for anyone 10 years of age or older due to the subject matter. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact https:// stlholocaustmuseum.org/visit/info. sl

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TRAVELING THE WORLD ON WYDOWN

Wydown Boulevard in Clayton has long been the home of some of St. Louis’ and Zoe Robinson’s best restaurants - I Fratellini, Bar Les Freres, and Billie-Jean. For years, Robinson was able to lead the Clayton culinary scene with just three small restaurants each seating no more than 50 people. But as COVID challenged everyone, Robinson decided to make some major life changes, much to the chagrin of her fans, and never reopened. She intended to sell the three beloved restaurants to Susan Barrett, a well-regarded and well-heeled art gallerist, collector, and entrepreneur. But that never came to pass.

Instead, four award-winning restaurateurs, Tara and Michael Gallina, Ben Poremba, and Matt McGuire announced that each would buy one restaurant and in turn relaunch the three hotspots with four of the hottest names in the business behind them.

The Gallinas, along with partner Chef Aaron Martinez – known for Take Root Hospitality concepts Vicia, Winslow’s Table, and

Taqueria Morita – opened Bistro La Floraison in July in the former Bar Les Freres. Bar Moro by Poremba – known for Elaia, Olio, Nixta, and Benevolent King – opened the third week of October and occupies the sultry space of Billie-Jean. McGuire, best known for Louie on Demun, was supposed to open Wright’s Tavern as a city tavern and steakhouse – actually more of an intimate supper clubsometime in October. But, as anyone who has ever tried to pin Matt down, you know he can be elusive with the media.

In addition to these three, two other notables – Peno’s (Italian) Soul Food and Akar’s upscale Malaysian fare – are part of Wydown’s boast of having the best concentration of casual fine dining in the area. Adding Tony Montano’s floral shop, BUDS, and Protzels Jewish Deli, means you may not need to go anywhere else. Unfortunately, this convenience may drive up prices in the already pricey neighborhoods along Wydown.

Maine oysters with seaweed mignonette
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Bistro La Floraison According to Tara Gallina, “We originally started out wanting to do a French wine bar and when we figured out that Bar Les Freres was available and an option for us, it made total sense to make it more of a bistro. A lot of the passions of our team came together with this concept. All of us had an affinity for all things French. I grew up learning French cuisine in culinary school; I loved spending time in France. Our chef here had worked in French restaurants. With Bar Les Freres gone, there’s been a hole in the market. It all tied together perfectly.”

What they’ve created is a place where you “don’t have to be fancy to come, but when you’re there, you feel a little fancy.” From the gougeres (French cheese puffs) that you dip in a luxurious cheese mousse, to biting into the chicken cordon bleu, which oozes with beautiful cheese and smoked ham, it’s just delightful with a fantastic glass of wine. It’s a place that can be whatever you want it to be: stop in for a drink and some cheese with a friend, come for a special date, or just eat dessert. It’s nice to have a place that you can pop in, especially on the patio, in a neighborhood like this off Wydown where so many people are within walking distance

This new eating dynamic, with three new restaurants that all feed off of each other, is like traveling the world from France (Bistro La Floraison), to Italy (Peno’s), to Spain/Portugal (Bar Moro), Malaysia (Akar), and then to New York (Wright’s Tavern).

Tara playfully commented, “My tagline to everyone who has been coming in and asking about it is that you can travel the world on Wydown. You can have a new dining experience every night if you want. I think we all complement each other. I don’t feel like there’s anything that’s similar about any of our concepts that would be

competitive. If nothing else, it just drives more people to want to come to this block, which is good for everybody.”

Of course, there’s never enough parking on Wydown, but the walkability of this area will attract many people who live nearby. At night, thankfully, the parking is free so you don’t have to worry about that if you drive. And a short stroll after dinner may just be what the doctor ordered.

The signature must-try dishes include French onion financiers, which are just like a little savory cupcake. It’s an onion forward almond cake, with comte cheese piped on top, some thyme oil, and some crispy cheese bits. Texturally it’s really interesting and it packs a lot in just a very small bite. The flavors are enhanced when you accompany it with a sip of wine, Champagne, or a French 75. They bring in phenomenal oysters from Blue Hill Bay in Maine that are not to be missed. “We get them shipped fresh direct, from a source that my husband and I brought with us from New York, and they’re just outstanding. We don’t have to do much to them, but we do painstakingly shuck them and clean them so that it’s a really enjoyable experience.”

Bistro La Floraison has a couple of not-to-miss hors d’oeuvres: the first being the smoked trout rillette toast, which is whipped creme fraiche piped on sourdough bread (made at Winslow’s Table) finished with chives and dill. This is a classic favorite profile but very well executed. The second is a fantastic pate, if you’re into pate - more country style, so chunky. It’s made of duck, pork, chicken, nuts, dried fruit, and has a crust. The steak tartare is fabulous, with steamed egg yolk, crispy shallots, smoked bone marrow vinaigrette, salt, and vinegar potato chips.

Tara preps for the cocktail crowd French onion financiers with almond, thyme oil and comté cheese Cheese board which Susan Sherman swears by
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The chicken cordon bleu is the signature entree. If you love chicken, cheese, and bacon, you’re gonna love this. It’s not your mom’s “cord on blue” that you had in a TV dinner. This dish takes several days to prepare and the end result is unforgettable. Per Tara, it is actually made almost like a sausage that is piped under the chicken skin with the bacon, as opposed to just being dried down in the middle of the chicken. It is then filled with gruyere cheese and fried. It’s finished with some tangy mustard sauce on top, which helps cut through the richness of the chicken.

Tara’s personal favorite dessert is the heavenly pain perdu. It is made with Clementine’s crème fraîche gelato and salted caramel. It looks like it will be too much, but it is actually just enough.

While French food and French restaurants sometimes don’t feel approachable, that’s not the case here. The menu is small, which sort of forces you to tiptoe out of your comfort zone. Said Tara, “We definitely get folks in here who are very sophisticated eaters. At the same time, we’ve got people who typically do not eat at this type of restaurant. But the experience is delightful and satisfying for both.”

The Gallinas are about to mark seven years in St. Louis, which is the longest they’ve ever lived anywhere. “When I think about what our lives were like when we moved here to where we are now, I would’ve never in a million years thought I would own more than one restaurant and have a couple of kids,” said Tara. “It’s all been a whirlwind. When we moved here, we just had a pipe dream about having our own restaurant, making it special, and making our mark in a new city, familiar to Michael because he grew up here, but not really knowing where that would go.”

“The only reason we ever evolved beyond Vicia has been because of the people we have. You get great people but you can’t retain them forever doing the same thing. Eventually, they will want to move on and do more; and they should. We’re creating things because we want to find more things for the people working for us to do,” said Tara.

Tara and Michael have two very small kids and love spending time with them, but that is very challenging. When they’re not with their kids or working, they admit to not having any free time for hobbies. Tara acknowledged, “Michael and I actually have one day a week totally off so we try to always do something fun, try a new restaurant, or just get outside and take three or four hours and pretend we’re on vacation. I’d love to travel and we’re definitely getting more opportunities for that now, which is great. We’re going to Chicago and Maine this fall, with a trip to France planned for next summer. I think knowing that the restaurants are in a good place, allowing us to step away and get other experiences that can influence our work, is a great place to be.”

Susan Sherman, long time regular of Bar Les Freres and now Bistro La Floraison, raved, “I love the new Bistro La Floraison. I have been for the French 75 and their fabulous cheese plate, for dinner with my family (the salmon was off the charts, loved the oyster presentation as well), and I was recently at a launch party for a new fashion line - with 20 women - in the “green room.” It was simply divine. The French spirit remains intact, albeit in a more modern setting. Andy Millner’s artwork adds the perfect touch and Tara is always there smiling! Tara and Michael Gallina know how to run restaurants, period. I’m happy to see Wydown starting to bustle again.”

Fabulous ambiance and Andy Millner painting Steak Tartare with steamed egg yolk, crispy shallots, smoked bone marrow vinaigrette, salt and vinegar potato chips Must try cocktails and an outstanding wine list and sommelier
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Bar Moro Over the last 15 years, Israeli-born Ben Poremba has built an empire of avant-garde restaurants from Olio, Elaia, Nixta, The Benevolent King, and La Patisserie Chouquette. He is best known for his flair for presenting what’s new, providing culturally different experiences for St. Louisans, and his passion for excellence. He is a three-time James Beard Award semifinalist in the category of Best Chef-Midwest and he continues to take the St. Louis dining scene by storm. Ben learned the art of cooking (and eating) from his mother, Rachel, and recently opened Bar Moro in the iconic Billie-Jean space.

The restaurant’s name stands for “Moor” and pays homage to the traditions of Moorish Spain, the Moorish Mediterranean, and Poremba’s Moroccan heritage.

Never dissuaded to try something new and different, Ben said Bar Moro celebrates the golden period of the Moors, who controlled Spain for the better part of 500 years. During that time period, Jews were treated fairly and there was a lot of exchange between Jews and Muslims while Spain was under Muslim rule. It’s almost unimaginable now to remember this period for its great thinkers such as Maimonides, tolerance, architecture, advances in medicine, and much more.

“It’s was a cool time in history and of course the Moors left their mark emphatically in Spain,” said Ben. “You can see it in the architecture, the language, and the food. Spanish food is very

unique in that it’s indigenous. Of course, they borrowed a lot of ideas from other places, especially from North Africa. I thought that would be a nice little pretext, Middle Eastern and north African food. I love the culture. It is also a nice play on the fact that that our location in Clayton is called the Moorlands.”

“I wanted a small space,” he continued. “The story with Zoe is of note because I was really interested in the other two restaurants and negotiated to buy them even before the pandemic. After it didn’t work out we reconnected about the Billie-Jean space. I told Zoe I had the perfect concept for it. Of course, the space has its challenges. There’s no back of house to produce and prep. There’s no basement for storage. And the kitchen is tiny. But it’s great up front. We had to engineer a menu by what we could cook in the space. Our cuisine actually lends itself to this unusual space because it’s pretty straightforward.”

The space was left black, but the table cloths have been removed to show off the brown and black wood tables underneath, and some of the more sleek elements have been made warmer. Local artist Edo Rosenblith did a huge funky mural for the space. The servers wear white coats.

“I’m always trying to open people up to new ideas,” said Ben. “When we opened up Olio, many people had never tried hummus. Now you have 50 different selections at Whole Foods. It’s part of

Still life of Ben Poremba and sample dishes from Bar Moro
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our diet now, but many people didn’t know what it was when we opened. The same with labneh (strained yogurt). You used to have to spell it out for people. But now people know.”

There are four sections to the menu: a small section of tapas that you can pick up and eat including olives, Marcona almonds, fried peppers, and marinated mushrooms. They also have a course of Jamon Iberico, the famous hand-sliced ham from Spain. It’s like prosciutto in the sense that it’s a ham, but it comes from specific pigs that are wild and are fed acorns. They also have cured meats, a cheese plate, and oysters on the half shell.

There is a section that Ben calls classics, things that one might expect at a Spanish restaurant. “The tomato bread pan de tomate that we toast, hand rub with garlic, and then top with raw tomato and a drizzle of super good olive oil on top is very simple but we know how to do it right. It’s more than just toasting bread.” Also on the menu are an omelet with caviar or truffles. “And then here’s the exceptional shrimp that we buy live from Triple J Farms in Foristell, Missouri, and cook with fresh garlic.”

Razor clams will also be on the menu when they’re in season. They are typically not found in the U.S. except for coastal cities.

“Then we will have a section with dishes like rice cooked in squid ink broth with chorizo and octopus. We have a beautiful tomato salad. It looks very simple but there’s so much flavor. We

have bigger dishes that serve two or four people to share - like a big piece of fish or a big steak. One of the big dishes I’m most excited about is called mar i mutanya or surf and turf, it’s chicken that’s cooked with prawns and lobster. “

You can come to Bar Moro as a single diner, sit at the bar, maybe have an omelet, maybe have a couple of bites, or sit down with the big dishes, and have a celebration. The average check will run between $60 and $80 per person, all depending on what you eat and drink.

The beverage offerings are perfect foils for the food. “Of course there will be an extensive list of Spanish and Portuguese wines,” Ben said. “But we’re really excited about the sherry. Sherry can be very sweet, but it can be very dry. It’s kind of the perfect beverage to accompany this kind of food. It cuts right through and it’s beautiful. Our beverage director flew to Spain and did a deep dive into sherry as well as the Madeiras and ports. You can’t go to any other St. Louis restaurant and select from 15 different sherrys. This is unique to us.”

The Spanish are crazy about their gin and tonics, and Bar Moro has five different versions of the drink. There also will be a selection of fortified wines and low alcohol drinks like vermouth. For dessert, the coffee flan is irresistible. Ben and his team are still working on some others. When you go, ask for the special mints, a matchbook, and take a pencil. You want these things to share as you tell your friends about this experience. sl

Hamachi and Valencia orange appetizer and tomato salad Garlic prawns Signature coffee flan
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PASSION PROJECT BRINGS SUSIE BUSCH-TRANSOU HOME

St. Louisans like it when one of their offspring returns home. We’re especially pleased to welcome back native St. Louisan Susie BuschTransou, daughter of August Busch III, as she establishes her new lifestyle boutique, Hearth & Soul, on Clayton Road in Ladue.

The store sells a variety of beautiful goods – women’s and men’s clothing and accessories, kitchen and entertaining items, books (displayed in a cozy nook), artwork, jewelry, furniture and accessories for the home, patio and outdoors, and food items including her dad’s barbeque seasoning, AABIII.

The floor plan of the store is atypical – with items displayed as they would be in a home - and there is a large assortment of local products combined with unique items not previously available in St. Louis. Shoppers will also find some of their favorite brands, but they are curated and in limited quantity. “We try not to have what everyone else has. There is minimal overlap to other stores. There is not a vast selection but what is there is unique,” explained Susie. Also, customers can order or buy any furniture or display item. If you see something you like in the store you can buy it and take it home right away. According to Susie, there are three tiers of pricing, resulting in an open and inclusive atmosphere - not snobbish or off-putting.

Eight years ago, with two kids in college and a third starting high school, Susie thought she had an “opening” in her world for something else. The result was the first Hearth & Soul in Tallahassee, Florida, where she and her family were living. Susie and her husband, Tripp, whom she met at Duke University,

are co-owners for the past 26 years of Tri-Eagle Sales, wholesale distributors for Anheuser-Busch InBev brands and other beverages in north and central Florida.

“I started looking for a St. Louis location six years ago,” she explained. “Then a spot in Austin became available and we needed to focus on that for two to three years. Now is the time for St. Louis. We’re looking forward to reengaging with old friends and making new ones!” To further her point, Susie and Tripp purchased a home within walking distance of the new store.

At Tri-Eagle, as well as when she worked at Anheuser-Busch headquarters, the company’s theme parks, and Busch Creative, Susie was involved heavily on the “culture” side of the businesscommunity engagement, marketing, human resources, strategic planning, and employee relations. “Hearth & Soul is the realization of my experiences and affinity in all those areas. It’s more than a store – it’s a place where people can escape, relax, enjoy. There’s no hard sell – no commissions. We want to make people happy.”

When asked about the pros and cons of returning to St. Louis, Susie said there was possibly one con. “People might have a misperception of me – that I’m not sincere. But once they come to the store they will see otherwise. It isn’t about my name.” Susie is known for being hands on and a great woman leader. She is in the store, putting things away, getting her hands dirty. She on-boards new employees herself. “I know I have to prove myself and I am confident in my store’s concept.”

Women’s clothing section of Hearth & Soul. 74 slmag.net

“People are disconnected and are looking for opportunities to connect,” she continued. “Relationships – making friends - are key to any business and are particularly important to the success of this store. Our customers and staff are viewed as family. This store is like a home. I learned those values at Anheuser-Busch. People did take care of each other there.”

But Hearth & Soul is more than a store. “Besides the beautiful items we sell, our community engagement differentiates us from other home goods and lifestyle stores,” she clarified. “We want our store to have items and to provide experiences that touch and feed the souls of our customers. We want coming to Hearth & Soul to be a social occasion as well as a place to get all your shopping done. We want customers to relax and enjoy – and not worry. We want to give them a space to gather, to discover, and to buy if they choose.”

To that end, Hearth & Soul has created monthly partnerships with local nonprofits and wellness entities. Each month, the store gives 100% of the profits of the sale of a candle and holds “friendraising events” for the benefit of the organization. Wellness Wednesdays feature the monthly fitness partner doing a session on the store’s patio. Susie has been busy for the past year meeting with other Ladue shop owners and neighboring businesses and organizations, along with members of Ladue City Hall and other regional leaders focused on economic development. She’s also been meeting with potential nonprofit partners to ensure her partnership reach is broad. “We want to raise awareness of

a variety of nonprofits – especially lesser-known ones who help underserved populations. We want to have an impact on St. Louis with our involvement.”

The works of different local artists are featured in the store every quarter. There already have been book signings, fireside chats, a girls’ night out, and a happy hour with partners and local makers. “St. Louis has a rich fashion history and we want to recognize and promote it,” she noted. There are sections in the women’s and men’s closet areas dedicated to local fashion artists showcasing their wares. November 14 will be the reveal of the 2022 holiday window, “Winter Wonderland at the Hearth,” featuring beautiful birch trees, sleds, lanterns, and 25 Advent calendar gifts nestled throughout the scene. This whimsical winter vision will transform the front window and hearth room of the store.

Susie took great pains to include local vendors, visiting City Foundry as well as galleries and workshops on Delmar Boulevard. “We have local honey and other food products, home items, beauty products such as facemasks and soap, shoes, pillows, and furniture. We’re looking at all categories and trying to infuse local vendors.”

“In five years, I hope Hearth & Soul is a gathering place for people, where they trust us to find unique things they can buy. We are reaching out to a wide range of zip codes through our marketing efforts and we hope our events bring in people from all over the St. Louis area. This concept worked well in Tallahassee and we’re confident it will work here too.” sl

Grand opening guests on the patio. Book chat and signing with author Kristina McMorris in September. Susie Busch-Transou and husband Tripp at the store’s grand opening in September.
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Brought to you by A Dreamy St. Louis Event Venue TheReverieSTL.com | 314.664.7680 COME BE YOUR FAVORITE SELF

SOPHISTICATED CELEBRATIONS

St. Louis events are in full swing for the holiday season. Seasonal standards like the Saint Louis Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker are already in rehearsal. Share your celebrations with us by tagging your pictures with @sophisticatedlivingmag. Let us know which events you want to see featured among our society pages by emailing courtney@slmag.net SL
November 3 St. Louis Press Club’s Media Persons of the Year Awards Dinner, stlpressclub.org 5 Dance St. Louis Presents STAR DUST, dancestlouis.org 11 Over the Top for Tots, crisisnurserykids.org/events 3-13 St. Louis International Film Festival, cinemastlouis.org/sliff/festival-home 19 TRIBUTE Fashion Show, mothermodelmanagement.com/tribute 19 St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s Play Date Gala, stlouischildrens.org/giving/events 29 Giving Tuesday, givingtuesday.org December 3,10,17,24 Central West End Window Walk, cwescene.com/events 8-11 COCA’s The Little Dancer: Moments in Time, cocastl.org/on-stage-performances 16-23 Saint Louis Ballet’s The Nutcracker, stlouisballet.org 22 Veiled Prophet Ball 29 Fleur de Lis Ball Streaming JazzSTL.org Presented by CATERIN G D ININ G E NTERTAI NI NG slmag.net 77
All (most) electric. Volvo XC90 Recharge plug-in hybrid. The electric car with a backup plan. Now with extended range.
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Photos by
Switzerfilm 1 1) Aspen-themed dinner for the adults 2) Candy girl on the dance floor 3) Sawyer, Lila, Melissa & Rob Merlin 4) Guests enjoying fresh crêpes and macarons 5) Personalized touches were seen throughout the party. 6) Custom bar 7) Dancing disco heads 8) The check-in desk with personalized travel itineraries for each guest created by Cheree Berry Paper 3 2
MERLIN MITZVAH PARTY Sawyer and Lila Merlin celebrated their B’nai Mitzvah at Temple Emanuel and Westwood Country Club on September 3. A travel-themed party planned by Kate + Company was a nod to some of their favorite travel destinations, including Paris, Aspen, South Beach, and New York City. The grand finale of the evening was a dance party filled with surprises at every turn - candy girls, dancing disco heads, and even a Gatorade bar with an ice luge.
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50 AND STILL WILD!

The Endangered Wolf Center (EWC) “50 and Still Wild!” celebration took place on September 9, at the Living World at the Saint Louis Zoo. The wildly elegant event, chaired by Marguerite Garrick, the daughter of Marlin and Carol Perkins, benefits the ongoing work of her parents to save endangered wolves. Virginia Busch, former executive director of the EWC, and Mark Cross, current executive director, also attended.

LAUMEIER SCULPTURE PARKTHE BIG DINNER

Laumeier Sculpture Park hosted its annual fall fundraiser, The Big Dinner, on September 17. Held outdoors on Laumeier’s expansive grounds, this year’s theme, “Out of the Woods,” celebrated the concurrent fall exhibition Forest Through the Trees and the project by Visiting Artist in Residence Jean Shin. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were followed by an elegant, three-course dinner and auction. The Screetchin’ Halts were the live entertainment for the evening. Guests donned comfortable party attire — many of which were woodsy, leafy, and tree-inspired. The event raised more than $140,000.

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Photos by Michelle Steinmeyer Photos by Miranda Munguia Endangered Wolf Center 1) Mark Cross, Peter Gros, Marguerite Garrick 2) Virginia Busch, Marjorie Dellas 3) Virgil & Sandra Van Trease, Blanche & Joe Touhill The Big Dinner 1) Mark Cooper, Beth Chapman, Ron Saverin, Kelley McCarthy, June & Steve Barth 2) Lyah LeFlore-Ituen, Anika Wright, Rudy Nickens, Jacie Price 3) Ken & Nancy Kranzberg
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BEAUTY BUZZ

GLENNON GALLOP

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Photos by Suzy Gorman and Courtesy of St. Louis Press Club Photos Courtesy of SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation
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1 2 3 2 3 Beauty Buzz 1) Carol Daniel, Dawn Gipson, Pamela Morris-Thornton, Raquelle Wallace, Kedra Tolson, Kelsey Tolson, Karen Morrison, Paula Knight, Jackie Hamilton 2) Miran Halen, Joan Berkman, Kedra Tolson, Becky Domyan, Hasina Starks, Jasmine Huda, Julie Tristan 3) Mikki Jones, Tracy Pica, Susan Paganini, Dan Kramer, Tammy Degenhard, Cece Barker Glennon Gallop 1) Anna & Jeff Tegethoff 2) Chuck & Laura Kaiser 3) Monique & Galen Bingham On September 17, The St. Louis Press Club, in partnership with Neiman Marcus, held its 12th annual Beauty Buzz event “All Things Beauty” to raise awareness and vital funding for student journalism scholarships. It was a day of beauty demonstrations, fall fashion, and mixing and mingling for a great cause! The Glennon Gallop on September 24, presented by The Kevin Beckmann Charitable Trust, Clayco, and T. Danis Charitable Trust, returned to August Busch Polo Club in Defiance, Missouri, for an unforgettable day of fun and fundraising. In its 10th year, Glennon Gallop has become one of St. Louis’ most unique events. Proceeds support The Danis Pediatric Center at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.
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FEEL THE JAZZSTL.ORG 314.571.6000 A Swingin’ Soulful Christmas with Denise Thimes DEC 7 & 8, 2022 Dave Grelle’s Playadors NOV 11 & 12, 2022 Etienne Charles Creole Christmas DEC 14-18, 2022 Stacey Kent NOV 30 –DEC 4, 2022 Marilyn Maye – ALL NEW Big Band Show NOV 9 & 10, 2022 A Very Manley Christmas with Jim Manley’s Mad Brass & Rhythm DEC 9 & 10, 2022 Jeremy Davenport NOV 25 & 26, 2022 Cécile McLorin Salvant & Sullivan Fortner NOV 16-20, 2022 The Bad Plus JAN 4-8, 2023 Ellington’s Nutcracker with the Jazz St. Louis Big Band DEC 21-23, 2022 John Pizzarelli NOV 2-6, 2022 be be ve i i viWith Jazz St. Louis’ ’22&’23 Season SEASON SPONSORED BY: Steward Family Foundation AND World Wide Technology

THE GREAT FOREST PARK BALLOON RACE

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3 4 1) Karen & Mike Marchi, Jessica & Tony Spatola, Ruby Ha and Erick Jensen. Photo by Mike Bizelli and The Humane Society of Missouri. 2) John Marlow, Ted Staley, and Dan Schettler are presented with batons passed in the air by The U.S. Army Golden Knights. Photo by Mary Butkus 3) Olympic champ Dawn Harper Nelson, Alonzo & Harper Nelson. Photo by Alonzo Nelson. 4) Cody & Nicole Sallens with their children Kynlee and McKenna. Photo by Nicole Sallens. 5) DJ Reggie Van Derson is all smiles at the PNC Bank photo experience with his wife and daughter Gina Lyn and Lena. Photo by The Great Forest Park Balloon Race 6) Purina Pro Plan Performance Team members Jess Wilmes and border collie Senka. Photo by Mary Butkus 7) Balloon Glow photo by @STL_FROM_ABOVE
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Presented by PNC Bank on September 16 and 17, the event drew record crowds as it marked its 50th anniversary. Families enjoyed dancing with DJ Reggie at the Genesis of St. Charles Main Stage and being wowed by the high-flying Purina Pro Plan Performance Team. As another special treat in honor of this golden anniversary, GFPBR and Drury Hotels proudly welcomed the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team for two exhilarating performances during race weekend.
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ANNUAL APRÈS-SKI PARTY

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Photos by Craig Kaminer
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1) Dr.
Chris Prada, Ted & Katie Collier, Amy Prada
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Ron Kruszewski, Mikaela Shiffrin, and Debbie Kaminer
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Ron Kruszewski presents $800,000 Check to US Ski & Snowboard 4) Cowboy and Chris Pronger 5) Anna Maria & Anthony Johnson
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Virginia & John Howell 7) Woman in an orb floats in the pool 8) Katie & Steve Schankman
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6 87 DENIM & ICE October 1 was the perfect night for a party when Stifel’s CEO Ron Kruszewski and Amanda Perkins hosted Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin to raise money for the U.S. Ski Team. More than 350 who’s who guests attended. Highlights were amazing food, a Clydesdale, a man on stilts, a floating woman in an orb, a very competitive corn hole tournament, the Jordan James Band from Nashville, and a lively auction of ski gear. The fundraiser made more than $800,000.
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“The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Past results a ord no guarantee of future results and every case is di erent and must be judged on its own merits.”
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Photos by Zach Dalin Photography
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6 5 1) Bob & Mary Ciapciak with Tina & Kevin Maher 2) Lisa Holland and Brooke Meek 3) Lisha Tang and Caroline Wideman 4) Dog ice sculptures flanked the entrance. 5) Jeff Bikshorn, Merle Fox, Megan Fox, and Tierney Spence Wilson 6) Cindy Berger, Elizabeth Cain, and Alex Berger 7) John Weiss, Bob & Diane Kopitsky, and June & Alvin Wolff 8) Larry Levy and Simon Katz 9) David Hoffmann & Sue Berdy 10) Lizzie Ellert, Michael Newport, and Peggy Barnhart
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3 PAWS FOR CELEBRATION Simons Jewelers hosted their annual benefit for the Humane Society, Paws for Celebration, on October 6. The event featured pieces from Italian designers Mariani and Crivelli.Guests also had the chance to win $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 shopping spree from Simons.
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