PRIME Living 2012 July/August "Food & Wine" Issue

Page 1


J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 2

The Luxury of Choice

beefedup Whosegourmet burgerwill riseabovetherest?

Wine & Dine

From delicious dishes to wonderfulwine getaways,savor PL’s annual food issue

Food Fight

Chefs battle it out in the ultimate culinary challenge

Vintage America

Quenchyour thirstwith the country’s bestwines

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all-american JulY/August 2012

Discover 5 unspoiled regions that are well worth the trek


a cut above

Houston’s top chefs battle it out in PL’s “Chopped” competition



burger wars

When it comes to burgers, Houston eateries truly stack up

July/August • 2012


alsoinside 9 • cocktails & conversation • Where to Go, What to Do Buzz • Cooking with Class • Pleasure Pier • Got Game? • Asia Society • Sea Worthy • My Life


Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Karyn Dean

Publisher Terry Dean

37 • connoisseur • PL’s Guide to Discerning Taste Ciao, Bella! • Good Eats • Table Talk • Zin Master •

Managing Editor Michelle Jacoby

Cocktail Chemistry

49 • the gentlemen’s room • For the man who commands the very best The Big Picture • Power of 3 • Time to Diversify • Tech, Treks & Tents • Flying Lessons 62 • escape • Greetings from destinations near and far Enlightened Explorer • Picosa Ranch Resort

Editorial Assistant Aaron Berman, Emmie Martin


Mad Hatter Spring Luncheon & Fashion Show


Sales Manager Rodrigo Hurtado

69 • live well • Feel Good, Look Good Healing Herbs • Health News • Crowning Glory • Nags Don’t Date, They Marry • Snore or Roar? 76 • prime list • Events, Galas and Fundraisers Prime Living’s Women’s Health Symposium •

Art Direction & Design SW!TCH s t u d i o Jim Nissen Kris Olmon Elizabeth Dam, Felicia Penza

Account Executives David Drake



Director of Marketing Jennifer Dean

Circulation/ Distribution Brian Stavert

Contact 311 Julie Rivers Drive Sugar Land, Texas 77498 281.277.2333 Editorial Inquiries




J U LY / A U

012 GUST 2

e The Luxury of Choic

on the cover

beefedup t burgerwill Whosegourme rest? riseabovethe

Wine & Dine

dishes to From delicious s,savor wine getaway wonderfulPL’s annual food issue

A worthy addition to this issue’s “Burger Wars” story is the Farm & Sea from Triniti. This unique take on surf-and-turf features butter beef, chunks of lobster and thin sheets of seaweed.

Food Fight

it out in the Chefs battley challenge ultimate culinar

America Vintage the your thirstwith Quench


wines country’s best

Photography by Mark Lipczynski.

Advertising Information subscribe AT ©2012 Prime Living Magazine is a publication of SRG Services, Inc., published bi-monthly. Copies are mailed and hand-delivered to households and businesses throughout the greater Houston area. This publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the express prior written permission of the publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility to any party for the content of any advertisement in this publication. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position of the publication.

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talent of...Houston’s

coming up Saddle up for our annual Texas Issue, a true celebration of the amazing people, places and things that make us proud to call the Lone Star State home.

code decoded Throughout this issue, you’ll find QR codes designed to heighten your Prime Living experience. Here’s how to use them: 1. From your device, download any free QR code scanning app 2. Scan codes, like the one below, for fun surprises and special offers. Happy scanning!

karyn dean Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

finest chefs.

Enjoying great local food and wine at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa Valley. A definite “must do” if you’re on a summer wine trek!


fter spending Memorial Day weekend power washing the back patio, the next logical project, of course, was to wreck-in-order the patio furniture. So, off I went to Chair King, one of my favorite places to browse and see what’s “in style” in the furniture world. Apparently, it was a lot, but after much searching, we walked out with two new chairs and an appetite that could only be satisfied by some good ole’ Texas barbecue. And when I think of Texas barbecue, The Swinging Door immediately comes to mind. Owned by Steve Onstad, resident pit master and all-around nice guy, Richmond’s favorite barbecue joint is a down-home kind of place with great charm. To find out Steve’s secret to great Texas barbecue, read his My Life profile on page 20. Even with a clean deck and new patio furniture, I’m still looking to escape the Houston heat. Recently, I met with Emily Coleman of the Telluride Tourism Board and spoke with Mike “Z” of Telluride Real Estate Corp., who both have me convinced that I need to plan a visit to Telluride…and soon! With summer festivals such as Blues and Brews, the Telluride Jazz Celebration and Telluride Wine Festival, I was tickled to discover there’s a huge “Texans who love Telluride” following in both Dallas and Houston. So if you plan a little escape to Telluride on your own, chances are pretty good that you’ll run into someone you know…maybe even me! In celebration of our annual food issue, I’d like to send kudos to the four chefs who participated in our 2nd annual PL’s “Chopped” Competition: David Cordúa, David Guerrero, Kris Jacob and Soren Pedersen. Thanks to Jean-Luc Hauviller of the Culinary Institute LeNotre, our gracious host for the competition. What amazing culinary talent Houston has! To find out who won (drum roll, please), go to page 23. On a personal note, it’s been difficult not to overindulge after pouring over the photos of the five delicious, juicy, Texas-sized stacks featured in “Burger Wars” on page 30. These burgers truly “rose” to the occasion! Cheers! P.S. If you’re a trivia buff like me, test your memory on your favorite game shows from the ’60s and ’70s with our quizzes on page 14. Oh, and email me your favorite game show phrase! Mine was, “Mary liked to pour gravy on John’s _____” from the “Match Game.” Loved Gene Rayburn!


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cocktails & conversation.

cocktails & Restoration Hardware

the prime living guide to what's happening now


10 12 13 14 16 18 20

• • • • • • •

The Buzz | What’s New Hot List | cooking with class Point of Interest | pleasure pier Nostalgia | Got Game? Arts | Asia Society Design | sea worthy My Life | pit master

July/August • 2012


cocktails & conversation.



bark! B

est known for capturing heartfelt images of “pampered pets and perfect children,” photographer Kim Hartz has opened a new studio and gallery near Rice Village, bringing her love of photography and art under one roof. Located at 3019 Rice, the studio is welcoming and cozy, while a gallery of work displays some of her famous portraits of our fourlegged friends. And even though it’s summer, it’s never too early to start planning your holiday portraits. In fact, mention Prime Living and you’ll receive 20 percent off a studio session. 713-521-7272,

spin Cycle


Biker by design


ith the lazy days of summer upon us, it’s time to relive those carefree days of your youth when all that mattered was you, your bike and the open road. This time, however, you can wheel about town on a bike that’s all you. Villy Custom offers custom-made bikes in a range of bright and eye-catching colors available not only for the frame, but also for the tires, chains, seat and accessories. Complement your look with a wicker or metal basket, bike bell or mirror, and you’ll be ready to hit the road in style.


Kim Hartz Photography | Sofia van der Dys | TK Images

f you’re looking for a new place to work up a sweat, Define Body & Mind is now spinning its wheels in the West University area. A specialized indoor cycling studio, Define also offers Pilates, yoga, barre work and core strengthening, along with transformative signature classes, and body and mind programs. Owner Henry Richardson welcomes natural food chef Erin O’Leary Stewart to the new location, which features a demo kitchen for healthy food presentations. Work out and eat right! 2518 Bissonnet. 713-526-1800,


cocktails & conversation.

Under the

big top I

f French-Canadian circus troupes are your thing, then don’t miss “Kooza” by Cirque du Soleil, coming to Houston July 26 to Aug. 19. The limited engagement performances will feature unique highlights, including “Alice in Wonderland”-inspired costumes and a 1,600-pound Wheel of Death operated by two fearless, leaping acrobats. Sam Houston Race Park, 7575 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. West.

Summer swag



alk about a “hot” read! Houston’s own Connie Cooke, societycolumnistturned-author, writes thrilling and intriguing mysteries with strong female characters. In her latest release “Cayman Heat,” heroine Koral Sanders is a strong, yet gritty female protagonist on a mission to find a woman who mysteriously disappears on a group scuba diving trip. It’s steamy and sultry, and just perfect for a great summer read.

Owen Carey | French Cuff Boutique | Mary Nichols | Solstice Sunglass Boutique

Update your wardrobe with these warm-weather looks

nude wedge is an essential addition to every woman’s summer shoe collection. When in doubt, a neutral shoe will be your best friend, bringing you length and a look that is sure to be timeless. $120 at French Cuff Boutique, 4048 Bellaire Blvd. 713-665-3336, Whether you’re heading to land or sea this summer, the Porter Tote by Mary Nichols is the essential accessory. Not only is it stylish and fun, but it’s also functional and able to carry all your goodies. For an extra special touch, be sure to have it monogrammed! $148. For store locations, visit If you’re in need of a new pair of summer shades, look no further than the Solstice Sunglass Boutique. From Dior and Gucci, to Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen, eyewear mecca carries an endless selection of styles perfect for sand, city or wherever your summer adventures take you. Three Houston-area locations.



Roseann Rogers Known as Houston’s “Buzz Lady,” Roseann Rogers has been on top of Houston’s social, fashion and entertainment scene for nearly 15 years. A regular contributor to Prime Living, she is also a TV personality, spokesperson and active philanthropist.

July/August • 2012


cocktails & conversation.

hot list

Story | amber bell

Perfect for date nights, special occasions or simply brushing up on your basting and baking, these five Houston-area cooking schools will teach you the art of the kitchen. Rice Epicurean

A family-owned and -operated Houston original, this specialty grocery store offers learning experiences for every palate. Tie on an apron for their hands-on classes, or sit back and take notes in a demonstration class. Popular picks include “Creole Cuisine,” “Sushi 101” and “Cake Decorating Basics.” 2020 fountainview 713-783-8203

Well Done Cooking Classes

In addition to public classes at their Heights and Galleria locations, Well Done will host custom classes in your own kitchen. All classes are hands-on and led by owners Celeste Terrell and Kathryn Herod. With choices like “Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate” and “Dinner Party in Tuscany,” you’re sure to work up an appetite.

Learn from culinary celebrities and expert staff at Central Market’s popular cooking school. Hands-on demonstration classes, ranging from “Favorites of the French Chef ” to “Tex-Mex Made Simple,” make adding new recipes to your collection easy and entertaining. 3815 westheimer 713-993-9860

city centre, town and country lane / 1996 w. gray 832-201-3496 / 713-533-0400

1208 e. 29th st. / 4242 richmond ave. 832-782-3518

Central Market


Hosting cooking classes in 19 states, Sur La Table gets rave reviews from foodies nationwide. With locations in River Oaks and Memorial, classes are held nearly every day of the week. Other offerings include culinary summer camps for kids and options tailored to special diets, such as gluten-free and lactose-free meals.

Brennan’s of Houston

With executive chef Danny Trace, learn some of the mouthwatering secrets behind Brennan’s New Orleans-inspired fare and 45 years of success. Three-course dinners are paired with cocktails or wine. Designed for couples, upcoming classes include “Say Cheese,” July 27; “On the Sauce,” Aug. 24; and “Stirring the Pot,” Sept. 28. 3300 smith st. 713-522-9711

Julio C. Garcia | Sur la Table | Rice Epicurean | Brennan’s of Houston

cooking with class

Sur la Table

point of interest

cocktails & conversation.

Then and now: The Tickler Ride at Electric Park (top); the Sea Dragon at Pleasure Pier.

pleasure pier Story | Amber Bell

Billy Hill | Galveston County Historical Museum


resh off its opening in May, Galveston Island’s historic Pleasure Pier is this summer’s star attraction on the Texas coast. Welcoming visitors of all ages, the 1,130foot structure features rides, shops, food vendors, games and live music, much as it did in the late 1940s. Landry’s sparkling $60 million renovation hearkens back to that earlier era, when families flocked to the pier to experience the thrills of the midway in the fresh sea air. Here, the timeless enchantment of cotton candy and carousels meets the magic of the Gulf. In the vein of Chicago’s Navy Pier, the Santa Monica Pier and Coney Island’s Luna Park, Pleasure Pier combines the nostalgic appeal of a traditional recreational pier with the hottest trends in entertainment. The pier boasts 16 rides, many of

which offer the added thrill of suspending riders over the water. Visitors can enjoy classics like a traditional double-decker carousel, 100foot Ferris wheel, “Pirate’s Plunge” log ride, and bumper cars for adults and children. Brave souls seeking a little more adventure can test their courage on the Iron Shark roller coaster, whose highlights include a 100-foot vertical climb and four full inversions, or the Texas Star Flyer, a towering 200-foot swing recognized as the highest ride in the state. The pier is also home to a selection of retail shops and dining options, including the state’s first Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., a popular restaurant based on the book and movie “Forrest Gump.” The star of the menu is, of course, shrimp—prepared in 19 different, delicious ways.

Private birthday parties and events can be held at the pier’s “Kids Party Zone.” Pleasure Pier’s most recent predecessor was the Flagship Hotel, built on the site after Hurricane Carla destroyed the original amusement park in 1961. The iconic hotel, victim to a similar fate, was severely damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008 and was demolished in 2011. In going back to its roots, the new world-class Pleasure Pier amusement park is expected to bring roughly 1 million visitors to the island each year, its bright lights putting a new shine on Galveston’s famous Seawall Boulevard.

pleasure pier 2501 seawall blvd., galveston

SUMMER FUN Take a trip to the coast for surf, sand and fun-in-the-sun events.

Fourth of July

Celebrate Independence Day at Galveston Island’s annual downtown parade featuring floats, military vehicles and performers. The festivities continue throughout the day, ending with a dazzling, 20-minute firework display over the Gulf of Mexico. Downtown Galveston

Texas Race Week

From July 19-22, watch more than 50 sail boats race on the Gulf. One race is held each day, between 10 a.m. and noon. Recommended viewpoints are East Beach, Stewart Beach or a few miles down the Seawall. Freeport Municipal Marina

Bands on the Sand

Head to the beach this summer for exciting live music, ranging from country, to blues and rock. Each concert, held from 6 to 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night through Aug. 11, is followed by a fireworks show. Palm Beach at Moody Gardens

July/August • 2012


cocktails & conversation.


got GAME? Story | Bruce Farr

hy does the current crop of TV game shows seem to pale in comparison to the gems many of us became addicted to in what we now call the “Golden Age of Television?” A quick glance at the bloated roster of today’s game shows reveals way too many ill-conceived, cheaply produced programs presided over by weary, half-hearted hosts. For sheer inventiveness and fun, it would be hard to find a show more captivating or masterfully produced than “Concentration,” an NBC classic that ran on and off from 1958 through 1991. Hosted by the incomparable Hugh Downs, “Concentration” challenged thoughtful, mostly civil guests to memorize and identify hidden sets of cards, which were then removed to reveal a “rebus” puzzle they had to solve. Aired daily in late morning, “Concentration” seemed, well, intelligent. Or take “Truth or Consequences.” Though launched in 1940 with Ralph Edwards, the game show is probably best


known for its later host, the much-beloved Bob Barker, who posed wacky trivia questions to hapless contestants; their inevitably wrong answers triggered an earshattering blast from “Beulah the Buzzer.” Unable to succeed in this “truth” portion of the show, the contestants then had to pay some “consequences,” which involved performing a zany stunt with a typically embarrassing twist. Watching historic footage of the program, it’s refreshing to witness how skillfully Barker kept everything moving at such an upbeat and entertaining clip. The era of big-prize giveaways on TV game shows actually began on radio in 1945 with the debut of “Queen for a Day.” The show became even more popular when it began a simulcast in 1948, and later moved to TV exclusively.

The elegantly mustachioed host Jack Bailey would gently lead down-on-their-luck female contestants through a series of questions, revealing for the audience the circumstances of their troubles. After what was often a tearful session, Bailey’s female assistants would ceremoniously drape the contestant in a sable and crown, proclaim her “queen for a day,”

the list of game-show classics seems endless. Consider the long-running “The Price is Right,” which began in 1956 with the freckle-faced host Bill Cullen and continues today with comedian Drew Carey at the helm. Or how about Gene Rayburn’s wry, gleaming smile on “Match Game,” or John Charles Daly presiding over an erudite panel of celebrities on the hallowed “What’s My Line?”

Did You Know? Along with the shows that made them famous, game show theme songs have enjoyed a life of their own, perhaps none more well-known than the melodic ditty that plays as “Jeopardy!” contestants ponder their Final Jeopardy! questions (C’mon, you can hum it, right?). “Think!” was composed by Merv Griffin, and has served as the Final Jeopardy! round countdown music since the show debuted in 1964.

and then shower the sobbing sovereign with high-priced gifts. Viewers at home were glued to their sets throughout its eight-year run on NBC and, later, ABC. One thing is certain: Once you begin tripping down memory lane,

Clearly, given a choice to either continue with the mind-numbing array of what passes for game show entertainment today, or shell out a goodly sum to bring back a few of the caliber described above, one can only say, “Monty, let’s make a deal.”


cocktails & conversation.



What game show had a single man or woman asking a hidden panel of 3 women or men questions in order to choose which to go on a date with?

A. “Dateline” B. “The Dating Game” C. “Mystery Date” D. “Blind Date”


Who created “Jeopardy!”?

A. Mark Goodman B. Merv Griffin C. Ronald Reagan D. Dick Clark


What “Today Show” host also hosted “Sale of the Century”? A. Joe Garagiola B. Matt Lauer C. Bryant Gumbel D. Dave Garroway


Alex Trebek has hosted all of the following except:

A. “Jeopardy!” B. “High Rollers” C. “The $20,000 Pyramid” D. “Battlestars”

Hosts With the most

Think you know your classic game shows? Then test your memory by matching the shows with the hosts most closely associated with them.


Game Shows

Chuck Barris

“Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”

Bud Collyer


Bob Eubanks

“The Gong Show”

Jim Lange

“You Bet your Life”

Allen Ludden

“Tic Tac Dough”

Art Linkletter

“The Hollywood Squares”

Wink Martindale

“The Newlywed Game”

Peter Marshall

“People Are Funny”

Jan Murray

“Treasure Hunt”

Pat Sajak

“Wheel of Fortune”

Alex Trebek


Meredith Vieira

“Beat the Clock”

Chuck Woolery

“Love Connection”

George DeWitt

“The Dating Game”

Groucho Marx

“Name That Tune”

game show trivia


Catch Phrase Name the show to each catch phrase 1. “Come on down! 2. “I’d like to buy a vowel.” 3. “Big bucks, no whammies!” 4. “Survey says!” 5. “Will the real _____ please stand up?” Catch Phrase Answers: 1. “The Price is Right” 2. “Wheel of Fortune” 3. “Press Your Luck” 4. “Family Feud” 5. “To Tell the Truth”


Game Show Trivia Answers: Chuck Barris, “The Gong Show;” Bud Collyer, “Beat the Clock;” Bob Eubanks, “The Newlywed Game;” Jim Lange, “The Dating Game;” Allen Ludden, “Password;” Art Linkletter, “People Are Funny;” Wink Martindale, “Tic Tac Dough;” Peter Marshall, “The Hollywood Squares;” Jan Murray, “Treasure Hunt;” Pat Sajak, “Wheel of Fortune;” Alex Trebek, “Jeopardy!;” Meredith Vieira, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?;” Chuck Woolery, “Love Connection;” George DeWitt, “Name That Tune;” Groucho Marx, “You Bet Your Life”

Scan this code to watch some of the most hilarious and outrageous moments in game show history. You can also visit and join in on the fun!

Gamer’s Choice Answers: 1. B. The Dating Game; 2. B. Merv Griffin; 3. A. Joe Garagiola; 4. C. The $20,000 Pyramid;

Caught on Tape

July/August • 2012


cocktails & conversation.


review “Colonel Sanders and the American Dream” Josh Ozersky


Heart of Asia Story | John DeMers


ecognizing the global influence Asia was poised to have, philanthropist John D. Rockefeller III founded the Asia Society in 1956. The organization was designed to promote greater knowledge of Asia and its arts, business, culture and education. Since then, the Asia Society has established locations in New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles and now, Houston. In April, the Asia Society welcomed the community into its eye-popping new Texas Center, the $48.4 million creation of famed Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi. And while the center is located in the Museum District, these spaces are about so much more than showing art. “Houston is a growing, changing, new city,” says executive director Martha Blackwelder, who spent two life-changing years in Japan. “I think we are more the heartland of America than those other cities; what we do here can spread out through the rest of the country. Plus, we naturally look to South and Central America. For Asian companies hoping to do business in, say, Brazil, we are the one place where the

complete conversation can be held.” As conversations go, the one at the Asia Society’s Texas Center is freewheeling and ongoing. There are exhibitions, from ancient pieces that originally belonged to John D. Rockefeller, to contemporary art with “Texas connections” in other areas. In addition, there’s a large meeting space (or three smaller ones) for seminars and presentations, plus a terrific theater that seats 280. The group’s history in Houston goes back to 1979, when former First Lady Barbara Bush and former Ambassador Roy M. Huffington pushed their fellow citizens to recognize Asia’s growing importance. The Asia Society here became its own nonprofit to mount a capital campaign in the mid-1990s, acquiring its lush, green 2.3-acre building site in 2003. “This is all about the importance of Asia, both economically and culturally,” says Blackwelder. “In Houston’s changing demographics, knowing more about Asia is going to help you in terms of how competitive you are going to be.”

Spotlight: the eat gallery

Combining the beauty of art and food is the Eat Gallery, a unique art space that features the edible artwork of local culinary artists. Where traditional art gallery curates art on walls, the Eat Gallery showcases art on plates and cups. Past “chefs-turned-artists” include Keisha Bocage of Bocage Catering, Chris Williams of Lucille’s, and Robert Lopez of Kickin’ Kombucha. The Eat Gallery • 4420 Almeda Road • 832-463-0328 •


art conversation and part meditation, part business school case study and part cynicism-busting nostalgia fest, “Colonel Sanders and the American Dream” (University of Texas Press, $20) is an overdue look “behind the chicken” at one of America’s food icons. The fact that “Colonel” Harland Sanders (given the honorary title by the state of Kentucky) got fired every time he worked for somebody else and watched several early ventures shot out from under him, lies at the very heart of this story. And a yarn and a half it is. It’s hard to think of a better guy to tell that yarn than Josh Ozersky, who offers up a spirited, incisive and occasionally laughout-loud look at the Colonel’s life on the way to becoming a face on a bucket of fried chicken. Ozersky offers compelling insights into what is gained and lost by a company (and a culture) when a real person ceases to live behind the icon, when new generations of customers come of age after that real person is in the grave and, most insightfully, when multinational corporations buy and sell iconic brands without the slightest interest in where they came from or why they exist. Ozersky is both clear-eyed in pursuit of his subject and loving in his depiction of a time and place in which a broke 65-year-old could grow a white beard, don a white suit and, for a time, come to represent so much to so many. And yes, the old guy made some “fingerlickin’ good” fried chicken while he was at it. – JD

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cocktails & conversation.


sea worthy

Story | Elizabeth Exline


here is something as attractive about nautical design as there is about the sea itself. Whether it’s the untamable essence of the ocean or the refreshing color palette it engenders, nauticalinspired design continues to make waves in home décor. Unless you’re designing a beach home, you’ll want to keep the nautical theme subtle, more like a sea breeze than a tidal wave. Today’s nautical trends lend themselves well to a light touch. Neutral linens in tans, creams and pale grays; walls lavished with soft whites and sandy hues; big windows with minimal treatments; tactile rugs, pillows and


accessories—these are the hallmarks of the latest seaside-inspired looks. Whitewashed, lined oak is another current trend, according to Laura Michaelides, the principal designer at Four Square Design Studio LLC. “It’s completely back,” she says of the wood that was once the darling of the ’90s. “It’s been kind of translated into a modern way.” Modern rustic, to be exact. The soft, textural finish looks good on built-in cabinetry, dining tables and chairs alike. Bathrooms, meanwhile, are a natural outlet for beach-house looks.



cocktails & conversation.


Ride the Tide With ocean blues, schools of fish, and ship-inspired details, achieving a nautical look is smooth sailing.

Restoration Hardware | Jonathan Adler

1. The line of Richards’ Metal Steamer Trunks in polished aluminum hearken to an era of luxurious travel on the seven seas.

“We do a lot of nautical designs in bathrooms,” says Tami Owen, owner of the Owen Group Design Firm. “You’re definitely seeing things that should be on a boat in a bathroom now.” Round mirrors reminiscent of ships, and trays holding a well-placed vase of cream and gray shells are easy, effective ways to evoke the ocean. Shells and coral patterns, in fact, work well in spaces throughout the house. Sculptural coral or shells work best when strategically placed atop a bookshelf, buffet table, tray or coffee table, Owen says. Light fixtures are another means to achieve an authentic look without being

overdone, according to Michaelides, who adds that sisal rugs are a good final touch since their “interesting textures” jibe with nautical motifs. But living by the sea—or pretending you do—doesn’t relegate you only to the calming colors of a neutral palette. “You can do that whole neutral thing and just feel the colors of the sand and the sea,” Michaelides says. “But equally fun, and with the strength of the sun by the sea, I think you can certainly do all kinds of intense blues, intense oranges, lime greens and things like that.” 3

Painting an accent wall in deep orange with bursts of lime green or fuchsia in the pillows and rugs may feel extreme to some, but with the right context, architecture and owners, it can be an invigorating ode to the ocean. And, fortunately for landlubbers everywhere, there’s plenty of middle ground.

2. It’s anchors away with this hand-loomed, llama wool rug by Jonathan Adler. Customdesign one to fit your décor with a palette of gorgeous colors. 3. Have a whale of a time serving your guests with this ceramic whale pitcher by Jonathan Adler. Made by skilled artisans in Peru, this simplified form is accented by a bold geometric pattern. 4. For a touch of whimsy, try marineinspired pillows. Playful patterns including coral reef, octopus and fish redefine the notion of pillow talk. Check out West Elm ( and Jonathan Adler for fun options.

4 July/August • 2012


cocktails & conversation.

my life

master pit

steve onstad


or almost four decades, Steve Onstad, owner of The Swinging Door in Richmond, has been perfecting his barbecue. Since his 20s, he has watched his customers have babies and grow up—pitterpattering over the old wood floors and playing out back around the duck pond. Now he is serving those grown-up kids, and even some of their grandkids. Even with all that experience (evidenced by the constantly cranking pits that he designed himself ), he is notably humble about claiming to be a pro. “I’ve never stopped learning about the barbecue process,” says Onstad. Patience, and trial and error, continue to be his watchwords. But unlike most pit masters or barbecue champions who get a calling to follow the smoke, the barbecue business found him. “I wasn’t college material and I quickly discovered, I just needed a job. There weren’t many eateries in the rural Richmond-Sugar Land area, so I opened a country café,” says Onstad, who tried a few different menu concepts. But it wasn’t until a customer walked in and asked for a barbecue sandwich that he settled on Texas barbecue. To learn the barbecue business, he visited countless barbecue joints, asked millions of questions—even if he got kicked out sometimes—and constantly tested recipes. He takes pride in his menu, which was “based on customer feedback,” like his mustardy potato salad made with fresh, hand-chopped ingredients prepared by the same cook for 30 years, and his popular pork ribs. It’s not just one element that will make or break your ’cue—it’s the whole package. Onstad stresses the importance of learning about the meat you are cooking in addition to the trimming and slicing process. “If cut wrong, the meat will be difficult to eat,” he advises. Onstad suggests experimenting with different woods for smoking, although he’s partial to sweet pecan wood because it’s ubiquitous here. As far as cooking time, “Everyone is in a hurry to eat. Remember, low and slow. Shortcuts don’t exist in this business.”


I’ve never stopped learning about the barbecue process. Story | Robin Barr Sussman

Photography | mark lipczynski

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4 3

amazing chefs mystery ingredients

============ EQUALS ============

culinary genius B

ING RED IENT Beef S: heart Kohl rabi Grai ns of Para dise

Photography | Mark Lipczynski

ecause imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Prime Living took cues from the Food Network’s popular hit show and created our very own cooking competition, PL’s “Chopped.” Now in its second year, the competition was held at the Culinary Institute LeNotre. With the school’s kitchen as our playing field, four of Houston’s top chefs were given three mystery ingredients—beef heart, kohlrabi and grains of paradise—and asked to create an original dish in just 30 minutes. Here’s what happened…

pl’s “chopped” C















David Cordúa CordÚa Restaurants What was your initial reaction to the ingredients? I thought, “OK, just a different kind of steak and potato.” Which ingredient was the most challenging to work with? Why? I’ve eaten heart in Peruvian anticucho (small pieces of grilled, skewered meat) and know that the slicing is everything to make it tender. Still, I had never broken down heart before. What was your plan or inspiration for the dish? Did it come out the way you wanted? I wanted to do the heart two ways: achiote marinated and seared with a kohlrabi puree and a tartare spiked with grain of paradise. I’ve always been a fan of proteins in more than one way on a plate, but I needed more time for them to come together. They say hindsight is 20/20. What, if anything, would you have done differently? Not the purée. It took too long.


David Guerrero samba grille

What was your initial reaction to the ingredients? The protein was my biggest worry, so I was very exited to see the beef heart. I’m very familiar with it and work with it every day. Plus, it’s one of my favorite things to eat. Which ingredient was the most challenging to work with? Why? The grains of paradise because I had never heard of it or ever used it. When I tasted it, it had no flavor whatsoever, so I toasted it

in the sauté pan and grained it. It tasted like a fruity, gingery black pepper, which I seasoned the beef heart with. I was very happy with the flavor profile.

of Peru made of beef hearts and choclo (corn), potatoes, marinated and cooked in salsa anticuchera and served with huacatay sauce.

What was your plan or inspiration for the dish? Did it come out the way you wanted? The inspiration for my dish was based on something we have at the restaurant called anticuchos. It’s a very traditional and delicious dish from the streets

They say hindsight is 20/20. What, if anything, would you have done differently? I wouldn’t have cooked the potatoes that big. I would have made thinner slices and avoided the red onions in the salad. Still, I think it was a winner dish!



What was your initial reaction to the ingredients? My initial reaction was whether I’d be comfortable with them. I had worked with beef heart before. I know it doesn’t have to be braised down like you would think. Heart can be very good with a quick marinade and sliced thin at a medium rare. The kohlrabi was interesting because it has enough water and starch to have a good crunch with refreshing taste raw. Which ingredient was the most challenging to work with? Why? The kohlrabi because I decided to apply two techniques: raw in a salad and cooked in a puree. It takes a bit longer to steam. What was your plan or inspiration for the dish? Did it come out the way you wanted? I was inspired by a dish I had at


a restaurant that served offal. The heart was prepared in a pot with a broth including, ginger, miso, lime, Thai basil and fresh cilantro. It was delicious, so I decided to make a deconstructed version using a quick marinade with the same ingredients. I broiled the heart to medium rare and served it with quick-pickled red onions and a salad of kohlrabi, cilantro and arugula. A basil-marinated tomato finished the dish. I felt it came out well. I liked the flavors and felt the techniques I used were well executed to prepare a dish in 30 minutes.

 They say hindsight is 20/20. What, if anything, would you have done differently? I would’ve cut the kohlrabi smaller to begin with instead of correcting the mistake halfway through the 30 minutes.

Kris Jakob kris bistro

What was your initial reaction to the ingredients? Great! I was comfortable, but concerned about having enough cooking time to cook the beef heart to the point I wanted to.

What was your plan or inspiration for the dish? Did it come out the way you wanted? Which ingredient was the most My inspiration came from my challenging to work with? Why? childhood. We ate liver and hearts The beef heart, due to the time. I on a weekly basis. I took those wasn’t sure if I could execute what memories and brought them to I had intended to do. the dish.

They say hindsight is 20/20. What, if anything, would you have done differently? I would’ve added something really crisp like fried parsnips. Otherwise, I was pretty content with what I prepared.

Soren Pedersen sorrel urban bistro



Ready, Set, Cook!

Knives sharpened, check. Burners on, check. Mystery ingredients revealed, check. To watch the chefs in action, scan this code or visit

And the winner is… Soren Pedersen, Sorrel Bistro This year’s judges—Prime Living publisher Karyn Dean, Jean-Luc Hauviller, director of enrollment at Culinary Institute LeNotre; and Houston food blogger Dragana Harris—had the enviable task of choosing the winner of this unique culinary competition. “The creative culinary energy in the room with the four chefs was something to behold. Judging took a while because it was simply that close. However, in the end it was chef Soren’s dish that won over our eyes, taste buds and stomachs,” says Dean. “Congratulations and thanks to our chefs for being great sports. Houston is very lucky to have such amazing young culinary talent!”

Cheers! A special thanks to all the players in our special competition. We raise our forks to this great group of people who helped make it all happen.

Randy Rucker

Culinary Institute LeNotre 7070 Allensby 713-692-0077

David Guerrero

Samba Grille 530 Texas Ave. 713-343-1180

David Cordúa Cordua Restaurants

Soren Pedersen Sorrel Urban Bistro 2202 W. Alabama 713-677-0391

Kris Jakob

Kris Bistro & Wine Lounge 7070 Allensby 713-358-5079




Story | John DeMerS Photography | Mark Lipczynski

e’ve been noticing a “growing” trend among many of our best burger joints, and in some fine-dining palaces as well. “The higher the better” is now the rule when it comes to burgers. Here are five of what we’ve started calling sirloin skyscrapers. How does your favorite burger stack up?

Farm & Sea Burger Triniti

Next time you’re grilling burgers in your backyard, you might think of chef-owner Ryan Hildebrand basting his half-pound beef patty in a sauté pan with butter. That’s right, butter. And the indulgence doesn’t stop there. Triniti has an ever-changing array of burgers at lunch, but the one called Farm & Sea comes to your table with that butter-beef, house-cured pork bacon, and even slices of duck foie gras representing the Farm, plus tender, delicious chunks of lobster representing the Sea. There are thin sheets of nori (Japanese seaweed) where the lettuce would normally be. Molten Gouda cheese is a nice touch, too, although after a certain point, no further nice touches are required. 2815 S. Shepherd Drive. 713-527-9090,




The Big Reubowski Kenny & Ziggy’s

This burger got its name in one of those customer contests, referencing the iconic 1998 Coen brothers movie “The Big Lebowski.” If all you’ve ever wished for was the collision of a classic burger with a traditional Jewish-deli Reuben, this is the overstuffed sandwich for you. There’s a half-pound patty of Hereford beef, plus another half-pound of thinly sliced corned beef cured in-house for 45 days. The sauerkraut is pickled below-ground on New York’s Lower East Side, while the melted cheese is sharp-but-creamy Emmentaler Swiss and the bun, of course, is challah. And it wouldn’t be “Reubenesque” without Russian dressing. The Dude would be impressed. 2327 Post Oak Blvd. 713-871-8883,


Death by Burger Samba Grille

“Yes,” says Samba Grille managing partner Nathan Ketcham, as the towering Death by Burger arrives at the table. “There’s pig on it twice.” The reference is to the braised spicy chipotle pork belly beneath melted Manchego cheese, as well as to the crispy Berkshire bacon that joins the half-pound of beef on this bun. Samba Grille offered a burger as soon as they started serving lunch, then took it off because nobody ordered it. When the idea of a burger was brought back by popular demand, it was a burger in spades, complete with sliced fried potatoes, pickled red sweet peppers and the terrific huacatay (black mint) sauce favored in Peru. 530 Texas Ave. 713-343-1180,



Kobe Beef Burger Max’s Wine Dive

Officially, it’s known as the Kobe beef burger with the “upgrade” of sliced avocado, Cotija cheese and habanero salsa, but if you really want to throw your server for a loop, call it what he or she no doubt calls it in the kitchen: The Big Mexican. There’s a nifty half-pound of wagyu beef between these two briochy (meaning more egg) buns from Slow Dough, but there’s also all that other good stuff mentioned, plus some terrific housepickled jalapenos that take turns lulling you to sleep and being hot. Mostly this burger tastes wonderful with several glasses of Max’s red wine to wash it down. 4720 Washington Ave. 713-880-8737,


Ginormous BLT Double-Grilled Cheese Ranch Burger Houston Texans Grille

When this, team-themed, royal blue and battle red eatery opened at CityCentre in November, blessed by the NFL and partnered with the local franchise, it seemed the burger it served needed to be, well, Texas-sized, of course. So it should come as no major shock that the chefs came up with a half-pound beef patty, lettuce and tomato positioned between two grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches (yes, that’s four slices of Texas toast) and a thorough dousing of ranch dressing. If you’re really counting calories, you can ask them to leave off the pickle, usually speared to the top of the heap. 12848 Queensbury Lane. 713-461-2002,



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the prime living guide to discerning taste

inside: Artisans

38 40 42 44 46

• • • • •

main dish | Ciao, Bella! small bites | GOOD EATS Table TALK | DINING NEWS uncorked | Zin Master ENTERTAIN | Cocktail Chemistry



connoisseur main dish

ciao, bella! Story | Holly Beretto Photography | Mark Lipczynski

With its Mediterranean influences, high ceilings and picture windows framing bright sunshine, it’s hard to resist the urge to sink into a chair at Mia Bella in Sugar Land. Here, you can while away the afternoon or evening, sip cocktails, share appetizers and wonder how such a piazza feel landed in the fourthlargest city in the U.S.


That’s the simple charm of Mia Bella, where good food and warm hospitality combine for an easy experience that’s all about feeling at home. Open your meal with the Mia 75, a gorgeous cocktail of Tanqueray gin, fresh lemon and simple syrup, shaken and topped with prosecco. It’s a refreshing splash of zingy cool on a hot Houston night. To see how simple comfort food can be beautifully done, order the Scampi al Pomodoro, sautéed shrimp with a spicy tomato kick. For something more savory, don’t pass up the Strudel di Funghi e Formaggio, a puff pastry filled with wild mushrooms, goat cheese, leeks and roasted red peppers. The earthy mushrooms are perfectly balanced against the bright tartness of the goat cheese. The whole thing is topped with a pesto lemon butter sauce, adding an acidity that amplifies the flavor. If you’re looking for a light, summery flavor, check out the Insalata Barbabietola e Fagiolo Verdi, with braised beets and arugula, pine nuts and a sweet balsamic vinaigrette. It’s a lovely presentation and the simplicity of the ingredients belies it huge taste. Move on to Lasagne alla Pescatore, a massive slice of seafood and cheese layered between lasagna noodles. It’s a hearty dish, to be sure, but the richness of the shrimp and scallops, blended with the ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan is just wonderful, especially when wonderful. Pair it with the 2010

Antichi Sapori Falanghina, with its ringing mineral notes or the 2009 Barbera D’Asti (Piemonte), offering heavier glimpses of black fruit and leather. The Barbera is also a great partner for the Ossobuco di Capretto, a lamb shank braised in port wine with shiitake mushrooms and sundried tomatoes that’s served with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. The lamb is fork-tender and the wine sauce offers pretty, dark cherry overtones. The sesameand-ginger-crusted ahi tuna is also a terrific option, its mushroom risotto accompaniment an earthy complement to the savory crust. Spumoni, the traditional Italian ice cream trio of pistachio, chocolate and strawberry, is a delightfully fun ending to your meal. The ice cream is made inhouse and served in a martini glass. It’s perfectly creamy and easy to love. A meal at Mia Bella is an experience to share, whether a group of you are hanging out on the wide patio or you’re tucked into Melissa’s Table, a cozy spot for two with photos of couples on the wall behind you who’ve enjoyed themselves there. It’s easy to be here, easy to love the unpretentious food and flavors. And it’s even easier to imagine you’ll be coming back.

mia bella 16535 southwest fwy., sugar land 281-240-5000

connoisseur main dish

Sesame and ginger crusted ahi tuna

Mia 75

Scampi al Pomodoro 2 tbsp. olive oil

Torta di Granchio

Insalata Barbabietola e Fagiolo Verdi

1¼ pounds medium shrimp, peeled ⅓ tbsp. chopped garlic ¼ cup chopped onions 1½ cups of diced fresh tomatoes ½ cup canned diced tomatoes ¼ cup fresh parsley ½ cup of chopped fresh basil ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes 2 tbsp. of butter. ¼ cup of white wine Salt and pepper to taste

Strudel di Funghi e Formaggio


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium, add garlic and tomatoes. Cover and cook for 2 minutes to sweat the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, mix well. Stir in canned tomatoes, wine, herbs, red pepper flakes and butter. Simmer gently for 7 minutes sprinkle with chopped basil and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Scampi al Pomodoro




small bites

Root it Out


good eats Story | Holly Beretto Photography | Mark Lipczynski

For a new take on the well-rounded meal, table-hop these Houston eateries for some of the best tastes in town.


The Houston food scene is really in love right now with farm-to-table concepts and simple food preparations yielding amazing flavors. Want an example of how it’s done right? Head to Roots Bistro on Lower Westheimer and tuck into the Yellow Romano Beans and Yellow Squash “Noodles.” This tapasstyle dish began as a way for chef German Mosquera to use the fresh beans coming into season and to create a light and summery “pasta” from squash (look for a variety of raw and vegan noodle bowls coming onto the menu this summer). “A dish like this is an excellent introduction for people who aren’t used to eating raw foods,” he says. The result is an imaginative and yummy presentation, with an added bonus: that all the ingredients are “Texas born,” from the yellow squash, tongue of fire beans and Romano beans, to the squash tahini vinaigrette and peach glaze. Light and flavorful, the tahini vinaigrette blends with the peach to create a savory-sweet caress across the stringy squash noodles. The beans offer a firm snap and explode with great layers of flavor. With Roots’ commitment to being as hyper-local as possible, look for endless changes in the daily menu. As new items come into season, Mosquera revs up his creativity. It’s easy to say that every time you come in, it’ll be a different experience—but it’s more than a safe bet, each visit will be a welcome foodie surprise. roots bistro 507 westheimer 713-524-1000

c connoisseur

small bites

Just Ducky

When Bistro Provence owners Jean-Philippe and Genevieve Guy hosted a lavender herb dinner last year, one of the entrees that made it onto the menu for the themed evening was Magret de Canard, a roasted duck breast that proved a perfect canvas for the honey-lavender crust. When they tried to take it off the menu following the lavender dinner, guests gave protest to make the liberators of the Bastille proud. Be glad for their revolution, for it means you get to have Magret de Canard any time you like, and it’s a true treat. Bistro Provence has always had a real knack for homey, Provencal dishes in a rustic setting, and this dish exemplifies how that works. The duck breast and leg are plenty rich and flavorful, and the accents of honey and lavender offer more than simple pretty tones. This makes it look easy to cook with herbs. There’s an accompanying veal demiglace that gives a little heft to this combination. The whole thing had me thinking about it for days, the crispness of the duck skin under the herbs, that bright sweetness from the honey, the earthy beauty from the demi-glace. If less is really more, Bistro Provence’s Magret de Canard is that phrase’s new poster child. bistro provence 13616 memorial • 713-827-8008 •

Finale Fantastique

Everything about Artisans—the new collaboration between David Sylvain Denis of Le Mistral and executive chef Jacque Fox—says it's a place to gather and see how food happens. Especially since most of the tables overlook a show kitchen, where diners can see the magic appear before their eyes. The dessert menu was still evolving at press time, so look for future renditions of it to combine classically French preparations with Lone Star charm. In the meantime, the Gateau au Chocolat, a flourless chocolate cake with an opera, Grand Marnier crème anglaise and kumquat comfit was a delight. The chocolate cake is so very rich, Chef Fox rightly decided to serve it as a very small bite, and its big chocolate flavor is stunning. Opera cakes, with layers of almond sponge cake, ganache and butter cream, are a traditional French dessert. The one Fox has here is a beautiful foil to the richness of the gateau, with its lightness and subtle textures. On the plate, they’re accompanied by the kumquat comfit, which was an inspired choice. The bright tartness from the kumquat balances the density of the gateau, while the kumquat’s zing gives a little lift to the elegance of the opera. artisans 3201 louisiana 713-529-9111




Carrabba’s Reborn

table talk


ohnny Carrabba is building a trio of eateries near his original Carrabba’s in upper Kirby. The first to debut was Mia's, which opened in June. Named after his daughter, it’s decidedly American with a counter-service menu of Houston’s favorite food groups: assorted burgers; smoked ribs and chicken with barbecue style sides; fried chicken with Texas toast and jalapeño cream gravy; and a few contemporary surprises like Chilean sea-bass tacos and upscale entrée salads. Kids get their own menu, including hand-dipped corn dogs with crinkle-cut fries. Spacious with a Texas Hill Country-look, the lofty metal-roofed building has stone-covered panels and a stone chimney, tall timber sash windows, and a welcoming front porch wrapped in sky-blue wooden French doors. Inside, find a warm, spiffed-up country store ambiance with hardwood cabinets and floors. The new, larger Carrabba’s location is expected to open in September and adjacent Grace’s on Kirby, with a full-service menu of eclectic comfort food, is slated to open near the end of the year. 3131 Argonne St. 713-5226427,

Cute as Pie


ouston, you’ve been tiny pied!” That’s the mantra of Amanda Wadsworth Bates, co-owner of Austin-based Tiny Pies, who is now shipping to Houston (orders can be taken on their website). The company will also deliver large orders for

special events and the pies will soon appear in upper-end units like Whole Foods and Central Market. These darling, mini-handmade pies—some presented in Mason jars—are made with no preservatives and available in scrumptious flavors like Texas peach, blueberry bliss or strawberry rhubarb.

Sweet Paris


Hello & Goodbye

The latest restaurants to join and leave the Houston dining scene


• LA Bar Café (Ragin’ Cajun, Richmond Avenue) • Tiff’s Treats • Green Seed Vegan • Brooklyn Meatball Co. • Concepcion

Closings • Cova (both locations) • Don Julio’s, Montrose • Felix 55 • Stella Sola • Vargos

Jody Horton | Sweet Paris Creperie | Carrabba's


he Rice Village is heating up…with crepes! Sweet Paris Creperie & Café was dreamed up by recent college grads Ivan Chavez and Allison Young, who share an obsession with crepes. The French-inspired café charms with its industrial chic design: Think vintage white brick, iron-ore crystal chandeliers, whitewashed wood panels, and a gleaming open kitchen in beveled tile with crepe griddles in full view. Nosh on a sweeping array of crepes from sweet to spicy, Asian or Tex-Mex, and everything in between. Batter flavors rotate from curry to garlic, herbs, chocolate and more. Also on the menu will be French toast, paninis, a signature “fruit glace” shaved ice, and artisanal Houston Dairymaids cheese plates with truffle honey. To drink: coffees and arty lattes, along with beer, wine and sangria. 2420 Rice Blvd. 713-360-6266,

connoisseur table talk

Side Sips Wine events you won’t want to miss

California Summer

Get away for Labor Day and experience the diversity and world-class quality of California wine country’s artisanal wine and food at the Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. New this year is the Starlight Supper Club at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, in addition to the Sonoma Valley wine auction, the grand Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch, winery barbecues, vintner luncheons, and dinner parties throughout Sonoma County. Last year, the rousing event raised more than $300,000 for local charities.

House Reserve

Sullivan’s Steakhouse now has its own private reserve cabernet, but it’s not just any cabernet. The new addition to the restaurant’s awardwinning wine list marks the first collaboration between two world-revered winemakers: Robert Foley and Steve Matthiasson. The silky 2008 Sullivan’s Reserve is a classic Meritage blend of cabernet, merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot. Aged for 26 months in a mix of new and used French oak, the cabernet is bottled unfined and unfiltered. Food-friendly, it reveals bold flavors to match the terrific lineup of grilled steaks and chops on the menu. Expect a balanced and refined finish characterized by dark black fruit framed with hints of vanilla and caramel. 4608 Westheimer. 713-961-0333,

Hideaway in the ’Hood

Hawthorn | PhotoDRO | Sullivan's | Sonoma Retail Wine Bar


fter closing Sabetta more than a year ago (now Torchy’s Tacos), chef Riccardo Palazzo-Giorgio has resurfaced at Hawthorn, a new AmericanMediterranean-style eatery located in Dessert Gallery’s former original space in the upper Kirby district. Although interiors are 1980s-sleek, softly lit and intimate with chocolate brown leather seating and dark woods, the menu has something for all moods. Expect a mix of approachable pastas and salads, plus more luxe plates like diver sea scallop crudo with tequilalime vinaigrette, strip steak with marjoram butter, lobster lasagna, or baby grilled octopus with baby Dutch potatoes, cucumber, red onion and Sicilian extra virgin olive oil. Three hundred bottles and 20 by-the-glass wine selections are offered, along with specific Hawthorn menu pairings. Want to remember that great wine you just tried? Email yourself the bottle image and description from the restaurant. General manager Cory Graff assures “everything is made fresh, from the pasta to the gelato and incredible desserts.” 3200 Kirby Dr. 713-523-3600,

Sonoma Expands


nown as an unpretentious come-asyou-are wine bar, Sonoma Retail Wine Bar & Restaurant is opening a second location in the Heights this summer.

The brand new, spacious two-story building has a contemporary California desert look with fireplaces on both the patio deck and indoor dining room. Owner Farrah Fatouretchi Cauley says this location will be “much more food focused” with a completely different menu than the Richmond Avenue original. Chef James Hackl will continue to serve pizzas and charcuteries, in addition to a full menu of more complex entrées prepared with the justinstalled grill and fryer. Desserts will be more whimsical and kids are welcome to visit what might just become “the neighborhood bistro” for Heights regulars. 801 Studewood St., 713-526-9463, robin barr sussman Robin Barr Sussman is a Houston-based freelance writer who specializes in food, wine and travel. Her work has appeared in Texas Monthly, My Table, and Private Clubs magazine.



connoisseur uncorked



Story | John DeMers


essential honesty of assessment he learned as a scientist, before he attracted thousands of fanatics around the world by aiming his science at wine. “We prefer to call them zinfomaniacs, actually,” laughs Peterson, now a member of the Vintners Hall of Fame, who started tasting his chemist parents’ wines as a child and grew up to work in a laboratory researching cancer immunology. “If you go back far enough, zinfandel was the most important grape in California, before the industry rebuilt after Prohibition with cabernet and chardonnay. It had to travel halfway around the world to find just the right place to grow.” For the longest time, many, and perhaps most, American wine scholars considered the zinfandel grape native to, or even unique to, California. Yet, as with some high-profile criminal prosecutions and no small number of paternity suits, that was before science got serious about DNA. The first blow to notions of a California origin (which meant a lot, considering that big guns cabernet, chardonnay, merlot and pinot noir all hailed from France) linked

zinfandel with a lusty Italian grape called primitivo. Finally, in 2001, incontrovertible DNA evidence told a surprising tale. There, along the breathtaking Dalmatian coast of what used to be Yugoslavia, there were a mere nine vines that matched the genetics of California zin perfectly. Zinfandel, the researchers decided, was a “child” of those. Happily, no one in America decided to change the name to the one used (when it was used at all) in Croatia: Crljenak Kaštelanski. “That wasn’t going to catch on very fast,” Peterson deadpans. During our recent lunch, the winemaker and I tasted three of his latest Ravenswood zinfandel releases. The 2009 Vintners Blend comes off as robust, mouthwatering and spicy in the way that zin is supposed to. The 2008 Sonoma County Old Vine is the product of vines that are 50 to 80 years old, the age making for more intense fruit flavors. And the single-vineyard Teldeschi Zinfandel, also from 2008, is what might happen if black cherries, black coffee, caramel and dark chocolate climbed into a barrel together. As Peterson would aver with pride, this zinfandel is many things, but “wimpy” is not one of them. John DeMers Covering food and wine for more than 25 years, John DeMers hosts the “Delicious Mischief” radio show (deliciousmischief. com) heard in Houston, Dallas and Austin, and is the author of 45 published books.



itting across from wine legend Joel Peterson—first at Mockingbird Bistro and then, a year later, at Crapitto’s—I gaze upon the face that launched a thousand puns. While labels touting “Original Zin,” “Mortal Zin” and “The Cardinal Zins” may not be his fault, the movement that grew up around what was long and erroneously considered America’s native grape most assuredly is. Whenever anybody talks about zinfandel—and they’re surely not talking about so-called “white zinfandel,” which served as “starter wine” to so many in the ’70s and ’80s—they’d better talk about Peterson and the Sonoma County winery he co-founded in 1976, Ravenswood. Peterson has been the grape’s peerless champion, its prime cheerleader. He’s also been such an honest commentator on the story that words such as “iconoclast,” “contrarian” and “curmudgeon” follow him around, too. It all comes back to the


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chemistry Styling | Allyson Huth & Susan O’Hara Photography | Mark Lipczynski

What’s old is new again, especially when it comes to cocktails. So what better way to put a new twist on old favorites, than with a vintage-themed, poolside soiree where the drinks are the stars? From refreshing cocktails to tasty small bites, this casual get-together will put your guests in high spirits!




night lights

Floating candle displays set the scene for a perfect summer soiree.

bar none

From spirits to garnishes, who knew bar essentials could look so pretty?

glass works

Didn't you know? Cocktails look and taste better when served in vintage-inspired glassware.

all set

Transform sublime into stunning by dressing your table with splashes of color and hints of bold patterns.

The Goods event planning & styling

Theme development and execution by Allyson Huth and Susan O’Hara, Cru Events, 6726 Highway 6, Missouri City. 281-969-7605,


Floral decorations by House of Blooms, 16093K City Walk, Sugar Land. 281-242-1555,

all Dressed Up

For the perfect finishing touch, garnish cocktails with sprays of fresh herbs or colorful slices of citrus.


nibbles & nosh

These tapas-style hors d'ouevres are a feast for the eyes and the palate.

sweet spot

No party would be complete without a little dessert. Serve specialty macarons for a truly sweet ending.

Linens, party favors, cocktail glasses, table décor and invitations by Cru Home.


Table and chair rentals from Linens by Lisa, 210 Brooks St., Sugar Land. 281-498-0021,


Hors d’ouevres by Aura Restaurant, 3340 FM 1092, Missouri City. 281-403-2872, Macarons by The Sweet Boutique, 2270 Lone Star Drive, Sugar Land. 281-302-5374,


drink up!

Scan this code for recipes of our four specialty drinks. We even threw in a few extra for good measure! Recipes are also available at

Cocktails developed and prepared by mixologist Justin Burrow. Alcohol provided by Diageo, through Specs Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods.,



gentlemen’s room

For the man who commands the very best


50 52 53 54 55

• • • • •

Man Cave | the big picture Driver's Seat | power of 3 WEALTH | time to diversify High-Tech | tech, treks & Tents Great Outdoors | flying lessons JULY/AUGUST • 2012


gentlemen’s room man cave

picture Story | Jake Poinier


othing says “summer” like an action-packed blockbuster that shakes you out of your seat. And nothing says “luxury” better than viewing it in your own professional-quality home theater.


n order to simulate the cinema experience, a home theater needs to be more dramatic,” says Jeff Cooper, a MIT-educated architect and acoustic engineer, who designs specialty projects for the


entertainment industry, such as large public theaters, postproduction facilities and TV studios. He has also designed private screening rooms for a who’s who of Hollywood, including Steven Spielberg,

resolution of Blu-ray players, starting at $20,000 and with some boutique lines that exceed $60,000. Of course, that’s a drop in the bucket when you consider that top-end sound systems— between speakers, amplifiers and surround-sound processors—can run upward of $250,000. In a tricked-out system, ease of use is paramount. “You can automate just about every step of the process,” says Shawn Bookter, principal of Spring-based Refined Systems LLC. “You pick up the wireless remote or iPad and hit ‘movie.’ The screen drops from the ceiling, the projector drops down and turns on, the lights dim, the screen curtains open, the motorized drapes close, and away you go.”

HD Golf | Bliss HTA/Fortress Seating

the big

Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese and Michael Bay. “The way to do that, of course, is to make the picture size bigger, and we always start by optimizing the sightlines with stepped or stadium seating.” Thirty years ago, Cooper says, a home theater might have been 14-by-20 feet with 10-foot ceilings. Today, accommodating the larger screens, more powerful audio systems, and movies such as “Iron Man” or “Transformers” with heavy synthesized bass, necessitates dimensions like 20by-30 feet with 14-foot ceilings. Ideally, images are projected onto a microperforated screen, allowing speakers to be mounted behind it for the most realistic sound. Zero-edge screens are another popular choice, with images that look like they’re floating on the wall. And if you’re going the large-screen TV route, the first organic light-emitting diode (OLED) products will hit the market later this year. “The main goal is when you have the lights blacked out the screen looks perfect, but it doesn’t totally wash out if there’s light on,” says Zach Campbell, director of Forefront Innovation in The Woodlands. “Lightmeter readings will dictate what equipment is suited to your particular room.” In addition to 3-D, the new buzzword in projectors is 4K resolution. Hollywood is already embracing this new standard with more than double the

The Essentials

gentlemen’s room man cave

Popcorn maker Give your screening room some “pop” with a vintage-inspired popcorn maker, like this colorful model from West Bend. Add more pop for larger crowds with an industrial model.

Super seating From motorized reclining captain’s chairs to queen-size chaise lounges, the sky’s the limit. Italian leather is the obvious choice for the ultimate in comfort, and don’t forget to integrate a touch panel into the armrest along with a drink holder! California-based Fortress Seating offers a wide variety of options for the high-end movie connoisseur.

Sight and sound.

HD Golf | Jennifer Bevan Interiors/Fortress Seating | Westbend

State-of-the-art control systems, such as Savant’s TrueControl automation and entertainment platform, make it easy to control not only audio and video, but also home lighting, security and climate. And while you’re at it, pump up the volume with performance loudspeakers. Thiel’s CS2.4 floor-standing speakers not only look good, but they sound good, too. savantsystems. com,

Golf simulator “Most of the manufacturers make their own screens, cameras and audio, but you can integrate their devices into your system, with an Astroturf mat that’s motorized to disappear into the floor,” says Bookter. “If you’re going to go high end, it doesn’t get much higher than that.” High Definition Golf offers some stellar options for personal home theaters.



gentlemen’s room driver's seat


powerof E

ach time BMW introduces a next-generation 3 Series, the buzz among Bimmerphiles approaches that of Applephiles for the latest iPhone or iPad. The Munich crew realizes its volume leader bears a figurative bullseye, with the competition gunning to knock BMW’s globally recognized sports sedan off its pedestal. So when a 2012 335i sedan was dropped off, we couldn’t wait to see how the 3—arguably the model that’s done the most to give credence to BMW’s claim of being the “ultimate driving machine”— handled in a test drive. Concessions were made to practicality, fuel consumption and technological convenience. The 3 has grown: the base engine has gone from a normally aspirated 6-cylinder to a turbocharged


4-cylinder. Electronic modes not only dial back the performance in the name of fuel economy, but also there’s a system that cuts off the engine when the car is stopped. (Don’t panic: A touch of a button overrides this “advancement.”) For maximum MPG, not only have components been put on diets, but the air conditioning, engine-cooling system and standard steering are electromechanical, as well. (Purists who desire the quickest, most direct steering response can take heart; $300 gets you the optional variable sport steering that’s strictly mechanical.) My test car—the 300-horsepower six coupled with a 6-speed manual and wearing 18-inch wheels and tires—didn’t have the sport steering, but was

loaded with BMW’s “packages,” including cold-weather, premium sound technology, driver assistance, park-distance control, and BMW’s enhanced Bluetooth and apps that swelled the bottom line to $54,745. Anyone who won’t hit the track regularly will find the new 3 retains its core values. The car is well planted and responsive. Credit goes to the chassis and tire engineers for reducing choppiness. Not easy when every 3 Series runs heavy run-flat tires. Given current gas prices, consumers may give more weight to fuel economy than performance specs. To wit, the 240-horsepower 328i with its new 8-speed automatic transmission has city/highway EPA ratings of 24 and 36 MPG. BMW’s claimed 5.7-second 0-to-

60 MPH softens the sting of going green. Many consumers will welcome the tech-happy changes in the 3 Series. For example, the $1,900 premium package not only includes garage-door opener and auto-dimming mirrors, but also its new Comfort Access keyless entry, which lets owners pop the trunk by waving their foot under the bumper. Just the ticket if you’ve got arms full of groceries, a toddler, or goodies from the Apple store. jeff yip Jeff Yip’s work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, Houston Chronicle and The New York Times, as well as consumer and trade magazines. He’s a second-generation car guy who still has the 1969 Chevy his dad loved.

BMW of North America

Story | Jeff Yip

gentlemen’s room wealth

time to diversify Story | RIC EDELMAN


f you follow my radio and TV shows or read my books, you know how often I use the word diversified (and its sisters diversify and diversification). That’s because in the world of investments, I believe these words matter more than just about anything else, and I’m sure that nearly all professional advisors and money managers would agree. I’m sure I don’t have to define the word for you, but there’s a big difference between knowing what diversified means and having a portfolio that’s truly diversified. I’m often reminded of this when a new client comes to us saying, “I’ve got stocks, I’ve got bonds. I think I’m diversified.” When we look closely, though, we often find that all, or almost all, of the client’s money is in just one type of stock, say U.S. large-cap. Or someone may have 10 or 15 mutual funds and think they’re diversified, when in fact each of those funds invests in the same type of securities—municipal bonds, say. These folks really have just one type of mutual fund, and they have it 10 or 15 times. Indeed, many people who believe they own diversified portfolios actually own investments that are merely redundant to each other. Others go in the opposite direction, gambling on a tiny handful of investments that they’ve been led to believe can’t lose. For example, one recent caller to my radio show wanted to know whether he might have a basis to take legal action against a money manager who put him into investments that reduced his retirement account by $70,000 in 2010, a year when most stocks posted strong gains. When I asked what kind of investments he owned, he said, “They bought six or eight stocks and traded on the yen.” Regardless of whether he has cause for taking action, instead of owning six or eight stocks, he should have invested in hundreds or thousands of them, I explained.

Unfortunately, he relied on a guy who said he knew which six or eight stocks (out of thousands) were going to rise the most. That’s not investing, that’s gambling. Some people believe diversification isn’t necessary when you limit your investments to the biggest, best companies. But history shows that this notion simply doesn’t work. Remember Enron? It was the seventh largest company in America when it filed for bankruptcy. The courts are littered with big-name companies that failed: General Motors, American Airlines, Chrysler, Lehman Brothers, to name just a few. Diversification protects you from losing a lot of money when your choices fail. This is why we believe that picking individual stocks just doesn’t make good financial sense. Here are three examples of how you could be diverted from creating a properly diversified portfolio: 1. From July 2010 through March 2011, the price of cotton virtually doubled—the biggest increase since the Civil War. If you had invested $100,000 in cotton in July 2010, you would have had $200,000 eight months later. Hearing such news can cause people to eschew their lackluster investments (everything is lackluster compared to a 100 percent gain in eight months!) and throw money into this commodity before cotton prices rise even further. But you can guess what happened next: Cotton prices fell about 50 percent, according to Those RIC EDELMAN Ric Edelman is Chairman and CEO of Houston-based Edelman Financial Services. His TV series “The Truth About Money with Ric Edelman” airs on public television stations across the country, while his syndicated radio program is in 54 markets. To learn more about personal finance, visit

who bought at the peak lost half their money. It’s better to stay diversified. 2. Some people buy investments that reflect their opinions or beliefs. For example, they may refuse to invest in companies that are involved with tobacco, firearms or nuclear energy. Indeed, the best-performing mutual fund in 2010’s second quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal, was Virtus (Latin for “virtue”), a socially responsible fund. It earned 8.4 percent in that three-month period. But the second-best fund was the Vice Fund (formerly called the Sin Fund), which invests only in gambling, tobacco and alcohol stocks. And over the previous five years, Vice beat Virtue 3.4 to 3.3 percent. Instead of choosing between vicious and virtuous stocks, smart investors own them all. 3. According to the Labor Department, annual investment income earned by retirees has declined 34 percent since 2007, partly because retirees keep most (and often all) of their money in bank CDs, savings accounts, money-market funds, Treasuries and the like, where interest rates have dropped dramatically. By failing to maintain diversification (by keeping some of their money in stocks), many retirees have been forced to withdraw more of their principal for living expenses. In their effort to avoid stock-market volatility, their lack of diversification forced them to suffer reduced income and an increased risk of running out of money. Being well diversified doesn’t guarantee any certain returns, of course. When a gentleman called my radio show to ask what return I could promise if he handed us $1 million to manage for him, I replied, “You’ll get a return comparable to the results produced by the global financial markets.” That’s what you can expect from a truly diversified portfolio.

Bonds, funds and ETFs are subject to risk, including loss of principal. All investments have inherent risks. There can be no assurance that the investment strategy proposed will obtain its goal. Past performance does not guarantee future results.



gentlemen’s room high-tech

tech, treks

Story | Michael Garfield

& Tents


SteriPEN It’s often tough to bring supplies to extreme, remote places. Drinking water is the most important supply; when that is scarce the SteriPEN comes in quite handy. The SteriPEN Adventurer Opti purifies water by killing the majority of harmful viruses and bacteria. It zaps and sterilizes a 16-ounce cup of water in less than a minute with ultraviolet light that eliminates more than 99.9 percent of viruses, bacteria and protozoa that cause waterborne illness. The best part is that it doesn’t need to be plugged in. It’s portable, packable and powered by AA batteries. $90,

HT’s app list

The High-Tech Texan shares his favorite camping apps

Survival Guide

This free app is based on the U.S. Military Survival Manual FM 21-76. These techniques apply to the basic necessities of human life including water, food, shelter and first aid.

Classic Camping Cookbook & Meal Planner

Based on top-rated recipes by Coleman, this free app lets users search for a recipe based on the type of food and ingredients necessary to make the perfect meal. Pick the number of days and campers, and let the app do the rest.

Knot Time

This app is a learning tool and a field guide for tying knots. Each of the knots has a brief description and an instructional video to walk you through how to tie it. At $3.99, it’s well worth it to make sure your gear is tied down securely.


The North Face 2-Meter Dome 4-Season Tent Let’s start with a tent that may be as sturdy as your home. Developed for the most serious outdoor enthusiasts, this geodesic dome tent is designed for expedition use from base camp to summit where the extremes of weather, terrain and temperature demand the highest level of performance. The 2-Meter Dome tent offers ultimate wind resistance,

while the unique pole configuration creates steep walls and maximum user space. Not unlike a home, it has two exterior windows, a chimney vent and dual doors. The Easton aluminum poles make this a lightweight piece of equipment to transport and it folds into a compact 32-by-23-inch pack. The $5,000 price tag also makes it seem just like your actual home.

Big Agnes Cabin Creek Sleeping Bag You certainly can’t sleep on the floor of a tent so a sleeping bag is a must when camping out. Built especially for couples, the Big Agnes Cabin Creek 15-Degree Double-Wide sleeping bag is extra roomy and extra comfortable. Lightweight, compressible synthetic insulation allows the bag to pack down small enough for backpacking. Integrated pads slide into a sleeve on the bottom of the bag supplying insulation. This design provides a secure foundation so you can roll, twist and turn freely during the night without ever rolling off your pad. It also prevents the bag from twisting and engulfing you in an uncomfortable mess. Built-in pillow pockets hold clothes or pillows for a comfortable resting place for heads and necks. The double-wide bag has one zipper per side to allow easy access for both sleepers. $270,

Michael Garfield Known as “The High-Tech Texan®” to audiences nationwide, Michael hosts technology and issueoriented talk radio shows six days a week on The 9-5-0. See what he’s up to at

Steripen | The North Face | Big Agnes

t’s been quite a while since my Boy Scout days. The camping gear I used back in the '70s seems light-years away from today’s hightech products that make the outdoors all too comfy. While we were supposed to “rough it” on weekend campouts when I was young, it is now easy to make the wilderness just as cozy as your home.

gentlemen’s room outdoors


lessons I

f you count the nooks and crannies—and you must, really—the Texas coast includes several thousand miles of shoreline. Every inch of that expanse holds thrilling potential for fly fishermen. To learn the technique, you have two choices: Teach yourself, which will take years presuming you are athletically gifted and can practice a few times weekly. Or, take lessons over a leisurely month or summer and be open-water ready after three or four sessions. (Hint: Go the lesson route.) “There are plenty of good fly-casting teachers around and there’s always someplace you can practice,” says Marcos Enriquez, an expert caster, instructor and good fisherman, who supports his angling habit by working at Fishing Tackle Unlimited in Houston. In fact, many newcomers to fly-casting get their first feel for the equipment away

what’s in the box?

Story | doug pike

from water altogether, in grassy fields or even parking lots. Women and children tend to be better students than grown men because men bring power to a technique that relies more on finesse. Eventually, under the right wing, they all learn and grow eager to test their new skills. Getting started means getting outfitted, and even the most exclusive fly-specialty shops have entry-level packages geared toward favorite species in local water. FTU’s “welcome to fly fishing” bundle includes rod, reel, line and backing for less than $200. As skills and understanding increase, upgrades make sense. Enriquez also can set you up with the same four components for close to $1,500. Until you can tell an expert why you “need” that much technology, stick with the basics. Most days, simple and sublime fish about the same.

Texas redfish have two exceptional qualities as sport fish: They’re plentiful and they’re cooperative. That and their strength make reds an ideal “first fish” for fly anglers. Find your way to a quiet shoreline, preferably one with ample baitfish or shrimp or both, then watch for the waving tails or exposed backs of feeding redfish. Or, on the right days, search for the fish themselves idled in sandbottomed potholes or on open flats. “Honestly, I can’t think of a bay in Texas that doesn’t have lots of redfish,” says Enriquez. “With any luck at all, you’ll get plenty of chances.” That first opportunity may come at 60 feet or 6, right off the rod tip. That’s when the lessons and practice pay dividends. You deliver a smooth, tight loop and land that fly as gently as a snowflake. The fat fish takes notice, aims and rushes to intercept. And when the line comes tight, you’ll be a fly fisherman.

Flies in a proper box for reds should cover the water column top to bottom. Carry popping or gurgling bugs, shrimp imitations, Clouser minnows (the coastal fly caster’s workhorse), and a couple of lead-eyed bugs that’ll kick up a little sand or mud on a bare flat. Also, ask an expert to help with selection of lines and leaders appropriate for where you’ll fish most often. Unless you actually see a fish eat your fly, don’t bet on its identity. Strikes can come on any tide at any time from any of two-dozen species common along the Texas coast. Redfish, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, black drum, jack crevalle, mangrove snapper and snook are fairly common targets, but there’s a laundry list of others that also can be fooled with a well-placed fly.

doug pike Doug Pike has traveled the world to satisfy his passion for the outdoors. During his career, he has won 100-plus state and national awards for writing, broadcast and photography.



The Ultimate


for active aging adults The Senior Resource Guide brings you a vast array of products and services that are very important to today’s active aging adults and their family members. For a decade, greater Houstonians have used this publication to locate these organizations, including retirement communities, home care, personal physicians/ specialists, health products, and legal or financial guidance.

Join the conversation! 281.277.2333


america the beautiful


Unspoiled wine regions worth the trek Story | Robin Barr Sussman

Roeder Estate





ummer is upon us and vacay is calling. Looking for some up-and-coming U.S. wine regions slightly off the beaten path? Escape the heated concrete of the city, ogle amazing scenery and, above all, make some terrific new wine and dine discoveries. We’ve even provided one winery surprise and insider tips per region so you can find your own nirvana!


Fans of pinot noir and Alsace varietals who also seek the spectacular northern coastline should buzz two hours north of San Francisco and past Sonoma to the Anderson Valley. The bucolic area, ripe with apple orchards and dense redwood forests along the Navarro River, boasts 20 wineries and is fast becoming a region to watch. For a beautiful selection of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot gris as floral as a spring meadow, head to Handley Cellars ( in the hamlet of Philo. The picturesque property on the deep end of Anderson Valley is a popular spot for travelers heading north to Pacific Ocean-hugging Mendocino village. Milla Handley, a pioneering California winemaker, also crafts an enticing gewürztraminer and brut sparkling wine, available in the unique tasting room decorated with exotic art from her travels to India.

Inniskillin Wines

The first weekend of every month, Handley offers “culinary adventures,” pairing wines with foods from all over the world. North of Philo, find Roederer Estate (, which offers sparkling California wine from the famed French champagne producer Louis Roederer, the venerable house that created Cristal. The winery, tucked in rolling hills, is vast and rustic, much like charming Anderson Valley. Taste a variety of the magnificent estate’s sparkling wines including the magnum— yes, there is a difference!

Insider tips

The Boonville Hotel in Philo is a modern roadhouse inn with sunny country charm serving California cuisine ( Little River Inn, perched over the dramatic Pacific, is swoon-worthy for dining, staying or whale watching ( Peppered with Victorian-style homes, funky art galleries and California-fresh eateries, find Mendocino further

Stoller Vinyards | Inniskillin Wines

Stoller Vinyards


north on Highway 1 where countless movies and TV programs were filmed, including the TV hit “Murder, She Wrote.”

Niagara Peninsula

Insider tips

Outdoor enthusiasts relish the whirlpool jet boat trips up the Niagara River into the rapids, or the bicycle paths parallel to Niagara Parkway and various wineries. Dine lavishly at Peller Estates (, or pamper yourself at the Club Spa with vinotherapy facials and more (


The beautiful Willamette Valley, the largest American viticulture area of Oregon, is located on the banks of the Willamette River. Although it's an up-andcoming region for wine country travel, you can still visit without swarms of tourists. About an hour’s drive south of Portland,

Joel Palmer House | Salt Lick Cellars | Duchman Family Winery

A favorite of East Coast habitués and Canadians taking staycations, Inniskillin Wines ( is just an hour’s drive from Buffalo. Cross the border and, voila, you are in Canada. Legendary Inniskillin— which is a snowy wonderland during winter, but picnicperfect in the summer—is known for its international award-winning icewines. The exquisite gold nectar—rich, über-concentrated dessert wine balanced with acidity—

is made from grapes picked while frozen on the vine. Inniskillin’s tasting room pours a wide variety of icewine treats including a Vidal, a red ice wine made from cabernet franc, and a riesling icewine. At its nearby sister property Jackson-Triggs (, Italian winemaker Marco Piccoli produces table wines— from a peach blossom-redolent sauvignon blanc, to cabernet franc, sparkling wines and a buttery Silver Series chardonnay. The state-of-the-art winery is popular for its modern, barnlike architecture, inviting tasting room and striking amphitheater. Summer is the ideal time to enjoy the perfect duo of wine and music.

you’ll find what is frequently called “the place for Pinot,” home to about 200 wineries among rolling green hills. Stoller Vineyards ( in Dayton quickly earned a reputation for crafting world class wines in an eco-friendly environment; it was the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified in the U.S. Here, you can sip leisurely, have a picnic, and even stay over in one of three charming buildings on the property including the Cottage at the Pond. Anticipate stunning views of Mount Hood and ample outdoor space for relaxing. Prepare to be dazzled by the award-winning estate Dundee Hills chardonnay and estate pinot noir.

Joel Palmer House

Duchman Family Winery




Insider tips

A true foodie’s paradise, this farm-to-table culture includes Joel Palmer House serving revered local wild mushrooms and more (, and Recipe, a neighborhood spot known for rustic-yet-refined fare ( Adventurers can trek to the top of Mary’s Peak or cycle the Kings Valley Loop. Visit the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum ( or get pampered at the luxurious Allison Inn & Spa (

Summer is the ideal time to enjoy the perfect duo of wine Hill and music. Texas Country

About 30 minutes from downtown Austin, Texas meets Tuscany at the Duchman Family Winery ( in Driftwood, a growing wine region in the vast Texas wine country. This astonishing endeavor owned by Drs. Lisa and Stan Duchman encompasses a full production


Lake Chelan Winery

winery, tasting room, gardens and enclosed verandas for private events. Vistas of rolling hills laced with vineyards offer an idyllic backdrop for learning about Texasmade Italian varietals. Sure, there are many notable wineries in other Texas regions such as pioneer Becker in Stonewall, stellar McPherson Cellars near Lubbock, and solid Messina Hof in Bryan, but Duchman wines also are gaining recognition and awards. One winner is its vermentino, a crisp floral white wine with plenty of acidity. Winemaker Dave Reilly crafts at least eight other varietals including dolcetto, sangiovese and pinot grigio, available to sample in the lofty, limestone-paved tasting room. Bring a picnic and perch at tables in the garden overlooking the vineyard. Optionally, hungry folks in the know hit the nearby famous Salt Lick ( for the best in Texas ’cue. New to the property is Salt Lick Cellars (saltlickcellars. com), a newly constructed country-

chic tasting room with picnic tables, bocce court and barrels of friendly hospitality. Expect clean, fresh Texas wines like the BBQ white, mourvédre, tempranillo, and sangiovese and syrah made with McPherson grapes.

Insider tips

Adjacent to Duchman find Trattoria Lisina by Houston’s Damian Mandola in a dreamy Italian setting ( For live music, check out the legendary Austin venue Nutty Brown Café & Amphitheatre (nuttybrown. com) about 20 minutes from Driftwood. For kitschy art galleries and antiquing, head to nearby Wimberley, a cute Texas town located in one of the most gorgeous swaths of the hill country.

Washington State The Pacific Northwest with its cool climes and scenic beauty is a haven for wine, food and

Salt Lick Cellars | Lake Chelan Winery

Salt Lick Cellars


Jackson-Triggs Winery | Allison Spa

outdoor activities. Washington state is known for its reds including syrah and cabernet but is also the best source in the U.S. for merlot wines displaying spicy complexity and lush, ripe fruit. Also expect some of the country’s finest rieslings. If your travels won’t take you to Eastern Washington where most of the grapes are grown in viticulture areas like Walla Walla, then Woodinville, about 30 minutes from Seattle, is a convenient region with more satellite tasting rooms than any other part of Washington. Chateau Ste. Michelle ( is the largest producer in the area with lush sprawling grounds for summer concerts and a serene, artistically landscaped courtyard to relax and taste one of the many wine offerings. Its Eroica Columbia Valley Riesling is a jewel in their crown. Efeste winery’s (efeste. com) cozy-cool tasting room is a newer stop on the trail, known

for all-around great wines by winemaker Brennon Leighton. Especially notable are his excellent syrahs from Yakima Valley and Red Mountain, and Big Papa cabernet sauvignon. For breathtaking views of the mountains shadowing Washington’s largest natural lake, make the pilgrimage to Lake Chelan (, the newest wine region about four hours from Seattle. Summer boasts supreme weather and limitless outdoor and water activities. Visit dozens of laid-back tasting rooms where you’ll most likely be swirling and chatting with the winemaker. How cool is that? Cheers!

Insider tips

Reserve way ahead for The Herbfarm restaurant in Woodinville (, a famous foodie heaven with a local seasonal menu of Pacific Northwest treasures and a monstrous Northwest-based wine list.

Allison Spa

Jackson-Triggs Winery amphitheater



escape enlightened explorer

Stock Up


hether you spend a weekend in Napa or an extended summer in Europe, a vacation is always a good excuse to restock your personal wine cellar. Thanks to’s Vin-Air travel cases, you can bring home your favorite vintages worry-free. The Excursion, a wheeled wine carrier with a retractable handle, holds up to six bottles. The Quest, a more compact option, holds two bottles and is available in black, olive or tan. All Vin-Air cases meet TSA regulations and are watertight.

Their durable, injection-mold case, made by Pelican, has a lifetime guarantee.

Beach Fit

Paradise Found


ite of the 1980 film “The Blue Lagoon,” Turtle Island is one of Fiji’s most famous resorts. Warm azure seas surround 14 private cottages, called “bures,” each with its own private beach. At this island Eden, take to the water for activities like swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and windsurfing, or stay on dry land to enjoy horseback riding, hiking, island tours, massage therapy and openair picnics. Guests dine on cuisine prepared with produce from the island’s expansive organic gardens and seafood plucked fresh from the sea. The romantic, relaxed pace of life in paradise will make you wish you could call it home forever.


At World’s End Great Ape Eco Tours


he mist-shrouded forests of Africa are inhabited by many beautiful creatures, but few are as fascinating and charismatic as the great apes. Volcanoes Safaris, an award-winning eco-tourism company that actively promotes conservation and sustainable tourism practices, specializes in mountain gorilla and chimpanzee safaris in Uganda and Rwanda. Located near the apes’ wild habitat, four exclusive eco-lodges overlook natural wonders like slumbering volcanoes, shimmering lakes, and lush forests and grasslands. Ranging from four to 12 days, these wildlife safaris provide a privileged and authentic look into a secret world.

The Body Holiday | Closet Grapes Inc. | Volcanoes Safaris


his summer and fall, The BodyHoliday in St. Lucia is offering all-inclusive getaways tailor-made for fitness-minded families and solo travelers. Held from July 16 to Aug. 27, Well Fit Families Week is a sixday program centered on the beach. The program mimics lifeguard training, improving physical strength and cardiovascular fitness, as well as developing skills such as CPR. Families also take part in fun activities like yoga, bike riding, sailing and a competitive “BeachAthlon.” For singles, September Solos, which runs from Aug. 31 to Oct. 7, is a perfect match. The retreat features daily spa treatments, group dinners, nightly cocktail hours, weekly sunset cruises and concerts, along with organized activities like zip-line tours, sports tournaments and Pilates classes. Participants are housed in one of the resort’s 29 stylish single garden rooms.

enlightened explorer


California’s Culinary MeccA


ver wanted to learn the art of pairing port with chocolate, or wondered how artisan cheese is made? In 2012, Ramekins Culinary School, Events & Inn is offering intensive four-day retreats fit for any epicure. Located in Sonoma, the heart of wine country, the inn introduces visitors to the elegance and innovation of California’s culinary best. Upcoming retreats (limited to 10 students) include the Sonoma French Retreat, Aug. 19-23; Epicurean Retreat, Oct. 14-18; and Wine Country Harvest Retreat, Oct. 28 to Nov. 1. In addition to expert instruction on advanced culinary techniques and trips to local wineries, sustainable farms and artisan producers, the retreats feature a private dinner at chef Thomas Keller’s renowned restaurant, The French Laundry.

Italian Elegance & Flavor Marvelous


Cathy Stancil | Yuan Zhang | Genivs Loci | Cavas Wine Lodge

n Italy’s spectacular Amalfi Coast, fine wines and good food go hand in hand with the scenery. Palazzo Sasso, a five-star hotel in the hilltop village of Ravello, offers culinary experiences ranging from wine and cheese tastings to exclusive cooking classes led by renowned Italian chefs. And if you’re in the mood for a lavish candlelit dinner, Rossellinis, Palazzo Sasso’s two-Michelin-star restaurant, is the consummate setting. A villa built in the 12th century, Palazzo Sasso has hosted many famous aristocrats, politicians, writers and film stars over the years. Follow in the footsteps of past visitors such as Ingrid Bergman, André Gide and D.H. Lawrence as you walk along the terrace, soaking in dramatic views of the sparkling Mediterranean below.



endoza, Argentina, is a sommelier’s dream. Latin America’s largest and most famous wine region, the surrounding area is home to more than 800 wineries. Many feature Argentina’s signature varietal, the malbec. Delve deep into the world of vino with a stay at Cavas Wine Lodge, a unique hotel set amid a 35-acre working vineyard and surrounded by the distant, snow-capped peaks of the Andes. Fourteen spacious rooms are available, and all include a private pool and terrace with a sunset view. The lodge also boasts an on-site spa and restaurant and is a short drive from many of Mendoza’s museums, other top wineries and outdoor pursuits. Legendary for adventure as well as wine, Mendoza attracts travelers from around the globe for activities like mountaineering, hiking, skiing and rafting.

kathryn hunter Kathryn Hunter is an Austin-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in “Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.”

july/august • 2011


post cards

Dear Karyn,

PRIME Living 311 Julie Rivers Sugar Land, TX 77498

picosa ranch resort

sides of the main living area to further submerge you in the blissful countryside. If the mercury starts estled in 2,500 acres of beautiful Texas greenery, to climb, a private pool awaits. Picosa Ranch Resort has struck an appealing Those with a historical bent may want to visit balance between the allure of outdoor life and the library in the Main House brimming with that I-must-be-dreaming luxury you’ve come to expect memorabilia from Connally’s years as governor, from prime destinations today. In keeping with this Secretary of the Navy and Secretary of the Treasury. atmosphere of peaceful isolation, you can either hire If you’re looking for a different type of the north side of the ranch, The Oaks; the South Range experience, the South Range Lodge—once Gov. Lodge; or rent the entire property, thus ensuring the Connally’s barn—may be for you. The Main Lodge only voices you hear are those of friends and family. features six luxury suites, each decked out in hand(The staff have mastered the art of melting serenely into tooled leather accessories, river-rock showers and the background.) Whether your goal is a family reunion, copper sinks. Outside, take a dip in the lagoon-style corporate retreat, or a pleasant weekend getaway for pool where you can still catch that must-see game two, this southwestern Eden will not disappoint. on one of three outdoor televisions, while a chefWhen you call The Oaks home for a few days, prepared meal is only a short swim away. your biggest challenge may be who gets to stay in Yet, you didn’t journey to Floresville simply to which luxurious accommodation. First up, the four vegetate; get outdoors and see what really sets Picosa bedroom, 8,200-square-foot Main House, complete Ranch Resort apart from the rest. The property is with den, country kitchen and walk-in refrigerator. home to more than 250 exotic animals, including The master bedroom features his-and-hers bath zebra and screwhorn antelope, easily glimpsed from suites. While she is forgetting her cares in the “hers the road, on horseback and bike rides, or even out suite” Jacuzzi, he will be too busy enjoying the large your window. If this is a corporate excursion, why flat-screen TV in the bedroom sitting area to care. not engage in a team-building exercise or two with a The 3,400-square-foot Guest House offers a game of volleyball, croquet, archery or horseshoes? cozier experience with four oversized suites and a Whatever brought you here, you’re certain to lounge area that opens up into the great outdoors return to the everyday with a new appreciation for beyond. Large wooden doors slide open on both life, luxury and the great Texas landscape. Story | Aaron Berman



see & do Arcadia Theater Catch the latest flick in this 1920s-era movie theater, which once housed an authentic pipe organ and orchestra pit. The theater was also the set for the final fight scene in the Jackie Chan movie, “The Big Brawl,” which was filmed in Floresville in the early ’80s. 1417 Third St. 830-393-4297 Lodi Historical District Get a glimpse at life in Texas in the early 18th and 19th centuries with a stroll through this historic district that includes a beer warehouse, historic cemeteries and restored bridges. Don’t miss the old railway depot, where locals have reported hearing the old Davy Crockett locomotive approaching and seeing men sitting on the railroad tracks. Downtown Floresville 830-393-3965 Mrs. Annie’s Peanut Patch Nicknamed the “Peanut Capital of Texas,” Floresville is known for its love of peanuts. If you’ve got a hankerin’ for anything and everything peanuts, visit Mrs. Annie’s, where you’ll find homemade peanut brittle, peanut patties and all-natural peanut butter. 1019 B. Street 830-393-7845

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and the There’s a reason the great go to good have certain places they et forg and eries batt their recharge a about the outside world for retires while. Queen Elizabeth II ge W. to Sandringham House, Geor at his up s boot his up Bush puts er Texas ranch in Crawford, and form ht Governor John Connally soug ly home: quiet reflection at his fami may be Picosa Ranch. And while you tions hard pressed to wrangle invita , Picosa to the first two locations with Ranch Resort welcomes you oundings... open arms, luxurious surr and zebras!

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Must be M

something in the water

ore than 40 percent of Americans (120 million) suffer from acid-related issues that range from mild indigestion to cases of severe “acid reflux.” These same Americans spend more than $15 billion a year on over the counter and prescription drugs in an effort to find some digestive comfort and relief. Yes, $15 BILLION! Another perverse footnote to this situation is the fact that most experts agree that taking antacids or acid blockers over a prolonged period of time can introduce a whole other category of health complications. Left with little to no other choice, many acid suffers even change their eating habits and dining out preferences just to avoid the discomfort which often follows the consumption of their favorite foods.

The modern diet (problem)

One cause of this rise of acid-related problems among so many Americans can be traced to 1973 when, in response to an outbreak of botulism, Congress passed Title 21, a law giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the power to regulate canned and bottled goods that were crossing interstate lines. Title 21 underwent major revisions and was expanded in 1979 with the creation of Good Manufacturing Practices. These practices specified “food additive and “acidity levels” for all pre-packaged foods to be sold in American stores so as to discourage bacterial growth and reduce the likelihood of bacterial contamination. The idea that “acidification” of the food

supply might have adverse consequences was never considered in any of the documented discussion about food safety. In fact, some processed and convenience foods today are more acidic than actual stomach acid. Some 40 years later—beyond easily identified acid-related health issues like heartburn and acid reflux—medical experts are beginning to attribute health epidemics like high-blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and some cancers to the now overly acidic American diet. Dr. Jamie Koufman, a leading research physician and author of the acclaimed “Dropping Acid Cookbook,” even stated

More than 40 percent of Americans (120 million) suffer from acid-related issues that range from mild indigestion to cases of severe acid reflux.

that she is seeing esophageal and laryngeal cancers in 20-year-ol ds, when ordinarily she would not see these types of cancers until patients were in their 50s and 60s. Dr. Koufman thinks this new phenomenon is a direct consequence of the acidification of bottled drinks, combined with the startling fact that the average teenager now drinks an average of 160 gallons of soda and sports drinks a year! Both of which are absurdly acidic. Thus, a few questions arise. What can one do to help combat this daily wave of excess dietary acid? What if there

was a natural remedy that provided relief from acid-related digestive discomfort? What if you could enjoy your favorite foods without paying for it later with heartburn? What if the answer were as simple as drinking the right water?

The right kind of water

Despite what you’ve heard, all waters are not created or born equal. And the same goes for bottled waters. Some bottled waters are glorified tap water and some are “engineered” and “enhanced” with “special” attributes that are more marketing than actually “special.” Even some of the most popular and costly bottled waters sold today are acidic— or, at best, “neutral.”

The alkaline difference

The single most effective and natural way to combat and lessen the effects of acid in your body is through the introduction of alkaline, or “low acid” foods into your daily diet. And one of the best ways to enhance such a diet is through the daily consumption of natural artesian alkaline water. One such water currently available and taken from a pristine source here in America is Evamor Natural Artesian Alkaline water. Evamor is a naturally alkaline artesian water with a pH of 8.8+. Evamor’s great tasting source helps bring natural relief to acid related digestive discomfort. When you’re looking for the right kind of water to help combat the effects of the modern diet, look no further than Evamor Alkaline Artesian Water.

The source

Thousands of years ago, Evamor water started out as rain and snow on the west side of the Appalachian mountains that traveled thousands of miles through the earth, being filtered by Mother Nature, to end up in a protected artesian aquifer, one half mile under the ground, in Covington, La. This artesian aquifer is part of the Abita Springs water collective. The Evamor artesian aquifer is lined with many natural and wondrous minerals that, over time (thousands of years) and pressure, have infused its water with naturally high alkaline properties and wonderful taste. Evamor’s aquifer is also pristine, as it has never mixed with surface waters, thereby eliminating any chance of contamination by modern day pollutants, such as industrial waste and pharmaceuticals. Hundreds of years ago, Native Americans would bring their elderly and wounded to this area in Abita Springs. They referred to the waters in Abita Springs as having “magical, healing” powers that would bring great comfort and healing to those who consumed it and bathed in it. For generations to come, those living in and around the Abita Springs area swore by the “calming” effects of drinking the area’s great tasting water.

goes on to be labeled and packaged into multipacks. Nothing is ever, ever added to the water. The beauty of this process is that when a consumer opens a bottle of Evamor Alkaline Artesian Water for the first time, it is the first time in approximately 8,000 to 12,000 years the water is touching air.

Water on a mission

As part of Evamor’s continued dedication to a healthier way of life for both adults and teens alike, the brand recently became the proud water sponsor of Health Corps (, a nationwide “anti-obesity” nonprofit foundation, started seven years ago by Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife, Lisa. Health Corps programs have been introduced at dozens of high schools across the United States and form what is quickly becoming a frontline defense against the near pandemic of obesity among America’s youth. In addition, Evamor supports other charitable and nonprofit efforts to promote healthier eating, food awareness and more active lifestyles.

As Mother Nature intended

To capture the Evamor artesian water the right way, Evamor Products Inc. built a bottling facility directly above the artesian aquifer. This state-of-the-art bottling facility uses European bottling equipment and techniques to ensure Evamor’s quality all the way through the bottling process. And what a process it is. First, the water is filtered five times through progressively smaller filters that filter out rock, sediment and bacteria. The water is then filtered through an ultraviolet light filter that kills any bacteria that may have escaped the filters. At the time the water is being filtered, a bottle preform of PET1 (polyester based recyclable bottle) goes into an oven of halogen lights to be softened before being blown into a bottle, where the filler fills the newly formed bottle. The bottle is instantly capped after being filled and

Dr. Koufman, a pioneer in aerodigestive health and acid reflux. Dr. Koufman hypothesized that the mineral composition and the naturally high pH of 8.8 might have something to do with the numerous positive anecdotal stories. Why else would consumers claim that drinking Evamor helped soothe the burn after eating their heartburn trigger foods? Dr. Koufman’s findings will be published on July 10 in the Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology. Read her findings at All we can say at this moment is that more studies are in progress and Dr. Koufman now gives Evamor to her patients.

Drink Evamor

Must be something in the water

For years, consumers have been providing Evamor with numerous anecdotal stories about how Evamor water made them feel better and how much they loved the taste of Evamor. Evamor appreciated the stories, but never knew what to do with the information. You try putting “Makes you feel great” on your product’s label and see how long it takes the FDA to knock on your door. Finally, Evamor came to the attention of world-class research physician,

If you suffer from acid-related issues such as acid indigestion or acid reflux and want natural relief, drink Evamor Alkaline Artesian Water. As part of a low-acid diet, drinking Evamor Alkaline Artesian Water daily will help you combat the long-term effects of the overly acidic modern diet. Evamor is the perfect source of portable natural relief for today’s modern family. Evamor is the Official Water Sponsor of HealthCorps, founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz

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live well

the prime living guide to better health


70 71 72 73 74

• • • • •

feel Good | healing herbs health buzz | what's new look good | Crowning glory Be Good | nags don’t date, They Marry his & hers | snore or roar?



live well

Feel good

healing herbs


Story | Angela Ambrose

pices and herbs not only add flavor, color and aroma to food, but also vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Replacing salt with fragrant, tasty herbs and spices is also a simple way to cut your sodium intake. “Naturally help lower your blood pressure—whether you’re hypertensive or prehypertensive— just by switching from salt to various herbs and spices,” says Dr. Susan Mitchell, a registered dietician in Winter Park, Fla. Many herbs and spices are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants. “A half-teaspoon of oregano leaves has as many antioxidants as three cups of fresh spinach,” says Mitchell.

in relieving nausea. Limited research suggests that ginger may also reduce inflammation after a vigorous workout or for those with osteoarthritis. A 2011 Penn State study showed that adding spices to a high-fat meal reduced triglyceride, a type of fat that increases the risk of heart disease, by about 30 percent. During the study, researchers added two tablespoons of spices including rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, garlic powder and paprika to the high-fat test meal and no spices to the control meal. “Typical blood triglyceride level after a fatty meal would

Naturally help lower your blood pressure…just by switching from salt to various herbs and spices. A half-teaspoon of ground cinnamon offers the antioxidant equivalent of a quarter-cup of blueberries. Some studies suggest that cinnamon may also lower blood pressure and help control blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes. Studies are in their infancy, warns Mitchell, so don’t stop taking your prescription drugs. Another antioxidant powerhouse is red pepper. Studies show that this fiery spice may boost your metabolism, helping you burn more calories. Go for the hottest red pepper you can handle; the antioxidant level increases with the heat. Ginger has long been used to settle an upset stomach and studies support its use


(normally) go up,” says Mitchell. “When [researchers] used the spice blend, not only did the level not go up, it decreased.” Researchers also noted a 13 percent increase in antioxidant activity in the blood and a 20 percent decrease in insulin response in those subjects who consumed the spicy meals. Sprinkling herbs and spices on your pizza or pasta is an easy way to add nutrients and antioxidants to your diet, but be wary of herbal supplements that make health claims. Taking herbal remedies for medical purposes may pose health risks and interact with some drugs, so consult your doctor before using them.

super spices Cloves Among the top

three spices in antioxidant concentration. Contains eugenol, carophyllin, gallic acid and eugenin. Inhibits oxidation of LDL cholesterol, an early step in atherosclerosis.

Cinnamon An antioxidant

powerhouse, compounds protect against inflammation and heart disease, and increases insulin activity, aiding diabetes control.

Allspice Contains more than a dozen antioxidants, including ellagic acid, which has anticancer effects. Decreases proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells. Saffron Loaded with carotenoids, which have anticancer activity and aid immune function. Also protects blood fats against oxidation, a step in the development of cardiovascular disease. Red pepper Stimulates bile

acid and may aid weight loss by boosting metabolism. The hotter the pepper, the more antioxidants.

Garlic Pungent sulfur

compounds promote heart health through beneficial effects on lipid metabolism and reduction of cholesterol levels.

Oregano Another antioxidant powerhouse loaded with phenols. Has demonstrated antimicrobial activity against foodborne pathogens and can be used topically as an herbal antiseptic. Turmeric A component of curry, its active ingredient has neuroprotective and anti-aging effects on the brain, antiinflammatory effects and slows the spread of breast cancer. Source: We Are Change

H e a lt h B u z z

live well

amplify your workout

rise & e shine


n too much of a hurry to eat breakfast? Skipping the first meal of the day can increase your risk of obesity by 450 percent, says Stephen Perrine, author of “The Women’s Health Diet.” When you skip breakfast, your metabolism slows down and tells your body to store fat. Research shows that people who eat breakfast tend to be slimmer, more active and have better overall ere’s some mouthwatering eating habits, says Dr. Mehmet Oz, best-selling author and vice news for chocolate chairman of Columbia University’s lovers. A University of Department of Surgery. California-San Diego study has linked eating chocolate with being thinner. Researchers surveyed about 1,000 men and women who exercised an average of 3.6 times per week and maintained a healthy, balanced diet. Surprisingly, those who claimed to eat chocolate more frequently had a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who ate it less often. BMI is a calculation of total body fat based on weight and height. The study found a 5 to 7 pound difference between those who consumed five servings of chocolate weekly and those who had none. Subjects did not identify the type of chocolate they ate. Although the study was unable to determine a cause-and-effect relationship, researchers are examining whether the antioxidants and caffeine in chocolate could potentially speed up metabolism and offset the high calories. Despite the findings, nutrition experts warn that chocolate is high in saturated fats and sugar and should be eaten in moderation.

xercising while listening to your favorite tunes can motivate you to work at a higher intensity level. Now there’s good reason to keep the music cranked up after your workout. A new study shows that playing music right after exercising can speed up recovery. According to research published in the Journal of

Strength & Conditioning, listening to motivational music after an intense workout increases activity levels, reduces the rate of perceived exertion (RPE), and helps decrease blood lactate concentration, so you recover from your workout faster.

the skinny on





for health

recent study shows that disrupted sleep patterns and getting too little sleep can increase your chances of packing on the pounds and getting diabetes. In a controlled laboratory setting at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, subjects were allowed about 10 hours of sleep daily on a normal sleep schedule. After three weeks, the subjects were allowed only 5.6 hours of sleep daily in a dimly lit laboratory environment without any time cues to regulate their biological clock. The prolonged sleep restrictions and disruptions caused their blood sugar levels to spike after meals, an indicator of developing diabetes.

Their metabolisms also slowed dramatically, setting them up for an average weight gain of about 10 pounds per year. This research serves as a warning to workers with rotating shifts who are often sleep deprived and snooze at abnormal times. Staying on a regular sleep schedule and getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night can help people maintain an optimal weight and decrease the risk of diabetes. angela ambrose Angela Ambrose has been a writer for more than 20 years, working for Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. Public Health Service, as well as national magazines, newspapers and websites. She is also a nationally certified group fitness instructor and a registered yoga teacher.



live well

Look G ood





elcome to the dog days of Texas summer; the sultry weeks of heat, humidity and sun exposure that separate the women from the girls, the freckle-faces from savage tans, the Popsicle eaters from the gelato poseurs. But the real endurance test for heat and humidity starts at the top—of your head, that is. So how’s your ’do holding up? Does your Brazilian blowout look like it was dragged backward through the ship channel? Ends splitting faster than a fireworks crew on a rainy Fourth of July? Or maybe you’ve spent the past few weeks holding down your side of the pool and that beautiful, buttery mane of Jessica Simpson locks now looks like the underside of a tree frog. It’s true that summer is a doubleedged sword of sun and fun, with more pitfalls lying in wait for your crowning glory than a Groupon offer from the local beauty college. And as with everything else on your body, sun protection is the first line of defense. It’s important to note that there are no federal guidelines for SPF in hair care products, and because hair is essentially dead and cannot benefit from sun block per se, the best one can hope for is deemed HPF, or hair protection factor. If you’ve been exercising your inner Michael Phelps and realize that it’s not easy being green, take a tip from American Board hair

colorist Angela Casler of Austin’s Ritual Salon, who recommends using a chelating shampoo to pull mineral deposits and buildup from the cuticle. “This will remove chlorine and copper deposits like a gentle exfoliator, and you can use it every day,” she says. While you’re at it, make a fashion statement by trying some of the new looks for late summer and early fall. According to Casler, “Sock buns were everywhere during Fashion Week this year and it’s a great way get hair up and away from the elements. Or, try braids. They’re more of a new twist on an old idea where you side braid the hair, which is more gentle than the usual ponytail.” Curly hair needs just as much TLC during the summer, and keeping the wavy, tousled look is easy with Casler’s insider tip: “When you step out of the shower, instead of reaching for a towel, wrap your hair up in an old cotton T-shirt and twist loosely on top of your head. This cuts down on the frizz factor and takes the majority of drips out of your hair without removing all of the water. Scrunch it loosely in your hands and let air dry— really sexy and natural.” So take heart, take control and don’t stop believing in great summer hair. There are myriad of options to rescue or extend the life of your summer style so the good times never have to end.

in the bag Pravana’s The Beach Wave

Spray this control mist all over damp hair and gently cup by small sections into loose curls without combing through. As it dries, the hair should look wavy and effortless.

Ouidad Sun Shield Spray

This lightweight, conditioning spray conditions and protects hair, while providing a shield against damaging environmental factors. Great for color protection in the sun-exposed months.


Organix Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Penetrating Oil

This ultra light oil fights frizz and moisturizes brittle hair by immediately absorbing into hair, creating a desirable sheen without the weight.

L’anza’s Swim and Sun UV Protector

Based on organic botanicals, this spray protects against 30 elements, including chlorine, pollution and smoke. Work a small amount throughout the hair to seal off the cuticle from absorbing any copper or chlorine.

L’ANZA | Pravana

Before you head for the beach, pack your favorite bag with this arsenal of summer hair protection.

be good

live well

nags don’t date, Story | Mary Jo Rapini


’ve never met someone who’s dated a nagger. Maybe that’s because nagging doesn’t exist in the dating world. Nagging has always had a negative, somewhat humorous affection—until recently. Research has shown nagging to be a primary reason for relationship discord. To see something as simple as nagging be elevated to such a position is a big deal, especially for relationship experts, like me, who promote healthy relationships. After all, we all nag. Even us professionals, who warn our clients about the perils of nagging. Once we’re done with our clients, we nag our spouses when we get home. In fact, we may be the worst nags

They Marry

because we know how to sneak it in, wrapped in sweetness. I could write a book on how to nag, but I think it’s wiser to write about how not to nag and still feel like your partner is listening. This is, after all, why we nag. We nag because we aren’t sure our partner heard us the first time. People who nag have a nag enabler at home, who has a keen sense of how to ignore the nagging. Watching the couple, you may surmise that the person being nagged enjoys it. He usually tunes it out, tells her angrily to stop nagging or withdraws. All of these excite the nagger, and actually produce more nagging. What would stop the nagger dead in their tracks is to take their hand and say, “Honey,

I heard you, and I will try to get that done as soon as I can.” The nagger would feel heard, loved and would let go of the request (naggers have long memories though, so you better make sure you follow through with the task). Here are some suggestions that might help if you are a nagger or live with a nagger: • Don’t let nagging destroy your relationship. It doesn’t really require a counselor

either if you’re ready to talk about it with one another. Begin by being aware that it is happening and is a cycle. • Stay calm and try to look at the funny side of nagging. Getting angry and exploding about your partner nagging you, or your partner not listening to you will only make the nagger more likely to nag. • Make a list of your requests that you would normally nag about, and put a priority number on them. If your partner is too busy to complete the really important ones, hiring someone to complete them is worth the strife it will cause on your marriage to continue nagging your partner. • Re-evaluate your nagging. Some nagging is done for the right reason. For example, if you’re the one responsible for paying the credit card bills each month, and you have a tendency to forget, your partner’s nagging may be necessary. I would suggest in that case that you have a better monitoring system, so you don’t force your partner into unnecessary nagging. The main reason nagging doesn’t happen with dating is because the person or people you date are not invested in you. They don’t really care. Most people won’t nag a person they don’t care about. Whether they’re nagging about your health, your lifestyle, your words, or whatever, the bottom line is they care about you.

mary jo rapini Mary Jo Rapini is a Houston-based psychotherapist specializing in sex and relationships. In addition to being a speaker, author and TV personality, she shares her expert advice Tuesday mornings on Mix 96.5 and Friday mornings on Fox 26 Houston. For information, visit



live well

his & hers

snore or roar? “i


t’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring. He went to bed and bumped his head and couldn’t get up in the morning.” You’ve heard this piece of singsong doggerel all your life, but did you know within the innocent lyrics there lies a cover-up of heinous nocturnal crime? Based on some of the spirited discussions overheard lately about the deleterious effects of snoring on otherwise happy

relationships, one just has to ask: Did the old man bump his head, or was he coshed on the noggin by an irate insomniac? The verdict is still out but we tend to agree with the fellow who once said, “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; snore and you sleep alone.” Here’s how it breaks down into denial, lies and alibis for male and female nose whistlers.

men My snoring’s not that bad…except maybe that one time we had an overnight guest who ran in to see if the earthquake’s epicenter was under our bed.


I don’t snore, and I certainly don’t believe that ringer on his smartphone is supposed to be a soundclip of me snoring.


I’ll put up with a lot in this marriage, but either the snoring stops or someone needs to start packing—a gun.

Yeah. I haven’t worn nose strips since football, and if she thinks I’m sleeping with a white Darth Vader mask on, she’d better invest in a Princess Leia costume.


I’ve asked him to try anything: nose strips, CPAP machines, duct tape…

We were at my mother’s house once when she snored vigorously enough to suck in a bug, and I didn’t tell her. She says she hates mom’s cooking anyway, so there’s dessert.

Angry Reprisals

I’ve developed Metta World Peace-worthy elbows, poking and prodding at him to turn over, to no avail.

I don’t mind that she snores sometimes, but if I can put up with it without moving into the guest room, so can she.

I don’t want to sound ugly, but if she can’t even admit to snoring, how am I supposed to function without sleep?


I can’t live without him, but this nocturnal agony must stop. After all, sleep is the key factor for a good day.

It’s OK if she snores; she even looks cute drooling.


If this is all that’s wrong with our relationship, we’ll be fine.

She doesn’t really make that much noise, especially if I have enough pillows, earplugs and nightcaps.




Last night, he didn’t make a peep. Mind you, it was Cinco de Mayo, and there was enough tequila flowing to float the Alamo down the River Walk.


3rd Annual

& Wishes to Thank: TM

Braman Winery Nerium Wrinkle Free Skin Balanced Brain Chiropractic Robert Horry Ctr For Sports & Rehab. Caregiver 4 Life OrGano Gold Century Health Study Rodan & Fields Christi Harris Beaute Rose Imaging Specialists, PA Comprehensive Sleep Medicine Associates Ruggles Green Della Ricca Hair Color SHAPE Dr. Shel Wellness & Medical Spa Silpada Designs Jewelry Elegant Jewelers Sugar Land Women's Health, PLLC Gluten Free Houston The Path of Tea Hamilton Vein Center Town Center Wellness Hegwood & Associates, P.C. TX South - Personal Homecare Services, Inc. HYPOXI Studio University of Houston School of Nursing It Works Global Walgreens Java Pura Wellness Coaching & Nutrition Therapy, PLLC Javani Med Spa Whole Foods Market Mann Eye Institute Young Living Essential Oils Nature's Secret LLC

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Prime Living Women’s Health Symposium


University of Houston Sugar Land • 4.21.12


On April 21, more than 350 health-conscious Houstonians attended the Prime Living’s third annual Women’s Health Symposium, where they sipped on mimosas, won exciting door prizes and met Houston’s top live well experts. The event was chock-full of activities, including speaker sessions, vendor booths, free health screenings and a fun photo booth. Whole Foods Market, Ruggles Green and Gluten Free Houston provided guests with a spread of delicious items, while Braman Winery and Java Pura kept mimosas, coffee and specialty drinks flowing. Memorial Hermann Sugar Land & Southwest returned as the title sponsor, while major sponsors included OsteoStrong and University of Houston School of Nursing. Photography | Allen Roberson & Amanda Cantu

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See More photos at



Mad Hatter Spring Luncheon & Fashion Show


Stafford Centre Ballroom • 4.27.12


Now in its fifth year, the Mad Hatter Spring Luncheon continues to generate buzz with its elaborate table décor and sea of beautiful and ornate hats. This year’s event, which benefits Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels, was held on April 27 and sponsored by Prime Living Luxury Media. Emcee Roseann Rogers introduced keynote speakers Aly Calvo and Andrea Kulberg, who shared an inspiring message about overcoming life’s adversities. Celebrity silhouette artist Cindi Rose provided guests with a one-of-a-kind experience by hand-cutting their profiles into beautiful artwork for them to take home as a souvenir. Oyster Creek Manor took first place in the table top decorating contest. Photography | Roswitha Vogler & Amanda Cantu

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Each session is customized to fit your individual needs and desired level of healing. There are scores of modalities available today and just as we are all different people living very different lives, so should the massage that you receive be unique to your needs as well. Massage has been proven effective in increasing health and wellness among its recipients, improving their quality of life!

Relax | Indulge | Rejuvinate Inquire today about the tremendous advantages in-home massage can provide for you or someone special in your life.

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832.758.8050 |


Houston Restaurant Weeks are Coming!

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AUGUST 1— 31, 2012

Benefiting Houston Food Bank

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Event includes a three course dinner for $35 per person. Some restaurants may also offer lunch for $20 per person. See Web site for details.




The cast and crew of this year’s PL’s ‘Chopped’ competition gather ‘round and raise their wine glasses to another successful event.


Photographed by Mark Lipczynski on May 11, 2012.



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