Vol. III / No. 1I
publisher / Art Director
from the editor
Nathan Pettengill COPY EDITOR
It is a few days before spring and a few hours before lunch, and I am standing in Allyson Fiander’s kitchen as she clarifies an order over the phone, puts on her “Queen Frostine” apron and walks over to her double-stacked Blodgett ovens to pull out a cake whose smell is thicker and sweeter than even the mound of fresh pecan frosting in her mixing bowls. A quick cut across the cake. A few precise strokes with a spatula. A pause to assess the colors. A generous layering of frosting on the top. And then a polite insistence on silence, as Fiander moves her arm in harmony with a frosting tip to spell out a birthday message in bright blue icing. Another specialty cake is complete. A French-trained pastry chef who has worked in kitchens for 25 years, Fiander now creates some of Topeka’s tastiest artwork as owner and head chef at Daddy Cakes. Fiander’s combination of education, taste and style made her work a natural choice for Vilay Luangraj’s profile in this issue as well as for the Daddy Cakes cover image by Jason Dailey. We chose this story and this cover fully aware of the context that it might convey. In a time of uncertainty, are we channeling ill-fated French monarchs as well as French chefs and suggesting that Topeka should just go “eat cake”? In a sense, we are. But not in the same vein as Marie Antoinette.
Now in its third year of publication, Topeka Magazine has always focused on the best of our hometown. True to our motto, we want to bring the most interesting aspects of Topeka’s people, places and style into our pages each issue. A national climate of downsizing does not mean we learn to give up standards of quality. Rather, it means we learn to clear away what is not important and devote more attention to what we value. In our magazine, we highlight the rewarding aspects of life in Topeka, and we do so in this issue by including stories on secret house spices, unnoticed Juliet balconies, inventors, ultrarunners, prairie advocates, health advisers, pioneering firefighters, bingo fanatics and a venerated Kansas Supreme Court judge who is still remembered by many as that young, dashing rider dressed all in white atop one of the most beautiful Tennessee walking horses that ever lived. And the icing on the cake? Of course, the image of the cakes. So yes, let’s eat cake, Topeka. Not as an escape, not as a gluttony, but as a recognition that we deserve the best in ourselves. Let’s eat a sensible slice and make sure it is local, beautiful and absolutely fabulous. In these times—indeed, in any time— nothing less will do.
Nathan Pettengill Editor
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Sandi Wilber (785) 220-9938 Designer
Tamra Rolf Ad Designers
shelly kemph Tamra Rolf Photographers
daniel W. coburn Jason Dailey Contributing Writers
Thomas Fox averill jamie borgman becky bridson Julie K. Buzbee anita miller fry KIM GRONNIGER stacey herman CAROLYN KABERLINE VILAY LUANGRAJ vernon mcfalls CHERYL NELSEN FRANCIE FORRESTT RILEY CHRISTINE STEINKUEHLER NANCY VOGEL GENERAL MANAGER
BERT HULL marketing assistant
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Christopher J. Bell 609 New Hampshire st., P.O. Box 888, Lawrence, KS 66044 800-578-8748 / Fax (785) 843-1922 Or e-mail comments to email@example.com
Topeka Magazine is a publication of Sunflower Publishing, a division of The World Company.
TOPEKAMAGAZINE Spring 2009