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HORS D’OEUVRE Masthead Contributors Letters On Set From the Desk of the Editor


BEAUTY & WELLNESS Love That Face: Your face is valuable, but it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to care for it! Mooooove Over, Meat!: These sisters are proving that veganism is more than veggies and green juices. Beads of Cairo: Egypt’s hottest young designer rises above with her innovative ceramic techniques.


Music Lounge: Tayler Green may look like an angel, but she’s got the voice of a diva. The One Food App to Rule Them All: Tastemade takes restaurant reviews to a whole new level—and you get to be the star! Made: This customizable gift is a sweet treat for nearly anyone in your life! Breathe Into Me: Author W.A. Fulkerson shares a poem.



You and Me: The Brits are coming! We spotlight Issa London’s collaboration with Banana Republic. Share Your Where: Make your way to the far east to indulge in some surprisingly delicious food options! Share Your Wear: Designer Diane Kroe dresses the most savvy of the jetsetting crowd. Thrift Store Challenge: Fashion finds on a budget— our fashion editor shows you how! Floaters, Grab a Life Vest: Big Brother’s biggest personality shares her toughest experience in the house and what’s next. Petri Dish: This month’s short story is all about wanting something—and whether the sacrifice is worth it.

Always end with something sweet

CAROLINE A. WONG Editor-in-Chief

BRANDON GAMBLE Creative Director


ARTS AND LEISURE Arts and Leisure Editor MOLLIE MCKENZIE Arts and Leisure Writer BLAKE DAVIDSON


ART Photographer ALEXANDER HERMAN Assistant Photographer HAIL NOWAK West Coast Editor ROSIE RYAN UK Editor JENNA ANDERSON

Amanda Chi traveled to Taiwan to bring you this month’s “Share Your Where” column. She dedicates this story to her late cousin, whose love for food was only surpassed by the love her family has for her.


september 2013

Danielle Robbins shares her easy steps for making a Sharpie mug in this month’s “Made” column. She fills her own Sharpie mug with “a warm cup of Starbucks vanilla rooibos tea with a packet of stevia and some almond milk. Mmmm!”

Breana Powell is a Southern California native. Besides writing, Powell enjoys filmmaking, fashion, beauty, and photography. For this month’s cover shoot with Rachel Reilly, Powell did Reilly’s makeup before taking behind-the-scenes photos!

Alexander Herman doesn’t watch Big Brother, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have fun photographing Rachel Reilly for this month’s cover. He kept shouting for more jokes on set as he shot the reality star at Hollywood’s Beso restaurant

Brandon Gamble mans the Tastevin office in New York, managing the design of each issue. He is really upset that Time Warner canceled Showtime because now he can’t watch his favorite show, Dexter. Bring back Showtime!

Becca Kantor hails from North Texas. In her free time, she loves to immerse herself in pop culture—be it movies, television, or books—while also writing short stories. This month, she veers from her steak-heavy diet to explore veganism with the sisters of Spork Foods!

Lindy Tolbert was born and raised in Newport Beach. She currently moonlights as a technical writer at a cancer research firm while pursuing her dream of becoming Lara Croft, tomb raider. She interviewed Tayler Green for this issue’s “Music Lounge” column.

Hail Nowak is a photographer based in Southern California. Nowak took the photos for this issue’s short story, “Petri Dish.”


Tastevin Magazine September 2013

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Is there something you’d like to see in the pages of an upcoming issue of Tastevin? Are you an awesome fashion designer or an up and coming musician looking for exposure? We want to hear from you! Send your thoughts on the September issue (and any other thoughts you might have!) to or go to and fill out the form on the Contact page. All submissions become the property of Tastevin Magazine and may be edited, published, or otherwise used in any medium. And if you think you have what it takes to write a column for our magazine, show us what you’ve got! Send your resume along with three column proposals and a writing sample to for consideration.


On Set Rachel Reilly of CBS’s Big Brother met the Tastevin team at Beso Hollywood (Eva Longoria’s restaurant with celebrity chef Todd English) for a day of photos. Reilly worked with Editor-in-Chief Caroline A. Wong to select the looks for the shoot and laughed with the crew as they chased the afternoon light around the “Estate Room,” the newly remodeled upstairs lounge. Photos by Alexander Herman and Breana Powell. Reilly and Wong look on as photographer Alexander Herman shows them some of the shots he captured.


Tastevin Magazine September 2013

Fashion and Beauty Editor Breana Powell does Reilly’s makeup at the bar. Reilly styled her own hair for the shoot.

Even our editor-inchief stepped in to help with lighting!


from the desk of the


I still remember watching the very first Big Brother. I was young, and it was thrilling to me to think that a group of people were being encouraged to act out our society’s rules on a micro level—to create bonds, to lie, to betray, to push themselves mentally and physically…in essence, to be human in the very best and worst ways. More intriguing than the thought of watching these strangers interact was the idea that I could have a chance to be on the show, to push my way to the top and come out the winner. Fast forward fifteen seasons and I still haven’t even applied for Big Brother, let alone been cast on the show. But our cover girl has! In fact, Rachel Reilly has appeared in multiple seasons—and came out victorious as season thirteen’s winner in addition to meeting the love of her life on season twelve. Reilly is the type of girl you either love or love to hate. I count myself among her fans, but even if you’re a skeptic, I think you’ll find this girl to be absolutely vivacious and charming if you check out our chat on page 62. I’d also like to announce the addition of a new fashion column by Breana Powell, our very own Beauty-Turned-Fashion Editor. This issue, she took a trip to the thrift store with only $20 in her pocket and came out with TWO super cute outfits. Flip to page 58 to get her shopping advice stat! As always, we want to know what you think of the issue, so send your thoughts—good or bad!—to


Tastevin Magazine September 2013


Love That Face By Breana Powell 10 Tastevin Magazine September 2013


ust because summer’s almost over doesn’t mean you have to lose your summer glow—especially on your face! Here are some products that contain special ingredients to keep your face healthy, hydrated, and soft. You can find them all easily at your local drugstore or online!

St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub

This scrub “prevents blackheads and minimizes pores” and is made with 100% natural exfoliants. The product contains salicylic acid, which helps combat acne, and apricots that have carotenoids, which contain Vitamin A. Additionally, the scrub contains cornmeal, which is an exfoliant that removes dead skin cells without irritating the skin and absorbs oil without drying skin out. The walnut content helps skin regeneration and elasticity. It leaves your skin baby smooth. If you don’t need the salicylic acid, try St. Ives Timeless Skin Apricot Scrub. It features gentle alpha hydroxy, which breaks the bonds that hold damaged and dry skin cells together. It also improves skin pigmentation, decreases wrinkles, improves sun-damaged skin, and can help open up the skin so that sunscreen can better penetrate (and last on) skin. Price: $5 each. Available at drugstores.


Yes to Carrots Nourishing Rich Moisture Day Cream

This day cream contains organic carrots, which are filled with beta-carotene, an antioxidant that protects skin from free radicals (organic molecules that are responsible for aging and tissue damage). It also contains sweet almond oil, which is fantastic for the skin because it contains essential vitamins (A, D, and E). This product is perfect for someone with extremely dry skin. It is a very rich cream, so a little bit goes a long way, and it keeps skin moisturized all day long without re-application. Price: $15. Available at drugstores.

Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil There are plenty of 2-in-1 products, but this is a 3-in-1! This product not only works for your face, but also for your hair and body. This dry oil contains three moisturizing oils: avocado, olive, and almond. Avocado oil is amazing for dehydrated skin and, as a result of it being easily absorbable, penetrates deep into the skin, which helps new cell generation and skin circulation. If your tresses need a little love, it helps your hair grow longer and healthier because avocado oil contains proteins, vitamins, and amino acids. Olive oil fights the signs of aging and can also help give you a more youthful glow. Through its antioxidant (which prevent free radicals from harming healthy tissue) properties, olive oil will improve your skin and hair. Almond oil is (as we now know) incredibly beneficial for skin and hair. (It promotes hair shine, too!) Price: $6. Available at drugstores.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray

Tons of celebs, including Natalie Portman, Jennifer Aniston, and Oprah, have used Mario Badescu skin care products, and this hydrating spray has got to be a fave! This product is great to throw in your bag to spritz on your face throughout the day. Its floral scent (from its herbal extracts and rosewater) is leasant and refreshing. The product contains aloe, which helps protect the skin from UV damage, and bladderwrack, an herb that helps nourish and free the skin of toxins that cause dryness. You can use it alone, on top of your day or night creams, or to set your make-up! Price: $7. Find this product at www.MarioBadescu. com—or for free shipping.


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Mooooove Over, Meat!

This set of sisters gets down and dirty when it comes to vegan cooking, but their creations are more than just veggies and green juices. Sisters Jenny Engle and Heather Goldberg—founders of Spork Foods, a company specializing in vegan cuisine—talk with Becca Kantor about breaking the vegan myth and really doing something that’s good for you. So set that steak knife down and give these vegan sisters a shot! 14 Tastevin Magazine September 2013



hen Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg first brainstormed ideas for a business that involved vegan eating, they decided to settle for empowerment. “We knew opening a restaurant was an option, we knew creating a product was an option, but we really wanted to empower people to take their health into their own hands and show people how creative and modern vegan cuisine could be,” Engel says. And so Spork Foods was created. Based in Los Angeles, Spork Foods provides cooking classes in vegan cuisine. Not vegan? Don’t let that stop you! “Most of our students aren’t vegetarian or vegan,” Goldberg says, “but they are excited about being in a place where they can learn and be exposed to really healthy eating in a nonjudgmental context.” Goldberg and Engel both went vegan about fourteen years ago when they were studying environmental issues at separate colleges. They cite the connection between what they ate and the impact on environmental and animal welfare as what made them decide to go vegan. However, instead of con-

centrating directly on these issues, the sisters decide to make their classes all about the food. “Our classes are focused on what ingredients we’re using, why they’re good for your health, and how to make them taste good,” Goldberg says. They also spice things up in the kitchen by talking about the historical context of the food they use. For instance, one fun fact the sisters divulge is that tomatoes were once thought of as poisonous and people didn’t really start eating them until the 1500s in Europe. As part of their classes, Engel and Goldberg also make sure their students know the astounding health benefits of the food they eat. “We really emphasize using whole, pretty unprocessed ingredients,” Engel says. “When you eat that way and you’re vegan, you reduce your cholesterol from any animal sources, and cholesterol is really linked to high blood pressure, certain types of heart disease, cancer, and increases the chance of getting Type II diabetes.” So by going vegan, people can decrease their chances of getting these diseases while boosting their overall health. Engel also points out that a person’s chances of healing

from these diseases can increase significantly when going vegan. Who wouldn’t want those benefits, especially when the food tastes so good? “If you feel like you’re on a diet, you’re never going to stay with it,” Engel says. “So that’s why we want to make food that’s so flavorful because the only way you’re going to stick with living this way is if you don’t feel deprived.” That’s why Spork Foods offers cooking classes in a variety of genres, ranging from Vietnamese cuisine, to Mexi-Cali classes, to Southern Comfort foods. The class’s theme changes each weekend, which keeps students excited while also allowing them to learn new things. Sound like something you’d want to do but bummed that you don’t live anywhere near their Los Angeles kitchen? Fear not! Anyone in the world can have access to the sisters’ cooking classes by simply going to and purchasing the Spork Foods vegan video cookbook, which features over thirty hours of cooking classes, as well as over 150 original recipes. But Engel and Goldberg aren’t content to stop 15

there. They’re on a full-on mission to bring vegan cooking wherever it’s needed. The two have a cookbook out, Spork-Fed, and in addition to their company, they’re chef ambassadors for GoVeggie, a company that makes vegan products. “We’ll do TV spots for them and travel around showing people their products and how delicious they are,” Goldberg says. On top of that, hotels and resorts frequently hire the sisters to train their chefs on how to make vegan cuisine. They’ll also provide classes for the hotel’s clients while they’re there. Even UCLA hired them to train their top thirty chefs. Sounds exhausting, right? Not to Goldberg and Engel. “It’s incredible what we do and what we have the power to do with our own health,” Goldberg says, and so Spork Foods remains dedicated to giving people the tools to empower not only their food, but their entire wellbeings.

Southwest Black Bean a with a Smoky Paprika Ca Let the sisters of Spork Foods take you on a journey to the vegan southwest with their special slider recipe!

Burger Ingredients 1 tablespoon neutral-tasting high-heat oil, plus 2 tablespoons 1⁄2 large onion, finely diced 2 cloves garlic, finely diced 1⁄2 cup corn, fresh or frozen 1⁄2 large red or orange bell pepper, finely chopped Dash sea salt, plus 1⁄2 teaspoon 1⁄4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed 1⁄4 teaspoon chipotle powder 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 2 teaspoons agave nectar 3⁄4 cup rolled oats 1 cup bread crumbs or 2 slices spelt bread Whole grain mini burger buns Ketchup, mustard, pickle relish, tomato, and lettuce (optional)


Preheat large (6-quart) pot over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add corn, bell pepper, dash of sea salt and black pepper. Cook until mixture is slightly browned, about 3-4 minutes, and set aside. In a food processor, combine black beans, chipotle powder, 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt, 16 Tastevin Magazine September 2013

and Corn Mini Burgers Cashew Cheese Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and agave. Pulse together 5-8 times. Add oats and bread crumbs or spelt bread. Pulse until uniform, scraping down sides to further incorporate into food processor. Transfer to a large bowl. Add cooked onion and pepper mixture to bowl and fold into veggie burger mixture. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add remaining oil. With damp hands, form burgers into patties and place in heated pan. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Serve on a toasted mini bun with cashew cheese, if using, and desired toppings!

Cashew Cheese Ingredients (gluten-free)

smooth and uniform, scraping down sides of machine as needed. Fold in thyme once mixture is creamy.

Los Angeles based Spork Foods is a gourmet vegan food company owned and operated by sisters Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg. They offer live cooking classes in Los Angeles at Spork Foods ( and an online video cookbook at Their cookbook, Spork-Fed, is currently in stores, with a foreword by fellow fans and sisters, Emily and Zooey Deschanel.

3⁄4 cup cashews 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt 2 teaspoons agave nectar 1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika 2 tablespoons neutral-tasting oil 1⁄4 cup unsweetened almond or soymilk 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 3 sprigs fresh thyme, stemmed and finely chopped


In a large food processor or high-powered blender, pulse cashews, garlic powder, sea salt, agave, paprika, oil, almond or soymilk, and lemon juice. Blend until 17

Beads of Cairo

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The ancient story goes that Cleopatra bet Mark Antony that she could spend the equivalent of $50 million on one of their dinners together. After a simple meal with Antony, she crushed one of her priceless pearl earrings into a cup of vinegar and drank the mixture for dessert. Bet won. While we might not all drink our pearls, we can certainly appreciate the intricacy and beauty of Egyptian jewelry. Amanda Chi chats with Egypt’s newest innovative jewelry designer, Dina Hegazy.


ome people dream of turning their hobbies into careers. I often fantasize of becoming a professional rock climber. But Dina Hegazy is a perfect example of someone who’s on her way to a dream career. I sat down with Hegazy to discuss her passion for making jewelry, her inspirations, and her plans to become a renowned Egyptian artist. Hegazy’s pursuits really stem from her background. Born in Egypt, she grew up doing what she called the “stereotypical kind of activity that you do on your own as a kid.” Making jewelry! Later, she made her way to the States for college at the University of Southern California (USC) where she earned a fine arts degree in ceramics and graphic design. Hegazy then returned home to Egypt, with her eye fixed on a Masters at the University of Cairo. She currently works a full-time job as a grade 4 language arts teacher, but on the side, she designs her jewelry. From her early days piecing together plastic beads as a kid, Hegazy has made her way into the jewelry world by crafting some of the most intricate bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. Her goal? To incorporate inspiration from her world travels, Egyptian upbringing, and college studies to produce her own materials. “I’m not just merging beads, precious metals, stone, gold and silver. I’m making my

own beads.” Combining her creativity with chemistry, she experiments with crafting her own ceramic beads by taking examples from nature itself. Her background studies in ceramics have covered much of the groundwork, but what she calls “pure chemistry” is what lies ahead. It’s a process of knowing the oxides in the clay and determining the formula of the glaze. Her attention will be directed towards molding her own ceramic beads, especially since it will be the focus of her Masters thesis. With a new studio opening in two months, she’ll be able to have her own kiln running 24/7, which will allow her to carefully examine the chemistry of ceramics and work on pit firing and glazing methods. With such immediate plans for the future, what has she been creating so far? Look-

day Egypt. Silver jewelry is widely popular in Egypt since the metal is cheaper there than in the United States. Hegazy observed that many of her friends in the States wore far less silver jewelry than her friends in Egypt. When tourists visit Cairo, they usually flock to buy silverware or jewelry. Rather than buy into the hype, Hegazy plans to continue with her beadwork, straying from the Egyptian norm while creating her own brand and identity. A lot of what she studied at USC plays a huge role in her choice to create ceramic beads, but I was curious to know if Egyptian

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culture was a big factor as well. Does her country inspire her in terms of style or the component of her jewelry? “It’s not one or the other; it’s both. When I say surroundings, I can say anywhere I’ve been—Egypt, the States, Europe, China. The Egyptian influence is based on who I am.” Hegazy explained how the global jewelry market is an active, evolving business and can take the form of an exchanging of gifts with families and especially female friends. “You go to someone’s place; someone’s sick. [Those] occasions where you get someone gifts, you give them silver jewelry.” These traditions stem from her culture, but also from her mom who has played a big role in inspiration as her model. Whether it’s as a role model or jewelry model, Hegazy goes to her for feedback. Her mother tries on the fitting, critiques the design, and ultimately acts as her muse. “My mom is definitely my model. If she likes it, then other people her age will also like it, and I trust her taste a lot.” Recalling some information from an ancient Egyptian art class I once took, I asked Hegazy about the jewelry and materials that Egyptian pharaohs used back then. I specifically remembered faience being a popular glazing process in pharaonic days. Well informed of various glazing processes, Hegazy replied that faience, a bluish-green glaze, is certainly something she wants to glean from. Of course, she doesn’t want to limit herself to a particular method or style of ceramics or glazing, but as long as the material is the same, she would like to draw upon certain elements of ancient Egyptian jewelry. One big component is the colors. Looking at faience and the necklaces of Pharaohs, there are usu-


ing at her collection, she has been crafting a variety of pieces using any material she can get her hands on, from leather to silver to agate. When she lived in Los Angeles, Hegazy scourged jewelry conventions. In Egypt, she frequents bazaars. “I find myself drifting away from traditional jewelry. Like everything else, jewelry is a trend. Every year, new stuff comes up. I want people to purchase fresh new jewelry that [people] don’t see often.” Though she lives in Cairo, her artwork is a bit more westernized and contemporary than the traditional silver jewelry that is so popular in modern

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ally coral and turquoise colors, two shades she frequently uses in her jewelry. As she put it, “the contrast is amazing!” Similar to how ancient Egyptians personified nature in their art work, Hegazy imitates nature by valuing “how each stone looks in its color [and] organic forms, how it’s created, and how it’s brought from nature.” She examines how clay bodies are formed through the earth’s crust and volcanic eruptions. Hegazy explained how this natural firing produces silica, which forms agates that we burnish into precious beads. All these components from nature will be replicated in her own bead creations, but she’ll be bringing the materials together in her own specific man-made recipe. After browsing her collection of bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, I figured she only wore her own designs. But she doesn’t. “I’m committed to [all] my jewelry,” she explained. A lot of the jewelry she buys and wears is sentimental. She splits a silver pendant with her brother and hasn’t taken it off for the last eight years. She added emphatically, “it reminded me of home so I’m very very very much committed to my [store-bought] jewelry.” However, she does still wear her own products to show off to others with the hope that they might buy her designs and form their own personal attachments as she has with her own jewelry. Is there a type of jewelry that she would one day like to explore further? “I don’t do rings,” she said. With the different sizes, I’d imagine that it would be complicated! “I’m going to start making hand-carved wooden rings and attach to them ceramic beads,” she explained. It’s different and new, at least in Egypt, but at the moment she’s having difficulty drilling the wooden rings since it takes a considerable amount of time. She also doesn’t find a lot of vendors willing to take the time to carve the wooden rings, but her goal is to eventually have them tailored to her design in a special and unique way. It may be a hobby for now, but with a 22 Tastevin Magazine September 2013

Masters in ceramics and with the designs she has in mind, a career in jewelry design is soon to follow for Hegazy. But she doesn’t want to just sell jewelry. For Hegazy, it’s more. It’s a passion for the art and creativity, from the design of a necklace to the chemistry of a bead. Hegazy’s designs can be viewed at and the Dina Hegazy Jewelry page on Facebook.

Music Lounge

Tayler Green Don’t let this diminutive beauty fool you—she’s got a big voice and she’s not afraid to use it! Lindy Tolbert sits down to chat with this rising vocal star. Photos by Joel Sigerson

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ayler Green wasn’t born singing. In fact, she wasn’t even born performing. It took her until the tender age of ten to catch the bug. “I saw a show and fell in love with it when I was ten. Singing didn’t come until later. I wasn’t a good singer growing up.”Green, 24, is a singer, actor, and dancer who has been singing professionally for the last three years with her four-person band Heavy in Soul and in side projects Baytown and The Dan Krikorian Band. The name of her band wasn’t chosen lightly. With a background in blues, rock, and gospel music, she wanted a band name with meaning, and the name “Heavy in Soul” sounded like just the one. “When I was younger, I actually prayed for a voice and got one. It was a blues voice that doesn’t match 27

my look at all. When I got out of college, I had graduated with a theater degree. I was praying about what to do next and really felt led to do music. It’s been a journey down that road ever since.” Spirituality plays a huge role in her life and music. It definitely shows in the direction of the band. “I really feel that my voice is a voice on loan from God. I always make sure I dedicate my performances to Him because if I didn’t, I feel it could leave me as quickly as it came. If God is going to give me a talent, then He wants me to use it for His glory.”

I really feel that my voice is a voice on loan from God That’s not to say that she can’t discuss lighter topics, though. Green, a California girl from Mission Viejo with thick, wavy blonde hair, is a natural when it comes to style. “My colors are maroon and gold and black,” she says. “For fashion, I go in between girly and tomboy. I always wear jeans and never dresses, and as stylish of heels as I can because I’m a shoe person… Jewelry I try to keep it a little more rocker style. I keep my makeup pretty simple, but heavy enough to notice onstage. I don’t wear too much if I [can avoid it].” Green’s patent passion for music soon steers the conversation back to her band, though. Her music taste ranges from classic rock to blues, soul, and rock in general. Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Steven Tyler, and Queen are her biggest influences. As far as playing her own instrument, she sings and plays keys to write.. “In my band, we have bass, drums, lead guitar, and vocals. In five years, I’ll hopefully be running my own band

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and making a living doing it.” The direction life has taken Green has been very surprising but also very rewarding for her. “I’m just blown away. I have no control over what happens in my life, and I’m thankful for that. In that, I feel like, not being able to predict my life gives me the chance to have adventures I never thought I’d have. I’m so much more willing to go with the flow, whatever that looks like. I just hope that that means sharing my gift of music with the world.” Green’s got big dreams and a big message to go along with it. “Love is the most important thing and it’s okay to be yourself, no matter what that looks like. If God can make a little white girl a blues singer, then He has the ability to makes our dreams reality.”

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AVAILABLE NOW! Get it on the iTunes store or at

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31 Tastevin Magazine September 2013

The One Food App to Rule Them All


By Rosie Ryan

You can find sweet desserts like this Parisian one using the Tastemade app 32 Tastevin Magazine September 2013

I’ve had a not-so-secret lifelong dream of having my own food-themed television show. In fact, I’ve probably spent an embarrassing amount of time watching shows like Chopped, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and pretty much anything Anthony Bourdain does. Every day I have to wake up to the sad truth that I don’t have my own show on television, but I’ve found something that will tide me over until my big debut! Tastemade is a newly launched free iPhone app that essentially let’s you take control of the camera and become the star. With it, you can create minute-long videos about your food adventures—whether it’s to a trendy restaurant, a small hole-in-the-wall, or even a friend’s tea party. The best part is that it’s extremely easy to do because of its six-part storyboardstyle layout. First, you create an opening credit slide that has twelve different music and font themes to choose from to pair with what you’re reviewing. Then, you move on to the introduction where you explain the who, what, when, where and why of wherever you are. You follow this with up to five “ambiance” shots to help your viewer get a feel for the location. Next, you explain the pros and cons of the meal before taking shots of the food and you and/or your friends eating it. You finish up with talking about your experience. Let me tell you—making these videos is a lot of fun. Although, I have to admit that it’s a little hard to get over the embarrassment of shooting a video in public at first, especially when you have to do multiple takes to get the perfect one. And, in my personal experience, when your boyfriend is really impatient to eat and would rather dig in than film you over and over. But it’s so worth it when you have the complete version. You feel accomplished and even like a mini celebrity, even if it’s only in your head. It’s also fun to watch the videos that other people make. It makes you realize how many fun, creative, and interesting people

there are out there! It’s adds a whole new level of community absent from other review sites like Yelp. Tastemade has a featured section that curates the best videos throughout the entire app from all over the world from Los Angeles to Paris—literally everywhere! However, my favorite feature on the app is the one that shows you videos for restaurants nearby. I’ve gone a few of them after watching the videos because it feels like a personally curated experience! The whole goal of the app is to bring the food lover community together. It’s real people talking about the restaurants and the foods that they love. And if they don’t love it, then you’ll know about it. Through Tastemade, I’ve found some of my new favorite restaurants, learned how to properly eat a lobster, and have seen the madness that ensues in pursuit of a Cronut. It also makes me feel like I’m practicing for my future career. (Pick me, Food Network!) Download the app and give it a try. Just be warned, it’s really addicting! Happy tastemaking!


Foie gras mousse at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Paris.

e d a M 34 Tastevin Magazine September 2013

Sharpie Mug by Danielle Robbins

One of the cutest things I’ve been seeing pop up more and more on Pinterest lately are hand-painted coffee mugs. I wanted to try something that would look just as cute but wouldn’t take the expensive materials and painstaking time to finish. All you will need for this project is a white ceramic mug, black permanent marker, pencil, eraser, baking sheet, and nail polish remover just in case you make a mistake. This is the type of gift you can easily customize for different occasions or different friends!



Clean mug and make sure all surfaces are dry.




Go over your pencil design with a black permanent marker. If you make a mistake in the permanent ink, use nail polish remover to wipe it off (apparently it’s not so permanent).


Gently blow over the design to make sure any excess pencil rubbings are gone.

Draw your design on the mug with a pencil. If you make a mistake, use the eraser.


Preheat oven to 350째. Place the mug on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 30 minutes.


Done! 37

Breathe Into Me W.A. Fulkerson

Breathe into me. For there is a longing inside that remains unexpressed A true current of meaning, but second-guessed. It lies just beyond my reach Because we have forgotten the subtler things.

Pour into me. For there is a light I feel but cannot yet see. Even such stunted prescience has vanished for many. The world grows not dimmer, but rather our eyes darker Because we have forgotten the softer things. Reinstruct me. For I long to know the art of what most say is dead Purported reason and meaning overtly insipid. Treasures misplaced only the past have cherished Because we have forgotten the slower things.

The British are coming— again! Or rather, they’re already here in the form of Issa London’s buzzworthy designer collaboration with Banana Republic. Preceding its early-August release was much fanfare, but were the glass slippers too big to fill? Caroline A. Wong investigates.

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ssa London is the brand that truly skyrocketed to fame two years ago when Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton announced their royal engagement. Middleton wore a princess-worthy midnight blue version of Issa’s silk jersey wrap dress, the color a conscious echo of her engagement ring’s sapphire. The $615 dress sold out internationally almost immediately after the royal couple’s reveal and has become the prototype for the “engagement dress.” But the explanation is probably needless. We all know the story…which is also why we were all in hot anticipation when Banana Republic surprisingly announced their collection with the British brand. The press photos released prior to the official launch promised the masses what they all longed for within their hearts—a princess engagement dress would finally be available to commoners! For a com-


Dress, Issa London for Banana Republic. Studded-toe pumps, Michael Michael Kors. Crystalstudded chain bracelet, J.Crew.

paratively low $130, a slightly altered version of the iconic outfit would be sold (sans prince and hefty jeweled ring). While the original Issa was silk jersey, the collaboration dress is a blend of rayon, Lyocell, cotton, and spandex and features two variations on the originally long-sleeved engagement dress: one with short sleeves and one with three-quarter-length sleeves. You can get either sleeve-length dress in royal blue or merlot, but really, who would get anything but the blue?! Isn’t the whole point to echo Ms. Middleton? Well…I went with the merlot for our shoot this month because that was the only option available to Tastevin at press time. I would like to mention, however, that while the royal blue version sold out in the first weekend of the collaboration’s release, Banana Republic has replenished its online stock, so if you want to nab the dress, you can! But I would advise against it. When you set yourself up to make little girls’ (or little grown women’s) dreams come true, you had better be sure you can deliver. This dress did not deliver. In fact, it was a disaster. Banana Republic creates beautiful, wellmade clothes, and their past partnerships have impressed critics. But the expectations were too high and the media buzz did nothing to help. BR allowed you to think that you could be a princess with their collaboration dress, and some locations even went so far as to post pictures of Middleton wearing the Issa original in front of their stores. And really, there’s nothing worse than being misled. We all know that with collaborations come a slight drop in quality (it’s almost a necessity), but this goes beyond that. In person, the dress has none of the pretty sheen that it appears to have in Banana Republic photos, let alone the gorgeous depth of the original’s silk jersey. The XS through XL collaboration sizing can be forgiven with the help of a good tailor, but when most BR dresses come in sizes 0 and up, it makes you question why this collaboration didn’t get the same sizing attention. Obviously there was a demand! And the fit of the

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three-quarter length sleeve was—who am I kidding talking about “fit”? The sleeves had NO fit. If you thought you could get the three-quarter sleeves to look closer to the long-sleeved version, think again. The fabric has stretch. Why would they make the sleeves so wide? If you push the sleeves up to make them look more tailored, they slip right back down. And while the merlot was a pretty purple, the “royal blue” is a joke. It’s a cheap-looking shade that’s an insult to the original. I styled the dress with a simple chain link bracelet and a pair of classic heels with a slightly edgy twist, but that’s only because I didn’t have a prince or a giant sapphire ring on hand. This silhouette has become fairly recognizable, and since the wrap dress is so classic, you can definitely keep the overall look that way. If you want to veer more trendy, try the short-sleeve version of the dress with some cage heels. I’ve never been so disappointed in a designer collaboration. For the most part, the pieces in the collection are decent basics and stay true to both Banana Republic’s and Issa’s aesthetics. I could have really loved the line if it weren’t for the close resemblance to the iconic engagement dress. Owning these pieces just doesn’t seem as appealing as obtaining that Issa original, but the one piece that tries to reproduce the Middleton dress fails on multiple accounts. Even having the princely love of my life on my arm wouldn’t make me feel like a princess in this dress. My verdict? This line set itself up for failure. Don’t waste your time.



sk anyone who has been to Taiwan and the first thing they’ll rave about is the food. When my foodie cousin heard I was headed to East Asia, she emphatically said, “You’re going to eat a looooot.” And she was right! In Taiwan, I was able to discover new foods such as durian and even chicken testicles. When you’re somewhere new, why not do as the Taiwanese do? In the city of Taipei, underground malls extend the lengths of streets, night markets are packed with food stalls, and train stations act as hubs for food courts. And don’t forget about the bubble tea! Why not enjoy those tapioca drinks in a more authentic way? While there are of course historical and cultural sites and scenes to take in, sometimes you just have to

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By Amanda Chi

follow your nose and taste buds as a tourist. When you think of food courts, fast food comes to mind. But not in Taiwan. Fast food there is like eating at a restaurant! Essentially, a Taiwanese food court is a collection of 200 restaurants in the confines of a train station. And this isn’t only at the Taipei train station, but also at the basement of Taipei 101, the airport, and underground malls such as Q Square. Chefs prepare the food on the spot and even make the noodles by hand in the kitchen. Prices are especially low due to heavy competition. Specific cuisines are sectioned off—a place that specializes in beef noodle soup or curry would be clustered with other restaurants serving the same, all showing off their food awards and medals in order


Share Your Where

to entice customers. The price is right and the quality is amazing. For about 5 US dollars, you can have a fresh-cooked entrée with savory side dishes and a cup of soup. While the food courts and restaurants may be health code regulated, street food can be a bit dicey. There’s always the possibility of food poisoning with the food carts, but some think it’s worth the risk. One of the most famous things to do in Taiwan is to visit the Night Markets, one of the biggest of which is in Shilin. Here, you can buy tea eggs, barbecued meats, sugar cane juice, beef noodle soup, exotic fruits, and stinky tofu. Like in any Chinatown, kiosks of vendors line the streets selling handbags, handmade trinkets, iPhone phone cases, and clothes. The great thing about these markets is that you can try all types of food at different stands, but you might want to watch how the vendors cook their food before committing. I saw one man handle the trash by sticking his hand in it, wiping the garbage juice on his shirt, and then handling the raw meat he was cooking. We quickly skirted away as he made eye contact with us and tried to wave us over. But it’s not all bad! Especially since I can safely say that I did not get food poisoning from trying

any street food. Another exciting aspect of markets is fruit stands. Even within indoor markets, the fruit sold in Taiwan is eye-popping. The colors alone of various fruits not found in the States will grab your attention. Ever seen dragon fruit? It’s a vibrant pinkish purple that looks as though the fruit were dyed. While the fruits are often a visual feast, it’s not always a nasal pleasure. I’m no stranger to the smell of durian, but my first taste was my trip to Taiwan. Durian is a spikey fruit found in Southeast Asian countries that is reknown for its pungent and fermented smell. As a good friend of mine described it, it’s like hot fart in your mouth. It’s certainly an acquired taste so I thought I’d give it a chance. The texture of durian is surprisingly creamy, which in turn threw me off. The taste, however, was a little too fermented for me. I certainly don’t regret the experience but the pungent burps that follow one bite beg to differ. Prior to my travels, there were two things I had in mind when I planned to eat in Taiwan: beef noodle soup and stinky tofu. Since my dad is from Taiwan, I grew up loving beef noodle soup and thinking of it as comfort food. The beef tendon stewed over night


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gives the broth a savory strong taste while the noodles are truly fresh without the hint of freezer burn. I grew to love stinky tofu as well, despite its strong smell. Okay, so it might be contradicting of me to dislike durian but loooove fermented stinky tofu, but to each her own! Stinky tofu is a popular Taiwanese dish often sold at night markets and can be prepared and served different ways, like the variations in the photo at left. Since my family loves this fermented dish, we decided to seek out the strongest tasting stinky tofu in Taipei. And what better way than to listen to Andrew Zimmern. Andrew Zimmern is a chef whose show on the Travel Channel is called Bizarre Foods. He travels around the world eating the strangest, cultural eats and has stomached everything except two things: durian and stinky tofu. His episode on Taiwan inspired my family to seek out the restaurant that defeated him, which he called Dai’s House of Unique Stink. After eating the street tofu, he thought it was rather tasty. However, once he tried the restaurant version, he couldn’t stomach it. As he said, “There is nothing quite like it.” I was charged with finding the restaurant’s address and a method of getting there via MRT (the Taipei Metro). Since it was a bit far from our hotel, we took a taxi instead and gave the cab driver only the address. The address was on a major road, which baffled the driver when we told him it was a stinky tofu establishment. He said a place like that would not be on such a highly trafficked road due to high rent and stink. So we asked him to merely take us to whatever restaurant he thought was good. Lo and behold, it was the SAME RESTAURANT we were looking for! What a coincidence! We walked in, ordered whatever Andrew Zim-

mern ordered (and more), and even met the owner that was interviewed on the show. She was on her way out, but when we talked to her about the show, she was sweet enough to stay, talk about the health benefits of eating the dish, give us a culinary explanation of her special fermentation process, and tell us how to cook it ourselves. She told us how she ferments the tofu in aged vegetable matter rather than using chemical or old fish. Ultimately, we bought a box of fifty pieces to bring to family and friends in Hong Kong. How we brought THAT on the plane is another story though. So why try the local cuisine of such strange food? It could be delicious! Or if not, it could make for a great story. This experience really stuck with me because it’s a part of my culture. I grew up with my father taking me to eat beef noodle soup in the States. But traveling to another country and tasting these foods is something you need to try for yourself. So train your nose and beef up your taste buds if you ever find yourself traveling to Taiwan! To Jojo. For your love of food, your inspiration to others, your smiles and your manuca honey facials. You truly knew how to appreciate food on a global scale. World traveler, wine connoisseur, and caratay expert. I’ll love you forever.


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Share Your Wear Travelling in Style With Diane Kroe


he mark of an artist is the ability to draw inspiration from anything and anywhere. It’s that “where” in particular that inspires designer Diane Kroe. I caught up with the jetsetter herself to get the scoop on her work. There are three places that most inspire Kroe’s designs: airports, spas, and hotels. “I’m always people-watching [at airports]—observing their luggage, clothing, and carry-ons,” says Kroe. “I try to imagine the perfect items that should be packed for each visit. Every destination is unique, leaving me with new ideas to add to my collection.” As for spas and hotels, Kroe was in-

By Rosie Ryan

Photos by Modella Media

spired to create a clothing collection that embodied both comfort and elegance. “Some recognized spas have world-class restaurants where guests want to dine in comfort yet [also] fit in with the upscale quality of their experience by wearing something fashionable.” But Kroe gets even more specific with where she draws inspiration—designing with a particular destination in mind. Take her Limitless Chiffon Dress—it was inspired by hot tropical destinations. “Customers [asked for] something lightweight [with] the quick-dry, non-wrinkle aspect of the travel fabric I use for the rest of my collection,” says Kroe. “I found a beautiful wrinkle-free chiffon which I use to 49

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create reversible layers. It’s functional, and it gives you options for day or evening.” What really makes Kroe’s designs unique is that many of her garments work for every body type. The Reversible Resort Dress can be worn eleven different ways, so the wearer can find the style that best works for their body. It was actually inspired by bridesmaids who needed dresses for a tropical wedding. “Each girl had a different body type and were not impressed with the shade of purple their bride had chosen,” says Kroe. “I told them all I would make each dress reversible so they could pick their own color for the other side. They loved the idea that they could wear the dress in a way that complemented their own

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unique style while keeping the bride happy.” Since Kroe spends a lot of time traveling from destination to destination, it’s a given that she’s pretty savvy when it comes to packing. For her, it’s all about packing light without sacrificing style, which is basically the goal of every one of her pieces. For example, on a recent vacation to Mexico, Kroe packed six bikinis and six of her Endless design. By day, she used it as a beach cover up and by night she used it as a cocktail dress. This particular piece has the ability to adjust into a scarf, poncho, skirt, and—really—endless other options. Her goal is to create quality, timeless pieces that will give her clients a break from worrying about leaving something behind.

“My multifunctional detailing allows each customer to express their own unique style depending on their destination and especially their mood,” says Kroe. “They never have to anticipate the weather or how they feel while they travel because my designs have it all covered.” As for where she plans on going next, we have a hint. Her dream destination is the Château de Moissac in Provence, France. “It’s a close representation of my design aesthetic: simple elegance. It’s casual yet formal and has the perfect balance between two extremes.” No matter her next inspiration locale, we know that Kroe will, without a doubt, arrive in style.

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Thrift Store Challenge: The $20 Outfit Fashion Editor Breana Powell gets thrifty and shows you how to be chic for cheap.

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Outfit #1: I found this $2.99 jersey houndstooth blouse hidden in a section of plain black shirts. The material makes it easy to dress up or down, and because it’s black and white, it can be paired with any color. Although I could have styled the blouse with a bold, bright pant, I instead went for a pair of gray jeans by Elie Tahari for a cleaner, more sophisticated color palette—perfect for fall. The jeans were a steal for only $4.99.


’ve been an avid thrifter for years now, so when Macklemore’s smashhit “Thrift Store” came out, I was thrilled—a theme song for my life! Finally someone was celebrating the art of looking good and saving money. To share my hobby with all you Tasties out there, I decided to head out to a thrift shop with, taking a note from Macklemore, only “twenty dollars in my pocket.” The goal was to create one outfit for twenty dollars or less…I ended up creating two!

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Outfit #2: I had to check the tag on this BCBG Max Azria button-down twice to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing. $0.79!? (It obviously had to come home with me.) It’s a simple and functional staple piece that can be translated for work and play. The pants, originally from Target, are the real statement here. The metallic brocade is coated with a glittery sheen! I snagged them for $5.99.

Grand Total: $14.76

Breana’s Top 5 Thrifting Tips: Set a budget:

It’s easy to get carried away when everything is so inexpensive, so set a budget before you go.

Go during special sale days:

Many thrift stores have days when items are marked down even more, so find out when those days are for even greater savings. Also, various colored stickers usually identify items that are a part of a special sale. (A green sticker, for example, could mean an item is 50% off, while a red sticker could mean an item is 75% off.)

Bring a friend:

It’s always fun to bring a friend to help you decide on which items to purchase.

Get that easily repairable item:

If you really like a piece, but it has a minor defect—as in a missing button or a small tear on the seams—if it’s cheap enough, get it anyway. You can always repair it with a sewing kit.

Go with an open mind:

With any shopping, you never really know if you’ll find something you like. But with thrift store shopping, there’s a bigger chance that you’ll be scared away because of the mix of contemporary and vintage clothing. Remember, you’re in a place where you can find hidden gems! Think of it as a treasure hunt and see the potential in unique pieces that speak to you.

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Floaters, Grab A Life Vest! 62 Tastevin Magazine September 2013

Photos by Alexander Herman Makeup by Breana Powell Styled by Caroline A. Wong & Rachel Reilley

Three years ago, Rachel Reilly exploded into America’s consciousness as the spirited redhead on CBS’s Big Brother. Besides meeting the love of her life on the show, Reilly won the game, and her sister is now competing on the current season. Does Reilly ever get tired of people watching her every move? Caroline A. Wong asks that very question in her chat with the reality star.

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Previous spread: Black top, Forever 21. Black shorts, Forever 21. Gold heels, (worn throughout) Badgley Mischka. Jewelry, Reilly’s own. This page: Gold dress, (worn throughout) Alice and Olivia. Jewelry, (worn throughout) Reilly’s own.


resh from our cover shoot at Beso Hollywood, Rachel Reilly and I walk over to Groundwork Coffee to relax and chat over some iced drinks. As I bring my tea over to our table in a corner of the shop, Reilly exclaims, “Oh my GOD! Your chai looks SO good!” A long day of posing for photos hasn’t run her down—her energy is as bubbly as ever. It’s that same energy that earned her fans and critics alike when she first appeared on season twelve of Big Brother. For the time being, though, we talk about Reilly’s younger sister, Elissa Slater, who is now competing on season fifteen. “I think my sister needs to step up her game play!” Reilly says between sips. “I kind of just want to see her win an HOH.” A “Head of Household” competition allows the winner to select two players eligible for eviction from the game. After our conversation, Slater won one of the toughest HOH competitions of the season. Reilly continues, “She’s on Big Brother. She made it to the jury. I want her to have the full experience, and winning competitions is part of that. I want my sister to stand up for her own opinions because now it seems like she’s just doing whatever Helen tells her to do. I think Helen’s actually playing a good game. I know it’s not popular opinion, but I don’t care about not being popular.” It’s true—Reilly, 28, is no stranger to being on the outs. After Reilly’s first season on the show, she says she was met with a lot of negative feedback. But Reilly takes it all in stride. “Any time someone says something rude, I’m like ‘Okay, thanks!’ or I’ll just laugh it off. I’ve come to a point in my career with entertainment where I appreciate the haters because they talk about you more. It’s good for business.” She concedes that her stance was an acquired one. “When I first got off the show, it was really hard. But you also have to realize that, you know, they’re not saying it about you personally because they don’t know you personally. They know this charac-

ter that they see.” There is obviously a certain amount of fame to be expected when you appear on a national television show, with nearly 170,000 Twitter followers at press time as well as admirers and opponents alike, was Reilly truly prepared for the explosive response to her TV personality? “No! When I [auditioned] originally, I was just going on because I was a fan of the show!” She speculates about why she’s so recognizable. “I think it’s just because I am myself, and I don’t care. I’m not going to apologize if I say something to someone. I’m not going to try to be fake.” Speaking of things fake, some people might question the authenticity of a love that blossomed on television show. But with nearly a year of marriage under their belts, Reilly and husband Brendon Villegas, 33, can safely say their romance goes far beyond their first meeting on the Big Brother show. “I didn’t really think about a ‘showmance,’” Reilly says of first entering the Big Brother house. “I kinda went in, and I was like, ‘Ooh! There will be cute boys.’ And then I [met] Brendon. I think it’s 100% fate. We just fell in love. It’s crazy because I still get goosebumps. I’m so giddy about it—like a twelve year old!” Reilly actually questions dating shows like The Bachelor. “It’s so produced. Really, are you going to fly to the African safari and have your second date under the stars with an African band behind you playing? I think that people are lost in this romantic fairytale, and then when they get off the show, they’re like, ‘This is NOT what I signed up for.’” Is being locked up in the Big Brother house why her relationship with Villegas is so successful? “Oh, absolutely. Living in the Big Brother house, you’re with someone 24/7 so you seem them when they’re at their worst and you see them at their best. You wake up, and there’s morning breath. You’re not flying around the world and doing these fancy vacations. Brendon and I went 24/7 nonstop talking so we weren’t just falling in love, we were 65

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[also] getting to know everything about [each other]. We would talk about even the dumbest things, like ‘What’s your favorite gummy worm?’ to these big questions about eternity and where are we going to get married.” For the record, Reilly’s favorite gummy worm is the pink one with the yellow tail. Despite the bond that Reilly felt with Villegas, her family wasn’t all too sure about it at first. “They were SO skeptical. My mom was like, ‘I don’t know what to do. Rachel’s falling in love on TV with this boy. I don’t know if we approve.’” Her mother warmed up to Villegas, however, as the season progressed. “I think she realized how Brendon and my relationship was in the house, and she knew that he would be good for me outside the house.” Villegas and Reilly first bonded over their shared love for science. Reilly has a degree in chemistry, and Villegas is attending school for his doctorate in biomedical physics. For a girl with such a loud personality, it seems disparate to picture her wearing chem goggles. “I am a geeky, nerdy girl. I would rather sit home on a Friday night and play video games than go out to a super big club and go crazy. But I love [clubbing] too. I have so many facets to my personality, and I think that’s what’s really drawn people in. I had so many people change their opinions about me because [on season twelve] they saw this feisty, over-the-top, in-your-face girl, and they were just like ‘Oh my god, she’s evil.’ But then in season thirteen, they got to see the softer side and the geekier side and the goofy, fun side.” Reilly fully embraces the range of her personality, saying, “You can be smart and you can be pretty and you can have fun and do all this other stuff. You don’t have to just be a one-dimensional person.” Her relationship with Villegas also gets goofy. “Brendon’s the dorkiest guy ever. Last night, we were eating out, and he was doing magic tricks!” A typical date night for the pair is usually low-key. “The truth is, we’re such nerds. Our favorite date nights are the ones

that we spend at home hanging out and having a good time.” The couple is also really active. “Brendon and I like to do athletic things, so instead of going on a bunch of dates, we’ll usually try to plan weekend getaways together. We’ll take our dog because we’re obsessed with our dog. He’s our son! We only go places where we can take our dog, like, I’m not even kidding.” Villegas and Reilly’s travels with their Rottweiler, Benz, inspired her project Adventures for Pets. “Brendon and I were in Utah, and we took our dog to Zion National Park. It’s my favorite place in the whole world.” The couple encountered some difficulties, however, with housing Benz. “He’s a big dog. And a lot of places don’t let you take your pets into hotels and restaurants. So Brendon and I are like ‘This is crazy!’ How many people would love to travel with their pets?” Thus, Adventures for Pets was born, showing people the best pet-friendly places to eat and play. Reilly emphasizes the point of their mission: “We thought this was a great way to tell people which hotels are pet-friendly—not just petaccepting, but pet-friendly.” Aside from her travels with Villegas and Benz, Reilly also visits Slater, 27. “My sister lives all over the world because her husband lives in Canada. Well, I say all over the world—she just lives all over North America. We see each other all the time. She’s my best friend.” And because of their close bond, the two would be a powerhouse should they appear on Big Brother together. “How cool would that be?! I would be really, really protective because she’s my little sister. I would just love to do it! If they had an All Stars 2, I would want my sister to be in it with me, for sure. Crossing my fingers! She has a good chance to win America’s Favorite. There [are] only a few HouseGuests who could win America’s Favorite.” I joke that Aaryn Gries, 22, who caused a stir this season with her racist remarks, might be eligible. “Not Aaryn!!” Gries was dropped by her modeling 67

“ I am myself, and I don’t care. I’m not going to apologize if I say something to someone.”

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agency following her offensive comments, which begs the question—is it possible to really forget you’re on national television? “You forget that there [are] cameras all over the place, but you don’t forget that you’re on the show. By Day 45, you forget that there’s an alternate world going on outside, and your reality becomes the Big Brother environment.” By press time, the HouseGuests will have been in the house for 75 days. Reilly recalls, “Even when I won [the game], it was really hard to walk out of the house and I had just won! Something goes on in your brain where it just becomes your reality, and you want to fight to stay there and save it and protect it.” I ask whether Reilly had trust issues after leaving the show. “Now I think I’m a lot more hesitant. You do start to feel like the whole world is the Big Brother house. You’re like, ‘Wait, are you saying that because you really want to hire me or are you going to vote me out?’” In spite of the mind shift that Reilly describes, the hardest part of her Big Brother career was not walking out of the house, or even adjusting to life afterward. “When Brendon was voted out the first time [on season thirteen], I was so crushed. I was just torn. I felt like I had literally lost my husband. He was my fiancé [at the time] and we were happy and sleeping in the same bed every night and then the next day, someone took him away from me. There’s no one [in the house] that could ever replace that relationship.” Luckily now, the happy couple doesn’t have to go a day without speaking to each other, but Reilly still makes time for her girl friends. “My best friend Jeannie—I use her for my stylist a lot because she is a vintage stylist, so she works with all the vintage stores and thrift stores in Los Angeles. I’m into sequins and glamour—very dramatic.” Like Gatsby? “Yes! Like SUPER Gatsby! I’m obsessed with headbands. I wear headbands, like, everyday.” She and her friends have no problem getting dressed up. “If I’m going out with my girl

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friends, we pick themes. It’s so nerdy. So we’ll do a 1920s look, or 30s.” I ask Reilly whether she felt pressure to dress for the cameras while on the show. “Well, my sister pulls it off effortlessly. Every time she’s on camera, she looks ridiculously cute. When I was on Big Brother, I had wet hair and no makeup. But every time Elissa’s on camera, she looks adorable. It’s hard because you’re always thinking about the cameras, of course, but I’m not as fashion conscientious as I could be.” Fashion choices aside, Reilly left a huge impact on the game. This season’s contestants were talking about Reilly before they even realized that Slater was her sister. I ask Reilly if

“You can be smart and you can be pretty and you can have fun. You don’t have to just be a onedimensional person.” she’s pleased with her legacy. “I took a lot of my mark from Janelle [Pierzina from season six]. I was very fond of the way Janelle played the game. She was competitive. She was feisty. She didn’t care. And that’s kind of how my personality is anyways, but I think that because I won the game, it left a greater mark. It’s kind of overwhelming sometimes because some people will be like, ‘I want to play like Rachel.’ It’s cool to know that people look up to you as a game-player and [recognize you for] how hard you work because it’s really, really, really hard. To have people be such avid fans of your game, it’s such an honor.” Reilly’s connection to Pierzina is more than just one of admiration. They keep in touch regularly. Reilly even notes, “I think she’s having her baby today!” And three hours later, Pierzina announced the birth of her son Lincoln via Twitter. Aside from being friends, the two are also true Big Brother competitors. Reil-

ly tied Pierzina’s record of six multi-seasonal HOH wins and set her own Big Brother record by being nominated for eviction five times in one season and still winning the game. I congratulate Reilly for her many victories. She exclaims, “But Aaryn’s on our heels. That would be a travesty!” Gries, in fact, did go on to tie Reilly’s single-season total of four HOH wins, a record also held by Pierzina, Drew Daniel (season six), Hayden Moss (season twelve), and Ian Terry (season fourteen). Reilly seems to have a gripe about Gries. “This season, I see a lot of people being outright mean and not where they’re just saying, ‘You’re a bitch.’ They’re being cruel. The stuff that they say is so personal and mean… for no reason!” Another bully that Reilly criticizes is real estate agent Amanda Zuckerman, 28. “She’s super bossy! She’s a really big threat because she’s controlling everything, and she’s basically telling the HouseGuests how to run their HOHs. She never wins a competition. Ever. I don’t think she ever will.” Are the intense personalities we see on the show reflective of who these people are outside of Big Brother? Reilly thinks for a moment. “It’s really hard because when you see people on the show, we’re so stressed out. We’re in this crazy environment, and you’re constantly having to work. Like, you don’t take a day off of Big Brother. You don’t take thirty minutes off. In real life, I’m a lot more mellow, and I’m a lot more like a normal friend. I want to go to a coffee shop like this one and hang out. But on Big Brother, I’m a little more feisty because it’s the game. In real life, I’m not going to go up to someone and say, ‘Floaters, grab a life vest!’” Reilly is recognized not only for her notorious “floaters” quote, but also from all her other antics on the show. Does she ever get tired of her Big Brother persona? “Not really,” Reilly says. “I definitely want to continue with a career in entertainment. That’s my dream. I don’t want to not be associated with Big Brother. I met my husband on Big Brother. I won the

game. I’ve worked with CBS so much, and I love them. We have a really good relationship with them. If I was like Julia Roberts tomorrow or something, I would still be like, ‘I started out on Big Brother.’” Whether she becomes Julia Roberts, Reilly is focused on pursuing her career. “In entertainment, it’s a business. Just like in any other business, you need to be educated so I’m taking acting classes. I’ve been taking vocal lessons. I was recently in a musical, and that was so fun. I don’t know if I necessarily see myself [auditioning for] movies, but I love television and I love reality shows.” So is there going to be a Keeping Up with Brenchel show anytime soon? “Well, Brendon and I have a project coming up in the future, so you might be seeing us again on TV. I’ve always wanted to host my own science show. That was always my biggest passion. I wanted to do something like Bill Nye the Science Guy.” Her ambitions for a career in entertainment haven’t made her guarded, as it’s done other celebrities. “We’re not like super famous or followed around by paparazzi or anything. I don’t know if that would get invasive. We don’t keep anything private. Our first kiss was on TV. Our wedding was on TV. I mean, everything about us was on TV.” Has the fame and recognition affected her family? “I don’t think my parents get it. They’re really proud of my sister and me, obviously. They love us to death. But I don’t think they get it. They’re like, ‘Oh, what are you doing?’ And I told them I was going to a photo shoot today, and they’re like, ‘Oh… what?’ They live in North Carolina, so let’s be real. The highlight of their Saturday is going to Home Depot!” Reilly definitely keeps herself busy with more than just Home Depot trips. Her time on Big Brother ensures that she’ll always be in the spotlight in some capacity, and she promises me that we’ll be seeing more from her soon. If anything is certain, it’s that this vibrant fireball is taking Hollywood by storm. Floaters, grab a life vest, indeed. 71

“ In real life, I’m not going to go up to someone and say, ‘Floaters, grab a life vest!”

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petri dish What happens when you try really hard to make your dreams come true?

By Caroline A. Wong Photos by Hail Nowak



he watered the lily plant on the kitchen windowsill and willed it not to drown. Her husband Ryan sat at the scratched laminate wood table in the corner, the table that he had stolen back from his ex-girlfriend’s family garage, and poured milk into his bowl of cereal. He looked tan against the pale, pale yellow— almost white—of the kitchen walls. A neutral color. “You’re not that hungry?” She put the glass cup—she didn’t have a watering can—down next to the lily and wiped her hands on the dishtowel folded over the oven door handle. “No, I’m starving.” He spooned the cereal into his mouth. A drop of milk fell from between his lips onto his chin. “I made eggs.” She stepped over to him and pulled a napkin from the basket in the center of the table to wipe the milk. He took the napkin from her and smeared it across his face. “Eggs don’t do it for me. I wanted cereal.” “That can’t be healthy for you,” she said, pointing at the bowl. She sat down. “But they’re magically delicious.” Ryan grinned and clinked his spoon down on the table, drinking the last of the milk directly from the bowl. He stood to rinse it in the sink. “Did you pick up the wine for tonight?” She smiled. “About that. I had this great idea of baking a roast in the oven and making cocktails for us here at home instead of bringing wine to a restaurant.” “Kelsey was really looking forward to trying that new place.” He wiped his hands dry on his pant legs. “And I don’t think Kelsey should have cocktails.” “Well, she shouldn’t have wine either.” “The wine would be for us, to celebrate.” “I want her to feel at home here.” She tapped the table to emphasize her point, then put her hands in her lap. “I guess it won’t matter how she feels.” “Yeah,” Ryan said, checking his hair in the

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Dress, Forever 21. Model: Danielle Romero


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mirror by the side door, “she won’t be the one living here.” He smiled. “Maybe we should go visit her at her place. Would she cook for us?” A bumblebee flew by the open window, lazy and pregnant, and circled over her lily. It floated away without even smelling the flower. “I don’t want to inconvenience her any more than we already are.” Ryan grabbed his white coat off the hook by the door and threw it over the crook of his right arm. He shined his wedding band on his shirt. “She’s doing us a favor.” “Some favor,” she snorted. She looked down at her hands, her own wedding band sparkled brightly from her finger, the diamond winking wickedly at her. “Did you cash the check my parents sent? It should cover everything.” “Yes,” Ryan came to kiss her on the top of the head, “and baby, you’re fine. Just fine.” “Baby.” She pursed her lips and tried to keep her brows from knitting. “I’ll be fine.” He smiled. “Yes, fine. I’ll be back to pick you up at eight. Grab some wine for us if you can manage.” Ryan left the kitchen and went out the front door. She could hear the latch catch behind him and felt the sudden emptiness of their home. It seemed to expand without his presence, without him hovering over her. She had always liked to believe he was big enough, strong enough, to fill the space. She went to the dish rack by the sink to rewash his bowl. Ryan had done a wonderful job; he had always been good at everything he did. But she washed it again anyway, just to feel the work. The bumblebee flew by the window again. She wiped Ryan’s bowl and spoon with the dishtowel and placed it back in the left cabinet, the spoon in the drawer. Everything had a time, a place. She opened the oven and poured the eggs into the trashcan. She sighed and closed the window. 79

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Something Sweet You made a wish on a falling star, and we’re here to announce that your dream has come true! This month’s sweet treat is Star-Crossed, the new book from author W.A. Fulkerson! The highly-anticipated sequel to Starfall (featured in our “Pages” column in June), Star-Crossed continues the journey of twin brothers Ducasus and Malleus as they follow their path and shape their destiny. Fulkerson creates a compelling new world in his series. Be sure to check it out!

Profile for Tastevin Mag

Tastevin Magazine September 2013  

A Fashion and Lifestyle Tasting Menu

Tastevin Magazine September 2013  

A Fashion and Lifestyle Tasting Menu