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November 2011

Bar Bosses STL Cocktail Culture

Lumière’s The Dish Burger Bar & Asia’s Best

1 Out of 10

Kirby Kolby Wins MGA

This issue is dedicated to Complimentary Copy

intimate feel. all-star appeal. Kenny loggins

friday, november 18

8:00 pm - four seasons hotel $75 and $40

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Saturday, november 19 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm $25

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friday, december 9 8:00 pm $60

tickets can be purchased at, charged by phone at 800.745.3000 and at etc inside lumière Place. J u s t o f f i n t e r s tat e 7 0 • P l e n t y o f P a r k i n g • 9 9 9 n o r t h s e c o n d s t r e e t • l u m i e r e p l a c e . c o m • 8 7 7 . 4 5 0 . 7 7 1 1 November, 2011

concert is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Valid id required. Must be 21 or older. not valid for persons who are on the Missouri disassociated Persons list or persons who have otherwise been excluded from lumière Place and Pinnacle entertainment’s affiliated casinos. gambling Problem? call 1.888.Betsoff. ©2011 Pinnacle entertainment, inc. all rights reserved.


Friends, November’s publication marks my “official” start as Executive Editor at Vital VOICE Omni-Media and I’m excited to welcome you to our ever-popular FOOD Issue. Yes – the crystalline air is giving way to winter’s chill, but we have a cornucopia of food and drink features to warm the senses—from local mixologist’s favorite creations, a duo of tempting dishes and even Dieta’s down-home-cooking. Inside this issue, please notice our ongoing redesign which started in September under the direction of Publisher, Darin Slyman and Artistic Director, Jeff Kapfer. Also making their debut is our new Fitness and Political columns. Politics are of particular importance as we head into the 2012 election. I encourage everyone to educate themselves on the issues important to our community and avail themselves of the political process. We are a tribe of many VOICES and each of us has a VOTE—make yours heard next year. In closing, I would like to invite you to attend OUT IN THE CITY at Mandarin on November 10th. We are once again proud to be hosting this popular LGBT networking event with our friends at ALIVE magazine. As always, Team Vital VOICE will be on hand to staff the evening and proceeds will benefit the new LGBT Center of St. Louis in The Grove. So bring your business cards, a friendly smile and prepare to mingle with some of our community’s dynamic and diverse professionals! In Pride,

Colin Murphy, Executive Editor | 3




EDISON THEATRE DECEMBER 9-10 8PM Tickets: $20 General. $25 VIP at

4 |

November, 2011 | 5



Volume 12, Issue 11

On the COVER: Photography by Steve Truesdell of

Jocquin Studios. Styling by Darin Slyman. St. Louis Mixologists: Robin Schubert from Absolutli Goosed, Bernie Lee from 609 Lounge and Hiro Sushi Restaurant, and Mandi Kowalski from The Block.

The Vital VOICE Team

Darin Slyman Publisher/Editor-in-Chief



Colin Murphy Executive Editor/Senior Writer Joshua Barton Associate Editor


Jeff Kapfer Art Director Leon Braxton/Dieta Pepsi Executive Assistant /On Air Hostess Jimmy Lesch Director of PR/Communications


Writing/Graphics: Derick Allison. Writing: A.J. Bockelman and Jonathan Peck Photography: Alex Galindo, Tim Brenner, Colin Murphy Steve Truesdell, and Darin Slyman Research: Claire Beeman

Advisory Board

William A. Donius, Thom Halter, Colin Murphy, Jay Perez, Pam Schneider, Kellie Trivers, Sharon Tucci.


Vital VOICE Magazine. 4579 Laclede Ave #268. Saint Louis, MO 63108 314.256.1196


Online 6 |

November, 2011



8. Online 11. Miss Gay America 2012. 11. Political Voice. 21. The V List. 23. Bar Bosses. 25. The Q Guide. 23. Fitness Foundations. 35. Lumiere’s The Dish. 36. Playdates. 38. Dishin’ With Dieta. 40. Scene & Styling. 42. Non-profit of the Month. Vital VOICE is printed on recycled newspaper and uses soy ink for a 100% recyclable product.

wendy ho singer . rapper . truth-teller . ho


SUNDAY NOVEMBER 27th - 8PM | 7 It’s here, it’s queer and it’s only at


Rebel Youth is a three part narrative feature series that looks into the lives of St. Louis’ young, twenty-something queer community. Rebel Youth’s candid and bare-all interviews shed light on how these kids live, work, identify themselves and stand out in an increasingly homogeneous LGBT community. For this first installment, we meet a couple of outlaw queer pot dealers. Check out this enlightening and psychedelic glimpse into the eclectic, queer counter-culture.

Gateway Men’s Chorus Turns 25

The Gateway City is noted for its association with blues, jazz, ragtime and classical music and today, many pioneering acts and artists are still generating buzz. The Gateway Men’s Chorus (GMC) is one such group and has been deemed by critics as “an arts phenomenon.” From sophisticated standards to high camp melodies check out what this supremely talented group of guys are up to in their 25th season by visiting

MCCGSL Choir Wins Regional

Metropolitan Community Church of Greater Saint Louis valiantly competed in How Sweet the Sound: A Verizon Experience Regional Choir Competition held at the Scottrade Center, Sept. 26th. The Best Large Choir prize was awarded to MCCGSL for their 53-member choir performance of “Psalm 68, Let Our God Arise” by Kurt Carr. Read about the many bumps along the road as well as moments of spiritual inspiration this amazing choir experienced on their journey to glory.

Descending on Folsom Street

Chris Andoe gives us a light-hearted romp through a week’s worth of sexual/leather/fetish liberation and pride. The story follows Mr. Missouri Leather DJ Kaiser as he takes a pilgrimage to San Francisco, “the undisputed capital of sexual liberation,” to experience the many debaucherous delights of Leather Pride Week. Get all the juicy details only online. Also, check out DJ’s recap of the Mr. Midwest Leather Competition held at Bad Dog.

Stay Connected 8 |

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12 | November, 2011

1 O ut of 10 Ain’t Bad! A LOOK INTO LGBT LIFE - PAST & PRESENT

Miss Gay America 2012 Written by Colin Murphy – Senior Writer/Editor Photography by Colin Murphy


he 40th annual Miss Gay America (MGA) contest shined bright as beaded bling, Oct. 12-16 in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1972, the world’s oldest female impersonation pageant system has been a mainstay in American LGBT culture and judging from the caliber of talent, the number of contestants and capacity crowd—it’s good to go for another four decades. Longtime MGA followers liken the level of this year’s competition to the glory days of the 1980s when titans like Naomi Sims, Tasha Kohl and Missouri’s own Vicki Vincent battled for the crown.

And while this is the first year in recent memory where no Missouri contestants broke the Top 10 on final night—they each represented well. Miss Gay Missouri 2011 Madison Elise and First Alternate Tajma Stetson, headed a cadre of bi-state “girls” who helped put “The Show Me State” on the map. The Miss Gay Missouri America Pageant is the second oldest preliminary to MGA and was honored with the awards for Best Opening Production Number and Best New Promoters. Alternate Tajma Stetson also received The Jimmi Dee Award for Best Overall Contestant Not in Top 10.

Some 51-contestants competed in categories of evening gown, long talent, solo talent and male interview over three nights of preliminary competition at The Sheraton Capitol Square Ballroom (The latter two category scores carry over to final night). Afternoons were spent between rehearsals, meetings and exploring a bit of Columbus—a refreshingly contemporary and queer friendly city. Final night competition was held at the uber-modern Capitol Theatre at The Riffe Center. MGA 2011 Coti Collins kicked things off astride a three tiered pedestal | 13

as the warm melodies of Lorrie Morgan’s “Something in Red” washed over the audience. Coti was joined first by a circle of friends, then a family of MGA promoters. Finally, 15-former MGA’s and 51-contestants—each ravishing in red—took the stage. Indeed, the scene the set for the magic to begin.

“This time I’m staying, I’m staying for good—I’ll be back where I was born to be. With one look, I’ll be me!” she pantomimed, her hands pausing before the iconic Miss Gay America marquee. The room was on notice. After an 11-year absence from competition—the North Carolina native was there to win.

Chosen to compete on Final Night in the categories of evening gown, on stage question and talent were Miss Gay Tri States, Tanisha Foxx; Miss Gay Maryland Alt., Araya Sparxx; Miss Gay Oklahoma, Roxie Hart; Miss Gay Gulf States, Blair Williams; Miss Gay Mid East, Chantel Reshae; Miss Gay Heart of America, Sally Sparkles; Miss Gay Arizona, Celia Putty; Miss Gay Texas, Jenna Skyy; Miss Gay Atlantic States, Jessica Jade and Miss Gay D.C., Kirby Kolby.

“I think it is so interesting that Kirby began his MGA journey with (essentially) the same number that he ended it with,” remarked long-time pageant participant and fan, Barbra Seville. “A song that might have just seemed like an effective talent actually mirrored his journey to the crown—being away from his fans, returning to his fans, and finding his place.”

The evening proved riveting with guest performances by formers and contestants dazzling in modern and well-fitted gowns. But it was long talent—oftentimes performed with lavish props and back up dancers—that brought the audience to their feet. Tanisha Foxx danced the house down with feathers, fans and dancers while Araya Sparxx transfixed and delighted with her Mary Poppins production. Former National Entertainer of the Year Roxie Hart danced brilliantly, as did Sally Sparkles—each with their own troupe and message. Blair Williams gave us Ziegfeld Follies while Chantel Reshae wanted us to “Be Italian.” Jenna Skyy was divine with high energy choreography, Celia Putty hilarious with her imaginative game show riff and Jessica Jade proved a “Big Time” show stopper.

Individual awards included Kirby Kolby winning the Dani Deletto Male Interview, Ramona LeGer’ Evening Gown and Leslie Rage Talent Awards. Jessica Deveraux captured the Naomi Sims Solo Talent Award, Jessica Jade took the Lady Shawn On Stage Question Award, Angela Lopez received the Michael Andrews Photogenic Award and Chi Chi Ray Colby won the Lady Baronessa Congeniality Award. State Preliminary of the Year honors went to Miss Gay Arizona, Regional Preliminary of the Year honors went to Miss Gay Gulf States and the Norma Kristie Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Joe Angel (Tillie Lane). MGA has always held firm to its tradition that requires its contestants be all male—hence no hormones or body work below the neck is allowed. Indeed, after witnessing this last pageant— the art form and this system appear as popular as ever. v

Missouri’s Madison Elise (left) and MGA 2012 Kirby Kolby in Talent and Evening gown.

But it was only appropriate that Kirby Kolby was the last to perform as she seized the moment to turn her “Sunset Boulevard” into a Broadway finale. Kirby’s Mona Desmond was spot-on— haunting, beautiful, revolting—a truly insane seductress. Kirby flailed before the audience as the curtain rose to reveal a full set of Victorian furniture complete with an actual grand staircase for the siren to descend.

Indeed, one of the great comeback stories was realized with the crowning of Kirby Kolby as the 40th Miss Gay America. First Alternate honors went to Jessica Jade for the second year running and Jenna Skyy, Araya Sparxx and Blair Williams took second, third and fourth alternate, respectively.

14 | November, 2011

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Alverna Johnson Local: 314-923-5542 Toll-Free: 800-529-3753

Health. Join In.

Political VOICE

The Battle Is Long, But We Are Winning Written by A.J. Bockelman Photography by Colin Murphy


he Saint Louis region has recently seen a number of LGBT supportive measures move forward. In 2009, the City of Saint Louis updated its nondiscrimination ordinance to include gender identity; Governor Nixon issued an Executive Order last year protecting state employees from discrimination; University City passed a Domestic Partnership registry in May, and quickly thereafter, Olivette passed both a registry and a fully inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. It’s not stopping with just those areas either. We are about to pass similar measures in a number of other municipalities over the next year.

And we are beginning to see stronger bipartisan support, right here in Missouri, for our issues. In short, it’s not so easy to discriminate anymore.

So why are we seeing this happen; and why now?

With employment protections as the key goal, creating a network of places where our community has protections builds an infrastructure where, place by place, we advance on the equality front.

Picking Our Battles

If you’re LGBT, the legal and political landscape in Missouri can leave you feeling pretty frustrated. Still, while 72% of the state voted against marriage in 2004, a lot of things have changed since then. 70% of heterosexual adults now report knowing someone LGBT. Marriage is now a reality in six states.

So when we look at Missouri through that lens—the incremental changes layered upon one another—we have an opportunity to change things in our own back yard. With marriage temporarily off the table in Missouri (we’ll explore that topic in a future column), the big ‘get’ for our community is job security. After all, you can’t protect your stuff, which the civil marriage contract does, without being able to buy stuff first; and you need a steady job to do that.

Finding Our Allies

George Bush did more to advance LGBT equality than any President prior to him. Yes, I know that sounds more than odd, but hear me out. He did so unwittingly, but it happened | 17

under his watch. In 2004, he announced his plan for a Federal Marriage Amendment. The result was that previously disaffected people became determined to stand against him. From 2004 through 2007, while many states passed anti-marriage amendments, we still saw an unprecedented number of pro-LGBT laws and ordinances pass at the state and local levels. Bush effectively galvanized our movement, and our base became more unified, more focused and more determined. Despite the marriage amendments, we now have six states (and the District of Columbia) with marriage and a total of 14 with some level of relationship recognition. So should we put George Bush in the ally column? Hell no! But progress doesn’t happen in a vacuum; sometimes it takes that shot across the bow to break us out of our comfort zone. And as we have “come out” politically and personally on the state and local level, we have found that we have friends fighting with us. Because while it’s easy to demonize people you see only as images on the screen or words in a blog, it’s not so easy to oppose equality for your neighbor, your co-worker, your friend.

Victory in the End

Over the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about wanting equality now. And yes, I want it too. I love a great march and a passionate demonstration. But when it’s over, and everyone goes home, we still don’t have equal protections. Yet this Need-ItNow model, incrementalism—methodically pushing forward district/town/state at a time—has gotten a bad rap. To be clear, incremental movement is bad if we’re talking about pushing for sexual orientation inclusion and leaving gender identity out. But the point is, the methodical approach is working. We need people to be impatient—it provides momentum, calls out the knuckle draggers and ignites the passion within our community. In fact, I believe that that passion—the VOICE yelling “WE WANT IT NOW!”—is what prods many of our straight allies to push for equality within their own communities. The reality is since 2007, except for those states that have passed updates to include gender identity such as Hawaii, Nevada and Connecticut, no state has passed new nondiscrimination laws. As a movement, we’ve remained stagnant with 21 states providing some level of protection and 29 offering none. But by advancing local protections, municipality by municipality, we are incrementally protecting as many people as we can along the way, and we are laying the groundwork for the state legislature to finally address the issue on a statewide level. We look forward to making Missouri state number 22. v

18 | November, 2011

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The V List The V List The

Pam’s Chicago Style Dogs & More 6016 Delmar in the Loop. St. Louis, MO 63112 314.721.PAMS (7267)

Meredith Baxter Presents the Premiere of


A One-Act Domestic Abuse Focused Play by Carol Kline

Sun & Mon 11am–4pm Tues-Thurs 11am–8pm Fri & Sat 11am–9pm Pam’s is the realization of several family member’s dream. When you give us the pleasure of serving you, then you become part of our family.


This event includes a book signing of Ms. Baxter’s recently released book, Untied, which depicts her struggles with domestic violence, substance abuse, and her recent publicity regarding her lesbian life.

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Rosie’s PlaceS

4573 Laclede ave Saint Louis, MO 63108 314.361.6423 Rosie’s Place is a neighborhood bar. The drink prices are affordable. There is a dartboard, a pinball machine, six large screen TVs and a jukebox. The atmosphere is laid back and the staff is extremely friendly. It’s a great place to drop in after a hard day of work. After you spend some time at Rosie’s, you will realize that it is truly a professional drinker’s and smoker’s bar.


{The V List: Food & Drink} Welcome to The V List! Each month Vital VOICE spotlights some of the top-notch StL businesses that support the LGBT community. For a complete roster of valued V List members, log onto Interested in being featured on The V List in print and online? Drop us a line @

Hartford Coffee House


Pickles Deli

Sun 6am–7pm Mon-Thu 6am–9pm Fri-Sat 6am–10pm

Sun Closed Mon-Thu 11am–9:30pm Fri-Sat 11am–10:30pm

Casual, comfortable, family-friendly Full menu available any time, dine-in or carry out. Open early at 6 am Monday–Friday, 7 am weekends. Free WiFi. We roast our own coffee on site in small batches to maximize freshness–many Fair Trade and Organic varieties available. Gift baskets and gift cards available.

Chi Sushi Sake has expanded our menu. Check out our website for new sushi and drink specials. Go to and click nigiri and specialty rolls under the sushi section. Click events section for the current happy hour specials.

Pickles Deli is proud to now offer two locations in St. Louis. You can dig in to our classic, mouth watering creations at our flagship location at 22 N. Euclid or stop by our new downtown deli at 7th and Olive and try one of our hot, made to order breakfast sandwiches. Come see why we are Riverfront Times voted best deli 2008–2011.

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Plaza Pastries & Donuts 3182 Morgan Ford Road St. Louis, MO 63116 314.772.2328 Sun 6am–3pm Mon Closed Tue-Fri 6am–5pm Sat 6am–2pm Plaza Pastries & Donuts features a large variety of fresh donuts and pastries daily. When you enter into the aroma filled Bakery shop, you will be surprised or maybe even confused by our large variety of sugar coated bits of heaven. Once you’ve had our Glazed Buttertwist, Apple or Blueberry Fritter, or just a traditional perfectly Glazed Donut, you may not want to leave.

22 North Euclid Avenue # 105 St. Louis, MO 63108 314.361.3354

Spaghetteria Mama Mia 904 S. Vandeventer St. Louis Mo 63110 314.531.9100 lunch: tues–fri 11am–2pm weeknight dinner: tues, wed & thurs 5–9pm weekend dinner: fri & sat 5–10pm Spaghetteria Mamma Mia serves authentic Italian Food located in The Grove at the corner of Vandeventer & Chouteau. Our menu consists of Antipasto, Fresh Salads, Italian Pizzas, Several Spaghetti Dishes, Veal & Chicken Dishes, Pasta Specials and our Homemade Desserts! Don’t forget about the Wine or one of Italian Specialty Drinks. You won’t be disappointed! | 21

22 | November, 2011

r a B SES S O B Written by Joshua Barton Photography by Steve Truesdell

“I need a drink!” It’s the phrase many bartenders can count on hearing on any given night of crafting martinis, Manhattans and highballs behind any St. Louis water hole. We wanted to get inside the minds of these bar bosses so we decided to talk to a collection of mixologists and bartenders to get their take on the revival of cocktail culture in St. Louis. Trust—this will be a sweet hangover! | 23


Co-owner, Absolutli Goosed

3196 South Grand, South City

The martini is alive and well at Absolutli Goosed on South Grand and you have Robin Schubert to thank. “For me, a perfect martini is vodka and a lime on the rocks,” says Robin. “But it depends on your personal taste. I couldn’t tell you what the perfect martini is because you might not like my taste.” Bugs Bunny In Drag, Hey Squirrel and Robin Swallows are just a few of the crazy and funny names you’ll find on their libations list. Robin says that their current menu is a narrow version of more than 200 cocktail recipes they’ve collected over the years. But even with changes in drinking trends, Robin says that she grounds herself with classic cocktails and customer demand. “I love craft cocktails and I love the movement but our customers won’t let us change the menu. We just want to keep them happy and give them what they expect from us. Trends will come and go but the classics will always stick around.” SIGNATURE DRINK A Pumpkin Pie Martini: Vanilla Vodka, Pumpkin Spice Liquor, Frangellico, Honey and Cream—topped off with whipped cream and cinnamon. 24 | November, 2011


General Manager, Kota Wood Fire Grill

522 N. Grand Blvd., Midtown.

“I don’t use recipes,” says Matt Bosley as he points to his head. “It’s all up here.” He says the biggest challenge to running a bar in Midtown is anticipating the different crowds that come through The Fox each night. “Some nights it’s all wine, others it’s all beer. When Santana was in town we went through almost four cases of his tequila!” Matt is a man of few words but you can tell he’s a pro when it comes to restaurant and bar service. “I like to work when it is fast paced at the bar. I’m able to just do what I do.” SIGNATURE DRINK The Grand Flamingo: Strawberry Shake with Stoli Vanilla and Barcardi Dragon Berry.

Bar Manager, Mojo Tapas,

3117 South Grand, South City

“A big part of mixology is tasting drinks and knowing what you’re putting out,” says Courtney Sedano while sitting in a booth at Mojo Tapas. She smiles brightly and you know she is the kind of bartender who would bend backwards to make sure you have the perfect experience sipping a drink at her bar. “I love talking to people about my drinks, especially when people are excited as I am or as interested in what’s in the drink. Nine times out of 10, people are blown away and want to know what we’re using or how we are doing it.” Courtney says that when crafting her cocktails she works with fresh ingredients like homegrown herbs and fresh squeezed juices. She laughs when asked if she considers herself a mixologist: “I don’t have any formal training but I guess I mix anything a so-called ‘mixologist’ does. I just make great cocktails.” SIGNATURE DRINK A Fleur-de-Lis: Pearl Cucumber Vodka, Chartreuse Green, Thatcher’s Elderflower Liquor and Fresh Lemon Juice.


Owner, 609 Lounge and Hiro Sushi Restaurant

609 Eastgate Ave., Delmar Loop.

“The bar is a dramatic stage!,” says Bernie Lee with a smile as he waves his hands. “It could be a love story, a jealousy, a stupid mistake…anything you could imagine happens at a bar.” Bernie chats us up while sitting at the bar of his Delmar Lounge and explains that he tries to introduce Asian alcohols like sake and soju into the American drinking palate through familiar flavors and drinks. “Sake and soju definitely have unique tastes. They are quiet and some are really smooth and just like in scotch or vodka, there are different taste levels. It takes time for people to develop the palate to enjoy them… so we combine them with more appealing flavors like ginger, blood orange and lychee.” SIGNATURE DRINK A Lychee Blossom: Three Olives Rangtang, Blood Orange Liquor, Coconut and Lychee Water. | 25

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26 | November, 2011

SHANNON PONCHE Mixologist, TASTE 4584 Laclede, CWE



4510 Manchester, The Grove.

146 West Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves.

Bartender, Meyer’s Grove

“I use a lot of my customers as guinea pigs when they come in for a drink.”

Everyday Phil Gill receives a crash course in Bartending 101.

But when your mentor is St. Louis’ master mixologist Ted Kilgore, it’s bound to be pretty easy to find willing test subjects. Shannon is building her career as a mixologist and bartender at TASTE in the CWE where she says the key to a great cocktailing experience is great customer service.

“Everyday I pick up something new,” says Phil. “For example, you can tell a lot of what a drink is missing or what it needs just by smelling it. Smell is a big part of what we do and you’ll see a lot of us at Meyer’s Grove walking around with our mixing cups smelling them even more than we are tasting them to decide if the flavors are going to be right.”

“You can make a great cocktail but the experience is how you get people to come back to your bar,” she explains. “If you have lousy service no one is going to want to come back. I’ve had great cocktails at bars where I had to ask to have my ice refilled. I think the best bartenders are the ones who you don’t have to ask them for anything.” Shannon hopes to make it to New York one day and says she wants to build a name for herself in the competitive world of mixology by creating drinks that are unique and different. “The best part for me is when I make a cocktail for somebody and it is perfect for them and they didn’t even know that they wanted it to begin with.” SIGNATURE DRINK A Rinse and Repeat: Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, Sazerac Rye, Aperol, Punt E Mes, Absinthe Rinse.

We ask him to describe the taste palate of the Meyer’s Grove customer and he says the crowd has a sweeter palate that enjoys desert martinis or a fresh muddled strawberrytini. “I might have something to do with the drag queen clientele, but then again, some of the queens come in and order a fireball so you never know!” SIGNATURE DRINK A Rummi Bear Martini: Black Cherry Cruzan Rum, Well Rum, Pineapple Juice, Sprite, Rum Soaked Gummie Bears and a Sugar Rim.

Junior Mixologist, The Block

There are two things that Mandi Kowalski strongly dislikes. “I don’t like whip cream on the top of my drinks and I have a strong distain for flavored vodkas,” she says with complete conviction. Her philosophy on cocktail culture revolves around a holistic approach to a well crafted drink. “Enjoying a drink is not just about the alcohol in the glass in front of you. It really is about the entire experience. I love it when someone comes up to the bar as opposed to having a drink delivered to a table because you get to ask them what they like and how they respond to what I make them.” Recently, she’s been nerding out to David Wonrich’s annotated history of the mixed drink “Before there were cocktails everything was made in large vats and poured into bowls and that’s how spirits were shared,” she explains. “Alcohol is all about camaraderie.” SIGNATURE DRINK The Gingered Pair: Pear Bell de Brillet, Meyer’s Spiced Rum, Grand Marnier, Ginger Syrup, Fresh Lime Juice, Fresh Lemon Juice and Garnished with a Pear and Candied Ginger. v | 27

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Realtor | Designer 314.952.5472 | 29

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Open a U.S. Bank checking account and see how easy it is to waive the monthly maintenance fee. If you’re looking for great checking accounts, check with US! U.S. Bank is proud to offer Easy Checking, named Best National Bank Checking account by MONEY® Magazine, as well as a wide selection of banking Packages. Every account includes free U.S. Bank ATM transactions, free email and text alerts1, a U.S. Bank Visa® Check Card, free Internet Banking, Internet Bill Pay and more. Bank at thousands of branches and ATMs, online and from your smartphone anytime, anywhere. Upgrade to a U.S. Bank Checking Package and receive additional discounts and bonuses. And, it’s easy to waive the monthly maintenance fee on a U.S. Bank Package; simply set-up a recurring direct deposit, keep a certain account balance or open other banking products or services that meet your needs. So say hello to U.S. Bank and waive your monthly checking fees goodbye!

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or stop by Please refer to the Consumer Pricing Information brochure for a full list of details and fees. Certain conditions apply to U.S. Bank Packages. See banker for details. 1. You may be charged access fees by your carrier, dependent upon your personal plan. Check with your carrier for details. Deposit products offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC ©2011 U.S. Bancorp All rights reserved. From MONEY Magazine, September 2011 ©2011 Time Inc. Used under license. MONEY is a registered trademark of Time, Inc. and is used under license. MONEY and Time Inc. are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or services of U.S. Bank. is used under license. MONEY and Time Inc. are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or services of U.S. Bank.

BOLDLY GO EXPLORE Saint Louis Science Center October 28, 2011 – May 28, 2012

Add Star Trek First Fridays and Lecture Series to your Captain’s Log. Come in costume for a $2 discount. (May not be combined with any other discount.) ® & © 2011 CBS Studios Inc. All rights reserved. STAR TREK and related marks are trademarks of CBS Studios Inc. 30 | November, 2011


Guide To Brunch

Brunch. It’s a word that has become ingrained into the urban queerdictionary and it may be close to impossible to find a queen who hasn’t “brunched” at one point or another. We wanted to give you some simple ideas on how you can throw together a small-but-fun Sunday brunch at home. So pop open that bottle of champagne…We wants a mimosa! This spread began with an autumn-inspired floral centerpiece. The bouquet is made of a collection of blue hydrangeas, rich coleus, kale, golden plume celosias, orange montbretias, crimson roses and purple tracheliums. The centerpiece comes with a vintage, Mexican ceramic planter and provides a mellow mix of classic autumn colors with a whimsical twist that blends great with a casual, brunch. Autumn Inspired Floral Bouquet: $75 Flowers To The People. 2317 Cherokee Street 63118. After you’ve chosen a centerpiece, start looking for cool, vintage or retro place settings and dishes that could compliment your color scheme. We decided to take it there with a collection of orange 1960’s ceramic dinner plates and four atomic-age orange swirl glasses. The place settings are also giving you some “Mad Men” Ts with the floral poppy printed napkins and the vintage green place mats. Orange, “Mad Men” Ceramic Plates (Set of 6): $65. Orange, Atomic Age Glasses (Set of 4): $18.50. Vintage Vera Placemat Napkin Set: $22.50. All can be found at TFA: The Future Antiques’ new location, 6514 Chippewa, St. Louis Hills, 63116. And what would brunch be without THE FOOD!? For the “big gurls” out there who love carbs we have Berry Bottom Muffins. The key to these muffins is frozen fruit! Take your favorite muffin mix from the store but instead of using the canned berries spend a couple extra dollars on a frozen berry mix. We chose a mix of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries…trust us, you’ll be living for these muffins! You can also do the traditional scrambled eggs and bacon like we did but think about including these sautéed veggies. Just rinse, chop and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. For the total brunch experience top it all off with a refreshing mimosa. Simply combine some organic orange juice with this crisp, Italian sparkling white wine and brunch is served! Secco Italian Bubbles: $16 Copia Urban Winery and Market. 1122 Washington Ave. Downtown St. Louis 63101. | 31

32 | November, 2011

Fitness Founda ons

Lionheart Fitness’ Jonathan Peck & 5 Rules to Prepare Your Body for the Gym Written by Jonathan Peck Photography by Darin Slyman We wanted to beat the holiday weight gain by starting our gym routines early so we asked Lionheart Fitness trainer Jonathan Peck for a series of fitness articles that will get you motivated and ready to burn those Thanksgiving calories. He starts with five simple fitness foundations: First, you have to get off that couch. If you want heads to turn when you walk by, then it’s simple: you got to feel the burn. Set a workout schedule and stick to it, three to four days per week. You have got to know YOUR limits. Setting proper resistance is the key to success in building muscle size and strength. Not everybody will develop muscle using the same load, but you can individualize your workout by using a weight percentage based on your 1, 5, or 10 rep max load. This max amount can be utilized to develop how many sets that should be done during your workout, as well as the number of reps and the proper resistance needed to accomplish your goal. You gotta mix it up. Using a combination of machines, Olympic free weight, dumbbell routines and body as resistance will chisel the body while increasing size and endurance. Hold your ears...I’m going to say it: Cardio! Building a solid base of both aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen) fitness is important. Running low, slow miles combined with short sprints will allow the body to have a strong energy delivery system that will allow you to do all the work necessary to develop any muscle group in your body. Treat Your Body like a race car. Proper nutrition and supplement additions are imperative to increase muscle growth. Think of your body like a new red Ferrari. You wouldn’t put in regular unleaded gas in that little red car. You would use premium fuel for peak performance. This means eating proteins, vegetables and fruits for energy. | 33

34 | November, 2011

Lumière’s The Dish Written by Colin Murphy - Senior Writer/Editor Photography by Alex Galindo

Let’s face it—we want choices when hitting the town to grab a bite—and one need look no further than Lumière Place where a slate of six restaurants, from casual and contemporary to finer fare awaits to sate even the most refined of pallets. So in keeping with our charge to bring you the very best, Vital VOICE is proud to celebrate two dynamite dishes from Lumière’s popular Burger Bar and the restaurant with the buzz—Asia.

The “Rossini” Burger @ Burger Bar This popular West Coast gourmet eatery totally re-imagines America’s burger joint and is home to Chef Aaron Lyons, who co-owns Gateway Spice Co. LLC and along with his wife, has enjoyed working as personal chef for a high profile NFL player. Indeed, The Bar’s “Rossini” Burger is as grand as it sounds and features Kobe Beef, sautéed Foie Gras, Shaved Truffles and Madeira sauce on an onion bun. The burger is named after Gioachino Rossini, the XIXth century Italian composer whose love for fine food was legendary. The preparation always includes foie gras, truffles and a rich brown sauce— and in burger’s case, a Black Perigord Truffle.

Hot Braised Chicken @ Asia Asia is one of the best-kept secrets in St. Louis and offers truly authentic Asian cuisine and new Head Chef, Ban Phan. Chef’s specialty is Cantonese style cooking with mild and natural flavors and his use of varied ingredients always brings out flavorful dishes. Phan’s signature dish is Hot Braised Chicken— breaded, deep fried and stuffed with hot braised sauces. The popular dish includes vinegar, sugar, chicken base, cherry wine, soy sauce and chili paste guaranteed to inspire the senses. v | 35



Welcome to the Play Dates section of Vital VOICE. Each month the VV team will select a number of signature events to keep on your radar. For a complete list of all vital happening in St. Louis log onto To submit your next event, simply email with event name, date, location and a 20-word description.


PROMO Trivia Night

November 5th, 6:00–9:00pm GRBIC Restaurant & Banquet Center 4071 Keokuk St., STL 63116

ARE YOU A TRIVA MAVERICK?!?!? Find out at Are You Smarter Than Sarah Palin?: The Trivia Night hosted by PROMO, at GRBIC Restaurant. All trivia mavericks are invited to dress up in their favorite school theme and decorate their table to match. Dress and decorate to be your favorite subject, favorite high school, or what ever... just be creative! The trivia will be accompanied by a 50/50 drawing, mulligans, heads or tails game, attendance raffles, silent auction, and awards for 1st ($500), 2nd ($300), and 3rd ($200) place trivia winners, as well as best overall table theme. Please bring your favorite brain foods and beverages to share with your table and the judges. This event is for individuals 21 and up.

OUT in the City

November 10th, 6:00–9:00pm Mandarin Lounge 44 Maryland Plaza, STL 63108


Come enjoy the benefits of this Happy Hour series for LGBT professionals at Mandarin Lounge in the Central West End. LGBT professionals from a myriad of fields, vocations and organizations will be mingling, networking on Mandarin’s posh rooftop patio. This event is officially presented by Bud Light, Vital VOICE, and ALIVE Magazine. With a $5 donation to The LGBT Center of St. Louis, guests will receive complimentary Bud Light sponsored drinks during the event. You must be 21 and up to attend.

2 1 36 | November, 2011

Paula Poundstone

November 12th, 8:00pm The Sheldon Concert Hall 3648 Washington Blvd., STL 63108

Paula Poundstone will appear on The Sheldon Concert Hall stage with a stool, a microphone and a can of Diet Pepsi on Saturday, November 12th. Poundstone is renowned for her razor-sharp, and spontaneous wit and The Boston Globe says, “Poundstone improvises with a crowd like a Jazz musician...swinging in unexpected directions without a plan, without a net.” The tickets are $32 in advance or $35 on the day of the show. All ages are welcome. For tickets visit


JANE at Just John’s

November 16th, 6:00pm-12:00am Just Johns, 4112 Manchester Road, STL 63110


After an incredible summer season, JANE will continue with monthly events throughout Fall and Winter! November’s JANE will feature a performance by the Josie Lowder Band @7pm (Springfield, Illinois’ best kept secret!) followed by an all-night dance party with DJ Sinamin @10pm. Complimentary food provided by Pam’s Chicago Style Dogs. Come enjoy JANE with St. Louis’ hottest women and their friends! Stay up to date with JANE by check out JANE’s Facebook page at:

november 19 | 7:00 pm concrete ocean art gallery

Choice Art

November 19th, 7:00pm Concrete Ocean Contemporary Art Gallery 2257 South Jefferson Avenue, STL 63104

Choice Art is a fabulous event that showcases and auctions off beautiful local works of art for the sake of reproductive justice. The revenue generated by the auction goes to support Planned Parenthood’s Friends by Choice group, whose goal is to advance Planned Parenthood’s mission of providing and protecting reproductive rights and services throughout the St. Louis community. This event is for ages 21 and up. For tickets and a list of presenting artists please visit w w w.choice a rtst l .com | 37

e nachos wanted som y size i r te f a was born y econom This recipe i used the last of m before for d and realize round beef the night necessity g of e g know, with packa ’s. Well ya n, i used the oe J y p p lo S some ventio the mother of in at for my nachos and e th g in be e m re a oe s J cond ppy leftover Slo y. Sometimes sloppy se or st hi is rest ing! sooo satisfy

Sloppy Second s Nachos Ingredients

Total time: 5 minutes Serves: 2

1 lb ground beef 1 15.5oz can of M anwich 1 10oz can of Ro tel Chunky Style 1 bag Tortilla Chips 1 8oz package sh redded Nacho Taco cheese 1 bunch green on ions chopped 3 jalapeños choppe d. Remove seeds if necessary

Directions Prepare Sloppy Joe’s according to the directions on the can of Manwich In a microwave safe bowl, alternate layers of tortilla chips, Sloppy Joe meat mixture, green onions, cheese. Repeat twice. Top mound of goodness with more cheese, 3 tablespoons of Rotel and jalapeños. Microwave on high for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

38 | November, 2011







FOUR MUDDY PAWS 3.597” x 2.319” PRESENT S:

November 18 & 19, 2011 8PM Lafayette United Methodist Church 2300 Lafayette 63104 For more information or TICKETS Visit: Call: 314-664-9340 | 39

Vital Health: LGBT Health Fair From Vital VOICE St. Louis Science Center September 25th

The LGBT Health Fair at the St. Louis Science Center was an uncanny and delightful success. It took place on a bright and sunny Sunday afternoon and was held in conjunction with the Body Worlds exhibit. Various health and wellness oriented organizations and vendors participated in the fair and were met with a lively crowd interested in bettering/maintaining their physical, mental and emotional well-being. This event was the first installment of what will hopefully become a regularly occurring series of LGBT events focused around the health and wellness of our community. 40 | November, 2011

Scene Styling

Victory Fund Champagne Brunch Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel October 23rd

On October 23rd, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund celebrated 20-years of success growing the number of LGBT leaders in elected office across America. The champagne brunch was held at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel and prominent politicians and local community members, both LGBT and allies alike, gathered to hear LGBT activist and Forth Worth City Council member Joel Burns give an empowering keynote speech. Funds allocated from the event will be used to change the face of American politics by furthering the cause of LGBT equality. | 41

Vital VOICE dedicates this issue to our Honorary Non-profit of the month


paghetteria Mamma Mia is an authentic Italian restaurant located in The Grove at the corner of Vandeventer & Chouteau, which was opened by the Bellon Family in 2009. Spaghetteria Mamma Mia has a wide variety of Italian dishes that will leave you full, satisfied and happy. We suggest starting off with the Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Bruschetta or the Mushroom Risotto. The Mixed Green salad is fresh & full of flavor. You could never go wrong with the Italian classic, Spaghetti & Meatballs or try one of our three pasta specials. When dining at Spaghetteria Mamma Mia try to save room for one of our homemade desserts like fresh baked cake with cream cheese icing topped off with glazed cherries. Trust us you won’t be disappointed!

It is very rewarding to give back the surrounding community. The best thing about the fund raisers is that we get a chance to meet who we are helping. To meet someone first hand and get to know them and then be able to help them is amazing. We are touched that there are so many nonprofit LGBT organizations out there. You all do an amazing job and we are honored to help!

Spaghetteria Mamma Mia enjoys a lot of support from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. In return, we love to give back to the community and have hosted many LGBT fundraisers at Spaghetteria Mamma Mia. Dining out for Life, PAWS, Show Me Marriage Equality Buses, Gateway Gay Rodeo, SAGE, PROMO, Pride St. Louis, Food Outreach, The LGBT Center of St. Louis, Team St. Louis, Growing American Youth, Hibearnation, Pride Scholarship Committee, ACLU and Diane Smith’s MS 150 bike ride are a few of the LGBT organizations we have worked with to raise money for the community. (I apologize if I left anyone out.)

“…the crowd was a good cross-section of people. They had everything from businessmen closing a deal, red hat ladies, parent/child, true buffet eaters and a transgender woman who held court during the lunch hour. She looked damn good—she was dressed to the nines.” - yelp review 9/1/2011

42 | November, 2011

My father, Don Bellon, came to this area now known as The Grove in 1996. In 2003, I opened my first business in this area, Bellon’s Market, Deli & Pizzeria. I have been down here for close to 10-years and what has happened to The Grove is wonderful. The Grove is such a unique & up and coming area. I have to say the diverse cliental is what draws me to this area.

I think this yelper summed it up. The Grove is an open community that accepts all walks of life. And that is what we love about this community! Thanks again for your support!

November, 2011

November 2011  

The FOOD Issue - Vital VOICE Magazine - St. Louis, MO

November 2011  

The FOOD Issue - Vital VOICE Magazine - St. Louis, MO