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NWOMAN special issue How Entertaining!

the anatomy of the perfect party 10 Tips For A Fabulous FĂŞte

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Fall is the Season for Change.


Autumn is in the air, and there’s never been a better time for a fresh new look, courtesy of Dr. Sean Freeman. From a quick touch-up on your lunch hour to an entirely new, fresh look—and everything in between—Dr. Freeman specializes in the art of providing the most natural looking results. A double board certified facial plastic surgeon with over 20 years of experience and training, Dr. Freeman is dedicated solely to faces. So, whether you choose a surgical or non-surgical procedure, make sure you choose the very best doctor.


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Can one tree be strong enough to help lives flourish? Far beyond setting the bar for healthcare, Carolinas HealthCare System is dedicated to nourishing and enriching the overall quality of life for those living in the Carolinas. Because we’re one tree, deeply rooted in community. For more information, visit

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Contents november 2011

12 16


50 Departments 10 From The Publisher Attitude Of Gratitude

12 Girl Time


Tips, Trends, And Fancies

16 Queen City Jewels Happenings You Don’t Want To Miss

20 Money Talks Putting Your Money To Work

22 On The Move Charlotte Women Making Strides

23 Meet Our Advertiser Pediatric Dentistry Of Matthews Focuses On Children’s Dental Health 6 TOC1111.indd 6

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48 Beauty Go Pumpkin With Season-Friendly Products

50 Fashion Count Your Fall Finds On One Hand

58 Tomorrow’s Charlotte Woman Charlotte’s Future Fabulous Females

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... Don’t hit the PAUSE button on YOUR life!


Today !

Symptoms of Peri-Menopause and Menopause are caused by hormone imbalances or deficiencies and can slow down your life and cause overall loss of vitality. Our specially trained Doctor can assess your hormone levels through a thorough evaluation and provide treatments to achieve an overall balance and improvement in your long-term health and wellness. Patients have been REVITAlized, as they notice increased energy levels and stamina, sharper mental clarity, sounder sleep, improved libido, increased muscle mass, decreased body fat, and elimination of brain fog and hot flashes. Hit the PLAY button with REVITA today and jump start your life! • Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy • Lab analysis of aging variables • Anti-Aging and Wellness Center • Care from a Specially Trained MD

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40 Volume XV, Number 6 November 2011 PUBLISHER


Fern Howerin



Karsen Price ART dIRECTOR



Nikki Wilson



Profile 24 Having Her Cake Meet Lynn St. Laurent, The Mastermind Behind Amélie’s French Bakery

features 30 A Tale Of Tailgating A Game Plan Of Recipes For Your Tailgating Get-Togethers

40 The Perfect Party 10 Tips For Hosting A Fabulous Fête This Holiday Season

Judy Cole Michaela L. Duckett Fiona Harmon Melinda Johnston Deb Mitchell Victoria Moreland Catherine Pike Plough Lee Rhodes CONTRIBUTINg PHOTOgRAPHERS

Augusto Photography Joe Martin

5200 Park Road, Suite 126 Charlotte, NC 28209 704/521-6872 Today’s Charlotte Woman is published by Today’s Woman Inc., and

44 Why Not Wine?


is distributed on a complimentary basis throughout the greater Charlotte area.

Experts Reveal The Best Vino For Sipping, Celebrating, And Sharing

subscription rate is $20 per year for 11 issues plus

46 The Post-Nuclear family dinner

Copyright ©2011 Today’s Woman, Inc.

Putting The “Thanks” Back Into Thanksgiving

the TCW success Issue.

all rights reserved. Copying or reproduction, in part or in whole, is strictly prohibited. Today’s Charlotte Woman and Today’s Woman Inc. do not necessarily endorse the views and perceptions of contributors


or advertisers.


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attitude of Gratitude “God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?’ ” — William A. Ward


love this quote. However, if it was up to me, I would rephrase it to say: How many seconds have you used to say “thank you?” That’s because I know two things: One, most of us are kind and generous. Secondly, I know that I personally give many thank yous. From the cashier at the grocery store who gives me my receipt, to the waitress who graciously brings my meal, to the lady behind the cosmetic counter who hands me the perfect shade of the latest eye shadow, I say thank you. Then there’s another one of my favorites — the one line email reply of thank you. This Thanksgiving season finds me in a reflective mood. I want to go deeper with this attitude of gratitude. How many times have I genuinely thanked the people who have done so many wonderful things for me? When was the last time I wrote a thank you note for a deliberate or random act of kindness? When was the last time I picked up the phone and called someone to tell them how much I appreciate them? Frankly, I have fallen short. From this moment on, I want to find myself overflowing with gratitude. And, frankly, I have the materials for the job! I have collected tons of special occasion and greeting cards from all over the world. I purchase them for no reason at all, wherever I am; they live in their own cabinet in


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my house. Yes, you could consider me a greeting card hoarder. Occasionally, I will pull one of my precious cards out and actually send it. However, I am determined that things will be different from now on. Those beautiful cards and notes will be put to good use. I have access to at least three telephones (including the ever-present cell phone). I also plan to put them to good use to thank all who have helped me in even the smallest way. And so, if you call me and I am on the other line, know that I am telling someone else thank you! Lastly, I am going to adopt a practice that I gleaned from a book called Simple Abundance. Each day, I am going to write down all the things for which I am grateful. From the large to the small, I am going to develop a mindset that reminds me to deeply appreciate all that God has done. By doing so, I will go through my days overflowing with gratitude. No matter what happens, I will be grateful and will count it all joy. How about you? Will you consider joining me in this crusade?

Saying thank you,

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Debra Engelhardt-Nash's smile by Dr. Ross W. Nash Photo by Deborah Triplett

An unexpected compliment? A well-deserved evening out with friends? That certain look from someone special? Or the confidence that only a healthy and attractive smile can bring. Of the nearly 8000 American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry members worldwide, there are only 45 who have achieved the exclusive level of Accredited Fellow. In all of North and South Carolina, only one dentist has earned this elite status by illustrating the required level of excellence in the area of cosmetic dentistry: Accredited Fellow Ross W. Nash, DDS.

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Not-So Healthy Health Foods 10 Sugar-Filled Culprits


ccording to Doug Varrieur, author of Fat To Skinny, Fast and Easy!, there are 10 so-called “healthy” foods that are, in reality, killing us. The common denominator in these foods is the unsuspecting culprit sugar, which causes obesity,

diabetes, and other health problems. “Sugar is going into your system at an alarming rate,” Varrieur says. “It’s in your vegetables, fruits, processed foods, snacks, condiments, beverages, breads, and flour. Americans literally live on sugar.”

A Spoonful Of Sugar

The Top 10 “Healthy” Foods To Avoid? 1. Kasha. One cup of cooked kasha metabolizes into the same blood sugar amount as 32 teaspoons of table sugar. (Yikes!) 2. Raisins. those little raisins in your cereal box, granola bag, or trail mix are a huge source of hidden sugar. One cup of raisins metabolizes into the blood sugar equivalent of 26 teaspoons of table sugar. 3. Bran cereals. all cereals metabolize into glucose. for example, two cups of cracklin’ Oat Bran metabolizes into the blood sugar equivalent of 20 teaspoons of table sugar. 4. Brown rice. One cup equals 16 teaspoons of sugar. 5. Whole wheat pasta. despite all the whole-grain hype, 1 cup equals 13 teaspoons of sugar. 6. Millet. One cup metabolizes into 13 teaspoons of sugar.

7. Whole grain bread. two slices metabolize into the blood sugar equivalent of 8 teaspoons of table sugar. 8. Fruit smoothies. smoothie bars are all the rage, but your average 8-ounce fruit smoothie metabolizes into the blood sugar equivalent of 8 teaspoons of table sugar. 9. Energy bars. Many energy bars are simply candy bars in a “healthy” wrapper. take nature Valley crunchy granola bars, for example. Moms are putting these snacks in their children’s lunch boxes without realizing they are actually giving them 8 teaspoons of sugar per bar. 10. Fruit yogurt. pitched as the wonder food for dieters, most yogurt is pure sugar. four ounces of dannon fruit on the Bottom yogurt metabolizes into almost 5 teaspoons of sugar. >

Source: Learn more about fat to skinny at or


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many fine one extraord nary. While there are

Children’s Hospitals, only is

share your smile!


Not all children’s hospitals have the same level of expertise and care. Levine Children’s Hospital is the most comprehensive pediatric hospital between Atlanta and Washington, DC, with more than 30 specialty areas and dozens of renowned specialists – specifically in the areas of ER Trauma, Heart Surgery, Neonatology, Cancer and Transplant. There are children’s hospitals and then there is Levine Children’s Hospital – which makes your choice extraordinarily simple.

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Have Cake, Will Travel

my holiday staple: The Pound Cake I’m not the most prolific chef in Charlotte. (Somewhere, my husband is laughing.) I’m not all that great at entertaining, either — especially since my infamous Christmas party of ’99, when all the lights blew out on my Christmas tree and I sat crying on the front steps while all the guests ran for the hills. But if there is one thing I can do that is holiday appropriate, it’s make this pound cake. It’s the easiest, most delicious, foolproof pound-cake recipe I’ve ever tried … especially once you get over the fact that the cake • • • • • •

has an entire pound of butter in it. (Hence the name; anyone imbibing is sure to gain a few.) If you don’t know what to take to your next holiday fête — and you can manage to invest a small fortune in butter — I encourage you to try this recipe, courtesy of a really old Southern Living cookbook.

4 cups all-purpose flour 3 cups sugar 1 pound butter (4 sticks), softened ¾ cup milk 6 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs, and vanilla in a 4-quart bowl. Beat at low speed with a heavy-duty electric mixer for 1 minute, stopping to scrape down the sides. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove, and eat!

do you like Us? show your support, Win a steak dinner


re you feeling lucky? How about hungry? Become a Facebook fan of Today’s Charlotte Woman before Nov. 30, and you will be entered to win a special, four-course meal for two at Morton’s The Steakhouse Uptown. No strings attached! And if you need someone to share that free meal with, you know where to find me …


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It’s A Date

Food For Thought

Here’s To november 11

Culinary Quotes


id you know that this month, we will experience the 11th day of the 11th month in the 11th year of the century? No, I don’t know what that means, per se — other than the fact that writing the date that day will be fun. But according to Tania Gabrielle, celebrity numerologist, astronumerologist, and musical composer (just to round things out), the number 1 represents new beginnings. Likewise, the number 11 symbolizes “double new beginnings.” Which, we all know from double secret probation and double dog dares, is pretty huge. Truth be told, I don’t do math (that’s what calculators are for). However, it seems like on this day, we will all enjoy double new beginnings, times three. Which equals … well, I don’t know. But it’s got to be good, right?

“Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables. They probably get jet-lagged, just like people.” — elizabeth Berry “Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.” — Harriet van Horne “one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” — virginia Woolf TCW “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you may work.” — The Bible “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow they may make it illegal.” — Anonymous According to Gabrielle, whose forecasts have been published online at The New York Times,, on this date, you have a really excellent shot at renewing and transforming everything in your life. Go for it! TCW g i v e

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“I can’t cook. I use a smoke alarm as a timer.” — Carol Siskind “If at first you don’t succeed, order pizza.” — Anonymous

t h a t

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smile w i l l

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Innovative Works nCdT’s Popular series returns


n the mood for something innovative, yet intimate? North Carolina Dance Theatre is hosting Innovative Works Nov. 3 through Nov. 19 at the company’s 701 N. Tryon Theater. The 200-seat theater offers an up-close, personal view of the dancers’ athleticism and passion as they perform ballets by choreographers Mark Diamond, David Ingram, Sasha Janes, and Dwight Rhoden. As a special treat during the first two weeks of performances, audience members will be treated to culinary delights throughout the evening, concluding with dessert with the dancers.

WantTo WantToGo? ToGo? Visit or call 704/372-1000 for information.

hidell Brooks Gallery Features lyons & ace exhibit

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& november notions Carolina Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace Saturdays and Sundays through nov. 20, poplar tent Road. Visit Southern Christmas Show nov. 10-20, the park expo and Conference Center. Visit

Home, Sweet Home: A Thanksgiving Concert By Carolina Voices nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m., St. peter’s episcopal Church; nov. 20 at 4:30 p.m., providence Baptist Church. Visit Carolina Christmas Light Show nov. 23 through Dec. 31 (closed Christmas Day), Charlotte Motor Speedway. Go to

Feminine mystique idell Brooks Gallery is presenting a dual exhibit featuring Ruth Ava Lyons and Katherine Ace, Nov. 4 through Dec. 23. Lyons’ exhibit is titled Son of the Ten Thousand Islands. A Fulbright fellowship winner whose work has been shared in over 100 exhibits, the Charlotte-based artist uses her work to create a landscape suggesting a transformative state of birth, growth, degeneration, and renewal. Katherine Ace’s exhibit, Romance Redux, is a study in the endurance of romance. Ace is a Portland-based artist who couples new media with old media, until both become re-imagined creations.

holiday happenings

2011 Belk Carolinas’ Carrousel Parade nov. 24, tryon Street. Visit SouthPark’s Tree Lighting Celebration nov. 18, 5 p.m., Symphony park, 4400 Sharon Road. Visit Holiday Lights At The Garden nov. 25-Dec. 31, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Visit

WantToGo? Hidell Brooks Gallery is located at 1910 South Blvd., Suite 130. Visit

The Charlotte Symphony’s Magic Of Christmas Dec. 2-4, Belk theater. For information, visit >

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You could sail the seven seas and not find a more child-focused, child-friendly, child-dedicated children’s emergency department than the one at Presbyterian Hospital. Featuring child life specialists who use therapeutic play and calming techniques to put kids and their parents at ease, we also have some of the most experienced pediatric nurses and emergency physicians in the region. Which helps us get your little one back to the voyage we call childhood.

To hear from our experts or for more information, visit

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In The Driver’s Seat Explore Your Options At The Charlotte Auto Show


id you know women influence the selection of four out of five vehicles sold? The 19th annual Charlotte Auto Show, held Nov. 17-20 at the Charlotte Convention Center, offers local women an opportunity to be smart consumers by letting them preview hundreds of the latest vehicles on the market from more than 30 manufacturers, all in one convenient location.

Feeling Fancy? Arts For Life Dance Benefit Arts For Life Charlotte has joined forces with presbyterian Hemby Children’s Hospital to offer a fun evening of food and live music to help benefit children and families around the state who are facing serious illnesses and disabilities. Charlotte’s first annual Fancy pants Dance is slated for nov. 11, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., at the Hilton Charlotte City Center. The event will feature live music, dancing, silent and live auctions, plus the Fanciest pants Contest; proceeds will benefit Arts For Life. in 2010, Arts For Life Charlotte brought over 2,600 visual art, music, and creative writing lessons to more than 964 young patients, siblings, and family members at presbyterian Hospital.

WantToGo? Tickets are $50; dinner and a cash bar are included. Visit or call 704/998-8833 for information.

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The family friendly show will feature over 400 vehicles. In addition to traditional classic cars, this year’s event features a record number of alternative-fuel vehicles such as hybrids, electric-powered cars, and even vehicles powered by natural gas. The car-buying market has changed dramatically over the years. In 1991, women were the primary buyers of just 21 percent of vehicles. Last year, women accounted for more than twice that — 44 percent — according to data from the National Automobile Dealers Association. The increase in women’s car-buying power has changed the way vehicles are made and sold, with manufacturers including more features that appeal to women.

WantToGo? The Charlotte Convention Center is located at 501 S. College St. General admission is $8; kids under 12 are free. A portion of the ticket price goes to Levine Children’s Hospital to benefit the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. Visit

Kaleidoscope On Ice An Evening Of Skating, Song, And Survivorship


he Levine Cancer Institute is offering the third annual Kaleidoscope On Ice: An Evening Of Skating, Song, And Survivorship, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m., at Bojangles’ Coliseum. The live, star-studded, holiday spectacular is hosted by Olympic champions and cancer survivors Dorothy Hamill and Scott Hamilton. Kaleidoscope On Ice will feature an unforgettable and unprecedented lineup of Olympic and World champion figure skaters, including Olympic silver medalist Nancy Kerrigan, three-time U.S. national champion Johnny Weir, Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen, four-time world champion Kurt Browning, Olympic silver medalist Paul Wylie, and Olympic bronze medalist Joannie Rochette. There will also be special

musical performances by American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, and Grammy Award winner Patti LaBelle. TCW

WantToGo? Bojangles’ Coliseum is located at 2700 e. independence Blvd. Visit or call 1-800-7453000 for information.

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Call today to book your holiday party!

Coming to Charlotte! September 2011. This Holiday Season Give the Gift of Hope Saturday December 10, 2011 • 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM Wells Fargo Atrium, 301 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202

Please join us for a Charlotte tradition! The Jingle Bell Ball has become The Jingle Bell Bash yet the fun and concern for those in need continues. This festive evening includes a one hour open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment from Six Stylez, and a Silent Auction that will help with your holiday shopping list.


Proceeds Benefit United Family Services Including The Shelter for Battered Women

Lunch Brunch

Purchase tickets online at For More Information call: 704 -367-2799


Celebrating the Spirit of the South with Fine Southern Cuisine.


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Starring the Grey Seal Puppets • 2 Shows! Sat., Dec. 10 at 11am & 3pm

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BroughT To you By ...

Put Your Money To Work B u y

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Maintaining a healthy cash flow and keeping a firm handle on expenses is considered sound financial management. For small businesses, however, it can be the difference between succeeding and struggling for survival. Making your money work harder is particularly important in times of economic uncertainty, when small businesses are often faced with unpredictable sales and more stringent credit requirements. Every business has to invest in goods and services to operate and grow. Small business owners juggling multiple demands with limited resources have to be particularly strategic in how they finance purchases. The good news is that a wide range of new solutions is now available to help owners save while they spend. For example, credit cards with cash rewards are becoming increasingly popular with small business owners. By offering the opportunity to earn cash back on purchases from office supply stores, gas stations, computer network companies, and restaurants, cards can make expenses less expensive and help preserve cash reserves. “A key driver to small business success is finding ways to make less go a long way,” says Steve Strauss, small business expert and columnist. “By offering up to 3 percent cash back on certain purchases, and no cap on the cash back

you can earn, cards like Bank of America’s Cash Rewards for Business MasterCard® credit cards are actually paying you to purchase.” Reward cards are one important tool to help small businesses maximize assets and manage cash flow. Here are two additional suggestions to help you prevent shortfalls and keep your small business in financial order: 1. Think ahead. Even the smallest businesses can no longer afford to roll the dice with casual “back of the envelope” calculations. Budgeting should be done routinely and systemically on both a short-term (weekly or monthly, depending on company size) and a long-term (annual, three to five years) basis to forecast impending needs. 2. Don’t silo. A company’s cash position is tied

to business operations, so it is wise to assess production schedules, overtime, supplier choices, and delivery dates against cash availability and make adjustments regularly. Expedite incoming payments. Speed up receivables collection by sending out invoices as soon as orders are shipped, and ask customers to make electronic payments whenever possible. Always deposit checks the same day they are received. Remember that inventory is not cash. The items on your shelves need to be sold to be transformed into cash, therefore you should do everything in your power to move inventory, including offering discounts or installment payments if necessary. For information on smart spending and other small business issues, visit and http://smallbusinessonlinecommunity.

© 2011 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.


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Holiday Social & Silent Auction Wednesday, DECEMBER 7, 2011 6:30pm-9:30pm

Kick off your holiday season with NAWBOCharlotte for a festive social and silent auction, featuring a fabulous catered dinner, networking, DJ, and auction items including jewelry, vacation packages and much, much more.

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Job Changes/Promotions The Charlotte Steeplechase Association Inc. has named Amanda L. Hollingsworth executive director; she replaces Glenn K. Springer, who retired after 11 years. The Presbyterian Rehabilitation Center has hired Chelsea Carter-Ellis, AuD, as a member of the audiology services team.

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Jennifer Cole was appointed director of sales of Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne. Bess Harris Hindsman has joined The Law Firm of Hutchens, Senter & Britton, P.A., as an associate; she will focus on residential real estate closings in Charlotte.

Showcase Realty has hired Shanna Patton, Cathy Conciatori, and Tiffany Doolittle.

New Business/Changes Novant Health has hired Sheila Moore as vice president of professional services for Presbyterian Hospital. Michelle Woehr, Ph.D., has joined Presbyterian Samaritan Counseling Center as staff psychologist.

Wine & Design Charlotte has opened at 1419 East Blvd., Suite J.

Lake Norman Regional Medical Center has hired Ashlee Bennett as patient access manager, and Tara Vitale, R.N., as orthopedic nurse navigator. LNRMC has also added Devina Talwar, M.D.; and pediatrician Meera Patel Gallagher, M.D., to its staff.

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The Academy of Etiquette & Charm, founded by Lashaune Tisdale, has opened at 5960 Fairview Road, Suite 400.

Lake Norman Eye Care has moved to 548 Williamson Road, Suite 1, in Mooresville.

Jena Elder has opened Jena’s Place for Paws, LLC, offering private boarding, day care, taxi service, home-sitting, and grooming; visit Salon Infini has opened at 2408 Central Ave., Suite C. Alexander Scott, a home interiors venue, has opened at 208 East Blvd.

s t o r i e s

Awards/Installations Katherine Cowan; Vincent Davis; Celeste Flores; Mark Weintraub; and Quanteer Williams were appointed to the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s board of directors. Elaine Lyerly, CEO of Lyerly Agency and a longtime volunteer with the American Red Cross, was named the national chair for the Tiffany Circle of the American Red Cross. Cherie Green, Rich Hurley, and Dan Mauney were named co-chairs of the Human Rights Campaign’s 2012 North Carolina Gala, scheduled for Feb. 25, 2012, at the Charlotte Convention Center. C. Jennifer Coble, executive director of the Friendship Community Development Corporation, was added to The Harvest Center of Charlotte’s board of directors. The Harvest Center serves low-income families, at-risk youth, and homeless individuals in the Charlotte community, and is the largest distribution center of Second Harvest Food Bank. Tattoo Projects Advertising was recently named one of Ad Age’s Small Ad Agencies of the Year.

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10/25/11 1:16 PM


The Mouths Of Babes Pediatric Dentistry Of Matthews Focuses On Children By MiChaeLa L. DuCkeTT


ToLearnMore Drs. Goodman, Lochary, Sperati, and Jackson have two offices: Pediatric Dentistry of Matthews, 1340 Matthews Township Parkway, Suite 201, 704/847-4717, • Steele Creek Pediatric Dentistry, 13521 Steelecroft Parkway, Suite 100, 704/714-5380,

Photo by

Joe Mart


he importance of a child’s infant or “baby” teeth is often underestimated. That’s why Dr. Scott Goodman, of Pediatric Dentistry of Matthews, remains committed to educating parents. “A lot of health problems and diseases can be avoided simply with information,” he says. Dr. Scott Dr. Goodman and his Goodman an es” focus on the den d his team of “coac team of “coaches” conduct htal health of childre n. complimentary health workent anomalies shops for patients’ families. “We not only want children to have a present that we want to address at a very young age,” Dr. good experience at the dentist, we also want to teach parents how to Goodman says. “Not many gentake care of their children’s oral eral dentists will see developmentally disabled children or teenaghealth,” he says. Since establishing Pediatric ers. We think it’s important for Dentistry of Matthews in 1983, them to get excellent oral health Dr. Goodman and his partners, care throughout their lives.” Dr. Goodman is certified with Drs. Margaret Lochary, Jason Spethe American Board of Pediatric rati, and Stephanie Jackson, have been on a mission to prevent tooth Dentistry and volunteers teaching residents at Carolinas Medical decay in the permanent teeth of children by providing them Center and the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antowith the best oral care possible in a fun, pleasant environment. nio. An Ohio native, Dr. Goodman received his dental degree from In 2008, they opened a second location in the Steele Creek area. Ohio State University in 1979. He fell in love with North Carolina Today, his team handles all aspects of pediatric dentistry, and while completing his fellowship at is also experienced in treating Bowman Gray School of Medicine exceptional needs and medically in Winston-Salem, and decided to move back to the state after compromised children. receiving his master’s degree and “There are children who have either medical or behavioral issues, completing his pediatric dental or who sometimes will have differ- residency in Iowa. TCW

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Her Cake Lynn St. Laurent Brings A Taste Of France To Town With Amélie’s By DeB Mitchell • photos By Joe MARtiN


hey say that good things come in small packages. In the case of Amélie’s French Bakery — the NoDa establishment Lynn St. Laurent introduced to the Charlotte landscape in 2008 with business partners Bill Lamb and Brenda Ische — good things come in humble packages.

The storefront’s strip-mall location and plain-Jane exterior don’t hint at the sensory wonderland

inside. But all of that changes the minute you cross the threshold into Amélie’s.

Inside, scents of freshly brewed gourmet coffee and just-baked pastries abound. The Paris-bohemian décor wows visitors from around the world with its periwinkle-blue striped walls, chalkboards in gilded frames, chandeliers painted in vivid hues, dripping with crystals, and a charming “Mona Lisa” wearing sunglasses. A table beneath a chandelier Ische crafted from stainless steel kitchen items bears an open guest book — one of dozens, St. Laurent says, that have been filled with signatures of happy patrons. The overall aesthetic is 19th century French château meets 21st century kitsch. Is it possible for a truly European experience like this to exist in Charlotte? Thanks to longtime Charlotte resident St. Laurent, her French-Canadian roots, her business acumen, and her longing to create something unique in The Queen City, it most certainly is. St. Laurent says that newcomers to Amélie’s tend to share a typical response: “We’re not in Kansas anymore!”

Not Your Ordinary Pâtisserie Over the years, St. Laurent has earned a name for herself as a “serial entrepreneur.” With a background in business, she enjoyed a fairly nontraditional, circuitous career path, getting her start during the advent of computers and then hop-scotching into business consulting. Motherhood put her in a “mom-preneur” frame of mind, where she capitalized on a knack for seeing holes in the market and creating businesses to fill those gaps (including a nanny placement business, and jobs within the horse industry). After living in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for most of her life, St. Laurent moved to Charlotte 15 years ago for the milder weather and also to be closer to her sister. When she first encountered the nowdefunct French bakery that once inhabited the space Amélie’s currently occupies, St. Laurent says she was ready to take a chance on something new. “There’s a line from a Janis Joplin song,” she says, grinning. “ ‘Freedom is just > N O V E M B E R

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Lynn St. Laurent opened améLie’S french bakery in 2008, aLong with buSineSS partnerS biLL Lamb and brenda iSche. before Long, the bakery waS renowned for itS exquiSite paStrieS and inviting, Shabby-chic ambiance. theSe dayS, the doorS never cLoSe; the bakery offerS an ecLectic mix of cuStomerS high-quaLity fare in a friendLy environment 24 hourS a day, Seven dayS a week.


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This is something magical going on. I feel humbled and lucky that I got to create my world, to treat people the way I want to be treated. And, people must like my world! — Lynn St. Laurent

another word for nothing left to lose.’ That’s where I was. I had nothing to lose. During that time, I did a lot of soul searching. I asked myself, ‘What do I love? How do I want my world to work?’ ” Ever a dreamer and something of an idealist, St. Laurent concluded that, above all, kindness mattered to her. She decided to create a world where values like hers reigned supreme. Having firsthand knowledge of what it is to struggle, St. Laurent also wanted to provide work opportunities for people in the area who might be challenged. When the existing bakery closed unexpectedly, St. Laurent saw customers crying over the fact that they would no longer be able to procure their beloved French pastries. She sensed an opportunity. Along with business partners Lamb and Ische (the designer St. Laurent sought out to create the interior of the new bakery), St. Laurent opened Amélie’s in 2008 to the utter delight of Charlotteans. The three realized almost immediately that they had hit on something big. “Just trying to manage the growth has been the greatest challenge,” St. Laurent says. The trio took yet another chance in 2009 when, taking a cue from Soho coffeehouses, they decided to stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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For all its cosmopolitan leanings, Charlotte is a far cry from New York City — and yet, the idea worked. St. Laurent says they haven’t locked the doors since. Literally.

Let Them Eat Cake Visitors to Amélie’s can relax in the two rooms that comprise the bakery’s space, or in the building’s adjoining atrium. Comfy, shabby-chic couches and armchairs invite lounging. Tables with mismatched chairs hold a steady influx of chatting couples, boisterous groups playing board games, and of course, the coffeehouse staple — the laptop brigade. Amélie’s location in the heart of Charlotte’s arts district also means that live music or art shows frequently accompany the coffee and pastries, rounding out the Parisian experience. As for the pastries, they are the stuff of dreams. Three brightly lit cases display row upon neat row of delicately filled, piped, and sugar-dusted pastries. Patrons can choose from classic French favorites such as delicate macaroons, creamy chocolate éclairs, tiny-but-satisfying mousse cups, or delightful “petit gateaux” (little cakes) in vanilla, chocolate, or seasonal flavors. Or they can follow the crowd and select the current bestseller, the trendy (though perhaps more Southern than French) salted >

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Designer BrenDa ische’s uniquely crafteD chanDeliers (top) take center stage throughout the Bakery; however, it’s not just aBout amBiance anD sweet treats at amélie’s. the Bakery is known for offering patrons a mix of Diversity, frienDship, anD acceptance.


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caramel brownie. On the savory side, St. Laurent’s family recipes inspire the soup menu. Tomato and fennel or spinach-asparagus leek are just a few potential offerings, although choices change seasonally. Pair a cup of soup with a croque monsieur or other tartine (openfaced French sandwich) — but always save room for dessert! True to French form, every menu item at Amélie’s is made with quality, fresh ingredients. St. Laurent is careful to keep within the French sensibility that her grandfather believed in — that food should be an experience. At Amélie’s, this means that every item tastes as heavenly (and as French!) as it looks. For the bakery’s three business partners, division of labor happens organically. Lamb tackles networking and business development. Ische handles the bakery’s image. St. Laurent tends to the operations side of things. And while Amélie’s is not a family business, several family members work behind the scenes. Her sister is the office manager, her daughter is the PR manager, and her niece manages special events and catering. Lamb’s daughter handles human resources, and his son works as a night manager. Amélie’s has also garnered its share of national attention. The bakery was recently featured in Southern Living magazine, and is currently being spotlighted by the White House Department of Commerce for its exploding growth. It has been featured in Elle Décor, and Food and Drink Digital, among others. Some might attribute Amélie’s unwaning popularity to its fanciful fare and bohochic atmosphere. St. Laurent believes there is more behind the bakery’s success. “This is something magical going on,” she says of her partnership with Lamb and Ische, their relationships with more than 70 employees, and the general undercurrent of friendliness, diversity, and acceptance found within the bakery’s walls. “I feel humbled and lucky that I got to create my world, to treat people the way I want to be treated,” she says. “And,” she adds, “people must like my world!” TCW

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10/25/11 1:22 PM

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GAME ON A Ta l e O f Ta i l g at i n g , C h a r l o t t e - S t y l e By Lee Rhodes • PhoTos By Joe MARTIN


othing beats the excitement of fall football — and with the addition of quarterback Cam Newton to the Carolina Panthers’ lineup, Charlotte has more to cheer about these days than ever. However, you don’t have to love the game to love a good tailgate party. Jill Marcus, president of The Mother Earth Group, has collaborated with a handful of chefs to pull together a collection of makeahead recipes that are sure to please both the queen of tailgating and the football novice.

You don’t have to be a football fanatic to love a good tailgating party. Tailgating is all about good food, the perfect beverage, and the joining of family and friends. And if you feel like donning your flashiest boa, by all means, go for it!


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The Carolina Panthers At A Glance

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The team was selected as the 29th NFL franchise on Oct. 26, 1993, and began playing in 1995. Early on, favorite players included Julius Peppers, Sam Mills, and Wesley Walls. Today, Steve Smith, Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams, and, of course, Cam Newton, are fan favorites. The Panthers’ appearance in Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 is an all-time team high, despite losing to the New England Patriots 29-32. (This was the Super Bowl featuring Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction.”)

10/25/11 9:29 AM

Pumpkin Black Bean Turkey Chili Jill Marcus, The Mother Earth Group 2 medium yellow onions, chopped 3 garlic cloves, chopped 1 tablespoon each dried oregano & cumin 2 tablespoons chili powder 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained 2 1/2 cups cooked turkey, chopped 1 16-ounce can pumpkin 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes 1 small can smoked chipotle peppers 3 cups chicken broth Crème fraiche & cilantro

Sauté chopped yellow onions and 3 cloves of chopped garlic in your favorite crock until soft and golden. Stir in dried oregano, cumin, and chili powder. Add both cans of drained black beans, 2 1/2 cups of chopped cooked turkey, the pumpkin, diced tomatoes, smoked chipotle peppers, and 3 cups of chicken broth. Simmer uncovered on the stove for 3 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with crème fraiche and freshly chopped cilantro.

Marc’s Sausage & Peppers Marc Jacksina, Executive Chef, Halcyon 2 pounds ground pork 1 tablespoon granulated salt 1 tablespoon pepper 1 tablespoon nutmeg 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 1 tablespoon cayenne 1 tablespoon rubbed sage 2 pounds mixed-color garden peppers 2 large onions 1 tomato, diced 3 tablespoons olive oil 6 garlic cloves, sliced Mix 2 pounds of ground pork with 1 tablespoon each of granulated salt, pepper, nutmeg, chopped garlic, smoked paprika, cayenne, and rubbed sage. (Jacksina uses Wild Turkey Farms, in Concord, for his pork.) Form into small breakfast-sized patties and grill. Cut 2 large onions into strips. Slice 2 pounds of mixed-color garden peppers into pieces. (Jacksina suggests peppers from New Town Farms.) Sauté peppers and onions with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 6 cloves of sliced garlic. Toss in diced tomato. Sauté until golden brown but still maintaining some firmness. Serve patties over a bed of roasted peppers and onions.

Black & Blue Burgers Marc Jacksina, Executive Chef, Halcyon 2 pounds of your favorite grass-fed hamburger 1/8 cup Cajun spice Ashe County blue cheese Challah bread Green tomato chow-chow & black pepper aioli

In addition to traditional burgers and dogs on the grill, chili is an excellent make-ahead addition to any tailgating session. The above version, by Jill Marcus, offers a unique, healthy spin on traditional chili by incorporating turkey, black beans, and (surprise!) pumpkin.


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Combine 2 pounds of your favorite grassfed hamburger (Jacksina prefers Baucom or Proffitt Farms) with 1/8 cup Cajun spice. Hand-form into 6-ounce patties. Grill and flip. Cook to medium while keeping a little pink in the middle for extra game-day verve. Top with Ashe County blue cheese, and melt cheese. Serve on toasted challah bread with green tomato chow-chow and black pepper aioli. (At Halcyon, Jacksina grinds his own burgers using fresh cuts of beef ribs, filet, and chuck.) >

W o m a n

10/25/11 1:25 PM

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A Girls’ Guide To Tailgating

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No matter what, don’t get stuck cooking during the party. Pre-made dips are perfect for tailgating menus because they allow you to focus on the task at hand — having fun. Whenever possible, wear a jersey supporting the team. It doesn’t matter if the player, such as former quarterback Jake Delhomme (No. 17; right), is no longer on the team. Cat ears and face paint are acceptable, but not required. Wine glasses and good friends are essential!

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Super Bowl Reuben Dip Jill Marcus, The Mother Earth Group 16 ounces cream cheese 16 ounces shredded Swiss cheese One can of sauerkraut, drained 16 ounces corned beef, chopped Lavosh crackers & pumpernickel bread Mix top four ingredients together in a bowl. Place mixture in a casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with Lavosh crackers and/or pumpernickel bread.

Overnight Tomato Dip With Ricotta & Chevre Blake Hartwick, Executive Chef, Something Classic Catering & Cafés 6 Roma tomatoes Salt to taste Fresh ground black pepper Dried oregano ¼ cup finely chopped garlic 12 ounces chevre 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped chiffonade style 12 ounces ricotta Lavosh crackers To prepare the Overnight Tomatoes: The night before the big game, slice 6 Roma tomatoes in half. Place on baking sheet and dust with a pinch of salt, fresh ground black pepper, dried oregano, and fi ¼ nely chopped garlic. Place in a 250-degree oven overnight. The next morning allow to cool, and chop. Combine in a bowl the chevre, chopped fresh basil, 12 ounces of ricotta, and Overnight Tomatoes until all ingredients are incorporated. Serve with Lavosh crackers.

Grilled Mushroom & Blue Cheese Pizza Alyssa Gorelick, Executive Chef, Fern: Flavors From The Garden 1 cup milk or soy milk 1 teaspoon instant yeast 1 tablespoon brown sugar ¼ cup olive oil 1 ½ cup whole-wheat flour 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting 1 teaspoon salt 1 thinly sliced sweet potato 2 cups sliced mushrooms 2 cups sliced tomatoes 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or rosemary ¾ cup blue cheese, crumbled 1 cup Parmesan cheese Salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste >

Decorate your holiday table with something delicious! 704-375-7400



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To make the crust: Dissolve yeast and brown sugar in milk, and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in the olive oil as well as the dry ingredients and mix until a sticky dough is formed. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until it is no longer sticky and springs back when touched. Place in a floured bowl and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place. Punch down dough and form into two separate balls. Roll out dough to preferred thickness and brush with olive oil. Place each crust on a hot grill, preferably charcoal, and bake for 3 to 4 minutes. Flip dough when it easily releases from the grill. Place sliced potatoes, mushrooms, and tomatoes on the crust, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs. Top with cheese. When the cheese melts, the pizza can be removed from the grill to a sheet pan or cutting board. Drizzle with additional olive oil and slice for serving.

Stadium Stats

• • • •

Bank of America Stadium is located at 800 S. Mint St. According to the team’s website, there are over 30,000 parking spaces within a 10 to 15 minute walk of the stadium. The following items are not allowed inside: baby seats, beach balls, explosives (duh!), strollers, video equipment, and umbrellas. Public tours of the stadium are available for a nominal fee; call 704/358-7538 for information.

White Bean Dip With Sweet & Spicy Tomatoes Alyssa Gorelick, Executive Chef, Fern: Flavors From The Garden 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans Olive oil 2 tablespoons salt 1 teaspoon white pepper 1 teaspoon cumin 1 yellow or green tomato 4 Roma tomatoes ½ onion ½ cup granulated sugar ¼ cup water ½ cup apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon red chili flakes 3 fresh garlic cloves Salt to taste Dice tomatoes and onions, keeping them separate, and set aside. Place sugar and water in a saucepot and stir so that all sugar is coated with water. Cook over low heat until sugar becomes an amber color. Pour in vinegar, chili flakes, and garlic, and cook for about 3 minutes. Add onion and cook until they become translucent. Add tomatoes and cook for 30 minutes. >


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Other Tailgating Tips

• • •

Freeze your bottles of water and use to keep the ingredients in your cooler ... well, cool. To ensure that burgers cook quickly, don’t make them thicker than 3/4 inch. Stack them between layers of waxed paper, and freeze. For tried-and-true tailgaters, create a detailed checklist, and laminate it. Check off items with a dry-erase marker as you go down the list. Save for next week!

Source: Courtesy of


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Who’s In The Kitchen? For the last 20 years, Jill Marcus has been known for her ability to dish it up. The

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While tomatoes cook, drain white beans in a colander, rinse, and place in a food processor. Puree with olive oil and spices until smooth. Place in a bowl, and set aside in a refrigerator. Once tomatoes have reduced, cool in a separate bowl. To serve, spoon tomatoes over bean dip.

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Michael Archambault, Chef, Community Café 1 cup dried cranberries 1 cup dried blueberries 1 cup dried pineapple 1 cup dried apple pieces 1 cup peanuts 1 cup cashews 1 cup almonds 1 cup mini-marshmallows 1 cup chocolate chips 1 cup peanut butter chips 1 cup butterscotch chips

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ˇ Host A FAbulous Fete WitH tips From NANette lusH, oWNer oF NANette’s tAble

tth he anatomy of a

perfect party b y CAtHeriNe by C At CA tH He eri riN Ne e pi pike p ike ke plougH p loug pl ougH H


party is an expression of yourself, a show of gratitude to your guests,” says Nanette lush, entertaining guru and owner of Nanette’s table, in Cornelius. this statement captures the essence of what we should be focused on as we plan

special gatherings during a season brimming with opportunities to celebrate the ones we love. When it comes to throwing a party with flair, Lush knows every trick in the book. Lush, who opened Nanette’s Table to an ecstatic clientele this year, was originally involved in the furniture industry before moving to Cornelius with her husband and daughter seven years ago. Sensing the time was right for a career change, she longed to use her innate creativity in a way that would touch the community she’d come to love. “At that point, I asked myself, ‘What is it that I am passionate about?’ ” The answer emerged as Lush considered her childhood, which was chock-full of cherished time spent around the dinner table with her large, extended family. She found her passion: cooking. “I’m half Italian and half Polish,” Lush says. “Every Sunday of my childhood was spent first with one side of the family, then the other.” Rela-

tives on both sides laid out a memorable table of meticulously prepared food, served with hours of conversation and a lifetime of memories of loving and being loved. “That’s the experience I wanted to recreate at Nanette’s Table,” she says. The single-table restaurant seats a maximum of 12 guests for a private, seven-course gourmet dinner with wine pairings. Weekend evenings are often booked months in advance. Due to popular demand, Nanette’s Table recently opened for lunch; Ladies’ Night Out and wine-tasting events are also popular. Regardless of the event, she pours heart, soul, and expertise into every detail. Lush says gifting guests with a purposeful party event calls upon creativity and attention to detail. Here are her suggestions for memorymaking results: >

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Set The Theme Choosing a theme can bring focus to the process. A theme helps you determine food, decorations, and spectacular details. It also helps you build a budget and a timeline. Themes can be centered around holidays, special events, or certain types of food. Visit your local bookstore or search online for theme ideas and menus.


Create The Guest List Young moms on the go might be tempted to drop guests a text or an electronic Evite, which is great if you’re doing impromptu hot dogs on the grill. But for a party event, create an invitation yourself and send it by mail three weeks in advance. The recipient will feel flattered that you invested your time. Be sure to consider your mix of friends, too. The right mix of guests is to a great party what the right ingredients are to a successful dish.


According to entertaining guru Nanette Lush, throwing a memorable party with flair includes pouring heart and soul into every detail — from well-crafted invitations, to the perfect food and beverage selection, to award-winning ambiance. Make it all possible with an organized party plan.

Make A Parking Plan Have a plan for parking, and communicate that plan either in the invitation or by having a designated person on-site to ensure getting from the vehicle to the door of your home (and back) is completely stress-free. No guest should get wet, walk an excessive distance (especially in heels!), or worry about having to move their vehicle for someone later in the evening. If possible, valet parking is a great solution or, in some cases, guests may be picked up via golf cart. A no-fret parking plan sets the tone for an impressive event.


Give A Warm Greeting “Greeting” involves more than meeting guests at the door. Before guests arrive, designate a space for items collected from guests at the door — from coats to umbrellas to purses. Guests should feel that their things are well cared for and secure. Additionally, greet them by name and with an embrace. Collect their items and let them know where these items will be kept. Next, surprise them with a smashing welcome beverage, such as champagne or prosecco. This gesture shows gratitude to your guest for coming. Lastly, briefly give your guest “the lay of the land,” pointing out key gathering places such as food and beverage stations.

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Set The Mood With Music Time spent selecting music for the evening is time well-spent. Music controls the energy of the environment as the evening progresses. With that in mind, pull together a single playlist of music for the entire evening. Set the mood when guests arrive with cocktail music. Select dinnerappropriate music for the main meal and, afterward, elevate the mood with party tunes. As the evening draws to a close, slow things down with lounge music.


Please The Palate Know your guests and the kinds of food they like (as well as those they can’t eat!). Beverage selection is another important and often-overlooked consideration. For beer lovers, consider serving one light beer, one slightly fuller-bodied beer (think Stella Artois or Yuengling), and one microbrew, such as Sierra Nevada. For guests who enjoy wine, you’ll want to serve a chardonnay and a merlot or pinot noir. For larger gatherings, consider adding a lighter white, such as a sauvignon blanc, and a fuller red, such as cabernet sauvignon. When serving mixed drinks, make sure you have a good selection of spirits and mixers — and plenty of ice.

thoughtful, as are refreshing hand washes and lotions.


Maximize Mingling Prepare a map of your party area in advance. Spread out food stations to avoid bottlenecks or lines. Having a bartender on hand will ensure guests get their drinks in a timely manner. As a host or hostess (with a carefully prepared guest list), you know your guests will want to catch up or get acquainted, so keep them moving and mingling.


A Winning Game Plan Like it or not, there’s always at least one guest who is missing a televised event in order to come to your home. It’s OK! Let these guests know that you have prepared a space just for them. Set it apart from the main gathering area. Make that special space comfortable for your devoted sports fans (or red-carpet revelers) and set out some snacks for their convenience.



Offer Award-Winning Ambiance Show your appreciation for guests by providing an inviting and homey ambience. Lighting is a key consideration. Everything looks better washed in the glow of candlelight! Also, don’t forget the little things that contribute to an inviting setting, such as fresh flowers. Maintain the look and feel you’ve created in every room, including the bathroom, where guests should feel they can linger and enjoy freshening up. Disposable hand towels are

Celebrate The Moment “What? I’m too busy to enjoy my own party?” Lush notes that my she has as much fun at her parties — or more — than anyone. How does that happen? By being prepared. Hostesses need to take the time to plan out exactly what will go where in advance. Use sticky notes to help you think through what kinds of platters or serving utensils you’ll need. Then make a list. Organization is the surest route to remembering your event with joy. A happy hostess is the very best hostess! TCW ToLearnMore Visit or for information on Nanette’s Table. LIGHT PERFORMANCE ARM POCKETS IDEAL FOR RUNNING, BIKING, WALKING, YOGA


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Two Experts Tell Us What To Pour This Season

Why Not Wine? By Melinda Johnston


hat better way to spread a little holiday cheer than with the perfect bottle of wine? With so many choices and so little time, however, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why we’ve tapped two of Charlotte’s noted wine experts for their recommendations on the perfect wines for the holidays and beyond. Ashli Cohen is the beverage director for FS Food Group, which provides wine and liquor sales for seven restaurants, five concepts, and a full-service catering company. She has been in the wine and spirit business for over 15 years and is a certified specialist of wine, a member of the Society of Wine Educators, and a master sommelier candidate. Leyla Arcovio boasts more than 18 years of wine and food experience, and is the wine director at Reid’s Find Foods, where she oversees the most eclectic wine selection in the city. She received the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator for an all Italian Wine List two years in a row, and was one of the founding members of the local chapter of Slow Food USA. Here are their favorite wines for …

Sipping For a sipping wine, one that transitions from cocktail hour throughout dinner, Ashli Cohen recommends Soléna Estate Grand Cuvée Pinot Noir ($25/bottle), from the Willamette Valley of Oregon. “It’s incredibly balanced, with a great versatility with or without food,” she says. “It’s a red wine that satisfies a serious red wine drinker, but is not so challenging for someone who primarily drinks white wine.” Leyla Arcovio recommends Domaines Ott “Château de Selle” Côtes de Provence Rosé ($41/bottle).

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“On the glass, it is almost transparent. It’s on the palate where this wine shines with the subtlety and delicate flavors of apricot, pink grapefruit, and the unmistakable soil of Provence. It has the reputation of being some of the finest rosé in the world,” she says.

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Ashli Cohen says, ÒMy favorite new cabernet sauvignon is Slingshot ($25/bottle). ItÕ s from the Napa Valley and is a small production, but itÕ s one of the silkiest, juiciest cabernets IÕ ve tasted in a long time. This is a wine that can be opened and enjoyed immediately.Ó Leyla ArcovioÕ s choice is San Felice

Campogiovanni Brunello di Montalcino 2006 ($70/bottle). ÒThis is one of the most

prestigious of TuscanyÕ s noble wines, with anise and other sweet spices, plus intense raspberries and fruit flavors. It’s forceful, and complex with incomparable structure.Ó

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Toasting Acknowledging that bubbles are always a good idea, Ashli Cohen recommends nonvintage Ferrari Brut Rosé ($40/bottle). “This pink champagne from Italy has the body and elegance of true rosé champagne for half the price.” Leyla Arcovio recommends Caves de Bussy Saumur Montmorency

($17/bottle). “The bouquet is beautifully woven into a fabric of layered, tart fruit and discreet minerality. Made from Cabernet Franc, this sparkling wine from the Loire Valley is just irresistible.”

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Collecting For a special red burgandy, Ashli Cohen looks to France, the Òmecca for pinot noir production in the world.ÓWhile she says producer Robert Chevillon on Nuits-Saint-Georges is spectacular, great collectible wines are found throughout Burgundy. A good red burgundy starts around $75/bottle. Leyla Arcovio gives a nod to the West Coast for a collectible wine, recommending Lewis Cellars Cuvée L Napa Valley 2006 ($225/bottle). She describes it as Òsmooth and creamy, with mocha-laced plum and black cherry. This rare and hard-to-find wine is a true treasure for any wine collector.Ó

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Celebrating Starting at $150/bottle, Ashli Cohen says non-vintage Champagne Krug is simply the best. Leyla Arcovio prefers Giulio Ferrari Riserva del Fondatore 2000 ($150/bottle). “It offers rare intensity on the nose — the scent of honey, combined with a hint of vanilla and white chocolate. It’s elegant and balanced with velvety rich flavors. An unforgettable wine!” TCW

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Putting the “thanks” Back into thanksgiving

The Post-Nuclear Family Dinner By Judy Cole


had a nuclear family once. It blew up. After the D-I-V-O-R-C-E, Mom went one way, and Dad another. Sometime later, Dad remarried, and he and his wife became parents to my twin sisters, Maggie and Katie. Eventually, Dad and clan moved to the West Coast. My brother, anchored by wife, kids, and commitments, stayed in the Northeast. Seven-pointsomething years ago, my “not-husband,” Monty, a native of Ireland with no relations this side of the Big Pond, and I migrated South, where we accumulated critters. A few years later, we were joined by my mom in a big, ramshackle farmhouse Victorian located at the last outpost of what had once been the genteel end of GTown (aka Gastonia). “Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do,” said noted anthropologist Margaret Mead. “With no relatives, no support, we’ve put it in an impossible situation.” It was at the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, when it became most evident just how right Mead was — and how much our box had shrunk. If ever there was a time to think outside the box, to find a way to reinvest meaning in a beloved but fading tradition, this was it.

Common Ties, Uncommon Ground Years before I met Monty, and long before he and I became enmeshed for better or worse in one another’s lives, he lived in a section of the Bronx near Bainbridge Avenue famed for a strip of Irish pubs that ran nearly uninterrupted for the guts of five city blocks (and as such had earned the nickname “Brain Damage Avenue”). The area was home to a large population of emigrants from his homeland. Much like Charlotte, it was a settlement of transplanted souls who were flowering among now old, “New World” vines. 46

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While some of Monty’s countrymen and women had relations stateside, many did not. Strangers in a strange land, bound by ties of cultural identity and all they’d left behind, they formed a community onto themselves. Thanksgiving was not their holiday, but they embraced it, and took turns hosting “family” dinners to which close friends and strangers alike, as many as could be accommodated, were invited. Every attempt was made to ensure that no one spent that day, and likewise Christmas, alone. It was a tradition they kept and nurtured until the neighborhood fell prey to its own diaspora, and the Irish moved on — whether back home or to the upscale environs of more affluent suburbs.

We’re Not From Here Here in the South, Monty and I were aliens. Longtime inhabitants of New York City, a high-energy, openall-night, take-no-prisoners kaleidoscope of art, culture, ethnicities, and sexual orientation, we were denizens of an Emerald City, who, tempest tossed, awoke to find ourselves, not in Kansas, but Gastonia. With the exception of a beloved elderly couple across the street that took us under their wing (both of whom have since passed on), our neighbors considered us something of a curiosity. Like a duo of itinerant circus performers, we ambled above the doings of our new hometown without a safety net, appreciated for our entertainment value, but never fully at ease. It took more than a year to find “someplace like home,” ironically just a few blocks from our house. The brainchild of the late Traci Smith, the award-winning restaurant Rodi was, like “Cheers,” envisioned not only as a place where everybody knows your name, but a venue where local musicians and artists could showcase their work, and “out and proud” was poured into the very foundation. One step over

its threshold, and happily, we knew we had found Oz.

Full Family Circle Not long after we became regular patrons, Monty and I were invited to our first “family dinner,” which featured an amalgam of staff, spouses, loyal customers, and local personalities. Over time, we (and Mom) were fully adopted into the family; stitched into a vibrant, colorful quilt, bound together not by threads of blood, but by ties of true hospitality, love, and choice. We’ve been celebrating together for the last five years. Last Thanksgiving, I felt at home enough to extend my first invitation to a lovely man with whom we’d become acquainted over the course of several months. A doctor who contracted his services several weeks at a time on a rotating basis to hospitals across the country, he was unable to fly home for the holiday. I didn’t think twice about asking him to join us for family dinner. A gracious guest, he was welcomed by all. Some may argue that you can’t choose your family. I disagree. Admittedly, I’m not much of an “app” person. While I’ve got an online profile, you won’t find me tending my farm or fending off vampires on my Facebook page. However, last week, when I received a Facebook family request from one of our “family dinner” patriarchs, I dug out my metaphorical ruby slippers and danced with delight. It’s good to be over the rainbow, now that Thanksgiving is here. It’s good to love and be loved by family — nukes or no nukes. And for that, I am truly blessed.

Judy Cole, one of many former editors-in-chief of Playgirl magazine (a job not unlike being married to Henry VIII), is a freelance writer who currently lives in Gastonia, N.C. TCW

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don’t Turn Into a Pumpkin Instead, Slather It On By Karsen Price

Those pumpkin folks are marketing geniuses. Every fall, it happens: Shelves are lined with pumpkin-related beauty products, and I find myself with an uncontrollable urge to buy those products! Maybe it’s the crispness in the air, the promise of pumpkin pie, or Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin that make me do it. At any rate, that happy, cheeky little pumpkin appeals to me. Thankfully, it’s not all hype. Pumpkins are truly one of the most nutritious fruits available year-round. Plump-full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, including betacarotene, vitamins C and E, fiber, potassium, and magnesium, pumpkins offer natural nutrition and healing properties. And so if, like me, you’re feeling the need to go pumpkin, then check out our collection of products below, from face peels to masks to nail color. Linus would be proud.

Philosophy Harvest Spice Pumpkin Orange shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath Ulta & • $16

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ny fashion aficionado worth her Birkin bag will snub her nose at “must-have” lists. But designers for

us “everyday gals” are revealing some seriously wearable looks this fall. Some

High-Five Count Your Fall Finds on one Hand By Fiona Harmon

require only that you view what’s already in your closet in a different way ... others, well, they may require a trip to the mall. Ah, the sacrifices we make to stay

au courant. Whether you are shopping your closet or shopping the racks, here are five wardrobe absolutes to carry you into winter. >


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Fashion Prints And Patterns Navajo Know-How Reminiscent of a comfy blanket, geometric prints look especially fitting on sweaters and other knits. Don’t be afraid to layer the look with another of the season’s musthaves: a great turtleneck.

Knockout Knuckles The Statement Ring The bigger the better when it comes to bejeweling your fingers. We saw them last year, but this season’s statement rings are sophisticated (no more giant daisies, please) and all grown up.

Tonal Dressing Beige Is The Rage Who would have thought boring beige could look so fab from head to toe? Try it. If this takes you totally outside your comfort zone, simply add a dash of denim or blue chambray to the mix.

Sleeve It To Me Wide Arms And Ample Sleeves Wide-arm openings in blouses, sweaters, and jackets are ultra-fashionable this fall. Belted, the look is modern and work-ready.

Tote-ally On Trend Purse Perfection Purchasing the best bag you can afford is a wise fashion investment, and if it happens to have a little sheen this fall and winter, all the better. >

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After The Referral...


he relationship between you and your dentist is a special one. Your dentist may be the first to observe a change in your health. When a periodontal change is noted, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist. Left untreated, periodontitis may lead to tooth loss, heart disease, stroke, respiratory issues, and complications with diabetes and pregnancy. Dr. Kiya Green Dixie, of Matthews Peridontics, is board certified and the only practicing female periodontist in the Charlotte area.

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The art of Food

Shay Landry Chef

By ViCToria MoreLand • PhoTo By Joe MarTin


hay Landry, 21, didn’t grow up cooking in her hometown of Newport News, Va. As a teenager, she helped her mother in the kitchen, but her passion rested with her art supplies, drawing charcoal doodles and painting watercolor landscapes. And even though she considered a degree in art, she was hesitant about her career options. Enter a representative from Johnson & Wales, who visited Landry’s visual arts high school and suggested she turn her art into food. Landry took the advice and is now a senior teaching assistant fellow, pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Johnson & Wales in food service management. These days, wearing her chef whites, Landry appears confident and self-aware beyond her years. As a pastry chef, she uses her artistic skills to visualize her creations. In essence, her piping bag has become her paintbrush. “You have to have a vision for what it looks like,” she says. “I draw everything I do.” Landry’s fellowship responsibilities require her to work with other students. She applied to be a teacher’s assistant when she was a freshman in order to get more involved on campus. “I heard about this position where I

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would be in the labs more,” she says. “Not only would I be helping students, I would also be honing my own skills. That’s what I like about being a fellow. I’m here all the time, and so I get a lot of exposure and networking opportunities.” Opportunities come in the form of school functions, such as cooking for the American Culinary Federation or for private dinner parties in the Charlotte area. Landry describes baking as a science that requires precision and a strict adherence to formulas and recipes. But when she makes her favorite treat — ice cream — she gets to spread her creative wings. Even the thought of ice cream makes Landry smile; she dreams of owning her own ice cream shop one day. “It’s the most delicious thing,” she says. “It’s so rich, smooth … and you can have so many different types. You can be really, really creative.” Proof in the pudding is the name of one of her flavors: chocolate chipotle. “When you first taste it, it’s like chocolate ice cream, and then you get this heat at the back of your throat,” she says. “It’s really nice.” Ice cream aside, Landry’s true joy comes from knowing she’s made food that others have enjoyed. “The best feeling is when I come out and I look at their tables, and I see empty plates,” she says. TCW

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TCW November 2011 issue