Monday, April 24, 2017

No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party 2017

No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party 2017
Photos by Crystal Chatmon

No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party Chair David Nelson brought art to life at the twelfth annual fundraiser for AIDS Services of Dallas (ASD), presented by Purple Foundation. On April 8, more than 1,500 guests joined Nelson and Honorary Co-Chairs Tricia Sims and Dr. Alan Berg at the Frontiers of Flight Museum to celebrate An Artful Life and ASD’s 30th Anniversary. The pop art theme was plentiful throughout the evening. Guests were greeted by the stunning models, Deanna Cahill and Alika Ray, poised on top of a cupcake platform dressed as Roy Lichtenstein-inspired super heroes, while three Andy Warhol impersonators mixed with the crowd and posed for photos. The aroma of delectable desserts filled the air as guests indulged in lavish cupcakes, cheesecakes, cookies, chocolates and pies from some of the city’s finest eateries, such as, Crush Sweets, Daisy Cakes, Dr. Sue’s Chocolate, Frosted Art Bakery & Studio, among many others. The signature cocktail, The Warhol, made with Reyka Icelandic Vodka, club soda and angostura bitters proved popular at the bars generously sponsored by Ben E. Keith (Bud Light) and William Grant & Sons (Reyka, Sailor Jerry, Tullamore D.E.W., and others).

Saturday, April 22, 2017

DIFFA/Dallas Unveils Jackets for House of DIFFA: Arabesque

DIFFA/Dallas Unveils Jackets for House of DIFFA: Arabesque
Photos: Shana Anderson

On Tuesday, April 18th, DIFFA/Dallas hosted an exclusive preview party at the Downtown Dallas staple, The Joule Hotel, to reveal select jackets for House of DIFFA: Arabesque. The fashionable event, presented by Gensler, provided guests a first-hand look at some of the stunning jackets in this year’s Collection. Guests sipped on exquisite cocktails provided by Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Ketel One and bites provided by The Joule Catering, while tunes from DJ Steffi Burns revved up the scene and jackets displayed throughout the room and on models dazzled the evening’s guests. Jackets on display included designs from Billy Reid, TAG Heuer, Michael Bastian, Carolina Herrera, Dan and Joseph, Shemara Couture, Elements, Daniel Esquivel, J Hilburn, as well as jackets modeled throughout the evening designed by Binzario Couture, Patti Flowers, Robert Graham, Forty Five Ten, Silk Threads by Ruby Bhandari, Nha Khan, Carlos Nicholls, Geoffrey Henning, Giuliana Teso, and Traffic LA at The Joule.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Oh So Tasty: Nikkei

Nikkei JapanesePeruvian restaurant
photos: Kathy Tran

Nikkei opened this past February and has quickly established itself as one of Uptown's hottest see-and-be-seen (and taste) spots. With chefs Nick Harrison and Ross Demers leading the culinary team, the namesake JapanesePeruvian restaurant claims to be the first of its kind in Dallas. The food and drink menus at Nikkei were developed to be both exotic and approachable, featuring bold, mouthwatering flavors reminiscent of two distinct cultures. The menu showcases a plethora Japanese-Peruvian dishes, while the dedicated sushi bar delivers both specialty and elevated classic rolls and sashimi offerings in addition to unique items like the Doble Cangrejo Roll with crisp lump crab, shiso panca, garlic, chili, creamy snow crab and a soy wrapper. In the dining room, guests will enjoy a communal experience that flawlessly combines exclusive fare with striking décor and ambiance. On the weekends and after dinner service, the ambience changes and the space intentionally transforms into a late night bar setting. Meanwhile, the expansive rooftop patio provides an alternate atmosphere boasting stunning views of The Crescent and beyond with its own dedicated patio menu.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

FGI Dallas Rising Star Awards 2017

On Tuesday, March 7, Galleria Dallas hosted hundreds of Dallas’ most fashionable for the Fashion Group International (FGI) of Dallas Rising Star Awards. FGI is a global, nonprofit, professional organization with 6,000 members in the fashion industry including apparel, accessories, beauty and home. Taking the annual awards presentation in a new direction with producer Jan Strimple, the event space was transformed into an artistic installation with graffiti walls and neon accents. The sold-out event attracted many of Dallas’ hottest names including Maxine Trowbridge, LeeAnne Locken, Jane McGarry, Jane Aldridge, Steve Kemble, D’Andra Simmons, Jeremy Lock, Susan Posnick, Amy Vanderoef, Allison Mitchell and James Taylor. Click here to see a gallery of images.

Congratulations to the winners of Fashion Group International: Dallas
Rising Stars Awards 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

Oh So Tasty: Ocean Prime

Ocean Prime: New Spring menu Items
photos c/o Ocean Prime

People are always asking me where to go for special occasions. Whether it's an anniversary or just a date night, Ocean Prime in Uptown is always one of the places that is on my go-to list because the atmosphere is always great, the service is always top-notch and the food is consistently amazing. According to their website, "The award-winning Ocean Prime delivers an extraordinary experience with stunning settings, an impressive menu of seafood and prime cuts of steak, signature cocktails, a Wine Spectator-honored wine list and truly genuine hospitality." Not to mention, they serve one of my favorite cocktails in town, the Berries and Bubbles, which is a fruity concoction poured over dry ice so it looks like witch's brew. So fun! They recently invited me in to taste several new dishes on the menu and I am happy to report that I was not disappointed. New menu items include: Lemon Sole served with crispy garlic potatoes, shallot caper reduction, Ahi Tuna served with mango, avocado, cashews, spicy sesame soy glaze, King Salmon served with roasted tomatoes, olives, fingerlings, Dijon dressing, Duroc Pork Chop served with fennel rubbed, buttered Brussels sprouts, apricot sherry jus, Lamb (two double cut chops) served with english peas, mushrooms, caramelized onions, mint jus and to top it all off, a Warm Butter Cake served with fresh berries, vanilla ice cream, raspberry sauce. You can also NEVER go wrong with their 10-layer carrot cake. I don't know how they make the layers so thin and keep the cake so moist. It's one of the mysteries of life that I am just happy to enjoy... Ocean Prime is located in Uptown at 2101 Cedar Springs Rd #150, Dallas, TX 75201. For more information, please visit

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Caroline Kraddick Launches New Teen Trip For Kidd's Kids

Caroline Kraddick and Hoyt, a Kidd's Kid trip recipient (Jan. 2017) photo c/o Kidd's Kids

Twenty seven years ago, Kidd's Kids was founded by legendary radio personality David "Kidd" Kraddick, as a tribute to his daughter. Before Caroline Kraddick was born in 1990, doctors told Kraddick and his then-wife, Carol, that their baby might be born with a twisted femur and be unable to walk. Kraddick has said that he struck a deal with God that if his baby was able to walk, he would use his radio show to help other kids. Caroline was born healthy, and her father kept his end of the bargain. For the past 25 years, Kidd’s Kids has taken children ages 5-12 years old with life-altering conditions on the vacation of a lifetime to Walt Disney World to create magical memories. When Kidd passed away is 2013, his daughter Caroline stepped in to lead the charity.

Cynthia Smoot and Caroline Kraddick, March 2017
photo: Cynthia Smoot
Caroline says she has long envisioned hosting a similar trip for teenagers, and this June her dream will become reality with the first annual Kidd’s Kids Teen Trip to Give Kids The World Village in Orlando. Teens ages 13-18 years old who are diagnosed with a life-threatening condition, and their families, will enjoy an all-expenses-paid vacation to the resort, including three days at Walt Disney World, two days at Universal Orlando and one day at Sea World Orlando.

“I can’t express how excited I am to expand the Kidd’s Kids program beyond our amazing annual trip in November, and to bring another life-changing experience to an older group of kids and their families,” said Caroline Kraddick, CEO and Chief Happiness Officer of Kidd’s Kids. Give Kids The World Village is a 79-acre, non-profit “storybook” resort that exists solely for the fulfillment of wishes granted to children through a partnering wish-granting organization. The child and his/her family are provided accommodations, meals, entertainment and theme park tickets to the world-famous attractions of Central Florida.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Oh So Worthy: Boots and Blessings Gala benefitting Ally's Wish

Three years ago, four friends founded Ally’s Wish in honor of their dear friend, Allyson Hendrickson whose wish was the first to be granted prior to losing her battle with ovarian cancer in 2014. Hendrickson’s blog, 3 Little Cowboys began as a collection of letters and stories to her three young sons, but it quickly gained a national following spanning seven years. With her friends by her side, she unwrapped her published book, Three Little Cowboys. Today a portion of the sales from Hendrickson’s book benefits Ally’s Wish. “We are so thankful for our friend Allyson, and though her time on earth was short, her legacy will last a lifetime,” said Ally’s Wish Founder and President, Missy Phipps. “We are incredibly appreciative for the outpouring of support we’ve received from the community, and we know this gala will be unforgettable, just like Allyson.” Since its inception, Ally’s Wish has granted 56 wishes to young mothers who’ve battled inflammatory breast cancer, Leukemia, colon cancer and other terminal illnesses. You have the opportunity to help them raise funds to grant even more wishes by attending the Third Annual Boots & Blessings Gala presented by Lisa and Greg Drew on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at Gilley’s Dallas at 6:30 p.m.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Oh So Tasty: Lovers Seafood and Market

Lovers Seafood and Market
photos c/o Lovers Seafood and Market and Cynthia Smoot

I love supporting women-owned businesses and I love it even more when the women are Tracy Rathbun and Lynae Fearing. The dynamic duo behind Shinsei, recently opened a new concept called Lovers Seafood and Market located in the old Rex’s location at Lovers and Inwood. Joining Rathbun and Fearing is their new endeavor is Executive Chef Aaron Staudenmaier. The longtime Abacus chef has returned to Dallas after leaving in 2012 to lead the kitchen at Boot Ranch in Fredericksburg. Staudenmaier’s menu begins with an array of soups (gumbo, clam chowder), salads, and shareable starters like Thai-style mussels and clams, ahi tuna poke and Cajun fried oysters. Larger plates include fish and chips, a Cajun roasted half chicken and fish tacos, plus a delicious burger and sandwiches like the lobster roll, crispy hot chicken sliders and po’boys. In addition to sit-down dining, the restaurant features a full bar and also a market, which will provide the freshest seafood and shellfish for customers to take home.

The space was designed by Greg O'Neal of Philosophy Design, and was created to provide diners with a calm, clean and refreshing environment. The 3,000 square foot interior space seats 79 and is adorned by ship lap lumber walls, hemp ropes and herringbone millwork, plus a wood stain patina to give the restaurant a modern twist on coastal comfort and elegance. The aquamarine bar sits underneath a sea of crystal liquor decanters, retrofitted into a beautiful lighting feature. And outside, a boardwalk-inspired patio can accommodate an additional 40 diners. “We couldn’t be more excited to share our new concept with Dallas,” said Tracy Rathbun and Lynae Fearing. “This is our neighborhood, and when the opportunity presented itself, we knew we had to jump on it. We’re looking forward to providing our friends, neighbors and the entire city with great food, drinks and the freshest market catches in a fun and relaxed setting.” Lovers Seafood and Market is located at 5200 W Lovers Lane. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Symphony of Chefs 2017 Takes Dining For A Cause To A Whole New Level

7th Annual Symphony of Chefs benefits KidLinks
photos c/o Thomas Garza

The social season is in full swing and as a result I am so behind in bringing you the scoop from the scene. Better late than never, right. I attended the 7th Annual Symphony of Chefs benefitting KidLinks on February 27, 2017 at the newly renovated and renamed Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station and was so impressed with the spectacular event that Hamilton A Sneed of HAS Events produced. This culinary evening was led by Honorary Chairs D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock, Event Co-Chairs Georgia & Marc Lyons and Bonnie & Nathan Shea and Honorary Chef Chair, Salvatore Gisellu with Urban Family Restaurants. The unforgettable night began with an hors d’oeuvres reception featuring Rising Star Chefs: Jan Loov of Texas Spice, Benjamin Maulsby of Happiest Hour, and Juan Orocio of 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery. DSQ Electric provided a live musical performance from the balcony in the Stationmasters Lounge lending a romantic flavor to the start of the night.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Don't Miss Arts In Bloom, April 7-9

Sponsored Post:

Arts in Bloom In Historic Downtown McKinney

The annual Arts in Bloom festival has grown in popularity throughout the state of Texas and was recently named on GuideLive's list of 50 can't-miss festivals this spring. This year, the highly anticipated festival has been extended to three days. Art from local, regional, and nationally acclaimed artists will blossom throughout Historic Downtown McKinney Friday, April 7 through Sunday, April 9. The event, which features artwork, music, wine garden, food and shopping, is hosted by McKinney Main Street, the McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC) and the shops in downtown McKinney. The festival kicks off on Friday with performances by The Chuck Ligon Band and headliner Two Tons of Steel on the Deep Ellum Brewing Company Main Stage 🍺. On Saturday, families will enjoy the nearby Farmers Market at Chestnut Square during the day and in the evening the stages will be alive with the tunes of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band and a blend of honky tonk Tex-Mex from the Tejas Brothers. 🎶 All weekend long, musical performances and decadent food will available throughout the downtown square.