volume 2 issue 4 | NovemBeR 2009 | theVIPmag.

VOLUME 7 ISSUE 4 | February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
o f s o u t h e a s t t e x a s
The Doguet
Rice Dynasty
Great SE Texas
restaurants and
food trucks
Top Chef
Tiffany Derry
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How to fnd
inspiration in
...for those
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380 main Street
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A division of hearst newspapers
on the cover
This season take your fashion inspiration from February’s seasonal fruits
and vegetables, like the parsnip-inspired look on the cover from S&M
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c o n t e n t s
vip magazine
06 vip leisure
06 Food trucks
10 vip worthy
10 The Dietz honey farm
14 vipersonality
14 The Doguet Rice
19 Tifany Derry:
Catching up with our
Top Chef
22 vip home
22 How and why to clear
out your kitchen chaos
24 vip style
24 Fresh fashion: Taking
inspiration from seasonal
31 food&drink
31 Promoting SE Texas
34 Gumbo variations
38 Recipe: King Cake
39 vip spotlight
39 SE Texas events
44 vip adviser
44 Favorite SETexas meals
47 Calendar
49 Crossword puzzle
50 vip voices
50 Should you buy a
inside february
4 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
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text by Jane McBride
hether it’s entertainment, art or cuisine, one of the
most common complaints we hear is the dearth of
experiences in Southeast Texas. Yes, trends might
be a tad slow coming to Beaumont, but then we ap-
preciate them so much more when they do.
The cultural food truck phenomenon that began in California in
2008 is thriving here, so quit your whining, get out and enjoy some
creative dishes served from a walk-up window.
Locally, hungry diners can fnd everything from traditional Ameri-
can fare to food that carries the favors of countries around the globe.
Nyjuma Howard creates West Indian/Creole fusion while Monica
Cobb’s gourmet sandwiches add French touches to a Vietnamese staple.
... mobile
f o o d t r u c k s
food dining
photography By Lacie grant
Banh Mon
onica Cobb has the
chops to turn a food
truck pickup into a
fne dining experience.
The personable chef has years of
culinary training, including stints at
Wolfgang Puck’s famous Hollywood
eatery, Spago. She honed her skills
traveling the world, from Egypt to
Italy, Belgium and England.
Cobb is a strong supporter of
food trucks, not only for the charm
and energy they bring, but also for
the opportunity they provide to
those who want to cook for a living
without the steep start-up costs of
brick and mortar restaurants.
“You can have the freedom to
test new products in the food indus-
try without having to go into crazy
amounts of debt,” she said.
Paired with local growers, food
trucks create a “synergy of commu-
nity” that can bring farmers, chefs,
artisans and musicians together to
create mini-festivals where they can
sell their goods and enjoy a creative
atmosphere, Cobb said.
“There is a burgeoning scene of
art, culture and science that is grow-
ing here, and (food trucks) are an-
other little blossom. We’ve worked
really hard with the City and Health
Department and have made positive
changes with a template that allows
people to make it happen. It opens
up the playing feld for everybody.
We want to support local busi-
While Cobb continues to expand
her menu, the faithful foodies who
have followed her for years most of-
ten request her banh mon. And yes,
it’s a play on words based on her
name and the Vietnamese sandwich
served on Banh mi bread, a roll with
French beginnings. Choices include
lemongrass chicken, black strap mo-
lasses pork, or shrimp, covered with
fresh greens like cilantro, carrots,
pickled daikon and more, bathed in
her signature dressings and sriracha.
Cobb, who was trained in Asian
fusion cuisine, says friends from the
Vietnamese/French community have
shared techniques.
“In Southeast Texas, we have a
rich diverse culture. The possibili-
ties are endless.”
Cobb and Howard are exploring
the possibility of developing a food
truck map that will guide diners to
the locations of trucks in the area.
It’s a bit tricky, since many food
trucks don’t have permanent loca-
tions but travel around from place to
place, often following events.
6 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup
3 to 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 quart roasted winter vegetables, recipe follows
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb carrots, peeled
1½ lbs celery, chopped
1 lb parsnips, peeled
1 large sweet potato, peeled
1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and seeded
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
3 T good olive oil
1½ tsp kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 T chopped fresh fat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut the carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, and butternut squash in 1 to 1¼-inch
cubes. All the vegetables will shrink while baking, so don’t cut too small.
Place cut vegetables in a single layer on 2 sheet pans. Drizzle with olive oil;
season with salt and pepper. Toss well. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until tender,
turning once with a metal spatula.
Sprinkle with parsley and season to taste.
In a large saucepan, heat 3 cups chicken stock. Place one-half of the roasted
winter vegetables and chicken stock in the bowl of a food processor ftted with
the steel blade (or use a handheld blender). Blend until smooth. Pour soup back
into the pot and season to taste. Thin with more chicken stock to the consisten-
cy you like and reheat. The soup should be thick but not like a vegetable puree.
Yield: 8 servings
Banh Mon Renegade Street Food, 4585 Calder, (310) 463-0127
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 7
The Jamaican Cajun
oward, who grew up in Brooklyn, creates
dishes that carry the infuences of the Ja-
maican foods of her paternal grandmother,
Ivy Howard. She adds the red and brown
sauces of her South Carolina mother, along with the
Cajun and Creole-inspired dishes of Southeast Texas
and Southwest Louisiana.
“I’ve always wanted to see West Indian food here
in this area because you have to travel 70 miles to
Houston to have a Jamaican or Trinidadian meal,”
Howard said.
Her fragrant dishes are infused with spices found
in West Indian and Cajun cooking. Her most popular
dishes are curry chicken, oxtail stew and shrimp and
crawfsh etoufee.
You can fnd Howard’s truck downtown Monday
through Friday in the parking lot across from the
Jeferson Theatre. She caters on the weekends and at-
tends seasonal Southeast Texas festivals and carnivals.
Beginning in March, she can be found at Lunch on the
Lake at the Beaumont Event Center, along with other
food trucks and concessions.
Howard agreed to share the recipe for the signature
dish of Jamaica: saltfsh and ackee. Ackee is a fruit
native to West Africa that found its way to Jamaica
in 1778. You can fnd canned ackee in large grocery
stores. The traditional saltfsh is cod, but other types
of fsh sometimes are used.
Salt Fish and Ackee
1 can ackee
½ lb. saltfsh – boneless/skinless
1 medium white onion, sliced
1 habanera or scotch bonnet pepper, seeded
and diced
fresh thyme
1 medium tomato, cubed
½ tsp black pepper
2 T vegetable oil
2 scallions, sliced
¼ medium sweet bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
Soak saltfsh overnight in cold water to
reduce salt. Drain, rinse and pat dry.
In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable
oil. Add sliced onion, garlic and habanera pep-
per. Cook two minutes or until the onion is soft
then add the sweet bell pepper, thyme, black
pepper and scallions. Cook for an additional
two minutes. Add saltfsh and cook a for 3-5
minutes. Add cubed tomatoes last to prevent
them from being mushy. After a quick toss, add
the ackee. To prevent the ackee from becoming
mushy or broken, do not mix. Heat an additional
minute, then distribute the ackee gently with a
fork. VIP
The Jamaican Cajun, 505 Orleans, Beaumont, 409-233-8241
8 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
ietz Farms in Meeker just north
of Beaumont is buzzing with
activity, literally. That’s because
it’s the home base of Dietz
Honey Co., owned and operated
by Tim and Stephanie Dietz.
Starting a family bzzzness
The Dietz family has more than 300 beehives
throughout the area including Sour Lake, China,
Beaumont, Winnie and Groves. “We try to stay in
the Golden Triangle,” Stephanie said, adding that
they have hives on their farm too.
Stephanie and Tim grew up on farms and have
always had gardens and animals. “Years ago, Tim
was an organic farmer,” Stephanie said. “And
Tim’s dad had bees.”
The couple brought bees into the family in
2005 with 20 hives and started Dietz Honey Co.
in 2009. It started out as a hobby. “We really
enjoyed it – talking about honey,” Stephanie
explained. “We like to educate people about the
It took a couple of years to get the opera-
tion up and buzzing. Stephanie was working at
Doguet’s rice, turf and feed store on Major Drive
in Beaumont in 2010 and started selling jars of
honey from that location. Also that year, she was
asked to sell her honey at the Beaumont Farmers
Market. “It kind of all went from there,” she said.
The beehives are all on private acreage. “We
try to watch out for pesticides,” Stephanie noted.
“We prefer organic gardeners.”
Tim checks the bees anywhere from once a
week to once a month. “The spring and early
summer are our busiest times,” Stephanie said.
That’s when they move bees and pull, or harvest,
the honey. Harvesting happens one time a year,
usually around July 4th. After that, Tim and
Stephanie stay busy flling jars with honey and
cleaning everything up. “It’s a sticky mess,”
Stephanie admits.
It’s just honey, honey
The Dietz’s honeybees produce about 90
pounds of honey per hive. With about 300 hives,
that’s close to 27,000 pounds of honey.
“It’s a total chick-power thing,” says Stepha-
nie, explaining that beehives are made up of
mostly females. All of the worker bees are
females. Males are called drones and their only
job is to mate with the queen bees in the hives.
(There’s only one queen per hive.) When they’re
not needed, they’re kicked out.
Dietz honey is sold at retail stores including
Basic Foods in Beaumont, Jack’s Pak-It in Beau-
mont and Lumberton, Down to Earth in Neder-
land and Five Star Feeds in Port Arthur. And it’s
100 percent pure honey. “If you taste it, you can
tell the diference,” Stephanie said. “We’ve had
people ask, ‘What do you put in your honey?’
Bee happy
Tim is very diligent about taking care of his
bees, saying, “If they’re not happy, I’m
The Dietzs keep bzzzy with their bees
A honey of a
l o c a l h o n e y
vip worthy
10 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
Honey health
! Honey has been used for medici-
nal purposes since ancient times.
! Honey has distinct antiseptic
properties, which is why it’s good
for sore throats.
! Honey acts as an antibacterial
and antifungal agent and helps
disinfect and speed the healing pro-
cess in wounds, scrapes and burns.
“Put it on a cut, put a bandage on it
and leave it alone,” Tim advises.
! Eating local honey can help ease
or banish allergies completely by
helping to strengthen immunity to
the local pollen that’s causing the
Bee attractive
! Bees fnd blue, purple and yellow
fowers most appealing. Flat or
shallow blossoms such as daisies,
zinnias, asters and Queen Anne’s
lace will attract the largest variety
of bees.
! Plant a garden that has a variety
of plants in bloom from early spring
through late fall. Stephanie says her
bees love basil and sunfowers.
! Plant wildfowers and native
plants in your garden and landscape
for wild bees.
! Loss of nesting habitat is a seri-
ous problem for wild bees. Provide
a good nesting habitat by keeping a
small brush pile or some areas with
dry grasses or dead tree limbs.
! Keep a pan of water mixed with
honey or sugar in your yard to feed
the bees.
! “Garden more naturally,” Stepha-
nie advises. Avoid pesticides. p
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 11
not happy.”
It’s hard work, he acknowledges, but he believes
he’s doing his part to help pollinate area gardens
and orchards. In the United States, most of the
fruit, vegetable and seed crops are pollinated by
honeybees. Tim blames the prevalent amount of
insecticides and pesticides being used, often by
people who don’t have the knowledge to apply it
correctly, for the declining population of bees. “It’s
really sad,” he said.
The beekeeper medicates the bees with natural
remedies. Cinnamon kills mold in the hives and also
naturally repels mites. He mixes it with powdered
sugar and makes it available to the bees. They only
eat the powdered sugar but they’re walking in the
cinnamon, which they bring back to the hives. Gar-
lic around the hives keeps ants and hive beetles out
but the bees won’t eat it. He also mixes lemongrass
oil with sugar water. The bees drink it and it keeps
their little systems clean and fushed.
Even though he gets stung occasionally, Tim
wants to make sure no harm befalls the bees. “My
dad said, ‘Son, we’re here to assist the bees, not to
tell them what to do.’ I try to help them,” he said.
“The bees don’t need us. We need the bees.” VIP
12 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
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From left, Darby Doguet, Mike Doguet, Debbie Robbins, Greg Devillier and Kevin Robbins
14 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
hough you can pick
up a package of
Doguet’s rice at a
local Market Basket,
you can also fnd it in
Saudi Arabia or on a
cruise ship or in New York City. The little
grains that grew in a wet feld in Texas
and then were milled in Beaumont travel
the world as major retailers distribute the
most important area commodity: Rice.
Great grain
Rice has been farmed in this area of
Texas for more than 100 years. “It’s the
No. 1 commodity,” said Mike Doguet,
general manager of Doguet’s Rice Milling
Co. in Beaumont. “Other grains don’t
do well because we get too much rain.
It’s really the only crop that will do well
here year in and out. It’s a difcult area
to farm, but rice does well because rice
grows in the water.”
Rice farmers from as far as 200 miles
away sell their crops to Doguet’s to dry,
mill and package. From there, distribu-
tors send the rice across the globe. “I
have people tell me all the time, ‘We had
Doguet’s rice in Japan,’ or somewhere,”
Doguet said. “We sell to brokers and it
does end up all over the place.”
Debbie Robbins, president of the
company and Doguet’s sister, fnds it
rewarding work to provide a staple ingre-
dient needed by people everywhere. “It is
a wonderful thing that our rice is all over
the world,” she said. “We don’t always
know where the fnal product goes. We
have seen pictures of people with our
product in Mexico and other countries.
It’s really satisfying to know how we are
making an impact.”
The company currently employees 40
people at the mill with an additional 20
or so in their additional family businesses
of turf, cattle and crawfsh. The company
ofcially started in 1979, but the Doguet
family’s roots go much deeper in the soil.
Family tradition
The Doguet family has been in the
rice business – from farming to milling
to brokering – for multiple generations
since the 1920s. Company founder Darby
Doguet’s grandfather was a rice farmer
in Louisiana, but Darby chose to go into
the business side of the industry. With
his wife Norma and their six children,
he moved around the area from Bay City
to Winnie as his career shifted. Along
the way, he managed various rice dryers,
managed the Winnie Rice Farmers Co-op
and worked as a commissioned buyer.
In 1974, he started the Chambers
County Seed Co. in Winnie and brought
his son Mike, fresh out of college, into
the business. Then in 1979, he purchased
the Amelia Rice Dryer, establishing
Doguet’s Rice Milling Co. in Beaumont.
Over the years, the business has
expanded and changed but has stayed fo-
cused on its core product of rice: Brown
rice, white rice and now, organic rice. In
1997, Doguet and Robbins bought their
father out of the mill. Robbins’ son, Greg
Devillier, came into the business after
graduating from Texas State University
in 2006. Starting at the bottom, he has
worked his way up through the company
and now is a part-owner and serves as
the vice president. Devillier and his wife,
Donnell, are expecting a baby boy next
month, setting up a potential fourth gen-
eration to the family business.
Shifting to organic
When the Doguets frst bought the
mill, they only had the equipment to
make brown rice, which they sold as an
export. They added white rice in 1984,
after upgrading equipment to clean the
rice and remove the hull. “Our frst cus-
tomer was Market Basket, who has been
a big part of our growth over the years,”
Doguet said.
Doguet’s still mills brown rice and
sells the rice bran (the part removed from
white rice) to the feed industry for live-
stock. After adding white rice, the next
biggest shift in business has been going
organic. They contracted 50 acres of
organic rice with a local farmer in 1986.
That has grown to 5,000 acres this year.
“Sixty to 75 percent of our business is
organic rice now,” Doguet said.
Robbins and Devillier see the best
proft for rice coming from the demand
for organic options. “The organic side is
going to grow if we can get more knowl-
edge to farmers,” Robbins said. “They
are scared about what it takes to farm
organic. We are giving them encourage-
ment because it will help our business
grow and it’s better for the environment
and better for healthy eating.”
Being out front with an organic
option has positioned Doguet’s nicely
as consumers become more concerned
about where and how their food is grown.
Doguet’s rice is also doing well in regards
to consumer reactions to gluten and
genetically modifed food.
“As of right now, no rice is GMO,”
Robbins said. “We’ve added ‘gluten-free’
to the label. Our business is rice only so
we have no cross-contaminants. Rice
The Doguet family’s rice milling
empire crosses three generations
and travels around the world
photography by SCOTT ESLingER
d o g u e t ’ s r i c e
vip worthy
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 15
is sodium-and cholesterol-free also,
and is a big nutritional product.”
Highs and lows
As a commodity, the price of rice
goes up and down and the weather
can bring good years and bad years.
“Rice has been great for our fam-
ily, but there have been some hard-
ships,” Doguet said, remembering the
stress of Hurricane Rita. Green rice
will smolder and burn if left untend-
ed and the mill was full as farmers
were desperately cutting and bringing
in as much crop as they could before
the hurricane. The mill lost power.
Doguet remembers they were able
to get a generator from San Antonio
in the nick of time. “We didn’t lose a
grain of rice and within two days we
were operating,” he said.
Robbins knows the impact of
their business goes beyond the mill,
providing a living not only for their
employees but for area farmers, too.
Leading a company in a male-domi-
nated industry hasn’t been difcult,
she said. “I have tomboy tenden-
cies anyway, being raised with older
brothers,” she said. “Also, farmers are
good, honest, hard-working people
and real easy to work with.”
The future
The future of rice in Texas has
some risks. A lot of land that was
once rice farms is now residential
subdivisions as farmers age out and
no one wants to work the land. Per-
sistent drought hasn’t helped, either.
“We’ve lost 60,000 acres of rice
— 3,000 organic — from the water
restrictions,” Doguet said, referring to
farmland closer to Houston.
In addition to working for the
company, Doguet and his wife, Lisa,
farmed rice for about 25 years, but
got completely out of rice farming
in 2010. He’s also announced that
he will retire from the company in a
year, having already sold his portion
of the business back to Robbins and
Devillier. He has been mentoring his
nephew to become his replacement.
“Greg has worked his way up through
the dryer and mill, buying and sell-
ing,” Doguet said. “He’s taken what I
knew and put it all in the modern age
of computers.”
Robbins is also beginning to think
about retirement in the next fve to
10 years, with the expectation that
Devillier will buy her out of the busi-
ness and keep it going. Robbins and
her husband, Kevin (who also works
for the company), would like to enjoy
their farm where they raise cattle and
rice. “I just love nature,” she said.
“I love looking out at the lake and
watching the ducks and birds come in
and out on the farm. I love watching
16 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
sunrises and sunsets; it’s very calm-
Devillier, who descends from rice
farmers on both sides of his parent-
age, has worked in every role at the
company to prepare for ultimately
running the business. “He has a lot
of fresh ideas, particularly on the
organic side,” Robbins said. “It can
be hard for someone young to come
in and tell older people that have
been there awhile what to do, but our
people respect him and listen to him
because he’s worked to learn about
every job.”
In addition to specializing in or-
ganic, Devillier sees opportunity for
the company to package private >>
All About Rice
Texas is one of only a few states that can
grow rice, though it has slipped from the
top as a producer as farmers have changed
crops or sold out. Arkansas is the current top
producer. But Southeast Texas stays competi-
tive in the industry because of good water
“Rice needs plentiful water,” Doguet
explained. “We have one of the only areas in
the country that has the water supply neces-
sary. Also, 95 percent of the rice felds here
are gravity fed — they don’t need a pump
which is real economical. That’s one of the
reasons why the area has thrived with rice
because of the low cost in water.”
Doguet praised the Lower Neches Valley
Authority for keeping the water prices down
and for the foresight of the farming ancestors
who designed and built the canal system
through the felds by hand.
And though rice likes water, felds also
need to drain or too much water can kill the
seedlings. Much of the local area hasn’t had
suffcient drainage, but Doguet is hopeful that
the huge drainage district project currently
being cut to the intercoastal canal will make
a positive impact.
Another advantage in Southeast Texas is
that farmers can often get a second crop of
rice if they time the planting correctly and the
weather cooperates. The frst planting goes
in during spring with the frst harvest in July
or August. A second crop can then be grown
with a November harvest, though it can be a
gamble with frost. The frst crop takes 110
days to mature, the second needs 60 days,
growing from the roots of the frst.
“Because of the amount of rainfall, there
is a small window of time to get the ground
ready and to get the crop harvested,” Doguet
said. “A lot of years you start with dry ground,
and then we get rain that won’t stop. You
have to fght mud and rain. Fortunately, rice
is a real forgiving crop.”
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 17
label rice for various retailers
such as H.E.B. and others. The
company recently passed an as-
sessment — the Safety Quality
Food Audit — that will open up
possibilities with large, multi-
national companies that require
the audit to do business.
As the only family member
of his generation involved in the
business, Devillier feels respon-
sible for the family legacy. “There
defnitely seems like a weight on
the shoulder for the impact on
lives,” he said,” to keep all your
employees working and for the
farmers who depend on us to buy
their rice.” VIP
The Future?
Agriculture in general, not just rice,
is losing the younger generation from
farms all over the country.
“Back when we were kids, I
remember hundreds of farmers, but
the numbers have dwindled,” Doguet
said, pointing to economic factors and
lifestyle as deterrents.
“Most people leave the farm to go
to 40-hour a week jobs in offces,” he
said. “Farming is seven days a week,
fghting weather and the government
from sun up to sundown. There are a
lot of headaches in farming and it’s
very expensive to farm.”
Unless a young farmer inherits
land and equipment, getting started in
farming is prohibitive. Doguet got his
frst combine second-hand from his
father-in-law. “Most farmers, if you’re
going to date their daughter, they are
going to put you to work,” he said. “I
didn’t mind working. I took over that
farm and farmed for 25 years. I paid
$147,000 for that combine. The same
one new today costs $350,000. A
young guy getting into the business
can’t do it without help.”
The average farm in the area has
well over $1 million in equipment,
Doguet estimated. Even with the chal-
lenges, there are several young farm-
ers following in their dads’ footsteps.
Doguet knows one 24-year-old gradu-
ate of Lamar University who is now
farming 600 to 700 acres in organic
rice. “We defnitely need younger,
innovative farmers,” he said. “Most
farmers in business now are college
graduates. But it’s a dangerous thing
in this country with a small portion of
the population feeding everybody. We
need to get more proft into the ag
18 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
eaumont’s celebrity chef Tifany Derry
is constantly cooking up new ideas
to keep her career fresh. Television
shows, T-shirts, a cookbook and a line
of spices are currently on her menu.
Born to cook
Food has always played a big part in Derry’s
life. She remembers helping her mother in the
kitchen when she was still a toddler and starting
to cook by herself when she was just a few years
older. Family dinners were an important part of
her childhood growing up in Beaumont. Family
birthdays and holidays were based around big
meals. For Mother’s Day, the men of the fam-
ily cooked. For Father’s Day, the women of the
family prepared the meal. “We tried to outdo the
men,” Derry noted of the friendly competition.
Derry credits her mother, Louisa Austin,
for teaching her how to cook. “My mom was
adventurous,” Derry said, adding that she often
tried new foods and new recipes. “I think that’s
the base. I add on to those things. That was the
foundation. My mom started it.”
The young chef began her culinary career at
International House of Pancakes on Eastex Free-
way in Beaumont where she started as a server
at 15 years old. One day, the kitchen staf needed
help. She jumped right in calling the orders to
the cooks and making pancakes. “I loved it,” she
remembered. “It was so much fun.” But she had
to keep her grades up — anything less than the
A-B honor roll at Ozen High School and her
Tiffany Derry is adding
more fresh projects
to her career menu
t i f f a n y d e r r y
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 19
parents would make her quit her
After graduating from high
school in 2001, she attended
the Art Institute of Houston and
earned an associate of science
degree in culinary arts in 2003.
From there she moved on to
fne-dining establishments as an
executive sous chef and later as
an executive chef. In 2010, she
earned a spot as a contestant for
Bravo television’s reality program
“Top Chef” and appeared in sea-
son seven, when she was voted fan
favorite, and season eight.
Although her cooking and her
tastes moved toward fne dining
and fne foods, she still likes a big
stack of pancakes with bacon or
a fast-food burger with fries now
and then. “I defnitely love all of
that,” she admitted. “But I have
a deep appreciation for the fner
foods. I defnitely cannot go with-
out the fner foods.”
More television in the mix
In September 2011, Derry
opened a restaurant called Private
Social in her new home base of
Dallas. She got the restaurant up
and running and sold it in January
2013. That’s when she started
promoting her television career
and launched a consulting frm for
restaurants called T.D. Concepts.
Derry is now a regular food ex-
pert on Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue.”
This spring, she’ll host Spike’s
“Hungry Investors” with Jon
Tafer and John Besh. The show
puts two struggling restaurants
to the test to prove they deserve
a second chance at success. The
restaurant that shows the most
promise of improving wins a large
cash investment. Each episode
takes place in a new city around
the United States. (There will be
a few Texas restaurants featured,
but she can’t divulge them.) “It’s
a great mix because all of us get
along so well,” Derry said.
Why is television such a good
medium for the chef? People tell
her “she’s real,” she said. “I’m not
acting. I don’t put on a show.”
New recipes for success
This year, Derry will ofer
T-shirts with culinary-related slo-
gans on her website and in a few
Texas-based stores. One slogan
reads “Know your roots” and de-
picts root vegetables. “I’m big on
knowing where you come from,”
she said. “It grounds you.”
By year’s end, although she
hasn’t announced the title yet,
Derry plans to have her memoir/
cookbook published.
There’s another big project, but
it’s currently simmering on the
back burner. It’s a line of Derry’s
spices and spice blends produced
by Beaumont-based Texas Cofee
Co., makers of TexJoy seasonings
and spices. “We’re still working on
that,” she said.
Sage advice
Even though Derry’s televi-
sion career is taking of, she still
wants to open more restaurants.
“I’m planning for another concept
in the fall,” she said. “I defnitely
want more restaurants.”
What’s her advice for someone
thinking of opening a restau-
rant? “Go work in one frst,” she
advises. “Just because you enjoy
cooking at home doesn’t mean
you can run a restaurant. Truth be
told, cooking is just a small part of
running a successful business. You
can’t be just a chef. You have to be
a business person.” VIP
20 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
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text by BarBara Mahany
et’s start with the
ugly truth: Your
kitchen has gone
to pot — and we
don’t mean the
cooking kind,
the kind you can’t fnd for all the
whatchamabobs and doohickeys
you’ve hoarded over the years.
You can’t see the countertops
(yes, those quarried-just-for-
you landing pads you haven’t
eyeballed since the day they were
smacked down).
You can barely yank open the
extra-wide utensil drawer, what
with all the thingamajigs you’ve
stufed inside. Psst, do you re-
ally need three dough scrapers?
And what’s with the fve orange
peelers, the deep-dish pizza pan
grabber you haven’t used in 16
years, and, excuse me, please
explain the microwave probe that
looks for all the world like some-
thing that belongs in a carpen-
ter’s tool belt?
Oh, sure, you could call in the
demolition crew and start from
scratch. But we’ve got a smarter
idea: Pare it down. Ditch the
detritus. Dial up the bliss there
by the cutting board. Find your
kitchen Zen.
“I call all this stuf that builds
up life plaque,” says life coach
Gail Blanke, author of Throw Out
Fifty Things: Clear the Clut-
ter, Find Your Life. “It clogs the
arteries of our lives and, God
knows, it stops up our creativity.”
Seeking the Zen
Gail Blanke’s guide to the uncluttered kitchen:
! Start simple. Pick one drawer — 15 minutes is all we’re asking. Set a
! As you riffe through, ask: Do I like it? Am I using it now? Do I want to pass
it to my kids? (If the answer is no, anywhere along, slap on the eviction notice.)
! Remember: You don’t have to toss Granny’s corncob-shaped platter into
the trash; you can always donate.
! Once you conquer that lowly drawer, you’ll be emboldened to take on a
cupboard, the pantry — maybe even the dark recesses of your fridge.
clearing space
What to do when your kitchen
Zen is buried deep beneath a
gazillion whatchamabobs
k i t c h e n s
vip home
22 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
Seeing as she wrote 271 pages
on the subject, Blanke can clear
a kitchen in a matter of minutes
(follow along with her de-clutter
guide below). Most of what’s
clogging the joint, she says, is
“the debris of indecision.”
You really need that oyster-
shucking knife you haven’t used
in 11 years?
Lest you think she’ll have
you tossing the kitchen sink, she
soothes: “I’m not a minimalist.
I’m a middle-of-the-road person.
The diference is I don’t keep
anything around that I don’t
And therein lies your home-
“We’re not talking about
having the tidiest kitchen on
the block,” says Blanke, “we’re
talking about being free. You
clear the clutter, you clear
your mind.”
Here’s inspiration: Blanke,
a frst-rate cook, one who can
debate morels versus chan-
terelles with the best of ‘em,
says the most sumptuous part
of any holiday is what goes on
way before dinner is served in
the kitchen, the cleared-of-life-
plaque kitchen.
In her old farmhouse, it’s
fve grown-ups and an oversize
golden retriever, ringing round
the cookstove. It’s a candle
burning on the clutter-free
counter, a lamp glowing in the
corner (because there aren’t
18 odd appliances hogging all
the real estate). It’s not being
worried that when one of the
sous chefs is rummaging for
a pie cutter he’ll be impaled
by one of umpteen redundant
When the kitchen is a place
where the ones you love aren’t
elbowing for inches, where
there’s room to peel and chop
and stir, “it makes people feel
like they belong, feel cozy,”
says Blanke. “You have casual
conversations that you might
not otherwise have. That’s
what we remember — it’s not
about having a perfect dinner,
it’s about creating something
beautiful together.”
Chef and author Rosanna
Nafziger Henderson downsized
from her already undersized
kitchen when she married this
past summer, squeezing into a
mere 60 square feet in which
she still manages to churn but-
ter, ferment sauerkraut, even
mill her own buckwheat.
She savors getting by with
a few utensils that connect her
to the ways of cookery long
ago, weave a little exercise
into her day and create much-
needed pauses in the rush to
“One of the main things
about being in the kitchen
together is doing parallel
tasks, and the conversations
that happen when your hands
are doing something,” says
And, adds Blanke, making
room in a kitchen for good
souls and conversation allows
for the richest recipe of all:
“You want the people who’ve
come into your home to walk
away diferently from the way
they arrived.” MCT
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 23
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We design spaces tailored to
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nspired by the colors of some of February’s seasonal fruits and
vegetables – beets, parsnip, tangerine, broccoli, asparagus, bok
choy, red onion and lemon – here are February’s freshest looks.
in season
f e b r u a r y f a s h i o n
vip style
24 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
The color of passion is dramatically
refected in an elegant gown. This
iconic winter hue belongs in everyone’s
wardrobe. Unleash your inner goddess.
Burgundy foppy hat, Splash of Karma,
Nederland, $22; Burgundy scarf, Daisy
Parc Boutique, Nederland, $15; Burgundy
mermaid gown, Daisy Parc Boutique, $250.
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 25
red onion
Simplicity is striking. Find comfort in reliable basics, such as wide-
leg pants and a soft sweater. A modern take on classic colors.
Wine pleated pants, Splash of Karma, Nederland, $52, Magenta ombre
sweater, Splash of Karma, $59, Rhinestone necklace, Dillard’s, Parkdale
Mall, Beaumont, $58.
26 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
Don’t be afraid to embrace your inner child in a cozy lemon
yellow sweater. Add a pop of color on the face with lipstick or
blush to keep a vibrant glow.
Sparkle cable knit sweater, S&M Family Outlet, Beaumont, $16.
Be sweetly bold in a sassy orange ensemble. An unexpected mix
of fabrics and layers is always daring.
Orange shorts, Daisy Parc Boutique, Nederland, $49; Angora wool blend
sweater, Dillard’s, Parkdale Mall, Beaumont, $79; Orange denim biker
jacket, Dillard’s, $69.
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 27
Stay cheeky in fresh shades of green that complement any
skin tone. A variety of hues makes for a chic visual salad.
Green feece drawstring jacket, S & M Family Outlet, Beaumont,
$68; Pea green structured handbag, S & M Family Outlet, $60; Gold
and emerald drop earrings, Dillard’s, Parkdale Mall, Beaumont, $15;
Vintage green gloves, stylist owned.
28 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 29
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Italian wrap sweater, S & M Family Outlet,
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30 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
here’s a good chance a third of the people reading
this worked in the food industry at one time. “People
don’t realize the restaurant industry is the largest in-
dependent industry in the country,” said Charles Duit,
chef instructor at Lamar University and food service
director at Calder Woods. “One out of every three people has worked
in the industry in their lives.”
Taken together, area restaurants and related industries make a
large economic and employment impact. About 170 restaurants are
members of the Sabine Area Restaurant Association (SARA), the local
chapter of the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA). Being a member
of TRA has many practical benefts for restaurants, such as collective
insurance deals, advocacy, marketing and education.
However, the local chapter has taken membership to a higher level,
using their fraternity of food experts to raise more than $1 million
dollars over the years to support other nonprofts. Through two major
fundraising events, Taste of the Triangle and Chef’s Delight, SARA
Through Taste of the Triangle
and Chef’s Delight, Sabine
Area Restaurant Association
voluntarism is a cycle of giving
vip worthy
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 31
has raised more money than
chapters in Houston or San
Antonio at various times and is
one of the top in the state each
year for giving back to the local
“At these events, all the food
is provided for free, but it takes
a lot of time and efort for these
businesses to prepare and staf
the booths,” said Jay Jenkinson,
the vice president and director of
operations for Cheddar’s Beau-
mont/WOW Food Concepts and
the current volunteer president
of SARA. “It’s a gift. It’s a circle
of giving.”
SARA, then and now
Though the restaurant in-
dustry is competitive, it is also a
close-knit community, local res-
taurateurs insist. “Everyone re-
lates to the challenges everybody
has,” Jenkinson said. “When we
come together, it’s powerful.”
Monica Roberts of Courville’s
Catering has been involved
with SARA for the last decade,
particularly in organizing Taste
of the Town.
“The restaurant business isn’t
as cutthroat as people think it
is,” she said. “We have a good
time and support each other.”
The association’s roots go
back to 1946, according to Frank
Messina of Debb’s-Messina’s
Liquors in Beaumont, who has
been involved with the group for
40 years and led Chef’s Delight
for 24 years.“When I got in-
volved as a young man, so many
of the leaders were indepen-
dent restaurateurs, family- and
locally-owned in the Golden
Triangle,” Messina said. “There
were very few chain operations
40 years ago. So many of the
leaders of the organization then
were self-made — no education,
but great business people.”
Jenkinson said the list of origi-
nal members reads like a who’s
who of mom-and-pop restaurants
of the era. “It was more than a
group of restaurateurs; it was a
group of close friends.”
The group became an ofcial
chapter of TRA in 1986. As the
Golden Triangle has grown, more
food concept and chain restaurants
have moved to the area, while
many of those founding mem-
bers have passed on, sold out or
Current leaders view this trend
as a positive indicator of the local
economy and the opportunities for
growth, though an ongoing chal-
lenge to encourage involvement.
Messina estimates only a third of
the 170 members are active in the
Giving spirit
The Taste of the Town event
has raised more than $1.1 million
dollars in the past 30 years. Those
dollars in turn were donated to
support the Babe Zaharias Special
Olympics, Some Other Place, the
Southeast Texas Food Bank and
Boys’ Haven and Girls’ Haven.
Those organizations know where
to come when they need a hand,
Roberts said. For example, SARA
A Big Family
Any restaurant can elect to join SARA,
with membership fees scaled by gross
profts. However, many of the key leaders
throughout SARA’s history have been
associate members, meaning they don’t
own a restaurant but provide some kind
of service to the industry. Messina, who
owns liquor stores, is a good example,
as is David Heilman of Ace Imagewear
in Beaumont who served as the top
sponsorship chairman of Taste of the
Town for years. Geographically, the local
chapter stretches from Orange to Winnie
and Jasper to Port Arthur.
photography by the BeAumont enterprise
32 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
2014 Taste of
the Triangle
The Sabine Area Restaurant Association
will host the 31st Taste of the Triangle
in March. The event is typically flled to
capacity. Restaurants that participate
donate the food and staff for the event.
Guests pay one ticket fee and then can
sample foods at the booths that have
numbered anywhere from 40 to 115 one
big year. Drinks and a live band are part
of the festivities. Sponsorships are avail-
able and allow early admittance.
When: March 4, 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Beaumont Civic Center
Tickets: $20, available through Tick-
etmaster, Beaumont Civic Center and
H.E.B. Dowlen Road.
provided a new freezer when Girls
Haven’s broke.
SARA also spends about
$20,000 each year at the Southeast
Texas State Fair YMBL Livestock
Auction. The processed meat is
donated to the same nonprofts.
The other major event, Chef’s
Delight, occurs in the fall in con-
junction with the Golden Triangle
Chef’s Association. This event has
raised as much as $125,000 in one
night. The proceeds go to support
scholarships to Lamar University
and Lamar Institute of Technology
culinary programs. SARA volun-
teers estimate they have donated
about $500,000 in scholarships
and equipment, in addition to a
$250,000 endowment they estab-
lished in 2008.
“Creating an endowment is
unheard of for a small chapter
like us,” Duit said, adding that 21
scholarships were awarded in Janu-
ary. SARA also gives two scholar-
ships to the Lamar University
program to high school students.
Prospective students compete to
win a scholarship in either the
culinary or front-of-house division.
Fresh blood wanted
The SARA leadership views
their biggest challenge as fresh
blood: new volunteers to the orga-
nization and skilled new employ-
ees to the restaurant industry.
“The challenge for us is to
reach out into the new organiza-
tions that have come to the area
and embrace them,” Jenkinson
said. “Though they are mem-
bers and many support SARA
by providing booths or buying
tables at our events, we need to
ask them for some human capital
to continue our eforts.”
Messina echoed these
thoughts, concerned that many
of the most active board mem-
bers are in their 50s and 60s.
In addition to convincing
volunteers to step-up, all restau-
rants worry about having capable
employees due to workforce
competition. “Alternative indus-
tries are pulling away workers,
but people are always eating,”
Duit noted. “Restaurants are the
largest supporter of minority and
female management. People rise
to the top of their local restau-
rant faster than anywhere else.
The possibilities are unlimited.
You can start as a dishwasher
and end up the manager.”
Investing in the Lamar culi-
nary students is just smart busi-
ness to pay it forward, as SARA
members view it.
“I’m starting to see some
of my students get involved,”
Duit said. “They left school,
went into the workforce and
have come back to help. They
remember benefting from the
scholarships. That’s my personal
‘wow’ moment, seeing them
come back.” VIP
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 33
text by MATT LEE And TEd LEE
should be
as straight-
forward and
approachable as its name. But
something about the spicy Creole
soup seems rigid and intimidat-
ing. Whenever we mentioned
gumbo in a group of food lovers
we heard cryptic warnings:
“If you make it right, it’s the
most expensive dish you’ll ever
“If you don’t let it sit for three
days, it’s not gumbo.”
“It’s all about your roux.”
“You can’t make a little bit of
gumbo, so don’t even attempt it.”
Gloomy advice like that tends
to induce kitchen cramp, the
cook’s version of writer’s block, so
we were thrilled to attend a gumbo
“duel” at the Southern Foodways
Symposium in Oxford, Miss., not
so long ago where two competi-
tors’ gumbos were so wildly dif-
ferent that the mere suggestion
of competition seemed downright
unsportsmanlike. In a leafy grove,
competitors ladled out their fnest
gumbo to 120 restaurant critics,
chefs, culinary historians and
plain old eaters, who voted by
Here were stews that had in
common only the white bowls in
which they were served.
Leah Chase, the chef and owner
of Dooky Chase in New Orleans,
served a superb traditional Creole
gumbo, a rich, smoky gravy full
of good things: shrimp, chicken
wings, crab legs, sausage, hunks of
beef brisket.
Fritz Blank, the chef and owner
of Deux Cheminees in Philadel-
phia, ladled out a tribute to his
city’s pepper pot, a gumbo with all
the fundamentals of Ms. Chase’s:
a thick soup with gentle spice
and heat, textured by a variety of
But where Ms. Chase’s soup
was a brackish, silky broth thick-
ened with roux and fle powder,
Mr. Blank’s was jack-o’-lantern
orange and velvety, thickened by a
puree of rice, leeks and butternut
squash. Ms. Chase’s gumbo got its
pep from paprika and hot sausage,
Mr. Blank’s from ginger and haba-
nero chili.
Both gumbos were deeply com-
plex, wildly exotic and perfectly
balanced all at once: alternatingly
briny, hot, savory and sweet ele-
ments mingled to mesmerizing
efect, producing a slightly mys-
terious, almost spiritual pull that
made us reach for spoonful after
But if it seemed like food made
by gods, both chefs’ advice would
inspire any cook who’s been scared
of by gumbo.
“You can do what you like to
gumbo,” Leah Chase told us after
the duel. “The other day I made
one with quail and venison sau-
sage for a group of hunters.”
Fritz Blank was just as reas-
suring. “Gumbo’s like meatloaf,”
he told us. “Everyone makes it
Though there’s little mystery
to what makes gumbo tasty, its
(To Each His Own)
g u m b o
food dining
34 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
spice, always retains a sense of the exotic.
Though Cajun and Creole cultures
have nourished the gumbo tradition over
the years, gumbo evolved into more than
a few variations as it spread throughout
the Eastern United States. In Philadel-
phia, pepper pots like Mr. Blank’s, with-
out roux or fle, but with peppery heat,
tripe or turtle and sometimes dumplings,
are attributable to the city’s large 18th-
century population of West Indians. In
the Carolinas, the word gumbo conjures
the aroma of shrimp, crab and okra sim-
mering together.
Knowing all that, and emboldened by
Leah Chase and Fritz Blank, we set out to
make our own version of gumbo. Since
making it is, in essence, the creation of a
favorful stock, many gumbo recipes sim-
ply begin with water. But if you have the
time to prepare it, a rich stock made with
one of the ingredients in the gumbo can
add a more robust favor. After reserv-
ing the meat from the duck we roasted
for a gumbo, we threw the carcass into
a stockpot with a few bay leaves, added
water and simmered it for an hour. For a
gumbo that called for peeled shrimp, we
reserved the shells and heads and sim-
mered them with celery and onion.
If you don’t have time to make a
stock, you can give gumbo a sweet, briny
character by adding a couple of cleaned
hard-shell crabs to the pot. And of
course, you can save real time by using
canned broth.
As for the thickening, the truth is,
any gently favored starch works well,
including yellow potato, sweet potato and
pureed rice.
A pinch of fle powder on the tongue
tastes like green tea, but in the amounts
in which it’s commonly added to a
gumbo — a tablespoon per gallon — its
favor remains more a matter of faith
and speculation. File is added only after
the fame has been turned of, so if you
fnd your soup too thin at the end of the
simmer, add some fle. If you prefer a
thinner, brothier gumbo, just leave it
out. File can be found in most Southeast
Texas grocery stores.
Okra has an almost slimy quality,
referred to as ropiness, but it can be eas-
ily cooked out, by sauteing it in a small
amount of butter or oil, over a low fame,
and stirring constantly until the okra
is dry. It browns nicely, with a pleasant
Chefs like Steve Manning at Bayou in
Harlem make roux in large quantities and
stir it, spoonful by spoonful, into a hot
gumbo stock until the soup reaches the
desired consistency. But you can also use
the hot roux like fat, sauteing the veg-
etables and herbs in it to bring out their
favor before adding them to the pot.
Peanut and vegetable oils are most
commonly used for roux, because their
smoking points are higher than those of
butter and lard. But you can choose your
fat according to cost, taste or inspira-
tion (use the fat from the roasted duck if >>
mystique may persist simply because even
the quickest gumbos invite long oppor-
tunities to meditate, to peer into the pot
and wonder what’s going on beneath the
tumultuous surface. Gumbo’s links to the
spiritual world are hard to break.
Ms. Chase tells a story about giving
a dinner in 1942 for a group of Tuskegee
Airmen who steadfastly refused to eat
the gumbo she and a friend had prepared
because they feared the fle she put in
the pot was a voodoo powder intended to
ensnare the men. “One of the men was
telling the others, ‘Don’t eat the gumbo! If
you eat that gumbo, you’ll never leave New
Orleans.’ “
The simplest defnition of gumbo is a
soup made by simmering meats, seafood,
vegetables and spices in a thickened stock.
Usually it’s served over rice. But over the
centuries it has taken on the same aura as-
sociated with biscuits and pie crust: homey
and simple, but not easy to execute.
The one thing that really defnes it,
though, is the way it is thickened. Gumbo
is much denser than a simple soup; the
broth has a thick, almost viscous con-
sistency. And that characteristic is most
commonly created by making a roux,
cooking four and oil together until they
thicken and darken. Otherwise, gumbo
can be thickened with fle, which is just
powdered dried sassafras leaves. Or it
can be thickened with okra, which adds a
brambly favor along with a mucilaginous
substance. (The name gumbo comes from
the Bantu word for okra.)
Roux, okra and fle powder are the holy
trinity of gumbo, and it is in them that
most of the gumbo partisanship is vested.
Families throughout the South can be ar-
ranged more or less along the three lines,
though many will use a combination.
The mythic roux not only thickens but
also broadens and enhances the stewed
favors of the gumbo. To Frank Brigtsen,
of Brigtsen’s in New Orleans, “a good roux
has a deep, nutty taste like roasted peanuts
or pecans that marries with the stock to
give gumbo its favor.”
Creole cooks in Louisiana usually pre-
pare some variation of three basic recipes:
a “Creole gumbo” that includes sausages,
beef, veal, ham, chicken, whole crabs or
shrimp and is thickened with roux and fle
powder; a simpler “okra gumbo” thick-
ened with okra and including a variety of
shellfsh; and a “gumbo aux herbes” (or
gumbo z’herbes), made with as many as 10
varieties of greens and traditionally served
during Lent.
All American gumbos trace their
origins to a melding of cultures in the 17th
and 18th centuries, when the settlement
of the Louisiana Territory and frenetic
trade across the Atlantic brought Spanish,
French Acadian, Portuguese, African, West
Indian and Native American foods into
a fortuitous collision. Rich Spanish fsh
stews, African okra, American sassafras
and hot peppers from Jamaica all became
core elements in a new American dish,
whose murky depth, evoking sea, land and
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 35
you’re preparing a duck gumbo).
To make a roux, measure out
roughly even quantities of fat and
four. Heat the fat over a low fame
three or four minutes, then add
the four and whisk the mixture
continuously for the next 30 to
45 minutes to avoid burning the
four (a scorched roux makes a
gumbo taste bitter, and must be
Roux can range in color from
a blond, condensed-milk white to
burnished, toasty brown, depend-
ing on how long you cook it.
Gumbo cooks tend to use a roux
that is a shade somewhere between
peanut butter and dark chocolate.
Mr. Brigtsen uses a milk-choc-
olate-colored roux in two gumbos,
one made with rabbit, the other
with seafood and okra. The darker
the roux, the more toasty the favor
tends to be, but as a roux darkens,
its thickening properties decrease;
for that reason, some gumbo cooks
prefer to use a more golden roux.
The meats that favor and add
hearty texture to a gumbo require
some premeditation, to ensure that
each element is properly cooked
without overcooking. The most de-
licious gumbos we tasted combined
as many textures as there were fa-
vors, from the most tender threads
of crab meat to the resilient crunch
of shrimp to the chewy morsel of
Subtly favored seafood, like
crab meat, shrimp and oysters, re-
quires a more delicate touch. Add
it close to the time you turn of the
fame. Toss in the shrimp 5 to 10
minutes before the fame is turned
of, and oysters and crab meat only
at the moment. In a gumbo that
includes both oysters and toma-
toes, the oysters should be added
shortly before the gumbo hits the
table, as they will react with the
acid in tomatoes if allowed to steep
for longer than an hour.
At the Shoebox Cafe, Alexander
Smalls’s spicy roux-and-okra-
thickened gumbo is textured by
corn, fnely diced green and red
bell peppers, chicken and oysters.
The okra is cut lengthwise, into
strips instead of the common
rounds, and a mound of rice is
piled in the center of the bowl.
Along one side of the rice, six
steamed shrimp are added as a gar-
nish, cool, sweet, and unadorned,
a nice counterpoint to the soup’s
spicy heat.
A similar shrimp and okra
gumbo gets more traditional treat-
ment at Bayou, with rounds of okra
and shrimp bathed in rich brown
roux-thickened soup. Mr. Man-
ning, who spent 20 years as a chef
in New Orleans, said, “It’s a classic
deathbed recipe,” given to him by a
friend whose grandmother, a New
Orleans native, passed it on to her
grandchildren before she died.
That’s one way to get a great
gumbo. But making it up from
scratch isn’t all wrong, either. After
all, the gumbo duel in Mississippi
was not settled with a clear winner.
Each competitor received such
resounding, sustained applause
that the moderator had to call it a
draw. VIP
36 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
In Louisiana, Mardi Gras is more than one day in one city. It is a statewide
celebration, and it is never the same party twice. This time, bring something
better back fromyour vacation—stories you will be telling for years.
©2014 Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism
n Lake Charles/South-
west Louisiana, Mardi
Gras does not just mean
parades and costumes —
it’s a combination of Carnival
krewes with community spirit
and tradition.
Lake Charles/Southwest
Louisiana boasts the second larg-
est Mardi Gras in the state with
over 60 krewes, more than 20
family-friendly events, and a new
Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras
smartphone app.
The magic of Mardi Gras
kicks of the Friday before Fat
Tuesday and the fun does not
stop until the last foat rolls dur-
ing the Krewe of Krewes Parade
on Fat Tuesday, March 4. The
Merchant’s Parade starts the fes-
tivities on Friday night, Feb. 28.
Throughout the weekend,
there is Children’s Day, with
educational activities for kids
followed by a Children’s Parade.
The Krewe of Barkus parade of
royal dogs and the Iowa Chicken
Run are sights to see! The favor
of Mardi Gras wouldn’t be com-
plete without food events such
as the World-Famous Cajun Ex-
travaganza and Gumbo Cook-of
and the Taste de La Louisiane or
music festivities such as the free
Zydeco Dance.
Kings, queens and captains
for each krewe, known as royalty,
usher in the Mardi Gras season
by promenading at the Royal
Gala, held the Monday before Fat
Tuesday, March 3. Lake Charles
is the only place in the state
where the public can see all royal
courts in their full regalia.
In Southwest Louisiana local
traditions and costumes from
past seasons are archived in the
Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial
Calcasieu open year-round. The
museum, located in the Central
School Arts & Humanities Center
at 809 Kirby Street, houses the
largest collection of costumes in
the South. The museum encom-
passes six rooms, and includes
animated narrators, videos, a
parade foat and even talking
chickens. The museum is open
Tuesdays through Fridays from
1 - 5 p.m. Admission is $3 for
adults, $2 for children and senior
citizens, and group rates are
For more information on
Mardi Gras in Lake Charles/
Southwest Louisiana as well as
information on the Mardi Gras
app, visit www.swlamardigras.
com or call the Lake Charles/
Southwest Louisiana Conven-
tion & Visitors Bureau at (800)
Mardi Gras: Louisiana Style
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 37
For the apple flling:
2 tablespoons butter
2 large tart apples, such as Granny
Smith, peeled, cored, quartered and
sliced crosswise into ¼-inch slices
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup raisins
½ cup toasted pecan pieces
For the cream cheese flling:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons sugar
½ beaten egg
For the cream cheese glaze:
2 ounces ( of an 8-ounce package)
cream cheese
¼ cup (½ stick) butter, at room
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ cup powdered sugar, sifted
For the brioche:
¾ cup milk, divided
1 package (2½ teaspoons) active dry
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
2 eggs, plus ½ beaten egg (use the
remaining half egg leftover from the
cream cheese flling), divided
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 table-
spoons) butter, at room temperature
3½ cups (15.75 ounces) bread four,
plus more for dusting
½ teaspoon salt
Purple, green and yellow colored
sugars for decorating
Plastic baby, if desired
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt
the butter. Stir in the apple slices, brown
sugar, cinnamon and salt, and cook, stir-
ring frequently, just until the apple starts
to soften, 3 to 4 minutes (the slices should
still be crisp). Remove from heat and stir in
the raisins and toasted pecans. Spread the
apple mixture onto a baking sheet to stop
the cooking process and allow the apples
to cool quickly, then cover and refrigerate
until needed.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a
large bowl using a hand mixer, beat to-
gether the cream cheese with the vanilla,
salt and sugar. Add the beaten egg to
the cream cheese mixture and beat until
thoroughly combined. Cover and refriger-
ate until needed.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a
medium bowl using a hand mixer, whisk
together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla
and salt until completely combined. With
the mixer running, add the sifted pow-
dered sugar, one spoonful at a time, until
fully incorporated.
In a small pan, heat one-half cup plus
2 tablespoons of milk over medium heat
just until warmed. Remove from heat and
pour the milk into a small bowl or measur-
ing cup. Stir in the yeast and 1 teaspoon
of sugar, then set aside until the milk is
foamy and the yeast is activated, about 10
Whisk the 2 eggs in the bowl of a stand
mixer using the whisk attachment (or in
a large bowl with a hand mixer) until light
and fuffy, about 1 minute. Stir in the yeast
mixture and remaining one-third cup of
sugar until fully incorporated.
If using a stand mixer, switch to the
paddle attachment. With the mixer run-
ning, add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a
time, until incorporated.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the
four and salt. With the mixer running, add
the four mixture, one spoonful at a time,
until fully incorporated.
Remove the dough to a lightly foured
surface and knead until it is soft and
somewhat silky (it’s a rich dough and
won’t be entirely smooth), 5 to 7 minutes.
Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl and
lightly cover with plastic wrap. Set aside
in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to
1½ hours.
Make an egg wash: Combine the
remaining beaten half egg with the
remaining 2 tablespoons of milk.
When the dough is doubled, punch it
down (it will be very smooth and elastic)
and roll it out onto a lightly foured surface
into a 10-by-28-inch rectangle. Lightly
score the dough lengthwise to divide the
dough into 2 equal halves.
Spoon the apple flling down the length
of one side, leaving a 1½-inch border on
the top, bottom and sides. Repeat with the
cream cheese flling down the other side
of the dough, leaving a 1½-inch border
on the top, bottom and each side. Lightly
brush the edges and center of the dough
(along the score) with the egg wash to
moisten. Gently and carefully pull the
dough over the cream cheese flling, seal-
ing the edge of the dough along the score
mark. Repeat with the apple flling. Press
the sealed edges, making sure they are
secure (otherwise the fllings could spill
out while the cake bakes).
Gently twist the length of the dough
to form a braid-like shape. Wrap the
dough so it forms an oval wreath and
gently press the edges together. Carefully
transfer the wreath to a parchment-lined
baking sheet.
Brush the top of the wreath lightly with
egg wash and cover loosely with plastic
wrap. Let the dough rise until almost
doubled in volume, 45 minutes to an hour,
or loosely cover and refrigerate the dough
overnight, removing it from the refrigerator
about 1 hour before baking for the dough
to come to room temperature.
Heat the oven to 375 F. Lightly brush
the wreath with any remaining egg wash
and place the sheet in the oven.
Bake the cake until golden brown on
top and a toothpick inserted in the center
comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Rotate the pan halfway through baking for
even color.
Allow the cake to cool slightly before it
is frosted (if it’s too hot, the glaze will run
off the cake and not adhere). Drizzle the
glaze evenly over the cake, then lightly
sprinkle over the colored sugars. If using
the plastic baby, hide it somewhere in
the cake (press the baby in through the
bottom of the cake so as not to disturb the
top or sides of the cake). Serve the cake
warm or at room temperature. MCT
Apple and Cream Cheese King Cake
r e c i p e s
food dining
38 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
s e t e x a s e v e n t s
vip spotlight
YWCA Holiday Gala
Laura Bell and Linel Moody
Camille Briggs, Michelle Crayton
Linda and Joe Domino
James Trahan, Tootie Koons Sherrie and Jeff Branick Walter Smith, Martin Lee, Jr.
Dorrie, Jonathan and Sumone Adolph
Judge Donald and Marie Floyd Jamie Smith and Alice Ramsey
Andréa Pitre, Sharae Reed
Elise Fulton Smith, Noel Smith, Hazel Tanner, Tanya Tanner and Kathy Lee
Felton Fontenot, Joe Bailey
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 39
Pour Les Enfants
Lunch on
the Lake
Rachel Grove and Clint and Heather Woods Jessica and Jason Whitney
Judith Quimby, Debra Moore Molly Benoit, Marvin Benoit
Victoria Zizmont and Gwen Gerber
Kenny and Jill Wiebusch
Denny Wiseman and Stephanie Price
Cassy Yates, Cacy Goodwin
Sheila and Greg Gentry and Karen Fontenot Kim and Troy Tucker
Charlotte Sterling, Ashley Lafeur, Staci Powers Deborah Queen, Lynn Huckaby
Crystal Sanders, Rita Ochs, Ana Garcia
rene sheppard
lacie grant
Chris Kovatch and SaraBrooke Burnside James and Trudy Johnson
40 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
Main St. Market
Katie O’Neill, Katie Beaver, Lindsay Homann Nancy Black, Robin Lockhart
Corrie Terry, Savanna Moore Diane Cannon, Alicia McKibbin
Stacey White, Christina Ceravolo, Dixie White MelodieBabineaux, GenieCampise
Ike, Luca, Chris, Amanda, and Cheryl Akbari
Meg Baertl, Summer Sanderson Kathy Green, Phyllis Fernandez
lacie grant
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 41
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Mary Louise Crim and Elizabeth Miller
Mike Borel, Lana Guidry and Mike Simon Peggy and Glenn LaGrange
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42 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
BCP’s Annie
Sherry Hanson, Patsy McDonald and Anita Lewis Jim and Teetsie Champagne
Margaret, Francis, Clare and Randle Coker Kim Traylor, Darlene Johnson
Erin Watson, Jean Moncla and Celia Coleman
Ross Simmons, Natalie
Diane Lovelady, Valerie Conerly, Nina Marks, Hannah Bagwell and Julia Bagwell
Mary Bolton Cockrell, Virginia Nutt Janci Kimball, Paula Bothe and Joy Lynne Baker
Sugar Plum
Crissy Clarke, Brenda, Jadyn and Lara Wilson
Monique Steinhagen,
Brenda Wilson
Bonnie and Joey Tortorice,
Connie and Lily Hebert
Kathryn Lamb, Mary, Patricia
and Isabella Tortorice
Merrit Malley, Shanna and Macy Briggs
Kay Blankenship, Gabbi
and Paige Grisanti
Kaylyn Smith, Madison Moore, Juliana Strickland,
Gillian Laird, Sarah Wilson and Caroline Mayer
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 43
Jackie Jackson
Owner, Jackie’s
My favorite dining out
place is CARRABBA’S.
The Spiedino Di Mare
is my favorite dish! And
the hot bread, herbs and
olive oil with the Caesar
salad before the meal is
really good. They have
great service and a nice
Tony Brown
Ozen High School student,
football and track star
My favorite is the grilled
pork and shrimp spring
rolls with the rare-eye
noodle soup at PHO
Blue Broussard
Broussard’s Mortuary and
Musician/Singer, Blue
Broussard Band
I really enjoy NEW YORK
downtown Beaumont. The
ambience, food and wine
are the perfect combina-
tion. I love their house
salad and house dressing
in addition to the pizza. I
also enjoy ELENA’S MEX-
both their College St. and
Phelan locations. Tecate
Tuesdays are a favorite
for my friends and me. I
like their P.J.’s special
(chalupa, taco and burrito)
and the beef quesadillas.
Cindy Partin
President, Junior League
of Beaumont
in Nederland and their
Firecracker Mussels when
available and any of their
seafood specials. I ap-
preciate the atmosphere
and the people and the
food is fresh and made to
order. My husband loves
their Tomahawk steak.
We also love JUJU’S
SHAK in Fannett during
crawfsh season. BYOB
and crawfsh? Enough
said. In Beaumont, we
CUISINE’s chicken
and sausage gumbo or
fried shrimp or anything
they make. They are
family-owned, using fam-
ily recipes and allowing
BYOB. We also love NEW
downtown. The pizza you
can make-to-order or the
Shrimp ala Romano, all
made fresh with delicious
ingredients. We like to eat
out and try new things.
Dana Babineaux
CARRABBA’S every time!
It’s always consistent no
matter what! My go-to
favorite is their flet-hands
down the best steak in
Carolyn Howard
Executive Director, Beau-
mont Main Street
I love, LOVE the chopped
beef sandwich and
coleslaw at TONY’S BAR-
Southeast Texans
name their favorite
dining-out dishes in
the Golden Triangle
Mark Petkovsek
Tiger Safety and retired
major league baseball
The Thursday lunch of
spaghetti and meatballs at
the old QUALITY CAFE in
downtown Beaumont.
Rabbi Joshua Taub
Temple Emanuel
My favorite meal would
have to be the MLG Salad
with blackened tuna at
in Beaumont. I love black-
ened fsh and combined
with the salad, it makes
for a perfect meal. It is
consistently delicious. I
can be a very boring res-
taurant eater; when I fnd
something I like, I order it
every time.
Bob Wortham
Judge, 58th District Court
I have three that are too
close to call. CARLITO’S
grilled shrimp, SCHOO-
NER’S grilled whole
founder, BIG JOHN’S
GRILL’S oxtails. You can
go to Houston or any other
city and not fnd a meal
that can match them.
e a t i n g o u t
vip adviser
compiled by CHERYL ROSE
44 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
Chelsea Tipton
Music Director, Symphony
of Southeast Texas
My favorite meal around
Beaumont is PITA PIT. It
is served fresh with good
service and you can put
lots of veggies in your
pita. It doesn’t make me
feel so weighted down.
W.L Pate
Owner, Pate Resource
Group and Beaumont City
We do have so many great
restaurants in the area
FLOYD’S, but the best
meal that I have had is
courtesy of the HOLIDAY
ecutive Chef and Assistant
General Manger Leonel
Ducharme. I purchased
a Chef’s Table Dinner as
an auction item. The fol-
lowing is the menu: potato
galette, fried goat cheese
salad, roasted pumpkin
soup, glazed pork belly,
sliced tenderloin of beef,
julienne vegetables and
a Madeira wine sauce
fnished with pumpkin tart.
It was superb!
Russell A. Waddill
Partner, Neos Marketing
I have several favorite
meals that depend on my
mood. Here are my top
dinner: Fish of the day (ti-
lapia, snapper) with ‘wolf’
sauce, side of zucchini
frittes and garlic mashed
potatoes, Mediterranean
salad to start with, that
awesome warm bread,
and Peroni beer on tap.
for lunch: Mango and
avocado salad with
pecan-crusted chicken,
black iced tea.
lunch: The Manager’s
Special – half a Chicago
Club with a side of fruit,
cup of tortilla soup, black
currant iced tea and ice
cream cone!
4. WILLY BURGER on the
weekend: #2 Cheese-
burger with sweet potato
fries and side of barbecue
sauce, Shiner Bock on
tap OR anything from the
breakfast menu!
David Parkus, M.D
Christus St. Elizabeth
My favorite meal in
Southeast Texas is GREAT
Mongolian beef.
Austin Williams
Vice President of U.S.
& Global Sales, Games
People Play
For breakfast, WILLY
BURGER. The kids love
the chocolate pancakes
and the adults like the
breakfast sandwich. Then
for lunch, the grilled ahi
tuna sandwich from Willy
Burger is AMAZING. For
dinner, I go to THE GRILL
because it’s quiet and
you can actually hear the
person you are talking to.
Their Drunken Gumbo is
GREAT, as is the tuna and
the sea bass. The best
brunch in town is SUGA’S.
Other top hits include
HONEY B HAM for great
gumbo, the fsh tacos
from BAYOU CAFE and
CARMELA’S for Mexican,
hands down.
Richard James
Entrepreneur and
Co-Founder of the Gusher
For a unique, sin-
fully delicious treat, I
COMPANY! An order of
a G7 sandwich, torpedo
(sausage, peppers, and
mustard wrapped in a tor-
tilla) and a cobbler (apple,
blackberry or peach –
they are all good) will keep
your stomach happy!
Stephanie Molina
Director of Marketing,
Beaumont Convention and
Visitors Bureau
My favorite meals would
be from THE GRILL,
Paula O’Neal
Executive Director, Some
Other Place
My favorite food is Mexi-
can. I love CASA OLE, LA
even TACO BELL. My fa-
vorite dish is queso. Casa
Ole’s is my favorite.
Nancy Beaulieu
Justice of the Peace
I love the lobster ravioli
from CARRABBA’S and
the Caesar salad and
bread that goes with it.
Jody Nolan
Owner, World Gym
My two favs are the
veggie egg white omelets
my grits, wheat toast and
coffee and the chicken
and sausage gumbo from
Summer Lydick
Owner, The Painted Wall
I am loving the tuna
burger, rare, at WILLY
BURGER lately! It’s like a
sushi burger. The wasabi
coleslaw and mayo on it
are a perfect combination
and their food is always
consistent. It’s a quick,
easy meal with friendly
service and a great local
place. I LOVE support-
ing LOCAL as much as
Larry Beaulieu
Retired KFDM General
Manager, Anchor
chile rellenos because
Mexican food makes me
happy seven days a week.
Kristyn Henderson
Lamar University Cheer
and Mascot Coordinator
My favorite breakfast
DONUT’s ham, egg and
cheese croissant or the
jalapeno sausage and
cheese kolache. They are
both amazing and cheap!
I also love a good ap-
petizer; PAPPADEAUX’s
fried alligator is the best
David Constantine
Editor, VIP Magazine
I’m a breakfast person
and my favorite is the
breakfast buffet at
HOTEL, especially be-
cause I can get Starbucks
with it. Otherwise, I LOVE
the gumbo at FLOYD’S.
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 45
46 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
Get your garden ready!
At Burns Antik Haus, you will fnd stunning
hand-selected items from all over Europe.
New items put out daily!
Open Tues., Wed. & Thurs. 10-5 • Fri. & Sat.,10-3
2195 Calder Ave. @ 6th. Beaumont
It’s time to fall in LOVE with
Kameleon Jewelry at Nickolina’s.
This interchangeable jewellery makes the perfect gift for
your sweetheart. Nickolina’s has a variety of jewel pops,
so you can change your pop to change your mood!
1257 W. Lucas, Beaumont, TX 77706
www.facebook.com/nickolinas • www.nickolinas.com
For Heaven’s Sake
4190 Calder Avenue, Beaumont
409-898-3340 • FHSBeaumont@aol.com
Distinctive Serving Pieces
fabulous fnds
Retailers we love and their
merchandise we love to have!
Girls Haven Gumbo
February 22
11 a.m.-5 p.m., Parkdale Mall,
Beaumont. The event features
a gumbo cook off, children’s
midway and a variety of live
music. Gumbo $7 (1 large or
4 small bowls). Admission and
parking free. (409) 832-6223
Ext. 102.
Boomtown Filmand
Music Festival
February 21-22
Annual showcase of some of the
hottest independent flms and
local musical acts, held at multiple
locations around Beaumont, including
the Gig, the Logon Cafe and Lamar
University, Beaumont. For
schedules and ticket
information, go to
com or facebook.com/
boomtownfestival. (972)
great dates in february
Great Gatsby
Heart Ball
February 8
6-11 p.m., MCM Elegante
Hotel and Conference Center,
Beaumont. Bishop Curtis Guillory
and Dr. Wayne Margolis are
the honorees. Mid Life Crisis
will perform. Presented by the
American Heart Association.
Tickets $150. Reservations: (409)
550-1753 or www.heart.org/
Mr. Habitat 2014
February 21
Annual fundraiser for Habitat of
Humanity, where 10 leading men of
Beaumont vie for the prestigious gold
hammer and hard hat during three
gruelling rounds of competition. Think
of it as a beauty pageant for some
of the area’s hottest men. 6:30 p.m.,
Event Centre, Beaumont. Tickets $50
per person; $400 for a table of eight.
(409) 832-5853.
Mardi Gras of
Southeast Texas
February 27 - March 2
Downtown Port Arthur. Parades,
concerts, children’s activities, carnival
rides and games, food and more.
(409) 721-8717 or www.mardigras.
Thursday Feb. 27
Festival grounds open 5 to 10 p.m.
4:45 p.m.: Courir du Mardi Gras Parade
6 p.m.: J.A.G in concert
8 p.m.: The Stark Experiment in concert
Friday, Feb. 28
6 p.m. to midnight
7 p.m.: Krewe of Krewes Parade
7 p.m.: American Sons in concert
10 p.m.: Robert Earl Keen in concert
Saturday, March 1
Noon to midnight
1 p.m.: Krewes Royalty March
3 p.m.: Port Arthur Playboys in concert
5:30 p.m.: Motorcycle Showcase
5:30 p.m.: Lil’ Wayne & Same Ole’ 2
Step in concert
6 p.m.: Krewe of Aurora Parade
8:30 p.m.: Concert to be announced
10 p.m.: Casey Donahew n concert
Sunday, March 2
Noon to 8 p.m.
2 p.m.: Munchkin Parade
3 p.m.: Champagne Room in concert
4 p.m.: Truck Parade
6:30 p.m.: Travis Matte and the
Kingpins in concert
Event Submissions
Do you have an event you would like to promote? Do it with VIP for FREE! Please send us details-dates, times, location, contact phone, web address
and a brief description-to kmoujaes@beaumontenterprise.com. Information should arrive at least 60 days in advance of the event.
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 47
February 1
“Classical Mystery Tour”
Symphony Pops concert featuring
a tribute to the 50th anniversary of
the Beatles coming to America, 7:30
p.m., Julie Rogers Theatre, Beaumont.
Tickets $17-$41. Senior, student and
group discounts available. (409) 892-
2257 or www.sost.org.
Beaumont Community Players
presents the Tony Award-winning
musical about an American girl’s
romance with an English writer
set against the background of a
crumbling Germany at the start of
the Third Reich, 7:30 p.m., Betty
Greenberg Center for the Performing
Arts, Beaumont. Tickets 23-$35.
Reservations: (409) 833-4664 or www.
BAL Group Exhibition
Work by Faye Nelson, Sheila Busceme
and Marty Arredondo, and a second
exhibition by Herman Hugg and
Jerry Newman, open with a reception
7-9 p.m. Feb. 1 and will be on view
through Feb. 22 at the Beaumont Art
League, Beaumont. Hours: 11 a.m.-3
p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. Free. (409)
833-4179 or www.beaumontartleague.
February 1-2
Bodon Gun and Knife Show
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 1; 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Feb. 2, Robert A. “Bob” Bowers
Civic Center, Port Arthur. Adults
$7, children 12 and younger free,
weekend pass $12. (713) 724-8881.
February 4
Harlem Globetrotters’ Fans Rule Tour
7 p.m., Ford Arena, Beaumont.
Tickets $21, $25, $35, $55 and $80
at the Ford Park Box Ofce, and all
Ticketmaster outlets. (409) 838-3435.
February 5
Daughters of the American
Revolution Good Citizenship Awards
1:30-3 p.m., McFaddin-Ward Visitor
Center, Beaumont. Awards recognize
and reward male and female high-
school students who exemplify
the qualities of a good citizen:
dependability, service, leadership and
patriotism. (409) 832-2134, (409) 755-
0507 or email torr@gt.rr.com
Fred Eaglesmith
7 p.m., Courville’s, Beaumont. Tickets
$30 advance only. Tickets include
bufet and show. Reservations:
(409) 860-9811 or email bigrich@
48 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com
February 6
“We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”
9:30 and 11:30 a.m., Lutcher Theater
for the Performing Arts, Orange.
Tickets $4. (409) 886-5535 or www.
First Thursdays on Calder Avenue
5-9 p.m., starting at the Mildred
Building, Beaumont. (409) 833-9919.
February 7-8
“For the Love of Quilts”
Golden Triangle Quilt Guild Show, 10
a.m.-5 p.m., Beaumont Civic Center,
Beaumont. (409) 749-0818 or www.
February 7-9
“Tuesdays with Morrie”
Drama about a sports commentator-
journalist who rekindles a friendship
with one of his former college
professors who is dying, 7:37 p.m.,
Orange Community Playhouse,
Orange. Tickets $15, students
$10. (409) 882-9137 or www.
February 8
Family Arts Day
10 a.m.-2 p.m., Art Museum of
Southeast Texas, Beaumont. Free.
(409) 832-3432 or www.amset.org.
Free Family Fun Day
10 a.m.-2 p.m., Museum of the Gulf
Coast, Port Arthur. (409) 982-7000 or
“The Great Mountain”
6:30 p.m., Lutcher Theater for the
Performing Arts, Orange. Tickets $10.
(409) 886-5535 or www.lutcher.org.
February 9
Southeast Texas Arts Council’s
Annual Hearts for the Arts
6-8 p.m., Broussard’s Centre,
Beaumont. Tickets $30. Recognizes
outstanding achievement in the arts
and humanities in southeast Texas.
Reservations: (409) 835-2787 or email
7:30 p.m., Ford Arena, Beaumont.
Tickets $35, $45 and $55 at the Ford
Park Box Ofce, and all Ticketmaster
outlets. (409) 838-3435.
February 12
Ray Wylie Hubbard
7 p.m., Courville’s, Beaumont. Tickets
$30 advance only. Ticket includes
bufet and show. Reservations:
(409) 860-9811 or email bigrich@
February 14
The St. Petersburg String Quartet
Advance general admission $20; $25
at the door. Part of the Piney Woods
Fine Arts Association 2013-2014
Signature Series. Tickets at www.
pwfaa.org or (936) 544-4276.
Blue Man Group
8 p.m., Julie Rogers Theatre,
Beaumont. Tickets $45, $55 and $70
at all Ticketmaster outlets. (409)
February 15
Symphony Ball
6:30 p.m., Event Centre, Beaumont.
Presented by the Symphony League of
Beaumont. www.slbmt.org.
February 14-15
“Million Dollar Quartet”
Musical based on the true story of
the famed recording session where
Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ‘n’
Roll” brought together Elvis Presley,
Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl
Perkins for one unforgettable night of
music, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14, and 2 and
7:30 p.m. Feb. 15, Lutcher Theater for
the Performing Arts, Orange. Tickets
$35-$65. (409) 886-5535 or www.
February 14-16
“Legally Blonde, the Musical”
Musical based on the hit comedy
about a young woman whose eforts
to get back at the boyfriend who
dumped her, leads her to Harvard
Law School and an exciting new
life, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14-15; 2:30 p.m.
Feb. 16, Port Arthur Little Theatre
Playhouse, Port Arthur. General
admission $12, seniors $10, students
$6. Reservations: (409) 727-7258 or
Orange Trade Days
9 a.m.-5 p.m., Orange Trade Days
grounds, Orange. Flea market,
farmers market, food and music. Free.
(409) 883-4344.
February 14-17
“Tuesdays with Morrie”
See previous listing.
February 15
Delbert McClinton and Leon Russell
Nutty Jerry’s, Winnie. Doors open 7
p.m. Tickets $30, $35 and $45. (877)
643-7508 or www.nuttyjerrys.com.
“The Offcial Blues Brothers Revue”
8 p.m., Grand 1894 Opera House,
Galveston. Tickets $22-$78. (800) 821-
1894 or www.thegrand.com.
Subscribe to home delivery!
Call: 409-880-0773
or go to
to sign up today!
1 Talk show host who formed her own
TV network
5 Movie about a champion racehorse,
“___ Biscuit”
7 ___ sex clothing
8 Movie Leonardo DiCaprio starred in,
“J ____”
9 Country singer with “Red” album,
last name
10 It’s often worn with a suit
11 Rowboat equipment
12 English singer who had a big hit
with “Smile” in 2006, ____ Allen
14 Laughter on the internet
16 Steeler’s Big QB
17 Much loved TV host with her own
19 “Like a Virgin” singer
22 Diamond for example
24 Had an entree
25 __ Mans car race
27 Will and Jada’s son
28 Eleven-time Oscar nominated flm,
“Passage to ____”
1 College Ducks
2 Swiss tennis great, frst name
3 2008 war flm directed by Kathryn
Bigelow, “The ____ Locker”
4 First name of a supermodel married
to a top QB
5 “E.T.” director
6 Fauvism, Surrealism, etc
13 70’s rock group
14 “Imagine” singer
15 “Man __ Fire” movie
18 Brought to conclusion
19 Capt.’s superior
20 “Now ___ theater near you!”
21 Winner of the Thrilla in Manila
23 Entrepreneur’s degree, for short
26 Means inside at the beginning of a
Find answers on page 4
c r o s s w o r d
vip magazine
February 16
Gala of the Royal Horses
Equestrian tour featuring dancing
stallions of the Andalusian, Friesian,
Lipizzaner and Arabian breeds and
Spanish famenco dancers, 3 p.m.,
Ford Arena, Beaumont. Tickets $28,
$38 and $58 at the Ford Park Box
Ofce and all Ticketmaster outlets.
(409) 838-3435.
February 20
Protégé High School Art Competition
and Exhibition
Art exhibition by high school
seniors, opens with a reception and
awards ceremony 6-7:30 p.m. Feb.
20, Art Museum of Southeast Texas,
Beaumont. Free. Runs through March
23. (409) 832-3432 or www.amset.org.
February 21
A Vintage Affair Wine Tasting
7:30-10 p.m., Art Museum of
Southeast Texas, Beaumont. The
event ofers samples of a variety of
fne wines from diferent regions,
grapes and wine makers paired with
appetizers from area chefs and food
vendors, cheeses, gourmet chocolates
and assorted appetizers. Tickets $35.
(409) 832-3432 or www.amset.org.
Lamar University Distinguished
Alumni Awards Dinner
6:30 p.m., Eighth Floor of the Mary
and John Gray Library at Lamar
University, Beaumont. Reception 6:30
p.m., dinner 7 p.m. (409) 880-8921.
February 21-23
“Legally Blonde, the Musical”
See previous listing.
Monster Nation
8 p.m. Feb. 21-22; 3 p.m. Feb. 23, Ford
Arena, Beaumont. Adult advance
tickets $23-25; children ages 2-12 $11-
$15 at Ford Park Box Ofce, and all
Ticketmaster outlets.
“A Soldier’s Play”
Pulitzer Prize-winning drama tracks
the investigation of the murder
of a black sergeant in Louisiana
near the end of World War II.
Beaumont Community Players,
7:30 p.m. (409) 833-4664 or www.
February 22
Mardi Gras 2014 Parade and Concert
Parade 5 p.m., downtown Orange;
concert after the parade at the
Riverfront Boardwalk and Pavilion,
Orange. (409) 883-3536.
Nederland Heritage Festival Country
Music Show
7 p.m., Central Middle School
auditorium, Nederland. Skeeter Jones
and the Beer Can Band and a bevy of
area singers perform. (409) 724-2269.
February 25
Celebrate Families Luncheon
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., MCM Elegante
Hotel and Conference Center,
Beaumont. Tickets $40 each; tables
for 8 $300. (409) 833-2668 Ext. 115 or
February 27
“Celebrating Seniors Mardi Gras
10 a.m.-2 p.m., Beaumont Civic
Center, Beaumont. Entertainment,
food, shopping, senior-friendly
vendor booths and more. (409) 838-
Feb. 27-March 2
“Uncle Vanya”
A drama by Anton Chekhov, directed
and adapted in a new version
by Joel Grothe, presented by the
Department of Theatre and Dance,
7:30 p.m. Feb. 27-March 1; 2 p.m.
March 2, University Theatre at Lamar
University, Beaumont. (409) 880-
February 28
Anayat House Fabulous A-Fair
7 p.m., Event Centre, Beaumont.
In tribute to the YMBL, the venue
will be transformed into a midway
where guests can enjoy gourmet
interpretations of traditional “fair
food,” music by Mad Maude and the
Hatters, games, prizes and live and
silent auctions. Tickets $100 per
person. Table sponsorships range
from $500-$7,500. (409) 833-0649 or
email assistant.anayathouse@gmail.
Feb. 28-March 1
“A Soldier’s Play”
See previous listing.
Feb. 28-March 2
Sesame Street: Make New Friends
10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28; 1
and 5 p.m. March 1, and 2 p.m. March
2 at Ford Park, Beaumont. Tickets $14
and $30 at the Ford Park Box Ofce,
and all Ticketmaster outlets. (409)
“Legally Blonde, the Musical”
See previous listing.
theVIPmag.com | February 2014 49
g u e s t c o l u m n
vip voices
text by Holli Petersen
am a product of subur-
bia. I love sidewalks,
next door neighbors and
tidy rows of identical
mailboxes. I appreciate
the convenience of pick-
ing something up from
the corner grocery store at any given
time of the day or night. And, I never
underestimate the restorative benefts
of a Target shopping trip.
Admittedly, far too much of our
family’s meals come from the ol’ take
out box and, when our doorbell rings,
my two-year-old sometimes shouts,
It may not be a perfect life, but it’s
mine and I like it.
Even so, every now and then, life
gets a little too predictable, a little
too squeaky clean. And, when we
start to snip at each other over who
loaded the dishwasher incorrectly or
who clogged the DVR up by record-
ing endless episodes of Spongebob
Squarepants, we know it’s time to
make a little escape to the country.
You see, my parents have a farm.
That’s right — my parents, who
raised me to love all the conveniences
of suburban life — retired from cor-
porate America, only to buy enough
acreage to carve away a politely
bucolic existence in the country.
I’ll be honest that I wasn’t a fan of
this decision.
I just didn’t get it.
Why not golf?
Why not travel?
Why weigh yourself down with so
much responsibility and work?
And, yet, their obscure homestead
has come to grow on me.
Something happens as you travel
up their long, winding driveway.
The world rotates a little slower
People have time to just sit and
You can actually see the stars at
night — all of them.
There’s barely any cell phone
reception, so you can forget calling,
texting or updating your status.
And, best of all, I can turn my
children loose, like the wild animals
they sometimes are, and just let them
Before the foundation was poured
on their dream home, my parents
had begun planting things — all kinds
of trees and fowers and fruits and
vegetables. Now, they practically have
an orchard, with produce just beg-
ging to be plucked and enjoyed. They
have closets solely devoted to the
food they’ve planted, harvested and
canned with their own two hands.
There’s a fat Jersey cow on the
premises and two massive dogs that
get into plenty of mischief. There are
critters to observe and a pond to fsh
in. And, on any given day, there is
plenty of work to do, but it’s the kind
of work that feels rewarding and helps
you sleep easy at night.
Out on that land, my kids have
learned things they couldn’t possibly
have experienced in the city limits.
They know how to set a hook, ride a
horse and milk a cow. They’ve stained
their fngers purple from picking
blackberries and muddied their toes
running barefoot through the garden.
They know that pure cow’s milk is
thick, like a milkshake and that fruit
tastes better when it’s still warm from
the sun.
Seeing where food comes from —w
from a seed to the table — has made
them more adventurous eaters and
eating their weight in purple hull peas
has made them a little sturdier.
There’s a certain joy I’ve found
out there that can’t be recaptured
anywhere else. Standing alone — sur-
rounded by nothing but life — shakes
me out of my self-serving funk and
puts things in their proper perspec-
There’s nothing like wide open
spaces to open up your mind.
So, yes, my parents bought a farm.
But, the gift was really for us.
Because, much like plants, we all
need a little sun and dirt to grow up
properly. VIP
We all need a little
sun and dirt to grow
50 February 2014 | theVIPmag.com

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