Jewelry pieces, bottom center, are by Vanessa Mooney and range from $30-$105. Left, Mooney’s Buddha amulet necklace, $40.

Bass credits the influence of creative women in her life as the reason behind her bold personal style, and even the name of the store. Jessica’s No. 1 influence was her grandmother, Jeanette Fitzgerald, who passed away 4 years ago of cancer. Bass pointed to a beautiful portrait on the wall and said with conviction, “I love her. She was very artistic. She made a lot of pieces and loved a lot of fun, funky antiques. She had a really relaxed but refined style, and that carried on to my mother as well. So I was

just kinda blessed to be around really good, artistic women.” Bass got one other thing from her grandmother. “That’s where I got my love for Buddhas. She collected Buddhas.” As for the name, Splash of Karma, she said, “My mother and family always taught me what goes around comes around, and treat everyone as you would want to be treated. And so, karma was just always there.” From the artistic décor to the chic collection

of boho-inspired, fashion forward yet timeless apparel and accessories, it’s apparent that this store is owned and operated by someone who puts her soul into it. “It all came from my love of antiques and fashion,” Bass explained. “You can tell a story with your clothes, and that’s what I wanted to do with my store. With my displays from the floor to the ceiling, I just wanted to tell a little story – old and new.” Splash of Karma tells a tasteful, eclectic story that is centered around color, texture >>


February 2012 27

Left: Crochet sleeveless sequin dress, $70; layered over cotton tank dress in brick, $44. Middle: chunky knit sweater, $50; layered over black cotton dress, $65; black leather and velvet flower belt, $11. Right: Turquoise blouse with black details and button down back, $58; layered over sheer polka dot blouse, $39.

and one-of-a-kind pieces. From a book of bounded 1942 Beaumont Enterprise newspapers used to display jewelry to clothing items with vintage and modern elements to the boldly feminine footwear, this is a great place for finding statement-making pieces. “I want people to come in here and find something unique, and have a pretty but comfortable surrounding where they can just sit and relax on my chaise.” Bass even has a playroom for the kids. Bass believes that everyone’s own style is what makes them comfortable, not necessarily what’s in style at the moment. In fact, she encourages customers to bring in their own pieces so they can find something in the store that will work with what they already have. “Bring your pieces in and we can help build your wardrobe. You don’t have to start brand new,” Bass said. “I believe you take what means a lot to you and your favorite pieces and just build on that.” On your visit, be sure to check out

the Vanessa Mooney jewelry line, one of Jessica’s favorites. “It’s a handcrafted line out of Los Angeles. Mooney’s actually a younger girl as well, kind of from Hollywood royalty and doing her own thing. It’s a real boho, rock and roll inspired line. Most of her pieces from her spring resort line have genuine turquoise in them – just real fun layering pieces.” Another handmade jewelry line is from local designer Courtney Adcock from Groves. “[Courtney] makes fun and funky handcrafted jewelry,” Bass said. “A lot of them have vintage material. I like to support people who do stuff handmade. That’s how I started.” For the future, Bass has plans to sell unique home accessory items, due to the overwhelming positive response she’s received about the interior of the store, which she designed herself. And she’s excited about the spring and summer. “I’m all about linen, sundresses and turquoise. I can’t get enough turquoise.” VIP



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28 February 2012 |

vip spotlight
s e t e x a s e v e n t s

Soulsa Fest
at The Gig
Madga Villarreal, Kimberly Dunlap, Kimberly McGriff and Dylan Desouza

Celeste Urruta, Pedro Gutierrez

Jacey Garcia and Linsey Grande

Jillian Wimberly and Mariah Rutherford

Joseph and Kim Blanchard

Rick and Deb Cary, Tricia Deland and Alicia McKibbin

Christina and Joe Uribe

Doneane Beckcom, Randy Reese

Erin Long, Sam Aigen and Kara Curran Gordan and Angela Williams and Kimberly Dunlap
theVIPmag.com renÉ sheppard


February 2012 29

HEB Feast of Sharing
lee e. stinson

Junior League social
at Main Street Market

Katie Bitar and Lauren Little

Nichola Gerland, Carmen Rojas, Mona Chavez and Skye Braye

Bethany Roberts and Kelly Boggs Kyra Poole and Katherine Dos Santos

Jennifer Richards, Alea Greer, Devon Mitchell

Shana Briggs and Shelley Duke

Vickie Mann and Katie Robertson

Theresa Williams, Robin Hataway, Sherry McCollum and Holly Ibeck

Jan, Jayde and Jason Morgan

Gigi Mazzola, Emily Plumb, Mandy Mazzola Sheree Wade 30 February 2012 |

Melissa Caballero, Laura Harris and Tara Maddox

silvia c. mcclain

Republican Women Luncheon

Betty White and Marie Maggio

Geraldine Lapham and Kathy Schwartz

Tina Wheatcroft, Linda Brown and Gail Shook

Nikki Bowman and Shari Fey

Hazel Meaux, Betty Stroud and Janice Bartkowika

Alice Galiano and Mary Matthews
lee e. stinson

Ginny and Cal Ebner

Zerlina Shafer and Pat Johnson


February 2012 31

Winter Formal Arc of Greater Beaumont

The Nutcracker
lee e. stinson

Alta Frazier and Kayla Watts Tara Folsom, Nicole Clark, Toye Babb Allison Pratt, William Ross and Cindy Barnes

Giuliana Daleo, Avery Daleo, Gerri Christopher

Rebecca Alford, Matt Bloodsworth
renÉ sheppard

Teri Hawthorne, Mitch Watkins, Amanda Baldwin and Gary Hidalgo

Connie and Arthur Berry

Richard Sledz and Victoria Castillo


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32 February 2012 |

D.J.’s is your hometown supplier of boudain and rice dressing. Look for it at any one of your local grocery stores.

Holiday concert
at Lamar University
Dr. James and Phyllis Mann Richard and Cathy Price

Joshua Sharp, Kayla Jackson, Jordan Benoit, Jasmine Savoy and Corey Davis

Tres Brown

Amber and Pam Owens
scott eslinger

Judy Dishman, Gloria Fulbright and Johnnie Grantham

M.D. P.A.

Don and Regina Hardcastle

• Certified American Board of Family Practice • Full Service Medical Clinic • Treating Adults and Children • Same Day Appointments Available • Medical Weight Loss • Botox® & Restylane Treatments • Lab & Xray Available on Site

Christina Delgadillo, Kathleen Winslow

Brian and Fran Biggin

Melissa Evans

Isaac Henderson, Joseph Lachausse and Ruth Henderson

3282 College St., Beaumont (409) 832-8600


February 2012 33

A charm
B r i a n A l t e r

ed life

For jeweler Brian Alter, family always comes before family business
ll that glitters is not gold. Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and silver glitter too. Born into the business of precious gems and expensive jewelry, Brian Alter knows this well. Is it exciting being in the high-end jewelry business? Is it glamorous? Or is it just hard work like running any other venture? To all these questions, the managing owner of Alter’s Gem Jewelry answers, “Yes.” He typically works 70 hours a week, but he noted, “I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t fun.” As the head buyer for the store, he goes to markets around the country, and sometimes in other countries such as Switzerland, looking for new trends and styles in jewelry. The largest market for his industry in the United States is in Las Vegas, with 3,000 to 5,000 vendors. However, it’s not all glitz and glamour, even in Vegas. “Every time you travel, you work,” Brian said. “I’m not going to say it’s not fun because, every time, you see something that makes your jaw drop. But it’s work.” Several specialty shows are by invitation only. “We are very privileged to be invited to these shows,” the jeweler said. That’s the glamour part — meeting famous jewelry designers such as David Yurman and seeing multi-million-dollar pieces including those set with rare red diamonds. Once he was at a show and saw a natural blue diamond valued at $4.7 million. (Diamonds come in many colors with white being the most common.)



Southeast Texas roots

The family jewelry business was founded in Port Arthur in 1915 by Brian’s grandfather Morris Jacobs, and it expanded to Beaumont in 1929. Brian is a third-generation jeweler and a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America. He also graduated with an accounting degree from the University of Texas and a law degree from the University of Houston. He worked as an attorney for a firm in Houston for three years before coming home to Beaumont in 1983 to work in the

34 February 2012



photography by scott eslinger
family business. He had reached a crossroads with his law firm, he explained, and decided he had better opportunities. “Luckily, I had options,” he said. So it wasn’t a given that he would step right into the store after graduating from college. His parents, Shirley and Nelson Alter, had told him to go to school, get an education, get a career and see if he liked it. His father told him not to rely on the family business — he might retire and sell it. Brian tells his four children they are always welcome to come back home and go into the family business. “But it has to be by choice and not by default,” he said. my children and seeing the looks on their faces when they see new sights,” he said. The family journeyed to Jerusalem last August to visit his son Daniel, who is there studying to become a rabbi. Brian would like to visit Australia, New Zealand, India and China someday. And Lori has the Galapagos Islands on her to-do list. “There is a lot of the world for us to see,” she noted. The couple plans to travel extensively when Brian finally retires, but that’s not on the agenda any time soon.

A do-unto-others kind of guy

Family and community

As most business owners will tell you, long hours are just part of the plan. “I live my life between the store and my family,” Brian said. He has a shop full of valuable gems, but his most precious jewels are his wife, Lori, and his four children, Daniel, Devon, Carly and Arianna. “My family is my passion,” he said, adding that his favorite job is being a dad. “It’s the best job in the world.” Community involvement is important to Brian too. He’s a former Beaumont city councilman who also ran for mayor but lost. He’s currently on the board of the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program and is on several committees at Temple Emanuel.

Travel and leisure

And in those rare times when he can take a vacation, one of his favorite places to go is a mountain resort to ski with his family. He loves visiting new places too. “The best is traveling with

In his no-frills office, framed family photos adorn the walls and sill of the two-way mirror window looking out onto the elegantly appointed sales floor glittering with gems. Sitting behind his cluttered desk, Brian explained his personality. “I’m a do-unto-others kind of guy,” he said. He’s also sentimental, noting, “I like sappy Hallmark movies and happy endings.” Lori describes him as “honest as the day is long.” “He’s solid,” she said. “He’s the family’s rock. Everybody leans on him.” His favorite gem? “Diamonds — not even a second thought,” he replied. “Gem-quality diamonds have a magic to them.” As a kid, Brian wanted to have $40 million in the bank by 40. He wanted to be Warren Buffett. Now all he wants is his wife and kids to be happy and to take care of his elderly father since his mother passed away. Well, there is one dream he hasn’t let go of yet. “I’d like to be president,” Brian said with a grin, his blue eyes twinkling. “But Santa Claus would be cooler.”

Above: Designer Charles Krypell’s “Precious Pastel Ring” features a 1.5 carat pear-shaped certified fancy yellow diamond center in a custom ring with a completely detailed gallery featuring 64 round fine white diamonds and 53 round fancy yellow diamonds that together weigh 1.52 carats. Right center: The Beverly Hills Collection 18 Karat White Gold Circle Pendant contains 51 round white diamonds weighing .75 carats, plus 268 round black diamonds weighing 5.83 carats.


February 2012 35

36 February 2012



from the heart
W o r t h a m s


Believers in the Golden Rule, Bob and Karen
text by chERyl RoSE
of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Fellow community leader Regina Rogers said she feels privileged to count the Worthams as friends. “Bob and Karen are two of the kindest, most caring, loving and generous people I know,” Rogers said. “They have gigantic hearts and support all causes in a very significant way both with their resources and time.”

Worthams’ passions bear fruit across SE Texas

photography by Silvia c. mcclain

ursting with bonhomie, the distinguished Honorable Robert J. Wortham doesn’t meet too many strangers. Gregarious and energetic, Bob is balanced by his gentle and gracious wife, Karen Wortham. Together, the couple has raised a family, excelled at an intensive career and always found time to actively participate in volunteer leadership. “The Lord has blessed us and we feel that you should share your blessings,” Bob said. “Karen and I try to share with others what God has given to us.”

All in the Family

When he was only 32 years old, Bob was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. Bob served 12 years in this office, an unusually long term for a political appointment. During his years as U.S. attorney, Bob is credited with many successes

All to the Good

Both natives of the area, Bob from Beaumont and Karen from Nederland, the couple has worked to create a better quality of life for the community. They have provided financial support (in part through their charitable foundation) and volunteer support to a long list of nonprofit organizations. Bob has served on a variety of local boards. An organization he feels strongly for is the one he co-founded, the 100 Club of Hardin and Jefferson Counties, which supports the families

through invigorating the federal agency, creating models and precedents that became national standards and by aggressively pursuing cases that became front-page news and legal history. While throwing all his kinetic energy at these work tasks, he also had a new marriage and small children waiting patiently at home. “One of the hardest periods of our lives was when, as a U.S. attorney, I spent more nights in hotel rooms than in my own bed,” Bob remembered. “To be productive you had to be mobile, had to go to the problem. It was a hardship on my wife because she had to raise the children.” Karen was working as a court coordinator and legal assistant when the late Judge Tom Mulvaney acted as their matchmaker, she said. In addition to two young sons from Bob’s previous marriage, the couple had two children together, with the youngest now at Baylor University. Karen describes her children and five grandchildren (ranging in age from newborn to 13 years) as their hobby. Bob loves that all four of his children – R.J., Baylor, Brittney and Zach – live within a mile of their parents’ home. When they are all together, there is a lot of laughter, Karen said.

All in a Day’s Work

Work ethic, enthusiasm and the ability to inspire others has made Bob a leader in the law and the community. “As a child, my family really didn’t >>


February 2012 37

have much,” he said. “When Karen and I got married, we had nothing, didn’t even have any furniture. We had to really work for everything so we understand work ethic and have tried to instill that into our children as much as we can.” Bob’s father was a seaman who worked his way up to a Sabine pilot, working 30 days on and two weeks off. “I admire my father, because he was such a hard working man,” Bob said. He followed that example when he shipped out for several months of hard labor on a Mobil Oil tanker immediately following his graduation from Lamar State College of Technology in order to earn the money for law school at Baylor University. Bob also admires his childhood friend and one-time law partner, Wayne Reaud. When Bob worked at the law firm Reaud, Morgan and Quinn, the team worked long hours, including weekends, to be thoroughly prepared as trial lawyers. “I don’t like to lose,” Bob said. “You just have to have the drive and the willingness to work.” Judge John Stevens, a colleague for many years who also worked as an assistant U.S. attorney for Bob, described Wortham’s style as “a bull in a china shop.” “If he believes in something, he will press forward to reach that goal,” Stevens said. Remembering those days in the U.S. attorney’s office, Stevens said Bob, though the boss, would roll up his sleeves and try cases, which inspired his employees.

Bob Wortham’s professional achievements have garnered him a long list of awards. Bob and Karen’s community involvement has also been honored by a host of community organizations, including the Shorkey Center, the Triangle Aids Network, The Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program and the American Cancer Society. Later this month, the American Heart Association will recognize the couple at the annual Golden Triangle Heart Ball with the J.C. Crager Award alongside fellow recipient and cardiologist Dr. Tom Lombardo. Golden Triangle Heart Ball, February 11, 2012, Holiday Inn & Suites at Beaumont Plaza, 6:30 p.m. to Midnight

Where the Heart is

All Well and Good

To rejuvenate their energies, the Worthams retreat to their Crystal Beach home. “We don’t have a phone there and oh, it’s just relaxing, just peace and quiet,” Karen said. “At home, our phone never stops ringing. At the beach house, we just sit on the porch and sometimes ride the golf cart up and down the beach.” For Bob, it’s an opportunity to relax his public role as the judge of the 58th district court and act like a local instead. “At the beach, my shorts and shirts don’t even match,” he said. “It’s like going to a different world. I’ve always been kind of a hyper person — always doing something. When we go to the beach, I really turn into kind of a couch potato.” Hurricane Ike rocked their beach house as it did so many others in 2008. Bob’s

leadership in the Crystal Beach community helped rally, inform and educate property owners and citizens to cope with the crisis.

All You Need is Love

Though many nights they are busy attending community events, Karen said they are both night owls who confess to watching “Dancing with the Stars” and “Desperate Housewives.” Being together and with their family is their most prized time. Stevens, who attended their wedding, described the Worthams as “deeply in love.” “Bob is my inspiration,” Karen said. “He thinks of things that need doing and it’s contagious – I see it with other people – sharing that enthusiasm.” For his part, Bob said that his wife of 26 years is his foundation. “I couldn’t ask for a better partner.” VIP

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38 February 2012 |

text by bill daley photography by
bill hogan

food dining
o y s t e r s

Simplicity in the shell


rush aside the beads and booze, the crowds and the krewes, and what is Mardi Gras in all about? The food, baby, the food. And it’s a festive array of oyster dishes that can give a real kick to your Fat Tuesday party. For pure if decadent simplicity, nothing beats a platter of oysters preening on their half shells. Have plenty of lemon wedges, shakers of Louisiana hot sauce and bottles of iced sparkling wine within easy reach. But don’t stop with raw oysters, no matter how delicious. New Orleans is also home to such famous cooked dishes as oysters Rockefeller,

oysters Bienville and the ubiquitous po’ boy, often called “the peacemaker” because errant husbands would bring one home to soothe an irritated wife. Elizabeth Williams, president of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans, said the region’s historic oyster bounty prompted cooks to come up with a variety of ways to cook them. “They were tired of raw,” she said. “Because we had a lot of French influences, oysters were often used in recipes where snails were not available. They were looking at escargot recipes and using oysters. “If you could cook snails with bread crumbs, butter and parsley, you could cook oysters that way.” Judy Walker, newspaper food editor and

co-author of “Cooking Up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from the Times-Picayune of New Orleans,” agrees the availability and abundance of oysters led New Orleans cooks to experiment with recipes. She said another spur to innovation is the fact that Southeast Texas and Louisiana oysters are particularly delicious cooked. “It’s the texture, I think, and you could get really big ones and they’d just cook beautifully,” she said. Oysters work well at Mardi Gras time because the weather is relatively cold, even in Southeast Texas. “The cooler the water, the sweeter the oysters,” Williams said. “Our oysters tend to be more tender, a bit salty and sweet at the same time.” >>


February 2012 39

Smoked oyster dip
Prep: 30 minutes Makes: 3 cups Ingredients 4 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled, 2 tablespoons fat reserved 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled, diced 1 can smoked oysters, finely chopped, with juice 6 tablespoons mayonnaise 1/4 cup each: diced red onions, diced celery, diced yellow bell pepper Juice of 1 lemon 1/8 teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper, granulated garlic, hot sauce Directions 1. Stir bacon, reserved fat, eggs, oysters, mayonnaise, onions, celery, pepper and lemon juice together in a bowl. 2. Add salt, pepper, granulated garlic and hot sauce to taste. 3. Transfer dip to a serving dish, spread so the top is even. 4. Cover, refrigerate 24 hours. Serve chilled with crackers or garlic croutons. Nutrition information: Per 1 tablespoon serving: 25 calories, 85% of calories from fat, 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 11 mg cholesterol, 0 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 33 mg sodium, 0 g fiber From “Hooks, Lies & Alibis,” written by John D. Folse and Michaela D. York

Margie’s oyster soup
The late chef Warren Leruth privately printed a recipe booklet in 1983 to mark the 20th anniversary of his restaurant, LeRuth’s. This soup from his mother-in-law, Marie Margarite Huet Rizzuto, was included. Judy Walker, food editor of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, published the recipe in “Cooking Up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from the Times-Picayune of New Orleans.” Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 20 minutes Makes: 10 servings Ingredients 4 dozen freshly shucked oysters, with their liquor

So Whatcha So Whatcha in the Mood for? in the Mood for?
Offering additional entrees to satisfy the most discerning palette.

Mouthwatering Seafood or Steak sound tempting? Floyd’s is all about food any seafood or steak lover would enjoy.

Happy Hour 4PM-7PM

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40 February 2012 |

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter 2 bunches green onions, white and green parts, chopped 3 ribs celery heart, finely chopped 1 each, chopped: yellow onion, clove garlic 3/4 cup flour 1 cup whipping cream 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt White pepper, ground red pepper Directions 1. Poach oysters gently in their own liquor until plumped, 5-10 minutes. Drain, reserving liquor. Add enough water to the liquor to measure 2 quarts. 2. Heat butter in a large soup pot over medium heat; add celery, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour to make a smooth paste. Slowly whisk in oyster liquor and cream. Heat until just boiling. Add parsley and oysters. Add salt and peppers to taste. Serve hot. Nutrition information: Per serving: 253 calories, 68% of calories from fat, 19 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 74 mg cholesterol, 15 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 270 mg sodium, 1 g fiber MCT

food dining


text by judy hevrdejs
here’s something fun, something sexy, something luscious about chocolate. So head to the kitchen and stir something up for Valentine’s Day. What, you’re afraid of a chunk of chocolate? Messed up too much of the sweet dark stuff? Join the club. Most every cook has watched melting chocolate seize up — that dramatic shift from creamy to stiff glob — when a drop of water hits it. Even Rozanne Gold.

Gold is the chef and award-winning author of almost a dozen cookbooks, including her most recent,“Radically Simple." She knows that moment well: “It’s horrifying,” she said.“Sometimes I’ll add a touch of cold butter or a little splash of cream,” then heat gently until all’s well. Because she’s not a pastry chef, Gold said, “I tend to keep my desserts very simple." A favorite dessert? “Really good chocolate, 62 percent (cacao content) or even more bitter, with shards of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and red grapes,” >>

Melting chocolate tips

Don’t rush chocolate melting or you can ruin it. Once melted, chocolate can stand at room temperature about 15 minutes; stir occasionally to prevent skin from forming. Milk and white chocolates are delicate and can burn easily; use very low heat when melting. Stir frequently. To keep chocolate from seizing, be sure utensils that come in contact with chocolate are completely dry. A stray drop of liquid will cause chocolate to seize into a stiff and grainy mass.


February 2012 41

photography by bill hogan

This Valentine’s, keep it
All-chocolate Velvet Tarts

c h o c o l a t e

she said.“Each taste and flavor of one affects the taste of the other, and it’s just like this wonderful little taste experience." The good thing about chocolate?“If it gets messed up somehow,” she counsels,“it’s still going to taste good." So, whatever your cooking skills, whatever your age, make something chocolate for dessert, utterly simple, a bit complex. Enjoy.

Easy chocolate desserts fit for every cooking skill
Directions 1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham crackers and 4 tablespoons of the butter in food processor; process until finely ground. Pack crumbs evenly into a buttered 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom. Bake 10 minutes. 2. Heat cream just to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes. Add chocolate; stir constantly over low heat until melted. Stir in cocoa, cassis and remaining 1 tablespoon of the butter until smooth. Pour into crumb crust; refrigerate 11/2 hours or until firm. Serve with creme fraiche. Nutrition information Per serving: 404 calories, 63 percent of calories from fat, 30 g fat, 18 g saturated fat, 58 mg cholesterol, 35 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 111 mg sodium, 3 g fiber

Bittersweet Chocolate Caramel Mousse
Prep: 25 minutes Cook: 12 minutes Chill: 2 hours Makes: 10 servings Adapted from Carole Bloom’s“Intensely Chocolate." Ingredients 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (66-72 percent cacao content) 1/2 cup each: granulated sugar, light brown sugar 1/4 cup water 2 teaspoons honey 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 2 cups whipping cream 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened Directions 1. Melt bittersweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on low power in 30-second bursts, stirring after each burst. Set aside, stirring occasionally. 2. Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, water, honey and vanilla paste in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Cook over high heat until mixture comes to a boil. To prevent crystallization, dip a pastry brush in water and run it around inside of pan where mixture meets the pan; repeat. Cook without stirring until it turns amber, 6-8 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, heat 2/3 cup of the whipping cream to a boil over medium heat. Slowly add hot cream to caramel mixture, stirring constantly with a longhandled heat-safe silicone spatula. Be careful; mixture will bubble and foam. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in butter until completely melted; stir in melted chocolate thoroughly. Transfer mixture to a heat-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Place on a rack; cool to room temperature. 4. Whip remaining 11/3 cups whipping cream to soft peaks. Reserve 1/2 cup of the whipped cream for garnish. Fold remaining whipped cream into chocolate mixture in three stages, blending thoroughly. Divide mousse among dessert bowls or glasses, or pour into a 11/2-quart bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; chill until set, about 2 hours. Garnish with remaining whipped cream. Nutrition information Per serving: 346 calories, 67 percent of calories from fat, 27 g fat, 16 g saturated fat, 78 mg cholesterol, 29 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 22 mg sodium, 1 g fiber MCT

Easy Chocolate Parfait
Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 15 minutes Makes: 4 parfaits Ingredients 1 package (3.9 ounces) chocolate pudding 1/2 pint (1 cup) whipping cream 4 cookies (Oreos, chocolate chip, etc.), coarsely crumbled Fresh raspberries Directions 1. Make pudding according to package directions; set aside to cool. Whip the cream to stiff peaks. 2. Put 1 tablespoon of cookie crumbs in bottom of each of 4 clear stemmed dishes or glasses. Add a spoonful of chocolate pudding, then a spoonful of whipped cream and a layer of raspberries. Continue layering. Finish with whipped cream and a raspberry garnish. Nutrition information Per serving: 365 calories, 61 percent of calories from fat, 25 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, 82 mg cholesterol, 34 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 476 mg sodium, 1 g fiber

All-chocolate Velvet Tart
Prep: 25 minutes Cook: 20 minutes Chill: 1.5 hours Makes: 10 servings Adapted from Rozanne Gold’s cookbook,“Radically Simple.” Creme fraiche is a tart garnish; use unsweetened whipped cream for a milder flavor. Ingredients 5 ounces chocolate graham crackers or chocolate wafer cookies 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup whipping cream 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa 1 tablespoon creme de cassis or 1 teaspoon grated orange zest 1 cup creme fraiche
42 February 2012 |

Easy Chocolate Parfait

vip adviser
v a l e n t i n e ’ s g i f t s

Think outside the box
text by Cheryl rose

[flower or chocolate]
10 treats to pamper someone special

inner reservations and flowers are de rigueur on Valentine’s Day, but how can you provide something beyond the expected to surprise your sweetheart? Our Valentine’s gift list covers all the acceptable options (you will note no vacuum cleaners or other reminders of domestic responsibilities) with a little flair.
Skinn Skinnygirl White Cranberr Cranberry Cosmo The candy industry may advertise hard at Valentine’s Day, but Va really guys, most of us girls are counting those calories. Skinnygirl cocktails appreciate a girl’s dilemma and have produced several delicious bottled alcoholic drinks, including sangria and margarita, in lo-cal. White Cranberry Cosmo comes in at under 100 calories per 4 ounce serving. Mixed with vodka, Triple Sec, white cranberry juice, citrus and lime, your sweetie will say “yum!” Pick up a bottle at Debb’s Liquor in Beaumont. >>

for her

Lollia Bath & Body A little luxury for your lady! She’ll love the elegant packaging and vintage style of these cremes, gels, salts, candles and fragrances. Scents include romantic titles such as In Love, Breathe and Wish. The graceful bottle of Breathe Tranquil Bubble Bath made Oprah’s magazine’s “O List” favorites earlier this year. Budget-friendly prices for individual pieces or assemble a collection for the full layered effect. Find these gorgeous products at the Flagship Mailrooms in Beaumont and Nederland.


February 2012 43

for her
Hanky Panky Thongs Sometimes buying lingerie for your honey is tricky business for men because of the delicate question of correct size. Not so with Hanky Panky! These truly comfortable and sexy thongs come in one-size fits all from 4-14. Go with lacy original rise and all you have to pick is the color! (If your babe has less than a 4 or more than a 14 booty, there are simple sizes for you, too!) Check out the whole collection at Dillard’s.

James Avery

Latin Dancing Lessons So sexy! She will be surprised and thrilled when you sign up for a fourweek beginners’ session at City Dance Center in Beaumont. Learn the basics of salsa dancing together and within a month, you will be comfortable showing your new moves off at a salsa club. For $100 for two, you can ensure many fun date nights ahead.

44 February 2012 |

Lov eH eals

Jewelry Ladies do love a little bling for any occasion, but especially Valentine’s Day. Share your heart with hugely popular James Avery sterling silver pieces. Individualized charm bracelets and necklaces are all the rage. James Avery makes sterling silver charms and handmade art glass beads. If you are looking for something new and unique, visit Purse Strings in Beaumont, the exclusive location for the Love Heals line of jewelry. Assemble a personalized piece from the selection of charms, chains and earring hoops. Love Heals plants ten trees through Greener Ethiopia for every piece sold. They also make a donation to autism research for every piece sold from their “Hope” design line.

for him
Masculine Scents The sense of smell has been proven to be the most emotionally evocative of the five senses. Smells can invoke memories, affect mood and cause sexual arousal. Selecting a men’s fragrance is a gift as much for you as it is for him. Help him find a signature scent that appeals to both of you by sampling the cologne options together. Find a large selection of top-of-theline men’s products at Dillard’s. Acqua Di Gio by Giorgio Armani For Men remains one of the top fragrance picks again this year.

Bico Australia Pendants Charm him with masculine and handsome Bico Australia pendants that not only look good but symbolize various meanings. The line was created by two Aussie surfers who wanted “cool” jewelry for men. Their inspiration for the designs comes from the tribal tattoos of the Maoris of New Zealand. For example, the “mnugni” pendant’s meaning is “fatherly, protective.” The pendants are sold exclusively by Kizmet Studios in Groves.
photography courtesy of businesses and by silvia c. mcclain

What I Love About You This sweet book by David and Kate Marshall is like “Mad Libs” for adults. Perfect for any stage of the relationship, but great for long-term couples looking to remember all the reasons they picked each other. This fill-in-the-blank book gets you thinking with evocative openended statements such as “I missed you when…” or “One of your most irresistible physical features is…” It’s an inexpensive gift that will refresh your memories and your romance in a fun way. Find it at Barnes & Noble in Beaumont.

Raos Bakery Bonanza What’s that old saying about the What’ key to a man’s heart? Something yummy for his tummy will make your man sigh with pleasure. Rao’s has some delicious Valentine’s treats that include a gorgeous Chocolate Lovers “Cake for Two” — layers of moist chocolate cake and fudge icing topped with strawberries in a size (and price) designed for a couple’s treat. For a lighter flavor experience, consider the Napoleon heart, a heartshaped puff pastry filled with Bavarian cream topped with strawberries and a drizzle of white chocolate.

Geta Getaway at the Elegante A vacation getaway is high on your man’s list of how to relax and enjoy time with you – alone, no kids! There is an ideal overnight option right in town with the MCM Elegante’s Valentine’s Getaway Package for the night of Feb. 11, the Saturday before Valentine’s Day. Begin the evening with a complimentary drink at the Tradewinds Tavern, and then retire to your luxury room staged for romance. (A limited number of rooms also have whirlpool tubs). Find rose petals artfully scattered, chocolate-dipped strawberries in the fridge along with two half bottles of Verdi spumante, and two champagne flutes filled with chocolate kisses. Sleep late with the advantage of late checkout, and then hop down to Starbucks for two complimentary pick-meups. A breakfast buffet for two at Hemingway’s Café is included in the package, with two free champagne mimosas after 11 a.m. Separate from the package but a nice option to consider is booking your dinner at Tradewinds Tavern, which will have a special Valentine’s menu offered.



February 2012 45


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46 February 2012



great dates in february
Mr. Habitat 2012
Annual fundraiser for Habitat of Humanity of Jefferson County, 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. Individual tickets, $45. 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., Holiday Inn, Beaumont.

Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas
February 16-19
Downtown Port Arthur. Parades, concerts, children’s activities, carnival rides and games, food and more. (409) 721-8717 or www.mardigras. portarthur.com.
Thursday Feb. 16 Festival grounds open 5 to 10 p.m. 4:45 p.m.: Courir du Mardi Gras Parade 6 p.m.: Longneck Road in concert 8 p.m.: Joel Martin Project in concert

February 25

Taste of the Triangle
A must for area food-lovers, featuring tastes from area restaurant and beverage companies. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Ford Park. Tickets are $20 general admission, available at fordpark. com or by calling (409) 951-5400. VIP tickets (enter at 5 p.m.) $150 for two people, available by calling (409) 892-2752

February 21

Friday, Feb. 17 6 p.m. to midnight 7 p.m.: Valero Krewe of Krewes Parade 7 p.m.: Geno Delafose and French Rockin Boogie in concert 10 p.m.: Kevin Fowler in concert Saturday, Feb. 18 Noon to midnight 1 p.m.: Krewes Royalty March 3 p.m.: Jivin’ Gene Bourgeois and the Ken Marvel Band in concert 5:30 p.m.: Motorcycle Showcase Parade 5:30 p.m.: Leroy Thomas & the Zydeco Roadrunners in concert 6 p.m.: Total Krewe of Aurora Parade 8:30 p.m.: Champagne Room in concert 10 p.m.: Stoney Larue in concert Sunday, Feb. 19 Noon to 8 p.m. 2 p.m.: Munchkin Parade 3 p.m.: Ryan Foret and Foret Tradition concert 4 p.m.: Richard Industrial Group Motor Parade 6:30 p.m.: Wayne Toups & Zydecajun concert

Golden Triangle Heart Ball
Dining, dancing, live and silent auctions and announcement of the Dr. J.C. Crager Award winners. 7 p.m. to midnight at the Holiday Inn and Suites, Beaumont. For reservations, call (409) 550-1753 or go to www.americanheart.org/ goldentriangleheartball

February 11

Boomtown Film and Music Festival
Annual showcase of some of the hottest independent films and local musical acts, held at multiple locations around Beaumont. For the latest information on venues and events website at http://boomtownfestival. com/category/films

February 24-25

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 dconstantine@thevipmag.com. Information should arrive at least 60 days in advance of the event.

Event Submissions


February 2012 47

{ February }
February 2-4
7:37 p.m., Orange Community Playhouse, Orange. (409) 882-9137 or http://orangecommunityplayers.com.

February 10-11
10 a.m.-5 p.m., Beaumont Civic Center, Beaumont. For more information, email pjb_11056@yahoo. com 7:30 p.m., at the Betty Greenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Beaumont. Tickets $10, $16, $18. For reservations, call (409) 833-4664 or www.beaumontcommunityplayers. com

February 17-19
8 p.m. Feb. 17-18, 3 p.m. Feb. 19, Ford Arena, Beaumont. Tickets at the Ford Park Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, including H-E-B in Beaumont, at www.ticketmaster.com or call (800) 745-3000.

February 24
Lamar Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner
6:30 p.m., Mary and John Gray Library, 8th Floor. (409) 880-8921

Golden Triangle Quilt Guild

Monster Nation

“The Odd Couple”

“Almost, Maine”

February 3-5
Port Arthur Little Theater, Port Arthur. 7:30 p.m. Friday through Saturday, 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. www. palt.org Dinner theater at the Courtyard Cafe and Bakery, Groves. For reservations, (409) 790-6782.


Nutty Jerry’s, Winnie. Tickets $30, $35, $65, $75. (877) 643-7508 or www.nuttyjerrys.com.

Trace Adkins

Port Arthur Little Theater, see February 3-5 listing.

February 24-26
10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Feb. 24, 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Feb. 25, 2 p.m. Feb. 26, Ford Arena, Beaumont. Tickets at the Ford Arena Box Office, www. ticketmaster.com or (800) 745-3000.

February 18
6:30 p.m., Holiday Inn, Beaumont. Tickets $40 or $500 for table of ten. Live band and Cajun buffet.

“Sesame Street: Elmo Makes Music”

February 10-12
Orange Community Playhouse, see February 2-4 listing.

“The Dixie Swim Club”

“The Odd Couple”

Ubi Caritas Mardi Gras Dinner and Dance


February 3
“Equipping Your Kids for Life,” featuring Walter Moore, 5-9 p.m. Feb. 3 (dinner included); and 8 a.m.-noon Feb. 4 (breakfast included), North End Baptist Church, Beaumont. To register, call (409) 899-1906 or nebcbeaumont.org Nutty Jerry’s, Winnie. Tickets $30, $55, $65. (877) 643-7508 or www. nuttyjerrys.com.

Port Arthur Little Theater, see February 3-5 listing. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Winnie.

February 23
Reception and awards ceremony, 6-7:30 p.m., Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont. (409) 832-3432 or www.amset.org. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., MCM Elegante Hotel, Beaumont. Tickets $40 per person; tables of eight $300. (409) 833-2668.

February 25
Coastwind Cat Club Cat Show
9 a.m.-6 p.m., Beaumont Civic Center, Beaumont. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Parkdale Mall lot, (409) 832-6223 “Peter and the Wolf” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” presented by the Beaumont Civic Ballet, 5 p.m., Julie Rogers Theater, Beaumont.

Protégé High School Art Exhibition

Community Parenting Conference

Larry’s Old Time Trade Days

Girls’ Haven Gumbo Festival

Dinner theater at the Courtyard Cafe and Bakery, Groves. For reservations, (409) 790-6782.

“The Dixie Swim Club”

Celebrate Families Luncheon

“Fairy Tales in Dance”

Ray Price and Jake Hooker

February 11
10 a.m.-2 p.m., Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont. Free. (409) 832-3432 or www.amset.org.

Winter Family Arts Day

February 23-25
“Almost, Maine”
Beaumont Community Players, see February 10-11 listing.

February 28
Opening of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Reliant Park, Houston. www. rodeohouston.com.

February 4
Beaumont Civic Center, Beaumont. Cocktails, dinner, dancing and presentation of the Symphony Belles. For reservations, call (409) 840-4605.

2012 Symphony Ball

Nutty Jerry’s, Winnie. Tickets $30, $35, $50, $85. (877) 643-7508 or www.nuttyjerrys.com.

Mickey Gilley and Dr. Hook featuring Ray Sawyer

February 23-26
7:30 p.m. Feb. 23 and 25, 1 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24, 2 p.m. Feb. 26, Studio Theatre at Lamar University, Beaumont. (409) 880-2250 or www. lamar.edu/theatre

“Beauty Queen of Leenane”

February 29
7:30 p.m., Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts, Orange. (409) 7455535, (800) 828-5535 or www.lutcher. org.

Blood, Sweat & Tears

Krewe of Krewe Mardi Gras Grande Parade
5 to 8 p.m., downtown Orange

“My Fair Lady”

Nutty Jerry’s, Winnie. Tickets $30, $40, $55, $75. (877) 643-7508 or www.nuttyjerrys.com.

February 14
Valentine’s Day

February 4-5
Cheer USA, Texas Open National Championship
8 a.m., Ford Arena, www. cheerusachampionships.com/

February 16
Mini-exhibition celebrating the history of Cajun food, Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur. (409) 9827000 or www.museumofthegulfcoast. org.

“The Boudin Trail” opening

March Preview
Symphony of SE Texas concert Julie Rogers Theatre ∙ (409) 892-2257 Trans-Siberian Orchestra Ford Arena ∙ (800) 745-3000

February 8
7 p.m., Julie Rogers Theater, Beaumont. Tickets $38. (800) 7453000 or www.ticketmaster.com


Gabriel Iglesias Standup Revolution

The Gusher Marathon (409) 781-2932 ∙ www.thegushermarathon.com

February 17-18
7:30 p.m. Feb. 17, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Betty Greenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Beaumont. For reservations, call (409) 833-4664 or www.beaumontcommunityplayers. com


YMBL South Texas State Fair Ford Park ∙ (409) 832-9991 ∙ www.ymbl.org 3rd Annual Beaumont Blues Festival Beaumont Civic Center ∙ (409) 838-3435

“Almost, Maine”

February 10
Ronnie Dunn
Nutty Jerry’s, Winnie. Tickets $25, $45, $65, $100. (877) 643-7508 or www.nuttyjerrys.com.


Le Grand Bal Dishman Art Museum ∙ (409) 880-8137 Blowout 2012 with Mike Huckabee Beaumont Civic Center ∙ (409) 833-5100

48 February 2012



vip magazine
c r o s s w o r d

1 “Twilight” star 7 Pride 9 She sang the R&B duet “Always on Time” with Ja Rule 10 “__ Are My Sunshine”... 11 Most famous Martial artist 12 “Notting Hill” star first name 13 For example, abbr. 14 It’s ___ bad! 15 Laughter noise 16 5th __, NY 18 Actress in “Iron Man”, first name 21 “__, myself and I” De La Soul 22 Richmond locale 23 No Doubt lead singer, first name 24 Indy car racer, Dixon 28 European Community, for short 29 Comic strip character, first name 30 Goes with Montana

1 They made the album “Vitalogy” US rock group (2 words)

2 Blue lake in northern California 3 Place to stay 4 The Police lead singer 5 He sang the song “Miss Independent” 6 He sang “Getting you Home (The Black....)”, Chris ____ 8 Leave 12 The Hulk last name 13 Chow down 15 Guitar ___ game 17 Vegetarian 19 Go word 20 Starsky partner 22 Extremely 25 Coke container 26 Drink with ice and lemon 27 Grey’s Anatomy’s Sandra ___ Find answers on page 4



February 2012 49

vip voice
g u e s t c o l u m n

I really HATE this movie


text by scott renick

s the Academy Awards approach, I am reminded of the first movie I saw in a theater – the movie I hate more than any other. It was the summer of 1975 in Jackson, Mississippi, and my mother took me to see “The Apple Dumpling Gang”. Oh, you remember this classic starring Don Knotts, Tim Conway, Bill Bixby (pre-The Incredible Hulk) and Slim Pickens. “A simple tale of three orphaned siblings forced upon confirmed bachelor Donovan in a 19th century boom town of Quake City, CA. After an earthquake shakes the area, the children find a large gold nugget worth tens of thousands of dollars. As you can guess, their newfound wealth caused more problems than it was solving, so they agree to ‘give’ the gold to two bumbling outlaws. Unfortunately, the only way they can get the gold is to steal it from the bank vault where it’s being held for safe keeping.” Really, who hasn’t gone through this. But first, let’s start by reminiscing on the good ol’ days of movie watching: You know, where you sat on seats of red, itchy fabric that was somewhere between terry cloth and sandpaper, and more than likely, carried ringworm. Do you remember the design of these theaters? The seats were more or less one in front of the other, but the floors had a wave-like pattern where the floor would slightly slope downward. I thought this was an attempt to create better sight lines for the patrons, but a friend, who worked in a movie theater during this time, said the main reason for the slope was to push trash and spilled drinks to the front for cleaning. Of course, I disputed his position because I don’t remember the theaters ever being clean. My trips through the aisles were similar to walking to my house the first time after Hurricane Rita and asking myself what and where did all of the strange debris come from. Incidentally, the theaters were cleaned with the same excitement and passion of FEMA. Someone would eventually clean, but you don’t know when. Back to the summer of 1975, I am 5 years old and venturing to this cinematic potpourri of entertainment with my mother, paternal grandmother and a cousin whose name may

have been Lou Ellen. (Really, in Jackson in the early 1970s, you would expect my female cousin to have two first names. ) After buying our tickets, we proceeded to the concession stand to purchase a vat of popcorn and a soda. To this day, I remember the butter on my popcorn. Why do I remember it? It was actual butter, not the strange orangehued liquid made from benzene and milk that they put on your popcorn today. It was butter. How do I know this? There was a gigantic drip pan with a slab of butter slowly melting into a pitcher. Yes, a pitcher of butter. Now, I am not sure if this was part of a covert plan to actually kill the children of Mississippi, but that was how it was done. Of course, we got butter, and I remember the concession worker pouring it in the same manner people pour syrup on pancakes in the Aunt Jemima commercials. Afterwards, she licked her fingers. Even in my early childhood development, I knew this was wrong. Now, we ventured into the theater for the 2 p.m. showing. This was the second or third showing of the day, and the theater now resembled downtown Beirut in the early 1980s. After climbing over piles of discarded popcorn buckets, empty soda cups and candy wrappers, we found a seat that my mother and grandmother found acceptable. I remember my grandmother carefully putting napkins down on the seat for me to sit. She was obviously concerned about my wellbeing – or so I thought. Soon the theater was packed and my first theater experience began.

About 30 minutes into the movie, my mother asked if I needed to use the restroom, I said “no”, so my mother and Lou Ellen went without me. A few minutes later, I realized that I did need to use the facilities, so I asked my grandmother to take me or I as I like to refer to it – I made the greatest mistake of my life. My grandmother refused and had me urinate in an empty soda cup in a sold out movie theater. Before you judge me, remember, I am five years old. I assumed this was acceptable practice. I finished without any protest or groans of shock from the other theater patrons. (These idiots would actually leave the theater to use the restroom. Not me. Necessity is the mother of invention, and my grandmother was not going to miss a second of this cinematic masterpiece. She just placed the lid on the cup, and we continued watching the movie as if nothing out of the norm had occurred. Soon my mother and cousin returned, and they were no wiser. Some time later, during the movie, my grandmother, quite audibly, yelled an expletive. Now, my grandmother was not one to swear unless the situation truly called for it. Her swear words of choice usually ran in the PG variety. But, at this moment, she had deviated and gone full PG-13. Why? My grandmother kicked over the cup of urine, and it was beginning its slow descent to the front of the theater. Alarmed by her mother-in-law’s outburst, my mother said, “I can get you another drink.” To which my grandmother replied, “That’s not Sprite.” For years, I would use this expression to describe something very disturbing. For example, statement: “I don’t have a date for prom.” Response: “That’s not Sprite.” Statement: “My car won’t start.” Response: “That’s not Sprite.” This might have been some type of coping mechanism on my part. Later, once my parents realized what had happened, I was informed that it wasn’t appropriate to urinate in an empty soda cup in a movie theater even if Slim Pickens is on the silver screen. My parents made me promise that I would never do this again. I am proud to say, surprisingly, I have kept this promise to my parents. My grandmother and I never discussed that day. So as you are watching the Academy Awards this year, you can argue over what the best picture is, but, remember, the worst movie ever made is “The Apple Dumpling Gang.” It’s not Sprite.

50 February 2012

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