Local briefs • 10.14.11

RCD hosts ‘The 5 Factor’

Resource Center Dallas, in partnership with Dallas Modern Luxury, presents the third annual “The 5 Factor” event on Thursday, Oct. 20, at eM the venue by Marc, 1500 Dragon St. in Dallas.

“The 5 Factor” event recognizes five of Dallas’ finest in areas such as cuisine, fashion, media and literature.

This year’s “5 Factor” honorees are journalist and award-winning author Jenny Block; Emmy Award-winning journalist Ron Corning, who recently joined WFAA Channel 8 as the host of News 8 Daybreak; Dallas restaurant owner Monica Greene of Monica’s Aca Y Alla in Deep Ellum and BEE in Oak Cliff, who recently began providing commentary on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars for WFAA; award-winning fashion designer Prashi Shah who created her own label, Prashe, and recently opened a showroom in Dallas’ Design District; and Bronwen Weber, executive chef and general manager of Frosted Art Bakery and Studio in Dallas who is perhaps best known to many for her appearances on television’s Food Network Challenge programs.

The evening will be hosted by Angela Betasso, with state Rep. Eric L. Johnson and his wife as co-chairs and last year’s honorees serving as the honorary host committee.

General admission is $50 per person, available online at The5Factor.org. Proceeds benefit the programs and services of Resource Center Dallas.


GLAAD holds ‘Get Amped’ 5K

The local chapter of GLAAD presents Get Amped, a 5K run/walk on the Katy Trail on Thursday, Oct. 20, in conjunction with similar chapter events around the country.
Check-in begins at 5:30 p.m. at the American Airlines Center.

The starting gun goes off at 7 p.m. The celebration takes place at the finish line, also at the arena, at 9 p.m.

An after-party takes place at 9:30 p.m. at the Round-Up Saloon.

Each runner has a goal of raising $250. The money raised will benefit the national organization.


VNA holds Service of Remembrance

The Visiting Nurse Association will host a Service of Remembrance on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Preston Hollow United Methodist Church, 6315 Walnut Hill Lane in Dallas.

The event is open to the public and will feature special music, readings and the opportunity to light a memorial candle.

Attendees of all faiths are welcome to attend the service.

For more information call Sue Rafferty, bereavement coordinator with the Visiting Nurse Association, at 214-689-2922

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 14, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Tasting notes

SAY CHEESE | Murray’s Cheese Shop just opened at the Kroger Dr. Pepper Station with a delectable selection.
Murray’s: What a friend we have in cheeses; White Rock holds a picnic

What a friend we have in cheeses, now that Murray’s Cheese Shop has moved out of the ghetto of Greenwich Village in New York City and hit the real center of the cheese world, the hometown of Paula Lambert: Dallas.

At least, that’s how I approach it at my house, where a day without cheese is like a day without sunlight. So to have the celebrated fromagerie inside the Kroger Dr. Pepper Station is a coup for local cheese lovers.

The shop groups its cheeses by use more than style: Melting cheeses, stinky cheeses, spreadable, etc. Even better, there’s a section for this month’s specials, where you can get great deals. Don’t hesitate to ask for samples, or go outside your comfort zone, such as a deliciously crunchy version of two-year gouda called Reypanaer, or the veiny, pungent Smokehaus blue.

White Rock Lake celebrates its centennial with several culinary events this weekend. On Saturday, the beach turns into the Veranda Lounge, with a day-long choice of meals. Culinary couple Jeana Johnson and Colleen O’Hare of Good 2 Go Tacos serve brunch from 10 to 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch and wine at noon, afternoon tea at 2, cocktails at 4:30 and dinner with chef Marc Cassel starting at 7 p.m., followed by music and fireworks.

Then on Sunday, Brian C. Luscher, chef/owner of The Grape, hosts Chefs’ Picnic at the Lake, starting at noon at the Bath House Cultural Center. Cassel will be back, along with Jeff Harris of RedFork, Nathan Tate and Randall Copeland of Restaurant Ava and others. Visit HighlandParkCafeteria.com for more info and to purchase tickets.

Central 214 executive chef Blythe Beck recently adopted a dog, which motivated her to hold a benefit for Operation Kindness. (It’s also a mission close to our hearts — Dallas Voice profiles a shelter pet for adoption every week.) On June 30, the restaurant at the Hotel Palomar will hold a VIP Party — that’s Very Important Pet — on the patio, with drink special and all-you-can-eat bites for just $10. It runs from 7 to 10 p.m.

Dish is back with its drag brunch this Sunday, and will do them twice a month from now on, with bottomless mimosas and a special brunch menu.

Taste of Dallas returns to Fair Park, Friday, July 8 through Sunday, July 10. The annual festival of food features live music, contests and lots of tastings. Among the chefs on-hand are gay restaurateur Scott Jones of Macho Nacho and Cowtown Diner and Jason Boso of Twisted Root Burger Co. and Cowboy Chow. Tickets are $5 in advance or $8 at the gate. See the full lineup at TasteofDallas.org.

— Arnold Wayne Jones



Josh Flagg, pictured, a star of the Bravo series Million Dollar Listing who came out earlier this year, is letting his Pride flag wave. Flagg will host a four-day dance party in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area of Costa Rica next month. It takes place July 21–25 in a gated community on the Latin American nation’s South Coast. To learn more, visit HMCRPride.com/party.

GayTravel.com is reaching out to the queer artistic community to highlight the local arts scenes in destinations for its readers.
LGBT artists and allies who work in any media are invited to submit pieces that would be of interests to gay travelers — pieces promoting events, trends or just themselves that can add to the experience of visiting new locales. You can read more about it on the website, or email sophie.needelman@gaytravel.com for details.
— A.W.J.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 24, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Hi, Mom!

Gay siblings Brian and Erica Felicella give their mom props for…. well, for pretty much everything

SIBLING UN-RIVALRY | Thanks to Mom (and Dad), Brian Felicella, left, and sister Erica thrive in their creative pursuits as chef and photographer. (Photo courtesy Erica Felicella)

When a mother hears the words “I’m gay,” from her child, there is likely an initial shock, maybe followed by dying dreams of grandchildren. But when that happens twice — well, it might take an extra special mom to work that all out.
Photographer Erica Felicella and her brother Brian, an executive chef at the Dallas Museum of Art Cafe, recall that moment with Mom when they learned just how awesome she is.

Mom and baby sis Tara, who is straight, got in a few words as well.

Happy Mother’s Day!

— Rich Lopez


First born: Erica
Dallas Voice: What makes your mom unique? Wow, there really is no short way to answer that. That mom of mine still can run circles around me. There was no challenge too big if it involved fighting for what was right for her children. If I was to say one trait that makes my mom unique, boundless acceptance and support no matter what comes along.

How was she when you came out? I came out in high school. My mother was my mother. She has always taught me to treat everything and everyone with respect. So as in her own teachings she was there in a time when other friends of mine were being kicked out of their homes or disowned by their family. I am eternally grateful to have the mother that I do. The bottom line has always been to love unconditionally.

Do you ever share “girly” moments with her? [Laughs] Most mothers and daughters do girly things I suppose, but that was not how my mom and I spend time together. It is not a bizarre sight to drive up to my parents house and see my mom in the front yard with a jackhammer doing some gardening, covered in mud doing a quick sprinkler repair or watching a Red Sox game — after all, we are transplanted Yanks.

What are you going to do for Motherʼs Day? I will be in Dallas as will my brother and my sister. However, we did a surprise photo shoot and the photo should arrive at my parents’ doorstep in time for Motherʼs Day.

Whatʼs the best thing about her? My mother is a 5-foot-2 Irish-Leo. She is the one we all turn to in moments of sadness, feats of personal victory and times of new discovery. She is the root that things can grow off of.

Supportive? I am a multimedia fine-artist, mentor to young artists and I work in production and post-production in the commercial world of still photography and video. My mother has been there every step of the way. I have always had her support even when she did not know what the heck I was working on. She has been on set with me, worked as an agent and advocate for me when I was starting. She was the bartender at my first solo show. She is a real life superhero to me and I am one lucky gal to have her.

The son also rises: Brian
What is your motherʼs best feature? Her compassion and ability to love endlessly even when it could be hard to love someone she still finds it in her.

How did she react when you came out? If I remember correctly she said, “OK.” I was in college between sophomore and junior year and was freaking out about the call. When I finally got the courage to call, both my mom and dad were on the phone and the main thing that was said was, “We don’t love you any less.”

What is your favorite mom memory? Recently I called and asked how she knew she was in love with my father. That was conversation that I will remember for the rest of my life.

What was your best Motherʼs Day experience? Talking her out to lunch back in 2006. I drove down to San Antonio early in the morning to surprise her on Mother’s Day. Just having time with her these days is a gift.

How did she react to your most rebellious moment? Which one? I have never been one to go with the norm so my tattooed and pierced friends were never a shock. In my darkest place, she never turned her back on me. Drugs and alcohol can tear a family apart but she never lost hope in me. For more normal rebellious moments, she never asked me to change my hair color if it was blue or green, but at times did request a hat when we went to dinner as a family.

Supportive? I am currently an executive chef at the DMA, which is the second major career path I have taken. She has always been supportive on the choices in my life concerning work. She was helpful getting me on track and offering to send me back to school to study the culinary arts. I have been blessed with a family that has my back no matter and a mother that will pull out the boxing gloves when someone messes with her kids. She really has put herself out on the line to raise my sisters and me.

The baby: Tara
What was it like when they came out to you? When my brother came out I found he was getting harassed at college. This was the same college I graduated from and that really disappointed me. It wasn’t really a shock, it was more of “glad you’re comfortable enough to say it.”

How is the family dynamic? I don’t feel she treats any of us differently based on orientation. If you do something stupid, you do something stupid. If someone broke your heart, someone broke your heart. If whoever your dating or engaged to is being an pain, your partner is being a pain. If she doesn’t like who you are dating, she won’t ever tell you. I don’t really think she bases her advice on that. She gives us the same advice.

Do you feel pressure to produce grandchildren? She doesn’t need grandkids — she has three granddogs.

Mother’s turn: Maggie
What does Motherʼs Day mean to you? It reminds me how lucky I am to be a mom. There are highs and lows that come along with that job but I remember the highs.

So, a proud mama. My children are very kind and caring individuals. They have grown into adulthood nicely. I have always been proud of them as human beings and continue to be. They see all people as equals and treat all people as they wish to be treated. They are good kids!

What was it like when they came out to you? As parents, we have the dreams of weddings and grandchildren. We had to digest how things would be different. As parents, you want to shield your children from hurt and harm. We didn’t know how we were going to do that but we figured it out along the way. In the end, they are our children and that is all that matters.

Was it at the same time or different? Erica was the first to tell us she was a lesbian. She was still in high school. She came down the stairs, sat on the coffee table, started spinning around and announced, “I am a lesbian.” Then she got up off the table and went back upstairs to her friends. Brian called from college and left a message, “Mom, I need to speak with you and Daddy.” I told my husband, he is calling to tell us he is gay. When he called, he was stumbling over his words. I finally said, “Brian are you trying to tell us you are gay?” He was shocked and relieved at the same time.

OK, so what about the grandchildren issue? I don’t dwell on grandchildren. If they happen, they will; if not, they won’t. I have three grand dogs and they have their own stockings at Christmas. I know I won’t have to help pay for college. I always look for the bright side over every issue!

Just like a mom.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 6, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Beyond the Box to become pizzeria; developer says closure not a sign that ilume is struggling

Owner Doug Brown is shown inside Beyond the Box on the day it opened in early December.

Beyond the Box, an upscale deli/restaurant/convenience store that was one of three retailers at ilume on Cedar Springs, closed last week about eight months after opening.

Luke Crosland, chairman and CEO of ilume developer the Crosland Group, said Beyond the Box likely will be replaced in the near future by a “unique pizzeria.”

Beyond the Box just wasn’t the right fit, Crosland said, and the closure shouldn’t be viewed as any indication that the posh mixed-use development is struggling.

“I want to be positive about it because [Beyond the Box owner] Doug [Brown] is a great chef, and he’s the executive chef at Dish,” Crosland said.

“We’re going to use most of the items in the restaurant, and I think we’re going to have a better-for-the-neighborhood operation,” he added. “When you’ve got Kroger across the street, and you don’t have to drive, maybe the idea of having prepared food rather than served food was not the right component.”

Crosland said a sushi lounge is slated to open at ilume sometime in September. Also in the works are a restaurant from the executive chef at Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe, N.M.; and a salon/nail and facial spa.

Crosland said residential units at ilume are now 90 percent occupied, with only about 29 units remaining.

“We’re doing extremely well,” he said. “I’m real excited about the formula we’ve got there.”

The Crosland Group also plans another development, ilume TOO, across Cedar Springs at the site of the old Douglas Park and 4242 Cedar Springs apartments. Crosland said the company is working to obtain financing for ilume TOO.

—  John Wright