ROMANCING THE STONE

ROMANCING THE STONE

The art and precious jewelry worlds are simpatico: canvas meets carats. Both very collectible, they tell of stories of its collectors and their journeys together. It’s a match made in heaven. Here, we pair some of the most dynamic art and exemplary jewels that we love most. So colorful and captivating, let them inspire you and your own collecting.

Artwork by Anarte Gallery, Ana Hernandez Burwell, Richard Diebenkorn, Brad Ellis, Estancia del Norte Hotel, Allison Gregory, Kenneth Noland, Kelly O’Connor, Sarah Palmer, Carlos Rosales-Silva, Ruiz-Healy Art, Kathy Sosa and Tracy Williams.

Jewelry by Calvin’s Fine Jewelry, Korman Fine Jewelry, Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry, The Menagerie Fine Jewelry & Gift Salon, Nicole Mera Fine Jewelry, Nini Jewels, and Sotheby’s New York.

BRIGHT, BOLD & BOISTEROUS

BRIGHT, BOLD & BOISTEROUS

Summer is here…and we plan to make a sartorial splash. Our style chronicler, Eleanora Morrison, of Eleanora.co vivaciously shares a bounty of bold looks inspired by the vibrant colors that accompany warmer Texas temperatures and simple poolside pleasures.

FLOWING AND FREE

Whether you’re dining al fresco on vacation or in need of a flowy frock during a warm and balmy summer night at home, this ViX crepe halter neck maxi dress is your best answer.

$228. At Net-A-Porter.com.

ONE-PIECE, PLEASE

When it comes to fun in the summer sun, this retro one-piece is a staple that never goes out of style with this classic Hunza G seersucker swimsuit.

$175. At Net-A-Porter.com.

LOVE IN BLOOM

Part of Zimmermann’s Resort ‘21 collection, the Lovestruck dress evokes a sense of whimsy and joy. This summer you’ll be feeling fun and flouncy at the pool or walking down the beach in this billowing, breezy frock.

$1150. At Net-A-Porter.com.

BELTED IN BERMUDA

Belted, high-waisted, and breezy, these STAUD summer shorts are just the statement piece that will add both comfort and creativity to your summer ensembles.

$215. At Net-A-Porter.com.

HUES OF BLUES

For a summer full of outdoor socializing ahead, why not add some hues of blues to your backyard spaces? These stylish Roche Bobois outdoor sofas will do just the trick.

$7990. At RocheBobois.com

WALKING ON A DREAM

Style doesn’t always have to be sacrificed when it comes to comfort. These Versace sandals will have you walking on a dream while turning heads at the same time.

$350. At NeimanMarcus.com.

SO EASY BEING GREEN

As we begin to emerge into normal life again, combatting toxins while remaining radiant is paramount. Tata Harper’s Refreshing Cleanser, made from all-natural materials, makes it extra easy to be green.

$84. At NeimanMarcus.com.

BOTANICALLY BRIGHT

After a year of simplicity, it’s time for our manicures to make noise again. This award-winning Londontown Lakur delivers long-lasting, high-shine wear while infusing nails with moisturizing and strengthening botanicals.

$16. At NeimanMarcus.com.

TURQUOISE ON TOAST

When it comes to morning rituals, why not brighten your day with pops of colorful pieces from the Smeg x Dolce & Gabbana appliance collection, like this turquoise toaster?

$950. At NeimanMarcus.com.

SPARKLE AND SHINE

The finishing touch to the perfect summery ensemble is the sparkle and the shine. And as they say…everything’s bigger in Texas. Baubles included–the bigger the statement, the better. By Mignonne Gavigani New York.

$295. At GardenRoomBoutique.com.

CLUTCH ME TIGHT

We love a good python print as one of nature’s neutrals. You’ll want to clutch this one tightly no matter where you’re toting it, as a colorful complement to your daytime or evening look. By Parker & Hyde.

$186. At GardenRoomBoutique.com.

STRAP HAPPY

When in doubt, more is more. These Kate Maconie wavy strap sandals will add a pop to any summer look…and they’re sure to pack quite the punch.

$330. At NeimanMarcus.com.

WORLDY PURSUITS

WORLDY PURSUITS

Houston Museum Of Natural Science Celebrates With Gala

By Jennifer Roosth   Photography by Daniel Ortiz and Mike Rathke

THE SETTING: Wide open spaces of the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Morian Hall of Paleontology and the second-floor Paleontology Overlook provided the perfect socially-distanced pandemic protocol setting for the museum’s annual fundraising event. The theme of the evening, Tour the World, offered guests an extraordinary variety of exhibits. The Hall of Ancient Egypt, stunning Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals, George W. Strake Hall of Malacology, and the Frensley/Graham Hall of African Wildlife, to name a few, delighted guests as they were able to explore the museum throughout the evening’s event.

 

THE STYLE: Houston Museum of Natural Science’s gala was a smashing success. Guests celebrated the organization on a beautiful evening, exploring the vast exhibitions and bidding on one-of-a-kind treasures in the evening’s silent auction. The auction boasted magnificent fossils, rare gems and jewelry, and unique HMNS experiences. The most popular items ranged from a 6-feet long Komodo Dragon skeleton, one of the heaviest and deadliest lizards on Earth, to an exceedingly rare 2.34-carat red emerald ring to a Murder Mystery dinner party in the HMNS Death By Natural Causes exhibit. The auction also showcased five vintage automobiles, including a pristinely restored 1966 Shelby GT350 and a sleek 1973 De Tomaso Pantera.

 

City Kitchen provided the night’s delicious fare, and The Events Company adorned the museum spaces and presented brightly-colored floral arrangements on the tables for a beautiful, inspired look. Complementing the after-dinner musical entertainment provided by Hybrid 7 were late-night treats–brandy freezes and sweets. Macaron party favors were passed out on floating balloon trays as guests left for the night.

 

THE PURPOSE: Chairman Bobbie Nau greeted nearly 250 guests and broke all prior HMNS records, bringing in over $2 million in proceeds. The museum took thoughtful measures to ensure the evening’s success. These included the option to valet or self-park; contactless check-in and temperature reads; asking all guests to wear masks; providing additional on-theme masks as party favors; and ensuring that hand sanitizer was readily available throughout the museum with individual hand sanitizers also given to each guest.

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CURIOUS ABOUT CUISINE

CURIOUS ABOUT CUISINE

We love that our statewide local eateries offer a true sense of community wherever we go, no matter what city we call home. Join our editors Jake Gaines in Austin, Cynthia Smoot in Dallas, Jennifer Roosth in Houston, and Eleanora Morrison in San Antonio as they share their statewide selections that are perfect for summer.

AUSTIN

So Well Done Austin Salad

BONJOUR, PARIS

A Parisian-inspired bakery that also imports Swiss chocolates? Sign us up. Those, along with Champagne, macaroons, and French-pedigree baked goods, have never seemed so delicious in the heart of Texas.

At ParisInABite.com.

The Lolo Austin Texas wine bar

ASIAN DELUXE

At Otoko, this exclusive 12-seat dining destination is about as rarified a sushi experience gets in this city  The chef’s choice multi-course tasting menu runs $175 per person, so expect both expertise and innovation. Before dinner, begin with drinks at Watertrade, attached to the restaurant. Online reservations only.

At OtakoAustin.com.

Rebel Cheese Austin Texas

WITH A TWIST

For old-school cocktails with a new school twist, try The Cavalier, a new destination. The east side eatery is a favorite for the current frozen drink craze that is sweeping the state. We recommend trying them all with the small and large bites they offer.

At TheCavalierTex.com

DALLAS

pastry from La Tarte Tropézienne  dallas texas

FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY

Located on the 49th-floor of The National and alongside the new Thompson Dallas, Monarch is a dazzling restaurant with intimate seating offering soaring views of the city. Featuring 280 seats with skyline views of Dallas, you can wander up a spiral staircase, and you’ll find private dining spaces. The menu consists of handmade pastas, fish, and the Butchers Reserve section of cuisine slow-roasted over a wood fire.

At MonarchRestaurants.com.

Georgie Dallas Restaurant

ALL HAIL THE SAINT

The Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar recently debuted a newly renovated space with a refreshing menu influenced by the Pacific Northwest and seasonal Texas ingredients. The venue features a garden-inspired atmosphere, a spacious patio for dining, crisp pre-Prohibition-style cocktails inspired by their 1920’s roots, and impressive wines.

At SaintAnnDallas.com.

Food from Rise & Thyme Dallas tTexas

TRULY TEXAN

Texas Twinkies, the BBQ delicacy made famous by Hutchins BBQ, can now be shipped by the dozen ($65 per dozen) to anywhere in the U.S. The North Texas BBQ joint’s most requested item is a large jalapeño stuffed with cream cheese and Hutchins’ famous brisket, which is then wrapped in thick-cut bacon. Online orders are available whenever you’re ready for a taste of Texas at home.

At HutchinsBBQ.com

HOUSTON

Bottled Blonde Pizzeria + Bier Garden

HERE’S THE DISH

Dish Society has quickly become the favorite of the who’s who in the city. The all-day diner turns out a seasonally changing menu with healthful modern twists on traditional favorites. They are also dedicated to using the highest quality and freshest ingredients possible and source a majority of its items locally.

At DishSociety.com.

Chocolate Crepe Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café

MEET ME AT THE PALACE

A brand new family-friendly addition to the West University/Bellaire community, Palace Social is slated to open in June. Formerly, the historic Palace Bowling Lanes, the completely renovated space is located in the Southside Commons Development, and we expect it to be a terrific destination this summer.

At PalaceSocial.com.

Adair Restaurant Houston

LUCKY THIRTEEN

The new restaurant, Thirteen, created by former Houston Rockets star James Hardin, combines a unique, upscale dining experience with exceptional food. Plus, amid a vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere and the entertainment and first-class service, it’s the place to be this summer.

At ThirteenHOU.com.

SAN ANTONIO

Salad from Jardin San Antonio

PARISIAN VIBE...

Recently opened in the Historic Pearl by the Southerleigh Hospitality Group, Brasserie Mon Chou Chou is just the escapism we all need when traveling to Paris for a très chic French culinary experience is off the table. Be sure not to miss out on ordering the main attraction during your dining event: the Sandwich au Fromage Raclette…melted live onto your plate from a large wheel of piping hot Parmesan. Bon Appetit to all.

At BrasserieMonChouChou.com.

Los Azulejos San Antonio

FOUR STAR-WORTHY

Brunch on the Riverwalk at the four-star Mokara Hotel? Yes, absolutely. Omni Hotels has acquired the Mokara Hotel & Spa that serves up a stylish and delicious dining experience with a view at its new delectable restaurant, Ostra.

At OmniHotels.com.

Sandwich Best Quality Daughter San Antonio

BEYOND THE MORNING RITUAL

A local favorite, Revolucion Coffee + Juice, has been supporting a balanced wellness lifestyle since 2012 with innovative coffee, juice, and plant-forward food. They’ve just opened a new location at the RIM for dwellers in and near Boerne and the Dominion for diners who like to venture outside of the loop for an adventure.

At RevolucionSA.com.

ARTISTIC MERIT

ARTISTIC MERIT

The best plays, musical performances, and exhibits in Texas are enjoyed by record number crowds, according to our cultural adventurer Leanne Raesener, who shares our favorite recommendations for what to enjoy this summer across the state.

AUSTIN

AUS Courtesy of The Texas Performing Arts at The University of Texas Austin, Hollywood, The Prodigal Son

UNDER A SUMMER MOON

The Austin Symphony Orchestra presents Moonlight Moods, a live outdoor concert at the stunning new Moody Amphitheater. Beethoven’s euphoric and exquisite Symphony No. 7, often referred to as the “Apotheosis of the Dance,” is sure to move you. May 13―15. At AustinSymphony.org. 

ON IMAGE: Ludwig van Beethoven, portrait by Josef Karl Stieler. Courtesy of ASO.

AUS Torbjørn Rødland, Eggs, 2019. Chromogenic print on Kodak Endura paper. Artwork © Torbjørn Rødland.Courtesy the artist and NILS STÆRK, Copenhagen

GONNA WEAR MY GOLDEN CROWN…

Zach Scott’s Theatre’s Songs Under The Stars: Spring Series presents Gospel Down by the Riverside. The stellar cast of Zach’s hit Crowns once again raises the rafters in celebration of gospel music made famous by Shirley Caesar, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, and others. April 1―11. At ZachTheatre.org. 

ON IMAGE: Courtesy of Zachery Scott Theatre.

Texas Gold Changed the World

STRUMMIN’ FROM THE SPHYNX TO TEXAS

From its origins in the Nile Valley to today, the guitar has rocked the world for more than 5,000 years. GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World takes visitors on a fascinating exploration of the science, sound, history, and pop culture behind the world’s favorite instrument. Through August 15. At TheStoryOfTexas.com.

ON IMAGE: Gibson Harp Guitar, ca. 1912. Courtesy of the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

DALLAS / FORT WORTH

DAL Anna, Paris 2017, Photo by Paolo Roversi_Courtesy of the Dallas Contemporary.

MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL

Chris Schanck’s premier DMA exhibition,  Curbed Vanity: A Contemporary Foil by Chris Schanck, pairs the late-19th century Martelé dressing table in the DMA’s collection with Schanck’s contemporary interpretation of the piece. One is a grand example of the Gilded Age’s craftsmanship, and Schanck’s is a tribute to the urban landscape. Through August 29. At DMA.org

ON IMAGE: Curbed Vanity: A Contemporary Foil by Chris Schanck, Courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art.

DAL Photography is Art exhibition, Courtesy of Amon Carter Museum_ Alfred Stieglitz, A Wet Day on the Boulevard, Paris, Photogravure, 2013

ARTIFACTS GONE, BUT HISTORY REMAINS

The Nasher Sculpture Center presents two works by the 2020 Nasher Prize Laureate Michael Rakowitz, part of his series of sculptures, The invisible enemy should not exist, and his film, The Ballad of Special Ops Cody. Each examines the connection between present-day conflicts in the Middle East and the region’s ancient history. Through April 18. At NasherSculptureCenter.org. 

ON IMAGE: 2020 Nasher Prize Laureate Michael Rakowitz, The invisible enemy should not exist (Room F, section 1, panel 10, Northwest Palace of Nimrud), 2019, Courtesy of Jane Lombard Gallery, photo by Arturo Sanchez

DAL Photo by Andy Nguyen. Courtesy of Galleria Dallas

CELEBRATING HOME SWEET HOME

The Meadow’s twentieth anniversary will be marked with a commemorative exhibition: Building on the Boulevard: Celebrating 20 Years of the Meadows New Home, which in 2001 was a defining moment in the museum’s over 50-year history. Through June 20. At MeadowsMuseumDallas.org. 

ON IMAGE: Exterior of the Meadows Museum and its sculpture plaza with Santiago Calatrava’s Wave (2002) in foreground. Photo by Hillsman Jackson.

HOUSTON

HOUS Moooi Works, manufactured by Moooi, Mega Chandelier, 2018, mixed media and bulbs. © Moooi, New York

NATURE TIMES TWO

Two visionary artists, separated in time and space, are united by a shared fascination with nature. View David Hockney and Vincent van Gogh’s work side-by-side in the MFAH’s exhibition  Hockney–Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature. It premiered at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and the MFAH will be the only U.S. venue. Through June 21. At MFAH.org.

ON IMAGE: David Hockney’s The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011. Credit. Collection Société des Amis du Musée national d’Art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Richard Schmidt.

HOUS David Novros, Detail of right wall from Untitled, 1973–75. The Menil Collection, Houston jpg

THEN AND NOW

Pompeii: The Exhibition tells the tale of the city buried in ash and volcanic debris after Mount Vesuvius suddenly erupted some 2,000 years ago. Visitors discover how people lived, loved, worked, worshiped, and found entertainment through the over 150 artifacts preserved in the ruins. Through September 6. At HMNS.org

ON IMAGE: A pristine Pompeii sculpture showcases the intricacy of artifacts.  Photo courtesy of Houston Museum of Natural Science.

HOUS Signature Works, Courtesy of Ars Lyrica Houston

A GRAND OVERTURE OF GREATS

Houston Symphony’s Iconic Overtures: Andrés Conducts Mozart, Beethoven & More breaths life into some of music’s all-time great overtures—dramatic and evocative curtain-raisers that capture us from the first note. May 14―16. At HoustonSymphony.org.

ON IMAGE: Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Music Director, Roy and Lillie Cullen Chair, Courtesy of the Houston Symphony.

SAN ANTONIO

SA Brenda Rae, Metropolitan Opera, Courtesy of Opera San Antonio

OASIS IN THE GARDENS

San Antonio Botanical Garden’s newest exhibition, Frida Kahlo Oasis, brings a captivating rendition of the artist’s iconic blue home, Casa Azul, and lush green sanctuary that profoundly influenced her timeless art. This exhibition uncovers Kahlo’s deep connection with Mexican native vegetation and the natural world. Through Nov. 2. At SABOT.org.

ON IMAGE: Frida’s Oasis Entrance. Courtesy of the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

SA Martine Gutierrez, Still from Clubbing, 2012. HD video. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, © Martine Gutierrez.

IS IT LIVE, OR IS IT MAGICAL?

The new Tobin Collection of Theatre Arts exhibition, Is It Real? Staging Nature explores the technical side of recreating nature in performance. The show presents artwork that highlights nature as depicted in stories from opera, ballet, and musical theatre to illustrate examples of these designs. April 22―September 30,  2021. At McNayArt.org.

ON IMAGE: Tony Straiges, Maquette. for Into the Woods, painted board and paper, with found objects. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of Robert L.B. Tobin.

SA Gladys Roldan-De-Moras Memories From My Home, oil on linen

IMPRESSIVE IMPRESSIONISM

As American artists—often having trained in France—returned home in the late nineteenth century, they put a distinctly American twist on Impressionism. America’s Impressionism: Echoes of a Revolution explores this history with European origins. June 11―September 5, 2021. At SAMuseum.org.

ON IMAGE: Willard Metcalf (American, 1858–1925)
Poppy Field (Landscape at Giverny), 1886, Oil on canvas, Collection of J. Jeffrey and Ann Marie Fox.

SETTING THE SCENE

SETTING THE SCENE

When lifestyle expert Kimberly Schlegel Whitman creates, people take notice. Her elevated point of view is flawless. Here, Lance Avery Morgan gets up close and personal about her brand, ShopKSW, and how she inspires others so beautifully.

Photography by John Cain Sargent

When Kimberly Schlegel Whitman creates, people take notice. The author of eight books devoted to entertaining, she leads a beautiful life in Dallas with her husband, Justin Whitman (the son of 50s and 60s movie star Stuart Whitman) and their two children. The life she leads is the perfect subject for her tomes devoted to well, living the good life. Not only is she a genuinely warm and caring friend, she is an inspiration with her tips and insight on how we can all live our best life. A delight to be around for decades, it’s a treat to see her on-going success due to the robust efforts she gives to all she endeavors and triumphs doing. In an exclusive to Society Texas, get to know this dynamic woman in her own words…

ELEVATED P.O.V.

Lance Avery Morgan: Kim, I’ve known your great style as long as I’ve known you, for decades now–in fact, and you’ve always had great style. How did it all start?

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman: That is so sweet, but I’m not sure it is true. I know I have made style-mistakes before, but I like to try new things and experiment. I’m also “moody” in my style, so sometimes it changes. I’ve always been drawn to the classics…and I like to give them a little twist.

LAM: One thing that many other folks and I know is that your entire family has amazing style. How has that helped you hone your own stylish point of view?

KSW: This is what my next book is about–celebrating the things we learned from the women in our lives and thinking about how we incorporate those things into our entertaining and personal style in a modern way. We are featuring 25 women who embody this respect for tradition but have their own take on it.  For me, it was all about being bold and vivacious. My mother, as you know, doesn’t shy away from bright colors or dramatic statements in her fashion and in the way she decorates and entertains. She is always looking for fun, festive, new ways to celebrate, yet has a great appreciation for the traditions that are meaningful to her. I’m so lucky that she remains a strong influence on my family and me.

LAM: You’ve been such a successful, entertaining author, and a busy wife and mother. Tell me why you decided to move into tableware and home goods?

KW: I love setting the table, and I wanted to make it fun and easy for everyone. My book, Tablescapes, was my favorite one to write and style because I find setting the table so relaxing and joyful. I posted photos of my simple family tablescapes almost every day during the early parts of the pandemic. Although it felt frilly when there was so much going on in the world, it gave me comfort to be a little bit creative every day and set a place for my family to sit down together. It was a small part of the day that I could control when so much seemed out of control.

I received so many questions on my social media about table settings and people asking if I could help them coordinate something to match things they had or help them pick out something new. It dawned on me, with some nudging from my husband, Justin, that I could be selling my favorite curated items directly. That’s when I launched the digital platform, ShopKSW, to make it simple to find a curated tablescape that could be ordered, collected, and set easily. My favorite thing about the site is that I get so many messages from viewers who send me a photo of a set of china or glassware or linen they inherited, and we work on finding them additional pieces to give those antique treasures a fresh look.

TIMELY TRADITIONS

LAM: I love the heritage point of view you have incorporated, combining the older with the new. What are some of your personal favorite pieces?

KSW: Everything on ShopKSW is a favorite, or I wouldn’t have it on there!  I will say that when a set of Herend multi-colored Chinese Bouquet Dinner Plates was shipped off to a client in New Orleans, I was a little bit sad to say goodbye to them, so I immediately ordered more. I have always loved linens from D. Porthault, and I’m thrilled to be able to offer their unique products on the site. I’m also crazy about the traditional patterns such as Tobacco Leaf, Blue Canton, and Famille Verte by Mottahedeh. I love setting them in unexpected ways. The resurgence of Gio Ponti’s design for Ginori, Oriente Italiano, has been so exciting too. It is so much fun to set a table with all of those wonderful colors at my fingertips. I could go on and on about my favorites, but, actually, I love it all.

LAM: Your taste certainly reflects how you live on a daily basis. I always love seeing the beautiful environments you create for yourself and your family. What are some of your personal favorite tableware themes?

KSW: I always love a blue and white table. It reminds me of home and my mother’s blue and white breakfast room that I find so very comforting.

LAM: Beyond color, does tableware have a seasonal theme?

KSW: Absolutely. I think that cold, weary winters call for cozy and comforting settings while the vibrancy of spring calls for a vivid and colorful mix.

LAM: For spring, so our readers can be inspired by you even more, what are you loving most within your product line offerings?

KSW: This spring, I’m planning some tablescapes that all seem to have a lot of green, which represents new life. I think we all long for a colorful, joyful, and refreshed season ahead. I have quite a bit of Bordallo Pinhero’s Cabbage Leaf, Mottahedeh’s Famille Verte, and all of the vibrant colors from D. Porthault and Ginori 1735.

 

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SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

LAM: I know you also love and offer vintage pieces. Tell me about the appeal of pieces that have a story behind them and why this is attractive to buyers?

KSW: We have a wonderful exclusive with Opaline Atelier, two Canadian artists who describe their pieces as re-enhanced glass. I love that word for vintage and antique pieces, re-enhanced. Whether they are altered, as Opaline Atelier does or simply set in a new way, I love that we can bring new life to items that were treasured by someone before. We have an exquisite collection of vintage Gucci, Hermes, and Dior on the site as well. They are so unique and special, and I am thrilled to be able to offer them. 

LAM: You really do offer an array of selections for anyone’s refined tastes. How do you source for new products to offer on your platform?

KSW: I only offer products that I do or would use, myself, so most of the products are from brands that I use regularly.  When I find something unique that I want to try, I always give it a test run before purchasing it for ShopKSW.

LAM: Do your travels inspire you? I recall you found some great pieces in Paris when we were there at the same time for Becca Cason Thrash’s American Friends of the Louvre gala.

KSW: Great memory, and yes, travel has always been an inspiration. When I was young, my parents took my siblings and me on a trip around the world.  We learned so much and met so many wonderful people along the way. Among other things, we saw how others entertained and dined in different parts of the world, and that was very inspiring to me. I am sure it shaped the way I love to entertain more than I realized it would, even as a child.

LAM: Never underestimate the power of a stylish child, I say. What advice would you give to any budding lifestyle expert, based on what you have learned so far?

KSW: Don’t be afraid to try something unique, and remember that there is so much to learn from traditions. I think a mix of the two is always best.

LAM: I know how important philanthropy is to you and your family.

KSW: Working with NorthPark Center on their incredible Ambassador Program has been such an honor for me.  The program has been an excellent way for NorthPark Center to make the most of its resources to help the community. As its chair for the last five years, I have had the privilege to work with so many inspiring community volunteers and non-profit professionals. Beyond the financial support that NorthPark Center often provides, there are so many other ways that they can lift up these worthy causes. From exhibitions in the shopping center to in-store events to hosting gatherings, the incredible team at NorthPark makes the most of the resources they are able to share.

This year, I also continue to serve on the Children’s Cancer Fund’s advisory board. We are working on ways to continue raising funds for support and research. As so many galas and fundraising events have been canceled, it is so heartwarming to see all of the creative ways that non-profits continue to meet the needs of their beneficiaries. I also am the owner, once again, of the RSVPCalendar.com. The previous owners returned the website to me in January of 2020, and I’m working on other ways to support the non-profits that we are designed to lift up through our blog and social media.

Plus, I am doing some corporate collaborations. The Kimberly Schlegel Whitman in collaboration with Antonio Melani for Dillard’s–the dress and footwear collaboration launched on May 14th.Then, there is the Kimberly Schlegel Whitman in collaboration with CasaMia. CasaMia curates tablescapes in a box. The is for a garden party and features the Bordallo Pinhiero plates.

LAM: Fantastic. Part of your entertaining finesse includes your cuisine that is such a crowd-pleaser. Any favorite recipes that you’d like to share?

KSW: I would be happy to share a couple. These have always been a success….

SIDEBAR: FROM KIM’S TABLE

Parties Around A Punch Bowl

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SAVORY TOMATO TART

I love to serve my guests comfort food, and this take on a tart is just that. I guess you could call it the cousin to a pizza, but the buttery and flaky phyllo dough makes it feel fancy!

1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 sheets phyllo dough
1/3 cup melted butter or olive oil,

For brushing
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese 1 cup grated Swiss cheese,

Divided
4 tomatoes, sliced 1 egg
1/4 cup milk
10 basil leaves

MAKES A 9 X 13-INCH TART

In a large skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Layer the phyllo sheets flat in a jelly roll pan, brushing the top of each sheet with butter or olive oil. Sprinkle the mozzarella and Swiss cheeses over the pie crust, reserving 1/4 cup cheese. Next, spread on the onion and garlic mixture. Then place tomato slices side by side, covering the tart completely with tomatoes.

Whisk the egg and milk together and paint the edges of the tart with this mixture. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over the tomatoes and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove tart from the oven and sprinkle the basil leaves over the tart. Cut into mini squares.

TIPS:

  • This tart is extremely easy and very versatile. At the end of a long week, when you don’t know what to do with your leftover tomatoes, this tart is the perfect answer for a supper at home.
  • Don’t be afraid to try different cheeses if Swiss isn’t your favorite. • Use any variety of tomatoes with this tart.
  • For an alternative that is more pick-up friendly, try filling phyllo shells with the ingredients instead of layering phyllo sheets.

 

PINEAPPLE SPICE BARS

I have many happy recollections of my grandmothers opening Tupperware containers filled with a variety of “squares” that they would set out on beautiful silver trays or tiered tea stands. I had so many favorites and loved their small size and precise cuts because I knew that I could sample a few! For an adult party, the rum glaze is a scrumptious alternative.

3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup crushed pineapple 1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt

GLAZE:

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 3 tablespoons milk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

 

RUM GLAZE:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar 1/4 cup dark rum
Grated zest of 1 lemon

MAKES A 9 X 13-INCH PAN, OR THINNER BARS IN A JELLY ROLL PAN

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a bowl, cream the sugar and shortening together. Stir in the crushed pineapple and molasses. Add the egg, beating well.

Mix the soda, spices, flour, and salt together in a separate bowl, then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. If your mixture appears too dry, add a scant amount of milk until just moistened. Spread batter into a
9 x 13-inch pan (for thicker bars) or a jelly roll pan (for thinner bites). Bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool about 1 hour before glazing with one of the two options.

For the glaze, melt the butter, brown sugar, and milk together over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; whisk until smooth. Pour glaze over the cake, adjusting the thickness of the glaze by adding milk or confectioners’ sugar as needed.

For the rum glaze, mix all ingredients until you have a pourable glaze. Drizzle over the spice bars.

TIPS:

  • For an extra flavor of the islands, try adding 2 teaspoons of dark rum to the bar recipe along with the wet ingredients.
  • These bars are an easy transition into fall and Christmas if you substitute the pineapple for brown sugar.
  • We like our bars extra soft. For a firmer bar, bake a bit longer.
  • If you don’t have a strong sweet tooth, I recommend the thinner Rum Glaze alternative, which includes an extra kick.
  • Flowers stuck into a leafy pineapple top makes a festive decoration.