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January, 2018 |

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Chefs, Champagne and Art a treat for the eyes and the palate


The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art applied for Gannett’s A Community Thrives grant to help refurbish its attic.

The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art’s signature event returns this year with a new name: An Evening with Chefs, Champagne and Art.

The event used to be called “Chefs and Champagne,” but another organization copyrighted that name this year, forcing the folks at the Square to make a change.

This “Montana dressy” affair fills the Square with a variety of culinary masterpieces starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3.

The event pits five local chefs against one another for the title of Chef Champ of Great Falls. Each one will create multiple hors d’oeuvres for tasting, one of which must use champagne as one of the ingredients. Judging is based on best use of champagne, presentation and taste.

“One of the things I like best about this event is it’s an opportunity to show that food is art,” said Square Executive Director Tracy Houck. “It’s an art form that tantalizes all our senses.”

The participating chefs come from Enbar, Highgate Senior Living, Meadow Lark Country Club, Saibeen’s Kitchen, Ranches at Belt Creek and Cupcakes by Carr.

“We like to feature our local businesses who do have excellent reputations for food,” said Houck. “None of the chefs or the establishments are chain restaurants, and oftentimes they bring items that are not on their menus.”

There’s also a chance to pick your favorites with the People’s Choice award, and Chef Champ judges include Bert Ernie’s chef and owner Janet Neil, Shannon Newth of KRTV and food photographer and writer Rhonda Adkins.

The all-inclusive evening features wine, beer and (naturally) champagne, as well as live music by Melissa Dascoulias and a silent auction with items such as weekend vacations, artwork from local artists, restaurant gift certificates and kitchen accessories.

Tickets are $75 per person, and only 150 tickets are available. The public can visit the Square or call 727-8255 to purchase tickets.

Proceeds from the event support operations at the Square, which ensures that the museum continues to operate, bring in exhibits and hold community events throughout the year.

“The number one thing that we need to fund is a person that works the front desk because we need a person at the front desk if we are to stay open,” said Houck. “Maintaining this building and the programming that happens inside is often a challenge, but it’s one that we like to partner up with fundraisers to raise the money but to also give the patrons an experience.”

Ticketholders can also get a look at three new exhibits whose openings are being held during Western Art Week, including Catherine Black Horse, Terrence Gardipee and Dwayne Wilcox.

“It’s a fun evening nestled into the heart of our winter where you get to get dressed up and have a good time, eat wonderful food made by our culinary artists and support a great cause,” said Houck.

Reach Tribune Staff Writer Traci Rosenbaum at 791-1490. Follow her on Twitter @GFTrib_TRosenba.


What: An Evening with Chefs, Champagne and Art

When: 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3

Where: Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art

Cost: $75

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The man’s man’s kitchen

I was 22 when my mother handed me the first kitchen appliance that was ever my very own: her old Crock-Pot, a ceramic white oval that had long since yellowed, with a delicate blue floral pattern, probably purchased around 1980. It had belonged to her mother, my mom told me when I moved into my first apartment. Its lid was long gone but aluminum foil would do just fine, and someday, when I finally got interested in cooking, maybe it would come in handy.

As mothers often are, she was right; after six months of frozen Healthy Choice dinners, I started cooking variation after variation of chicken breast in the aging Crock-Pot, surprised and delighted at how little effort could produce something so thoroughly resembling an actual homemade meal. Lemon garlic chicken, barbecue beer chicken, eight-hour coq au vin; soon, considering myself something of a Crock-Pot maestro, I decided to upgrade to a new one. But in late 2012, when I began exploring the market for Crock-Pots, now generally known by the trendier generic term “slow cooker,” none of the best-selling varieties even remotely resembled my rotund electric Mrs. Potts. Instead, I found a vast selection of chrome and matte-black products that looked like they’d just rolled off the assembly line at the Axe body spray factory.

What we now know is that kitchen appliances were in a state of flux because the average American cook was undergoing a transformation. Though just over a quarter of American men cooked in the mid-1960s, by the late 2000s over 40 percent of men ranging from low to high income brackets and between the ages of 19 and 60 cooked. And according to a Nutrition Journal study published in 2013, the percentage of women who cooked over the same time period had dropped from 92 percent to less than 70. A 2012 report from a University of Michigan longitudinal study of Gen Xers found that men born between 1961 and 1981, both married and single, from suburban, urban, and nonmetropolitan locales, cooked more and shopped for food more than their dads did, preparing eight meals per week on average. The new American man, in other words, is more likely than ever before to be a capable home cook; maybe you’ve even read about him, in Jessica Pressler’s memorable 2015 introduction to the sous vide-loving dude foodie—the “doodie”—or perhaps in stories about how men’s increasing interest in cooking is making the kitchen the new man cave.

As men discover kitchens, kitchens have been quietly discovering men. Take a look at any roundup of the kitchenwares every man should own—the kitchen “tools” and “gadgets,” that is, or “essentials,” a favorite man-brand euphemism for “accessories.” For one thing, you’ll notice a lot of kitchenwares now have the stark, clean, neutral-masculine palette of brushed chrome and matte black as a default. (If there’s a dudely analog to “shrink it and pink it,” it’s something like “steel it, matte-black it, and make it heavier.”) Both appliances and the kitchens they fill have evolved around the men who now inhabit them—even if appliance brands often would prefer not to talk about it.

When the Crock-Pot brand of slow cookers arrived in U.S. markets in 1971, it branded itself, mega-successfully, as a miracle cure-all for the harried woman juggling a family and a career. Because the Crock-Pot could slowly cook a meal throughout the day, the logic went, a working mom could simply toss some meat and vegetables in before dropping the kids off at school, then return home at dinnertime to a fragrant, nutritious meal simmering in the kitchen, ready to be served to her family. As the Washington Post pointed out in a 2015 story, ominously titled “The unfulfilled promise of the Crock-Pot, an unlikely symbol of women’s equality,” 1975 was the same year Mable Hoffman published the cookbook Crockery Cookery, which taught Crock-Pot owners how to prepare entrees like “Busy Woman’s Roast Chicken.” It sold close to a half million copies in its first four months on sale.

Crock Pot.

Toronto Star via Getty Images

The Crock-Pots of the 1970s and 1980s also had a distinctly feminine aesthetic. Many, like my grandmother’s Crock-Pot, had floral patterns; one popular model, the classic “harvest gold,” featured gently cartoonish illustrations of ripe fruits and vegetables, simmering soups, and even a friendly, juicy-looking lobster.

But slow-cooker use declined in the 1990s. And when the slow-cooker renaissance of the mid-2000s came around, the female-coded designs of yesteryear were nowhere to be found. As the Wall Street Journal noted in 2004:

slow cookers didn’t keep up with the evolution of kitchenware, as appliances got high-tech improvements and stainless-steel coatings. When Holmes Group bought Rival in 1999, the Crock-Pots were still covered with ivy patterns; sales were sluggish. The cookbook that came with them included a recipe for a dish called Beanie Weenies.

”We felt the consumer has become a tad more sophisticated in their cooking,” says Bart Plaumann, senior vice president and general manager of the kitchen business unit of Holmes Group. The Milford, Mass., company replaced the ivy with stainless steel and added an electronic list of 200 recipes to its high-end model.

Sales of slow cookers, now that they were “black-and-silver cookers … stylish enough to put on the table at a dinner party,” increased 30 percent in the first three years of the new millennium. In 2017, the three best-selling slow cookers of the year on Amazon were all made by Crock-Pot, plain stainless steel and matte-black models.

All told, it certainly looks as though Crock-Pot anticipated a change in its typical customer demographics and responded wisely. But that’s not the story Crock-Pot itself will tell you.

“Men taking on a larger role in the home kitchen … isn’t something that has had a direct impact on the Crock-Pot brand’s product design or marketing,” a representative for Crock-Pot told me.

In 2012, Crock-Pot introduced its line of NFL-licensed team-logo Crock-Pots; a year later, models emblazoned with NCAA team logos hit the market. The landing page of Crock-Pot’s website, as of December, greeted visitors with an Omaha Steaks promotion and a guide to its four top-selling items and its four most-viewed items—all eight of which are, again, simple in design and steely silver or matte-black in color. Floral patterns and quirky prints are still available; just, you know, further back, in the deeper recesses of the website.

Crock-Pot, of course, is far from the only kitchen-appliance brand with a history of overtly courting women. Starting around World War I, when electrical appliances began filling in for human hands on domestic chores, “they all did,” explained historian Ruth Schwartz Cowan, author of More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology From the Open Hearth to the Microwave. Westinghouse, for example, boasted in 1924 that “thousands of women are choosing Westinghouse appliances.” Sunbeam products used to tell consumers in the 1950s that “Every woman dreams of owning a Sunbeam Mixmaster,” and that “You give Mother all these advantages only if it’s a genuine Sunbeam Mixmaster.” A 1959 Toastmaster ad described its coffee maker, toaster, and electric fry pan as “marvelous for Mother.” (In January, a cute ad touting “Baking Memories With Mom!” featured prominently on Sunbeam’s website, depicting a boy playing sous chef to his mother, and Dad cooking right alongside Mom. Visit the Toastmaster website now and you’ll be greeted by a nigh-obscene close-up shot of a glistening rack of ribs, superimposed under a tantalizing description of Toastmaster’s version of the meat smoker, arguably among the cooking-enlightened man’s trendiest accessories du jour.)

Sunbeam Mixmaster.

UIG via Getty Images

For most of the 20th century, the only time appliance ads directly targeted men, Cowan said, was at Christmastime, “when small appliances were marketed as gifts men could give their wives.” One famous 1966 ad for Dormeyer kitchenwares instructed women—that is, “WIVES”—to circle what they wanted for Christmas from an assortment below (toasters, coffee pots, skillets, can openers, and the like), show it to their husbands, and “cry a little” if he didn’t go to the store immediately. It instructed husbands, in turn, to “Go buy it. Before she starts to cry.”

Not only was the ad copy for kitchen appliances historically directed at women, but it was also strategically placed to be seen by women’s eyes only. “There were huge numbers of magazines directed to housewives, and that’s where they would advertise,” Cowan said. Cowan would know—over her years of research on housework, she’s read issues from every year in the history of Ladies’ Home Journal, from 1885 to the mid-1970s. You’d never see ads for cooking appliances in Time magazine, she added; daytime television was also a primo spot for kitchenware advertising.

Today, however, kitchen brands much more actively seek out ways to connect with male consumers. For example: Retailers often send product samples to magazine offices unsolicited, in hopes that some staffer might test them out and love them enough to write about them. When I worked at GQ, items I adopted from the free table included a pair of red and black tactical-looking kitchen shears; a small, buzzing, brushed-chrome gadget billing itself as an electric wine aerator; and a pair of black silicone “Men’s Barbecue Gloves” (made by a brand that, curiously, carries Women’s Oven Gloves but appears to carry neither Women’s Barbecue Gloves nor Men’s Oven Gloves). And among GQ’s recent roundup of the Best Stuff of 2017 is a $1,000 limited-edition “Black Tie” KitchenAid stand mixer, whose “matte-black finish makes baking cookies seem like an even darker art than usual.”

Still, not every prominent kitchen brand has a troubling history of gendered sales to reckon with; some started out courting a wide market and still do. OXO products, for example, lightweight with signature black non-slip thermoplastic rubber Good Grips handles—found on a host of cooking utensils, like peelers, garlic presses, can openers, whisks, and more—certainly look like the platonic ideal of minimalist, gender-neutral cookware. The company often advertises in foodie- (and “doodie-”) friendly spaces like Serious Eats and The Kitchn and in partnerships with celebrity chefs like Dominique Ansel and Jacques Pepin. But to hear OXO tell it, it’s always been gender-blind; the only time its engineers have ever imagined any of their clientele’s body parts is when they picture their hands.

OXO was founded 28 years ago by kitchenware heir Sam Farber when he noticed his wife’s arthritic hands had trouble working with traditional kitchen tools. He wanted to make cooking more efficient and ergonomic for all types of hands and bodies. In 1990, it probably did not go unnoticed that more male hands and bodies were showing up in the kitchen to cook. Nevertheless, “We are so gender-neutral that we’ve actually never even thought of ourselves that way,” said Karen Schnelwar, VP of global brand strategy and marketing. OXO’s headquarters in New York house a mural made of thousands of gloves to remind them of their mission to make cookware that fits every kind of hand; small hands, big hands, arthritic hands, children’s hands, hands with disabilities. And yes, “I’d say at least half of them are men’s gloves,” Schnelwar said.

And then there are the rare kitchen brands that are, and have always been, specifically targeted to men. Older ones can capitalize on their histories of providing men with the big, sturdy, no-fuss tools they need to make the big, sturdy, no-fuss meals they want to eat. Lodge, the 122-year-old Tennessee manufacturing company known for its heavy-duty cast iron skillets, puts rugged, outdoorsy, frontiersman imagery at its forefront; a prominent image on its website welcome page, for example, is an old-timey photograph of three denim and flannel-clad men at a campsite, one drinking coffee from a tin mug, another setting up the night’s camp, and the third cooking over a fire on a Lodge cast-iron skillet. Men’s Health named the Lodge cast-iron skillet a kitchen must on four separate occasions in the last five years; GQ and Esquire both declared it to be a tool every guy or man should own. First sold in 1896, the Lodge skillet is the original matte black manly cooking implement.

Glove mural at OXO.

Courtesy of OXO

Lodge also capitalizes on an unspoken rule of gender and cooking: that, historically speaking, outdoor cooking is men’s cooking. Grilling, barbecuing, campfire cooking, roasting pigs in dug-out holes in the ground—the correlation between “manliness” and “amount of open flame involved” seems to be a positive one. Which is something Eric Halberg, founder and general manager of Man Law Premium BBQ Tools, knew well when he started selling high-end grill products “designed with the everyday American Man in mind.”

In 2007, Halberg said, he noticed the demand for high-end grills like Viking and Big Green Egg was increasing, but there was a hole in the market where the accompanying high-end grill tools should have been. “The price point kept going up on grills, but they were offering the same $9.99 stuff at Walmart and Home Depot and Lowe’s,” Halberg said. So Halberg’s company began designing grill tools—2.5-millimeter-thick, heavy-gauge stainless steel tools, to be exact—that were bigger and sturdier than the competition.


Getty Images

Ten years later, Man Law sells about $3 million worth of cast-iron and stainless steel product per year, to customers Halberg imagines as grunting Home Improvement-era Tim Allens, guys who are serious about their tools. (An excerpt from its tongue-in-cheek “Manifesto”: “The French saute, braise, poach. They do not grill. Men grill.”)

“We knew there should be some giftability to it. Because Dad is the hardest to buy for,” Halberg added. Man Law customers’ buying habits are a flip of the classic “kitchen appliance as a Christmas gift for Mother” scheme: “What we found,” Halberg said, “is that in a lot of cases she’s buying it for him, and he becomes somewhat addicted to it. Or he’s out with his buddies, and his buddies are like, ‘Wow, where did you get that? That’s awesome.’”

Halberg told me, though, that Man Law has long discussed an expansion into the kitchen proper. It’s not lost on him that there’s been an uptick, even in the last 10 years, in men cooking in kitchens. “We’ve started to develop some product,” he said.

When Dan Statsick, 54, and his partner Nora divide up cooking duties at home, they end up at about an 80-to-20 ratio: The occasional Mediterranean fish and chicken Nora cooks are “over the moon,” he told me, but Statsick, president of the Utah-based investment advisory firm Nichols Capital, does the bulk of their daily food prep.

Statsick describes himself as a “steak guy” and a “breakfast guy” who also loves making sauces and veggie pastas—like “zoodles,” the trendy zucchini noodle made with a countertop spiralizer. So when the pair built a house together in Greenwood, Minnesota, in 2016, Statsick had a few particular requests when it came to the kitchen.

“What we were looking for was a statement,” Statsick explained to me. Broadly speaking, he wanted a sprawling space where friends could gather for weekend breakfasts and even help cook; more specifically, he wanted a high-BTU burner, a stove that would let him control the simmer of his sauces precisely, a big farmer’s sink, a steam convection oven, an ample island, and a Wolf rangetop with a center griddle.

In other words, Statsick wanted the grand, inviting, state-of-the-art cooking space Alice T. Friedman, author of Women and the Making of the Modern House, calls the “HGTV chef’s kitchen.” In other other words, he wanted what’s quickly becoming the platonic ideal of the Man’s Man’s Kitchen.

Men who build their own kitchens to cook in, said New Jersey-based kitchen and bathroom designer Holly Rickert, who studied psychology and sociology before turning to interior design, have some very strong opinions on layout. “Men tend to be a little more analytical about the function and how it’s going to work,” she said. For example, Rickert’s male clients who are serious about cooking tend to opt for fridge drawers, to maximize space in the fridge and minimize foot traffic in the kitchen. And they’re much more likely than the female cooks she works with to own a bunch of gadgets—like pull-out spice racks to the left or right of the stove, which free up drawer space and work a little more ergonomically for a person (especially a taller person) who’s standing at the stove.

The men she’s worked with also love big metal hoods over their stovetops or rangetops, “as opposed to a mantle hood, one that looks like a piece of furniture in your cabinetry,” Rickert said. “I think they like to see it as a more industrial or functional element in the kitchen, as opposed to trying to disguise it.”

There’s a pervasive notion that when women cook, it’s a chore, and when men cook, it’s an art. Like child-rearing abilities, cooking skills seem to some people to come standard in anyone hoping to ever be a capable wife or mom, but they are perceived as a special extra feature in men—a notion no doubt reinforced by a celebrity-chef culture dominated on one end by high-strung male food auteurs and on the other by friendly female cooking coaches determined to turn you into the most efficient and people-pleasing cook you can be.

Friedman, professor of American art history at Wellesley, has often asked her students to talk in class about the gendered spaces in their homes. And when they do, she said, “There’s a very big difference between the way in which kids say, “My dad really loves to cook and so we have a big kitchen’ and how they say, ‘Well my mom really loves to cook.’

“I think there’s much more of an honorific quality,” she said. “It’s more of a hobby, a leisure activity. The mom has to cook. The dad does not have to cook, according to traditional roles. ‘She has to cook. I’m glad she loves to cook because she has to do it anyway.’

“Men who cook [get seen as] chefs, and then it becomes very performative,” Friedman said. “The ‘chef’s kitchen’ is being ushered in not by somebody who’s slinging hash to get food on the table for her family, but somebody for whom the cooking is a hobby and a virtuoso performance.” And, it’s worth noting, the “chef’s kitchen” is being ushered in by those who can afford to build a chef’s kitchen. Think of the working-class and poor residents of food deserts, Friedman said, “and ask them if they want some kind of performance of being a chef.”

Kichen Aid Food mixer.


For most of the 20th century, “Household cooking was popularly regarded as an unpleasant chore,” explained Ruth Schwartz Cowan—“just watch old sitcoms for a while, and you’ll see it.” And the architecture of the single-family home generally reflected that, too: For the first half of the 20th century, for example, middle-class family-home kitchens were generally small workspaces offset from larger gathering areas like dining rooms and living rooms, where food could be prepared efficiently and in privacy and then served to guests.

As Architectural Digest’s Hadley Keller wrote in 2016, it’s only in the last few decades that “open-concept homes—and their center islands with seating—have turned the space into a multipurpose room (think homework station) as much as a place for cooking, combining dining room, lounge, and living room in one.” So what happened in the ’80s and ’90s that precipitated the rise of the kitchen as a welcoming, comfortable hangout space where everyone can watch the cook at work? Well, here’s one theory: As Cowan explained to me, “The idea of household cooking as an art form was not a thing until the ’80s or the ’90s.” Coincidentally (or not), it was the ’80s when survey data on how Americans were spending their time began to show men taking on more domestic duties, likely thanks to an uptick in dual-career households.

When Dan Statsick built his kitchen, he made one other special request: taller countertops, raised two inches above the standard 36-inch counter height. It meant he had to put a platform under his stove unit to keep the counter in line with the cooktop, but for Statsick, who’s 6 feet 4 inches, it’s been worth it. “With all the chopping that happens,” he said, “I’m just standing up straighter. It’s more ergonomic.”

As Ruth Schwartz Cowan explained, the height of countertops is yet another standard that calcified around the assumption that women were the primary stewards of the kitchen. It was first standardized after World War I, when larger implements for the kitchen, like stoves and dishwashers, began being mass-produced, and then it was standardized again after World War II. Both times, the height was calibrated to what was then the average height of an American woman. That standard persists today, though as the Wall Street Journal pointed out last year, raised countertops are a popular request among cooking men who get to design their own kitchens.

Of course, as Cowan noted, it’s not just men who raise their countertops—Cowan herself did it when she and her late husband built their house together in 1980. Cowan, now 76, wanted countertops that would allow her to stand up straighter and not strain her back, and they both wanted a kitchen they could cook in as a team. They ended up expanding the space to accommodate two cooks, with a large center island “so somebody could sit on a stool and chop, or roll out dough or something, while somebody else was working on the other side with something on the stove.”

Cowan, you could say, has watched the kitchen gender revolution happen in her own kitchen. “My husband cooked a fair amount, and especially early on, nobody else that we knew did,” she added. “His own father thought it was a big mistake and totally bizarre.” Decades later, Cowan said with amusement, all three of her daughters married men who loved to cook. “I take recipes from my sons-in-law. It’s astounding,” she said.

“My guess is that my girls just expected it,” she added. “They expected that their husbands or their fiances or their boyfriends were going to be like their father, and that’s what they wanted.”

Today, I cook my chicken (and salmon and pork, sometimes even bread) in an All-Clad slow cooker, a sleek black ceramic bowl inside a gleaming silver landing module. I think my grandma would be proud to know her daughter and her granddaughter were busy, ambitious women who cooked set-it-and-forget-it dinners in her old Crock-Pot until the thing just wore out. Cowan’s family kitchenware heirloom scheme, though, will look a little different: She recently bought a deep-fryer and a ticket of admission to an Italian cooking class at the request of her 14-year-old grandsons, as gifts for their birthday and bar mitzvah.

Editor: Sara Polsky

Category: Cookware Pots  Tags: ,  Comments off

Under new ownership, the Corner Pub is Odell’s place to eat and drink

The Corner has the standard dinner baskets with chicken and fish that can be served as either strips or in a sandwich, and customers can also order shrimp, a BLT or a Philly cheesesteak, and all of them come with a choice of sides, including fries, Tater Tots, onion rings, cottage cheese, salad, corn, mozzarella sticks, cheese balls, cauliflower and jalapenos poppers.

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Pioneering Beale MeasureFill Kitchen Faucet Dispenses Precise Volume of Water on Demand

PISCATAWAY, N.J., Jan. 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The new Beale MeasureFill pull-down kitchen faucet from American Standard, part of the LIXIL Corporation, is one of the first to market delivering an adjustable set volume of water on demand. This contemporary styled, high-arch faucet streamlines cooking and baking tasks, while helping to reduce clutter in the kitchen – no measuring cups needed.

Designed to streamline common cooking and baking tasks, the new Beale MeasureFill pull-down kitchen faucet from American Standard is one of the first on the market to deliver an adjustable set volume of water on demand.

Employing brand-exclusive MeasureFill technology, this innovative faucet delivers an exact volume of water ― ranging from a half cup to up to five cups ― achieving the precise measurement faster than using a conventional measuring cup. No more filling, checking, pouring out or rechecking needed to get the exact amount of water for a recipe. For ease of use, a blue LED light illuminates the dial window and the volume marks when the measuring function is in use. The selection dial features a stylish, coin edge detail, which helps to improve grip and ensures an accurate setting of the desired water amount.

Designed with the user’s convenience in mind, the Beale MeasureFill faucet features easy touch on/off functionality. A simple touch of the hand or wrist on the dial window is all it takes to operate the faucet. Featuring an automatic shut-off after five minutes for safety, this faucet also offers a temperature memory setting that allows the water to be turned off and back on in any temperature setting.

This pull-down kitchen faucet offers a choice of two spray patterns ― stream and spray ― using a water-conserving flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm).

The Beale MeasureFill faucet offers unparalleled performance and reliability from the brand-exclusive Re-Trax system, which provides smooth operation and superior spray head retraction. Ceramic disc valves provide a lifetime of drip-free performance.

To complement a variety of kitchen decors, the Beale MeasureFill is available in a choice of two popular finishes ― polished chrome and stainless steel ― to easily coordinate with contemporary-styled kitchen appliances and accessories. The American Standard assortment of stainless steel kitchen sinks are an ideal match to the sleekly styled Beale MeasureFill faucet.

The faucet is powered by replaceable AAA batteries and can optionally be outfitted with an AC adapter (sold separately) to make the faucet a plug-in version. It will be available at kitchen and bath showrooms nationwide in April 2018. List prices range from $600 to $750.

To learn more, visit

Nora DePalma, O’Reilly DePalma
For LIXIL Americas – American Standard, DXV, GROHE
(770) 772-4726

American Standard makes life healthier, safer and more beautiful at home, at work and in our communities. For more than 140 years, the brand has innovated and created products that improve daily living in and around the bathroom and kitchen for residential and commercial customers. It has been recognized with more than 35 product innovation and design awards in the past five years. American Standard is part of LIXIL, a global leader in housing and building materials products and services. Learn more at, or follow us at,,,,

LIXIL is a global leader in the housing and building industry. Our unique portfolio spans everything from technologies that revolutionize how we interact with water in our daily lives, to a full lineup of products and services for housing and major architectural projects. Delivering core strengths in water, kitchen, housing, and building technologies, our brands including LIXIL, American Standard, GROHE, DXV, INAX, and Permasteelisa are leaders in the industries and regions in which they operate. LIXIL operates in more than 150 countries and employs more than 70,000 people, bringing together function, quality, and design to make people’s lives better and more delightful – wherever they are.

Learn more at, and

Beale® and Re-Trax® are registered trademarks of AS America, Inc.

MeasureFillâ„¢ is a trademark of AS America, Inc.


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KC Asian markets guide: kimchi, miso, ramen, cookware | The …

How many times have you stumbled upon a gorgeous stir-fry recipe on Pinterest, or seen a delicious curry on TV, but the prospect of rounding up the ingredients made the idea of cooking the dish feel unattainable?

Let this guide demystify the isles making up our wonderful cities Asian markets, and help you gain confidence about to executing exquisite Eastern eats in 2018.

I hate missing out on a truly exciting meal, and that’s why I’m going to break down our local Asian markets, to hopefully simplify things a bit.

This is not a review of which market to go to, rather a practical guide that highlights the differences in each market. Let’s venture out of the grub-hub comfort zone, and cook delicious meals at home in 2018.

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User-friendly: Pan-Asia Market

11940 Metcalf Ave. Overland Park

Dungeness crab at Pan-Asia Market

Pan-Asia is the new kid on the block, and right out of the gate it has established itself as a competent entry. The first thing worth noting in this market is the overall organization. It isn’t the largest, but it is easy to find most of the things you might need, in good shape, and clearly labeled.

The ease of navigating Pan-Asia is multiplied exponentially if you sign up for its newsletter and rewards program. The weekly specials will show up in your inbox and you can plan your trip before you leave. Also, if you utilize the deals and discounts from the reward program, Pan-Asia’s affordability increases. Using an accumulative point system, the card can shave several dollars off your final bill!

The fresh seafood selection is top-notch, with live dungeness crab for $11.99 per pound, it is easy to justify that decadent Singapore style chili-crab recipe collecting dust on your Pinterest board. Ruby-red cuts of salmon are only $5.99 per pound.

I would also credit Pan-Asia with the freshest produce, thanks to the impeccable rotation of fruits and vegetables. In the massive tea selection you will find technicolor jars of dried herbal teas picked at their peak. The chrysanthemum in particular is of a visibly high quality, with linen white petals unobstructed in their premium glass jars.

For bargain buyers: Hung Vuong Market

303 Grand Blvd., Kansas City

Instant Vietnamese coffee at Hung Vuong Market

You may have never been to Hung Vuong Market. Its storefront is not the flashiest, tucked away in the River Market neighborhood. To step in this market is a more unforgettable experience though, with vibrant cakes and confections greeting you at the door. As the sign suggests, it is a little Saigon for Kansas City. This is especially noticeable as Chinese New Year approaches and the traditional treats and decorations come out.

Hung Vuong Market carries mostly Vietnamese fare, although there is still a formidable Thai, Indonesian and Filipino selection. The selection of breads and baked goods is expansive. Try the butter bread from the bakery, sliced and toasted, for your next jelly delivery vessel. You’re welcome!

I also recommend Hung Vuong for its bargain citrus selection, with pomelo priced at $3 each (rather than by the pound for this heavy cousin to grapefruit) and oranges are 2 for $1. This store is great for filling in the blanks in a meal.

For instance, if you’ve been wanting to make pho at home and haven’t thought of any sides, Hung Vuong has plenty of pre-made fresh Vietnamese side dishes such as steamed cakes, coconut strips, and sticky rice in banana leaf, all for around $3 each. They are made on-site.

My favorite takeaway from Hung Vuong would have to be the pandan-flavored layer cake for $2.29. Pandan, for the uninitiated, is best described as a leaf that tastes like a grassy vanilla and colors everything green. I love this ingredient in a nice spongy Indonesian cake and this version made by the Apollo brand hits the spot!

The Swiss army knife: 888 International Market

10118 W. 119th St. Overland Park

Roasted duck and rice at 888

What does this place not have? If there is any concern that you won’t find what you’re looking for at just one spot, start at 888 Market. From crickets to cleaning products, or whole roasted pigs to live barnacles, you can come here and get lost.

For once, it’s okay to shop hungry. At 888 Market there is a full-service restaurant (note: cash only) turning out some pretty delicious food, like roasted duck and rice for $7 and comparable (in flavor and price) to similar dishes I’ve had from hawker stalls in Singapore! The duck is juicy and tender, served with a sweetened soy glaze and blanched bok choy. I grabbed some chili oil and hoisin sauce at the attached cafeteria and enjoyed a transportive dining experience.

Beyond the eatery, 888 excels in frozen goods, especially the hyper-fresh sushi grade variety. Here you will find vacuum-sealed octopus with vibrant purple skin, as well as seasonal white tuna, flash-frozen with precision before being flown in. There is a premium for such quality, with the white escolar tuna set at $25 per pound. Treat yourself!

Don’t be intimidated by the size of the place. I mean there are four isles dedicated exclusively to noodles — what’s not to like? One special caught my eye, a family-sized package of ginseng-flavored ramen for $3.59.

Leaving the dry-goods section you’re met with the highlight of 888: the equipment. There are so many different pots, pans, steamers, gadgets, plates, utensils, and general household items, you could outfit your entire home. Get a $20 wok that will last you a lifetime, and find a good deal on that sushi rolling set. 888 Market is the perfect spot to snag that last-minute housewarming gift.

Putting convenience back in convenience stores: Chinatown Food Market

202 Grand Blvd. Kansas City

Green Tea Kit-Kat at Chinatown Food Market

Chinatown Food Market is that place I go before a road trip, or on my way to work. It is the perfect market to stop in and grab a quick something, especially if you haven’t even decided what that something is.

With a central location in River Market and a corner lot with parking to boot, it ticks off all of the bodega boxes. In less than a minute, you can grab a cold drink from the cooler by the register (like the mango Ramune for less than $2), a tasty baked snack (lotus cake for $1.69 anyone?), and a snack for later (big bags of green tea Kit Kats are $4.99 and worth it), and be on your way.

If you’ve decided to make mango sticky rice for the next big work party, please invite me, and also, you’re in luck! Chinatown Food Market offers case discounts for pretty much anything. That means buying a case of items, like mangoes, can save you up to 25 percent off of the individual price!

Side note: BEER! Chinatown Food Market has a pretty solid Asian beer selection, and remember that case discount? It may come in handy here.

The hidden ace: Oriental Super Market

10336 Metcalf Ave. Overland Park

Kim Chi options at Oriental Super Market

Oriental Super Market is kind of a package deal, meaning that with the store you get the block. If you haven’t tried the circle of restaurants in the strip malls around 103rd and Metcalf, stop by Gangnam for some great Korean food, or Cafe Vie for a big bowl of pho, or shop in the surrounding gift stores.

With a focus on Korean fare, Oriental Super Market has quite the variety of kimchi, Korean miso, and even the vessels and equipment to start your own ferments. Making kimchi is a wonderful experience that is cheap, simple and rewarding. Oriental Super Market sells everything needed to get started for around $30. Ferments are touted for their health benefits, so at very least take advantage of the delicious pickles on hand, starting around the $3 range.

You can also pick up all the fixings needed for tteok bokki, a fiery Korean dish with loads of gochujang sauce. The pillowy rice cakes soothe the heat and the garlic and sesame oil really round the dish out. Toss in sliced fish cake, cabbage, and scallions to cover all of the healthy New Years Resolution bases too.

One particular thing I buy here, and only here, is my mandolin. Benriner vegetable slicers are an essential kitchen gadget. The version I replace every few years is about $40 and comes with several interchangeable blades, making time-consuming knife work quick and easy. Just watch your fingers!

We are fortunate, in our little slice of the Midwest, to have the many options for Asian markets that we do. Chances are in 2018 you can find whatever ingredient you are looking for, regardless of locality or seasonality. This means that by familiarizing yourself, and getting a little lost in the supermarket, you may never have to bail out on a spontaneous foodventure again. Now get cooking!

Jakob Polaco is a chef, writer and a recipient of Ink Magazine’s 30 Under 30 award. Follow along at his website

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Blue Zones Project adds four more companies

A family-style restaurant, a spa, a land conservancy organization, and a country club have a common desire to have better health.

Skillets restaurant, Cypress Cove Conservancy, Purely You Spa, and the homeowner’s association at Wildcat Run Golf Country Club in Estero have all received recognition from the Blue Zones Project of Southwest Florida.

They join the more than 110 companies, residential communities, and nonprofit organizations that have taken the time to learn about the health and longevity initiative and acted with lifestyle changes to get healthier.

The Blue Zones project was introduced to Southwest Florida in 2015 based on the world travels of Dan Buettner, who identified communities worldwide where people share lifestyle traits and live to 100 or older. He wrote a New York Times bestseller about the nine principles of longevity.

The “Power Nine” include moving naturally by being physically active, eating a plant-slant diet, knowing your purpose in life, taking time to relax, having a healthy social network and putting loved ones first.  A popular activity is to form walking groups, or walking moais, to use Blue Zones terminology

The philosophy is that over time, healthier choices will become the easier choice, and each incremental step can improve health and wellbeing. Offering fresh fruit and bottled water instead of soft drinks and candy bars in employee breakrooms is one example.

To date, more than 116 companies have gained Blue Zones recognition in Southwest Florida. The NCH Healthcare System is underwriting the project expense locally during the start-up years.

“Blue Zones Project is representative of a nation-wide effort to improve the eating habits of Americans, which is desperately needed due to an epidemic of obesity caused by making the wrong food choices,” Ross Edlund, owner of Skillets, said in a press release. “Since we now realize that many chronic illnesses and premature deaths are a direct result of what we eat, Skillets wants our customers to know that nutritious, healthy dining choices can be found on our menu.”

To promote better health, Skillets has added new menu items and has eliminated hidden sugar, fat and preservatives. Most everything is made from scratch, where it’s possible to eliminate excess fat that’s commonly found in mass prepared food. Skillets also is a tobacco-free worksite.

Cypress Cove conservancy based in Golden Gate, a nonprofit organization with a mission of purchasing and preserving land to provide a habitat for endangered species and for people to enjoy, became Blue Zone recognized by having a community garden, becoming tobacco free, offering organic and vegetarian foods at socials events, and promoting volunteerism.

At Purely You Spa in Naples, the organic day spa and its mission was aligned with the Blue Zones approach from the start, according to Jennifer Alvarez Linguidi, the spa’s owner.

“Since the Blue Zones Project aligns with Purely You Spa’s goal to help the community be as healthy as possible, it was easy to make the decision to join forces,” she said.

Purely You Spa began offering only non-sugar beverages, hosts educational and wellness events, and incorporated Blue Zones materials in its newsletter.

Wildcat Run country club began sharing monthly nutrition spotlights internally, encourages healthy recipe sharing, and promotes energetic activities. Wildcat Run has 450 homes and an all-encompassing health center with fitness equipment, tennis, and golf course.

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Asian tableware from whimsical to traditional

Japan, China and Korea have a long history of creating beautiful table goods, from rustic stoneware to delicate ceramics, sleek lacquered items to whimsical serveware and utensils.

This tableware is appearing more and more in décor stores on this side of the world as part of several trends: minimalism, globalism, eclecticism.

Miya Company, based in New York City, imports a wide range of Japanese tableware and gifts. The store, a third-generation family business started in the 1930s, was initially a flower shop, and then began offering tableware.

Company spokesperson Heidi Moon says its motto today is “friends don’t let friends use boring dishes,” and that whatever they sell has to be “beautiful, simple and fun.”

In the ceramics section, there are Kokeshi Plates ($18 each) with prints resembling the traditional dolls. The Blue White Rain Bowl Set ($25), ideal for cereal, rice or soup, is stamped with a simple raindrop pattern, and come in sets of two bowls with wooden chopsticks.

The striking black and white Komon Collection ($6–$15) draws inspiration from traditional Japanese patterns like hemp leaves, snowflakes, arrow feathers and thatching.

Cats are well represented in Asian tableware as symbols of good luck.  In the utensils department, there are fanciful Cat Paw Tongs ($13–$22.50), while Decole Japan’s Calico Cat Mug with Spoon ($25, all at has its own little kitten spoon.

Run by the Lin family since 1997, Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen in Pleasanton, California, sells table and kitchen goods as well as home accessories.

From left: Cat Paw Tongs, $13– $22.50; SAIC Yunomi Teacups, $4–$7From left: Cat Paw Tongs, $13– $22.50; SAIC Yunomi Teacups, $4–$7

From left: Cat Paw Tongs, $13– $22.50; SAIC Yunomi Teacups, $4–$7

A collection of serveware is designed in the style of 16th century Japanese Oribe ceramics, known for their bold designs and copper green glaze. The Sunlit Forest Oribe Ware Japanese Dipping Bowl ($8) evokes sunlight streaming through a woodland canopy at midday.

Beautiful Wakasa Chopsticks ($25–$35) are made of hand-lacquered wood that’s inlaid with shell or pearl in a design meant to evoke the clear, rippling waters of Japan’s Wakasa Bay.

Forget those boring buffet platters; consider a detailed, miniature lacquerware Sushi Boat ($45, all at on which to perch the savories or sweets. Red and gold trim accents these glossy black pieces that would bring a touch of drama to the table.

CB2’s Pitch 5-Piece Place Setting ($38 at is a matte-black, rustic, clay stoneware dish set that includes a cup and saucer, bowl and two round plates with raised edges in the traditional Japanese style.

And School of the Art Institute of Chicago student Louis Kishfy designed the serene SAIC Yunomi Teacups ($4–$7 at which marry a gritty, tactile stoneware base with a silken glazed cloak in white, cobalt or sky blue.

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