The Dandelion Chandelier Luminary Café is the place to find a series of personal interviews with fascinating people who are stellar achievers in their chosen field of endeavor. Our Luminaries are sharing their origin stories, life philosophies, secret songs, guilty pleasures and hidden talents. In this edition, we sit down with star New York chef and restaurateur Alex Stupak.
Gourmet Mexican food? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Yes, we hear some of you out there muttering that under your breath. In the world of luxury and fine dining, Mexican cuisine has traditionally gotten a bad rap: many of us associate it with margaritas, ground beef tacos, guacamole and chips, and a cold Dos Equis. Cheap, simple, filling party food. But recently, the traditions of Mexican cooking are getting a lot more respect. Why? Well, one reason is the masterful work of Chef and restaurateur Alex Stupak, founder of the Empellón restaurant group in Manhattan.
Did you get the inside jokes about race in the film Black Panther? They were all there, lying in plain sight for those of us who grew up black in certain decades and certain kinds of households. As I watched Black Panther with my family on its debut weekend, I found myself making eye contact and laughing aloud with my wife and kids at times during the movie that some of my fellow movie-goers didn’t quite seem to get. It’s the same feeling I have when I watch the TV show Black-ish – with its upscale family of five children who attend private school, and whose parents are professionals. It’s so spot-on with the wry humor that lives in every striving black family that I still can’t believe America has embraced the show so enthusiastically. Like all great entertainment, both of these properties exist on multiple levels – and it feels as if some of the jokes were written just for us: for the members of the black community.
Is it possible for an artist to capture the essence of the ocean? Its mystery, texture, and movement? Its fantastical and majestic denizens? The smell of it, the saltiness of it, the awe that it inspires? A gifted and hard-working visionary can take those elements and viscerally bring them into even the most earth-bound environments. Jennifer Clifford Danner is one such talent. We visited her studio recently to view her work and hear her story, and we were swept away.
The Dandelion Chandelier Luminary Café is the place to find a series of personal interviews with fascinating people who are stellar achievers in their chosen field of endeavor. Our Luminaries are sharing their origin stories, life philosophies, secret songs, guilty pleasures and hidden talents. It’s guaranteed to be illuminating.