April Buzz

Local Chefs Earn James Beard award Nominations

Colby Garrelts of Bluestem, Carl Thorne-Thomsen of Story and Martin Heuser of Affare were named 2013 James Beard Foundation Award semifinalists for Best Chef — Midwest earlier this year.

Garrelts has been selected as a finalist for the award, along with four other chefs from the region. The awards ceremony will take place May 6 at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Covering all aspects of the industry — from chefs and restaurateurs to cookbook authors and food journalists to restaurant designers and architects and more — the Beard Award is the highest honor for food and beverage professionals working in North America.

Left to Right:
Chef Colby Garrelts of Bluestem; Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen of Story; Chef Martin Heuser of Affare.


Home Builders Association Presents Spring Homes Tour

Every spring, builders roll out welcome mats throughout the greater Kansas City metropolitan area, and homebuyers and consumers flock to tour new homes to see the latest in new home design and innovations. The Spring Parade of Homes has been providing buyers this exciting opportunity to find the home of their dreams since 1962.

The 2013 Spring Parade of Homes, which takes place April 20 to May 5, is the perfect place for homebuyers exploring the possibilities offered by new homes and the wealth of housing options throughout the metropolitan area.

Homes will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and admission is free. In addition, free parade guidebooks will be available at the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City at Interstate 435 and Holmes Road, and at all parade homes during the event.

More information and an online parade search is available at kcparadeofhomes.org where homes can be viewed by price, location, builder, floor plan, subdivision and more.


New Businesses Joining Park Place

Leawood’s Park Place announces new tenants joining the shopping and dining destination in the open-air, pedestrian-friendly, classic Main Street-inspired district located at 117th Street and Nall Avenue.

801 Fish, scheduled to open later this spring, is a seafood restaurant concept from the owner of 801 Chophouse and Pig & Finch that will focus on pristine seafood and crustaceans from all over the world. The 7,225-square-foot 801 Fish at Park Place is under construction on Rosewood Street.

Sweetpea & Co., formerly Mady & Me in the Prairie Village Shops, offers clothing, shoes and gifts for children, including a large selection of clothing ranging from everyday wear to party dresses and tutus for girls and everyday wear to bow ties and fedoras for boys. Sweetpea & Co. offers a baby registry and built-to-grow nursery furniture and bedding, as well as embroidery services. The store is located at 5285 W. 116th Place, across from Mestizo.

With warmer weather and sunnier days approaching, these additional recently-signed Park Place leases will afford an even greater array of apparel and accessories for active lifestyles:

• Title Nine, which designs and sells women’s athletic clothing and sportswear, will carry an assortment of women’s performance-inspired apparel and accessories. The store will offer a sizeable collection of sports bras for women of all shapes and sizes, and offer personalized bra fittings by the Title Nine Bravangelists. Title Nine provides women’s athletic apparel and casual clothing that moves from work to work-out to weekend with ease. Title Nine will occupy an 1,800-square-foot space at 5291 W. 116th Place, across from Mestizo.

• A new concept and store from the owners of Romanelli Optix, the Romanelli Sun Galleria will sell 50 to 60 collections of luxury and active wear sport sunglasses. The luxury collections include brands such as Cartier, Chrome Hearts and Chanel. The sport collections will feature brands like Maui Jim and Oakley. The new store will be the first of its kind in the area to offer a large selection of premium luxury sunglasses. This new concept joins three Romanelli Optix locations located in Kansas City, Leawood and Overland Park that offer exclusive collections of European luxury eyewear. The Galleria will occupy a 1,000-square-foot space at 5261 W. 116th Place next to TallulahBelle’s.


H&M to Open at Oak Park Mall

H&M, Hennes & Mauritz, the design-driven international retailer known for offering high fashion and quality basics at affordable prices, has announced its continued U.S. expansion by opening its first store in Kansas.

The new location will debut in fall 2013 at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park. The fashion retailer has another location on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo.

H&M will offer even more shoppers in the greater Kansas City area access to the brand’s high fashion, quality collections. The approximately 25,500-square-foot store will offer collections for ladies, men and youth, with separate “store within store” sections for accessories, lingerie, maternity and sports apparel. This location also will carry the Swedish retailer’s children’s collection, featuring quality clothing for kids ages newborn to eight, as well as H&M’s plus-size line, H&M+.


Booklovers Convention comes to KC

The 30th Annual RT Booklovers Convention kicks off at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center on May 1 and runs through May 5, featuring more than 125 workshops for writers covering 15 genres — including romance, erotica, thriller, paranormal, inspirational and steampunk — plus cutting-edge programs on writers’ hot topics like self-publishing and social networking.

Writers can get instant feedback on their work at the “American Idol — The Writer Edition” workshop, where the winner will receive a one-year contract/mentorship with a literary agent.

Other workshops will feature topics such as writing action scenes and creating snappy dialogue. Beginner writers can attend workshops on craft, self-editing and query-letter writing.

There’s also a three-day program just for fans led by bestselling authors Heather Graham, Brenda Jackson, Beverly Jenkins, Maya Banks, Cherry Adair, Sylvia Day and Lora Leigh, as well as plenty of fun games for fans, lots of prizes and tons of free books.

This year, the RT Booklovers Convention celebrates its 30th anniversary by honoring legends of historical fiction from the 1980s like Bertrice Small, Jude Deveraux, Jennifer Blake and Kansas City author Julie Garwood.

This book industry event of the year also includes two public author signings, the E-Book Expo and Giant Book Fair with 450 authors. Plus, parents are invited to bring their teens on Saturday for a fun-filled day of games with their favorite young adult authors like local two-time Erma Bombeck Global Humor Award winner Jennifer Brown.

Area library patrons get in free to either the Thursday graphic novel expo or the Saturday book fair by showing their library cards at the door.

For admission information, visit rtconvention.com.

Left to Right: Julie Garwood, Beverly Jenkins, Sylvia Day


April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

This month is recognized as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to recognize that everyone can play a part in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families the community.

Increasing public awareness of the need to ensure the safety and welfare of children led to the passage of the first federal child protection legislation, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, in 1974. Today, the Children’s Bureau, within the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the federal agency charged with supporting communities in providing programs and services to protect children and strengthen families.

In Kansas, the Sunflower House, a nonprofit United Way agency serving Wyandotte and Johnson counties, works to protect children from physical and sexual abuse through education, advocacy, forensic and medical services. In Missouri, the Child Abuse Prevention Association provides treatment services to children and families to help them heal from the traumatic effects of emotional, physical abuse and sexual abuse and neglect.

During April each year, the agencies partner with other organizations to offer a variety of activities for families, schools and the community to come together to raise awareness about child abuse prevention. On Wear Blue Day, April 19, Kansas Citians are encouraged to wear blue to help promote child abuse awareness.

For details about local programs, visit sunflowerhouse.org or childabuseprevention.org.

For more information about national efforts, visit childwelfare.gov.


Mission Farms to host Spring Fashion Show

The new spring lines from Boutique Chic, Vico’s and Fusion Fitness will be featured in the Off the Runway spring fashion show on Tuesday, April 9 at Tavern at Mission Farms in Leawood, Kan.

Produced by Exposure Model and Talent agency and sponsored by 435 magazine, the event kicks off at 5 p.m. with drinks and appetizers, in-store surprises and giveaways, and the high-paced show starts promptly at 5:45 p.m.

Garments from the top two finalists in the ready-to-wear design competition will be included in the show. The winner will be chosen by a judging panel, in combination with an audience vote.

Space is limited and admission is free. For more information, visit mission-farms.com.


University Surprises Adoptive Family With Scholarships

While sharing the story of their family’s decision to adopt five Peruvian orphans with the hosts of ABC’s “The View,” Lauren and Scott Sterling received the surprise of a lifetime when Avila University President Ronald Slepitza suddenly appeared on the stage to offer the seven Sterling children $500,000 in scholarships to the Kansas City, Mo.-based university.

“This ensures our children get an American education and bright future,” says Lauren Sterling, whose religious faith led her two years ago on a journey that has more than doubled the size of her family and captured national media attention. “We are so grateful.”

In January 2011, Sterling received an email from a friend under the subject line “we need a mommy and daddy.” Inside the message was a photograph of five children — Betsi, Sibila, Joel, Gerson and Yhonni — who had lost their parents to tuberculosis and had been living in an orphanage near Pacasmayo, Peru.

After raising nearly $85,000, months of hard work and uncertainty, the Sterlings, who live in Blue Springs, Mo., returned home last Christmas with all five children. They joined the Sterling children — Logan, 17, and Laney, 2 — to transform a four-person household into a family of nine.

Avila University first learned about the Sterlings when one of the school’s administrators saw a news story about them on local television.

“What the Sterlings have done touches our hearts and this is an opportunity where everyone can say ‘yes’ and help this wonderful family,” Slepitza says.


City Union Mission to Honor Women at Luncheon

Three women who’ve made a significant positive impact on the Kansas City community will be honored April 16 at the City Union Mission’s Sixth Annual “Women Who’ve Changed the Heart of the City” luncheon at the Sheraton Crown Center.

The 2013 honorees are SuEllen Fried, Grace Ketterman and Vicki Perkins.

SuEllen Fried, Dr. Grace Ketterman & Sister Vicki Perkins

Fried is the founder of BullySafeUSA, through which she serves as an international speaker and workshop leader on the critical issues of child abuse and bullying. She has co-authored three books on these subjects and had appeared on “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show” and was featured in an A&E documentary.

Perkins is the founding president of Cristo Rey High School, which provides college prep education with a corporate work-study program. A member of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, she previously served as a teacher, principal, superintendent, executive director of a home for emotionally disturbed children and with the Catholic Education Foundation.
Ketterman has been helping troubled families for more than 50 years. She served as the director of Crittenton Children’s Center in Kansas City, Mo., which offers comprehensive behavioral health care for children and their families. Now, she consults with school districts in the Kansas City area and is a respected author and speaker.

Since its inception, the luncheon has honored more than a dozen outstanding area women — including longtime supporter Adele Hall — whose legacies of leadership, partnership and humanitarianism have contributed to the fabric of the city. Now a much-anticipated annual event, more than 700 generous supporters attended last year and nearly $500,000 has been raised for critical upgrades and improvements to the mission’s Camp CUMCITO.

For ticket information, call (816) 329-1476 or visit womenwhochange.org.