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Lulu Johnson Talks 'XOX Betsey Johnson'

"It’s not all tutus and dressing up," says the reality TV star.

May 29, 2013

XOX Betsey Johnson star Lulu Johnson

Style Network's XOX Betsey Johnson began airing earlier this month, on Mother's Day. And given that the show follows 70-year-old cartwheeling designer Betsey Johnson and her PR maven-turned-designer daughter, Lulu, the timing was kismet. What do the duo get up to onscreen? Well, they're living together, which is a storyline in itself, and the show sees Betsey reestablishing her company after a 2012 bankruptcy and Lulu navigating motherhood (post-divorce) and building a brand of her own. Here, we catch up with Lulu to talk family and fashion.

Is it true that you dove first into the idea of doing reality TV?  
LULU JOHNSON: I was obsessed with reality TV and thought it would be a great new opportunity for my mother and I to start anew. We were both going through pretty intense transitions in our lives, and she was up for anything.

Are you pleased with the result?
LJ: So far, so good. I’m really looking forward to watching my life unfold in front of my eyes. Going through the show was a very emotional process for me because I was going through so much at the time. It will probably be hard for me to watch some stuff again, but I am in such a better place now so I cannot wait for season two.

How has the show affected your relationship with your mom?
LJ: We have become closer and more supportive of each other, if that was at all possible. It’s been a rough couple of years for both of us, and I feel like we're coming up on top. 

Your mom is a tour de force in the design world, but she went through a very public bankruptcy last year. It must have been terrible to be on the sidelines as that happened. 
LJ: Personally, I felt like someone had died. My entire life has been about my mother having stores and a company/showroom that were like homes to us. It was very sad for both of us. My mother was so lucky to be in business for as long as she was and I am so proud of her! Professionally, I have learned that if you hang in there for even just a little bit, it’s something to be proud of . . . she's my idol.  

What lessons have you learned from your mom, and from growing up in the fashion world?
LJ: That it’s not all tutus and dressing up. It’s about hard work and survival of the fittest. It also is a very competitive business out there; you can be really talented, but if it doesn’t sell, people won’t care. The clothes have to be amazing and salable at the same time, which sometimes means [they're] less fabulous.

How does your personal style differ from your mother's?
LJ: I'm just a little less loud and more simple. I grew up surrounded by tutus, florals, and bright colors, so naturally I rebelled a little and came up with my perfect version of who I think I am . . . instead of being my mother.

We have to ask, polka dots or animal print?
LJ: Animal print!



Get Fit with Gorilla Wellfare

Get access to a bevy of fitness studios and classes with a single pass.

May 28, 2013

Nothing stirs fitness motivation like Memorial Day weekend. Not only are you in constant proximity to food and beer, you're also surrounded by beach bodies the whole way through. For a comprehensive and convenient approach to getting in shape this summer, we recommend Gorilla Wellfare. Founded in 2012 by Ali Alvarez and Javier Dominguez, the gym service is a quadruple threat, with focused training in yoga, core workouts (Pilates, Pure Barre), performance training (CrossFit, Newton's Method), and cardio (SobeKick, U-Fit) at some of Miami's top studios and gyms. Plans are contract-free and range from an eight class $140 package to a 20-class $335 package. And no matter which plan you choose, you'll have access to all available classes, which can be found and scheduled conveniently online. Affiliated studios and fitness destinations are located in Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Midtown, South Miami, and South Beach.



Heat Party at The Hoxton; Shikany's Sneak Peek

Plus: Gallery Nights at Katsuya, artist dinner at WKB, and more food and drink news.

May 28, 2013

Chef Michael Shikany 

Michael Shikany Restaurant Preview: The Lincoln Motor Company's Hello Again Miami tour is in town from Wednesday, May 29 to Sunday, June 2, offering car and food aficionados a multi-sensory tour of Wynwood. The tour includes a turbo cupping experience at Panther Coffee and a sneak peek at chef Michael Shikany's forthcoming namesake restaurant (opening in October). First taste samples will include mushroom and goat's brie spring rolls, wild boar beef cheek, and fresh crudo. 

Moët Ice Imperial Miami Heat Party: Tonight, watch the Miami Heat take on the Indiana Pacers with Moët Ice Imperial at The Hoxton. Moët Ice Imperial is the official Champagne of the 2013 White Hot Miami Heat playoffs campaign, and tonight's event will be the only watch party hosted by Moët outside of the AmericanAirlines Arena. The festivities start at 8 p.m., with a complimentary welcome drink, $15 glasses of Moët Ice, and $100 Moët Ice bottles. 1111 S.W. 1st Ave., Miami, 305-677-8466

WKB Food and Art Series: Wynwood Kitchen & Bar launches its new food and art series this Wednesday, May 29 with Miami-based artist Santiago Rubino. The menu will reflect Rubino's visual narratives, favorite dishes, and flavors from his native Argentina. The four-course meal is $50 per person, excluding tax and gratuity; a wine package is available for an additional $20 per person. Two seating times will be offered at 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. and reservations are required. Rubino’s work will be available for purchase at the GoShop, and guests will also receive a commemorative menu signed by Rubino and chef Miguel Aguilar. 2550 N.W. 2nd Ave., Miami, 305-722-8959

Katsuya Launches Gallery Nights: The SLS Hotel's premier sushi haunt kicks off its own art-centered series on June 3, showcasing the works of Ernesto Kunde. The Brazil-born multimedia artist will be chatting with guests in the Dragon Lounge before taking a seat for dinner. The event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Please RSVP to katsuyasb@sbe.com. 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-455-2995

Coral Gables Restaurant Week: The sixth annual Coral Gables Restaurant Week has been extended to three weeks this year, running from June 10 to 30. Savor the area's best eats with a bevy of three-course menus from the new Sushi Samba location, Swine Southern Table & Bar, and The Local Craft Food & Drink, among others. 



What We're Reading

Versace Mansion now $50 million cheaper, Daniel Boulud's Pilates obsession...

May 24, 2013

The Versace Mansion, yours for a cool $75 million

Ocean Drive's former Versace Mansion, which hit the market last year for a staggering $125 million, has dropped its selling price to $75 million. [South Florida Business Review]

This week the Huffington Post's Food Informants followed db Bistro Moderne chef Daniel Boulud for a week in the life post. The French chef shares photos from his first restaurant's 20th anniversary party—as well as his newfound affinity for Pilates. [Huffington Post]

OpenTable has released its picks for the "Top 100 Outdoor Dining Spots," nodding 14 Florida restaurants. The beloved Red Fish Grill made the cut, as did Coconut Grove's Peacock Garden Café and Brickell's Café Sambal at the Mandarin Oriental. [Clean Plate Charlie]

ArtPlace has awarded the Adrienne Arsht Center $250,000 to lead a new "Office of Neighborhood Development" in order to monitor and initiate creative projects in Downtown Miami and its surrounding areas. [Cultist]

In other Downtown Miami news, the MDM Group has purchased the Grand Central Park space in hopes of building a 500,000-square-foot convention center and Marriott Hotel. Architects Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates are manning the design. [Curbed Miami]



Barbecue Tips from Miami Top Chefs

Want to grill steaks and smoke ribs like a pro this Memorial Day weekend?

May 24, 2013

Ribs at Bulldog Barbecue

Wolfgang's Steakhouse Chef Amiro Cruz' Steak Tips: 

Quality and cut: USDA Prime strip steak, rib-eye, or even porterhouse, which is my personal favorite. Less than 1 1/4 inches thickness is optimal for creating a nice charred grill mark effect, as well as achieving the correct temperature. 
Seasoning: Salt and a little fresh ground pepper will do just fine.
Cookery: Do not cover the grill with the lid while the steak is grilling, as that causes the steak to dry out and become tough. Let the meat rest before serving so that the natural juices and flavor can set evenly.

Bulldog Barbecue Chef Howie "Bulldog" Kleinberg's Barbecued Rib Tips: 

Quality and cut: No shiners! Shiners are ribs where you can see the bones “shining” through. Remember, fat is flavor. Select a rack of ribs with good marbling and fat content, that is where the flavor is hidden. 
Seasoning: Apply your seasoning and marinades at least 24 hours before grilling or smoking, as the spices need time to penetrate the meat and leave a lasting flavor.
Cookery: Take your time. Grilling ribs is an art form. Ribs should be grilled or smoked for at least three-and-a-half to four hours. For the first couple of hours, grill or smoke the meat unwrapped in order to capture the smoke; then wrap the rack for the least two hours, as this will steam the ribs and retain the juice.


Game-Day Champagne Cocktails

Sip Moët Ice Impérial inside the Triple A, or try these bubbly cocktails at home.

May 24, 2013

Moët Ice Impérial, the world's first on-ice Champagne, is the official bubbly of The Miami Heat's "White Hot" branded playoffs campaign. The crisp, cool Champagne will be poured inside signature white goblets at select locations throughout the AmericanAirlines Arena, including the Flagship Lounges, Dewar’s Suites, and HYDE Lounge. The main concourse Moët & Chandon bar will also serve Moët Ice Impérial, as well as Moët' & Chandon's brut and rosé varieties.

Fans hosting viewing parties at home can still celebrate their team in all-white style by crafting Moët Ice Impérial's Miami Heat-inspired cocktails. In addition to being easy to make, these bubbly-based drinks (ABOVE) will surprise and delight guests at your playoff celebration—or Memorial Day bash! 



Memorial Day Weekend Recommender

Two must-see dance performances, a clambake menu at The Forge, and more.

May 23, 2013

Peter London Dance at Adrienne Arsht is one of two can't-miss dance shows this weekend 

Clambake Menu at The Forge
Friday-Monday, May 24-27, 6 p.m.
The Forge Restaurant Wine Bar is extending its beloved Friday clambakes through Memorial Day weekend. The $49 per person menu features classic steamed clams and mussels, New England clam chowder, and grilled Maine lobster. Each order also includes roasted corn on the cob with boiled red bliss potatoes for the table, two-for-one draft beers, and dessert. 432 West 41st St., Miami Beach, 305-538-8533

Peter London Global Dance
Friday and Saturday, May 24-25, 7:30 p.m.
Miami's groundbreaking multicultural dance troupe, Peter London Global Dance, presents two evenings of "Spring Nights at the Arsht" inside the Adrienne Arsht Center. The troupe is led by veteran performer and dance professor Peter London, who created the company to showcase Miami's diverse cultural influences. 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-949-6722

Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami
Saturday, May 25, 8 p.m.
Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami presents "The Best of the Classical Repertoire" at the Fillmore Miami Beach. The show will welcome six exiled Cuban National Ballet dancers in their stateside debut; the ballerinas are the largest group to seek asylum from Cuba since 1966. The program itself will include performances of Le Bayadére Suite, Le Spectre de la Rose, Harlequinade, and more. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets start at $38.50. 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305-673-7300

Sublime Summer Pool Party
Monday, May 27, noon-sunset
The W Fort Lauderdale's WET pool deck kicks off its Sublime summer pool party series on Memorial Day and will continue the series every Sunday thereafter. The all-day affair will feature drink specials and music by DJ Mark Gallo. 401 N Ft. Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale



6 Beach Bag Essentials

Everything you need for a carefree day by the ocean.

May 22, 2013


Our Favorite Summer Jazz Venues

From courtyard concerts to soulful speakeasies.

May 22, 2013

Outdoor Concerts at the Museum of Contemporary Art
MOCA's free outdoor concerts take place every last Friday of the month at 8 p.m. Jowee Omicil will perform on May 31, followed by Manuel Valera on June 18. MOCA's galleries are also open by donation from 7-10 p.m. Concerts go on rain or shine. 770 N.E. 125th St., North Miami, 305-893-6211

Hot Nights, Cool Jazz at the Bass Museum of Art
This annual four-week contemporary jazz series lures music lovers indoors. Programming begins on Friday, June 28 (7-9 p.m.), with trumpet player Paul Ayick, and continues every other Friday through August 9. Admission is free for members and $10 for non members. 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-673-7530

Mostly Jazz at The Betsy Hotel
This month-long live music lineup pops up every Wednesday and Thursday night at 8 p.m. This week welcomes Greek songstress Maria Zouroudis, followed by guitarist Tom Lippincott with drummer Reuben Hoch. There is no cover or drink minimum. 1440 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach, 305-531-6100

SunTrust Sunday Jazz Brunch at Riverwalk
Taking place the first Sunday of every month (11 a.m.-2 p.m.), this free event packs some the area's best jazz artists onto three stages. Attendees can bring lawn chairs to picnic or stroll Ft. Lauderdale's Riverwalk as music fills the area between Esplanade Park and the Las Olas Riverfront. Esplanade Park, 401 S.W. 2nd St., Ft. Lauderdale

Nightly Jazz at Van Dyke Café
Van Dyke's upstairs speakeasy is famous for showcasing hometown talent, hosting nightly jazz, Latin-infused funk, and songwriter sessions. Live shows begin at 9 p.m. and table seating is $5 on weekdays and $7 on weekends. 846 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 305-534-3600



Exclusive New Resto News; Guest Chef at Khong River

Plus: Edge, Steak & Bar hosts a wine dinner, Cecconi's launches garden lunch, and more food news.

May 21, 2013

Edge, Steak & Bar will host a wine dinner with Alvaro Palacios this Thursday night 

Exclusive News on Carol's Downtown: Set to open in late June, Carol's Cucina & Vino in Downtown Miami will feature Brazilian fusion cuisine crafted by executive chef Gerardo Reyes, formally of the SLS Miami Beach. Carolina Moura, the restaurant's partner and namesake, plans to serve small plates like cod fitters and veal shank with creamy polenta in an "intimate atmosphere." The venue will also flaunt playful twists on classic Brazilian libations and an international wine selection. 245 S.E. 1st. St., Miami

Miami Chefs to Headline NYCWFF: Food Network's New York City Wine & Food Festival's just-announced lineup includes events with Timon Balloo of Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill, Myron Mixon of Pride and Joy BBQ, and the crew at Pubbelly. Ticket pre-sales open to MasterCard holders on Monday, June 10.

Chef Pop-up Dinner at Khong River: Brooklyn chef Dale Talde will host Khong River's inaugural guest chef dinner on Thursday, May 30 at 7 p.m. The evening will feature four courses and a welcome cocktail. Price is $75 per person. 1661 Meridian Ave., Miami Beach, 305-763-8147

Wine Dinner with Alvaro Palacios: Meanwhile, this Thursday, May 23rd, at 7 p.m., Edge, Steak & Bar inside the Four Seasons Hotel will host a wine pairings dinner with Spanish winemaker Alvaro Palacios. Oenophiles can delight in Palacios' L’Ermita wines while chef Aaron Brooks lays down a five-course feast. Reserved tickets are required and are $275 per person. Reservations can be made by calling the event's co-host, Wine Watch, at 954-523-9463. 1435 Brickell Ave., Miami

New Garden Lunch at Cecconi's: Slide into the Soho Beach House for an alfresco lunch at Cecconi's, whose new menu items include a focaccia sandwich with mozzarella and prosciutto, cavatelli with ricotta salata, and a bevy of seasonal salads. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 4385 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 786-507-7902


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