Friday, June 27, 2008

Our Client's Fabulous Write-Up in Patti Payne's Puget Sound Business Journal Column

Patti's article with this darling photo of Kevin Kasier and daughter Ilaria (by Big Cheese Photo: Katy VonBrandenfels) was more than we could have dreamed of. Read on:

Kevin Kaiser, One of Five Brothers in Dance, is Thinking Big for the Evergreen City Ballet: BOLD DREAMS FOR RENTON DANCE COMPANY

Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) - by Patti Payne Contributing Writer

Remember the movie "Billy Elliot," about a talented young boy whose life was all about dance? Kevin Kaiser, the new artistic director of Evergreen City Ballet (ECB) in Renton, could be the adult version of that famous young man, with four brothers all involved in the ballet world. Think Billy Elliot times five.

Roy Kaiser is artistic director with the Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia. Ken Kaiser is artistic director with the Washington Contemporary Ballet in Tacoma, while Dan Kaiser holds that lofty position with the Delaware Regional Ballet. Russell Kaiser is a ballet master with the New York City Ballet.

Growing up in Federal Way, the boys started tap dancing when each turned 4 years old. "It was easier for our mother to drive us all to the same place," says Kevin Kaiser.

The boys got so good at tap, they signed on with "The Singing Angels" from Cleveland, and went on tour to places like Disneyland, Hollywood Bowl and other tourist spots in the country.
Their dance teacher eventually steered them to ballet. "Once we got over the tights, we really enjoyed it," Kaiser says, "and the rest is history.

He danced as a soloist with Pacific Northwest Ballet for 14 years under Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, and went on to Oregon Ballet Theater to become its associate artistic director.
Among his credits, Kaiser appeared in the 1986 movie "Nutcracker, The Motion Picture," performed with Wayne Newton when Newton was a dancer, and made the cover of Dance Magazine.

Returning to the Seattle area, he became a mortgage banker and taught ballet at ECB a few times a week.

Now as head of that dance company, he is calling on illustrious colleagues and relatives all over the country to help him elevate ECB to a new level of excellence and discipline. "I've put together a (six-week) summer program second to none," he says, with pride.

Gathering a world-class faculty, Kaiser has tapped former PNB principal dancer and colleague Patricia Barker, James Canfield with Nevada Dance Theater in Las Vegas, Kaiser's brother Roy from Pennsylvania Ballet, artistic director Donald Byrd with Seattle's Spectrum Dance Theater and choreographer for "The Color Purple" on Broadway, and Alison Epsom, ballroom dance teacher who danced in a Harry Potter movie.

Classes start June 23, with more than 100 young people signed up this summer, from 9 to 22 years old.

"We'll offer everything from tap to ballet to ballroom to pointe to modern dance. And this fall we open ballroom classes to adults," he says, pointing to the strong positive influence of ABC's hit "Dancing with the Stars."

So far the response is gratifying. "We've doubled our revenue from prior years. We're pretty much close to capacity for summer." There are a few openings left, most of them for the workshops for very young students.

Kaiser says what ECB offers is unique. "We will give our students a well-rounded dance education, even teaching them how to interview for dance jobs, learning the ability to work with professional choreographers. We'll put together their dance résumés, pictures and DVDs, and give them performance experience on stage where artistic directors could see them in action. This is a dream of mine. Something I've wanted to do for a long time."

Yes, Billy Elliot is alive and well.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Spur in today's Seattle Post Intelligencer Food section

We’re thrilled to have Spur in today’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In it, Leslie Kelly writes:

“Spur will soon take over the space in Belltown that was home to Mistral (113 Blanchard St.). The new venture will serve small, shareable plates that range between $7 and $24. Co-chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough are calling their place a gastropub…”

Kelly continues on to say: “McCracken said he was initially looking for a space to expand his catering operation, Flyte, which specializes in small events and intimate dinner parties. But when he took a look at the former Mistral, it made more sense to go gastropub.

‘It's something I've been thinking about for at least eight years,’ said McCracken, who grew up on Mercer Island.

McCracken comes from a family of restaurateurs; his grandfather and his father were in the business, his dad running a pair of places called Charlie Mac's in Seattle. His mother taught cooking classes.”

In her column, Leslie mentions some of Spur’s New American dishes including slow poached butterfish (aka black cod) alongside an English pea puree, a shallot jam-adorned steak on crisp potatoes, and salads of wild lettuce collected by foragers.

‘We really want to go for clean, bright flavors and use lots of local ingredients,’ McCracken said.
The two are collaborating with a bar manager to create some signature cocktails. They've secured some highly allocated wines such as Buty, and they plan on having vintner dinners. There will be a late-night menu available in the bar.

The space is getting a makeover as the cooking team looks to create an environment appealing to a broad demographic. Get ready to saddle up sometime in July.”

Stay tuned for more info on Spur and visit to get added to our list. And thank you, Leslie!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Apples and Hops Await Summer

It's like Spring in what I like to call our home's "garden" here in Seattle's Bryant neighborhood. (Really no more than a few planting pockets, truly, on our postage stamp-sized urban lot covered mainly by house, porches and driveway.)

The peony buds are still tightly closed, the golden hops just beginning to emerge, and tiny apples are only starting to form on our espalier. I brought these elements together inside, in an old olive oil bottle here, to brighten another dark day.

Summer's official arrival is June 20. We'll be ready.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

a tease

In a tantalizingly slow manner we’ve been getting the word out about a fab project we’ve been happily entrenched in for many months: the Summer 2008 opening of Spur. Our mysterious drop-offs of cocktails and fried hominy (see photo) have enticed a few folks around town who are so, so curious to see what chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough have in store for us with Spur. Join the mailing list to hear about it first at Buzz.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Oprah's O at Home Magazine Honors Rosanna as the "Women Who Make Beautiful Things" Designer of the Summer

The summer issue of O at Home magazine hit newsstands over the weekend and Rosanna Bowles graces three entire pages.

Shot and written in March, the story details Rosanna’s launch of her internationally recognized tableware gift company. It is an inspiring account of a fabulous woman’s growth and includes business advice and musings as well as a great selection of her collections. Be certain to check out 11 year-old daughter Francesca’s line of dishes featured too.

Post from Margo- New in the Hood: Pilates & Art for Everybody

It’s been about 7 years since I took my first Pilates lesson. Life at the ballet equaled life on a diet, but my stomach muscles were nadda. My pal Brad told me Pilates would fix everything; and he was right. I swear my limbs are longer and know my core is stronger. Marjorie Thompson, Martine Dedek—I’ve had some fabulous teachers along the way, but my current obsession is a great little Pilates Studio in Madison Valley, Conscious Body Pilates owned by Heather and Tom Scearce.

Great teachers; spotlessly clean; schedule and pay on-line; easy peasy. The pre-natal and “mom & me” classes are quite the rage so now this dynamic duo has opened their second studio for the folks up in Madrona, across from the Madrona Pub. I’m honored to say that a few of my paintings are for sale and gracing the walls of this sunny spot. Check it out and if you are on the fence about Pilates schedule a complimentary consultation to learn the five basic principles of Pilates, discuss your goals and to ask questions. Call 206.709.CORE (2673) or email

Conscious Body Pilates Madison Studio
2921 E. Madison Street
Seattle, WA 98112
(Next to City People's Garden Store)

Conscious Body Pilates Madrona Studio
3317 E. Union St.
Seattle, WA 98122
(Corner of 34th and Union, across from the Madrona Pub)