MAY 29, 2018  |  VIEW AS WEBPAGE

A lot goes into a dsm cover: food, fashion, art, pups and lovely models—plus the random cardboard camera and a perfect pink bubble after trying six kinds of gum. 


Why wait years for an anniversary party when you can enjoy one free this Thursday? It's our anniversary—yours and ours—as we celebrate 15 years of dsm's reader/publication relationship. We have parties when each new issue is printed, but this will be a special anniversary issue, so it deserves a special event—and we really do hope you'll come.

Details: Join us anytime between 5 and 7 p.m. Thursday, May 31, at the new downtown Hilton, just south of the Iowa Events Center. We'll have brief remarks and distribution of the anniversary issue at 6 p.m. We'll have beverages and food all evening, courtesy of our Hilton hosts. We wouldn't miss it, and hope you don't either.

Des Moines Arts Festival sneak peek art reception this Friday!
Head to Mars Cafe after work Friday for the DMAF CURATED reception. An intimate exhibit featuring 5 of this year’s Des Moines Arts Festival artists demonstrates how to curate art for our homes. Collaborated by Silent Rivers Design+Build, Des Moines Arts Festival and Mars Cafe. ... Read more »

By Design presents dsmDining —

We're not sure of their normal skittering pace in the wild, but soft-shell crabs are going fast at Spash.


By Wini Moranville

I recently caught wind of some noteworthy dining events in the coming weeks:

• It's soft-shell crab season at Splash Seafood Bar & Grill, and these tasty delights won't last long. Chef Dom Ianarelli expects to have them at least until the end of May, and maybe a week longer ("but that's iffy," he says). This year the kitchen will be flash-frying the crustaceans and serving them with dew-drop cabbage slaw and smoked almond romesco. Splash is at 303 Locust St., 515-244-5686;

• The Camp Dodge Concert Series, held on select upcoming Thursday nights from 7 to 9 p.m., is back in swing, and once again Trostel's Greenbriar will be the concessionaire, serving burgers, brats, grinders and more; you can bring your own coolers full of beverages, and be sure to bring a lawn chair. Here's the talent lineup: Sons of Gladys Kravitz (May 31), Red Dirt Renegades (June 7), Danika Portz (June 21), Sidewinders (June 28), Richard Arndt & the Brew (July 5), the Abby Normal Band (July 12) and Tony Valdez (July 19). Events are held in the Camp Dodge pool complex; all patrons over the age of 16 need to bring a photo ID to enter.

• Local food writer and wine expert Karla Walsh is collaborating with chef Tag Grandgeorge of Le Jardin for a four-course summer-inspired dinner, with each course paired with bubbles. And if you've ever doubted that bubbles pair with everything, Walsh will set you straight. "When in doubt of what to pair with a dish, I always opt for something sparkling," she says. "The minerality and acidity that shines through in nearly every bubbly wine, whether it's Champagne, Cava, Prosecco or sparkling wine, nicely complements everything from a savory entree to a sweet dessert." Dinner costs $65, plus tax and tip. View the menu here, and to reserve your spot, call 515-255-5787. Le Jardin is at 2814 Beaver Ave.;

The Highpoint North Carolina furniture market is always a fun and inspirational trip. Heading there each year reminds us why we love design and furniture…all these fun and new ideas from the best minds in home design in the world. ... Read more »

A campaign to bring diverse groups to the table has been driven by an effort founded by Fez Zafar, left, a Des Moines teenage Muslim.


A local teenager dares to dream big in the name of cultural harmony. Fez Zafar, 16, initiated a campaign to revive the tradition of the American Iftar Dinner, a cross-cultural meal intended to support "unity and harmony" across religious and cultural differences, he says. The event was a White House tradition from 1996 to 2016.

Toward that goal locally, the son of Dr. Sawad Zafar and Mashal Husain has collaborated with religious leaders, including Bishop Richard Pates, Rabbi David Kaufman, and the Rev. Mike Housholder. More broadly, his campaign for Iftar Dinner on Thursday, June 7, has spread rapidly through social media, where he reports "overwhelming" support (as well as some cynical criticism) from coast to coast.

In an essay published by The Des Moines Register, Zafar wrote: "The dinner will be one that celebrates not only Islam, but all the world’s religions through a non-partisan meal shared by people of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds, as a symbol of our commitment to unity, diversity and tolerance, and as a celebration of the humanitarianism that Iowans and people across America have exhibited.

"Despite our differences, I believe we all share the same hopes and aspirations for our future generations to live in an accepting and peaceful world. As a call to action, I urge my fellow Iowans and people across the United States to host their own dinner, invite ethnically and culturally diverse guests and, in their own way, promote a unified existence."

The Iftar Dinner can be as simple as inviting a diverse group to your home for a meal and conversation. Or it can be more formally established with cooperation of a hosting site. For example, Zafar says, several local sites are being developed, including the Des Moines Social Club, the jazz club Noce, and the Des Moines Art Center. For details, visit the website or view developments on Facebook.

"It's a chance for people of different backgrounds to learn about one another," Zafar says. And, if you're not up for creating a dinner, he encourages you to make an effort that day to chat with someone with a background different from your own, commenting on such moments on social media using the hashtag #mealforhumanity.

Zafar has championed social unity before. Last year, he was among 28 students from across the country honored for creative video productions in a White House student film festival that drew some 700 entries. His award-winning film, "The Road to Unity," involved about 20 actors, most from Roosevelt and Valley high schools, each representing their ancestral homelands, says Zafar, whose family came from Pakistan. The young videographer has created a number of productions that can be found here.

Take time to chill at WineFest Week, starting Saturday, June 2.


WineFest pops the cork on its 16th annual series of events, once again raising funds as well as fun. Tickets are still available to most of the week's events, from sips and tastings to grand dinners. You can see the full lineup here. The fundraising aspect is less obvious but no less important: Last year alone, WineFest presented $25,000 to Bravo Greater Des Moines (which in turn allocates funds to local organizations) and provided scholarships to students of food and wine careers. We can raise a glass to that!

Detail from a mixed-media piece by Leslie Anne Guinan, one of the artists included in an exhibit opening Friday.


The art exhibition "Resonant Fields" opens with a free reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, June 1, at Mars Cafe, 2318 University Ave. The exhibit, featuring five artists, is the second annual production of the roving gallery #DMAFcurated, a collaboration between Silent Rivers Design+ Build and the Des Moines Arts Festival. The artwork will remain at the cafe until June 20, when it will move to Western Gateway Park as part of the Arts Festival. The event can be found on Facebook here, where RSVPs for the reception are requested.

"Curation of the art we select for our homes provides a deeper narrative about why we purchase and collect, generating a collective story about the artwork and our relationship with it," says Chaden Halfhill, artist, sculptor and founder of Silent Rivers. The gallery will include work by Gaston Carrio, Amee Ellis, Joseph Graci, Leslie Anne Guinan and Robert Matthews.

Relief from the troubles of the world is as close as the Wakonda Club next week, where a golf tournament offers lovely distractions.


Golf is just the obvious raison d'être of the Principal Charity Classic June 5-10. But as the name suggests, it’s also about charity: Since 2007, the event has raised $13 million for Iowa nonprofits. And it’s a stunning social scene, all of which supports the slogan, "a party with a purpose." Want a piece of the action? Click this link for info on tickets, attendance and day-by-day details.

There's more than one way to have fun with a keg. Find one to your liking at Zoo Brew, returning June 6.


Ah, summer—time to release your inner "wild thing" at the zoo. Yep, it's the return of Zoo Brew, with music and beverages at the Blank Park Zoo from 5:30 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday of June through August (except July 4). These adults-only events are free to zoo members; nonmembers need only purchase admission to the zoo.

June bands: Standing Hampton on June 6, Punching Pandas on June 13, Royce Johns on June 20, and Faculty Lounge on June 27. For a complete lineup of bands and themes, plus FAQs and other details, click here.  

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