The Art Center gets a boost of energy and action when dancers with Ballet Des Moines perform there Friday.


Ballet Des Moines and the Des Moines Art Center are collaborating on a project Friday, Jan. 19, that brings dance into the realm of the Art Center's "Drawing In Space" exhibit. Dancers will perform excerpts of favorite ballets from past "Triple Bill" productions. Beginning at 6 p.m., the performance is free and will be followed by refreshments in the Art Center lobby.

Phase I Beautification of this home’s backside includes covered and uncovered decks and patios and a wood-burning stone fireplace. See this project’s ‘before’ photos and even some photos of the progress we made before sub-zero temperatures set in! ...
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By Design Furniture & Interior Design presents dsmDining —
No big-screen TVs showing sports, no specials on a blackboard, and nobody yelling "Dilly Dilly!" as they crack open a Bud Light. Still and all, one could make a nice evening of the Iron Somm event in the grand ballroom of the Temple for the Performing Arts Feb. 24.

SOMMthing Wonderful Awaits

By Wini Moranville

Iron Somm 2018 will be held Feb. 24 in the grand ballroom of the Temple for Performing Arts. At this lavish gathering, which is now in its fourth year, attendees enjoy a five-course dinner, and two sommeliers choose a wine to pair with each course. Diners then vote on which wines best complement the food.

Defending the Iron Somm title is Kelsey Seay. When she won last year, she was the wine pro at Gateway Market. These days, she works with importer Best Case Wines, whose Iowa City-based owner, Robert Morey, specializes in finding great French wines at reasonable prices.

Competing against Seay is Blair Zachariasen, whose career in the wine industry began more than 12 years ago when she landed a job in a New York City wine shop. Zachariasen is now the wine pro at the downtown Court Avenue Hy-Vee, where she’s dedicated to finding bottles her customers love. She once told me, “I’ll do anything legal to get you the wine you want.”

The most enjoyable part of the evening—besides savoring great food and wine—is trying to guess what you’re drinking. All wines are served blind; diners are not told what they are or where they’re from, nor which sommelier chose them. All is revealed at the end of the night, and there are always some great, “who knew” surprises.

While the featured chefs don’t vie for any title at this event, in the past they’ve all been champs in my book. Returning this year is Dominic Iannarelli, executive chef at Splash Seafood Bar and GrillDerek Eidson, executive chef at Centro; and Christina Moffatt and Holly Evans, founder of and pastry chef (respectively) at Crème Cupcake. New for this year’s event, the cheese mongers at Cheese Shop of Des Moines will provide the first course.

The event, which begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $150 per person, has sold out in the past. Reserve your seats by contacting Natasha Sayles, Winefest executive director, at 515-244-0039 or

Current Passion: Curved Sofas
Curved sofas are so dreamy…we love this trend. While we will always love the L-shaped sectional…a curved sofa is a great update to this look. It feels very fresh and new, and creates conversation areas effortlessly. ... Read more »

Actor Larenz Tate is the featured attraction at the Embracing Excellence Gala on Saturday, part of "I'll Make Me a World in Iowa."


Larenz Tate, Carl Thomas and Kurtis Blow headline the 20th Annual "I'll Make Me a World in Iowa" this Saturday, Jan. 20, plus Jan. 26 and 27. Iowa's African-American Festival delivers three events for the cultural celebration: the Embracing Excellence Gala, Education Day and Celebration Day. All events take place at the Iowa Events Center. Admission is free, other than the Embracing Excellence Gala, which costs $75. 

• The Embracing Excellence Gala, a black-tie evening, will be Saturday, Jan. 20, and will include dinner, dancing and entertainment by one of the pioneers of hip hop—Kurtis Blow.
• Education Day is Friday, Jan. 26, featuring the annual Black History Game Show.
Celebration Day, the festival's crowning event, is Saturday, Jan. 27. Headliners Larenz Tate and Carl Thomas will be featured, and artists, entertainers and exhibitors will vie for attention.

Click here for information on the event's headliners. And click here for information on times, participants and other festival details.

Chefs' specialties lift pork beyond the tenderloin sandwich or pork chop when they compete in the Iowa Taste of Excellence.


The Iowa Taste of Elegance—an annual tasting event to cap off a professional chef competition—is next Monday, Jan. 22, at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center. Twelve Iowa chefs will compete for the top prize, and they want to earn your vote for the People’s Choice Award as the public will get to sample all of the competition dishes and vote on their favorite.

Pork is predictably the centerpiece of this event, sponsored by the Iowa Pork Producers Association. Iowa wineries and breweries will also serve samples of their most popular beverages. Cocktail hour is 5 to 6 p.m., followed by the tasting reception at 6 p.m. and awards presentation at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35, available here.

Looking a bit like a smiley face without its features, beer is giving Des Moines patrons a lot to smile about these days.


Our favorite food writer, Wini Moranville, has noticed a new attitude toward beer among local restaurateurs. They aren't just serving more; they're embracing it as a viable (and affordable) alternative to wines when pairing beverages and food. Wini shares what she learned from some top chefs in this article in the new January/February issue of dsm magazine.

You can be in the room where it happens when Leslie Odom Jr. performs at the Civic Center this spring.


Multifaceted Leslie Odom Jr. earned a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor with his portrayal of Aaron Burr in the musical "Hamilton." He sings in concert with the Des Moines Symphony on May 12. Explore other great entertainment options with a pair of easy-to-use online calendars. We at dsm magazine and the Business Record maintain this calendar with handy filters so you can see just the types of events you're searching for. Looking for even more categories? Check Catch Des Moines.

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