Stroll the halls of Des Moines schools with Superintendent Thomas Ahart, who shares his administrative vision in the new issue of dsm magazine, available today.


The newest issue of dsm magazine arrived in our offices yesterday and we're eager to share it with you at an unveiling party today—Tuesday, Oct. 24—from 5 to 7 p.m. at the headquarters of Merchants Bonding Co., 6700 Westown Parkway in West Des Moines. After brief comments and our tradition of unveiling the cover design at 6 p.m., we''ll distribute copies to everyone. Of course, you'll enjoy refreshments from our hosts, who also have arranged to display a variety of artwork created by artists with ties to Iowa. A special treat: music throughout the evening by Tony Valdez.

Highlights of the November/December issue each year are the profiles of individuals we're honoring as Sages Over 70. This year, there are six: Don Blumenthal, Joyce Chapman, Jim Cownie, Paul Danforth, Jody Reynolds and Stephen Roberts. You can still get tickets here to attend the inspiring and always-memorable tribute event for the Sages. This year it is Nov. 7, from 5 to 7 p.m., at 320 River Center, a new events venue at 320 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.

Silent Rivers’ woodshop Artisan Alex Schlepphorst: Get to know Alex, see his work Custom, handcrafted woodwork for your home is another reason clients love Silent Rivers. With talented artisans like Alex on staff, our in-house woodshop produces beautiful, richly detailed custom cabinetry, trim and furniture. See examples of Alex’s innovative and stunning projects. ...
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by Design presents dsmDining —
Gateway Market's delicious biscuit sandwich can scarcely be explained without mentioning guarded secrets and a pinch of sorcery.


By Wini Moranville

This month’s lunch is actually a brunch—at Gateway Market, to be exact. It’s a weekend jeans-and-flannel-shirt affair that everyone should get to know. And judging from the size of the late-morning crowd, it seems like a lot of people already have.

While the breakfast menu (served until 2 p.m. on weekends) offers all kinds of breakfast sandwiches, as well as omelets, eggs any way, French toast and oatmeal, I went there on a mission: to seek out the biscuit sandwich I’d heard food lovers raving about.

The sandwich comes with scrambled eggs (actually more akin to a delicately folded omelet), thick bacon and processed cheese. Don’t turn your nose up too quickly at the latter; it has its place, and the way it oozily melted over those eggs was perfect. The star of the sandwich, however, was the biscuit—a hearty-yet-flaky beauty crafted by bread-geek and executive chef George Formaro in collaboration with Gateway chef Bill Overdyk.

When I asked Formaro how they hit upon such a great biscuit, he answered, “Lots of sleepless nights and eating biscuits.” He says he went on a mission to research everything he could about biscuits, even looking back as far as the early days before modern baking powder was used. He melded history with modern technique to come up with Gateway’s version.

Overdyk told me the recipe involved Southern biscuit flour, frozen grated butter and a unique folding technique, along with a few more secrets, such as the right oven temp, baking time and cutting method. This is one painstakingly wrought biscuit, and I’m happy to report that yes, it is all that.

PS: Remember that you can morph any brunch here into a Champagne brunch by grabbing a bottle from the adjacent market’s cooler. Better yet, you’ll buy the bottle at retail cost—not dining-out cost. If they don’t have what you want in the cooler, they have a device that can quick-chill any bottle for you.

Gateway is at 2002 Woodland Ave., 515-243-1754;

Wini Moranville, who writes about cooking, wine and dining for dsm, is on Facebook at All Things Food DSM.

New Fabric Releases…Designers Choice! It’s one of our favorite times of the year – our vendors are getting ready to release their new fabrics! Our designers put together their favorite new fabric combinations and explained why each group works. ... Read more »

Remarkably versatile, artist Jay Vigon is surrounded by his work in his Mainframe studio. “This constant turnover of artistic ideas to explore—that’s what keeps you going,” he recently told dsm.


We were delighted to be among the 800-plus visitors to Mainframe Studios’ inaugural open studio event this past Saturday. The 160,000-square-foot building at 900 Keosauqua Way buzzed with curious culture lovers eager to check out the studios of some 80 artists.

Those studios—along with offices for nonprofit organizations, a 4,700-square-foot event rental space, and a commercial kitchen—represent just Phase 1 of the project. Phase 2 will involve the renovation of two additional floors, which will add 115 more studios.

It was fun to view new work by artists and photographers we’ve featured in dsm over the years. (Click on their name to read related stories from the dsm archives: Jay Vigon and Margo Nahas, Lee Emma Running, Alex Brown, Rachel Buse, Paige Peterson-Connolly, Dylan Huey, Jami Milne.) But we also enjoyed seeing the spaces of sculptor Linda Lewis, painter Buffalo Bonker and screen printer John Bosley, among many others.

If you didn’t get to the inaugural event, don’t fret: The next open studio event is Nov. 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. Find out more by visiting Mainframe’s website.

Novelist John Irving will speak in Des Moines Oct. 31 at the library foundation's Iowa Author Awards Dinner.


It isn't every day we get to hang out with a storyteller with the literary stature of John Irving. But that's the evening in store for those attending the Des Moines Public Library Foundation's aptly titled "An Evening In Conversation with John Irving." It's the foundation's 18th annual Iowa Author Awards Dinner, which this year will be held at the Iowa Events Center on Oct. 31.

Irving has been crafting best-sellers for four decades, since "The World According to Garp." Along the way, he also picked up an Academy Award for his screenplay of "The Cider House Rules," based on his popular novel. The 2017 Iowa Author Award will be presented to Irving, who studied and taught at the University of Iowa and used Iowa as a setting for several books. 

Admission is $200 (with $140 tax deductible in support of the library foundation). A schedule and other information is available here. If you have questions, email

Carson Kressley, the snappy-looking guy third from left, pauses for a moment with participants in the Miracle Makeovers event at the new Outlets of Des Moines.


By Lacy Brunnette

The Outlets of Des Moines celebrated its grand opening with a full lineup of family-friendly events this past weekend. One of the highlights was a “Makeover Miracles” fashion show, which gave five people fresh fall looks, including hair and makeup updates from Trixie’s Salon & Spa and wardrobes from Outlets of Des Moines stores. Celebrity stylist and Emmy Award-winning TV personality Carson Kressley emceed the event.

After the show, we caught up with the uber-stylist for a quick Q&A:

What are your favorite trends for the season?
Square-toe heels and Lucite heels. I just saw a great pair today; one of the girls in the show had on a two-tone cap toe [with] a great square chunky heel. New accessories are one of the most exciting things for this season, and for every season, because they can be changed up. We don’t want to throw out all of our clothes, but we do want to get a statement shoe—or bag or necklace.

What are some easy ways to transition your wardrobe for cooler weather?
I love fall because you can layer. I think layering is smart, and it looks good. This is that tricky time of year when you’re like, ‘Is it going to be 80 or 40?' You have no idea, so I like great basics like leggings and jeans. Leggings can change anything. You can take a flirty, summery dress and [wear it] in early September with just a simple flat. Then for fall you can add leggings and a taller boot; you also can add a short moto jacket in [materials like] suede. Layering scarves is another fun thing.

What are your favorite coat styles? There’s long and wool; there’s short cute and puffy…
Your outerwear piece is really the workhorse of your fall and winter wardrobe. It’s one of the few things, along with the handbag, that you wear every day. Almost everything else you wear once a week or every two weeks, but your coat is your go-to. I like coats that are a little longer, so if you’re wearing a dress, the coat gives you coverage. Puffer jackets are cute; save those for your second weekend warrior jacket. But if you’re going to invest in one coat, have it be like a wool or wool-felt with some length. And do a chic color! You don’t have to [stick to] black, gray, taupe or brown. You can do a beautiful baby blue or a soft pink. You could do an Hermés orange. [Color is a] fun way to make something that’s [utilitarian] look fresh and fun.

Lacy Brunnette is a Des Moines-based writer and concept producer, who frequently contributes to dsm and wishes that Carson Kressley visited Des Moines more often.

The music and emotion of "The Color Purple" comes to the Des Moines Civic Center stage Oct. 31 through Nov. 5.


Hoyt Sherman Place announced this week that Three Dog Night and Lewis Black will perform there next spring. The Broadway hits "The Color Purple" and "Waitress" are coming to the Des Moines Civic Center in November and December. Explore the future of other arts and cultural events 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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