Virtual Unveiling, Des Moines Metro Opera, Tally-Ho to Go
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Join us as we unveil the May/June issue of dsm magazine via Zoom at 5 p.m. today.


We're bringing our unveilings to you, online. Join dsm and Exec 1 Aviation in launching the May/June issue in our first virtual Mix and Mingle event at 5 tonight. We'd love for you to see the new cover, network and have fun!

Register here:

The Mix: You'll get insight into how our cover came to life from the creatives behind the magic. The short program will begin at 5 p.m.

The Mingling: After the program, we'll split into smaller breakout rooms and rotate a few times so you have the opportunity to connect with others.

So grab a beverage of your choice and join us as we celebrate the new issue!

Woven textures are trending in interior design. These materials bring life and the texture of nature into your perfect room.
... Read more »
"Rusalka," one of Des Moines Metro Opera's most popular past productions, will be broadcast on Iowa PBS as part of the opera company's virtual season.


By Christine Riccelli

When making what arguably could be the biggest decision in his tenure as general and artistic director of Des Moines Metro Opera, Michael Egel drew on what might seem an unlikely source: the late British satirist and fantasy fiction novelist Terry Pratchett, who wrote that "Opera happens because a large number of things amazingly fail to go wrong."

With that in mind, Egel, along with DMMO’s board of directors, decided to cancel the 2020 season, as COVID-19 was making the odds of something going wrong too high. "Our model relies on many people coming here from all over the U.S.—we [had] 200-plus company members due to arrive in three weeks," Egel said in an interview Monday. "Not only do we all work in close proximity to one another, but company members ... live together in close quarters."

Although the season has been canceled, the contracts for all those hired to stage the shows—including performers, orchestra members, production staff, and the design and costume teams—will be honored, making DMMO unusual among its peers and an industry leader. "It’s important to us that we take care of people," Egel said. "We often talk about how we’re a family at DMMO … and that sense of family comes from the loyalty and dedication of the artists, patrons and audience. … It’s personal for them, and it’s personal for me, too."

Those who have bought tickets to the summer season, which was set to open June 26, may receive a credit for the 2021 season or a refund, but DMMO is asking them to consider converting their tickets into a tax-deductible donation. DMMO earns about $500,000 through ticket sales every year, a significant part of the company’s budget, Egel noted. To provide ticket buyers with an incentive, a group of board members and donors have committed $125,000 as a challenge to match the value of every ticket donated before June 1.

While Egel is understandably disappointed about canceling this year’s shows, he was excited to talk about DMMO’s newly dubbed 2020 Virtual Season. Through a partnership with Iowa PBS, DMMO will present online and televised presentations of some of DMMO’s most well-received recent productions, including "Billy Budd," "Rusalka" and "Manon." In addition to the broadcasts, DMMO will offer virtual artist recitals and other events.

"This positions us to share
extraordinary content with the world," Egel said, noting that DMMO patrons can be found in some 40 states and even in such far-flung locales as New Zealand. "We have every reason to be enthusiastic and positive. We are going full-speed ahead, and we have big dreams ahead of us."
Jerry Talerico and his daughter, Sophia Talerico, have opened Tally-Ho to Go, which offers a limited to-go and curbside delivery menu.


By Wini Moranville 

For obvious reasons, this doesn’t seem like the optimal time to get into the restaurant business. But five years after selling his once-legendary Sam & Gabe’s restaurant, Jerry Talerico is doing just that.

Blame it on his daughter, Sophia Talerico. She was living on Cape Cod when the pandemic caused the high-end clothier she worked for to shutter. As soon as she moved back home, her pals started asking if her dad would cook for them. "More and more people kept ordering food, and suddenly I was making lasagna, chicken Asiago and Italian nachos full time," says Jerry Talerico. "We said, ‘let’s see what we can do with this.’"

Turns out, Talerico’s longtime friend David Ladd, owner of Stu’s Barbecue, had a kitchen at the Merle Hay Mall food court that wasn’t seeing a lot of action these days. Talerico, padre e figlia, opened up last week, offering a limited to-go and curbside-delivery menu.

Each week, just a handful of items will be offered. Last week the menu included Penne Sophia (with sun-dried tomatoes, basil and mushrooms in a light cream sauce), Chicken Asiago and Italian Nachos. To keep the nachos crisp, they come unassembled. In a mini cooking show on Facebook, Jerry Talerico shows you how to put them together once home.

The business is called Tally-Ho to Go, which pays homage to Jerry’s father; Vic Talerico owned "Vic’s Tally Ho," a Des Moines supper club that operated from 1939 to 1971.

Since selling Sam & Gabe’s in 2015, Talerico worked for a variety of restaurants in the area, including +39, Vivian’s and the Republic on Grand. "It became painfully obvious that I couldn’t work for anyone else anymore," he admits.

So, with this new venture, might Talerico be making inroads back into the restaurant biz for himself?
"Being away from it this long, I have renewed passion. And I still love to cook," he says.

While he doesn’t think he’ll be getting into a full-scale restaurant again, he says that the thought of having a small place with a lot of to-go options, perhaps even with a drive-up window, sounds appealing.

"I don’t know whether dining out is ever going to be what it used to be," he says. "But there’s always going to be a market for well-prepared foods."

I agree, and after our conversation ended, I wondered if Talerico might just be describing what a lot of restaurants might look like the post-COVID-19 era.

Find out more about Tally-Ho to Go on their Facebook page.

Chris Diebel from Bubba—Southern Comforts (right) shows us how to make a black bean quinoa burger.


The Des Moines arts and culture and food and dining scenes may have slowed due to COVID-19, but organizations are still innovating and creating new ways to reach audiences. Take a look at our takeaways from the past week of dsm CultureCasts.

What's Cooking with Iowa Restaurants presented by Hy-Vee: As Chris Diebel mentioned at the beginning of this video, this assuredly delicious black bean quinoa burger recipe fits right in for a Meatless Monday. Watch an easy-to-follow tutorial with Diebel and one of the Bubba chefs. They even give you some handy at-home tips for easier cooking.

Podcast with the Des Moines Art Center: Jordan Powers, director of marketing and public relations with the Des Moines Art Center, and Jason Gross, vice president of innovation at EMC Insurance Cos. and an Art Center board trustee, joined us to talk about how the museum's virtual tours were created, some of their favorite parts and more. They also disclosed some information about hidden secrets buried in the tours, including a very particular angle where you can see Director Jeff Fleming. Listen to find out more.

Listen to more interviews like this by subscribing to our podcast feed at Apple Podcast, Google Play Music, Spotify and more.

After School Arts Program:
Looking for some fun, easy activities to do with your children at home? Watch this video that shows you how to make a sculpture with everyday items and ways to make a masterpiece with street chalk.

Creme Cupcake + Dessert is offering a Mother's Day package with products from local businesses.


By Karla Walsh

Mother’s Day is going to look a lot different this year. While it might be the most distant and different Mom’s Day of her life, it can also be the most delicious, thanks to these local purveyors. Place your order as soon as possible to beat the rush and have your shopping all set.

Brightside Kitchen and Fresh Cafe & Market: Score a vegan brunch for two ($70) or four ($100) from Brightside’s Chef Hailey Dixon. Either order includes garlic-herb biscuits and mushroom gravy, tofu scramble with breakfast potatoes, fresh fruit and more. (Psst ... you’re going to want the optional add-on of four cinnamon rolls for $10. Money very well spent). Limited quantities are available, so place your order on sooner rather than later, and it will be delivered to mom’s door between 9 and 11 a.m. on Mother’s Day.

Sisters in Cheese: Haven’t heard of or visited Madrid-based Sisters in Cheese yet? Get a taste of owner Chelsea Johnsen’s beyond Instagram-worthy charcuterie boards to share with Mom this Mother’s Day. For the occasion, Sisters is offering two different 12-inch-by-16-inch meals-in-a-box for $65 each. Included are traditional Essential Grazers (bread, cheese, fruit, meat, veggies and more) and Brunch Grazers (hard-boiled eggs, pastries, bagels, cream cheese, meats). Email before noon on May 4 for pickup from 9 a.m. to noon on May 9.

Creme Cupcake + Dessert (and Co.): Can’t decide between something sweet and some spa splurges? Creme Cupcake + Dessert has done the shopping for you so you can deliver both in one $45 package—and support five female-owned businesses at once. Only 100 boxes are available (and all pre-purchases end May 6), so order on Eventbrite as soon as possible to reserve your kit for pickup at Creme from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 9. Each one includes four chocolate and vanilla jewel cake truffles from Creme; a bottle of Zola nail polish from East Village SpaShe's All Set setting and hydration spray from Vanity & GlamourKevin Murphy travel-size hair spray and bobby pins from Elevencherry Salon; and a Mother's Day card from XO-LP (don’t forget to add a personal message inside!).
COVID-19 has interrupted life for everyone. Join us to talk about the mental health effects in dsm's virtual panel discussion.


dsm is premiering a special six-week virtual panel series called "Lifting the Veil: Life Interrupted by COVID-19" at noon Friday. For the series, experts will come together for a live video discussion around six critical topics: youth, college, parenting, small business, workplace, and diversity and inclusion—all with a mental health focus.

Our first event focuses on children. With schools closed, children are learning virtually, away from daily structure, social experiences and exercise. What are the mental health effects of this on children, and how can we combat them? Register here.

In the meantime, it can feel challenging to feel connected and close to other humans outside of your household. But it’s so vital for your mental health to do so—we’re learning that loneliness puts you at just as high of risk for premature death as obesity or smoking.

Since it's been more than one month since Gov. Kim Reynolds signed her first emergency proclamation related to COVID-19, we turned to Dr. Nancy Sherman, a professor at Bradley University in the Online Masters of Counseling Program, for some tips to stay in touch with loved ones, even if they’re hundreds of miles away.

  1. Take advantage of technology. "Use electronic means to get together with friends and family not in your household," Sherman says. She recommends free services like FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype or Zoom. You can also host a virtual game night to lighten the mood.
  2. Become a follower. Like local restaurants, quilting or wine? Join a Facebook group with individuals who have similar interests. Or "attend" an event online. Locally, Teehee’s Comedy Club is hosting live stand-up shows, and Noce is streaming jazz concerts.
  3. Try telehealth. "If you are—or would like to—receive counseling or mental health treatment, discuss with your provider how you can continue or do so remotely," Sherman says. Not already connected to a counselor? Talkspace or BetterHelp are two quarantine-friendly options.
  4. Stay in touch. For best results, check in early and often with loved ones through phone calls, texts or social media, she suggests.
  5. Connect with nature. While it’s best to avoid crowded places like Gray’s Lake, you can still enjoy hiking trails and other less-populated paths. "Take a walk outside and see other people from six feet away doing the same," Sherman says. As a bonus, that fresh air will reduce stress and improve your concentration levels once you return home.    --Karla Walsh
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