May 12, 2015
Charcuterie specialist Steve Vasquez says the Mills Civic Parkway Hy-Vee will carry more than 20 cured meats.
Charcuterie Goes Mainstream  

By Wini Moranville


Up-to-date restaurants and high-end gourmet shops around town have been showcasing charcuterie for the past few years. Now, with the opening of a bona fide charcuterie department at the Mills Civic Parkway Hy-Vee (555 S. 51st  St., West Des Moines), a wide selection of freshly sliced artisanal cured meats can be snagged alongside your everyday groceries. The department--the first in the Hy-Vee chain--officially opened at noon last Friday.


According to charcuterie specialist Steve Vasquez, the department will carry more than 20 cured meats; around two-thirds of them will hail from La Quercia in Norwalk. Selections include prosciutto, speck, pancetta, specialty salamis, coppa, lomo and more. While the counter currently offers Trois Petit Cochon pâtés made in Pennsylvania, Vasquez says he's working to roll out a signature homemade pâté in the near future.


Also look for convenience. Sure, you can get the meats sliced to order; however, if you're in a hurry, you've got options. Each day, the department will stock ready-made charcuterie boards, each featuring a selection of prosciutto, hard salami, cheese, dried fruits and olives. "They'll be perfectly sized for two people," Vasquez says. That means you can grab a bottle of wine in a nearby aisle and be good to go for a picnic--making the timing of the new department perfect for spring and summer. 


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Fine Art for Kids  
By Belle Du Chene 


We labor to find just the right art piece to hang above our mantle or to complete a gallery wall installation, but what about purchasing fine art for our toddler or small child's nursery or playroom?

Sarah Ekstrand of Olson-Larsen Galleries is a fan of the idea that seems to be trending everywhere. "We love placing original artwork in surprising places," she says. "Not only does it immediately up the sophistication factor, it's something the kids can grow up with (and) take to college and someday their homes."

Unleashing kids' imaginations through high-end art helps them to be creative thinkers. Below are two of Ekstrand's picks for artwork ideas for nurseries and kids' rooms that have been done by Olson-Larsen Galleries' roster of talented artists. For more ideas, contact Ekstrand or browse the gallery's website.  

Tilly Woodward, "Mirror Moth," oil on archival mat board, 11 x 9 inches.
Peter Feldstein, inkjet print,
22  x 22 inches.

fyi: Mark Your Calendar   

  • Italian entertainment company Cirque Italia is bringing its "Aquatic Spectacular" circus act to Southridge Mall (1111 East Army Post Rd.) May 15-17. The act features aerial stunts, contortionists and more on a stage that holds 35,000 gallons of water. Tickets cost $10-$50 and can be bought here. To see a preview video of the show, click here. To learn more, including showtimes, click here.
  • The Iowa Asian Alliance (IAA) will hold its 13th annual CelebrAsian Asian Heritage Festival at Western Gateway Park May 22 from 2 to 9 p.m. and May 23 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Guests can expect food vendors, beverage tents, cultural stage entertainment, exhibitors and more. Entrance to the festival is free. For a full list of activities, click here.  
  • The Des Moines Symphony will close its season at the Des Moines Civic Center May 23 at 7:30 p.m. and May 24 at 2:30 p.m. with the iconic "Appalachian Spring" by Aaron Copland, plus Steven Heitzeg's "Symphony in Sculpture II" and more. Tickets cost $15-$55 for adults or $7.50-$27.50 for students and can be bought here or at the Civic Center ticket office. For more information, click here.
  • A new annual Iowa theater arts award celebration is calling for artists to design the Cloris Leachman Excellence in Theater Arts Award. The award, named for Des Moines native and Oscar-winner Cloris Leachman, will be modeled after the Tony Award, which recognizes achievement in live Broadway theater. Proposals must be submitted by May 15. To find out more, email Marnie Strate at or call the Des Moines Social Club at 369-3672. The inaugural awards ceremony will be held Aug. 30 at the Social Club.
  • Discover the connection among people who have appeared on dsm's "The List" over the past two years at The List Finale on May 19 from 5 to 7 p.m. (List reveal at 6 p.m.) at Spirit Home Healthcare (12010 Ridgemont Drive in Urbandale). Enjoy networking, hors d'oeuvres, entertainment and more. Find out more here.
P.S. We Were There: 'The Lion King'     

Have you ever wondered what goes on backstage
at a production the size of Disney's "The Lion King"?
How heavy are those costumes? How do Scar, Mufasa, Puma and all the other characters move their heads like that? Do the dancers in the giraffe stilts ever fall over? How do they get the body paint stains out of the clothes?
Find the answers to these questions and more as dsm \takes you with us on our all-inclusive backstage tour of the award-winning musical, which plays the Des Moines Civic Center through May 17.

Click here and get ready to roar--you won't want to miss seeing these costumes up close in our slideshow.
Belle Du Chene is senior editor of dsm magazine.

Wini Moranville, author of "The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day," is a food, wine and travel writer who covers the dining scene for dsm magazine. Follow her at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville and catch her food segment on Fridays at 6:40 a.m. on KCWI-23's "Great Day" morning show.

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Des Moines Metro Opera costume photo shoot in the current issue of dsm.


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