Alexan MaRch

Alicia Keys

Alicia Augello Cook (born January 25, 1981), known by her stage name Alicia Keys, is an American singer, songwriter, pianist and actress. Keys released her debut album with J Records, having had previous record deals first with Columbia and then Arista Records. Keys' debut album, Songs in A Minor was released in 2001, producing her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one single "Fallin'", and selling over 12 million copies worldwide. The album earned Keys five Grammy Awards in 2002.[1] Her sophomore album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, was released in 2003, spawning successful singles "You Don't Know My Name", "If I Ain't Got You" and "Diary", and selling 8 million copies worldwide.[2] The duet song "My Boo" with Usher scored her a second number-one single in 2004. The album garnered her an additional four Grammy Awards in 2005.[3] Later that year, she released her first live album, Unplugged, becoming the first woman to have an MTV Unplugged album debut at number one.

As I Am was released in 2007, producing the Hot 100 number-one single "No One", selling 5 copies worldwide and earning an additional three Grammy Awards. The Element of Freedom was released in 2009, becoming her first chart-topping album in the UK, and selling 4 million copies worldwide. Keys additionally collaborated with Jay Z on "Empire State of Mind" as her fourth number-one single, and won Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2010. Girl on Fire was released in 2012 as her fifth Billboard 200 topping album, spawning the successful title track. Her second live album, VH1 Storytellers was released in 2013. Here was released in 2016, becoming her seventh R&B/Hip-Hop chart topping album.

Keys made her first television appearance on The Cosby Show in 1985 as a four year old child. She made her film debut in Smokin' Aces and later in The Nanny Diaries in 2007. Keys then had a NAACP Image Award nominated appearance in The Secret Life of Bees in 2008. Keys also made an appearance on season 2 of Empire in 2015. She is currently a coach on The Voice as of 2016.

Keys has won 15 Grammy Awards, 17 NAACP Image Awards, and numerous other awards, and has sold over 35 million albums and 30 million singles worldwide.[4] Considered a pop icon, Billboard magazine named her the top R&B artist of the 2000s decade and placed her number 10 on their list of Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years. Time named her in their 100 list of most influential people in 2005, while VH1 included her on their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list.

Cuisine

Filipino Cuisine Finally Hits the Mainstream

For years Filipino cuisine has been predicted to be the next “it” food to go from ethnic eats to mainstream menus. Now, with the help of a new generation of Filipino-American chefs, this mixed-culture cuisine with a sweet and salty, almost always acidic flavor, may finally have arrived.

“People have been saying this for how long?” asked chef Dale Talde. “[Filipino food] is bright and poppy and rich and fatty and delicious. I don’t [care] if you like it or not. I’m gonna cook it.”

Talde — a Filipino-American, Top Chef alum and the man behind the Talde restaurants in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Jersey City, N.J.; and Miami Beach, Fla.; as well as the recently opened Massoni in Manhattan and Atlantic Social in Brooklyn — and others like him don’t care much about the trend toward Filipino food. For these passionate chefs, it’s all about food they grew up eating and now love to cook for others.

Talde sometimes puts a dish with a Filipino touch on his menus, like the recent adobo tamale dish at Talde Miami, a Mexican masa tamale stuffed with Filipino adobo pork (cooked in a vinegar, soy sauce and garlic). However, the cuisine of his upbringing is not typically blatantly on his menus, but the influence is still there.

“The use of vinegar, use of acidity in Filipino cuisine is everywhere in my food,” he said. “It’s a cuisine. It’s a piece of me and I’m gonna put it on a plate. I don’t need to call it Filipino.”

But when it makes sense, Talde goes all in. Like at Talde Jersey City, which serves a heavily Filipino community and where he offers once monthly kamayan feasts — kamayan means “with hands” in Tagalog, the predominant language of the Philippines. At those meals all of the menu items are dumped in the center of a banana leaf-covered table that guests then dig in and eat with their hands.

“It’s a fun way of eating,” Talde said. “It sells out every time.”

On why he’s more interested than ever in serving the food of his youth, Talde said: “I’m in my 30s. I’m finding my flavors, my power, my point of view. Now I’m more serious about what I do. I care. Now you’re seeing that on a plate.”

Similarly, Jess DeGuzman, chef at Sunda New Asian in Chicago, is a Filipino-American who grew up in Chi-town eating adobo, pancit (spaghetti-like rice noodles fried in soy sauce and citrus) and lumpia (a meat-filled spring roll) made by his Filipino immigrant family.

“The Filipino food trend is something we’ve been doing here at Sunda for eight years,” DeGuzman said.

On Sunda’s robust Southeast Asian menu there are more than 60 dishes, about a dozen of which are Filipino, including the classic chicken adobo and pork adobo, pancit and lumpia, and of course, halo halo, the popular Filipino dessert of shaved ice and evaporated milk mixed with an array of savory and sweet ingredients. While he keeps the dishes traditional, DeGuzman does tone down the flavors a bit to appeal to local palates.

Last October DeGuzman offered a kamayan dinner, which he says was such a big hit that he plans to do another one in a few months.

“Filipino food is comfort food,” DeGuzman said. “It’s meant to be eaten with family and friends. It’s everybody shares. It’s always multiple different dishes, finger foods, a spread of many different types of food. An explosion of savoriness.”

When Filipino-American chef Andrew Bantug and his partner Joyce Lau started hosting Upper Room, pop-up dinners at Tomo in the Buckhead section of Atlanta, the meals weren’t focused on Filipino cuisine. But the monthly dinners quickly became exclusively Filipino and have now moved to twice-monthly kamayan dinners.

“I’ve always wanted to do it but never had the opportunity,” said Bantug, a 2008 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. “The pop-up gave me the opportunity to cook some food I know and love.”

Bantug’s first kamayan was held last October and featured dishes such as pancit, lumpia, a barbecued chicken called inasal, boy choy, a fried spring roll with banana and jackfruit called turon, and biko, a sweet rice dessert.

“It got huge positive reception,” Bantug said. “There are a lot of people that are waiting for a chance to come who want to try this menu.”

With the growing demand and a capacity of 60 seats per dinner, Bantug hopes to expand his kamayan dinners to every Sunday, and also to introduce diners to other aspects of Filipino cuisine, including lechon, a whole roasted suckling pig.

“The food industry is always looking or something new, something that hasn’t had the spotlight or exposure,” Bantug said. “Maybe it’s just a natural progression as Thai food and other Southeast Asian food comes out. I think it’s delicious.”

Also shining the spotlight on the long underrepresented cuisine are several new Filipino restaurants across the country. They include the recently opened Perla in Philadelphia, a modern, local and seasonal Filipino-inspired restaurant from chef Lou Boquila, a native of the Philippines. Also turning heads is the much-talked-about Bad Saint in Washington, D.C., a 24-seat, no reservations spot where Filipino-American chef Tom Cunanan cooks up authentic yet modern Filipino fare.

Couture

From the outside looking in, Jeremy Scott's latest Moschino collection might have seemed like something straight out of a movie; you know, films like Zoolander and The Devil Wears Prada that tend to satirize the fashion industry, instead of documentaries that explain what it is we do. But for those of us who watched the show in Milan (or who saw the collection as images started to take over our social media feeds stateside), Scott's latest showing felt more like a lesson in humor — an integral part of his aesthetic that gets cheekier with each season.

Even the most well-known faces — Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Stella Maxwell — couldn't detract from the fact that Scott dressed his models in garbage couture (or, as one of the graphic tees put it, "trash chic"), or the fact that they were strutting their stuff down a duct-taped cardboard catwalk. But beyond your tongue-in-cheek treasures — miniature Sesame Street-style bins, bicycle wheel hats, stained and disheveled Moschino shopping bags — the fall 2017 show's message is actually nothing new. In fact, Franco Moschino built his entire house upon the idea that one could profit from the fashion industry by mocking it.

Since Scott took the reigns in 2013, that notion has gone viral; the dichotomy between the serious reputation the fashion industry is known for and the possibility that we could all just be trolling ourselves has become so sellable that it's nearly impossible to miss a Moschino phone case or controversial pill bag at Fashion Week every season. Hell, the brand's own Barbie sold out within an hour. If that's not the most realistic example of the old adage "one man's trash is another man's treasure," then perhaps we should focus our efforts on other designers who find themselves simply not funny enough to challenge the status quo.

The collection's inspiration wasn't far off. "For fall 2017, Jeremy Scott presents a Moschino woman who is so enraptured with fashion that she wraps herself in every material to bring her closer to it. She is the antidote to the unsustainable cycles of consumption. Her cure? To take materials the rest of us reject and wear them with Moschino panache," the show's official press release said.

Following the presentation, Scott took his bow wearing one of the many graphic tees we've seen at Fashion Month that read "Couture Is An Attitude." And while you can interpret the rest of the collection however you'd like (we suggest covering one eye and pretending it's one giant subtweet that recycling has somehow found its way onto fashion's main-stage again), he's right: Couture is what you make it, and extravagance isn't just found underneath layers of hand-sewn embroidery. Instead, could it possibly come from somewhere deeper within? Of course, we don't actually know anyone who buys couture. But thanks to Scott and Moschino, we've got a fresh perspective: Maybe anything can be couture nowadays. Even a trash bag.

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Joycelyn Colston
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