Bellator and DAZN: A new feat for MMA

Recently, I attended a historical press conference for the MMA Arena. Bellator, a leading global combat sports Viacom-owned franchise announced its partnership with DAZN, the live and on-demand sport streaming service, part of Perform Group. The multi-year deal will offer the best lineup of MMA fighters. It will give fans access to 22 fights annually such as “The Bellator Welterweight Tournament” and “The Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament.”  It will kick off with two fights: Wanderlei Silva versus Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, and Rory MacDonald versus Gegard Mousasi on September 29.

The partnership is a big accomplishment for the two entities and rivals UFC. Bellator President Scott Coker states, “So many of [DAZN’s] goals for what they would like to see in a fight league match ours.” DAZN CEO James Rushton feels the same, and said “We’re proud to be disruptive. We’re going to change the landscape.” Fans will have unmatched access to MMA fights. Also, both established and emerging fighters will have enormous promotional opportunities.

DAZN guarantees no long term contract and no bundles. It promises one affordable price for access to all sports on all devices. The service is a fan-centric platform that strives to engage hardcore MMA fans and new audiences with this partnership. It will only show the fights that fans want to see. I can’t wait to see it kick-off in the US in September!

Celebrating Peru in NYC with a one-of-a-kind experience

Earlier this month, I checked out Be Rich: A Peruvian Experience hosted by Naturally Peru. The event featured a great mix of Peruvian food, drinks, images of key tourist attractions, and music. For the food, there were 10 dishes prepared by the following chefs: David Burke, Miguel Aguilar, Oscar Lorenzzi, and Marita Lynn. Jacques Torres also created Lucuma and Chirimoya ice cream with chocolate, banana, and toasted quinoa toppings for dessert. The event featured 60 different piscos which guests enjoyed neat or in 7 different specialty cocktails. Guests also enjoyed chilled Cusqueña beer. The event vibrantly showcased a performance by the Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet.

So many amazing culinary and mixology options! My two favorite dishes included the DB Peruvian Pie that has artichoke, quinoa, aji amarillo, and potato, and Mahi Mahi with asparagus puree and truffle oil. And of course, I can’t forget dessert! The Lucuma ice cream was so delicious with its curated toppings. I also enjoyed the “Piscopo” cocktail made with Pisco 100, white peach puree, fresh lemon juice, agave and bitters. Another pisco cocktail with passion fruit also stood out. The entire experience was definitely entertaining, innovative, and a great celebration of Peru. I can’t wait for it to return to New York City next year!

 

Keith Kattner’s art: A focus on landscapes and urban scenes

A few weeks ago, I stopped by a reception at DVF in Soho for Keith Kattner’s Entropy. Entropy is a solo art exhibit curated by Debbie Dickinson. Keith is a fine art landscape painter and formerly trained as an accomplished neurosurgeon. He collected art for a long time and turned his passion into an intriguing creative journey. Kattner draws inspiration from his childhood memories, such as his surfing days in Hawaii. He follows his own instinct in terms of his craft and technique. His process is self-taught and he used to spend 3 days a week at the Met, absorbing everything he could about classical art. He paints a combination of the countryside landscape and urban scenery. I love his use of highlights and multi-layered coloring. Keith’s paintings are vibrant, realistic, and filled with interesting meanings.

The Entropy exhibition consisted of reflecting water settings, residential suburbia, and city backgrounds. All of the pieces are incredibly done so it’s tough to pick my favorites! However, the paintings that really stood out for me were Thor and the Little Red Rooster, Persephone, Classical Study Two (After Lorraine), and Reflection Five. They are so realistic- you can almost imagine that you are in the scene watching from the sidelines. The paintings also have subtle references from ancient Greek mythology, to biblical connotations, and decaying undertones. The works pay tribute to the interesting relationship between creation and destruction. Hence, the title of the exhibition is so fitting.

For more information on Keith Kattner, check out www.keithkattnerart.com. What a creative and insightful artist!

Sparkling wine with a twist: Comsi Comsa Apple Crisp

Sparkling wine is one of the best inventions- it’s my go-to drink year round! So I was very excited to recently try Comsi Comsa Apple Crisp sparkling wine by Sauvage. It’s produced upstate in Oneota, and made with 100% apples and Champagne yeast. The wine is also gluten-free and has a 12% ABV. Comsi Comsa is French for “Like this, Like that.” In other words, you don’t have to choose how or when you want to enjoy it. It’s a cross between cider and champagne with a full bodied taste and an amber color. Comsi Comsa Apple Crisp is delicious with the perfect mix of apple varieties and carbonation.

The wine is created in the traditional method used by the French champagnes. Yet it’s also innovative with a magical blend of apples. I enjoyed it chilled in a champagne flute, but I can imagine that it would be great in a specialty cocktail too. I love the vibrant color of the sparkling wine and how refreshing it feels on my palate. It’s not overly sweet and pairs well with cheese. Comsi Comsa is a winner in my book. Enjoy it however you want, whenever you want. At under $16 a bottle, it’s very affordable and you’ll keep coming back for it.

For more information, visit www.drinksauvage.com. And if you happen to be in Oneota, check out the Sauvage distillery!

 

NIC+ZOE: Footwear with innovative style and comfort

Summer sandals always make me happy! So I’ve been loving my new ones from NIC+ZOE. The brand’s shoes are all about comfort, style, and functionality. They all have padded foot beds and flexible outsoles. Another great thing about the shoes is that you can transition them from day to night. For instance, you can keep them casual paired with capri pants or dress them up with a cocktail number. NIC+ZOE truly offers versatile styles for every woman with 8 different sandal styles. (Plus, the brand has 7 other styles in the sneaker and heel categories).

One of my favorite styles is the Flora Cut Out Wedge in Rose. I love the perforated detailing on both the front of the sandals and on the ankle straps. The heels are at just the right height and provide a lot of support. They’re really comfortable with padded insoles, and I like the suede texture of the wedges. I paired them with a sleeveless black zip-front dress. The wedges would also go well with a white summer dress. They’re very feminine, and I can wear them all day. The Flora Cut Out Wedge is additionally available in White and Black.

My other favorite style is the Poppy Block Heel Bow Slide in Black. The asymmetrical bow is so pretty and innovative. I’m a big fan of the leather texture and padded support. These slides are super comfortable, as I’ve worn them for 8 hours straight with no problems. I’ve matched them with a plum sleeveless dress. They also pair nicely with a green satin blouse and charcoal grey cropped pants. The Poppy Block Heel Bow Slide comes in French Linen and Black as well.

Have I inspired you to check out the NIC+ZOE sandal collection? You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how supportive and innovative the shoes are!

*Both pairs of sandals were gifted to me.

Bella Magazine’s beauty issue cover party: A glamorous occasion

Last week, I attended Bella Magazine’s May/June 2018 Beauty issue party at La Pulperia in Midtown Manhattan. The party celebrated Cover girl Alexa Ray Joel, accomplished daughter of Billy Joel and Christine Brinkley. On the cover, she wears a red, sweetheart neckline gown. The Angelo David team styled her hair for the shoot. In the issue, she talks about her promising singing and songwriting career. She’s passionate about her craft and her career goals.

Other notable guests at Bella Magazine’s event included Christine Brinkley, Luann des Lesseps, Ann Dexter Jones, Courtney Hall, and Angelo David. Guests enjoyed cocktails by Pisacreta Prosecco DOC, Batiste Rhum, Beso Del Sol Sangria, 1907water, and Reed’s Ginger Beer. They also enjoyed hors d’oeuvres prepared by Pulperia’s culinary team such as shrimp and chicken skewers.

At the event, Alexa wore a beautiful one-shoulder Isabel Marant dress and playful hoop earrings. Her fiancée Ryan Gleason proudly stood by her side. I love her style! The event was a fantastic celebration filled with glitz, music, and a festive ambiance!

Alexa Ray Joel
Photo Credit: Staten Arts Photography

Christie Brinkley
Photo Credit: Staten Arts Photography

Angelo David Pisacreta                                                                                                            Photo Credit: Daniel Hall of BELLA

Luann des Lesseps and Courtney Hall

Alla Pala Pizza & Enoteca: An innovative pizza concept

Eataly NYC Flatiron recently invited me to its launch event for Alla Pala Pizza & Enoteca, a fast casual dining concept. It has Roman-style pizza by the slice with an assorted selection of Italian wine pairings. On a daily basis, there are 9 different pizzas to choose from such as Margherita, Sopressata, Funghi, and Cacio e Pepe. The pizzas are made fresh throughout the day using a mixture of 3 different kinds of dough to create the different styles. They’re then served on “palas” (paddles). Everything tastes impeccably delicious! A cute menu explains to you how to order and offers some fun “do as the Romans do” advice.

Something else that’s cute is the modernly designed enoteca that invites you to sit down for a bite to eat. Or you can take your pizza slice on the go. Wine bottles strategically appear inside of the venue. The contemporary lighting and tiled floors give off a cool vibe in the heart of the Flatiron District. Plus, Alla Pala Pizza & Enoteca doesn’t just offer pizza, but it also has a few salad and dessert options such as a beet salad and a tiramisu cup. The space is a fantastic addition to the already successful Eataly Flatiron!

Celebrating women and bonding for peace with Bond No. 9 and UNWFPA

A few weeks ago, Bond No. 9 and UN Women For Peace Association (UNWFPA) invited me to celebrate women empowerment at an intimate event in Midtown. Laurice Rahmé, Bond No. 9 Founder and CEO, and Dame Muna Rihani Al-Nasser, UNWFPA Chairman hosted a special “Bond Fire” ceremony lighting 100 Bond No. 9 Scent of Peace Candles to promote tolerance, respect and peace. They also spoke about how we need to continue promoting change for equality and to spread the message of peace as much as possible. Bond has sponsored the UNWFPA since its inception 14 years ago. As Laurice states:

“Bond No. 9 is proud to join forces with the UN Women for Peace Association as our brand and its repertory of scents advocates for women and strives for peace for all. Our aim is to continue to support the UNWFP’s urgent mission by sponsoring the Annual Luncheon which coincides with International Women’s Day and via proceeds from the global sales of Bond No. 9’s beloved best-selling philanthropic fragrance, Scent of Peace.”

The Scent of Peace is a unisex fragrance that has a mix of sparkling, energizing grapefruit and black current notes, which are blended with lily of the valley, cedarwood and musk. The fragrance is welcoming, appealing, and empowering. The scent fascinates me! There’s a design of a dove in graceful flight on the bottle that’s meant to signify peace soaring through New York City, across the country, and across the seas. The scent and bottle design are truly impressive. Both the perfume and the candles appeared at the event.

In addition to the ceremony and fragrance displays, guests listened to lovely violin performances by Frédérique Gnaman, Rebecca Telford-Marx, and Meghan Todt. They also enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres and macarons. The event was a beautiful celebration of international peace for women and strength!

BACARDÍ Rum Room: Celebrating premium spirits in style

Last week, BACARDÍ invited me to a festive party on the Lower East Side called the Bacardi Rum Room experience. The party celebrated the launch of BACARDÍ’s premium rum portfolio: BACARDÍ Añejo Cuatro, BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho and BACARDÍ Gran Reserva Diez. Notable attendees included Chef Roble, Broderick Hunter, Olay Noel, and Karrueche Tran. Nina Sky, DJ Moma, and Brittany Sky served as the event’s DJs. Guests were welcomed with three floors of immersive experiences that featured different cocktails such as Ocho Passion and El Presidente and a variety of bites prepared by Chef Roble. I enjoyed the artistic elements that included a dance performance by Alma Mayo and drum performance by Malik DOPE.

It was fascinating to explore the different rooms and taste BACARDÍ’s different premium rums. My favorite cocktail was the Cuatro Smash: BACARDÍ Añejo Cuatro, St. Germain, and Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice. I also enjoyed Chef Roble’s fried chicken lollipops. The cocktails, food, photo opps, and music were on point!

Speaking of Chef Roble, I had the chance to ask him at the party about his partnership with BACARDÍ:

Lesley Reider:  How did you decide to work with BACARDÍ?

Chef Roble: I only work with brands that I personally respect. Otherwise, I won’t do it. It’s about integrity. I love BACARDÍ. It’s quality. I cook with BACARDÍ Rum. I drink BACARDÍ Rum. I enjoy BACARDÍ. It’s a natural fit. It’s an honor for me to work with the brand. I’m happy to be here. It’s not work for me.

LR: Which BACARDÍ Rum is your favorite?

CR: BACARDÍ Silver. I enjoy them all, but that’s the go to. It’s the most versatile for every application: cooking, cocktails, neat by itself or on ice. That’s the essence of BACARDÍ in my opinion.

LR: What’s next for you?

CR: I’m opening up a bar & restaurant in Brooklyn and BACARDÍ is going to be heavily on the menu.

What a fantastic evening with an iconic, captivating brand!

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 10: Roble and Olay Noel attend the Bacardi Premium Launch at The DL on May 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Bacardi)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 10: Actor Broderick Hunter attends the Bacardi Premium Launch at The DL on May 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Bacardi)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 10: Nicole Albino, Natalie Albino of Nina Sky attend the Bacardi Premium Launch at The DL on May 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Bacardi)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 10: Recording artist, DJ Brittany Sky attends the Bacardi Premium Launch at The DL on May 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Bacardi)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 10: Malik DOPE Drummer performs at the Bacardi Premium Launch at The DL on May 10, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Bacardi)

The Flex Brush: Cutting-edge technology for haircare

Recently, I attended the launch party for The Flex Brush at Angelo David Salon in Midtown. The Flex Brush is revolutionary in that it works both on wet and dry hair. Plus, it gently untangles hair and stimulates hair growth and health. Angelo David, well-known hair stylist and owner of the salon, and Jacob Guttman, founder and CEO of Creative Pro Hair Tools collaborated to create this innovative brush. They wanted to design a forgiving brush that would flex according to the shape of each individual’s scalp. The brush is so soft, created with all-natural rubber, and the smooth coating is comfortable and easy to grip. It’s also perfect for all hair types ranging from pin straight to ultra curly.

I’m a firm believer of The Flex Brush. I’ve been using it for the past month and have noticed great results. My hair feels super smooth, my scalp feels healthy, and I have less hair breakage. I also have a lot less knots during the day. The Flex Detangle Spray, an innovative leave-in conditioner is another tool that I use, which increases flexibility to lessen damage when I’m styling and detangling my hair. I love how lightweight the brush is and how I can take it with me wherever I go. I can even use it when I’m blow drying my hair, and I won’t cause any damage. No more hair destruction! And of course, I love how the brush flexes!

The brush is available in 3 different variations: The Flex Brush Petite Mixed Bristle, The Flex Brush XL Nylon Bristle, and The Flex Brush XL Mixed Bristle. The smaller brush retails at $19.95 while the larger brush retails at $25.95. Depending on the style, the brush comes in pink, blue, or black. It’s a complete game changer! I highly recommend it and know that you’ll love the results!

Angelo David showcasing the flexibility of The Flex Brush