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Chef Johnny Hernandez–Th ...

We talk with some regularity in these pages about the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), and rightly so, what with it being one of San Antonio’s marquis educational destinations. Indeed, the CIA is widely regarded as the best preparatory school in the world for those aspiring to careers in the culinary arts. And while the school’s graduates routinely end up working at (and frequently starting) the world’s finest eateries, it’s always gratifying when one of the Alamo City’s native sons returns to share his culinary gifts with his home town. Such is the case with CIA-trained Chef Johnny Hernandez, lifelong San Antonian and far and away the most successful and best-known culinarian in the city. Chef Hernandez currently owns nine ...

Shek Vega and Nik Soupe – ...

“It went from running away from the police to shaking their hands and saying, ‘Thanks for watching our wall while we’re not here.’ Back in the day, we would see a building or a wall and call someone asking for permission to paint there. Now they’re calling us and asking us to do it. Hell, and commissioning us to do it!” Funny how life turns around sometimes, particularly when you’re a street artist who grew up doing something many people regarded as little more than vandalism. David (Shek) Vega, one of San Antonio’s best known urban artists, fondly recalls the marked differences between the San Antonio of his teenage years and today. “These days, Nik (artistic collaborator Nik Soupé) and I are free to create as much art ...

Cody Davenport – The Sho ...

San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo 2021   Let’s get the bad news out of the way right from the get-go, shall we? Contrary to what you may have heard from friends, colleagues, or certain political figures running for office, 2021 is not magically going to see the end of the pandemic, at least not for a few more months. There will still be masks and Zoom calls and daily case counts on the news. But it’s not all doom and gloom. It looks like there are vaccines right around the corner (and who doesn’t enjoy a good shot in the arm?) and, with luck, many of the annual events we had learned to take for granted before 2020 will begin making comebacks, albeit cautiously. One such event will be the 2021 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, ...

Jose Amador – The Music ...

There is no disputing that 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. Start with the virus, with its masks and social distancing and closures of, well, basically everything. Add in murder hornets; dust storms from the Sahara; wildfires in Australia, California, and loads of other places; more hurricanes than there are letters in the alphabet; and, of course, politics, and we’d all pretty much like to just skip ahead now to 2021. But there are several groups of individuals and businesses that have been hit particularly hard by the Covid-related events of this year, and these include restaurants, entertainment venues, and the musicians and performers who depend on these events and venues for their living. Into this latter category ...

E. Loren Meeker – Living ...

Spare a thought, if you will, for your humble magazine feature writer as he navigates the treacherous shoals of our Covid-infested world in the endless search for the most insightful and entertaining personalities here in the Dominion and across San Antonio. It means conducting interviews while wearing a mask, searching from one interview venue to the next for an open lobby or restaurant dining room (FYI: Hotel Emma bar and lobby are closed to all but paying guests), and, for the past several months, beginning every interview with the same question: “So, how has the virus changed your life?” In recent months, we’ve replayed some version of this conversation with an Olympic track coach, a prominent restaurateur, a symphony conductor, ...

Church Watkins – The Mea ...

November is a generally thankful month. Its arrival in Texas brings a full measure of relief, seasoned with a dash of hope, if not of the political or epidemiological variety this time around, then at least the meteorological kind. As temperatures dip into the comfortable range for the first time in months, we watch with glee as electric bills no longer require second mortgages and we get to once again make lighthearted fun of our friends and relatives up north. But it’s also at this time of year that we pause to reflect on, and give thanks for, the contributions and sacrifices of our neighbors who have served in one (or in occasional cases, more than one) branch of the U.S. military. Veteran’s Day is officially November 11th, but here ...

Chef Andrew Weissman – L ...

“Throughout my business career, I’ve always planned for a rainy day,” says Chef Andrew Weissman, almost certainly San Antonio’s best-known practitioner of the culinary arts. “I just never imagined that all the rain would fall on the same day” Our conversation—which takes place in the otherwise empty dining room of Signature restaurant—went almost immediately to the coronavirus pandemic and its likely impact on the restaurant community, both here in San Antonio and nationwide. “Things are going to be drastically different,” Weissman continues. “Almost like a massive forest fire that burns down the old trees to promote new growth. I think restaurants that were teetering on the edge are going to get swept away. With that ...

Troy Peters – The Sound ...

My first exposure to Troy Peters was his presentation at the 2016 TEDxSanAntonio conference, during which he and several student members of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA) offered a compelling lesson in how the performance of music can serve as a metaphor for leadership and for life. Troy has been Music Director and Conductor of YOSA since 2009, when he left a fourteen-year position with the Vermont Youth Orchestra to come to the Alamo City. The journey from Greenock, Scotland (where Troy as born) to San Antonio, Texas has been an interesting one, replete with education, accomplishment, and the breadth of experience one would expect from someone who travels the world teaching and performing orchestral music. But first things ...

Rose Monday – Going the ...

A few months back—before words like coronavirus and Covid19 became a part of everyone’s vernacular and daily life—I had the pleasure of interviewing Rose Monday for this issue of The Dominion magazine. Indeed, by late February I had managed to get a few articles ahead on interviews, which turned out to be a good thing, what with the social distancing that became the norm starting in mid-March. What Rose and I did not yet realize at that time—though it was certainly becoming at least a plausible possibility—was that the 2020 Olympic Games, originally scheduled for this July, would end up being postponed, along with every other sporting event we’ve come to take for granted. That’s a pretty big piece of a context for this story, ...

Doc Watkins – Calling th ...

So what exactly is the story with the cardboard box full of rubber chickens? Full disclosure: I confess that I’ve wondered about this ever since the first time I visited Jazz, TX nearly two years ago and noticed the box on stage tucked discreetly beneath the baby grand piano. And though I’ve waited two years to get my answer, it didn’t occur to me to ask club owner and house bandleader Brent “Doc” Watkins this question until near the end of our conversation. But answer it he did, after a meandering discussion about how an Oregon native made his way to San Antonio and what made him want to start the area’s first true jazz club in a city known for, well, lots of other things. Doc Watkins hails originally from the Portland, Oregon ...