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The Culinary Institute of Amer ...

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) is the preeminent culinary college in the world, and the San Antonio campus at The Pearl is one of just three locations in the U.S. (the others being Hyde Park, New York and Napa Valley, California). Those of us fortunate enough to live in San Antonio have long known the Alamo City for the astonishing quality and diversity of its restaurants, but—just to make it official—UNESCO named San Antonio a Creative City of Gastronomy in October 2017, one of just two cities in the U.S. to be so honored. The San Antonio campus of the CIA opened in 2008, and it has since gained a well-deserved reputation for the quality of its instruction and the culinary innovation of its graduates. Notable local alumni ...

The Performance of a Lifetime

“I feel like I know a lot about the things you’ve accomplished,” I said to begin our interview at The Tobin Center, “but I don’t really know anything about who you are.” Sebastian Lang-Lessing has been Music Director and Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony since 2010, and his many career achievements and accolades are well documented on any number of web sites and magazine articles, hence the first half of my opening statement. The goal of this piece, though, was to learn a bit more about the maestro as a person. And so we started in the small town of Gelsenkirchen in northern Germany, a former mining town not far from the Dutch border, where Sebastian was born, the youngest of four, all of his siblings girls. The ...

Rob Wicall—A Life in the Mom ...

Imagine for a moment the paradox of being, for nearly two decades, one of the most well known, best loved personalities in your hometown. Now imagine that for that entire period of time, no one in your town has the slightest idea who you are. Sounds a little ridiculous, and yet this is the story of Rob Wicall, the man who served as The San Antonio Spurs Coyote mascot for the past sixteen years. And, while we’re busily pondering the irony of being one of the most famous guys in a city full of people who have no idea who you are, how do you even become a professional sports mascot? And what makes a person want to do that for a job? And what is the life of a full-time mascot like? Yeah, lots of questions, but let’s start at the ...

Debbie Perez – Living Wi ...

If it seems like every time you drive on the highways of San Antonio lately there are more and more cars around you, that’s not just your imagination. Recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau confirm that seven of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. are in Texas. And San Antonio tops the growth list for the state, with more than 24,200 new residents having come here in the past year alone. So, how best to make sense of the growing popularity of the Alamo City, where the city has come from, and where it’s headed in the coming years? Well, turns out one of our neighbors right here in the Dominion is Deborah Perez, a professional statistician and Ph.D. in Applied Demography, just the person to fill us in on what the future holds ...

Doug Moe – Living the Fa ...

A few months ago we did a piece in these pages about the life and achievements of former Spurs head coach Doug Moe and his wife Jane. Well, apparently the members of the National Basketball Coaches Association are readers of The Dominion magazine, because only a few weeks ago they voted to recognize Doug with the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented to him in Oakland during Game 2 of the NBA Final Series between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s a terrific and much deserved honor in recognition of Doug’s contributions to the game in general and, in particular, to his impact on the pace and style with which the game is played today. So, I asked, how were you notified of this auspicious ...

Manny Pelaez – Getting I ...

At one point in our conversation I asked Manny Pelaez to talk about the personal characteristics he believes account for the success in his legal and political career. “Most guys have hobbies—fishing, football, ranch work. I enjoy reading budgets and meeting minutes.” As unusual as that response sounds, it nicely encapsulates the complex individual who has represented the Eighth District (in which The Dominion is located) on San Antonio’s City Council since June of last year. However, understanding why this response makes sense requires a bit of context, which he was more than happy to provide during the rest of our discussion. Manuel (Manny) Pelaez came to San Antonio in 1992, following an itinerant childhood that included being ...

Lynette Aleman – In The ...

One of the great things about the two-plus years I’ve spent writing these interview articles for The Dominion magazine is getting to meet the many interesting folks who call the Dominion home. Some of you will know Lynette Aleman as an occasional arts writer for this very magazine, as well as the author of Girl About Town, whose musings on local culture and events adorn these pages from time to time. One thing you learn very quickly from talking with Lynette is that she is the artsy type, though by no means are her creative efforts limited to writing, as we will see shortly. She recalls growing up on the southeast side of the city during its period of rapid growth. It was there that she and her future husband Anthony met in high school ...