In 1997, Chef Hok Chin moved to New York City from Hong Kong, where he’d been in training with some of the city’s finest chefs since age 14. Though his culinary talents were already formidable, the ambitious young chef faced a hurdle he couldn’t simply spatula himself over: the English language. Undaunted, he headed back to work the humblest kitchen positions and scrabbled his way back to the top at establishments such as Tavern on the Green, The Mark Hotel, and most recently, La Caravelle. In 2010, the multinational gourmet teamed up with nightlife impresario Brian Rosenberg, and the duo’s new venture, Sugar Dining Den and Social Club, drove Joanne Starkey of the New York Times to rave, “The food is delicious—much better than it has to be—and the service is excellent.”
Something between a nightclub and a fine-dining establishment, Sugar immediately immerses its guests in a world of bright lights, pulsing beats, and an arrestingly modern architectural scheme that sets a decorative forest of tree branches beneath a looming vaulted ceiling. After a dinner of gourmet fusion cuisine, such as Pacific Rim skirt steak with green chili potatoes and hand-cut sweet potato fries with maple-chipotle barbecue sauce, the eating area transforms into a dance floor soundtracked by some of today’s most popular DJs. The cocktail list keeps the party rolling late into the night with charmingly titled offerings such as the Black and White Cookie and the Swedish Fish.
At Vanguard Dental, dentists Jackie Shayani and Camilo Achury each harness more than 22 years of experience to protect and enhance area grins. Dedicated to patient comfort, the staff takes mouths by the hand, and walks them step-by-step through treatments, whether they seek the smile-aligning services of Invisalign or the shine-boosting power of a routine cleaning or Zoom teeth whitening. The friendly office also helps perfect each burrito-trap with implants, veneers, and crowns, as well as tooth-colored fillings that hide evidence of cavities without attracting unwanted attention from metal detectors or lonely Geiger-counter enthusiasts.
As founder and managing director, Dr. Shayani practices dentistry part time in order to pursue philanthropy projects that include working with community and charity organizations by day and fighting the crime-laden cotton-candy industry by night. The office's clinical director, Camilo Achury, uses his continuing education to ensure the most advanced care for his patients, and remains an active force inside the dental community by serving on the Queens County Dental Society's board of directors.
Decision Nutrition president Karen Gilbert treats every client who walks in her door with reverence, as she believes each one to be a warrior who has made the decision to overcome his or her own physical obstacles through the transformative power of nutritional health. Karen's accomplishments include a masters degree in nutrition from NYU and a dietetic residency at Mount Sinai Hospital, a resumé that has prompted media mainstays such as Fox News and Oxygen magazine to enlist her expertise during their coverage of important health-related topics. The center's staff of registered dietitians and certified dietitian nutritionists shares Karen's philosophy of healthier living through healthier habits, and they share nutritional advice tailored to each individual client, forging a bond of trust and collaboration. The team works together to help clients with a broad range of health and lifestyle goals including losing weight, alleviating symptoms of medical conditions, and refraining from eating through their noses.
ModernSmile's founder and head DDS Dr. Barbara Wachs has whitened the teeth of more than 10,000 clients over the course of her career, which has included appearances on QVC selling aftercare products. During in-office whitening treatments, clients kick back in plush chairs while Dr. Wachs protects lips and gums with a barrier material, then coats teeth with a patented whitening formula. When positioned beneath a UV-free laser light, the gel begins to activate, brightening teeth and kicking out coffee stains so they can do what they do best?make seventh-grade Constitution projects look legit. As a preferred Invisalign provider, Dr. Wachs is also able to nudge teeth into more aesthetic positions with the use of clear, custom trays. Both of these treatments take place in the confines of a modern dentist?s office complete with low-lit lamps, overstuffed couches, and spa-like accents.
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Further Fitness trainers Jamie Dreyer and Maribel Torres have made it their mission to "dispel . . . myths and old-wives tales" about fitness. Inspired by their backgrounds in youth sports, exercise-science studies, and a chance encounter with fitness godfather Jack LaLanne, they have created an effective, challenging, and exciting program focused on the fundamentals of boosting metabolisms and muscle mass. Their stripped-down studio builds bodies with simple tools, such as kettlebells, battling ropes, and sandbags. To stimulate the cardiovascular system, Jamie and Maribel might have students haul a weight sled and pull in equal amounts of physiology and anatomy knowledge. Sessions are held in semiprivate and group settings, and an athletic-strength program devotes itself exclusively to training high-school-level athletes and any toddlers that can run a decent 40-yard dash or live in the requisite angst in which high schoolers often live.
At Drybar, a pair of scissors or hair-coloring foil is nowhere to be found. That?s because the business?s founder, Alli Webb, opened the shop strictly for blowouts after her in-home business skyrocketed. Featured extensively in the media, each of the more than 25 white-hued, airy shops revolves around a center bar where customers sit for around 45 minutes as stylists blow-dry, straighten, and curl their hair. From a menu booklet, clients select a cocktail-themed hairstyle, such as The Mai Tai, which imparts beachy waves, and The Manhattan, which streamlines locks with a sleek finish that mimics the straight lines of downtown New York and can be outfitted with a tiny doorman who hails cabs for you. The staff at Drybar also crafts updos, travels on location for an additional fee, offers high-end products and tools available for purchase, and tallies bar tabs so that customers can pay for multiple blowouts at once.