Chefs on Bravo's Top Chef and Top Chef Masters use it, Rachael Ray loves it, and Wolfgang Puck's Los Angeles Food and Wine event uses it exclusively. Its success stems from its simplicity—a knife and fork combined into one: the Knork. Knork founder Mike Miller stumbled onto this idea while on a date at a pizzeria. He was frustrated in his attempts to neatly eat his slice with a fork, and found a solution that serves as both a cutting and piercing device. Though at first glance it may look like a standard fork, the Knork's beveled edges and broadly curved outer tines can slice through fruit, pizza, vegetables, and fish without being so sharp as to endanger diners' fingers. The Knork line of elegant flatware extends to stainless steel spoons, knives, and serving utensils as well. The tableware comes in high-gloss, matte, or dual-toned finishes, and is ergonomically designed for maximal comfort.
Imaginary Designs' catalog of recycled and fused glass earrings, necklaces and bracelets, and jewelry-making kits offer a kaleidoscope of glittery accouterments. Adorn your ears with earrings that come in all shapes and sizes, including the butterscotch truffle ($14.95) and the green apple sparkle drops ($7.95), or tie your head and neck together with a matching earring and necklace set ($20.95–$54.95). For thematic self-decorating, peruse a plethora of product lines including the whimsical Signature Line and the Lost My Marbles! collection, which repurposes marbles for fashion and ensures heroism when faced with clumsy home invaders, or daring DIYers can determine their own bejeweled beautification with glass jewelry-making kits ($8.95–$13.95). The owners, a husband-and-wife team named Frank and Nancy, turn amateur artists into competent craftsmen with jewelry-making, crocheting, and algebra classes.
Led by Columbia-educated surgeon Dr. Susan Lovelle, the friendly staff of follicle exterminators at Axtell Plastic Surgery eradicates unwanted fuzzy regions with a relatively pain-free non-surgical treatment, which uses light energy to target pigment inside the hair follicle without damaging the surrounding skin. Take care of unwelcome face-fur with upper lip ($155), chin ($200), or neck ($200) treatments, or stun a would-be purse-snatcher with your newly non-hirsute under-arm ($400), bikini line ($450), lower back ($455), or lower leg ($455). Body bristle must be targeted during its re-growth phases for long-lasting no-hair-ness; Axtell normally recommends as many as six treatments on a given area. Fortunately, customers can double their derma de-furment by snagging two Groupons, ensuring their chosen body part will be rendered as sensuously slick as any well-margarined waterslide.
Curtis Crawford has tackled Barry Sanders and thrown a strike past George Brett—accomplishments all the more impressive considering he was never a professional athlete. The tackle happened in a high-school football game against Sanders's Wichita Northwest (Curtis played for Manhattan), and the strike happened when, as an adult, he participated in a Royals fantasy camp (Brett got a hit off the next pitch). Curtis has had a passion for sports his whole life, and even though he never pursued it as a career, it's had a huge influence on his professional path.
Curtis studied hotel and restaurant management at Kansas State, and over the years honed his chops at national institutions such as Applebee's and Taco Bell. But when the Village Restaurant in Newton went up for sale in 1994, he bought it. One of the first things he did was decorate—using, of course, the loads of sports memorabilia he'd collected over the years, including an autographed Joe Montana Chiefs jersey and an entire corner of George Brett relics. And in that spirit of timeless Americana, his menu gathers together everything from hotcakes and biscuits with gravy to chicken-fried steaks and chili cheeseburgers. There's even a burger named after the Newton High School Railers, topped with shredded cheddar, onion rings, barbecue sauce, and notes from girls who think it's cute.
At Luigi's Italian Restaurant, candles decorate each table and Italian music drifts through the room. You can steer chunks of fresh bread through olive oil while reading over the menu, which offers plenty of opportunities for twirling a fork or designing a stylish pasta wig. An appetizer of fried mozzarella might lead to a meal of spaghetti carbonara with bacon, eggs, and a white cream sauce. For dessert, Luigi's chefs roll out strawberry cheesecake, tiramisu, and other delicacies.