Wardour Studios Hollywood Stars Gala Academy Awards Oscars® Viewing Party

Wardour Studios Hollywood Stars Gala Academy Awards Oscars® Viewing Party

Wardour Studios Hollywood Stars Gala Academy Awards Oscars® Viewing Party was a success as many celebrities walked the red carpet, enjoyed a hosted VIP reception then dined on a four-course sit-down dinner while viewing the 90th Academy Awards.

The Hollywood Stars Gala Oscars® event was held on Sunday, March 4, inside the elegant ballroom of the newly completed Beverly Hills Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Celebrities and guests filled the ballroom in support of the evening’s theme “Women in Entertainment.”


It was so great to see so many celebrities, producers, music industry people, guest support this fabulous event, and especially gratifying to see everyone here stepping up to bring female filmmakers onto equal standing, as they should have always been” said Steven Nia, Chairman and CEO of Wardour Studios. “We here at Wardour Studios are committed to aggressively keep the movement going forward as the industry enters this new era.

Tables in the ballroom were decorated with gorgeous floral arrangements by George Ortega, Creative Floral Director of “Square Root,” which matched the elegance of the evening only the Waldorf Astoria could provide.

During the hosted VIP Cocktail Reception guests were able to catch glimpses of the Oscars® red carpet arrivals at the Dolby Theater on the screens around the room. While waiting for the Oscars® ceremony to begin, guests had the chance to smile and pose for the camera in the Socal Mirror Photo Booth, creating a memory of the nights’ celebration for them to take home.

When the Academy Awards hosted by Jimmy Kimmel started, those in attendance were invited to indulge in an exquisite dinner created by the Waldorf Astoria’s celebrity chef Jean-George, while watching the winners receive their Oscars® on large screens located around the ballroom.

Celebrities attending, as well as others, also received, collectively, over one million units of W1 Coin, the world’s first entertainment backed cryptocurrency, at the Hollywood Stars Gala.

W1 Coin is a game changing innovation in financing, producing and distributing entertainment projects that will empower and will give industry professionals, and consumers alike, a powerful tool to better exploit and enhance their entertainment experience,” Nia said.


Announced at the event was one of Wardour Studio’s newest Hollywood China co-productions, “Crossroads to Shaolin”. It is the story of a young American boxer who discovers how to be the true champion that he is at a Shaolin temple, helping him to go on to become world champion. Lee Baker is writing and directing the film, with Stephen Sobisky as visual effects supervisor, and Dan Katzman as producer.

Steven and I are extremely grateful for all the wonderful participants, this evening, and we hope to be working with many of them soon”, said Angelina Leo, COO of Wardour Studios.

**Photographers: Maury Phillips & Jaime Lim

Teddi Mellencamp & Family Attend the Care Bears & CREAM Kick-off Event

Teddi Mellencamp & Family Attend the Care Bears & CREAM Kick-off Event

CREAM joins the Care Bears’ Colors of Caring celebration by creating ice cream sandwiches covered in Good Luck Bear clovers and filled with scoops of super-premium ice cream.

As part of their 2018 “Colors of Caring” campaign, the Care Bears partnered with the celebrated ice cream sandwich franchise CREAM (“Cookies Rule Everything Around Me”) for two exlusive ice cream sandwiches that launched on March 5th, available exlusively for this month only at select CREAM locations across the country.

To celebrate, CREAM’s North Holywood location hosted a kick-off event with games, giveaways, and celebrity appearance from Teddi Mellencamp from “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” on BRAVO along with her family.

Make sure to visit CREAM’s website Here for additional information on locations and follow them on Instagram: @cream_nation

Costero Provides A Taste of California, Just Minutes From LAX

Costero Provides A Taste of California, Just Minutes From LAX

Costero is a California bistro and bar that provides a wide range of delectable small plates, comforting soups and flavorful main courses that will have guests coming back for more. The man to credit the delicious dishes and wine pairings is Executive Chef Collin Smelser, an East Coast native who has embraces all good things that come from California farms and vineyards.

A true hidden gem so close to LAX, Costero is perfect for locals, groups of all sizes and solo travelers alike. Speaking of those large groups, the restaurant offers two fantastic options: one semi-private room that seats up to 10, and one private room complete with AV equipment and collapsible wall for up to 25 guests (pictured below). Both spaces are complimentary to use when reserved and the menu can be pre-selected.

Photo Credit: Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles

Our resident Food + Lifestyle Editor, Ely recently had the honor of experiencing a private media dinner which showcased Chef Collin’s tack for transforming casual ingredients into gorgeously and meticulously plated must try dishes.

First Course

Bellwether Farms Ricotta & County Line Harvest Bloomsdale Spinach Tortellini
Paired with: Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc

Second Course

Smoked Brandt Beef Short RIb
Paired with: Daou Cabernet Sauvignon From Paso Robles

Surprise Course! 

Olive Cake With Vanilla Bean & Candied Blood Oranges
Paired with: a Hefeweizen with an orange slice

Third Course

California Cheese Plate
Paired with: Justin Obtuse Port-Style Wine

More About Chef Smelser

Three years prior to joining Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel, Chef Smelser was executive sous and executive chef at the luxurious Chase Park Plaza, a luxury high-rise hotel in Downtown St. Louis, Mo. Highly accomplished, Chef Smelser’s wide repertoire of cooking includes infusing casual fare with deluxe flair and designing thrilling haute cuisine masterpieces, all with a definite Southern California focus on fresh, local ingredients with bold, inviting flavors. Every day he’s is in the kitchen, a new, stunning dish is created.

“We are trying to transform people’s perception of hotel restaurants,” says Chef Smelser. “When people come to dine at Costero or to grab a bite at the bar, we want them to have an elevated experience with gourmet dishes that they wouldn’t expect at a hotel. Instead of overwhelming diners with a huge menu selection, we have taken a different approach by carefully curating an exclusive menu with options that will entice one’s taste buds.” (Originally quoted from Food Newsfeed)

Photo Credit: Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles

The Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles has recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation which included plush updates to their 802 guest rooms and suites, heated outdoor pool, 24/7 fitness center and the Sheraton Club. SPG members enjoy 24/7 access to the Sheraton Club Lounge which includes complimentary continental breakfasts, even hors d’oeuvres and panoramic views of LAX. Guests can also take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary shuttle service to and from the Los Angeles International Airport.

So be sure to recommend at the Sheraton Gateway the next time clients want to stay close to the airport and/or you’re in the mood of a delicious dinner after landing.

Costero California Bar & Bistro located at Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel
6101 West Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045

For reservations, contact: (310) 642-4820 or reserve online at www.sheratonlax.com/costero.

Ely Anne Vedar

Food & Lifestyle Editor

While California feels like it’s always been her home, Hawaii, San Francisco, Las Vegas and the Philippines are just a few places Ely Anne has lived thus cultivating her lifelong appetite for finding, trying and sharing new adventures, especially through food and wellness activities. She loves how food can always bring people together – anywhere, any time – and that’s what fuels her passion for public relations and marketing. Ely finds it invigorating to have a hand in seeing brands thrive in their community by using her PR, marketing and event production skills. She is also a regular Editor for SoCal Magazine and other digital publications.

Black Elephant Coffee

Black Elephant Coffee

Black Elephant Coffee – The latest coffee shop in Atwater Village.

“Support the community. Respect Nature. Drink good coffee. Join the tribe.”

This is the motto painted on the wall of the newly opened Black Elephant Coffee in Atwater Village.
Black Elephant Coffee owners are married couple Heidy Fu and Gonzalo
Otarola. They are also the proprietors of Simply Coffee in Burbank. The
partners are both from Chile, where the coffee culture pervades every area
of life. According to Heidy, in South America family and friends get together
and spend time talking and sharing over coffee. Being thousands of
miles from their family, Heidy says that their SoCal friends have become
extended kin. Their coffee shops have become a meeting place for many
people who are searching for a spot to drink coffee—or tea—with their tribe
in a neighborhood spot.



Why Black Elephant Coffee?
“Elephants are community-driven animals who are always looking out for the herd,”
Heidy says. “And this is what we want to create at the shop:
moments you share with family and friends.”
Elephants are also part of the natural ecosystem that includes coffee. In
order to further their personal connection, Black Elephant Coffee has
symbolically adopted an elephant through the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). A
portion of the shop’s proceeds will support WWF.
In addition to serving locally roasted Stumptown Coffee, Black Elephant
Coffee in Atwater Village also serves a wide selection of loose-leaf organic
teas. The all-organic food and snacks section features grab-and- go items
including vegan and gluten-free options that include pastries, sandwiches
and wraps. Visit the website for free monthly community workshops. Some
upcoming topics include nutrition, feng shui, painting, and more.

Where to Find Black Elephant Coffee Atwater Village
Black Elephant Coffee
3195 Glendale Blvd, Atwater Village
(323) 486 7848


Headed to Vegas? Palms Casino Resort Introduces Apex Social Club & Camden Cocktail Lounge

Headed to Vegas? Palms Casino Resort Introduces Apex Social Club & Camden Cocktail Lounge

Las Vegas has long been an easy, quick playground destination for Angelenos and Southern Californians alike. We love their nightlife, endless attractions, cuisine, and glamour, but mostly how the city constantly works hard at keeping things modern and ahead of the curve in offerings of entertainment. Palms Casino Resort has just about completed a $485 million revitalization plan of its property to include the new Apex Social Club and Camden Cocktail Lounge due to open in mid May 2018. These new concepts were created by Clique Hospitality’s Andy Masi, and nightlife partners Ryan Labbe and Jason “JRoc” Craig

As we redevelop Palms from top to bottom including our most iconic spaces, it only makes sense to partner with nightlife leaders Clique Hospitality to help bring this vision to life,” said Jon Gray, General Manager of Palms Casino Resort.

APEX Social Club, located in the space formerly known as Ghostbar, has long held the unofficial title as the best view in Las Vegas. APEX Social Club will capitalize on the unrivaled 180-degree view while reinterpreting the space and turning the 8,000-square-foot space into an open-air boutique nightclub.

Trendy, warm finishes accompanied by sounds from local and national DJ’s will greet guests upon arrival to the 55th floor venue. Guests will also be surrounded by a number of one-of-a-kind art pieces, which will serve as a focal point to the room, creating a sophisticated, upscale vibe. To complement the stunning view and venue, guests will be able to experience specialty-crafted cocktails, age-old favorites or indulge in tableside bottle service, all while capturing peering down on the city below. You know what they say; a good view never goes out of style.

Camden Cocktail Lounge, located adjacent to the main entrance, is another reimagined venue. A dynamic cocktail lounge at its core, Camden Cocktail Lounge will focus on mind-blowing cocktails, all presented in a distinctive over-the-top manner and with flair unlike anything seen before. Bartenders, all of them masters of mixology in their own right, will put their own whimsical spin on beloved classics or create new favorites for guest’s right before their very eyes.

Guests will be able to imbibe in an environment that successfully toes the line of classic and modern decor. The attention to detail inside Camden Cocktail Lounge will be second-to-none. Programming will change daily with a mixture of live music and DJ-driven sounds.

These are legendary venues, and if the walls could talk, you would hear some amazing stories,” Craig said. “We’re going to add a few chapters to those stories.

A lot of people miss the heyday of Vegas when it was about the room and the energy and not just the talent,” Labbe said. “We’re bringing those days back.

Also added to the group is Eric Hobbie, the mixologist stirring up the new signature cocktails for soon to open APEX Social Club and Camden Cocktail Lounge.  He’s been tapped as the brand’s Corporate Intoxicologist where he engaged to create unique, signature cocktails that represent Clique and their respected cocktail programs across venues from Vegas to San Diego, by highlighting creativity through mixology. He is a Certified Beer Server, Certified Sommelier, CRT Tequila Specialist, Graduate of the Academy of Spirits, and is Bar smart certified, insuring Clique guests receive nothing but the best. Hobbie is thrilled to be part of the team and looks forward to making his imprint on the high-end brand.


Artist in Residence: Rebecca Niederlander

Artist in Residence: Rebecca Niederlander

“History, context, one’s particular experience with a material, all play a tremendous role in the connection made between an artist and their viewer.”

Rebecca Niederlander is a sculptor and installation artist interested in revealing cosmic truth. Through contemplation, and a thoughtful manipulation of materials, Niederlander perceives clues to the subtle mapping of a larger order. The artist uses these hard-won insights to construct a new way of communicating –  a new visual language.

A St. Louis native, and graduate of both UCLA and CCA (California College for the Arts), Niederlander works out of her Eagle Rock, California studio. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including a group show of Los Angeles artists at the 2015 Venice Biennale.

KN: Have you always thought of yourself as an artist? When did you first start making/creating?RN: Yes, I have always thought of myself as an artist.  It is in the way I approach the world, and the way I communicate within it.  When I was seven years old I won a coloring contest and received a seven foot tall stocking filled with toys. I have always been a maker. I realized early that my way of seeing the world was actually different than many people.  That has been a good thing, and a hard thing as well.  Being a creative professional involves finding ways to communicate in the internal language one has.  Community is created through communication, and having spent my entire life sorting out the best ways to do such.

KN:  I discovered in an artist statement about your work that you speak of “interrogating the materials lovingly.” How does this thoughtful interrogation lead to an artistic breakthrough?

RN: I consider myself a materialist in the truest sense of the word.  I look at materials as a significant part of conveying whatever the specific message is for a given work.  Certain materials, like paper, give a very intentional read to a work, while steel, obviously, will lend itself to wildly different reads.  History, context, one’s particular experience with a material, all play a tremendous role in the connection made between an artist and their viewer.  I take that connection to heart in the initial stages of developing a project by working a material and putting it through its paces.  I’ve had projects that I think will work really well in a particular medium, only to discover through exploration that something else is significantly superior.


KN: Your newest series incorporates the use of salvaged wood pieces adopted from wood workers’ shop refuse piles. As part of the works, you interview the maker about their process, and explore how the intent of the work is imbued – even absorbed – into the cast-off material. Can you describe this series a bit more?

RN: The current series involves making pilgrimages to wood-workers shops, and interviewing them about their spiritual practice, after which I take their scraps and combine them to make new sculptural works.  I also have a degree in journalism, and have extensive experience with interviewing and human-interest stories.  My interviews are off the record, and completely about honoring the particular experiences of the wood workers.  Anyone involved with a particular medium, and I’ll go out on a limb here to give a special shout-out to those in the designated craft mediums, has a particular fondness of their medium which has a lover’s-type relationship to it. They have grown with it, and understand it in the way an old couple does.  As someone who varies their medium over my own decades as an artist, I wanted to find a specific path to exploring the ways these creative professionals might have a spiritual connection to their material.

I am deeply committed to the idea that we are all in community with each other, and to finding the connection that creates the ability to be an empathetic person and a part of any community.  By honoring these people and the soul/ghosts of their work, and then honoring their scraps/trash/discards, and then creating new communities through the assembling of cast-offs into new and exciting works, I am visually describing what is possible for each of us when we connect with another.  Each of the sculptures in the series is totally unique.  They are connected by the materials, and my manipulation, but part of the rubric is that I can not alter the wood. No cutting is allowed.  Thus each element becomes a part of an unknown puzzle that must be solved in my studio.  I see interacting with other people in the same way.  Each connection is a puzzle to work out.

Katie Nartonis

Katie Nartonis is an art historian who specializes in West Coast Art + Design. As writer, curator, designer and film-maker Nartonis endeavors to tell untold stories of the artists and makers whose work contributes to the fabric of the larger California art scene. She serves as Art + Design Editor for SoCal Magazine.