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Joel Luks, head shot, column mug, April 2013

Joel Luks

Listings Editor

Arts/Entertainment, Food/Drink

Joel Luks, a native of Lima, Peru, moved to Toronto, Canada, upstate New York, and later Houston in a never ending quest for enlightenment through higher learning. A classically trained flutist at the Eastman School of Music and Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, Joel developed a love for the arts, arts education, and diverse cultural experiences.

Food and cooking became an obsession early in life, as his mother introduced him to perfectly cooked scrambled eggs. The curiosity of how ingredients metamorphose into delectable dishes translated into a fetish for learning and experimenting with different cuisines, flavors and techniques.

After working at McDonald's through high school, Joel transitioned slowly into a vegan lifestyle. While abstaining from animal products, he reinvented his definition of a meal and developed alternatives — sometimes nutritious, sometimes sinfully indulgent. Joel takes a personal interest in developing vegan recipes that satisfy the vegetable lover and the carnivore alike, challenging the stereotype that vegans and rabbits share similar sustenance. His concoctions can be found on Vegan Good Eats

Joel joined the CultureMap contributor team in May 2010. In January 2011, he joined the CultureMap editorial staff as the Listings Editor.

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Up To Speed Video

Stay cool in Houston heat with healthy mom-approved recipes from foodie CEO that taste good, too!

By Joel Luks

While on a quest to feed her children healthy eats, Lisa Pounds took an extra step: She founded Green Plate Foods as a company that exemplified that nutritious and delicious ...


CultureMap Video

Houston's funniest woman twerks the holidays in summer musical romp

By Joel Luks

Noel Bowers is a salacious Easter bunny who puts Miley Cyrus' twerking action to shame. Kyle Sturdivant plays a flamboyant giant Thanksgiving turkey with an anal fixation. And Greg Dean ...


Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — food festivals included

By Joel Luks

On tap this week is a frisky fruit festival, a Budapest-style anniversary dinner with Yankee flair, a celebration of cruelty-free living, a hilarious play that takes on a serious subject ...


CultureMap Video

Shocking twist: A wife encourages husband to sleep with her best friend — it's not just another Saturday night

By Joel Luks

Houston playwright Abby Koenig went through what many women experience when trying to start a family: Getting pregnant wasn't easy. And such trials and tribulations roused crazy thoughts. How ...


Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — music marathon included

By Joel Luks

On this week's itinerary are a big art exhibition, a musical marathon (no running required), a winged bike ride, a fiery art auction-cum-raucous dance fete and a dramatic film ...


Up To Speed Video

The Corpse Flower Hunk has moved on to live python feeding: It's a rough mouse's life at HMNS

By Joel Luks

So much for chicken or beef. Among the desirable menu options that have several diners going wild at one institution are mouse, crickets and some veggies. Friday Feeding Frenzy at ...


Party Watch

A horde of young women join a hot young professionals group with a fashionable mission — and pop-up style

By Joel Luks

What: 11th Annual Women of Wardrobe Membership Drive. Where: Dress for Success Houston. The 411: Retail therapy and volunteering opportunities were the rational for this fashionable fete, for which Dress ...


Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: 5 (plus) don't-miss events — Michael Jackson tribute included

By Joel Luks

On the itinerary this week are a sultry burlesque show Vegas-style, a play that has been the talk of the theater town, a festival that celebrates people being themselves, an ...


Up To Speed

A bug's life: Giant insects take over the Houston Zoo, creating quite a scene

By Joel Luks

It may feel like it, but rest assured that what you're about to experience is not friendly mayhem from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Upon entering the Houston Zoo ...


Theater Fight Breaks Out

Theater fight breaks out: TUTS forced to cancel controversial Hands on a Hardbody after legal order

By Joel Luks

What should have been a musical about a competition that fuels hopes and dreams has morphed into a pissing contest in which everyone loses. TUTS Underground received a legal order ...


Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — wild Britney Spears impostor included

By Joel Luks

Oh, Houston summer. How we love to hate you. I say let's embrace our sultry alter ego and shout its arrival from the roof tops with this week's ...


CultureMap Video

Miraculous music: Scandalous masterpiece set in post-apocalyptic brothel shakes up classical world

By Joel Luks

I'm always in the mood for Chinese. Who isn't? My friends howled at my expense. I was humiliated. But looking back at my misguided assertion, I can't ...


Sound Advice

A dad's hope: Legendary violinist and son unite for special Father's Day weekend at Texas Music Fest

By Joel Luks

Words of wisdom or tough love? "I, Leon Spierer, will be the first one who will take you out of this orchestra if things don't work," one caring father ...


Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — flamenco and book sale included

By Joel Luks

On tap this week is a huge book sale, a tour of lovely floral oases, a young professional's party that safeguards Houston's main urban waterway, a fiery dance ...


Up To Speed

Dreams on wheels: The best hardbody money can buy makes Texas debut in Phish musical

By Joel Luks

A sparking hardbody with a price tag of more than $120,000 may be at the center of TUTS Underground's season finale production, but a look under the hood ...


CultureMap Video

Texas Music Fest opens with special concert: Recently deceased Houston icon honored by Mahler magic

By Joel Luks

One look at the repertoire for the opening concert of the Texas Music Festival and one can make one assertion: This is a music festival with attitude. Mahler's Symphony ...


CultureMap Video

Mysterious fireflies inspire a composer to take on crazy 21st century living: Slow down and listen

By Joel Luks

According to Native American folklore, fireflies are remnants of stars that fell from the heavens. A Japanese legend suggests that fireflies are the tears of the child of the moon ...


Houston Arts Shocker

Houston arts shocker: Dominic Walsh is stepping away, leaving future of groundbreaking dance troupe in doubt

By Joel Luks

Critics have described the works of Dominic Walsh Dance Theater as dynamic, impressive, blissful and groundbreaking, but the Houston-based dance maker who lends his name to the contemporary troupe needs ...


CultureMap Video

Inked in mystery: Hot-off-the-press summer exhibition explores hand-rolled ancient art

By Joel Luks

It has become fashionable to use a variant of the verse, "Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose," arguably Gertrude Steins' most quotable sentence, to imply that ...


Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: Stay cool with these five (plus) don't-miss indoor events

By Joel Luks

There's no question that we are starting to feel Houston's impending humid hell that's the next handful of months. While our bodies acclimate and you stock up ...


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