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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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Parting is such sweet sorrow

Young professionals celebrate masquerade style at Symphony after-party

By Joel Luks

What: Houston Symphony Young Professionals Backstage's "Star-crossed Masquerade: Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliet Concert + After Party." Where: Jones Hall and The State Bar and Lounge. The 411: The return of ...


Dance Studio Closes

Cutting-edge Houston dance company plans to close studio, end classes

By Joel Luks

It takes a lot of courage to look at yourself in the mirror, to be truthful, to acknowledge that something has to give, to tell the world that you've ...


What's in the water?

League City high school cleans up at Tommy Tunes thanks to Urinetown

By Joel Luks

The students and staff of Clear Springs High School must have been peeing in their pants as accolades — one after another after another — recognized their production of the quirky musical ...


Party Watch

Smarty pants young professionals get wet and wild — all in the name of being float champions

By Joel Luks

What: Rice Design Alliance's "Anything That Floats" Competition. Where: Sesquicentennial Park. The 411: With flowing ingenuity, much elbow grease and a little good luck, young professionals attempted to defy ...


Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — a love triangle in a bar included

By Joel Luks

Here's to another week teeming with plenty of outings to enrich your life. Make your days ahead adventurous with a presidentially endorsed secret documentary, a musical about love and ...


Rising Stars

Texas Music Festival draws a record number of applicants, setting up the gutsiest concerts yet

By Joel Luks

Without the Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival, Houston summers would suffer from a dearth of classical music concerts. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the month-long training program ...


Choose your own adventure

New digital project offers explorers the opportunity to create their own story

By Joel Luks

If you choose to go down this tunnel and into the dark alley, will you discover something extraordinary or will you encounter an assassin who's on a paid mission ...


Are you listening?

When the earth talks: Ground-breaking Hermann Park project brings the sounds of the planet to the surface

By Joel Luks

What if you could hear the temperature of the air? What if you could perceive what may be happening below the soil underneath your feet? What if the environment could ...


Up To Speed

An inside look at Houston Texans cheerleader culture: Ex cheerleader peels back the curtain in top stories

By Joel Luks

"Up To Speed" host Nicole Hickl shakes things up a bit in this edition of the Cadillac sponsored video series that zooms through the trending stories of the week. Hickl ...


Party Watch

Exotic grooves, Uchi food and a hookah lounge make this Asia Society party anything but conventional

By Joel Luks

What: Third Annual Spotlight Asia: Cocktails and Cultural Fusions Where: Asia Society Texas Center The 411: Tempting guests with the promise of a soiree sparkling with exotic moods, Spotlight Asia ...


Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — including the ultimate tiki party

By Joel Luks

On tap this week is a lineup of events that includes a lecture from a young man on a mission to spread a message of peace, a festival that takes ...


KHOU & CultureMap

The don't-miss events of the spring: Festivals, crawfish and art cars galore

By Joel Luks

Whatever you are into, Houston most likely hosts a festival for it. With spring on the horizon, the city is prime to bloom with things to do every single weekend ...


Social Scene

Houston Chamber Choir is wild about Harry at its record-setting gala

By Joel Luks

Priceless. That's the best way to describe the look on honoree Harry Webb's face when Houston Chamber Choir singers Sonja Bruzauskas and Lauren Pastorek, in darling 1920s flapper ...


Eye on FotoFest

Photographer uses montage to question the future of her homeland

By Joel Luks

Editor's note: From time to time, CultureMap will highlight remarkable works on view as part of the FotoFest Biennial 2014 "View From Inside: Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed ...


The Review is In

Disappointment morphs into French fun at raucous River Oaks Chamber Orchestra finale

By Joel Luks

Resist the urge to self indulge. I wish I could remember who made me write those words on the first page of my sheet music to Claude Debussy's Girl ...


Art Party

Graffiti art, wicked tunes take over fab party celebrating the second oldest art museum in Houston

By Joel Luks

A shot of Patrón or Cosmo? As a file of servers in jeans and black shirts splattered with streaks of neon paint offered liquid fuel as amuse bouches, some ...


Party Watch

Opera in the Heights reception celebrates new leadership and emerging talent

By Joel Luks

What: Opera in the Heights' Maestro Circle welcome reception for new executive director Stephanie Helms. Where: Home of Bill Baldwin and Joe Gonzalez. The 411: Another New Yorker moving to ...


Party Watch

Spring blooms at Bayou Bend young professionals garden party — Americana style with plenty of bubbly

By Joel Luks

What: Bubbly on the Bend. Where: Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens. What: With azaleas and champion trees in bloom, the grounds of Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens were awash with ...


Shopping Party

Foodies, fashionistas and celebrity bartenders mix up a good time at CityCentre shopping party

By Joel Luks

Much needed retail therapy was the excuse for a shopping soirée that had Houstonians flocking to the west side for "CityCentre's Night Out" presented by CultureMap Thursday, a ...


Best Weekend Events

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

By Joel Luks

Spring break is over, school is back in session and Houston events are in high gear. Get back into the swing of things with this week's lineup of CultureMap ...


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