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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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Whatever Floats

Quick change of party venue introduces guests to creative EaDo lab where anything is possible

By Joel Luks

Quick on their feet, the Houston Arts Alliance crew decided that moving this party from the Buffalo Bayou Silos to Houston Makerspace was the right thing to do as precipitation ...


Up To Speed Video

Houston's baking queen shows off her gluten-free dessert secrets: Let them eat (good) cake!

By Joel Luks

Aunt Bertha is gluten free. Uncle Albert is gluten free. And even your second cousin once removed, Sven, has decided that gluten is a huge evil that's the cause ...


Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — Discovery Green's Field of Lights included

By Joel Luks

On tap this week is a local art market, a street art festival, a crawl to cool places in the city, a fantastical installation and a piano whiz proving there ...


100 Years and Counting

A new single gals' paradise? Dapper gents dominate Urban Green young professionals party scene

By Joel Luks

Planning outdoor events does come with risks. Will the weather gods cooperate or will they unleash their wrath upon unsuspecting revelers? It turns out that Urban Green young professionals could ...


CultureMap & KHOU

A 100-foot-long lobster roll?! Big as Texas sandwich will be created — and eaten — in Houston

By Joel Luks

What's made out of 80 pounds of Maine lobster, eight gallons of mayo and 70 pounds of dough? While this sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen, the ...


Chefs Get Fresh

Houston's best chefs get fresh at an unforgettable dinner and a top restaurant shuts down for the night

By Joel Luks

Chef Dylan Murray of Benjy's and Local Foods must have summoned some sort of vegan voodoo to create his gnocchetti with cauliflower cream, butter beans and broccoli rabe, the ...


Houston's Future Plans

Want to see the plans for Houston's future? New vision for the city being laid out by power players

By Joel Luks

How to change Houston's image from a city where someone comes to make a living to a place where one wants to live? With such a charge in mind ...


Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — sex machine composer tribute included

By Joel Luks

On the agenda this week is a chat about the newest trend in artistic endeavors, a concert that celebrates one busy musical daddy, a dance performance that tickles the imagination ...


Hollywood In Houston

Hollywood rolls into Houston for a red carpet night: It's paparazzi and stars at Cinema Arts Fest opener

By Joel Luks

With the red carpet rolled out and a clique of local paparazzi huddling outside the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the scene was all Hollywood for the opening soiree of ...


The CultureMap Interview

Leading the good fight: Oscar winner explains how America can get rid of racism — once and for all

By Joel Luks

At 78 years old, Louis Gossett Jr. says he feels better than ever — both physically and spiritually. The actor and founder of The Eracism Foundation, best known for his roles ...


Up To Speed Video

Professional dancers with crazy high leg kicks inspire young girls: Don't forget to smile!

By Joel Luks

Classy, elegant and inspiringly precise . . . those are words that accurately describe the women who comprise the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. The dance troupe has been dazzling audiences with family-friendly ...


Calendar Closeup

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

By Joel Luks

Enjoying the best time of the year in Houston? Don't waste these idyllic temperatures by staying home. Instead, get out and enjoy a walk for your health, a fair ...


World Renowned Orchestra

Historic Berlin Wall concert brings a president to the Houston Symphony: The sounds of freedom

By Joel Luks

Roaring applause and multiple standing ovations saluted the historic Houston debut of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under the direction of notable maestro Riccardo Chailly. The orchestra, one of the oldest ...


Giant Penis Party?

Is that a giant penis? Wild art party gives the middle finger to traditional stuffy galas

By Joel Luks

Let's just say that the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art gives a playful middle finger to the traditional stuffy black-tie gala, evident from Jeff Kalina's outfit — which ...


To serve and protect

Superheroes and celebs take a bite out of crime at record-setting gala

By Joel Luks

While Houston gets a superhero thumbs up thanks to its economic standing as a national leader in job growth, there's a much darker alter ego that Crime Stoppers executive ...


Ultimate Southern Home

The ultimate Southern home: Brother-sister builders make a dream almost reality in West U

By Joel Luks

A house isn't a home unless you feel as though you could drop your everyday stuff on the floor, sink into a comfy couch and cozy up with family ...


Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events with international flair

By Joel Luks

On the itinerary this week is a hilarious opera, a popular conference in which quilts rule, the beginning of a cultural and literary binge, a Día de los Muertos ...


One day at a time

Team Jellybean: Besties unite for million dollar walk to fight an unexplainable disease

By Joel Luks

While some girls prattle on about the cutest boy in class, the in vogue fashion trends or the latest One Direction mega hit, two 10-year-old besties quip about how low ...


Up To Speed Video

Lions of the sea: New exhibit lets visitors touch live sharks and track them on Twitter

By Joel Luks

Chris Fischer had a few close calls with what he calls the "lions of the ocean." The rugged man of the sea who's better known as the host of ...


Insider's Guide to Monet

Insider's Guide to the terrific new Monet exhibition: 11 can't-miss paintings that redefine Impressionist master's work

By Joel Luks

While the public at large may have fallen in love with any iteration of Claude Monet's sensual depictions of water lilies, art connoisseurs know a dirty little secret about ...


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