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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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Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — sassy gay Blue Balls included

By Joel Luks

Artsy fun awaits you this coming weekend with events such as a witty play about holiday magic, a musical performance crowned by royalty, a dark spiral into the sinful world ...


Up To Speed Video

Too much text fest? Avoid surgery from smartphone overuse with these tips

By Joel Luks

With smartphones and mobile devices becoming larger and larger — hello, iPhone 6 — more people are in danger of developing symptoms in their hands that, if not treated, can progress into ...


CultureMap Romance

Speechless TV news anchor gets romantic surprise of a lifetime in fairy tale setting

By Joel Luks

It was a typical Friday night for KHOU Channel 11 morning news anchor Lily Jang and her hunky beau, chef Kevin Bryant of Eleven XI restaurant — until something special happened ...


Party Time

Artsy friends and philanthropists turn out for elegant birthday party that's one to remember

By Joel Luks

The cake? An Italian cream monster so moist you could take a bath in it. The décor? Chic silver and black to complement the charming gent that the event ...


Calendar Closeup

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

By Joel Luks

On tap this week is a mega art sale, a wine wholesale shop-a-thon, a twinkling tour that celebrates Houston's iconic past, a performance in which Manischewitz and Santa play ...


Not Welcome — For Now

Bill Cosby furor hits Houston: Symphony cancels upcoming show, but plans to reschedule alleged rapist

By Joel Luks

One of Bill Cosby's most memorable lines on The Cosby Show was: "I'm so good, I don't even know what to do with myself." The then-lovable father ...


Will Wok for Food

Young professionals Iron Chef-style throwdown answers question: Where's the beef?

By Joel Luks

We've seen chef Donald Chang cracking jokes and busting a move while cooking and entertaining guests. But the Nara restaurant owner was serious nom nom business as he and ...


Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — the Secret Sandwich included

By Joel Luks

It's inconceivable to think that we are indeed in December. That means time is of the essence as you get your ducks in a row for the gift-giving season ...


Calendar Closeup

Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — Houston's best Holiday Lighting included

By Joel Luks

What's on your list of things for which you are thankful? On mine is you, the reader, who week after week indulges me by poring over this column of ...


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 ...


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