We always enjoy sharing our behind the scenes pics of our photo shoots. We recently completed our Fall 2019 shoot with the talented Charlie Neunschwander. Unlike his long challenging last name, Charlie is one of the most delightful, unassuming photographers… quiet but determined to get the correct shot. Please enjoy a few of our favorite behind the scenes pics.
Spring 2019 Photo Shoot with Simon Hurst, just a few of our favorites and a bit about Simon.
I was born and raised in England, travelled the world and have been settled in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for over 20 years.
I have an absolute passion for photography and light no matter what the subject: headshots, people, products and environments. With close to 2000 square feet of studio and the outside world….. I have no boundries.
My goal is to make it a fun, stress free experience. I enjoy working together with clients to develop and capture their creative vision. I am dedicated to making the right images and story for you.
Please email or call for more information about bookings or to request a portfolio review. You might even hear the rest of the story of how this Englishman wound up in Oklahoma.
In 2008, Balcones was nothing more than an idea driven by a passion to create something original and authentic, right here in the Heart of Texas. It all started in an old welding shop under a bridge in Waco. For the next year, we replaced the roofing, knocked out walls, laid brick, cut pipes, installed copper pot stills from Portugal, and shoehorned a whisky distillery inside that quaint building. Proud of what we had accomplished on our own, we began distilling in 2009.
I was born in Oklahoma City in 1969. I grew up a few miles from the Mercy Health Center Campus where I currently have an office. I attended Bishop McGuinness High School and played varsity basketball for 4 years. I then traveled to Colorado Springs and attended Colorado College, graduating in 1991 with a B.A. in Biology. I started racing bicycles competitively at CC and continue to ride several times a week today.
I started Optometry School in 1995 at Northeastern State Oklahoma College of Optometry, finishing in 1999. I began working a few weeks later in The Tower on the Mercy Hospital Campus where my Dad, Dr. Jay, has been in practice since the eighties, starting a second office there, after opening his initial office in downtown Oklahoma City in the heart of what is now midtown in 1971.
I have two wonderful children Gavin (Born 2003)and Phoebe (born 2007). When not at the office, I enjoy running,cycling and yoga. I used to swim as well and was a competitive triathlete for about 14 years competing in seven Ironman triathlons, two in Hawaii. I have represented the US as well at the amatuer Duathlon World Championships in 2006. I still ride several times a week and occasionlly race bikes on the weekends both on the road and cyclocross. I also enjoy following Formula one motor racing, skiing, Oklahoma football and the OKC Thunder.
I feel very fortunate to work with my Dad as an Optometrist in The Tower on the Mercy Campus. I have developed many great patient relationships since 1999 and I look forward to making many more in the future, and providing primary eyecare services to the people of central Oklahoma and the surrounding communities.
What I enjoy most about primary eyecare is providing people with good clear vision and comfortable eyes. If people don’t see well, or their eyes constantly bother them, then the eyes become a focal point of stress, in addition to our other daily stressors. The challenge in eyecare is making sure the eyes are not a daily stressor to any patient. This is what makes going to work each day fun.
Stylish Eats reviews are brought to you by Steven Giles Clothing, the menswear store for those with discerning taste. Style extends well beyond the confines of clothing, so Steven Giles is teaming up with I Ate Oklahoma to bring you reviews of eateries with a refined palate across the state.
High style doesn’t mean constantly wearing a tuxedo, as I learned the hard way at a Denny’s recently. To paraphrase the Patron Saint of #StylishEats, Steven Giles, style means being dressed to the occasion and, in some cases, transcending it.
Which is why we’re exploring a new, but no-less-stylish, spot at The Jones Assembly.
You won’t find a lot of double-breasted three-piece suits, but it’s not at all uncommon to find guests in cocktail dresses and sports coats, whether they’re there to dine or enjoy live music.
I was lucky enough to catch Spoon playing there last year and a quick look around the room had me rethinking my concert gear (it was a tuxedo again). What I’m saying is, if you like seeing and being seen, The Jones Assembly is a prime spot.
That said, one thing I love about The Jones is there is substance beyond the style. It’s not just a posh venue/restaurant/bar. Everything looks amazing on the surface and then when you dig in, you’ll find that everything remains amazing. The food, the service, the insanely creative cocktail menu: it’s all clicking.
And that’s why you see well-dressed people at The Jones–they’re seeking a dining experience that’s just as dialed in as their wardrobes are.
Fried okra is not for everybody because idiots exist. Sorry, folks. If you don’t like fried okra, there is something wrong with you and I’m afraid prayer might not be the answer. And I don’t care if it’s fried after being poured from a frozen bag of okra, either. Fried okra is good. Full stop.
Which isn’t to say all okras are created equal. Some places do it better than others (cough cough Back Door BBQ cough Lip Smackers cough) and The Jones is one of those places. The chefs here fry whole mini okra in a thin, crispy cornmeal batter and serve dozens of them up alongside some Jones Sauce, which is…pink. Kind of tangy. I’m not 100 percent sure what it is I ate, now that I think of it, and I’m 100 percent okay with it, given the results.
Right alongside fried okra are deviled eggs ($9), which it’s only acceptable to avoid if you’re allergic to eggs and/or vegan. And even the vegan thing is kind of a stretch here. I actually got these for lunch one day and sat near a table of people who just stared at me with envy in their hearts as I plowed through an entire order.
Deviled eggs aren’t hard to make, nor are they hard to make well. They are, however, a complete pain. You need set whites and creamy yolks and lots of stuff to punch up the flavor when you mix it into the yolks. They cannot be slimy. The whites cannot be cracked. The yolks cannot be crumbly. These are the platonic ideal of deviled eggs, with lots of dill and a pop of pickled red onion. Eat them and rejoice.
Just when you’re feeling safe, they bring out the octopus ($16). I have had good and bad octopus in my time, but I’ve never had it like they do at The Jones, where it’s almost served like buffalo wings in a lovely Thai chili glaze in a bowl with a citrus-y, minty labneh sauce (it’s like Greek cream cheese).
The texture is firm, with a little chew, but it’s not like eating jerky. I love it. I’m sure they could do it with some other protein than octopus, but why mess with a winner?
Now, let’s turn around and ignore everything I just said, because The Jones loves messing with a winner. The Hot Rod pizza ($16), for instance, is completely insane. It starts off like a slightly spicy meat-lover’s pie before getting straight up weird.
Pepperoni? Check. Mozzarella? Duh. Caramelized onions? Sounds good. Habanero pork sausage? Fresno and jalapeno peppers? Spicy pork rinds and hot honey? This thing went all the way off the rails and I dig it.
Don’t expect an insurmountable mountain of heat. The onions and the honey keep things from falling over the edge into parody. Everything else, weird as it sounds, just works. I think you should crush the chicharones and sprinkle them all over the pizza to ensure you get a little in every bite. The crust is chewy. The sauce is sizzling. All of the cheese and meats and honey…it’s a cacophony of flavors that somehow work together. I love it.
Cacio e pepe is $12 and you get an enormous bowl of it and I work HARD not to order it every single time.
Maybe you like spaghetti (get the sugo for $18) or maybe you like fettuccine alfredo, but when it comes to classic Italian dishes, you just can’t beat cacio e pepe, which literally translates to cheese and pepper. It’s an ultra simple dish that is ultra satisfying. I love the cacio at The Pritchard and Patrono and now at The Jones. Much like pho, I’m sure we could discuss whose is better until we’re ready for another bowl of pasta covered in cheese, but I’m pretty happy just enjoying all of them.
For an all-out assault on your taste buds, in the best possible way, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisi– oh, sorry, I mean the Spanish creamed corn ($8). It’s sweet corn in a lovely sauce of spicy paprika and piquillo pepper and it’s got a pop to it you won’t believe. The tart piquillo is a good balance with the mild sweetness of the corn and it allows the smoky heat of the paprika to crawl across your tongue. Texturally and flavor-wise, it’s one you must try.
Shoutout to Chef Kevin Lee, who you might remember from being on TV and opening Gogi Go and being executive chef at Vast, etc. etc. No big deal. He’s, like, a pretty okay cook.
Anywho, Lee recently became culinary director of The Social Order (the restaurant group that owns The Jones) and our server clued us in on the changes he’d made to the scallops ($26), which were divine. Big, juicy, firm, clean as a whistle and seared to perfection over a cauliflower puree that was loaded with buttery goodness and paired with seared Brussels sprouts. You get one of these, Kev:
And if you’re someone who enjoys the occasional alcoholic beverage (or just excellent puns) the Juice Box Hero tastes wonderful and it’s served in a juice box and I love it. I couldn’t handle more than one, but I loved it. Roasted apples, fall spices and dark rum? There’s nothing there that isn’t wonderful.
And that’s more and more how I’m feeling about The Jones Assembly. This restaurant is a great place to people watch and be watched by people, but even if you’re a shy and retiring type like me, the food is good enough to coax even curmudgeons like us into the open.
Stylish Eats are sponsored by Steven Giles Clothing, a high-end men’s fashion store in Classen Curve providing expertly tailored suits, timeless casual wear and everything in between. Visit them online at stevengilesclothing.com to schedule a fitting or stop in at 5850 N. Classen Blvd. to browse their selection in person.
Behind the scenes, enjoying the exceptional work of Charlie Neuenschwander photography. A special thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Brian Henson for the use of their beautiful home and to our good friend Mr. Monte Turrentine (Legacy Cleaners), always a most pleasant addition to the fun. Most importantly, our gratitude to long time friend, Mr. Stanley Stoner. A gentleman’s style to be modeled. Stan…the very personification of character and joy!
The measure of a man’s confidence isn’t in his appearance, but appearance is a good indicator of confidence.
Stan Stoner is a man who knows the importance of looking his best. From his days as a Drill Sergeant in the U.S. Army to his 50-year career leading his own advertising agency and into retirement, Stoner said he has learned the value of dressing well. Being a natty dresser was an asset in the boardroom — a secret weapon that projects confidence in a business that demands it. There’s a mental edge that comes from walking into a room and knowing you look excellent. When the mind isn’t preoccupied worrying about appearances, it allows one to reach a deeper level of concentration.
“That extends to every facet of life,” he said. “Casual wear doesn’t have to be sloppy. It can accentuate the person, so when I step through the door I feel like the best-looking guy in the room, even if I’m not,” he said.
Stoner’s secret isn’t much of a secret: It’s Steven Giles Clothing. “When running my ad agency, I wore a suit or sport coat almost every day and almost everyone I bought from Steve,” Stoner said. That’s because of the one-two punch of personal service and Giles’ eye for style.
“He’s very good at presenting clothing that fits you; not just your body, but your personality,” he said. “Steve knows what I like, and he knows what looks good on me. If he tells me something looks good on me, I trust him.”
An avid fly-fisherman, Stoner said, “if Steven Giles carried hip waders, he would buy those, too.” But when he left the streams for evenings in Cuba, Belize, the Bahamas and all around the world, his evening wear came from Steven Giles Clothing. “Whether I’m hunting or salt-water fly fishing or on safari, I want clothes that are appropriate,” the Enid resident said. “And nobody knows how to dress me like Steve.”
For years, he has built a relationship with Giles based on the shop’s commitment to high-quality pieces and a keen eye for timeless fashion. It kept him coming back throughout his career and it’s a secret he was happy to share with others. As a mentor, Stoner has sent many colleagues to Steven Giles Clothing with a simple recommendation: trust the staff. “Everybody wants to look good, but most people wouldn’t know where to go to find clothes of high fashion that really fit them,” he said. “Steve has built his reputation and his following through years of work. He knows you. He knows how you want to look.”
In retirement, Stoner stays committed to looking his best, not because he’s trying to impress anyone, but because looking good is the ultimate sign of respect. And after 53 years of marriage, his lovely wife Bobbie isn’t about to let him dress in anything less than the best.
If we could use only one word that describes Bob Barnard, it would be passionate.
A man who lives his life according to the needs and wants of others is merely following. A man who follows his passions, even when it takes him off the beaten path, is a leader. And Barnard leads everywhere he goes.
Building a company. Racing exotic cars. Playing the piano. Volunteering in the community. Collecting fine art.
And, at Steven Giles Clothing, Barnard put together a wardrobe that is fashionable, attractive and, most important, utterly and completely Bob.
“I look for clothing that is classic. Timeless,” he said. “Clothes that feel comfortable and clothes that one feels comfortable in.”
Developing his style took time, but when he walks into the welcoming confines of the store now, the pieces that belong in his collection stand out plainly. That kind of thing tends to happen when you know yourself as well as Barnard does.
His love of exquisite clothing echoes through his other passions.
“What I love about clothes are the same things I love about exotic cars: the customization and the one-of-a-kind feel of real quality,” he said.
When man evolves beyond basic survival, he is free to become his true self. For Barnard that is finding meaning in everything, big or small. Whether it’s a piece of art that speaks to his soul, pushing an automobile to its absolute limits or taking time to help those less fortunate, he does it because it’s what he wants and needs to do.
So when he chooses what to wear, it is the ultimate marriage of form and function. When you live for passion, you dress for life.
Images courtesy of Simon Hurst Photography
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