CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Hats off to 2023 and enjoy with The Duke

Published 6:38 am Monday, January 9, 2023

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Hats off to the New Year.

When “memories” pop up on Facebook, all my best ones are in a particular hat. I got it in New Orleans and took some smokin’ selfies on about a decade of travels.

People complimented the hat, and I just felt good in it, so the photos reflected good times. One day, my favorite hat blew into Sabine Lake.

I’m starting out the new year with “Dallas,” a camel Bellissimo fedora that’s now one of the nicest things I own. This hat came in a box, y’all. It’s lined in red, feels and look just right and elevates my confidence.

“Nice brim” is a frequent compliment I get from men and women, and it’s returned with a knowing nod. The brothers who started this company are already supplying bespoke hats to the stars, and I feel like one of them. I can’t wait until the Dallas and I go to Dallas. Check out

Cocktails with The Duke – Americana, celebrity tidbits, a fish taco recipe and libations of intrigue are blended into André Darlington’s fun read. “John Wayne: The Official Cocktail Book” mixes movie-specific themed drinks in with what would be an insult to JW fans to call “trivia.”

All the better if you make some of these with Duke tequila or whiskey. Some of my faves were inspired by “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.” I saw it for the first time after enjoying the book. The Pilgrim involves rye whiskey and sparkling wine, and is a reminder that Wayne’s character refers to newcomer Jimmy Stewart’s character as “Pilgrim” 25 times.

Lasso, Island in the Sky and Leatherneck are more macho mixes. I love the look of Rattlesnake, from “True Grit” and the bite scene. This whiskey-absinthe drink is a yellow green with two dashes of Angostura bitters for garnish. The liquid dots on top resemble a snakebite. For more “bites,” try Monument Valley Popcorn with seasonings including rosemary, ancho pepper powder an chili powder. Happy viewing.

Get a jolt out of this – I’ve spent New Year’s Day the same for about 7 years straight, watching the futuristic scenarios Twilight Zone Marathon. I feel like I have a wand of wonder right out of this series. It’s the NuDerma Professional high frequency skin therapy wand.

That’s ozone you smell when zapping zits and calming fine lines with neon and argon. Mushrooms are trending, and there’s a mushroom-shaped glass tube head for cheeks and forehead. The Y is for arms and legs, a comb is for hair and scalp and the tongue, bent and rod do their wonders elsewhere. I admit the box intimidated me for a while. Electricity, glass and your face all together. Can’t argue with results.

Videos will give you confidence and when I talk about this to friends and family, they are righteously curious and wanting to check out more at

Darragh Doiron is a Southeast Texas foodie ready to rock 2023 with all y’all. Share your great ideas with her at