Wayne State journalism instructor and political columnist Jack Lessenberry has done full-length interviews with Mayor Dave Bing every year since the mayor took office in 2009. “I’ve interviewed every Detroit mayor since Jerome Cavanagh,” Lessenberry says. “And my overwhelming impression of Mayor Bing is that of a good and decent man who’s being swamped by perhaps the worst problems ever to face a major American city.” Lessenberry, who also does daily commentary on Michigan Radio (91.7 FM), was the first reporter to ask Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick about the alleged wild party at the Manoogian Mansion, during an interview for Hour Detroit in 2003. Kilpatrick denied it occurred. Lessenberry’s take on the infamous party? “Almost certainly urban legend.” Lessenberry’s prediction about Mayor Bing? “I could be wrong, but my gut feeling is that he will not seek re-election next year.”
Bennett has been assessing best-dressed metro Detroiters for a long time. More than 20 years ago, the late Dennis Slatkin, who had a toddler named William, was at the top of Bennett’s list in a story for The Detroit News. Now an adult, William Slatkin is among Hour Detroit’s 2012 Best Dressed. He joins nine other metro Detroiters selected by Bennett with input from a team of noted style watchers that included Hour Detroit’s Style Editor, Rebecca Voigt. Bennett writes a society column for The News, is the Art Van Furniture Style Ambassador, and is a commissioner of entertainment for the City of Detroit.
At 14, Upshur hitchhiked to his first kitchen job. A decade later, he and his wife were living on popcorn and peanut butter while he worked his way through top kitchens. In his 30s, Upshur was accumulating national awards and traveling through Europe. At 40, with five children, he remained busy, cooking on the Food Network and preparing dinners at The James Beard House in New York City and the American Embassy in Rome. His last executive chef position was at the former Too Chez restaurant in Novi. “I met Bill and Lisa Ford, found we had the same ideas about food, and went to work in their kitchen,” Upshur says. In addition to his culinary activities, the self-dubbed Mustang Chef is a triathlete and lead singer in the Detroit Seatbelts rock band. In this issue, he offers alternative recipes for Thanksgiving stuffing.