Dara Torres, the 12-time Olympic swim champion, had something really hot Tuesday at Masa on Nicollet Mall.

Torres was in the metro promoting her two new passions: Koss headphones, which she helped the Milwaukee-based company design with the size of a woman's ear in mind, and spinning.

She had a couple of appearances at spin classes. I met her at Joe Ducosin's CycleQuest in Eden Prairie, where each bike was wired Tuesday with headphones from the Koss Fit Series so that everybody who participated in the class Torres taught had her instructions and soundtrack playing in their ears.

When Torres went to KSTP-TV for a media appearance, she was surprised to find a couple of fans outside waiting for her autograph, according to my Koss source.

I was told that Torres had a pretty spicy taco salad at a Mexican restaurant on Nicollet Mall. That would be Masa.

"We don't have a taco salad," Masa manager Michelle Hummer told me Wednesday, "but we could make one."

When I told Hummer why I was asking, she put me on hold to canvas the staff. She was eager to accommodate because of something I wrote about Jennifer Hudson dining at a D'Amico restaurant.

Hummer said the chef had made a special taco bowl for a woman fitting the description of Torres. "A taco bowl has rice on the bottom, beans, pico de Gallo salsa, chicken with chipotle crema," Hummer told me.

How spicy could it have been? After all, this is Minneapolis.

"It's a little spicy," said Hummer. "It's Mexican!"

Works for me. I love spicy Mexican food better than Mexicans do, according to one friend.

Hair tutorials

Award-winning Twin Cities hair stylist Faatemah Ampey is doing a series of hair tutorials for VibeVixen.com.

"These tutorials will be survival tips for beautiful black women," said Ampey, who works at Edina's Bells Salon and Spa.

I told her that I have a reliable caller who complains when I write phrases like "strong black women" or "beautiful black women."

"Why would she resent that? Black women have struggled so long with hair and identity and TV and the media have not celebrated [them]," said Ampey. "I think it's a great time, not just for black women but all women to embrace their hair texture."

Ampey was in Paris for a private Fashion Week event by Intercoiffure, whose members are the "most famous" hair designers. The group gave her another award.

Recalling the Emmy winner

Emmy winner Doris Rosen, 87, died Monday.

Somewhere, the mother of WCCO-TV sports anchor Mark Rosen is getting the biggest kick out of having "Emmy winner" preceding her name in her obituary.

She was, according to her obituary, "a proud Emmy award winner" for "the 'Grannies' on the 2012 Grammys" — a priceless WCCO piece featuring Rosen and Rosalie Vascellaro, mother of WCCO-TV anchor Frank Vascellaro.

Mrs. Rosen loved to razz me. The biggest twinkle came to her eye whenever she saw me because she enjoyed verbally sparring. There was also a — well, you couldn't call it a twinkle — a very determined look in her eye when I asked her if she'd consider going on a dinner date with Strib sports columnist Sid Hartman.

"No," she said emphatically. "And I've known him a long time."

She also had another choice word for Hartman, I seem to recall from that video. Her thoughts on Sid were not in the two-part video interview I did with the grannies after they won those Emmys.

We had a wide-ranging pop culture conversation because grannies Rosen and Vascellaro stayed current about subjects such as Justin Bieber's love life and the Kardashians.

Mrs. Rosen certainly called the Kris Humphries-Kim Kardashian union: "I know it's not going to be a long-term marriage." That statement was printed in the paper about 29 days before Kim surprised Kris by filing for divorce. This video will give you a taste of the very opinionated Mrs. Rosen.

Rest well, Doris.

C.J. can be reached at cj@startribune.com and seen on FOX 9's "Buzz." E-mailers, please state a subject; "Hello" does not count. Attachments are not opened.