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Sept. 15 - Great Barrington
Berkshire Grown Supper

Sept. 14 - Sharon
Alzheimer's Benefit

Sept. 13 - New Lebanon
Rock My Religion Gala

Berkshire Grown Harvest Supper Is A Taster’s Annual Rite

Lisa Green reports from Great Barrington. Supporting local foods and farms is a good thing in general, but it tastes good, too, as a huge crowd at Berkshire Grown’s annual Harvest Supper could tell you between sample bites from more than 30 member restaurants and beverage makers. The 16th annual event, held at Ski Butternut on Monday, September 15, was a celebration of the harvest, and the food and drink vendors happily touted the farms and orchards from where their ingredients came. A silent auction featured dinners, lodging and cooking generously donated by the members. At left, Berkshire Grown’s executive director Barbara Zheutlin, in striped shirt, and young friend Gus Geremia stand with Allium Restaurant’s  Chef Daire Rooney and James Corcoran. Allium’s sources for the evening were Farm Girl Farm, The Berry Patch, Indian Line Farm and Climbing Tree Farm.


Route 7 Grill’s Lester Blumenthal and Chef Christophe Jalbert, whose menu is featured at Preservation Society, offered samples with products from Moon in the Pond Farm; Martha Bryan, program manager for The Carrot Project, with Margie Shapiro and Barry Shapiro.

Julie Michaels, a member of the Berkshire Grown Board of Directors, and Jonathan Hankin.


The Hotchkiss School’s team, headed by Andy Cox and chefs Lee Morton and Lyn Weber, used ingredients from their own Hotchkiss School Farm and Berkshire Mountain Bakery; Howie Arkans, who teaches an Italian cooking class for OLLI, and Sue Arkans.


Heidi Teutsch, a Stockbridge police officer, Heirloom Meals’ Carole Murko and Rural Intelligence publisher Mark Williams; Canyon Ranch’s Rebecca Lennon, food and beverage director, and Jennifer Wald, head baker. Their featured sources were The Country Hen, Hilltop Orchards and Fitting Creek Farm.


Twin sisters Sheena Hatch, who works for the Department of Children and Families, and Courtney Hatch of Jane Iredale.


Nancy Finn and Cassandra Finn of Sheffield; Chef John Griffin of Ginsberg’s Foods serves up roast duckling with maple gastrique, grilled sweet corn with crimini mushrooms and roasted poblano peppers, and a fresh peach and heirloom tomato salsa, ingredients courtesy of Hawthorne Valley Farm, Bulich Farms, Berlin’s Best Farms and Griffin’s Organic Vegetables.


Perusing the silent auction offerings; Dan Nagel and Alan Feldman traveled from Fairfield, CT to attend the event.


The crew from Guido’s with a collection of locally made desserts, including their outrageous caramel apples.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/16/14 at 09:03 AM • Permalink

Cuisine And Camaraderie Mark A Successful Alzheimer’s Benefit

Amy Krzanik reports from Sharon. Chef Serge Madikians, the catalyst behind September 14th’s Alzheimer’s Benefit, is no stranger to serving fine Middle Eastern delicacies at his restaurant, Serevan, in Amenia. But Sunday’s fundraising event, held at the art-filled home and verdant grounds of Ken and Marabeth Tyler, boasted an intimidating guest list of refined and respected palates. Honorary guests included author and event co-chair Ruth Reichl; author and Alzheimer’s Ambassador Paula Wolfert; Food & Wine Editor-in-Chief and co-chair Dana Cowin; Dr. Scott A. Small, Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Columbia University; and filmmaker John Hoffman of HBO’s The Alzheimer’s Project and founder of The Public Good Projects. The food more than lived up to the level of the distinguished guests, with a wonderful array of delicious dishes for all tastes, including pasture-raised lamb roasted on a spit by Ken Tyler himself, and fruit galettes and baklava drizzled with labne (Armenian yogurt) for dessert. The mood was joyful and, as Dr. Small noted, “optimistic” about the strides being made in Alzheimer’s research. Guests honored Wolfert for her award-winning work in the culinary world and now as an outspoken Alzheimer’s activist. Funds raised benefit the Hudson Valley/Rockland/Westchester, NY chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Shown above, writer and editor Ruth Reichl, Nancy Lang and Paula Wolfert.


Joan Feeney, artist Frank Stella and Dana Cowin. Stella donated one of his prints to a lucky winner of the afternoon’s sold-out raffle; Alexis England Small, Dr. Scott Small and Elizabeth Mavroleon.


Derek Larson and Michael Zients from Sharon; Tom Whitridge and Nathan Kernan flank host Marabeth Tyler.


John Hoffman, Serge Madikians, Paula Wolfert and her daughter, Leila Wolfert.


Dana Bowen, executive editor of Every Day With Rachael Ray, with Eric Steinman of Edible Hudson Valley and his son, Ezra; Harriet Stella catches up with a friend.


John and Gabriella Wagner of Bedford, NY; Ray Mikulich and Karen Karlsrud with Sara Allen and John Hoffman.


Donna Raftery, Liz Laser and friend Marge; Joan Feeney, Serge Madikians and Dana Cowin.


Host Ken Tyler (on right) gives a crash course in successful lamb roasting.


String beans with pistachio and basturma; Baby carrots and pomegranate.


Tomatoes and feta cheese.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/15/14 at 06:40 PM • Permalink

History, Art, Music And Food Mix Well At Mount Lebanon’s ‘Rock My Religion’ Gala

Amy Krzanik reports from New Lebanon. To celebrate the opening of its newest exhibit, the video Rock My Religion by Dan Graham, Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon hosted a full day of events on Saturday, September 13 that included screenings of the work, talks with Graham and tours of the grounds, and culminated in a reception and dinner in the Tannery. Board members, patrons and artists mixed and mingled over cocktails in the historic building, followed by dinner prepared by SoMa Catering using the best from Columbia and Berkshire County farms, including poultry from Letterbox Farm Collective in Hudson and Climbing Tree in New Lebanon, and produce from Colfax Farm in Canaan and Markristo Organic Farm in Hillsdale, among others. Dessert was a Shaker-inspired apple tart paired ingeniously with SoCo Creamery’s ginger ice cream. Another nod to the landmark’s past inhabitants came at the end of musician Rebekah Heller’s performance. The International Contemporary Ensemble bassoonist performed a solo piece she helped create, and finished with the much adored Shaker classic “Simple Gifts.” Proceeds from the benefit dinner help fund the Museum’s preservation efforts and public programs. Above, Herbert Teitelbaum, Museum President David Stocks and Ruth J. Abram.


Artist Michael Flomen, trustee Rae Gilson and Jeff Bailey, trustee and gallery owner; Ellen and Alan Goldner with PS21’s Judy Grunberg.


Peter Lease with Vernon Evenson; Florence Ségalot, gallerist Jack Shainman, Carlos Vega and art dealer Philippe Ségalot.


Kelly Ward, Ian Berry and Lori Riggs, all three from the Tang Museum at Skidmore; Robert Gilson, Stephanie Aeder and Jerry Grant, who is the Museum’s director of collections and research.


Trustee Lauree Hickok, with Laura Williams Reed who is the granddaughter of Museum founder John Williams, Bob Gilson and ceramicist Barry Bartlett; John Broome with Cordelia Lawton.


Gary Delemeester, Board Chair Jeff Daly, Edward Parran and Jim Guidera.


Claude Arpels, ICE board president, Winsome Brown and trustee Jeff Lick; Tour guide Anna O’Meara, gallery guide Chloe Houseman, Museum coordinator Wyatt Erchak and tour guide Rebecca Kurtz.


Samantha Baker, Allan Weiser, Kathy Weiser and Malcolm Baker; Peter Lease and Ed Wood.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/14/14 at 10:02 AM • Permalink

A Benefit Concert For Berkshire Bach Is Intimate And Inspiring

Lisa Green reports from Hillsdale. Sunshine streamed into the hilltop home of Richard Collens, and the music was equally sparkling at the benefit concert for Berkshire Bach on Sunday, September 7. Pianist Jeewon Park, cellist Edward Arron and the stentorian Bejamin Luxon as narrator performed a program of Bach, Poulenc and Piaazzolla — not all necessarily the programming one might find at a Berkshire Bach concert, but perfectly matched for an afternoon of chamber music “the way it is mean tot be heard,” as the host likes to call his frequent home concerts. At left, Richard Collens, a board member of Berkshire Bach, greets guest Chris Nye during the reception after the concert. Berkshire Bach’s season opens on September 27 with the Grammy Award-winning St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble performing at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington.


Took Bussard and David Bussard are new to the area and now reside in Lee; Frieda Pilson of Richmond, Lewis Steinberg of Lenox and Hartford, and Ben Schawinsky of Sheffield.


Paula Hatch
, executive director of Berkshire Bach, gets the reception started.


Rick Karpinkski and Kristina Karpinkski of New Concord, near Chatham; Cathy Shin, an orthopaedic surgeon at Columbia Memorial Hospital, catches up with Jim Lapennn.


Mim Warden and Annette van Ommeren; Lewis Steinberg and Margy Steinberg, a consultant and adjunct professor in the MBA program at MCLA.


The performers plus (a future?) one: Benjamin Luxon, Jeewon Park, Edward Arron, and Lily, Jeewon and Edward’s daughter.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/08/14 at 10:26 AM • Permalink

A Special Evening With John Luther Adams For Audubon Sharon

Rachel Louchen reports from Sharon. “Birdsong is beyond the reach of our ears; I translate,” said composer John Luther Adams as he addressed the crowd at a very special benefit for Audubon Sharon on Saturday, September 6. A longtime supporter of the Audubon, Adams, the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music, performed “songbirdsongs,” which demonstrated nature’s influence on his work, specifically the sounds of birds. The one-hour performance was a captivating experience, no doubt helped out by the pastoral atmosphere outside the home of hosts Alexandra and Frederick Peters. While the foreboding sky above the tent looked as if it were going to storm at any minute, the rain held out right until Adams stopped, as if it were enjoying the music, too. Above, event co-chair Dinny Greene and Secretary and Chair of Habitat committee member Sandy Slemmer.


Vice President and Executive Director of Audubon Connecticut Stewart Hudson, John Luther Adams, President and CEO of the National Audubon Society David Yarnold, Audubon Sharon Center Director Sean Grace.


Board member Charlie Wright with wife, Mavis Wright; John Baroody, writer Divya Symmers and Cindy Vannoy.


Cornwall residents Edward Greene, Majorie Hewett and Simon Hewett; Audubon Sharon member Deborah S. Mark with Cynthia Walsh.


BZ Coords, Judith Chatfield and Mia Coats.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 09/07/14 at 09:09 PM • Permalink

A Garden Party Benefits AIDS Council of Northeastern New York

ac 1Jamie Larson reports from Claverack. On Sunday, August 31, the immaculately restored historic Ludlow Homestead, home of Peter Spears and Brian Swardstrom, served as a most elegant setting for a gorgeous garden party to benefit the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York. Hundreds came to enjoy the immaculate grounds, company, local food, libations, entertainment and silent auction, and though the evening was as perfect a late summer party as could be, supporting the AIDS Council was what drew the crowd. The party also offered a unique opportunity to tour the homestead which was built in 1786 and is a grand example of the Landscape style, popular in the 18th century. (Pictured above; event host Peter Spears, Andrea Hartman, CBS News’ Steve Hartman with Jennifer and Ryan Carl.)

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David Cabrarra, Katrina Stair and Stair Gallery owner Collin Stair; Ted Gramkow, Columbia-Greene Hospital Foundation Executive Director Betsy Gramkow and Timm Whitney.

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Wes Wolfe, Tim Zdyb and Gary Osifchin; Jamie Zwirn, Bo Goliber and Tiffany Ryan.

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Ken Silver, AIDS Council of Northeastern New York Executive Director Michele McClave and Ed LaMance.

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Christopher N. Rowley and Razvan Dinu; Columbia County Democratic Party Chair Cyndy Hall, John Schobel and Council Board Member Victor Mendolia.

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Board Member Steve Ammerman, Marketing Coordinator for the AIDS Council Brianne Ptak-Mimura,Todd Hilgendorff and Stephen King.

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Chuck Rosenthal, Ferol Barton Blake and David Ludwig; Diane Crawford, Vin Victorio, Daniel Bueno and Guido A. Loyola.

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Posted by Jamie Larson on 09/01/14 at 07:28 PM • Permalink

Berkshire International Film Festival’s 10th Season Takes Flight

Rachel Louchen reports from Great Barrington. The Berkshire International Film Festival can really throw a party, so to celebrate its tenth season they threw the first-ever gala, which, like all BIFF events, was held in dramatic fashion. On Friday, August 29, the usual buzz of small airplanes at the Great Barrington Airport was replaced by jazz music when attendees entered the transformed hanger via red carpet. Airplanes, helicopters and a clear blue sky were the backdrop as guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner by MAX Ultimate Food, guest speaker Roy Blount Jr. and a live auction. The sold-out gala also served to honor Governor Deval Patrick and first lady Diane Patrick for their support for the arts and culture in the Berkshires. The screening for the evening was a special BIFF video produced by Doug Trumbull. Pictured above, Terry Holland piloted his drones over the crowd, here with BIFF founder and director Kelley Vickery, and the event’s photographer Kevin Sprague.


Actresses Tori Hines and Kelly Kilgore served as the evening’s flight attendants; BIFF volunteers Lynn Stonebridge, Peggy Reeves and Pam Beiderman.


Gala committee members Fern Portnoy and Roger Goldman; Mass Live Art’s executive director Ilan Bachrach and Hillel Bachrach.


Pete and Pat Webber, who have a home in Stockbridge; designer Chase Booth, Molly Boxer and Gray Davis.


The evening’s co-pilots: Kelley Vickery, gala chair Jacqueline Togut, gala co-chairs Annie Selke, Dan Mathieu, Kate Morris and executive assistant Lauren Ferin.


The sold-out crowd at the hanger; gala co-chairs Annie Selke and Mark Dove.


Heather Adams, Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ Chris Weld and gala committe member Tyler Weld; Dawn and Chris Masiero of Guido’s Fresh Marketplace.


Jeweler Carolina Palermo Schulze with Norman Rockwell Museum director Laurie Moffatt; planes and a helicopter, oh my.


Benchmark Real Estate’s Nancy Kalodner and Deval Patrick.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 08/31/14 at 07:14 PM • Permalink

Catwalk Fashion Show Struts For The Berkshire Humane Society

Lisa Green reports from Great Barrington.
It may be called Catwalk, but dogs and their owners ruled the roost at the fashion show benefiting the Berkshire Humane Society on Thurday, August 28. Catwalk actually refers to the Society’s très high-end resale boutique, which, though only a few months old, has become the go-to place for style- (and deal-) conscious women. Like all good fundraisers, it was a community affair: the event was conceived and coordinated by Erika Stubbs, marketing consultant for WSBS; Michele’s Salon and Day Spa supplied the models, hair and music; Lisa Betkoski of Rock Star Shopping styled the shop’s fashions; Naji’s Mediterranean Cuisine offered canapés (the restaurant also donated its parking lot for the tented venue), and LIVE 95.5 DJ Mike Heck provided runway music. Above, Mimi Rosenblatt and Leslie Weil, Catwalk’s volunteer managing partners, have combined their love of animals and fashion.


Aileen Bliss and Michele Wilkinson, owner of Michele’s Salon and Day Spa, cuddle Tahki, who belongs to Bliss.


Grand finale on the runway; two of the Berkshires renowned fashionistas, Vicki Bonnington and Lisa Betkoski.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 08/31/14 at 11:24 AM • Permalink