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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
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RI Archives: Parties

View all past Party articles.

Dr Jay Wise

Hudson Valley River Ramble


Classical Tents

Robin Hood Radio

Benchmark Real Estate

Hudson Opera House

Berkshire Grown

Berkshire Money Mangement

Hudson LIbrary

Parties & Openings

Sept. 21 - N. Marlborough
Barn Raising Brunch

Sept. 20 - G. Barrington
Fairview Hospital Gala

Sept. 20 - Ghent
OMI's Light Into Night

Barnraising Begins At A Brunch For The GB Fairgrounds

Lisa Green reports from New Marlborough. It takes a village to build a barn, and the townspeople came out in force for the brunch to raise funds for the cowshed at the Great Barrington Fairgrounds. The long-dormant site is undergoing a renaissance thanks to the efforts of co-owners Janet and Bart Elsbach [in photo, left], along with many volunteers. On Sunday, September 21, supporters gathered in the elegant barn at Gedney Farm, where the focus at the sumptuous brunch was on cuisine and cooking, farmers and food journalists. “This is a community-driven, community-based effort,” said Janet Elsbach, and truly, the pitch-in spirit was alive and well. Everything, from Alana Chernila’s Pallid Mary cocktail to the chocolate goat cheese truffles for dessert were made of ingredients from area farms; Gedney’s servers donated their services, autumnal tablescapes were created gratis by Pamela Read Hardcastle, and the featured speakers also contributed their time. Sam Sifton, former restaurant critic for the New York Times and now editor of its new Cooking website, Jenny Rosenstrach, whose book Dinner: A Love Story and blog of the same name are household resources in many families, and Andy Ward, editorial director at Random House, spoke about trends in home cooking (and what they plan to serve at their Thanksgiving tables). Now, the real task of barnraising begins, and next summer, the organization will host workshops led by professional timber framers to teach all who are interested the skills to participate in the hands-on project.

Featured guest speakers Jenny Rosenstrach, Sam Sifton and Andy Ward; Margaret Cherin and Gregory Cherin, a photographer.

Alana Chernila, author, blogger and RI contributor with Lisa Landry of Six Depot Cafe in West Stockbridge; Flora Paladino and her mom Emily Rechnitz.

Cathie Kavanaugh, prepared food manager at Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, who commandeered the brunch kitchen, with Chris Masiero and Dawn Masiero of Guido’s, which was a sponsoring partner, along with Gedney Farm.

Diminutive real estate broker extraordinaire Nancy Kalodner tries to look taller in between Bill Gunn and Virginia Warner; Volunteer coordinator Beth Carlson, who sells vintage jewelry on Etsy, with volunteer Karen Seltzer.

Phyllis Webb, owner of The Magic Fluke Company in Sheffield, and Selina Lamb of Berkshire Property Agents.

Paul Joffe smooches his wife, Ingrid Joffe; Amy Humes and Bruce Humes, who were married at Gedney Farm almost 14 years ago.

Possible future barn builders Corliss Parker, Charles Rosenblum, Faith Sterling, Bob Sterling, Bruce Kafenbaum and Sandi Kafenbaum.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/22/14 at 09:20 AM • Permalink

The Fairview Gala Hits A High Note With The Midtown Men

Amy Krzanik reports from Great Barrington. Fairview Hospital, a part of Berkshire Health Systems, gathered together staff, friends and supporters on the green outside the Mahaiwe Theater on Saturday, September 20 for its annual celebration. Guests mingled, dined and bid on some amazing silent auction items like stays in France and Nantucket, a year of massages, catered dinners and more. Once inside the theater, the hospital showed its lighthearted side in a video directed by Ben Hillman, where staff lip-synched to a Fairview-ized version of “The Beat Goes On.” Massachusetts State Representative Smitty Pignatelli and Fairview President Eugene Dellea thanked attendees for their support and honored community leader Cheryl Raifstanger, who was given a standing ovation by the crowd. The evening’s entertainment was a high-energy performance by The Midtown Men a.k.a. the four original cast members of Broadway’s Jersey Boys. The evening wrapped up with dessert and coffee back outside under the tent. Proceeds from this year’s gala fundraiser will help upgrade Fairview’s anesthesiology department. Pictured above, the evening’s honoree, Cheryl Raifstanger, with her husband John.

Hunter Runnette, gala committee member Helice Picheny and Mark Vanden Bosch, Berkshire Health Systems’ head of anesthesiology; Fairview President Gene Dellea and Barbara Alibozek.

Brian Zanin and Kate McCormick; Berkshire Film & Media Collaborative executive director Diane Pearlman, Seeds owner Robin Ban and Joanne Sheehan Keator of the The Keator Group.

Holly Broga and Joe and Chelsea Brown, all of Michelle’s Salon & Day Spa; MA House Representative Smitty Pignatelli and Alexandra Glover.

MA State Auditor and Great Barrington resident Suzanne Bump with Gene Dellea; Sandra Josel, Hildi Black and Elaine Silberstein.

The Ad Journal Committee: Louann Harvey, Fran Premerlani, Dee Harnish and Paula Gangell-Miller.

Eric Plakun, Deb Buccino and Audrey Raifstanger; Last year’s honorees, committee member Anne Schnesel and Ernest Schnesel.

Gala committee member Lisa Cohen with Paul Tepper; Peg Shea, John Greenberger and Mary White.

Saul and Barbara Eisenberg with Gene Dellea; Ann McDonald of BMC’s new Cancer Care Center, which will hold a benefit wine tasting this Saturday, and Mark Kester, Fairview’s Director of Pharmacy.

Board member Sue Kormanik and Bill Kormanik; Roger Manring and Barbara Manring, who will be honored on October 18 at BSCC’s Community Gala.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/21/14 at 11:28 PM • Permalink

OMI Lights Up The Night With A Fundraising First

Rachel Louchen reports from Ghent. Sight, sound, smell, touch and taste were all accounted for at Omi International Arts Center on Saturday, September 20 for the first Light Into Night, a unique fundraiser that combined an auction, dinner, art exhibit and dance party. Art abounded in every nook and cranny of the grounds as musicians wandered about with various instruments, interpretive dancers performed, guests made funny faces at the photo booth, and the two-story barn displayed visual and video artwork. While “no touching” is usually the first rule at art exhibits, an intriguing aspect of the event was the interaction encouraged of the guests; such as painting a candle and setting it adrift at the pond and participating in a dance performance; quite appropriate for the organization which hosts residency programs for artists, writers, musicians and dancers. These exciting events were all a lead-up to a fantastic family-style farm-to-table dinner by Black Forest Flammkucken and a full-on dance party in the barn, before closing the memorable evening with an auction. Dancer Vincent E. Thomas smiles with executive director Ruth Adams after his dance and movement performance which required the viewers to shout out questions and strike poses.

Writers in residence: Christine Buckley, Anna Ballbona and Nuno Camarneiro.

PS21 site manager Sam Reilly with president Judy Grunberg; Dancers Suzanne Beahrs and Jess Grippo came up from Brooklyn to perform.

Volunteer Max Reisner with residency assistant Cassie Massa; trustee Matthew Doering and Ann Jackowitz.

Julianne Swartz creates bubbles while Julianne Carney accompanies her on violin.

Mellisa Sarris with accordion player Brian Dewan; Megan Caponetto and host committee member (and neighbor) Koethi Zan.

Ghent residents Jen Geddes and Bill Geddes; Board member and NYC office liason Elizabeth Masters and fellow board member Jennie Lamensdorf.

Financial assistant Jennifer Millman, office manager Kit Fraser and cafe/events staffer Amela Mahmutovic.

Phillip Tribble and Cathy Tribble of nearby Tribble Law; Artist Anna d’Onofrio and Ken Kraus, a sculptor and painter.

Painter D. Jack Solomon, board member Dan Devine and artist Jenette Fintz; David Neibart and Crystiina Avram.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 09/20/14 at 08:32 PM • Permalink

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