Vegetables Make Grand Entree

April 6, 2010  
Filed under Food

By Caroline Dipping, CNS

A few months back, Executive Chef Trey Foshee of George’s California Modern unveiled a vegetarian menu alongside his seasonal offerings. This was no halfhearted stab at meatless cuisine with just an uninspired steamed veggie plate or a slapdash pasta, but rather a thoughtful, tasteful roster complete with starters, entrees and vegan options.

Foshee began noodling over the idea of a high-end vegetarian menu a year after conducting a series of Side Table events in George’s bar. The vegetarian-themed Side Table was the one event that sold out both nights it was offered.

“I met a couple who told me they love going out to dine and enjoy a good bottle of wine, but they feel, as vegetarians, they are alienated from a lot of special events restaurants hold,” said Foshee.

“Now I find myself looking more and more at vegetable preparations specifically and having those influence my non-vegetarian items,” he said. “I keep toying with it.”

Here is on of Foshee’s new vegetarian recipes:

FARRO RISOTTO

FARRO

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 white onion, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups farro (chef prefers Anson Mills brand, see note)
1 cup white wine
8 cups mushroom stock, hot (see note)
1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper

MUSHROOMS

2 portobello mushrooms
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 thyme sprigs
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Salt and pepper

ONIONS

12 pearl onions, peeled
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon honey

GARLIC-PARSLEY CREAM

1⁄2 cup garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup Italian parsley leaves
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
6 large eggs
Makes 6 appetizer servings

For the farro: In a medium-sized sauce pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until soft but not colored, about 10 minutes. Add the farro and toast for about 5 minutes, then deglaze with the white wine and reduce until almost dry. Add mushroom stock 1 cup at a time while stirring continuously until the farro is soft with a bit of a bite, about 20 minutes, depending on the brand of farro. As soon as you see the kernels begin to “pop,” remove pan from the heat and add the parmesan and season with salt and black pepper. Adjust with more stock if needed.

For the mushrooms: In a medium bowl, marinate the mushrooms with the smashed garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and thyme and let sit 15 minutes. Grill or roast mushrooms in a hot oven. Reserve in a warm place.

For the onions: Slice the onions in half and sear them cut side down in a saute pan with the olive oil until well caramelized. Deglaze with sherry vinegar, turning down the heat to just above a simmer and reduce slowly till almost dry. Add the honey and stir to coat the onions; reserve in a warm place.

For the garlic-parsley cream: Place the garlic in a medium-sized pot and fill with water. Bring to a boil, strain, refill and repeat three times. Strain the garlic. Bring another pot of water to a boil and plunge the parsley leaves into it for about 1 minute and remove to a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking immediately, squeeze out all the water and reserve. Bring cream to a simmer and combine the garlic, parsley and cream in a blender and blend until completely smooth, strain through a fine mesh strainer, and reserve.

To serve: Poach the eggs. Spoon the farro into six bowls, top with mushrooms and onions and place an egg on top. Coat the egg with the garlic-parsley sauce.

Notes: Anson Mills farro is available online at ansonmills.com. Other types of farro are available at specialty stores such as Whole Foods and Seaside Market. The chef makes his own mushroom stock, but mushroom stock can be purchased at specialty stores.

– From chef Trey Foshee

Stowe Theatre Guild Announces 2010 Season

April 6, 2010  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

Stowe Theatre Guild’s 2010 season kicks off with a Pulitzer prize-winning play, Edward Albee’s “Seascape,” followed by the Tony-award-winning musical comedy “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
Then comes “The Sound of Music,” the dramatic tale of Stowe’s most famous family, the von Trapps.  This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Broadway opening of “The Sound of Music,” and it is the first time this century that the play will be produced by the Stowe Theatre Guild. The season rounds out in the fall with “The Light in the Piazza,” a romantic tale with rich music and luscious composition and ends with “All in the Timing,” six one-act comedies.

As a non-profit, volunteer community theater organization, Stowe Theatre Guild is committed to bringing quality shows to the area at affordable prices. Offered this year is the super value season ticket:  Save 35 percent off the cost of tickets and fees by purchasing a season ticket for $65.

Stowe’s Town Hall Theatre is located on the second floor of the Akeley Memorial Building, 67 Main St., Stowe.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.stowetheatre.com or by calling 802-253-3961 and by e-mail to tickets@stowetheatre.com.

Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece

April 6, 2010  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

“Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece,” coming to the Shelburne Museum in May, is a poignant new exhibition about Alzheimer’s, its impact on those affected by the disease and the artistic expression of complex emotions felt by those confronting the disease. The exhibition includes 52 quilts, many made by caregivers or family members of victims. Each piece is a moving visual representation of experiences their makers have had relative to the disease, whether a tribute to a loved one, encouragement for caregivers or a focus on research.

Accompanying each quilt is an artist’s statement that conveys the story that inspired the work, as well as related facts about the disease that educate the viewer about Alzheimer’s.

In presenting “Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece” Shelburne Museum partnered with Vermont Public Radio and StoryCorps, Inc. to incorporate the memories of local elders from three area retirement communities – The Arbors and Wake Robin in Shelburne and clients of Elderly Services, Inc. in Middlebury. Interviews recorded by StoryCorps and produced by Vermont Public Radio are featured in listening stations in the exhibit. StoryCorps is a national initiative to record and collect stories of everyday Americans.

The exhibit was organized by the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative, a national non-profit whose mission is to raise awareness and fund Alzheimer’s research. The exhibit has been viewed at 48 venues in 31 states. “Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece” will be retired at the conclusion of the exhibit at Shelburne Museum. Most of the quilts will be returned to the artists who made them, however some of the artists wish to have their work auctioned to benefit the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative.

The exhibition runs from May 16 – Oct. 24. The Museum is located on Route 7 in Shelburne. For more information, call 985-3346 or visit www.shelburnemuseum.org.

Dorset Theatre Festival Celebrates 35th Year

April 6, 2010  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

The Dorset Theatre Festival’s 35th anniversary season promises a great mix of classic and new plays from June through Labor Day weekend. Four Main-stage plays are planned as well as additional season programming including a New Play Reading Series and family programming.

“The Pavilion” by Craig Wright will run June 28-July 11. Written by the award-winning writer of the hit TV series “Lost” and “Six Feet Under,” it is by turns poetic, comic, romantic and philosophical. For baby boomers, the play is pleasantly reminiscent of “The Big Chill,” and has been hailed by critics nationally as the “Our Town for our time.”

“Fallen Angels” by Noel Coward runs July – July 26. Charming and frothy fun for the entire family by a master of high comedy, this is Coward at his inimitable best.

“Murder on the Nile” by Agatha Christie runs July 28 – Aug. 15. Join in the fun as you travel down the Nile on a paddle steamer with a cast of characters guaranteed to keep you guessing. One of Christie’s best “who dunnits” packed with murder, intrigue and fun for all.

The Festival finishes the season with the touching comedy “When Something Wonderful Ends” by award-winning playwright Sherry Kramer. Watch as a woman packs away the belongings from her childhood home after the loss of her mother. With great comic flair, the skilled Kramer invites us to ponder our own dependence on foreign oil as we watch our heroine re-discover her childhood Barbie collection. This special presentation will be part of a weeklong “Going Green Symposium” which will run from Sept. 1 – 5, and will include speakers, demonstrations and discussions, all free and open to the public.

Family programming continues this year with the entertaining classic play and recent hit movie “Fantastic Mr. Fox” by Roald Dahl, running July 10 -Aug. 14. The Festival will present six free Saturday matinee performances followed by a Children’s Book Fair hosted by Northshire Bookstore featuring the work of author Roald Dahl as well as his famous illustrator Quentin Blake.

The New Play Reading Series — a collaboration between The Lark Play Development Center and DTF  — will expand this year to include monthly staged readings free and open to the public. Writers will be in attendance and the audience is invited to discuss and respond to the play directly after each reading.

For tickets and more information visit www.dorsettheatrefestival.org or call 802-867-2223.

Essex Community Players to Present Mitch Albom’s ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’

April 6, 2010  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

In May, Essex Community Players (ECP) presents the northern Vermont premiere of Mitch Albom’s “Tuesdays with Morrie.” Sports journalist Mitch Albom reconnects with former professor Morris Schwartz, who is facing Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) with dignity and grace. Together they find balance in the pressures of modern life and challenges of living with disability and loss.

The book “Tuesdays with Morrie,” written by Albom to help the Schwartz family defray medical bills, became a national phenomenon, running four years on the New York Times bestseller list. ECP will donate a portion of show proceeds to the Vermont chapter of the ALS Association.

Roger Dodge, last seen as Otto Frank in “The Diary of Anne Frank,” will take on ballroom dance, the physical rigors of portraying someone with ALS and Morrie’s ebullient spirit to play the title role.  David DiLego, a professionally-trained actor, best known locally for acting and directing in Shakespeare works, Commedia dell-arte and short films, will portray Mitch Albom. “I believe that everyone who comes to see this show will be able to relate to it on some level and be deeply moved by it,” he said.

Director Karin Hammer-Williamson is delighted with her cast. “This show requires actors of enormous talent.  When Roger and David step on stage together, the energy in the room shimmers.  The roles are challenging at every level. Their humor, creativity and skill make me look forward to each rehearsal — they constantly find new dimensions in the work.  I can’t wait to see what happens when they have an audience — the audience is truly the third player in this work!”

Performances are at Memorial Hall in Essex Center Thursdays through Sundays, May 13-16 and 20-23. Tickets are $13 for adults; $11 for age 55 & over; $10 for Essex residents on Essex Day ONLY (Sunday, May 16 at 2p.m.)

For tickets, a reader’s guide, and more information, visit www.essexplayers.com or call 878-9109.

2010 Barbara Smail Award Winner Announced

April 6, 2010  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

Burlington City Arts has announced the 2010 Barbara Smail Award winner — Vermont artist and designer Anthony Sini.

Fran Stoddard, who nominated Sini for the award, writes, “Tony has given of himself to the art community through his commitment to the arts community in general and through participation in several community art events, including Wes Disney projects, print shows, and Don Hanson’s extravaganza print event.”

Sini has been an active artist in the Burlington area since the early 1970s. He attended the School of Visual Arts with a concentration in Illustration and Design, and spent time working at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson. For 15 years, he was the Art Director/Designer at Sandage Advertising, and he has been doing freelance designing for more than a decade.

As the recipient of the award, he will receive $1,000 and use of Burlington City Arts’ facilities for one year.
Friends and family of Barbara Smail, a well-loved and highly respected artist from the Burlington area who died in the fall of 2001, established the Barbara Smail Award. The award is given to a mid-career Vermont-based artist who has a desire to expand his or her creative experience and has displayed an enthusiastic support of his or her peers.

Lyric to Present ‘La Cage Aux Folles’

April 6, 2010  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

Lyric Theatre presents “La Cage Aux Folles,” the glamorous musical that inspired the movie “The Birdcage” with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. The Emmy-winning creative team of Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein will leave you laughing, singing and begging for more!

Show dates: Thursday, April 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30 p.m.; April 10 and 11 at 2 p.m. The April 11 show will be audio-described for blind/visually-impaired patrons.

Tickets are available through the Flynn Web site (www.flynntix.org), the box office (802-86-Flynn), or through Copy Ship Fax Plus in Essex Junction.

For more information, visit www.lyrictheatrevt.org.

‘The Color Purple’ Brings Hope and Healing Power of Love to the Flynn

April 6, 2010  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

Based on the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker and the moving film by Steven Spielberg, the Broadway National Tour of “The Color Purple” takes the Flynn MainStage on May 12 at 7:30 pm.

“The Color Purple” is the unforgettable and inspiring story of a woman named Celie, who finds the strength to triumph over adversity, and discover her unique voice in the world. With a joyous, Grammy-nominated score featuring gospel, jazz, pop and the blues, “The Color Purple” is about hope and the healing power of love.
This production is the next phase in the life of the ground-breaking Broadway hit musical produced by Scott Sanders. The original Broadway musical opened on December 1, 2005, and was nominated for eleven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. “The Color Purple” ran for over two years on Broadway followed by a three year First National Tour.

“The Color Purple” is directed by Gary Griffin and features a libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman, music and lyrics by Grammy Award-winning composers/lyricists Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray, and choreography by Donald Byrd.  Rounding out the creative team are Tony Award-winner John Lee Beatty (sets), Paul Tazewell (costumes), Tony Award-winner Brian MacDevitt (lighting), Craig Cassidy (sound design), Steven M. Bishop (Orchestrations/Arrangements), and Jasper Grant (Music Director).

Tickets are $65, $55, and $45 and are available in person at the FlynnTix Regional Box Office window at 153 Main Street, Burlington; by calling 802-86-FLYNN / 802-863-5966, voice/relay calls welcome; or by visiting www.flynncenter.org. Box Office hours are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on show days from opening until the time of the show. Tickets are available at Copy Ship Fax Plus in Essex Junction. Audio and video samples are available online at www.flynncenter.org

Exhibition Exploring Women’s Lives in Vermont Opens at the Fleming

April 6, 2010  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

The Fleming Museum’s newest exhibition, “Storied Objects: Tracing Women’s Lives in Vermont” explores the experiences of women as they are reflected in the objects they made, used, and treasured. The exhibition runs through September 3.

“Storied Objects” brings together a rich selection of artifacts from the Museum’s collection, along with oral and written narratives of Vermont women from the archives of the Vermont Folklife Center and the University of Vermont’s Special Collections, which offer glimpses into Vermont life from the 19th century onward. The juxtaposition of objects, voices, and documents provides a range of perspectives on the past and enables visitors to explore some of the common aspects of women’s lives in Vermont: at work, in social settings, and within the family. Individual objects are paired with an audio excerpt, for example, an iron with Bertha Tucker’s memories of boiling laundry in the kitchen, offering insights into the object’s use and its significance in a woman’s life. While common experiences intersect in these objects’ uses and meanings, the exhibition also highlights the varied lives of women from different social backgrounds, offering visitors a deeper understanding of Vermont’s past.

The Robert Hull Fleming Museum houses Vermont’s most comprehensive collection of art and anthropology. The Museum is located on the University of Vermont campus at 61 Colchester Avenue, Burlington.

Regular admission to the Museum is $5 for adults; $3 for Students and Seniors. Visit www.uvm.edu/~fleming/ or call 656-0750 for more information.

Rock River Artists Plan 18th Annual Studio Tour

April 6, 2010  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

While city-dwellers and suburbanites swelter through a long July, nature reaches its full flush in Southern Vermont. And so does the art scene.

The Rock River Artists open their homes, gardens and studios to visitors for the 18th year on July 17 and 18. The self-guided tour begins with a group exhibit at the historic Old Schoolhouse at Dover and Augur Hole Roads in South Newfane, where visitors can also pick up a map of studios to help them plan their weekend.
For some, the phrase “art scene” recalls dry crackers and even dryer conversations washed down politely with Perrier from a paper cup. But not here. These 18 professional artists have had a lifetime’s worth of solo shows and are featured in museum collections from Manhattan to Chicago to Portland and abroad. But visiting them one-on-one at your own pace in their own homes is unlike any other artistic encounter.

“This tour is unique because it’s so intimate,” said Roger Sandes, the tour’s longtime coordinator. “Nothing could be more different from a gallery opening or a museum visit. We have successful careers as artists, but we are just regular people, living our lives and doing our work. Our visitors say that talking to the artists and watching them work really brings the art to life.”

Many studios feature demonstrations — like Mystic Metallurgy, where Rich Gillis bends steel to his will, creating delicate curves, coils and tendrils in a medium not usually known for its sympathy with natural forms. Visitors can watch Richard Foye make luminous raku pots, a perfectly choreographed display of the aesthetic uses of smoke and fire. Painter Leonard Ragouzeos shows his technique of brushing India ink onto synthetic paper to create larger-than-life portraits and still life paintings.

Whether you like photography, pottery, painting, fabric arts, prints, fine cabinetry, sculpture or something else altogether, the Rock River Artists Tour has something you will enjoy.

And the countryside almost rivals the art. Brooks still take their natural courses, trees still stand and  old covered bridges, grange halls, barns and churches are still very much in use. In a state where billboards are illegal and there are more miles of dirt road than paved, every route is a scenic route.

If there is one drawback to the tour, it’s that even though the artists all live within a ten-mile radius, one weekend is not usually enough time to drink it all in. Most visitors return year after year to visit their favorite artists and see the work of someone new as well.

“The pace here is slower, the scenery is refreshing, and the variety of artistic styles concentrated in such a small area is quite rare,” said Sandes. “Rock River is a different kind of getaway.”

The Studio Tour will be held from 10a.m. to 6p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 17 and 18. For more information including directions, maps and nearby food and accommodations, visit www.RockRiverArtists.com.

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