It has been the setting for meals prepared by the finest chefs from America and Europe, and now some La Plata County purveyors of food and beverages will have their products on the menu at the James Beard House in Greenwich Village in New York City.
James Beard was one of the most influential food writers in the 20th century. The eponymous house was created after his death to celebrate, preserve and nurture America's culinary heritage and diversity to elevate the appreciation of culinary excellence.
Chef Adam Dulye, an instructor at the Culinary School of the Rockies, and his team of chefs will prepare an extensive menu at the house (dinners are generally five courses), featuring items that have been raised, grown or harvested in our Rocky Mountain paradise.
The Flavors of Colorado dinner will be served March 6.
Because the idea of pairing fine food with handcrafted beers has been becoming increasingly popular, Dulye has invited Steamworks Brewing Co. to feature its brews on the menu along with a few wines. And while Colorado has more craft breweries (106) per capita than any other state in the Union, Steamworks is the first microbrewery from the state to have its product served at the James Beard House.
Kris Oyler, the general manager of Steamworks, has worked with Dulye in the past, creating dinners both at the culinary school and at Manor Vail. He's excited to see how Steamworks' microbrews fare in the Big Apple. He credits the Rocky Mountain pure water - the key ingredient of beer - for the quality of beers brewed here.
Foxfire Farms (lamb) and Desert Sun Coffee Roasters are the two other La Plata County food producers that will be on the menu. (Boy, are those New Yorkers in for a treat.)
If you want to savor this fine meal, tickets are available by calling (212) 627-2308 or online at www.jamesbeard.org. (Online tickets won't be available until February.)
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The Aquarius pitcher is overflowing with happy birthday wishes for Walt Balfour, David Wells, Dan Larowe, Sara Root, Maggie Casey, Esther Moore, Jim Williams, Nita Anderson, Kevin Martin, Dylan Simonsen, Savanna Safran, Alex Kolter, Caroline Knight, Alexander Grolub, Jan Brown Reed, Randy Swan, Aggie Owens and Liz Snow.
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Congratulations to Lindsay Kolb who will receive the Corpsmember of the Year award from Southwest Conservation Corps and the Colorado Youth Corps Association on Monday at a breakfast in the state Capitol.
Rep. Ellen Roberts will be honored with the Champion of Youth Award.
Kolb is being recognized for her commitment to SCC's mission and her outstanding abilities as a crew member and crew leader.
She was a member of a crew in the SCC-Four Corners Crew Leader Development Program, a six-month class that trains and develops successful outdoor leaders. After completing the program, Kolb, 23, went on to spend another two months as a crew leader for several groups across the Southwest.
During her time with the SCC, Kolb spent at least seven months in the field, camping out and working on a significant number of trails and restoration projects in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.
SCC-Four Corners Corps Development Coordinator Eli Herb said Kolb was not only committed to excellence, she also learned and grew as an individual.
In addition to earning a wage for her time in the corps, Kolb also earned AmeriCorps Education Awards that she can use for post-secondary education.
For those of my readers who don't know what the Southwest Conservation Corps does, it's a pretty impressive organization.
Its mission is to complete important conservation projects on public lands. The SCC was founded in 1998 to continue the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s. The employment and projects are primarily sponsored by municipalities and land-management agencies throughout the Southwest.
The SCC also does a tremendous job of helping young people build futures for themselves while they are of service to their communities.
Durango is the headquarters with other offices in Alamosa, Acoma, N.M., and Tucson, Ariz.
The Colorado Youth Corps Association supports a network of 11 youth conservation corps in the state. About 1,200 young people work in those corps annually.
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Most people who have graduated from high school probably have tried to make their way through an old English epic of "Beowulf."
In India, the early epic is called the "Ramayana" (journey of Rama) and it is a popular part of the culture for both Hindus and Buddhists. In fact, when a TV series featuring incidents from the poem ended in the late 1980s, sanitation workers in northern India went on strike, and their only demand was for more episodes. The strike worked.
This is just some of the information Eileen Wasserbach shared with members of the Reading Club on Jan. 8 at the home of Cheryl Jackson.
The club's study theme this year is Asia, and members are learning just how much they don't know about the continent that holds about half of the planet's population.
Historians say the "Ramayana" was written sometime between the fourth and second centuries B.C., possibly by a Hindu sage named Valmiki. It's a morality play combining folklore and religious themes. The original version was made up of 24,000 verses in seven books, which were written in a 32-syllable meter.
It's India's most popular story, and many versions of it exist throughout Southeast Asia. Wasserbach experienced the Thai version when visiting her daughter, who was a Rotary exchange student, there. In Thailand, it's called "Ramakien" and often features the beautifully garbed and graceful Thai dancers.
Reading Club members recommended several books including Look Me in the Eye: My Life With Arsperger's by John Elder Robison, The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama, Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution by Thomas Friedman and one of our new president's favorites -Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
They have put together cards that feature discounts to 13 local businesses. They include Kachina Kitchen, Red Snapper, the Flying Fish Co. and Beau Jo's Mountain Bistro on the food front and sports equipment and services including Boarding Haus, Cliffside Ski & Bike, Mild to Wild Rafting, Bouré Bicycle Clothing and Stevo's on Main. There also are offers from the Durango Sports Club, Andy's Photography, Brown Shoe Fit and Bank of Colorado.
The discount cards are $10, and all proceeds will benefit the BMX program. They're available from Durango BMX members or by calling Amy Wanzek at 769-1015.
This program provides a healthy activity for families and is one of the positive examples of how recreation can bring us together. It's completely run by volunteers on a shoestring.
Spending their anniversaries gearing up for Snowdown are Shep and Sarah Shepherd and Louis and Gay Kiene.
Special anniversary greetings go to Gary and Jean Somsen, who are celebrating their 46th anniversary on Monday. They've had a rough couple of years healthwise, so this anniversary will be particularly sweet.
For information about upcoming events and fundraisers, check Local Briefs.
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