In the last couple of years, Durango High School's Culinary Team has had a lot of success in competition, winning the state championship this year and going on to Nationals.
One student, who has been on the team the last two years, had a special internship this summer at BLT Prime in New York City.
Alex Max worked at the Manhattan eatery, which is directed and co-owned by Executive Chef Laurent Tourondel. BLT Prime is described as a traditional French bistro with the a la carte options of an American steakhouse.
At the end of July, the Bentley Hamilton family stopped by the restaurant for dinner on their way home from France. Hamilton himself is a talented cook, and it runs in the family. His brother Tom Hamilton is the eponymous owner of Hamilton Chop House at Tamarron and another brother owns several restaurants in Farmington.
Bentley Hamilton has cooked with Alex, who is a friend of the family, and Alex also has worked in the kitchens at local favorites Chez Grandmère and East by Southwest. Coincidentally, the Hamiltons also own one of the French chef's cookbooks Bistro Laurent Tourondel.
When asked what they ate, Bentley Hamilton's wife, Brenda, said the cuisine was quite impressive. She enjoyed the striped bass special, while her husband had the Kobe hanger steak, which was served with both green-peppercorn and béarnaise sauces. The creamed spinach and corn side dishes were also excellent.
The Hamiltons - with daughters Melanie and Daphne along - sampled a variety of appetizers, including tuna tartare, crab cakes, grilled scallops with watermelon and bacon, a French version of grilled cheese sandwiches, pork rillettes and the restaurant's signature popovers.
Bentley Hamilton was impressed by the display meat locker at the entrance to the restaurant with its aged loins of beef.
The Hamiltons had just returned from Europe on the Queen Elizabeth 2. (Now that's a civilized way to travel.) They spent a week each in La Rochelle and St. Jean de Luz, so they had already been eating well for weeks.
It will be interesting to see what inspiration Alex brings back from his summer in the big leagues to the Culinary Team. He is the son of Jeff and Erica Max.
- - -Wishing for the August days of summer to slow down as they blow out their birthday candles are Bob Lundquist, Bessie Stidham, Ginny Graham, Olivia Dombach, Michael Cobb, Walter Jackson, Rick Phillips, Natalie Serwe, James Calvet, Sandy Dalenberg, Laura Stransky, Judy Danielson, Glenn Francis, Roger Landgren and Julie Schultz.
- - -On June 25, High Noon Rotary Club held its changeover party in the program rooms at the Durango Public Library. Sari Brown and the Yellow Carrot catered the affair, which was organized by High Nooner Ted Weirather.
Two Durango High School students, J.R. Smith on the violin and Sharona Bollinger on the viola, provided a soundtrack.
Joe and Jan Williams represented Durango Daybreak Rotary Club. (Jan Williams is a past district governor), Clyde and Paulette Church represented the Rotary Club of Durango. (Clyde Church is the assistant district governor for Southwest Colorado.)Tami Coddington, the outgoing president, was delighted to hand the gavel over to incoming President Mark Prouty. Cathy Crum was named Rotarian of the Year, and Weirather took home bragging rights as Board Member of the Year. Jill Wark and Rick Routh received Distinguished Service Awards.
Autumn Mallett, who just graduated from Durango High School, was named Interactor of the Year. Interact is the high school branch of Rotary International.
Fort Lewis College student Katie Zortman was named Rotaractor of the Year. Rotaract is the college branch of Rotary.
Coddington reported on the year's accomplishments. Among them, High Noon helped send 11 students to college, four with full-ride scholarships to FLC.
The club not only invites representatives of nonprofits to speak, it also makes contributions to many of them. High Noon furnished the newly expanded dining room at the Community Shelter, donated books to the Study Connection, worked on a Habitat for Humanity home and purchased two defibrillators for the community.
Rotary also is well known for its international work, and High Noon does its share. It supported Greg Mortenson's Central Asia Institute to help educate girls in Pakistan, helped provide Pure Water for the World in Honduras and more clean water through Engineers without Borders in Ecuador. The club supported Tender Hands Orphanage and School in India, Project Amigo in Mexico, Make All Children Smile in Zimbabwe and an orphanage project in Guatemala.
The highlight of the evening was recognizing the club's new Paul Harris Fellows. (Paul Harris founded Rotary in 1905.) One becomes a Paul Harris Fellow by donating (or having money donated on one's behalf) $1,000 to Rotary International Foundation. It is possible, indeed encouraged, for Rotarians to be multiple Paul Harris Award recipients.
First-time recipients were Angie Beach, Melisa Caskey, Coddington, Kathy Firestone, Miss Jane Fogelman, Bob Foster, Bill Hobson, Chip Lile, Greg Lyman, Peter Marshall, Scott Mathis, Dan McCarthy, Rick Routh, Vern Swanson and Jim Whitley.
Second-time recipients were Jeff Brown, Bud Deering, Tom Galbraith and Brian Myers. Charlie Albert was a fifth-time recipient, and Crum, aka Rotarian of the Year, was a sixth-time recipient.
- - -It's time for nonprofit staff and nonprofit staff wannabes to sign up for Nonprofit Management, Making a Difference, a course through Continuing Education at Fort Lewis College. It's the introduction to the first noncredit certification course through Continuing Ed, which is taught by Bob Over.
Over has an extensive résumé of work with philanthropic organizations on the Front Range, having led not one, not two, but three nonprofits through three and a half decades of capital projects, daily service delivery and complete revisionings.
He and Gigi Duthie, the director of the Continuing Ed program, have gotten the permission of FLC's deans and provost to design and offer the program, which officially launches in 2010, but the original course is offered this fall.
The Professional Nonprofit Management Certificate program requires students to take courses in four tracks: Executive Leadership, Board Development, Fund Development and Organizational Development. While Over is the project director and teaches the introductory course, speakers and instructors come from successful nonprofits in the area and many have gotten training outside Southwest Colorado. For example, attorney Bob Dawes took a course in Denver for a course that will probably be offered in the spring called Legal Issues Critical to an Organization's Legal Health.
The program has an advisory committee that is made up of Bill Carver, the Carver Brewing Co. and capital fundraiser extraordinaire for the Discovery Museum at the Powerhouse; Lon Erwin, the executive director of the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado; Matt Kelly, the business development manager for First National Bank of Durango; Roseann Kutzleb, executive director of Alternative Horizons; Vaughn Morris, the president and chief executive officer of Boys of Girls Club of La Plata County; Tim Walsworth, president and CEO of United Way of Southwest Colorado; Eileen Wasserbach, executive director of the Southern Ute Community Action Programs; Duthie and Over.
My personal opinion is that in the new financial landscape of America, nonprofit management is going to require a lot more training than in the past, where people mostly learned on the job. Donors are going to be paying a lot more attention to how their money is spent, staffs will be required to be a lot more efficient and executive directors are going to have to motivate and retain volunteers for the bulk of the manpower of their programs. This program could not have come at a better time.
I understand that the fall class is filling up rapidly. Some scholarships are available, and registration is easy - contact Duthie at 247-7385 or firstname.lastname@example.org or go online to www.fortlewis.edu, click on Alumni and Friends and then on Continuing Education.
The course and certificate program are also described in the Continuing Education catalogue that was inserted in The Durango Herald on Friday and is available at a variety of locations around town.
- - -There are only four days left to enjoy Dames at Sea at the Henry Strater Theater. Anyone who has ever attended a musical directed by Durango High School's Mona Wood-Patterson and Chuck Ford know it will be a highly entertaining event, especially when you add in Helen Gregory on the piano.
A number of readers have mentioned to me how much they enjoyed it, and others have said that the show deserves a sold-out house for its final four performances before it closes after Saturday night's performance.
So consider this last call for a great show.
- - -The bounty of summer is available for the anniversary celebrations of Jon and Peeb Lupia, Hall and Joan Sippy, Don and Terri Oliver, Leslie and Randy Ponce, and Chris and Tara Safran.
- - -For information about upcoming events and fundraisers, check Local Briefs.
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