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Chefs & Champagne 2017 Event Honors Marcus Samuelsson

Honoree Marcus Samuelsson celebrates with the participating chefs during the 2017 JBF Chefs and Champagne at Wolffer estate on Saturday, July 29, 2017 in Sagaponack, N.Y. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/Invision for James Beard Foundation/)

The phenomenal James Beard Foundation hosted an incredible soiree and honored multiple James Beard Foundation Award–winning chef, author and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson at its 27th annual Chefs Champagne summer fundraiser.

More than 1,000 guests attended the grand Chefs Champagne benefit at the Wölffer Estate where 35 chefs presented their artwork. The Foundation’s tasting party featured flowing Champagne Barons de Rothschild, wines and ciders from Wölffer Estate Vineyard.

Chefs  Champagne
Wolffer Estate Sparkling Rose at the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs Champagne® annual summer fundraiser at Wölffer Estate Vineyard in the Hamptons on July 29, 2017. Photo by David Chow / Courtesy of the James Beard Foundation.

The summertime event is always one of the most popular Saturday nights out east, and it is all for an amazing cause. Food tastings experienced were delightful; and at the same time a silent auction consisting of one-of-a-kind dining experiences, wines and spirits, cookware, and culinary travel packages raised over $100,000 to support the JBF’s mission, scholarship, education and JBF Impact Programs, which include the annual Food Summit and Leadership Awards that help promote a better food system.

The foundation also announced Jordan Werner as the recipient of the 2017 Christian Wölffer Scholarship and the ICC Intensive Sommelier Course tuition waiver. Established in 2006, the Christian Wölffer Scholarship assists students in their study of food and wine. Also in attendance was multiple Christian Wölffer Scholarship recipient Christina Cassel and JBF National Scholars recipient Earlene Cruz.

This year’s summer fundraiser honoring Marcus Samuelsson was one of our most successful ever,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “Marcus is a role model for chefs, restaurateurs and culinary entrepreneurs worldwide. His extraordinary talent, philanthropic endeavors, and boundless energy to help others complements our mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture, more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.”

Chefs Champagne’s guest of honor, Marcus Samuelsson, joined the ranks of gastronomic giantssuch as Bobby Flay, Thomas Keller, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, and Martha Stewart, who have all been fêted at prior events.

Chefs  Champagne
James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro and Honoree Marcus Samuelsson seen at the 2017 JBF Chefs and Champagne at Wolffer estate on Saturday, July 29, 2017 in Sagaponack, N.Y. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/Invision for James Beard Foundation)

Samuelsson is the acclaimed chef behind Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny’s Supper Club, and Streetbird Rotisserie. A committed philanthropist and the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times, he has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards including Best Chef: New York City, and was tasked with planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State dinner.

Sponsors for the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs Champagne include Wölffer Estate Vineyard (host venue); Champagne Barons de Rothschild (exclusive champagne); Neuman’s Kitchen, Events Catering (VIP after-party); Alfredo Prodotti, Audi, Big Green Egg, Brewery Ommegang, FreshDirect + FoodKick, Gokokuya,, Hamptons Magazine, KAMUT®, Melissa’s® Produce, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach, Royal Cup Coffee and Tea, Saratoga Spring Water, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, VerTerra Dinnerware, Windstar Cruises, and WVVH.

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‘Bambi’ turns 75; PBS salutes unsung artist – Orlando Sentinel

Happy 75th anniversary, “Bambi.”

The animated Disney classic has thrilled, charmed and scared moviegoers since its release Aug. 21, 1942.

PBS’ “American Masters” is drawing attention to “Bambi” and Chinese-American artist Tyrus Wong, who helped give the nature drama its unusual atmospherics. Walt Disney liked Wong’s paintings and made him the inspirational sketch artist for the movie.

Wong will be celebrated in the documentary “Tyrus,” which debuts nationwide at 9 p.m. Sept. 8.

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Draft Horses to Racing Pigs, Fair Brings Fun and Friendly Competition – The Vineyard Gazette

For four days, the 156th Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair put West Tisbury at center stage for late summer activities. Although the weather took fairgoers on a journey of near biblical proportions, neither pounding rain nor blistering sun could keep the crowds away.

Friday’s rainstorm turned the fairgounds into veritable mud pits. But not for long. When the weather cleared the next day so did spirits — the Midway pulsed in its hold over children with parents in tow, and the events ring held court with burly woodsmen, statuesque draft horses, dogs of all shapes, sizes and temperaments and women tossing skillets with the same gusto and accuracy as the axe throwers.

And, of course, there was the food, from tacos and burgers to funnel cake and cotton candy. No one went home with an empty stomach.

On Friday, the draft horses showed that rain could not out-muscle them. In fact, the wet weather kept the dust to a minimum and the hardworking animals cool. Those watching (who weren’t pulling up to 8,800 pounds) kept umbrellas close at hand.

Jay and Frank, Abe and Rocky, and Tom and Ted competed in the lightweight division. The announcer pointed to a new safety fence at the end of the rink, built after a draft horse escaped at the fair last year.

In the outside stables, cows greeted the weather by lying down. Inside the barn, chickens clucked and shifted in their pens. Brian Athearn of Runamok Farm in West Tisbury and Tom Rancich held a two-month old sheep named Heather, a cross between a Dorset sheep and a Texel sheep. Heather was still acclimating to wearing a halter, and occasionally trying to run off.

“Most of my sheep I could walk through a Macy’s,” said Mr. Athearn.

But with Mr. Rancich’s calming grip and a trowel full of corn covered in molasses (a rare treat) from Mr. Athearn, she was learning.

“They’re at the fair. Everybody gets a treat at the fair,” Mr. Athearn said.

Back outside at the heavyweight division of the horse pull, six teams lined up, including those who competed in the lightweight division. The rain was falling in earnest and the bleachers remained relatively empty as spectators crowded under trees and umbrellas.

During the competition, one horse threw a shoe and had to be reshod on the field. Another, Jay, stopped wearing his blinders, due to a broken halter, but it didn’t seem to affect his performance at all.

The horses pulled up to 10,600 pounds before it was declared a three-way tie and judges stopped the competition due to the weather. With the rain pounding down, the fairgrounds had emptied considerably. Painted horses on the merry-go-round stood still, no riders mounted or waiting in line, and the Ferris wheel spun lazily, every carriage empty except for rain drops.

On Saturday morning volunteers readjusted plastic fencing to create pathways to start the third day of the fair. By mid-morning the clouds had disappeared, replaced by a clear blue sky, and the ground, although still muddy in places, began to dry.

And the crowds returned too, trickling through the gate as the sounds of chainsaws ripped through the air.

Just inside the fairgrounds, about 200 people squeezed into the small area of shade by the Pulling Ring. Many fanned themselves with newspapers as the morning sun started to sizzle. Matt Galabos was undeterred by the heat as he introduced the participants in the 41st annual Woodsmen Contest,

The first heat had three women battling it out to make three slices in a large beam as quickly as possible. A woman named Brenda set the record to be beat with a time of 5.6 seconds.

Participants had nicknames like Bull’s Eye and Buckwheat printed on their shirts. Mr. Galabos told the crowd that Buckwheat had never once shaved his upper lip. His moustache was “virgin timber,” he said.

As the heats progressed, raffle tickets for two chainsaws and a cord of wood from Island company Lickety Split Logs were sold. “We’re changing lives here,” said Mr. Galabos, adding that everyone remembers their first chainsaw.

Elsewhere on the grounds, the Blue Hill brass band made an impromptu stage under the shade of a tree. Down By the River and Uptown Funk got little children jumping and bobbing.

Inside the exhibit hall of homegrown entries, the air was still. A glass case of butter dripped with condensation. A few flies bumped into the case of baked goods. In the junior preserving category, Sara C. Payne, 14, won so many awards for her pineapple, mint, peach jelly that the judges had to pin them around her translucent green jars. “Bravo” and “gorgeous” were written on her tag.

In the produce category, there were creamy white patty pan squashes, oxblood-colored onions and Indigo Rose tomatoes that faded from nearly black to pale green. Five purple peppers won a big purple ribbon for “most outstanding vegetable.”

Back out on the midway, a father held his young son on his lap at the top of the Super Slide. The boy yelled and kicked until they started to descend. Then his face melted into a grin and the pair slid out of sight.

Sunday brought with it the dog show, and most of the early arrivals to the fair had canine companions in tow. Barks pierced the air as owners discussed their breeds. Handlers received last minute advice and double-checked their treat supplies. Then Rosemarie Haigazian, who has organized the dog show for 42 years, made the announcement for the first category, mixed breeds, to enter the ring.

As the pets made their way around the ring, the judges looked on, spoke with the handlers and interacted with the dogs. They awarded ribbons based on temperament, appearance and more intangible factors, like the stories shared by handlers.

One entry presented a challenge to the judges, as the breed is not yet American Kennel Club approved. So Libby, an exotic barbet, received an honorable mention. Typically for breeds with only one entry, the contestant automatically receives first place, unless he or she misbehaves. Behavior varied among contestants; some laid down mid-trot and one was carried briefly by her handler.

Pearl, an English bulldog wearing a pink harness, was named best in show.

Spectators started to drift away from the dog show around 11 a.m., as they made their way to another animal attraction, Robinson’s Racing Pigs. Oreo cookies served as an effective lure for the squealing racers. Raring to go, Justin Biebercue secured the treat with his speedy performance.

At the midway, a clown sat above a pool of his own in Drown the Clown. He heckled those attempting to dunk him with a terrifying laugh and sarcastic barbs. Beside him was the Zipper, where riders clung to bars inside metal cages as they soared through the air. Jackson Munson, 8, staggered out after a dizzying few minutes on board. He proclaimed the ride awesome, if a little scary.

“It’s my new favorite ride,” he said. And he is an expert, having tried them all, except the Gravitron. Even Jackson has his limits.

At the end of day fairgoers trickled out, many headed down-Island to attend the rescheduled Oak Bluffs fireworks. Others headed home, either on-Island or to awaiting ferries and their off-season lives. The end of the fair means many things, but perhaps highest on the ladder is the approaching school year.

By Monday morning the fairgrounds were a place of disassembly, with rides packed up on trailers and being transported slowly down State Road. Booths stood empty and the ferris wheel looked rather somber in the early morning light, with no crowds to entertain. And somewhere in the distance an anonymous voice called out, sounding very much like the angry clown, declaring Martha’s Vineyard a place of weak arms and no aim. He hadn’t been dunked nearly enough.

More photos from the Agricultural Fair.

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The Best Labor Day Sales You Need to Shop

Call us crazy, but you might want to start your holiday shopping now, because there are major Labor Day sales happening this weekend. We rounded up the best things that are worth getting your wallet out for over the long weekend.

The stores with the best deals are…

1. Best Buy

The electronics super store is offering up to 30% off select appliances and, as always, will match the prices of local and online competitors. Plus, you get free delivery on major appliances $399 and up.

Deal to shop: Buy one of these Samsung Family Hub 2.0 refrigerators and you’ll get a $100 gift card.

2. Walmart

The mega-store has major savings in almost every category including clothing, appliances, home improvement, beauty, back-to-school and more.

Walmart doesn’t release their deals on their website until early Saturday September 2, but be sure to set a reminder to log on right away. They only last until Monday!


Shop with 15-70% off categories such as rugs, garden and patio, bedroom furniture and more.

Deal to shop: Select furniture from Abbyson is up to 65% off, so you can replace your couch that’s been worn out by your kids watching TV all summer.

4. eBay

Snag 40% off patio furniture, kitchen essentials, tools, bedroom furniture and outdoor power equipment by shopping at this discount outlet over the long weekend.

Deal to shop: Save big on kitchen brands like KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Breville and more!

5. Nordstrom

Starting Friday September 1 and going all the way through September 10, Nordstrom will offer up to 40% off clothing for men, women and children.

Deal to shop: Snag discounts on outerwear to keep you warm on the fast-approaching chilly days.

6. JC Penney

Starting on August 25, JC Penney is unleashing blowout sales like up to 60% off mattresses, 50% off suitcases, discounted bedding, kitchen appliances and more.

Deal to shop: American Tourister Luggage is up to 50% – perfect for your fall travel.

7. Lord Taylor

As early as August 30, you can take 20% off regular and sale item, and 25% off select women’s clearance items in-store and online using the promo code LABORDAY.

Deal to shop: Get a new pair of jeans for the whole family. Almost all women’s and men’s denim is buy one, get one 50% off.

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Choosing Kitchen Cabinetry – Drawers vs. Doors

Storage in kitchen cabinetry is one of the many decisions a homeowner must make when it comes to designing or renovating their kitchen. For many, the question of using drawers versus door cabinetry can become overwhelming; there are so many options and styles out there.

Cabinet Doors: The Pros and Cons

Choosing cabinet doors for your kitchen is a traditional and highly useful way to organize your food, dinnerware, pots, pans and glassware. Visually, it creates a nice rhythm of repetition, and with generous open storage, you can choose nearly any combination of organization. Under-counter cabinetry has the depth and height that allows you to store appliances, stacks of bowls, or bulky pots tucked away until you need them. If you are an avid baker or interested creating your own home brews, this larger space is perfect for equipment storage and can be your designated area for hobby cooking needs.

Alternatively, these larger spaces create one problem that many homeowners struggle with; items can get lost or be difficult to reach with that much open space so low to the ground. Ben Kuykendall, director of sales and marketing at Renovo, says, “While doors can be great for storing larger, taller items, they don’t provide any structure for organizing smaller loose items. Doors orient items front to back, rather than side to side. This forces you to either squat low (or stretch high) while searching and straining for items, and/or to have to unpack your cabinets to clear the way to reach an item in the back.”

Many homeowners and cabinet designers have solved this issue with creating a pull-out shelf, often using similar mechanisms to drawers. It allows full access to the depth of a cabinet without the awkward reaching, stretching or losing of items. If your home has cabinet doors, and you want to solve this without a full kitchen renovation, you can easily retrofit existing cabinetry.

“There is a vast array of options for the interior of door cabinets and many can be retrofitted into existing cabinets,” explains Cecilia Redmond, president of Redmond Interior Design in Burlington, Vermont. “Fittings such as pull out shelves give all the benefit of drawer access.”

In comparison to drawers, cabinetry doors are the lower cost choice. There is less hardware and materials needed to create a set of doors over a set of drawers. This is something to consider when it comes to your home remodeling budget.

Cabinet Drawers: The Pros and Cons

Drawers in kitchens are often customized for specific items. You might be familiar with drawers for utensils, and smaller items, but there has been an increase in drawer design and innovation over the past few years.

With the customized options of drawers that can handle the size and weight of pots and pans, peg boards to secure plates and bowls, as well as pull-out, drawer-style spice racks, there are many ways to get the drawer customization you need. Access to items is one of the great benefits of designing with drawers. As Kuykendall explains.

“Drawers eliminate the need to move or remove items from the cabinet that are in front of the items in the back that you want to reach. By arranging items width-wise across the drawer, rather than depth-wise, from front to back, drawers make more items more easily accessible without reaching, stretching or straining.”

One of the biggest downsides to placing drawers in your kitchen is the higher cost in comparison to cabinet doors. Additionally, drawers often have a restriction to their sizes, so larger items may not fit into the confines of a particular drawer setup.

Drawer and Door Layout: Where to Place Them In Your Kitchen

With all of this talk about the various ways to use drawers and doors in your kitchen, it can be hard to determine where you might begin to place them in your home. For your upper cabinetry, you can certainly play up items you would want to display with glass cabinetry or shelves. This can also visually break up a line of doors and provide a nice focal point.

When it comes to under -counter storage, you will want to first think about the three most active areas of the kitchen: the sink, the stove and the refrigerator.

  • What do you want easy access to around each area?
  • Do those items seem more suited to be drawer storage, door storage or a combination?
  • What will you need access to in your central food prep area?
  • Will your needs change over time?

The key to designing a kitchen to your way of cooking is to visualize how you use the space and what provides the best convenience for your needs. Redmond explains her thought process in designing for under cabinet storage in key areas.

“I like large drawers near the stove – a wide shallow top drawer for knives and utensils and deep lower drawers for pots and pans. Doors are very useful for vertical storage such as trays, chopping boards, and cookie sheets.”

Overall, if you are looking to update the cabinetry in your kitchen, there are many versatile ways to design with both drawers and doors.

Are you updating your kitchen? What else is on your list of renovations? Share them in the comment section.

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