Overcoming Driving AND Library Funding Obstacles!

Hi everyone!  Life is about overcoming obstacles in creative ways for ourselves and our community.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my friend/Take Back the Kitchen Graphic Designer , Lauren Kaiser , for helping me move forward in overcoming my obstacle to highway driving by sitting in the passenger seat and navigating so I could take my kids to the Liberty Science  Center in Jersey City, NJ. It will probably be our last outing before school starts next week. She’s nice  (that’s her on the right). Thanks, Lauren!!!
As sad as I am about summer ending and school beginning, I am psyched about some upcoming events in my town of Montclair, namely our Parents Who Rock event next Saturday, Sept. 7th and the Grapes of Wrath event  benefiting our public  library on September 28th.
You see, we as a community are trying to help everyone overcome their obstacles, which are usually financial, to accomplish what needs to be done. I love when overcoming obstacles can be accomplished by thinking out of the box.
The event planners for the library fundraiser have done what I love doing myself and  with my clients; making interesting culinary challenges  to make an event festive. The planners have gotten some of the wonderful chefs  and wine folk in town to create Dickensonian type dishes for the event and I, myself, cannot WAIT to try them!
These food events are  making  me get in the mood for the comfort foods of Fall which is not so easy in this 90 degree heat!
Here are some deets and hope to see you there!:

Montclair’s Top Chefs and Wine Experts Lend Their Creativity To 

The Montclair Public Library Foundation’s

“Grape Expectations” Food and Wine Fundraiser

Saturday, September 28, 2013

With Special Guest Eric Asimov, New York Times Chief Wine Critic

6:30PM-7:30PM Interactive Wine Seminar with Eric Asimov, $250

7:30-10:30PM Asimov Book Talk & Charles Dickens’ Inspired Festivities, $100

The Montclair Public Library, 50 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042


Montclairians are known for their love of three great things: good wine, sumptuous meals and inspiring books. Lovers of these pleasures will celebrate the generosity of our Public Library together on Saturday, September 28, as the Montclair Public Library Foundation presents “Grape Expectations.” This unique wine and food benefit event with a ‘twist’ will feature Eric Asimov, chief wine critic for The New York Times and the author of How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto.


Mr. Asimov will discuss why wine buyers should rethink conventional wisdom about wine. He says, “This is the greatest time in history to be a wine lover. We have a greater diversity of good wine, from more different places in more different styles, than ever before. I wrote my book partly because I saw so many people who felt anxious or inhibited about wine, which gets in the way of simply enjoying it. My hope is that the book will lead people to question some of the assumptions they may have about wine, and help eliminate the obstacles that get in the way of pleasure.”


Mr. Asimov will collaborate with Sharon Sevrens of Amanti Vino Wines and Chef Ariane Duarte of CulinAriane Restaurant to curate a tasting and wine education seminar for the first portion of the evening. Mr. Asimov will tell the story of four unusual wines from interesting growing regions, as the group enjoys these wines with four corresponding appetizers. Tickets to this intimate seminar are limited.


Afterwards, a festive wine and food adventure from 7:30pm-10pm will celebrate the works of Charles Dickens. The library has challenged chefs from new and beloved Montclair restaurants to interpret Dickens’ passages about food and wine to create “twists” on everything from the holiday feasts of A Christmas Carol,  to French Revolution food reminiscent of A Tale of Two Cities, to the heady British delicacies of The Pickwick Papers. Highlights include:

  • From Chef Shawn Paul Dalziel of 12 West: Quince and Quail roulettes, and more!


  • A trio of organic soup-mavens, Jamie Busch of Let’s Spoon, Grace Grund of Terra, and Ina Denberg of Continuum Living, collaborate on a somewhat ironic “Gruel” table in reference to Oliver Twist. In addition to soups of seasonal vegetables, Grund will offer Asian congee, a rice porridge. Explains Grund, “In many cultures, as in Victorian London, soups and porridges are the staple foods that transcend class and nourish many for less.”


  • From Chef Mark Papera of Fricassee: chicken liver mousse tartines, the ultimate French bistro food.


  • Pastry chef Jennifer Snyder of Little Daisy Bakeshop will make her popular scones, shortbreads, and lemon squares.


“The comfort foods of Victorian England are NOT easy to translate into a modern cocktail party, but we have such a talented group of chefs and wine experts that it will be great fun to see what they can create to share their vision and produce a delicious experience, ” says Anita Peterson, Montclair Library Foundation Administrator. The chefs are donating their creations to the library. Says Jennifer Snyder, “It’s a pleasure to support the library, which provides so much to our community.”


For the main event, Sharon Sevrens will work with Mr. Asimov of the NY Times to select wines for 10 wines for 3 themed wine bars that will educate as they delight.

Let’s raise a glass for our wonderful community and its cultural hub, the Montclair Public Library.



2 Responses

  1. Hi Alma! I had such a fun day with you and your kids. I’d be happy to navigate anytime you need me to…you rocked that highway! xo -Lauren

  2. I had no idea about the driving. Congrats. Next step-motorcycles!

    One benefit of riding a bike is it’s really hard to eat unhealthy snacks while riding at highway speeds. Actually, it’s hard to eat at any speed.

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