Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Parisian Diversion

Incase you re looking for a diversion from the length of PARIS , the Hundred-foot Journey is a delightful quick read of culture, food and family/kp

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Helen Mirren and Om Puri, directed by Lasse Hallstrom, and produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Juliet Blake, DreamWorks Studios, and Participant Media. "That skinny Indian teenager has that mysterious something that comes along once a generation. He is one of those rare chefs who is simply born. He is an artist." And so begins the rise of Hassan Haji, the unlikely gourmand who recounts his life's journey in Richard Morais's charming novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey . Lively and brimming with the colors, flavors, and scents of the kitchen, The Hundred-Foot Journey is a succulent treat about family, nationality, and the mysteries of good taste. Born above his grandfather's modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps. The boisterous Haji family takes Lumière by storm. They open an inexpensive Indian restaurant opposite an esteemed French relais -that of the famous chef Madame Mallory-and infuse the sleepy town with the spices of India, transforming the lives of its eccentric villagers and infuriating their celebrated neighbor. Only after Madame Mallory wages culinary war with the immigrant family, does she finally agree to mentor young Hassan, leading him to Paris, the launch of his own restaurant, and a slew of new adventures. The Hundred-Foot Journey is about how the hundred-foot distance between a new Indian kitchen and a traditional French one can represent the gulf between different cultures and desires. A testament to the inevitability of destiny, this is a fable for the ages-charming, endearing, and compulsively readable.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

It looks as though we visited the mount just in time for the French garden suffered much damage last week from a rain storm.

Dear Friends,

I am happy to report that the damage to the gardens, from last week's storm, has largely been addressed. In fact, the gardens look just stunning as we head into the long weekend.

Thanks to a quick response, we were able to save the majority of the perennials and the flower beds have been completely cleared of rubble. In addition, the heavily eroded garden pathways have all been refilled and access to all areas of the property is now restored.

The response from the community has been overwhelming. We have received $40,000 in donations towards repairs, including a generous $10,000 gift from the Berkshire Bank Foundation. We estimate that the total cost will range between $60,000 and $80,000. We have launched an Emergency Fund campaign to raise the remaining $40,000. We will also been hosting our first Music After Hours this Friday and will be asking for donations to help underwrite the repairs. I do hope you join us. 

Thank you so much for your concern and all the offers of help and aid. Your well wishes mean everything. Have a wonderful Fourth of July and come visit us soon so you can see the work first-hand.

Very best,
Susan Wissler
Executive Director