Twenty-seven excited attendees signed on for an epic culinary journey through time and around the world Sunday evening. The setting for their experience was the latest Encore Affairs event presented by the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra League at A Chef’s Kitchen on Prince George Street in Williamsburg. The sound of live piano music drifted through the dining area as the evening began with sparkling wine and hors d’oeuvres as attendees socialized with friends new and old.
Chef John Gonzales began his presentation by expertly explaining how many of today’s cooking ingredients came from other times and from other lands. From corn meal to salt, the building blocks of tasty and healthy dishes can be sourced locally these days as recommended by Chef Gonzales. He and his sous chef, Nick Allen, then demonstrated their skills, preparing and cooking with attention to detail. Each dish was then quickly served to eager diners. Paired with several fine wines from his own store, the five-course meal provided a dining experience to remember. A helpful booklet was provided which lists ingredients for each course accompanied by preparation and cooking instructions.
A highlight of the evening came after a questioner asked about the chefs’ worst experience at the kitchen. Several hilarious scenarios were recounted which left delighted listeners wiping away tears of laughter. Chef Gonzales donates his time and that of his sous-chef and server for this event. He is a generous and long-time supporter of both the Orchestra and the League.
This was a wonderful visit, tour and lunch at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) on a lovely day in late October. Beginning with a comfortable bus ride to the museum, the group had a terrific guided tour of the museum highlights, a visit to the featured artist Edward Hopper exhibit, and then an exquisite private lunch in the famous Marble Hall in the museum. This great event was sponsored by Doug and Janis Wood, Paul Try and Linda Kligman-Try, and was superbly organized by Doug Wood. The tour covered some unique pieces exhibited by VMFA, such as, one of just two full-length statues of Roman Emperor Caligula, five of the only 52 imperial Fabergé Eggs, and a complete Roman mosaic floor from Antioch in Syria. This was an “Affair to Remember”.
Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra League President, Ken Mitchell, presents a check for $53,000 to Carolyn Keurajian, Executive Director of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra. The League conducts fund raising social events each year and provides ongoing volunteer services to the Orchestra.
The lovely home of Clyde and Gulay Berryman provided an intimate setting for Encore Affairs event #2. Tastefully displayed throughout the first floor was the artwork of Gulay, an artist of international renown. Clyde held forth in the basement proudly exhibiting his extensive collection of Formula One racing car models, ship models from many nations, and beautiful dioramas. A variety of Mediterranean inspired foods was loving prepared and served by Gulay. From the sound of laughter and animated conversation it was apparent that the evening provided for strengthening friendships old and new.
Clyde and Gulay continue to be loyal and generous supporters of the Symphony and League and are appreciated for making this second Encore Affair event of the season successful and truly memorable.
A “jolly” and “nostalgic” time was had by all who attended the first Encore Affair of the 2019-2020 season. Beginning with drinks and appetizers, then a delicious dinner with sweet potato pie as dessert and ending with the delightful music of the Three Jolly Coachmen, the evening was a wonderful success. There was much toe-tapping as the Coachmen took us on the“MTA”! Happy faces can be seen in the images of those attending.
Please plan to join us for more delicious and fun events as we provide a novel way to support our wonderful Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra.