Left to right: Hugue Dufour, Alfonso Zhicay, and Will Horowitz. 
Photo credit: B.A. Van Sise
Left to right: Hugue Dufour, Alfonso Zhicay, and Will Horowitz. Photo credit: B.A. Van Sise
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Prime cheese fest returns to Queens
by Jennifer Khedaroo
Dec 06, 2016 | 26 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Left to right: Hugue Dufour, Alfonso Zhicay, and Will Horowitz. 
Photo credit: B.A. Van Sise
Left to right: Hugue Dufour, Alfonso Zhicay, and Will Horowitz. Photo credit: B.A. Van Sise
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For those who have a deep appreciation for cheese, The Great Northeast Cheese & Dairy Fest will return with more than 75 various cheeses to sample. The festival, in its second year, will take place this Saturday at Flushing Town Hall. Due to the festival’s popularity last year, cheese enthusiasts will be able to sample more cheeses, including cheeses from distinguished creameries like Jasper Hill Farm or Consider Bardwell. Other artisanal creameries include Bovina Valley Farm, Crosswinds Farm & Creamery, Mohawk Drumlin Creamery, Perrystead Dairy and Vulto Creamery. Guests can sample various cheeses from nutty sheep's milk tommes and Cheddars to luscious triple cremes, tangy goat cheeses and exquisite sheep’s yogurt, according to festival organizers. Additionally, People’s Choice Awards will give attendees the opportunity to vote for their favorite cheeses. “Our goal with The Great Northeast Cheese & Dairy Fest is to provide support and promote for our regional farmers and producers, as well educate the community and encourage excellence in farmstead and artisanal cheese and dairy,” said Nicole E. Day Gray, Vice President of NYEE and Founding Officer of the Cheese & Dairy Society of New York State (CDSNYS). “It’s an innovative and delicious way to expose regional producers to chefs, foodies, cheesemongers and cheese lovers in a stunning setting.” Cheese-centric dishes will be featured from top New York City chefs such as Chef Will Horowitz of Ducks Eatery/Harry & Ida’s Meat and Supply Co.; Michelin-starred Chef Hugue Dufour of M. Wells Steakhouse; Chef Alfonso Zhicay of Casa del Chef Bistro; Chef Humberto Guallpa of Cuban-Chinese eatery Calle Dao; and Chef Brian Hayford of Cuban-Brazilian hotspot Favela Cubana. “Chef Dufour’s pommes aligot—a decadent, gooey combination of mashed potatoes and Cheddar cheese curds—is not be missed,” said NYEE President Chef David Noeth. Pairings will include top-rated wines, craft beers, farmstead ciders, and cocktails created especially for the cheeses, organizers said. Guests will also have the chance to purchase cheeses and dairy products from the creameries.. “With its pairing of local talent and Northeast cheeses the festival is a bridge between the region's makers of fine cheeses and the borough's culinary culture,” said Joe DiStefano, Communications Director of NYEE. The event will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. General admission is $60 and covers unlimited tastings of food and beverages. Additionally, there will be $100 VIP tickets sold, which will allow access to a special hour from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. enabling guests to enjoy exclusive culinary demonstrations and learn about cheeses from renowned cheese experts, including the mongers of Brooklyn’s acclaimed Crown Finish Caves. VIP guests will also have early access to the rest of festival. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-great-northeast-cheese-dairy-fest-tickets-27644816390.
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Oran Etkin (photo credit: John Abbott)
Oran Etkin (photo credit: John Abbott)
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Oran Etkin and his Timbalooloo band performed for parents and children at 
BAM Cafe on November 26.
Oran Etkin and his Timbalooloo band performed for parents and children at BAM Cafe on November 26.
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Timbalooloo workshop teaches jazz for kids
by Jennifer Khedaroo
Dec 06, 2016 | 28 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Oran Etkin (photo credit: John Abbott)
Oran Etkin (photo credit: John Abbott)
slideshow
Oran Etkin and his Timbalooloo band performed for parents and children at 
BAM Cafe on November 26.
Oran Etkin and his Timbalooloo band performed for parents and children at BAM Cafe on November 26.
slideshow
Teaching children the fluency of music while exploring various cultures is what Timbalooloo is all about. In fact, Timbalooloo is a new method to teach children how to make music while enriching their creativity and overall cognitive, emotional and physical development. Critically acclaimed clarinetist and composer Oran Etkin is the man behind Timbalooloo. Etkin, known for his contributions to jazz and world music, started up the company in 2005. Since then, Timbalooloo has reached over 2,000 children in New York City and thousands more in 23 countries, such as Turkey, Indonesia, France, Ghana and China. “We want kids to learn music at a young age in the way that they learn and become fluent in language,” Etkin said. Through different platforms, like school and home classes, albums for kids and live concert performances, Timbalooloo becomes a natural way to teach music just as a young child learns how to use language to communicate. The December 10th workshop at National Sawdust in Williamsburg is part of a duo series at the venue. Each month, there will be a different musical guest and a particular focus on a character instrument, like “Clara Net” and “Big Momma Tuba.” A big aspect of Timbalooloo is that the instruments come to life through music. The December 10th show will center around “Big Momma Tuba” as well as the instrument’s history in places like New Orleans. Embracing one another’s backgrounds and the world’s cultures is an important aspect of Timbalooloo, especially given the time that we are living in, Etkin said. “It’s a big joy in my life to find out about other cultures and to interact with people, and music is an important tool for that,” Etkin said. “Especially now, it seems like people want to isolate themselves and fear the unknown but if we start young when they are interested and curious, we can explore the positivity that music can bring among people of different cultures.” In the past, Etkin introduced musical instruments like the kora, a 21-string lute-bridge-harp, commonly used in West Africa. Timbalooloo just returned from France and they are making their way to the Czech Republic soon. He tries to bring back elements of wherever he visits to share with the families of New York. Timbalooloo tries to refrain from solely performing for the children. Etkin emphasized the importance of a two-way street where children can give feedback based on their energy and wonder. Both children and parents are also encouraged to participate in each show and class. The Jazz for Kids: Timbalooloo Duo Workshop will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased at nationalsawdust.org.Upcoming shows for the Timbalooloo Duo Series include Dec. 10 at 11 a.m., Jan. 21 at 11 a.m., Feb. 18 at 11 a.m., April 22 at 11 a.m. and June 17 at 11 a.m.
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