Out & About Magazine December 2013

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Our Annual Wine Issue Area Experts Reveal Their Holiday Favorites A Memorable Night at Toscana's FarmTable Say Cheese! Pairing Tips That Bring Smiles



World of

Helpful hints on pairing, gifting and knowing your grapes

DECEMBER 2013 CO M P L I M E N TA R Y VOL. 26 | NO. 8

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(READY TO GIFT) Holiday Instant Games from the Delaware Lottery are quite possibly the perfect gift. They’re easy to give, fun to receive, exciting to play, and best of all, you don’t have to wrap them.

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eclipse bistro

taverna rustic italian






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Quitline (1.866.409.1858)

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Car crashes kill more than the holiday spirit. Every 3.5 days, there is a traffic fatality in Delaware.




Please drive safely this holiday season.

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Out & About Magazine Published each month by TSN Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Mailing & business address: 307 A Street, Wilmington, DE 19801

our staff


Publisher Gerald duPhily • jduphily@tsnpub.com Contributing Editor Bob Yearick • ryearick@comcast.net


Director of Publications Jim Hunter Miller • jmiller@tsnpub.com Director of Sales Marie Graham Poot • mgraham@tsnpub.com Creative Direction & Production Management Matthew Loeb, Catalyst Visuals, LLC. matt@catvis.biz Graphic Designer Tyler Mitchell, Catalyst Visuals, LLC. tyler@catvis.biz

what’s inside START


7 War On Words

57 Great Winter Brews

9 FYI 11 By the Numbers


13 Worth Trying

62 Tuned In

15 Day Trippin’

63 GlimDropper

19 Stocking Stuffers

65 Music Returns to Cromwell’s

23 Winter Parties Contest

Contributing Designer Carlton Morrison Contributing Writers Matt Amis, Krista Connor, Mark Fields, Pam George, Rob Kalesse, John Leyh, Robert Lhulier, Allan McKinley, J. Burke Morrison, John Murray, Larry Nagengast, Ciro Poppiti, Scott Pruden Contributing Photographers Joe del Tufo, Tim Hawk, Les Kipp, Lori M. Nichols, Danielle Quigley, Matt Urban Special Projects John Holton, Kelly Loeb



69 Reviews

24 Wine & Cheese Pairings

73 Sizing Up Santas


20 Good Neighbor Policy Chuck Selvaggio finds a calling in Neighbors to Nicaragua By Matt Amis

30 Cuisine, Wine, Conversation Chefs and ‘wine-os’ test their pairing skills during an epic dinner at Piccolina Toscana By Pam George

37 The Dine-Amic Duo

29 Salud...2014 in Wine 35 Wine Experts’ Top Picks



Everything Carl and Lisa Georigi touch seems to turn to platinum

74 Wilmington Beer Week

By Pam George

77 Santa Crawl, Haunts & Hops

59 Calling The Tunes

47 Interview with Pat Beebe 51 Remembering Charlie Trotter

Cover design Matt Loeb

Ron Ozer, a Dupont engineer, is bringing younger acts to Arden By Krista Connor

For editorial & advertising information: 302.655.6483 • Fax 302.654.0569 Website: outandaboutnow.com Email: contact@tsnpub.com DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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Court Jones

Information Security Analyst, Computer Sciences Corporation | B.S. in Computer and Network Security, 2013

Earn a degree that’s relevant to your career. Are you ready to compete in today’s job market? Wilmington University is a private, nonprofit institution offering fully-accredited undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs designed to help you distinguish yourself from the competition and advance in your career. Learn from expert faculty with real-world credentials who provide you with the skills you need to become a leader in your field. Attend classes at a variety of locations throughout the region or enjoy the flexibility of online learning.

CAREER-ORIENTED PROGRAMS IN: Business Management Criminal Justice Cyber Security Education Finance Information Technology Marketing Multimedia and Game Design Nursing and Health Professions Public Policy and Administration Social and Behavioral Sciences

Spring classes begin January 13. Get started today at wilmu.edu/StartNow

1-877-456-7003 | wilmu.edu/StartNow Wilmington University is a private, nonprofit institution.


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A writer/editor’s slightly snarky and relentless crusade to eliminate grammatical gaffes from our everyday communications

Compiled from the popular column in Out & About Magazine

THE WAR ON WORDS A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse

News Journal Strikes . . . Gaffes continue to slip into the pages of the local newspaper. Sharp-eyed reader Joan Burke, of Bear, sent in the following quote from a story about a gay serviceman: “‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ was repealed right before I joined, so I didn’t have to serve in the closet, per say, like other people had to.” The term, of course, is “per se.” . . . again . . . Another reader spotted a story with this passage: “Smith eluded to potential difficulties if government enters the picture.” To elude is to escape or evade. The word needed here is “alluded,” which means referred. . . again Meanwhile, a News Journal editorial writer, commenting on Mitt Romney, typed this dangler: “As someone who has led a state and who has long experience in business, we (our italics) expected his economic proposals would be his strength.” Makes it sound as if the NJ had led a state. . . . and again And then there was the letter to the editor that began with a 63-word (Count ‘em – 63!) sentence that kicked off with this phrase: “In lieu of the recent threat of attacks by terrorist groups . . . ” The rather loquacious writer, like many others, thinks that “in lieu of” means “in light of.” Wrong. It means “instead of.” A fairly common, although inexplicable, mistake. The NJ didn’t correct it. Righting a Reading The Delaware Literary Connection’s Mark Twain Night at the Deer Park on Oct. 26 was a rousing success. We did catch one reader’s slip, however. She spoke of Samuel Clemens’ children being able to “regale in” his stories. Problem: He would regale them with the stories; they would revel in the tales. Ah, Those Sportscasters The guys (and gals) who broadcast football games are always good for a miscue or two. A couple of recent examples:

Word of the Month


Pronounced DUHJ-uhn, it’s a noun meaning a feeling of anger, resentment, indignation, etc. It’s usually used in the term “in high dudgeon” as in “He went off in high dudgeon,” meaning he left in great anger and indignation.

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By Bob Yearick

Matt Millen, doing color on the Penn State-Michigan game: “There was nobody between he and the goal line.” Should be him, of course—object of the preposition “between.” But, as noted in the October "War," many people think “between he” sounds better, so it must be right. Another broadcaster (I missed his name), commenting on the tendency of a team to run a certain play, began a sentence thus: “As they wont to do . . .” Wont—meaning “in the habit of” or “accustomed”—must be preceded by a “to be” verb. So he should have said, “As they are wont to do.” Details, Details Note to area restaurants: It’s first come, first served, not first come, first serve. We’re not talking about tennis here. Angelo Cataldi, the mouth that roars on WIP, said Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III “ran amuck.” No, he ran amok. Not the N. Y. Times! Yes, even the Gray Lady commits the occasional linguistic lapse, and our readers are there to catch her. Rick Sund, of Wilmington, came across this quote in a story in the Sunday Times about the owner of a rock memorabilia site who sold a Filmore West T-shirt for $1,500: “And it came with unquestionable providence because he’s wearing the shirt on one of Frank Zappa’s albums.” What was meant, says Rick, was “unquestionable provenance (origin, attribution).” Providence is wisdom or foresight. (Capitalized, it means divine guidance or care.) Department of Redundancies Dept. Frequent contributor Larry Kerchner recently called a business and heard this recording: “Thank you for your call. No one is currently available at this time.” (Our italics)

Seen a good (bad) one lately? Send your candidates to ryearick@comcast.net NOTE: Need a speaker for your service club, book group, etc.? Contact me for an entertaining power point presentation about the quirks of the English language.

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F.Y.I. Things you absolutely need to know

NEWEST ADDITION TO HISTORICAL SERIES Local author shares stories of the Christina River’s influence


long the Christina River, the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series, was released last month and written by local author William Francis. For centuries, the Christina River, a 35-mile tributary of the Delaware River, has played a role in the development of Wilmington, Newark and other area cities. Covering the Christina River’s rich and diverse past, the book contains more than 200 vintage images and memories of long-ago days. This book discusses the history of the University of Delaware, offers rarelyseen images, and shares the story of how Fort Christina in Wilmington was Sweden’s only attempt at colonizing the New World. The book is available at area bookstores, independent and online retailers, and through Arcadia Publishing. For more details, go to arcadiapublishing.com.

YULETIDE AT WINTERTHUR Annual celebration runs through Jan. 5


he beauty and inspiration of Christmas traditions continues this winter at Winterthur’s annual celebration of yuletide, continuing through Sunday, Jan. 5. Whether you come to Yuletide at Winterthur to soak in gorgeous decorations or to partake in the exciting events during the season— the jazz and wine series, the floral workshops, and inspiring lectures— there’s something for everyone. The Yuletide tour is free for members. Reservations are recommended. Call 800-448-3883 for more information.

WVUD ANNUAL JAVA TIME CHRISTMAS SPECIAL The Dec. 23 show is a family affair


VUD 91.3 FM, the University of Delaware’s campus radio station, will hold its 25th annual Java Time Christmas Special from 5 to 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 23. The morning show-holiday extravaganza was launched in 1989 by current Station Manager Steve Kramarck and his broadcast partner Jonathan Anson while both were undergraduates at UD. For many years, Kramarck presented this special as a one-man holiday show. The program recently expanded into a family affair with Kramarck’s children, Quinton and Jillian, serving as disc jockeys. The first hour will feature holiday broadcasts from legends Jack Benny and Jean Shepherd, with music to follow for the remainder of the show. Listeners can tune in on the radio or online at wvud.org.


HOT WHEELS Grand Prix Weekend set for May 16-18


ilmington continues to be considered among pro cycling’s elite destinations as the Wilmington Grand Prix has once again been named to USA Cycling’s National Criterium Calendar. Only 17 races in the country have earned that distinction for 2014. The action begins on Friday, May 16, with the Monkey Hill Time Trial at Brandywine Park. On Saturday, May 17, the focus shifts to Downtown Wilmington. Amateur racing opens the day, followed by kids’ races and a Food Bank Challenge fundraising ride. In the afternoon, an international field of professional men’s and women’s racers compete for a purse of more than $30,000. The Grand Prix concludes on Sunday, May 18, as more than 1,000 recreational riders—with a few pros and celebrities sprinkled in—are expected for the Fourth Annual Governor’s Ride and Delaware Gran Fondo. The ride gives cyclists a unique opportunity to see world-class cultural attractions such as Hagley Museum & Gardens and Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.

UGLY SWEATER CHRISTMAS PARTY Delaware Art Museum gets frumpy Dec. 6


npack that red and green snowman sweater grandma gave you and join Delaware Art Museum for its Ugly Sweater Party on Friday, Dec. 6, from 8 to 11 p.m., as part of the Art is Social series. Prizes will be available for ugliest sweater, best matching couple, and best homemade sweater. The party includes karaoke, special holiday drinks and more. For more details, check out the website at delart.org. ► DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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H C N U R B S A CHRISTM • Omelette & Pasta Stations • Hand Carved Roasted Prime Rib & More

Brunch includes a complimentary glass of champagne or mimosa. Plus, enjoy special musical performances and photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus.

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DELAWARE DAY – IN HAWAII! Join the annual celebration of the First State in Maui on Dec. 8

Savor An All-You-Can-Eat Brunch Buffet Featuring Chef-Attended Stations & Made-To-Order Selections • Belgian Waffles & Buttermilk Pancakes • Fresh Clams, Oysters & Shrimp Cocktail

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Something For Everyone.



or more than two decades, the Delaware Day Celebration on Maui has taken place each year on Dec. 8. Delaware native and the celebration’s First State Coordinator, Adele Rugg, began the tradition in Maui when she heard about Delaware Day celebrations happening in Florida every February, because so many human “snowbirds” from Delaware go to Florida in the winter. “I thought that it would be fun to do the same thing on Maui,” says Rugg, who is from Seaford. “I know that Dec. 7 is Delaware Day; however, my birthday is Dec. 8 and as we like to say here, ‘Things are a little slower’—so we just celebrate Delaware Day one day later.” The celebration begins at 1 p.m. in the Yokouchi Founders Court at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului. The event includes a banner that reads, “Aloha from the 50th State to the First State.” Anyone visiting from Delaware is invited to attend, and everyone who R.S.V.P.’s will receive a ticket to the Holiday Pops concert, performed by the Maui Pops Orchestra. The event is free and includes refreshments. “Delaware Day is always so much fun,” Rugg says. “There are so many First Staters on Maui and they seem to always find out about this celebration. We all share our First State stories.” To make a reservation and for further information, call Rugg at 808-879-9964 or email her at adeleonmaui@yahoo.com.


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by the numbers A few wine facts for your enjoyment

600-800 The number of grapes used to make a bottle of wine.

80-100 Calories in a 4-ounce glass of wine.

$168,000 Cost per bottle of the world's most expensive wine, Penfolds Limited Edition Ampoule, from Australia. Only 12 bottles exist worldwide.


The number of glasses consumed per person each year by residents of the world’s smallest country— Vatican City (population: approximately 800). That’s more per capita than any other country.

2.73 Gallons of wine consumed by the average American in 2012 (includes sparkling wine and vermouth).

15,940 The number of glasses of wine produced by one standard acre of grapevines (which also equals five tons of grapes).


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6 1 8 N . U N I O N S T. • W I L M I N G T O N




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Worth Trying Random suggestions from our staff and contributors

Coconut Curry Hefeweizen From the brewing brains at New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Col., comes the zesty and subtly sweet Coconut Curry Hefeweizen, a German-style wheat beer made with cayenne, coconut, coriander, cinnamon and ginger root. The result is a sublime blend of flavors that dance on the palate with a dry, biting finish. This one-and-done brew, from their Lips of Faith line, will only be around for a limited time, so grab a 22-ounce bottle for $9 or $10 at local liquor stores, including Total Wine & More and Peco’s Liquors in Claymont, Kreston's in Wilmington, and Premier Wine & Spirits near Milltown.

Pinterest Menu Ideas Recent social media statistics note that 57 percent of Pinterest’s content is about food—and it’s quickly becoming my go-to menu library. Some of my best party, snack and meal ideas are from boards and repins. From healthy options like lemon-quinoa-avocadocilantro-chickpea salad to things more indulgent like Trisha Yearwood’s sugared pecans or cheesy bacon bombs—it’s all there in the pins.

— Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Contributing Writer & Arts Maven

— Rob Kalesse, Contributing Writer, O&A

Adopt a Dog

Inequality for All

We can learn a lot from our furry friends. I’ve had three dogs that have entered my life through an adoption process of some kind or another, and along with each one’s unique and colorful personality, they’ve all presented different lessons. My current canine companion has been a true blessing. She is the most athletic of the pets I’ve owned, and at just a year-and-a-half, she has already learned how to catch a Frisbee with the awareness of a pro wide receiver. In fact, you may say she has taught me how to throw a Frisbee better. It’s a win-win situation. Then again, it’s not all fun and games. There are lots of challenges to owning a dog, so it’s a decision that deserves thoughtful consideration. Delaware Humane Society and Faithful Friends are two outstanding local organizations that can help you through the process if you feel like the time is right. If you’re ready, you just might become a dog’s best friend.

This documentary, which played at Theatre N last month, is narrated by Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, who eloquently—and entertainingly, for the most part—explains the vast imbalance of income in the United States and how it worsens democracy. The film illustrates why the top one percent are getting richer while the average income has dropped dramatically in the last 30 years. It also puts to rest the false claim that the rich are “job creators.” Get it from Netflix or Amazon.

— Bob Yearick, Contributing Editor, O&A

— Jim Miller, Director of Publications, O&A

Have something you think is worth trying? Send an email to Jim with your suggestion by scanning this QR code ► (jmiller@tsnpub.com)

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Holiday Wine & Cheese Pairings Saturday, December 7 & 21 • 2-5pm Taste some of our more than 100 delicious, local, domestic and imported cheeses paired with 3 wines from Paradocx Vineyard.

A free event at your community natural grocer featuring live acoustic music.


Wines available to purchase in Landenberg or Kennett Square, PA


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THE WINE & SPIRIT COMPANY + HOLIDAYS = The Perfect Pairing 4025 Kennett Pike Greenville, Delaware 19807 (302) 658-WINE Open Mon - Sat 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Let us make your holiday shopping easier and more enjoyable!


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The Penns Woods Winery tasting room in Chadds Ford, Pa., is open year-round, Thursday to Monday.


DAY Trippin’ This narrow little state and the surrounding areas conceal many fun, quirky and fascinating destinations. Sometimes we just have to veer off the highways to find them. That’s what Day Trippin’ is all about. Have ideas? Send them to Krista at kconnor@tsnpub.com.


By Krista Connor

he Connor girls aren’t particularly well-versed in the vocabulary of the wine world. In fact, as my sister Leilah and I nodded, offering enthusiastic though unschooled “That’s good!”s and “That’s really good!”s at tasting counters along the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail, I wished I had enrolled in Vino 101: A Crash Course in Wine Lingo, if such a class even exists. The trail is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Accessible year-round, it's a series of seven wineries dotting a 50-mile stretch between Lancaster and Philadelphia: Black Walnut Winery, Borderland Vineyard, Chaddsford Winery, Kreutz Creek Vineyards, Paradocx Vineyard, Patone Cellars and Penns Woods Winery. With nearby attractions like Longwood Gardens, Winterthur, the Brandywine River Museum, fine restaurants, country inns, antique shops and picturesque rolling hills, trekkers are encouraged to make it a weekend affair. BVWT administrator Karen Cline recommends visiting between two and three wineries per day. Guests can pay per tasting (between $5 and $10, depending on the winery) or purchase a passport good for one year (prices and availability vary), granting the opportunity to visit each location once.


First stop for Leilah and me: a charming farm home turned tasting room at Penns Woods Winery in Chadds Ford. I entered with an internal shrug—I’m not even going to pretend!—and acknowledged that I am the antithesis of a connoisseur, and might end up ousted by any number of pairs of refined, ruby-stained lips. As I stepped into the naturally-lit, friendly space, the woman behind the tasting counter stared, startled. Twice, I asked, “How are you?” But inside I shuddered. It’s already happening. More silence. “I’m so sorry!” she finally said. “I’m Marie. I wasn’t trying to be rude—I was just shocked at how awesome your hair is.” When Leilah made her wind-blown, big-haired entrance, Marie happily burst out, “There’s two of you?” We were thus ushered into an exuberant hour or two of tastings, and the only word repeated more than “sweet” versus “dry” was “fun.” And the ladies running the winery this day— Marie, manager Carley, and tasting room manager Andrea— certainly knew how to have it. ►


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A Fight Against Lyme

Arden Gild Hall 7:00 pm $35 advance | $50 day of

All Ages | 10 & Under FREE

Open Bar & Buffet Live Entertainment by Rolling Stones Tributes

Donations gofundme.com/fearless

Tickets fearless.brownpapertickets.com

DELAWARE DAY December 7, Toast at 7pm

In Honor of Delaware Day and the 2013 Holiday Season, Twin Lakes Brewery has proudly produced 87 Fresh-Local-Delicious quarter kegs of the sensational “Jubilicious Holiday Ale” to commemorate Delaware becoming the First State on December 7, 1787. Twin Lakes Jubilicious will be available at your local watering hole and now liquor stores for growler fills - ABV 7%

The Statewide Toast:

As we have every year, in Honor of Delaware Day, December 7, we ask all of the citizens of the State of Delaware to join your family and friends at a local Delaware restaurant and show your dedication to Delaware, the First State, with a simultaneous toast of local beer at 7pm! DELAWARE HAS THE FINEST


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START DAY TRIPPIN' continued from page 15

Penns Woods produces award winning wines, like the Symposium.

“We were in the back last week, cooking with pastas and tasting sauces, and had like 12 wines out,” said Carley, describing experimentation that preceded a gourmet pasta-wine pairing they had hosted. “Yeah, it beats a cubicle,” Marie said. Penns Woods was founded by importer, distributor and wine maker Gino Razzi, Carley’s father, about 10 years ago, after he created an award-winning wine, Symposium, a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (red Italian wine). The award “confirmed his suspicions that he was awesome at making wine,” according to Marie, and the tasting room opened about five years later. Razzi recently planted a 25-acre vineyard in Coatesville. The winery holds two lines, the Penns Woods, made with 100 percent Pennsylvania grapes, and Bancroft, containing up to 15 percent out-of-state grapes. (Marie offered a helpful metaphor: “Penns Woods is the Banana Republic, the Gap. Bancroft is Old Navy.”) Thankfully, Marie, who arrived a few years ago with a taste for good wine but the vocabulary of a novice, was able to teach us a few phrases as we sipped sample after sample (my favorite: the Bancroft Rose—sweet, with peach, strawberry and grapefruit touches.) Fruit-forward (or anything-forward), Leilah and I learned, means that fruit, or whatever the most prominent flavor is, is the first thing to greet the nose and taste buds. Also, buttery really means oaky, peppery is smoky, floral is a flowery smell “up front.” Marie picked up the lingo primarily through the customers who come through—especially from those who make a lifetime hobby out of “wine-ing.” Before we headed to Chaddsford Winery—less than 20 minutes away—Marie dubbed us as sweet-lovers with dry leanings. Chaddsford, originally a dairy barn, opened in 1982 and is now Pennsylvania’s largest winery. During a self-guided tour through the cellar room, surrounded by stainless steel tanks, my sister and I got a lesson in wine-making. Growing grapes on the East Coast is difficult because of the dramatic change in weather year to year. A wet and cool growing season means the wine will be lower in alcohol, have a lighter mouthfeel and be fruitier. In contrast, a dry and hot season means higher alcohol content, more body and richer flavors.

Guests can take a self-guided tour at Chaddsford Winery, the largest winery in Pennsylvania.

Once grapes are picked from the vineyard (Chaddsford has at least five in the state), they’re immediately transported by truck to the winery. Grapes are then dumped into a stemmer-crusher, a machine that gently breaks the skin and removes the stems from grape clusters. The resulting thick liquid, called the “must,” is poured into the press and pulled away from the skins and seeds. Once juice has been pressed, it’s pumped into one of the large stainless steel tanks located in the cellar or outdoors. Yeast is then added to begin the process of fermentation, which will turn the fresh grape juice into wine. During the fermentation process, which takes five to 10 days, the active yeast cells consume the sugar in the grape juice, converting it into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. And the higher the sugar content in juice, the more alcohol. Fermentation continues until there is little or no sugar left in the juice. With no nutrients left, the yeast becomes inactive and settles to the bottom of the tank. Depending on the type of wine, it will be left to age in the stainless steel tanks (lighter, fresh, fruity wines like Chaddsford’s Naked Chardonnay and sangria) or an oak barrel, for richer, earthy, full-bodied wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chambourcin, in which complexity is desirable. After aging (a shorter period for tank wines, longer for barrel ones), wine is bottled and stored until winemaking teams deem the beverage fit for release. Chaddsford’s tasting room offered nine wines, ranging from dry to sweet. The spiced apple won our palates; it can be served warm or chilled, and adds zest in the cooking pan. The woman behind the tasting counter, somewhere in her mid-20s, happily described one wine as “less annoying” than another, and agreed that the spiced apple was “awesome” and the sangria was “great.” We quickly became friends. While she cheerfully served an older couple, unafraid to state their case on any given wine, I swirled my glass and turned to Leilah. “Even on the nose, it’s quite fruit-forward, don’t you think?” I asked.

Patone and Borderland are by appointment only, and they do not have permanent tasting rooms open yet. Borderland wines are available at the Paradocx tasting room in Kennett Square. For holiday specials and events, combo passports, and more winter fun, visit bvwinetrail.com. DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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11/22/13 9:51 AM

2 START An accessory from Shop Mamie (Various pricing)


The ladies at Shop Mamie recently opened a boutique in Trolley Square. They sell cute, affordable clothes and accessories, including jewelry, bags and scarves. Shop Mamie is a great spot to grab gifts for ladies of all ages on your holiday shopping list. shopmamie.com. —Marie Graham Poot

Delaware Lottery Tickets ($1–$5)

Who doesn't love finding theses guys in their stockings? Instantly amp up the suspense with a few scratch-offs. You may end up spreading some serious Christmas cheer! — Staff

Tickets to Penn Cinema (Various pricing)

A writer/editor’s slightly snarky and relentless crusade to eliminate grammatical gaffes from our everyday communications

Compiled from the popular column in Out & About Magazine

The War on Words ($9.95)

Language lovers will treasure this collection of War on Words columns (OK, maybe I’m slightly prejudiced). A lesson on every page. Order yours at outandaboutnow.com. — Bob Yearick

Stuff It!

Just about everyone loves going to the movies, and there really is no better multiplex in the area than Penn Cinema. With Delaware’s only IMAX screen plus 14 other theaters —several of which feature 3D films at any given time—Penn offers plenty of diverse, quality choices for filmloving audiences. And with superior sound, leather seats and reclining armrests, it’s clear that someone with a passion for movies put some careful thought into this wonderful Wilmington Riverfront attraction. —Jim Miller

Stumped for gift ideas? Try these budget-friendly suggestions. Don’t buy it, make it (Various pricing)

Who doesn’t love and appreciate a well-made, hand-crafted present? The endeavor may seem daunting and usually requires a lot of time, yes, but the Internet is exploding with innovative ideas (e.g., Pinterest, Etsy). And don’t ignore your own bursts of inspiration. Handmade journals (cardboard, cloth, coffee-stained pages for an aged look), and painted Mason jars (potential flower pot? candle holder?) are just a start. Your local craft store awaits! — Krista Connor

Gift Of Landscaping (Many value options)

Smart phone case ($20 or less)

Today, nothing is more indispensable to most of us than our cell phone. And with the cost of these devices, you would be crazy not to purchase a protective case for it. So why not liven up a friend or family member’s profile by giving them a phone case—one that makes a statement. They’re available in everything from faux fur to rhinestone to psychedelic graphics and can be made of plastic, metal, silicone. Prices are all over the place, but you can get a good one for $20 or less. Sure beats another pair of socks. —Sophie duPhily

Surprise those on your list by helping them plan for the spring. Go to www. GiftOfLandscaping.com for discounted gift cards to put toward upcoming exterior projects. They're even delivered as a unique USB credit card in a nice little gift box! Fancy! — Matthew Loeb


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Good Neighbor Policy With his Neighbors to Nicaragua, former Salesianum teacher Chuck Selvaggio is helping to fight poverty and illiteracy in Central America By Matt Amis (L-R) Chuck Selvaggio, Board Member Mike Lucey, and Maycól Garcia, vice president of Neighbors to Nicaragua, join students who have benefitted from their efforts in Granada. Photo Neighbors to Nicaragua 20 DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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n the barrios and alleyways of Nicaragua, in the pockets of extreme poverty that shape the lives of thousands, where electricity and potable water are luxuries, and where dogs roam the streets and children sleep on sidewalks, Chuck Selvaggio saw hope. That was two years ago, when the Delaware teacher made his first, eye-opening trip to the Central American country. Since then, Selvaggio, who lives in Wilmington, has been dedicated to improving the precarious quality of life there. In March, his efforts resulted in the formation of Neighbors to Nicaragua, a charitable corporation that is gaining widespread support in this area. His maiden trip to the tropical country was prompted by Selvaggio’s desire to expand his basic knowledge of Spanish. A fellow teacher suggested travel as a way to gain immersion-level learning, so in April, 2011, Selvaggio packed his bags for a week in Granada, mostly unaware that he was headed for one of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest countries. His online contact never Neighbors to Nicaragua's newest education center is being built on the volcanic island of showed up, and Selvaggio spent the rest of the week investigating Ometepe. Until construction is completed, classes are held outdoors. organizations that were devoted to both homeless children and education. By the end of his trip, the 58-year-old father, who taught After months of networking and fundraisers, Selvaggio English at Salesianum School and Nativity Preparatory School of sent hundreds of contributions straight through to Grenada, Wilmington, was on a mission. checking in personally in the winter, and a few times the next “When you’re there, you feel different,” he says. “You’ll see a year, each time delivering supplies and making new connections. guy sleeping on the sidewalk, or kids on the sidewalks begging In June 2012, Centro Juan Pablo II was completed. The center at night. And you think that could be my kid. Or that could be is modest but vibrant, with its lime-green walls, student-painted me. You get very cosmic about the whole thing, wondering why murals and unpaid teachers, who are a mix of local tutors and you’re here and they’re there.” post-university volunteers from Germany and Holland. The The Republic of Nicaragua is Central America’s largest country curriculum reinforces reading, math, and English—the building and its least developed. A former colony of the Spanish Empire, blocks needed for a chance to attend secondary school, and Nicaragua achieved its independence in 1821, only to suffer possibly college. The structured afternoon programming builds through generations of civil war, political unrest, natural disasters, on the students’ mornings at public schools, and also stresses and economic morass. The Contra War of the 1980s—during health and nutrition. which U.S.-backed anti-communist rebels fought the dominant His initial vision finally realized, Selvaggio decided he Sandinista party—devastated the country’s infrastructure. Despite wanted to do more for Nicaragua. He formed a corporation (an modest climbs toward stability in recent years, it remains the application for non-profit status is in the works), and assembled second-poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. According a board of directors. His campaigning eventually caught the to the United Nations’ Development Programme, 48 percent attention of one of his former Salesianum students—Mike Lucey, of Nicaraguans live below the poverty line, with a vast majority who co-owns Ulysses Gastropub in Wilmington and Six Paupers subsisting on less than $2 a day. Tavern in Hockessin. A crippled social structure extends to early childhood education: The average level of schooling Life is just based more on survival down for a Nicaraguan is just over five years, and in rural areas it’s closer to three. While President Daniel there, They have no welfare system, no social Ortega’s administration reformed public education policy in 2007, enrollment rates still languish, while parachute. If these kids drop out, they’re out. illiteracy and dropout rates remain high. With families in dire need, children often shun school in favor of There’s just nowhere else for them to go. menial jobs to help at home. In scenic Granada, where the homeless and — Mike Lucey destitute mingle with wealthy tourists, Selvaggio met a man who shared his concern for Nicaragua’s youth. The man, Evin “It was something I was instantly driven to do,” Lucey says. Rosales, wanted to build an education center—an adjunct tutoring “When you own a business, all your focus is your own profit, facility to supplement the shoddy public schools—but ran out of keeping your company going. But after a while you want to jump funding before he could finish construction. out of the box and do something for somebody else.” “I saw this half-finished structure,” Selvaggio says, “so I decided Lucey hosted guest-bartending fundraisers at his restaurants to help finish it.” and joined the Neighbors to Nicaragua board. He made his first When he returned home, Selvaggio began coordinating trip to the country this past summer. care packages. Friends and family offered their help, donating “It’s like something out of National Geographic,” says Lucey. school supplies and clothes. But shipping internationally proved “Dirt floors, corrugated tin walls, plastic sheets separating rooms. unreliable and expensive, so Selvaggio asked his supporters for And that would be a home with two parents, three kids and a dog. monetary donations. He soon quit teaching and relied on his I was amazed by how positive, how grateful they were for the little home-based massage therapy business for income. they had. And the kids never held their heads down.” ► DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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Photo Neighbors to Nicaragua



11/21/13 5:55 PM


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Photo Neighbors to Nicaragua

GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY continued from page 21

Wilmington restaurateur Mike Lucey sits with Ometepe students, who are learning their colors in English.

The Neighbors continued to network at home and abroad as donations grew. Rosales’ mother, Julia, donated her plot of land on the volcanic island of Ometepe, which rises from Lake Nicaragua, and plans were soon underway for another center. Meanwhile, Selvaggio connected with other aid organizations, like Puedo Leer, a Nicaraguan literacy group that supplies books to schools and libraries. Another group, Courts for Kids, offered to build a multipurpose ball court at the Centro Juan Pablo II-Ometepe. Despite the logistical nightmare of transporting desks and chairs via ferry boat and donkey cart—“very tricky,” Selvaggio says—the center on Ometepe will be completed this month. Maycól Garcia, a close friend of Selvaggio’s and Neighbors board member who serves as his eyes and ears in Nicaragua, coordinates aid missions wherever he finds a need. In October, that meant helping cover medical costs for a single mother whose son broke his arm and required surgery. The mother had lost her job at a hotel during the son’s extended hospital stay. In January the Neighbors established a sewing workshop for parents of students in Centro Juan Pablo II-Granada. An in-house bakery is planned next, and shoes, clothing, school supplies and groceries are delivered frequently. “Life is just based more on survival down there,” Lucey says. “They have no welfare system, no social parachute. If these kids drop out, they’re out. There’s just nowhere else for them to go.” Homelessness in the barrios can be ruinous. Prostitution and drug abuse—even among children—are common. To alleviate hunger and pain, street children have increasingly become addicted to sniffing cobbler’s glue. Its neurotoxic ingredient, toluene, is highly addictive, and causes permanent brain damage. For the Neighbors to Nicaragua, aiding in small, corrective steps can help prevent that path. The U.S. dollar goes far in Nicaragua, and meager amounts can feed a family for months, or cover the nominal tuition for secondary school. The organization has begun drafting a grant proposal, one they hope will land $10,000 for the next project: building a new headquarters for an efficient but underfunded education center in the barrio of Pantanal. Meanwhile, Lucey, Selvaggio and the Neighbors will continue their grassroots crusade. On Friday, Feb. 28, the Neighbors will host an Oldies Night at the Elks Club in Wilmington, and in June the group plans to unveil the first-ever Neighbors to Nicaragua 5K Walk and Run in conjunction with Dead Presidents Pub & Restaurant in Wilmington. Selvaggio has continued his mission here, giving presentations about Nicaragua to the kids at St. John the Beloved and at St. Edmond’s Academy in Wilmington. He hopes to connect with Ursuline Academy in 2014. As a result of his talks, some of the American students write letters in Spanish to their friends in the barrios, who reply in English—“kind of bringing the first world to the third world on a kids’ level,” says Selvaggio. With lessons in language, and a few other simple gestures, the neighborhood grows. For more, or to make a donation, visit www.NeighborsToNicaragua.com.

SHARE YOUR GREAT WINTER PARTY IDEA You could win a dinner party for eight at Piccolina Toscana


s the holidays draw to a close at the end of December, winter turns dreary and January, February, March and, yes, at least part of April, stretch endlessly before those of us in the Northeast. Short days force us inside, where we do our best to fend off cabin fever until spring has once again sprung. One thing that helps to reduce the winter-time blues are house parties, especially those that are creative and different. We’re talking about parties with themes. For instance, we know one group that holds an annual party where everyone brings a bottle of wine and judges an assortment of homemade soups. You can also have dress-up parties, with themes like Mad Men or the Roaring ‘20s. We’d like to hear your best party ideas for these fun winter get-togethers. Describe them in 100 words or less and send them to jduphily@tsnpub.com. The best idea will receive a dinner party for eight at Piccolina Toscana (Wilmington). The menu will be farm inspired and entrees will be served family-style. The dinner party is valued at more than $330. The deadline is Dec. 10, so get your party cap on and send in your most creative thoughts. DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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Say Cheese! Pairing tips that could bring smiles to your next gathering By Rob Kalesse

With the holiday season now in full swing, evenings and weekends are filling up fast with family gatherings, work functions and dinner parties. And whether you’re hosting or attending, a good candidate to round out the menu is a selection of cheeses, properly paired with the right red or white wine. But this year, it’s time to think outside the wheel, so to speak, and go beyond the standard block of Cracker Barrel cheddar and box of Wheat Thins. For some advice, we went to five local experts, who shared their favorite pairings as well as some tips on serving cheese with the right accompaniments.

Paula Janssen, owner, Janssen’s Market, Greenville

Considering the festive colors that the holidays call to mind, Paula Janssen likes the Blu ’61, an Italian blue cheese that’s ripened with Raboso Passito wine and red cranberries, giving the rind a distinctive scarlet color. “A lot of times cheese boards feature shades of yellow and white,” Janssen says. “But this one absolutely pops right off the plate, looks like a cheese made for holiday parties, and the flavors are incredibly explosive.” Made in the Treviso region of northeast Italy, the Blu ’61 is creamy in texture and filled with blue veins that provide a salty contrast to the slightly sweet rind.

Because the cheese is ripened with the Passito, Janssen naturally recommends a Passito wine, or ruby red port, to pair with the Blu ’61. “This cheese is bold, so you need a red wine that will stand up to all those flavors. Most Passitos are velvety, bold and full of dark fruit flavors like cherry and blackberry.” Janssen also says that big cheeses like the Blu ’61 don’t need a fancy cracker that’s laden with different flavors. “The cracker or baguette should simply act as a vehicle to transport the cheese from plate to palate, so a water cracker or simple crostini with little flavor is best,” she says. ►


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John Murray, owner, State Line Liquors, Elkton, Md.

Though its extensive liquor and beer selections rival any store in the area, State Line Liquors also carries a number of obscure varietals of wine that are worth exploring. John Murray particularly fancies the Charbono, a plummy, peppery red that made itself a household name in France, but has since been grown more so in California and Argentina, where it is known as Bonarda. “Much like a Barbera, this is a very dark red wine that possesses a pepper component that makes it optimal for pairing with sharp aged Romano or Parmesan,” Murray says. Murray also recommends an earthy goat cheese with the Charbono, and if he were to serve the wine and cheese with a chutney or compote, something with a slight spiciness and soft, black currants, would match well.

Andrea Loconti, owner, La Fia Bakery Market Bistro, Wilmington

La Fia carries numerous cheeses from around the world, but Andrea Loconti decided to stay local for her selection, recommending the Seven Sisters, a raw cow’s milk cheese, from Doe Run Dairy in nearby Chester County, Pa. “The amazing thing about this cheese and its makers is that they create the product from start to finish,” Loconti says. “They get the milk from their own cows and even age it in caves beneath the farm for eight months, which is pretty special.” The Seven Sisters is a hard cheese that’s mild in flavor, with a slight nuttiness, and Loconti often pairs it with Cannonau, a cousin to Grenache grown abundantly on the island of Sardinia. “The Cannonau reminds me of a good Pinot Noir, in terms of intensity, because it’s an easy drinking wine, but with more complexity,” Loconti says. “The Seven Sisters isn’t intense either, so it makes for a nice combo.” She also recommends letting cheese sit out for a while before serving, so that it can soften slightly and open up a new bouquet of flavors and aromas.

Dwain Kalup, executive chef, Domaine Hudson, Wilmington

When thinking about a cheese plate as an appetizer, Chef Dwain Kalup likes to include a cheese that he might be able to bring back at some point during the course of the meal. One of his go-to cheeses to accomplish this goal is the Beemster, a traditional aged Gouda made from cow’s milk, which is sharp in flavor and can be grated or served creamier at room temperature. “I’d put the Beemster with a glass of the Standing Stone Riesling, which we carry here at the restaurant,” Kalup says, “and then I’d bring back the Beemster and grate it over a salad of peppery arugula, shaved pear, blanched carrots and a lemon maple vinaigrette. You definitely want to stay light with the salad, because the cheese can be pretty intense.” Because the Beemster has a very smoky flavor, Kalup says the Riesling, with its notes of butterscotch and not overly dry finish, would be a great complement.

Dale Smith, sales associate, Kreston’s Liquors, Wilmington

When planning a wine and cheese tasting, Dale Smith first takes a head count, and usually prepares about one ounce of cheese per person, and one bottle of wine for every 10 people. As for temperatures, Smith says he pulls the cheese from the refrigerator at least an hour before serving, if not more, and pulls the white wine a half hour before serving. He typically opens the red for aeration and places it in the refrigerator to cool slightly, approximately 20 minutes before serving. In terms of pairings, Smith likes the classic Swiss Jarlsberg with a Syrah, preferably the 6th Sense, from Lodi in Northern California. However, he’s perfectly happy with eating Jarlsberg as is, whether by the slice or on a sandwich. “The Jarlsberg is a classic Swiss that is incredibly versatile,” Smith says. “It’s got a slightly nutty flavor, goes well with reds like the Syrah and Merlot, and can be served soft and melted easily.”

FINE FOOD MAKES A FABULOUS GIFT This holiday, surprise everyone on your list with something special from Janssen’s Market. From unique cheeses and gourmet fare to delicious bakery treats, we have something for everyone!



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I predict!—2014 in Wine

By the Amazing Ciro Poppiti

Dear Friends in the Wine Community, I have discovered that I have paranormal abilities, which until recently have been aging in the deep cellar of my unconscious. Through careful study and focused attention, I have uncorked these abilities, which allow me to glimpse into the clouded future. I now make four major predictions—one for each season— about what will occur in the wine industry in 2014. Take heed.

WINTER Hello, variety and geek wines. I predict that, for the first time ever, Delaware will have more than 20 wine wholesalers. In comparison, 10 years ago, Delaware had fewer than 10 wholesalers. They are the gatekeepers of the industry; they determine what wines are going to make it on the shelf, in the cooler, and on the menu. More wholesalers in Delaware means more competition and greater variety. I therefore predict that consumers will have more choices, especially with new, unheralded goodies and geek wines. A perfect example is a varietal called “pecorino.” It is not a brand; it is a type of wine, like chardonnay or pinot grigio. Now, when you think of the word “pecorino,” you think of the great Italian cheese. But there is also a refreshing white wine made from pecorino grapes. Yes, pecorino grapes. No one knows about pecorino in Delaware—yet. But because of the uptick in wholesalers, a wine like pecorino will catch on. Indicative of its new popularity, I predict that I will be drinking a tall glass of pecorino by June at the St. Anthony’s Italian Festival. SPRING Internet sales. I predict that Delaware wine shops will be able to take orders via the internet and ship wine using FedEx or UPS. The law right now states that you must be physically present at a wine shop to make a purchase. Internet sales and overnight shipping are generally illegal. I predict that this will all change, and it will change based on factors bigger than our state legislature— including the need to accommodate an internet behemoth like Amazon.com (Look at its growth in Middletown) as well as the rulings of the federal courts—which Delaware must obey.

SUMMER Craft beer is the new king. I predict that wine sales will hit a decline not seen since 2009. That year, consumers had little disposable income to buy wine; in 2014, consumers will use their disposable income on craft beer instead of wine. In contrast to wine, I predict that consumption of craft beer will continue to grow at an exponential rate. In fact, I predict that the rise of craft beer will be seen as the most important development in the alcohol industry in the past 20 years. FALL Goodbye, bottle fees. In Delaware, we pay a four-cent fee on most beverage bottles. The fee underwrites a statewide recycling effort. I predict that by the first of December, 2014, the four-cent fee will end, to the great satisfaction of retailers statewide. AND FINALLY: EARTH SURVIVES! Mercifully, I predict that life on earth will go on as we know it, and maybe—just maybe—peace and justice will sprout up in unlikely places. Stay tuned… Ciro Poppiti III is the Register of Wills for New Castle County. He has been in the food and beverage industry for the past 15 years and teaches food-anddrug law at Wilmington University. DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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Clockwise from bottom left: Matthew Curtis, John Narvaez, Frank Splane, Richard Cobb, Robbie Jester (chef), Paul Bouchard, Dan Butler, Jerry duPhily, Pam George, Steve George, Robert Lhulier. Photos Joe del Tufo

Cuisine, Wine & Conversation Chefs and ‘wine-os’ test their pairing skills at an epic dinner at Toscana’s FarmTable By Pam George 30 DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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n the early 1990s, when Toscana was new, several employees would gather regularly outside of work to pair wine with food. Owner Dan Butler soon joined them. “This is what we did for a good time,” he jokes. “We were young and energetic.” And food was a passion. Two participants would create the menu. The others received a description of a course for a wine pairing. Only the cooks knew the entire menu. Each guest arrived with his or her wine bagged so the label wouldn’t raise expectations. The big reveal happened only after the diners tasted the food with the wine. “We were educating ourselves about cooking, but we were also learning how to taste wine with food,” says Robert Lhulier, then a server. Fast forward to today. Lhulier is executive chef of the University & Whist club in Wilmington. Former sous chef Matthew Curtis, who joined the group later, owns Union City Grille, also in Wilmington. Paul Bouchard is director of operations for Butler’s restaurant group, which includes Brandywine Prime Seafood & Chops in Chadds Ford and Deep Blue Bar & Grill, Wilmington. John Narvaez, once a Toscana server, is general manager of Deep Blue. And Frank Splane, once a Toscana manager, is a manager at Moore Brothers Wine Co. in New Jersey. Recently, the friends—sans Michael Majewski, managing partner of Brandywine Prime—and a few newcomers revived the dinner at the new FarmTable at Piccolina Toscana in Trolley Square. The same rules applied: Wines were bagged until the tasting was done. Let the games begin.

First Course: Saffron-Potato Leek Soup

It’s difficult to find a wine that suits saffron, an exotic spice from a crocus flower. It has a distinct flavor and scent. But Chef Robert Jester tossed more wine-pairing obstacles into the mix. The soup’s garnish was a smoked mussel fritter, which Jester made by combining the mussels with gelatin and minced shallot, then dusting with rice flour. Curtis chose 2012 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc. “A Californiasteely Sauvignon Blanc with some acidity and white fruits would complement the creamy-smoky-saffrony,” he said. “They’re heavy flavors and a ‘big white’ was needed to stand up to them.” Most agreed that a Domaine Huet Le Haut-Lieu Vouvray Sec would have worked well, but it needed time to “open up.” When wine is “tight,” its aroma is faint, and the flavor isn’t full. Although the Vouvray was decanted, it still needed more time to aerate. “When it opened up it worked well,” said Bouchard, who tried it later. Splane at wine tastings uses a Pyrex pitcher to decant wine. “Just don’t use plastic, because it imparts a taste,” he said. Many people think white wines should be served cold. But the chill can mask the taste—or lack thereof, the diners said, laughing. There’s a reason why inexpensive domestic beers are served icy cold, Narvaez said. “You don’t want to taste the beer.” Most agreed that until the Vouvray opened, the Sauvignon Blanc, which was 54 percent Napa and 46 percent Sonoma, was the winner. The takeaway: Like some red wines, certain white wines benefit from aeration. Decant wine for 15 minutes to an hour. You don’t need a fancy decanter; you just need a receptacle that lets air interact with the wine. Also, soup with all its flavors can be a challenge. When in doubt, skip wine during this course. Save it for the rest of the meal.

Second Course: Kona Kampachi with Verjus, Radishes and Arugula

Jester threw everyone a curve ball with his flavor-forward second course, a sashimi-grade fish dressed with verjus, the pressed juice of un-ripened grape. (While acidic, verjus is softer than vinegar.) Organic radishes from Priapi Gardens in Cecilton, Md., which are more peppery than grocery store radishes, and arugula gave this fish a bite. The two wines for this dish were a 2012 Doniene Bizkaiko Txakolina, made with Hondarrabi Zuri, a white variety from the Basque country, and 2011 Marchesi Antinori Tenuta Guado al Tasso Vermentino di Bolgheri from Tuscany. Lhulier, who brought the Vermentino, said he chose the Italian wine because Jester’s dish reminded him of “crudo.” Italian for “raw,” crudo is usually kissed with olive oil and citrus. Choosing an Italian wine for an Italian-style dish follows the idea that when in doubt, select wine from an area where the dish is popular. The diners agreed that the dish’s flavors were too powerful for both wines, but the Basque wine stood up to them the best. The takeaway: Taste the dish before serving it with the wine, and adjust the ingredients if you want to showcase the wine. (After all, you can’t change the wine’s ingredients.) Or change the wine.

Third course: Rabbit Agnolotti with Organic Egg Pasta Stuffed with Rabbit Farce

Jester nearly stumped the group again with this very rich dish. The farce was made with rabbit pâté, sautéed rabbit liver and heart. The sauce included rabbit stock, roasted garlic and shallots. He garnished it with a rabbit osso buco. When you think rabbit, you might think red. A 2012 Terre Bianche Rossese di Dolceacqua was part of the tasting. But a white, the 2011 Michael Pozzan Annabella Chardonnay, was the favorite. The sauce was too rich and buttery for red. The conversation turned to drinking differences between Toscana in Trolley Square and Brandywine Prime in Chadds Ford. Bouchard said the Pennsylvania restaurant, which specializes in steak, is more about “power.” Think robust red wine. It’s also about label-dropping since you can bring your own wine for a $5 corking fee.

Robert Lhulier critiques a wine while Pam and Steve George look on.


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THEY SAID IT Wine. Loved by, well, just about everyone throughout time. Here are a handful of quotes about the drink from writers, political and religious leaders, inventors and a comedian. Language is wine upon the lips. — Virginia Woolf

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. — Homer

Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy. — Benjamin Franklin

I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food. — W. C. Fields

O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil. — William Shakespeare

Wine comes in at the mouth and love comes in at the eye; that’s all we shall know for truth before we grow old and die. — William Butler Yeats

Wine is bottled poetry. — Robert Louis Stevenson

Too much and too little wine. Give him none, he cannot find truth; give him too much, the same. — Blaise Pascal (French physicist, writer, inventor, philosopher)

It is time to get drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of Time, get drunk; get drunk without stopping! On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, as you wish. — Charles Baudelaire (French poet and essayist)

Beer is made by men, wine by God. — Martin Luther

In victory, you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it.

Either give me more wine or leave me alone. — Rumi (Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and mystic)

— Napoleon Bonaparte


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FOCUS CUISINE, WINE & CONVERSATION continued from page 31

Retail Wine Shopping at its Best! Free wine tasting The guests also talked about a wine’s “body.” Mediumbodied in California might mean something quite different than in France, Splane said. The takeaway: Match the body of the wine to the food but realize it’s a personal choice. Black coffee might have less texture than coffee with cream, Splane said, but it doesn’t mean it’s less tasty to the drinker who prefers it that way.

Fourth Course: Roasted Duck With Puree of Roasted Root Vegetables

The duck, dusted with garam masala and cocoa then seared and pan-roasted, rested on a puree of celery root, turnips, and carrots. Crispy duck skin served as a garnish, along with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds. The bonus: a maitake mushroom. Guest Richard Cobb selected a 2008 Le Cadeau Pinot Noir Côté Est, from a 14-acre vineyard near Newberg, Ore. The other wine was 2002 Yalumba Barossa, made with 91 percent Shiraz and 9 percent Viognier. “I’m still wrapping my head around the Yalumba,” Lhulier said the next day. “It was decanted, vigorously aerated, poured, and after 30 minutes it was still huge.” Many liked Le Cadeau. Bouchard, however, thought both were a miss. Le Cadeau was too “tight,” and the Yalumba was too big, he explained. The takeaway: When you’re tasting wine with food, try it with certain elements, such as the duck alone. Then blend everything together on the plate, such as dipping the duck in the puree. See how the flavor changes when you taste the wine again.

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Season’s Greetings... Holiday Gift Ideas10am -9pm; Closed on Sunday Monday-Saturday Gift Certificates 5810 Kennett Pike (next to Buckley’s) Gift Baskets made to order Centreville, DE 19807 Wine School Classes www.collierswine.com (302) 656.3542 Bottle of the Month Club colliersconcierge@gmail.com Colliers Case – 12 bottles to please (302) 367.5390 your palate and your pocket – $99


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5810 Kennett Pike (next to Buckley’s) DE 19807 Fund Raisers Wine EducationCentreville,Educational

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Fifth Course: Gingerbread Bombolini with Lemon Curd Filling

Not surprisingly, the wines were sweet. Consider the citrusy Trignon Muscat de Beaume Venise and a Martin Codax Albarino, which has a hint of pear, passion fruit and apple. The group preferred the Albarino, which wasn’t as sweet. Throughout the evening, diners talked about “oaky” Chardonnays. There’s nothing wrong with them, Splane said. Particularly if the wine barrels are made from oak. Just be aware that in less expensive wine the oak flavor and aroma could come from the addition of wood chips to a stainless steel vessel. The takeaway: Oak is a style and non-oak is a style. Both are fine. “It’s like saying here’s an apple and here’s an apple with peanut butter on it,” Splane said. Each to his own. The big takeaway: Food and wine pull people together, Cobb said at the end of the wine dinner. “We can all appreciate what’s a great wine and what’s a great dish. You get seven conservatives and seven liberals around a dinner table, and you can find a commonality.” You won’t find any of these dishes on the regular menu, but you can enjoy a special menu if you book Piccolina Toscana’s new FarmTable. Located near the kitchen, the table is for four to 10 people, who all order the fixed menu, which changes monthly. The price is usually $40-$42. Many dishes are served family-style. Make reservations at 654-8001.

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11/21/13 3:55 PM


Area Wine Experts Pick Holiday Favorites


t’s the season to give and, yes, to celebrate. Whether it’s an office holiday party, Christmas dinner with the extended family, or New Year’s Eve with good friends, here are some choice wine suggestions from local people in the know.

From Linda Collier, Collier’s of Centreville • 2011 Domaine du Closel Savennieres La Jalousie ($21.99) Considered the most cerebral wine in the world is this beautiful chenin blanc from the Loire. Floral, smoke, mineral, peach, quince, herbs—a fantastic addition to any table. • Bertrand Senecourt Beau Joie Brut Rose’ ($119.99) This lovely 50 percent pinot noir and 50 percent chardonnay Champagne is fresh, fruity, and brimming with watermelon, strawberry and citrus. Vibrant and delicate with a long, crisp finish from Charles Ellner, beautifully presented in a handmade copper suit of armor.

From Jeff Kreston, Kreston Wine & Spirits • 2012 Angels Landing Napa Cabernet Sauvignon ($18.99) With its ripe black fruits and tannic structure, this Kreston favorite tastes like a hypothetical blend of a rich valley-floor Cabernet from Oakville and a structured Howell Mountain Cabernet. From a special area in Napa that regularly produces highly rated Cabernets (92–95 points) that retail for $60 on average, this wine makes a thoughtful gift and a wonderful accompaniment to that special dinner. • Notarius Heart Arrow Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.99) Traditional and sophisticated, this wine offers notes of black currant, anise, mocha and rose petal on the nose. Excellent structure and firm tannins. The palate is brighter than expected, with sour cherry and a bit of pomegranate mixed with the classic dark fruits.

From Ed Mulvihill, Peco’s Liquors • 2010 Zolo Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($17.99) This big and bold red is a steal at $17.99. Concentrated notes of fruits like plum and black currant are balanced masterfully with a rich, full body and soft tannins. Twelve months in French and American oak gives this wine nice hints of vanilla on the nose. This is one of the best value wines in the shop, and one that you can be proud to serve this holiday season. I promise you will not be disappointed. • Twomey Merlot ($44.99) This is for anyone who has ever said, “I’m not drinking merlot!” If I had to pick one bottle to be stuck with for the rest of my days, Twomey Merlot would be it. A wine purveyor that likes merlot? Shocking, I know. But if you give this wine a try, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, too. Your typical overly fruity, jammy, mid ‘90s merlot this is not. It has class and elegance. Full bodied with amazing notes of dark fruit, especially black cherry. Twomey Merlot’s long, lingering finish will give you enough time to realize how silly it was to not enjoy a merlot like this one before.

From Michael Whitwell, Premier Wine & Spirits • 2012 Clos Julien Chardonnay ($13.99) What a Classic California Chard should be. Not over-oaked or too creamy—just ripe, vibrant fruit with a long, elegant finish. Drinks like a wine at twice that price. • 2009 Midsummer Cellars Clark-Claudon Vineyard Cabernet ($54.99) A rare find (only 323 cases made) from the Heitz family, this cab will not disappoint. It shows concentrated dark fruits with hints of vanilla, chocolate and soft oak.

From John Murray, State Line Liquors • 2011 Domaine Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone “Les Champauvins” ($17.99) This 2011 Cotes du Rhone comes from a vineyard 10 yards across a road from Chateauneuf du Pape. It is a blend of 70 percent Grenache, 20 percent Syrah and 10 percent Mourvedre that produces a wine of dark ruby color, medium to full body and flavor of currant, cherry and spice. This is a vintage that is a bit lighter than the previous two, but is very floral and expressive now. This has plenty of richness to stand up to the usual accompaniments of the holiday meal, without being too heavy for the ham, roast or turkey. • 2009 Tres Sabores Rutherford Perspective Cabernet Sauvignon ($59.99) Certified organic and produced from grapes grown in the Rutherford Appellation of the Napa Valley. Julie Johnson has crafted a wine of distinct character and flavors. Deep rich color, bright aromas of blackcurrant fruit leads the way for a wonderful flavor sensation. Eloquent, rich and velvety with hints of anise and peppers complement the dusty black cherry fruit. Only 220 cases produced.

From Jared Card, The Wine & Spirit Company of Greenville • 2012 Adelsheim Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley ($22.99) As one of the first producers of Pinot Gris in Oregon, Adelsheim helped define the classic Willamette Valley style of this racy white wine. It’s crisp, clean with bright fruit flavors that are matched to a rich mouth-filling texture, perfect for any formal or casual meal. • 2011 Bouchaine Estate Vineyard Terraces Pinot Noir ($44.99) This distinctive wine has been made exclusively for our Bacchus Collection. This is the first year we have made wine from the very special part of the Bouchaine Estate. The Estate Vineyard Terraces wine comes from the steeply terraced hillsides of the estate. The exposure to the sun at this location and the unique terrain have created a very special Pinot Noir. The wine has dark berries and mild black cherry flavors with an underlying essence of leather. This is a truly wonderful, small production Pinot Noir. DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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11/22/13 12:24 PM

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11/21/13 4:04 PM


THE DINE-AMIC DUO Lisa and Carl Georigi in the offices of the Platinum Dining Group. Photo Tim Hawk

With four restaurants, everything Carl and Lisa Georigi touch seems to turn to platinum By Pam George


hen Lisa and Carl Georigi head out to an anniversary dinner, they promise each other that they won’t discuss work. Yet two minutes after being seated, they’re back to talking shop. “We’ll say, ‘Look how cool this is!’ or ‘Can you believe the staff aren’t doing this or that?’” Lisa says. That’s not surprising given that the Georigis own Wilmington-based Platinum Dining Group, whose collection includes Eclipse Bistro, Redfire Grill + Steakhouse, Capers & Lemons Italian Restaurant & Market, and Taverna. For the couple, the business is a way of life and not just a job. “Your on/off button is never off,” Carl acknowledges.

The Georigis, who’ve been married 21 years, prove that spouses who work together can indeed stay together. In part that’s because they’ve taken complementary roles. She handles all the accounts receivables, insurance, hiring, payroll and Web photography for the restaurant group, which employs 225 employees. She also buys for the gourmet market in Capers & Lemons. Carl is onsite, running the restaurants and working with chefs; he visits all four each day, up to six days a week. He also handles maintenance and contractors. They both contribute to the restaurants’ concept and design, with Carl laying out the physical space and Lisa creating its look and feel. ► DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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11/21/13 4:06 PM

EAT THE DINE-AMIC DUO continued from page 37

“Fortunately for me, I married a woman who has embraced the industry to the point that she is actively involved,” Carl says. On a sunny Monday in November, they’re sitting at a conference table in the Trolley Square townhouse that serves as the corporate office. The attractive space is open and fashionable. Lisa has dressed her office in white and teal. Carl’s office, on the opposite side of the second level, is more rustic chic. Enlarged photographs of the restaurants’ food adorn the walls. Carl will only spend a few hours here before going out on the road. At this writing, they had planned to close Eclipse for a few days in November to give it a makeover, including new finishes and banquettes. (The concept/menu will remain the same.) The redo, the fourth, prompts the couple to reflect on how much things have changed since they opened the Little Italy restaurant in 1996.

WHEN PATHS COLLIDE Carl’s culinary career started at age 16, when he got a job as a coffee shop busboy at the Hyatt in his hometown, Cherry Hill, N.J. Throughout his teens, he continued working at the property, climbing the ladder to become the fine-dining manager. After graduating from LaSalle University, he briefly considered a law career, but the restaurant industry had its hooks in him. In 1990, at the age of 23, Carl was managing 95 people at the Philadelphia location of Sfuzzi. In 1992, he became manager of Café Bellissimo on Kirkwood Highway in Wilmington. Enter Lisa, who frequently ate at the Italian restaurant. A graduate of New York University, where she studied film, Lisa had spent time in New York and was on her way to the American Film Institute when for family reasons she decided to stay in Wilmington. She used her fine arts degree to decorate model homes for her father, a builder. In 1992, 15 months after their first date, they got married. “Her mom forced me to marry her,” Carl jokes. Lisa laughs and replies: “She paid him off!”

A TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART While managing Blue and Gold Club, a membership-only club for UD faculty and alumni, Carl, then 29, began creating Eclipse Restaurant in a former fried chicken restaurant on Union Street. After long hours at the university, he and a construction crew gutted the restaurant down to the cinderblock walls. With chalk, Carl sketched out the bar, kitchen and 58 seats on the floor. The layout has remained the same to this day. Eclipse, which opened in 1996, means to “surpass” or “outshine,” Carl says. And that is exactly what the couple wanted to do. At that time, there were casual spots in the area—think Mrs. Robino’s— and upscale places such as the Silk Purse or the Green Room. No restaurant represented the contemporary dining scene that was so strong in big cities: a blend of upscale food and an unpretentious but contemporary atmosphere. At Eclipse, wine glasses were all one size; servers were casually dressed. There were cream tablecloths—not white. ►

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THE DINE-AMIC DUO continued from page 39


The décor was stripped down— in large part due to the budget. Lisa brought houseplants from home. Still, the atmosphere was sleekly sophisticated for Wilmington. People dressed to dine there. “This was my lifelong goal, my dream,” says Carl, who was cooking in the kitchen every day in the beginning. For a year, the business couldn’t pay Lisa a salary. It was all consuming. When the Georigis’ second child, Gillian, was born in 1997, she was placed in intensive care for 10 days. “I saw her for about 10 minutes,” Carl says. “It breaks my heart even to this day. But I was fighting for our family. I didn’t know any other way.” Lisa was caring for a newborn and 2-year-old Alec. Their dedication paid off. Eclipse did in fact shine. So much so that its record helped secure financing for Dome, a restaurant originally planned for a city neighborhood until residents fought it. Instead, Dome opened in Hockessin.




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115 E Main St Newark, DE 19711 • 302. 266.8111


CHANGE IS GOOD Dome, which opened in 2000, was a family restaurant, a happening bar, and a date place. Being all things to all people was a plus in restaurant-starved Hockessin. Lisa decorated with vivid splashes of primary blue and yellow, all hot colors at the time. It was cheerful yet contemporary and urbane. The logo as it initially read—D-O-M-E— seemed too flat, so they elected to raise the last two letters, little knowing that the public would read it as “Do Me” and snicker. After hearing the “Do Me” comment so many times, Carl told folks that his next restaurant would be called “Me, too.” The entrepreneurs realized that diners’ appetites change—seemingly overnight. While Dome was serving up to 700 on a single weekend night, Eclipse had turned into a special occasion place. Off went the tablecloths. The restaurant grew even more casual, and finally, in 2004, it embraced a bistro concept. Dome initially offered the same menu all day long—at the same prices. Midday diners balked at entrees with dinner-sized price tags. The menu quickly adapted. ►

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11/21/13 4:13 PM

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11/22/13 11:48 AM

EAT THE DINE-AMIC DUO continued from page 41

The Georigis in 2009 gave birth to Capers & Lemons, an Italian concept located just off Lancaster Pike, midway between Wilmington, Greenville and Hockessin. “We look at the dining scene to get a sense of what will work in that location,” Carl says. Then the concept, Lisa adds, dictates the design. Capers & Lemons was a hit. Still, it was not a good year for any business. Dome was feeling the effects of the recession. “It had a great 10-year run,” Carl says with acceptance. But the lease was up. They could walk away, sell it or reinvent the space. Armed with a steakhouse concept originally planned for the Wilmington Riverfront, they turned the space into Redfire. Taverna opened on Main Street in Newark in 2012. The “rustic” Italian cuisine inspired Lisa to hunt for reclaimed barn siding that they could re-use.



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Recently, Lisa and Carl realized that they are no longer restaurant owners. They own a restaurant company, which includes restaurants, a market and a new catering division. “We are full-service, seven-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year restaurants,” Carl says. They’re not ready to rest on their laurels. “We are looking to push ourselves and challenge ourselves,” he says. The Georigis have tossed around a Mexican, sushi and French bistro concept. They’ve been asked to open restaurants in Rehoboth, Philadelphia, and on the Riverfront; but since Carl likes to visit the restaurants as much as possible, they want to limit their ventures to within 60 miles of Wilmington. Carl in part expands so longtime employees move up the ladder, much as he did. Many sous chefs have become chefs, he says. Many employees have worked for Platinum 10 years or more. In his 40s, Carl admits that they talk about an exit strategy. Son Alec is currently studying hospitality at Cornell University. Both children have worked in the business. But the Georigis aren’t’ ready to retire just yet. They’re having too much fun— together. Says Carl: “I’ve never woken up a single day and wanted to do anything else.”


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11/22/13 12:14 PM

130 Years of Promoting Self-Sufficiency! Then Now

During World War I, residents of Little Italy set up garden plots in the Lincoln Street (now Francis Father Tucker) Park.

Today, 100 community gardeners tend 65 garden plots atop the Rodney Street Reservoir in Wilmington.

Since 1883, West End has encouraged youth development through sports and recreation.

In 2012, our track team placed first at a national meet with CJ Cochran ranking 1st in the nation for the Young Mens 400m Hurdles. He later received a full, four-year scholarship to Delaware State University.

West End has promoted youth literacy and education since 1883.

Nearly 400 of our youth advanced a grade or educational level in 2012.

West End’s primary purpose has always been to serve the community.

We serve over 9,000 people every year, including this little guy!

For more information or to get involved, call us at 302-658-4171 or visit us online at www.westendnh.org.

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You see where we’ve come from and where we are today. Help us make our community stronger now and for the future.


can make a difference with a donation of any amount this Holiday Season!


covers meet registration fees for two West End track team members to compete


provides seven meals for an entire family


purchases seeds to grow lettuce and greens at West End's farmers' market for an entire growing season


funds GED instruction for three customers to advance a grade level


supports a year of financial coaching for three customers

CONTRIBUTE TODAY! Accepting monetary, food, and item donations at: www.westendnh.org/donate Or mail a check to: West End Neighborhood House 710 N. Lincoln Street • Wilmington, DE 19805


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HER MISSION: TO GO OUT OF BUSINESS Food Bank of Delaware President Pat Beebe wants to see an end to hunger in the state By Krista Connor


atricia Beebe is not one to walk away from a challenge. That’s why she’s ideally suited to the job of eradicating hunger in Delaware. As president and CEO of the Food Bank of Delaware, a position she’s held for the past 16 years, that’s her goal. “The Food Bank was something that really just challenged me,” Beebe says. “I felt that my only limitations were coming up with an idea and figuring out how to pay for it. I really liked that challenge.” Beebe grew up in Mercer, Wis., and in the 1970s and ‘80s earned two master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin—one in rehab psychology and one in art. Since then, she has worked in nonprofit organizations. She moved to Texas in 1990 to work at Collin County Community College, helping people who had lost their jobs to find employment. After she got that “up and rolling,” she became regional director for a Lutheran community service organization. She came on board at the Food Bank of Delaware after her family moved to this area because of her husband’s job relocation. The Food Bank was founded in 1981 to provide nutritious food to Delawareans in need and to facilitate long-term solutions to hunger and poverty through community education and advocacy. There are two locations, in Newark and Milford. With budget cuts like the recent reduction in SNAP benefits hitting low-income families hard, organizations like the Food Bank are needed more than ever. “I think there’s a lot that can be done in the forms of providing that service in a meaningful, humanizing way, as well as with public policy,” Beebe says. She recently talked with O&A about effects of government negligence, a new, expanded facility in Milford, and more. Can you describe your typical client, or is there no such thing as a “typical” client? PB: There is obviously no such thing as a typical client. Our clients are children who are needing assistance with food while they’re going to public, charter or private schools. We have a lot of families, like newly impoverished families, that we’re working with. We also have a lot of programs and training programs, so we work with people who are looking to start a career in the food service industry. We also have nutrition education programs. Our programs are focused around workforce

development, as it relates to job training, but also to helping people make wise choices about food as well as giving them access to food; so we really cover a wide gamut of different types of services. If there was one thing you would like people to know about the Food Bank of Delaware, what would it be? PB: That we want to put ourselves out of business. That is our goal; that is our mission. In this day and age, none of us in this country should need food banks.

Where do most of your contributions come from? PB: We are very fortunate that access to funding comes from a number of sectors, equally distributed among individual donors, the business sector, banks, grants, and the federal government to help us achieve our mission. How many volunteers contribute time to Food Bank operations? PB: We had 25,499 volunteer visits last year. Volunteers, aside from helping us fulfill our mission, are important from the standpoint of becoming advocates. We couldn’t do the programs we do without volunteers. Have you noticed an increase in need over the last few years because of the economy and jobs situation? PB: We have definitely noticed an increase. We know that food is a great equalizer and food gives us a great opportunity to engage people in programs. We see ourselves as needing to provide food for people because we know there’s a decline in the middle class, we know that the poverty numbers are going up, and going up especially for children. There are reports all the time showing that Delaware has a very high number of children in poverty. I believe the last report that was out by the Food Action Council showed that we were one of the 15 states that had the most children in poverty, so this is an area where we constantly find that we need to be focusing a lot of our efforts. So, a lot of our programs are geared toward feeding and educating children about healthy eating. We also know that there’s a lot of people who are underemployed and are the working poor, and we see that as an area that we need to provide a lot of services. ► DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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11/21/13 4:42 PM

EAT HER MISSION: TO GO OUT OF BUSINESS continued from previous page

How does the problem of hunger in Delaware compare to other states? Are we making inroads? PB: Delaware in some ways is doing better than other states. Of course, Delaware is a smaller state, and has been very generous in supporting two food banks. We have a lot of trucks, and a very heavy volunteer network, so we’re able to get to all parts of the state, and I think as a result we’re probably able to have more of an impact consistently throughout the state. So in that way, I think we are doing a better job than a lot of states are. We also have been very fortunate to have new programs that some food banks are not as fortunate as we are to have the funding for, and that enables us to provide a vast array of services. We’re the only food bank in the nation to have two training programs, for example—one in Newark that opened in 2002 and one in Milford we opened in September. Those are so needed to get people the jobs skills they need in order to be employed. But when you look at the numbers that say we’re one of the 15 worst states for childhood hunger and I regularly meet with individuals who need our assistance, I never feel that as a state we’re doing better, because there’s still so much more we need to do. My philosophy is not to look backward, but always look forward and at what we should be doing to help our neighbors. I know there’s still a lot more that needs to be done.

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The hunger ratio in the U.S. is higher than the world. Why do you think that is? Because in this country, for the last several years we have consistently decreased the amount of funding available through various programs to assist people so they don’t go hungry and so they have access to nutritious food. Twenty-five years ago we certainly had more money per capita to assist people dealing with hunger and nutrition issues than we do now. Then we started pulling away from that and developing what I consider parallel food systems for people who are in poverty. Those systems are constantly taxed with providing more and more services. The ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is connected with SNAP benefits) just expired additional funds, and so everyone sees a seven percent decrease in their food stamp dollars. Two years ago, we [the nation] put more money into programs for children, but we took it out of the food stamp budget for adults. As the number of people in poverty


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go up and as more jobs are leaving our communities, more people are working two jobs just to make a living. I’m one of those people who really believes that we should subsidize a lot of the low wages that people have by giving them access to food stamps and other kind of programs that help them survive. I really feel we as a nation have not addressed what we need to do to enable people to have access to jobs where they can support themselves and their families. And we seem to keep pulling away from that goal more and more every year. You recently had a groundbreaking for an expanded facility in Milford. Why is investing in a kitchen and culinary school so important? People need food assistance because they are not able to secure jobs that will support them and their families. And we know the food industry is going well, and if you stay with that as a career, you can make a good living and receive the funds you need to support yourself. As an organization, we are concerned about the number of people who need our services. We know the reason is because they don’t have jobs; a lot of times the reason they don’t have jobs is because they don’t have job skills. And it is totally on mission for us to be able to offer the service which we feel is an important resource to make available to people. What is the biggest challenge facing the Food Bank? The lack of political will to do what is required to end hunger. We know there are so many examples of things that can be done, that have been done in the past that worked and could be done now. Policy makers are working at odds with what needs to be done to end hunger. And convincing people that we need to muster the political will, that we need to do what we can do to end hunger, is our biggest challenge and frustration. Constantly, systems or programs don’t assume responsibility to playing the role they need to play. A couple examples: We have such a wealth of services that are available through different agencies and programs on behalf of an individual or a family, and often, they don’t all work together to come up with a plan to move that person through the system. There’s still silos in place between one government entity and the other, and they don’t communicate with each other, so people fall between the cracks. As a result, we spend a lot of energy on our failure to move things forward on behalf of people, leading to that overall lack in political will. Want to make an impact this holiday season? Volunteer. For more information, visit www.fbd.org. DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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Chef Supreme

Photo Associated Press, Sitthixay Ditthavong


In Robert Lhulier’s copy of Trotter’s book, the author wrote: “After love, there is only cuisine!”

A fan and fellow chef reflects on the culinary impact of Charlie Trotter By Robert Lhulier


hadn’t yet started my career in the back of the house, but I had heard of the great Chef Charlie Trotter from Chicago, and I had to own a copy of his pioneering cookbook, which all my chef friends were talking about. Reading it was all I needed to confirm something: I would land in a kitchen of my own one day and wear the white jacket. After graduating from culinary school in 1998, I found myself with the post-grad blues and manning the kitchen of the recently launched Deep Blue Bar and Grill. Yet it seemed the more I practiced my craft, the further I was from attaining a fraction of the greatness Chef Trotter had. How does this guy reach such heights, meal after meal, day after day, year after year? In the summer of 2000, I worked up the nerve to contact him, and as a result I was invited to visit his world famous Chicago restaurant, Charlie Trotter’s. Now, 13 years later, my mentor is gone. He died on Nov. 5. The cause of death has not yet been determined. In 1994, when Charlie Trotter went to publish his first cookbook, no one wanted to take the project. There were several reasons. The publishers almost unanimously decried the recipes as too difficult to follow. No home cook, they reasoned, would buy such a book. Still, the photographs were arrestingly

beautiful and intimate, even if the cuisine was intimidating. Another stumbling block was the price: Who in their right mind would pay $50 for a cookbook from an American chef whom many had never even heard of outside of tight-knit culinary circles? Putting up some of his own money, Trotter approached 10 Speed Press (now part of Random House) to publish his book. “He really made a strong first impression with us,” says 10 Speed Press Publisher Aaron Wehner. Wehner, who joined 10 Speed in 1997, personally edited five of Trotter’s 12 books published by his company. “His vision was vivid and focused; attention to detail, meticulous,” says Wehner. “He wanted control of all the aesthetics. He sourced his own photographer and designer, and handled all the creative details.” There weren’t many American cookbooks at that time featuring the cuisine of a particular chef. Emeril Lagasse, a friend of and major influence on Trotter, published his first book, Emeril’s New New Orleans Cooking, in 1993. But like Julia Child’s seminal cookbooks on French cuisine, it was a compendium of essential recipes, not really a “new” style of cuisine. 10 Speed took a chance on Charlie Trotter and his unique vision. ► DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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INGREDIENTS AND TECHNIQUE The most arresting aspect of Charlie Trotter’s eponymous book was that it was indulgent. It showcased his unwavering commitment to superior ingredients and perfection of technique. Difficult or not, Trotter believed if you had the commitment, discipline and intensity, you could pull off these recipes. In an opening paragraph of welcome, Trotter admits, “You can use any or all of these recipes—deviate where you like —or use the photographs alone as your inspiration. You can contemplate food on an intellectual level, but ultimately it is a sensuous experience and it is perhaps best to enjoy it that way.” But wait—chefs aren’t supposed to be philosophers. And a cookbook doesn’t just give you permission to wing it. Yes, this was something very different. The chapters begin with still lifes of their subjects: tomatoes, salmon, rabbit, squab, mushrooms, tuna. And they start with an explanation of why each deserves its own chapter, and the prime season to exploit the dish’s peak flavor. Wine is embraced as an integral part of dining, too. Each dish includes recommended wine pairings (red and white) and explains why it complements or contrasts. Most of the recipes have suggestions for substitution proteins or key ingredients if you can’t find them in your area. It was Trotter’s style of organized randomness that made his food stand out. As Trotter’s chef de cuisine Matthias Merges explained to me while plating a cold lobster appetizer, “Try not to compose, but to find the balance between natural and constructed. Chef Trotter says, ‘Look at the dish you’re plating and ask yourself if it resembles something you might have come across in nature.’” I had seen the light. It took a lot of skill and patience to make food look like a beautiful accident. It’s the close-up shots of the food in his books that create an intimacy that had rarely been seen before in a cookbook. In Trotter’s first book, on page 79, you can actually count the tiny black beads of Iranian Osetra caviar atop the Timbale of Salmon Tartare with Avocado and Lemon Oil. The quenelles of avocado (as any serious cook can tell you) are textbook perfect. The contrast of persimmoncolored salmon to glistening ebony ►



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EAT CHEF SUPREME continued from page 53

caviar is a sensual display of opulence. On page 154, the shot is so focused and tight that a chef friend of mine pointed out a nightmare of a publishing error: an eyelash had fallen onto the crimson lamb chop with vegetable ragout, forever captured for posterity. A NEW GENRE OF BOOKS His second cookbook, Vegetables, was just as daring as the first. An entire book on just vegetables from a non-vegetarian chef was nothing short of shocking. Vegetables were not chic in 1995. Again, the chefs, cooks, foodies and critics lined up for more. Trotter would continue to produce several volumes over the next seven years, focusing on seafood, desserts and meat and game. Striking photos, like this one of caviar atop salmon with But it was the launching of his very avocado, were characteristic of Trotter’s 14 books. first cookbook that made possible a whole new genre of even larger, more elaborate and seductive books on restaurant food. The French Laundry, by Thomas Keller and Michael Ruhlman, is one such book. Another is Alinea, by Grant Achatz. Asked if anyone since Trotter had come along with equally impressive talent and energy, Wehner paused and said, “Well, ironically, yes. Grant Achatz.” A Trotter alum, Achatz’s memoir Life, On The Line caused a stir in culinary circles. The irony Wehner refers to is that the impressively successful and talented chef, Achatz, had some very public criticisms of his former chef, Trotter. “The similarities were startling,” Wehner says. “Even today, Trotter’s first book is considered a benchmark for aspiring young cookbook authors.” In 2012, after 25 years, 10 James Beard Foundation awards, 14 cookbooks, and a culinary legacy the equal of almost anyone’s, Charlie Trotter closed his restaurant to pursue a master’s degree in philosophy. Alas, it was not to be. After Trotter’s death, I met for coffee with Wilmington Chef Sean McNiece to commiserate. McNiece was executive chef of Mikimoto’s on Washington Street in Wilmington in 2004 when he, too, felt the itch to grow and evolve in his craft. Earlier that year, he worked up the courage to call Charlie Trotter’s. “I owned most of the books he had put out, and I remembered that you had also been to Trotter’s,” McNiece told me. “I had to give it a shot.” By May of that year, McNiece found himself inside the tiny, intense kitchen on Armitage Street in Lincoln Park. He says it took almost a whole day for it to hit him: “I’m really here.” “When I first heard of his death, my mind went to a dark place,” says McNiece. Indeed, Trotter’s intense and sometimes temperamental nature fit the profile of someone who, post spot-light, top-of-the-world status, could be seen as the depressive type. An autopsy ruled out foul play or trauma as a cause of death, but further tests are pending. As we shared thoughts about our colleague, McNiece turned reflective. “I frequently revisit the whole experience of being at Trotter’s in my head, and I’m reminded, ‘Doing things this well really is possible.’” Among the many words used to describe Trotter, “visionary” rings true for me. In his first email to me, Chef said, “You mustn’t care what others think of you, and you mustn’t compete against anyone but yourself. If you stay true to your vision, one day you will look in the rearview mirror, and you will find there is no one there.” Robert Lhulier is executive chef at The University and Whist Club of Wilmington.



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WINTER BREWS FOR THE WINTER BLUES hen it comes to winter beers, there are certainly a lot to choose from. So in the spirit of spreading more comfort and joy, we asked area experts what brews they would recommend during the upcoming season of semi-hibernation. Here is what they said:


MAD ELF ALE – TRÖEGS BREWING COMPANY If there is one beer that screams Christmas or holiday cheer, it’s Tröegs Mad Elf. An amazing beer accented with cherry, honey, and other spices, it is 11 percent abv and it’s highly allocated, so get it while you can.

JUBILICIOUS WINTER SEASONAL – TWIN LAKES BREWING CO. This is another winner. Made only for the holidays, and only on draft, this is one of the best winter seasonal beers you will taste. Last year it was sold out in one week, so keep your eyes peeled for this special treat. —Jared Card, The Wine & Spirit Company of Greenville

ST. BERNARDUS CHRISTMAS ALE – ST. BERNARDUS BREWERY Brewed annually for the holiday season, this specialty beer at 10 percent abv is characterized by its deep dark color, creamy thick head and a full, almost velvety taste with a fruity nose.

DUPONT AVEC LES BONS VOEUX – DUPONT BREWERY “Les bons voeux” means best wishes, which is what Brasserie Dupont sends with this very special saison ale brewed only for the holidays. Redolently aromatic, rich and velvety, this is an ale to toast the season and welcome in the New Year. —Robert Murray, State Line Liquors

JAI ALAI IPA – CIGAR CITY BREWING Sure, it may seem counter-intuitive to suggest a Tampa Baybrewed beer as a choice grab for winter. But then again, if your holiday spending is putting the kibosh on plans for that Caribbean vacation, consider a case of the Jai Alai as the ideal bargain tropical getaway. And if you enjoy hot, spicy dishes to warm you up in the cold summer months, this hoppy, citrus-tipped India Pale Ale is your go-to grog. —Brian Muchler, Brewers’ Outlet DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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James Cleare, Heather Robb and James Smith of The Spring Standards, originally from the Delaware Valley, perform at a 2011 concert at Arden Gild Hall. Photo Joe del Tufo

A DuPont engineer brings some younger acts to Arden Gild Hall By Krista Connor on Ozer is a music guy. He began fervently collecting records at the age of 12. The Pretenders’ first, self-titled album and The Clash’s London Calling vie for top spot in his list of favorites. As a teen in the ’70s, he hosted Ron’s Record Review on Pennsylvania’s Nether Providence High School TV Network. He wrote a column with the same name for the school paper, and recorded one song on a cassette with his band, The Bedrooms, who only ever performed in his friend Ken’s bedroom. In the 1980s, Ozer produced radio events and dj-ed while an engineering student at the University of Delaware.


He has sung in musicals, and throughout his lifetime he’s attended concerts with almost ritualistic frequency: he’s been to at least 400. No wonder then that he has happily found himself as volunteer president of the Arden Concert Gild for the past 10 years. Ozer, a DuPont engineer dressed in khakis and an earthy green polo, checks his watch as he sits down at a table in the Tudor-style Arden Gild Hall— the centerpiece of the Arden Concert Gild. He says he has only 20 minutes for our interview, but he seems unhurried, speaking in a quiet voice. Arden Gild Hall’s history stretches back to 1850, when it functioned as a barn. Today its beamed ceilings are reminiscent of those origins. ► DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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Over the next century-and-a-half a stream of musicians performed here under random production—there was no set organization or “leader.” Performers were drawn from the nearby area, except for occasional big names like Lead Belly, Pete Seeger and Burl Ives. Ozer grew up in nearby Wallingford, Pa., oblivious to the village of Arden’s existence. Even at UD, he never heard of the single-tax community, noted for its arts, crafts and theater, located just north of Wilmington. But in 1994, friends who happened to be residents of Arden invited Ozer and his wife, Dorinda Dove, to one of the village’s weekly dinners. After a few weeks, the Ozers, who were coincidentally looking for a home, came to know many Ardenites by name and felt so accepted that they decided to move to the Utopian-based community with their two young daughters. Between 1997 and 2002, what’s now the gild was an Arden Club committee hosting shows, and in 2003 Ozer took the lead and helped turn it into the Arden Concert Gild. Recently Ozer, whose official title is “Gild Master” (although the name has been dropped since it “sounds like ‘Dungeon Master’ or something,” he says) has been ushering a few changes into the gild, changes that may not go over well with Arden’s older generation. For one thing, Ozer is trying to draw a younger audience to the shows at the Gild Hall, where all concerts are held.

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Westtown - Rt. 3 1646 West Chester Pike West Chester, PA 19382 (610) 431-1410

Photo Joe del Tufo

Naamans Road 1800 Naamans Road Wilmington, DE 19810 (302) 529-1865

Ron Ozer (left) with David Johansen of The New York Dolls, at Johansen’s 2012 Arden Gild Hall solo performance.

11/21/13 5:47 PM

Photo Arden Guild Hall

Lead Belly, just one of the big names to play the hall, performs there in 1942.

“We gotta have the next generation coming in—can’t keep catering to older people. I don’t mind ruffling a few feathers to try new stuff,” he says. This means more standing room-only for indie rock bands—fitting 300 people, as opposed to more common, seated shows that Ozer has tended to book until now, which accommodate up to 250. It also means that he’s bringing artists in like New Jersey’s punk band Titus Andronicus, who played in September, and electronic-dance-music act D.V.S*, which appeared last month. Ozer says such sounds may make older people think, “What’s this?” In October, he invited a DJ, Professor950, to open for 62-year-old soul artist Lee Fields. “The older crowd didn’t understand what the DJ was doing with the mixing and sampling,” says Ozer. “They thought, ‘Why would I sit here and watch somebody spin records?’” But Ozer (who himself is still trying to acquire a taste for electronic music) thinks that maintaining an open mind is key, and he will continue to offer a variety of genres, including blues, rock, bluegrass, folk, singer-songwriter, and world music—his particular favorite. He likes to think of himself as a music curator—someone who brings artists to Delaware to share assorted styles of music. This was the m.o. of one of Ozer’s biggest influences, Bill Bragin, of New York City, who made a name for himself booking a nightly mesh of music at NYC’s Joe’s Pub, from locals to big shots, who varied drastically in style. “I have a few people who book shows that I really admire—one is this guy,” says Ozer. “I want to bring in things that may not otherwise come to Delaware.” One way to draw out-of-state bands is through grants. The gild recently received a grant from Delaware Division of the Arts for $12,500, which helped bring world music group Debo Band from Boston last month. “Their music is based on Ethiopian music of the ’70s and ramped up to funky, New Orleans-flavored touches,” says Ozer. “Normally, I don’t think anyone else in Delaware would book them because it would be too risky, but we can do it because we have this grant and we can take risks on certain shows.” While Ozer doesn’t receive compensation for the 20 hours per week of volunteer “nuts and bolts” tasks—negotiating with music agents, ordering tickets, writing press releases, contacting reporters —he and the other nine gild volunteers and producers enjoy a major perk: attending concerts for free. But mostly, concerned about not wanting to appear as a “one-man band,” Ozer notes the volunteers’ sense of teamwork that goes into successfully running the gild— teamwork reflective of Arden as a whole. “There’s a strong element of community here,” he says. “I grew up in a fairly conservative suburb, and we had neighbors and friends on the block as a kid, but there wasn’t any sort of organized community. But here, with the dinners, concerts, plays, lectures . . .” His voice trails off, like the ebbing notes of a favorite record. On Thursday, Dec. 26, check out The Spring Standards - whose members are originally from Newark (Heather Robb) and Kennett Square (James Cleare and James Smith) - at their annual Boxing Day Party at Arden Gild Hall. Performances are back to back at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. For more gild information, visit ardenconcerts.com.

Tracy Richardson • harpsichord Kimberly Reighley • flute Donna Fournier • viola da gamba Douglas McNames • cello Christof Richter • violin

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TUNED IN What’s happening in the local music scene? Email kconnor@tsnpub.com with ideas, and they could be added to our list. UP AND COMING SOUND Area band FIANCÉ is set to release experimental pop EP this month


he friendship between members of the band FIANCÉ began in their early teenage years, when buddies Andrew Fusca and Tyler Yoder met Jeff Marvel, who lived in Sweden, on an internet chat room. The three quickly became cyber friends. Coincidentally, Marvel’s parents, pursuing a business opportunity, decided to move to Delaware, and the international pals met in real life. Then, while they were all attending Middletown High School seven years ago, they began playing music together. “It’s almost like a love story,” says Yoder. Now in their early 20s and living in Newark, and joined by drummer Brian Bruce, they formed experimental pop band FIANCÉ last spring. Yoder says they have chosen to play experimental pop music because the majority of today’s pop songs tend to follow a specific structure, one that FIANCÉ attempts to manipulate while creating something comfortable and new. They are currently self-recording an EP, Era, to be released this month or in early January. By next summer, they’d like to focus primarily on the band, with a possible tour on the horizon. “Our influences don’t stem from any particular musicians or bands,” says Marvel. “But from our hearts and mutual experiences we have shared finding our sound.” In the meantime, check them out at Jr.’s Bar in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Dec. 18, and online at www.facebook.com/fianceDE.

Photo Nichole Fusca

— Krista Connor


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L to R: Jeff Marvel, Brian Bruce, Andrew Fusca and Tyler Yoder of FIANCÉ are set to release their EP Era this month or early next.

11/21/13 5:51 PM


Photo Sharon Fullerton Photography


L to R, members of Glim Dropper—Ben Geise, Rob Schnell and Dan Kauffman—jam out during a set.


12/7: Peanut Butter & Jams Welcomes Steve Weeks 12/14: Peanut Butter & Jams Welcomes We Kids Rock Band’s Holiday Show 12/11 (& Every 2nd Wednesday): Unsung Hearo’s Open Stage Thurs 5 – Tracy Grammer Fri 6 – Mythica’s Farewell (For Now) Show Sat 7 – Love Canon Thurs 12 – Rick Sciavicco and Mario Rocco’s Holiday Homecoming Fri 13 – Gable Music Presents The December Singer Songwriter Showcase

Glim Dropper explores philosophy, politics and humor in their new album

Photo Nichole Fusca


ove, compassion, fear—the “standard stuff” concerning the human condition—are Glim Dropper’s sources of inspiration for their newest album, according to band members. Deliberating until the last minute, the group settled on an appropriate title, Heartsick Phenomenon. It’s ready for release this month, although a date is yet to be set. “Naming a record is never as easy as it seems,” says drummer and vocalist Rob Schnell. “It is sort of like naming a kid – you have to give it a name you can live with forever.” The band describes Heartsick Phenomenon as a mix of “rockers and down-tempo tunes.” It was written as a team, a first for the group. Typically, one member, like Dan Kauffman, will pen a song, and let others weigh in. But for this album, a member of the power trio—Kauffman, Schnell, or vocalist and guitarist Ben Geise —would throw out a riff or chord progression idea, and the whole group would pull a single piece together, resulting in 10 tracks of twists and turns, they say. The album delves into the effects of relationships, and thoughts on current events such as the political climate and the technology craze. With tracks like “Shanghai,” the album touches on stream of consciousness as well. ►

Sat 14 – Aniya – Colors of the Sun Release Concert Tues 17 – Judith Hill Wed 18 – Ben Taylor with Lily Mae Thurs 19 – SuiteFranchon Presents: Peace, Love & Poetry Fri 20 – Tribute to Joe Strummer: A Benefit For Strummerville with The Fakirs, Disaster Committee, The Future Unwritten, The Headies, The Keefs, Tin Can Ramblers, The Lift Up, DJ Shadylady Sat 21 – Mad-Sweet Pangs Fri 27 – Woody Pines Sat 28 – Stephen & Zooey CD Release & Grilled Cheese and Craft Beer Tasting Tues 31 – NYE Party with The Spinto Band

World Cafe Live at the Queen 500 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 302-994-1400 WorldCafeLive.com


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Photo Lori M. Nichols

ANSWERS TO ETERNAL QUESTIONS continued from previous page

Glim Dropper after they won this year’s Musikarmageddon.

“Songs about first world problems and how success is constantly being redefined run through a number of tracks,” says Kauffman. “Searching for the right path is definitely an underlying theme.” The 2013 Musikarmageddon battle of the bands champs have been busy since their September win. Between playing shows almost every weekend and finishing up their album, they’re looking forward to what’s left of the year, and beyond. They’re even thinking about creating a light show —something visual to go along with their music. “Also, we’re injecting more humor and fun and we are trying not to take everything too seriously,” says Kauffman. Previous recordings, like last year’s album Last Days of Analog, were completed based on budget and availability, causing the group to slowly piece a project together. For Heartsick Phenomenon, however, Glim Dropper hunkered down for two days at Morningstar Studios outside Philadelphia and cut the songs as a live trio, they say.

“We actually did this album in a more, shall we say, ‘traditional’ sense than we had previously,” says Schnell. The album features guests who bring fresh sounds—artists Sheila Hershey and Michael Ronstadt on cello, Tracy Grammer on violin, and Beth Goldwater on backing vocals. Additionally, drummer and vocalist Schnell performs with his handmade mandolin. “We anticipate a very long list of people who we have to thank to be a part of the new album,” says Kauffman. “We feel privileged to have so many people support us and we want to make them proud.” The album will be available on iTunes, Amazon.com, CDBaby, Bandcamp.com, on the band’s website, and at shows. For more details, visit facebook.com/glimdropper or glimdropper.com. For a list of upcoming shows, visit glimdropper.com/shows. — Krista Connor


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Photo Danielle Quigley


Beth Goldwater is among the performers who are bringing live music back to Cromwell’s.

The Greenville tavern hopes to tap into the growing demand for live performances


By Matt Amis

n Nov. 7, after an absence of nearly a decade, live music returned to Cromwell’s Tavern when singers Maggie Gabbard, Brene Wilson and Beth Goldwater performed at the Greenville landmark. For Pat Nilon, Cromwell’s owner and a music lifer, the occasion also marked his return to a local music scene that’s changed for the better since he left it, as the Wilmington area continues its gradual ascent into buzzdom. It also presented an opportunity to introduce a new generation to Cromwell’s. “What I want from this is for people to walk out the door and to be really excited about what they have heard and seen,” says Nilon. “It’s not a decorating project—it’s about getting the energy going inside your bar or restaurant in a different sort of way.”

Nilon, who has owned Cromwell’s since its inception in 1991, stopped booking bands soon after Delaware legislators passed the 2002 Clean Indoor Air Act, which barred smoking in bars, restaurants and casinos. “Because of our proximity to the Pennsylvania state line, we lost about 80 percent of our business when the smoking ban came,” he says. “So we dropped music.” But as he witnessed the rebirth of live music around the Wilmington area, where ambitious new venues like World Cafe Live at The Queen grew beside popular, smaller-scale clubs like The Nomad and Oddity Bar, Nilon decided to strike. He enlisted Wilmington-based Gable Music Ventures, whose live music tools include promotion, management and booking. The company curates the annual Wilmo Rock Circus—a one-day, three-stage “pop-up” local band fest at The Queen, as well as the venue’s monthly singer-songwriter showcase. ► DECMEBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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LISTEN MUSIC RETURNS TO CROMWELL’S continued from previous page

Photo Danielle Quigley

Says Nilon: “What attracted me to Gable is their drive to do the things that haven’t been done before. And that takes guts.” The two-year-old company is steered by Gayle Dillman and Jeremy Hebbel, who strive to match emerging artists from around the region with one of the city’s multiplying music stages. “There’s a new energy underfoot in Wilmington,” Dillman says. “With the help of The Queen, a lot of new and established places are embracing original music. That has brought forward a lot of musicians who haven’t had a place to play in a long time.” Besides The Queen, the group books shows at Wilmington’s Eeffoc’s Café and Extreme Pizza. A musical infusion at Cromwell’s was just part of a rebranding blueprint for Nilon, who recently tweaked his pubby menu to include Mexican-inspired taquería cuisine, and commissioned redesigned looks for the bar’s marketing, logos and signage. The restaurant’s rustic brick walls and cushy leather booths—not to mention the 92-inch high-def projection TV—had already earned it a reputation as a cozy neighborhood hangout. “The mission statement, what we set out to do originally, we’re basically still trying to do,” Nilon says. “But in this business you’d better not be doing the exact same things for 22 years. When we got together with the folks from Gable, we started talking about what we could do that would distinguish us—something different.” The challenge for Gable was to build a lineup of acts to fit Cromwell’s enduring vibe.

“What I want . . . is for people to walk out the door and to be really excited about what they have heard and seen,” says Cromwell’s owner Pat Nilon.

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LISTEN “A big horn band like the Bullbuckers obviously wouldn’t work in Cromwell’s—we’d all lose our hearing,” Dillman says. “But you don’t want something too sleepy getting lost in the corner. We had to balance what would be interesting for the existing customers and appealing enough to lure potential new customers.” In December, artists like the soulful blues singer Brooks Long— scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 12—will take to Cromwell’s stage. “You’re not going to see a lot of the same bands you’d see along the bar loop in Wilmington,” Hebbel says. “Introducing new acts to the scene is the biggest part of what we do.” For his part, Nilon knows a thing or two about putting on a live show. Plying the family trade afforded him a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of live entertainment that few others have had. Nilon Brothers was a Delaware County concession firm founded in the 1940s by Nilon’s father and uncle. It grew into prominence throughout the Philly region, and the Nilons became the concessionaires of choice for the city’s Army-Navy football game in 1952, and eventually ran all food concession at Veterans Stadium from 1971, when it opened, until 1986. “We did all the shows at John F. Kennedy Stadium,” Nilon says. “We did Robin Hood Dell in Philadelphia. We did Springsteen two nights in a row at the Vet. I don’t know how many Rolling Stones shows. I can remember as a kid working in Memorial Stadium for shows headlined by Ray Charles. There was always music going on.” Events large and small were fed Nilon Brothers food, beverages and souvenirs, from Catholic League football games all the way up to the 1985 Live Aid festival. The Bob Geldof-organized charity

concert event unfolded simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philly, where some of the biggest names in pop history—Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Eric Clapton and Neil Young, to name a few—attracted 150,000 people. “The planning that goes into those shows was always my favorite part of it,” Nilon says. “It’s all about logistics. Whether it’s getting people through the doors or selling them a t-shirt, it all happens by coordinating with countless people and staging things so precisely that it all has to come off exactly as planned. “When the Rolling Stones come to town they don’t just show up 20 minutes beforehand. Mick would do sound check forever, making the tiniest adjustments until it was perfect.” Pat left the business in the late-‘80s to start his own family. But music was never far from his heart. During its initial run, Cromwell’s live performances attracted fans from all over the region, he says. Even when those shows ceased, Nilon was known to play concert DVDs on the 92-inch screen. He points to the popularity of TV shows like The Voice and The X Factor as incentive enough to dive back into the musical world. He’s banking on that infatuation with live performers to develop a late-night stir at Cromwell’s while hoping to parlay existing lunch and dinner customers into musical devotees with all-ages shows. “There are people who come into this restaurant at night, and it’s like the blind man touching the elephant,” he says. “They have no idea what this place looks like or feels like at night. They’ve never heard live music playing or seen the popcorn machine going. For those folks, you have to have the courage to give them a different look.”


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hilomena is that rare movie that strikes an almost perfect balance among comedy, sorrow and outrage. It explores the same ground as The Magdalene Sisters (2002), which showed the spirit-crushing abuse of unwed mothers by Irish convents that sheltered “fallen women” abandoned by their families before mores changed in the 1970s. Through the dual lenses of humor and anger, Philomena expands on the themes of that earlier film, showing the consequences to one woman of the Irish church’s practices. Based on real events, the movie tells the story of Philomena Lee, who had her baby in an Irish convent when she was a teenager in the 1950s. She was forced to give up her son, Anthony, and the nuns sold the boy when he was three to a wealthy American couple. After her release from the convent, Philomena told no one about the child, but for 50 years she thought of him every day. Veteran BBC political journalist Martin Sixsmith meets Philomena when he is at loose ends after being fired as the Prime Minister’s spokesman. Although Martin looks down his nose at Philomena’s mere “human interest” story, he agrees to help her find Anthony in exchange for the right to publish

the story. The search leads to America, where they make some unexpected discoveries about the son. British comedian Steve Coogan (best known to American audiences as Steve in the film The Trip) expands his range as an actor in the role of Martin, moving beyond comedy. His mocking undertone turns to respect for, empathy with, and anger on behalf of Philomena. Judy Dench plays Philomena in an incandescent performance that seems simple but is actually extremely subtle. Dame Judy’s chops are on full display in a scene in which the kindly Philomena takes Martin to task for being rude to a waitress. It’s breathtaking to watch as the expression on Dench’s face makes Philomena’s point—almost without words. The screenplay, by Coogan and Jeff Pope, uses humor to contrast the high-brow professional Martin and the down-toearth working class Philomena. But the film, directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen, Dangerous Liaisons), moves far beyond the oddly-matched-travel-companions plot set-up. It’s a deeply sympathetic examination of the decades-long emotional fallout resulting from Irish convents’ practice of taking children away from unwed mothers as punishment for their “sin.” DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 69

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12 Years A Slave


STARS 

A SEARING PORTRAIT OF SLAVERY ERA 12 Years A Slave is painful but essential cinematic experience By Mark Fields


ow do you recommend an experience knowing that it will be harrowing, even painful? You do it when that experience is a vivid yet essential history lesson for every American, and also when it is captured with the intimacy, integrity, and urgency of 12 Years A Slave. The film, directed by Steve McQueen (the British-born writer-director of Shame) and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, tells the tragic, true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man kidnapped and sold into slavery in the antebellum South. 12 Years A Slave graphically depicts the deprivation and depravity of that oppressive system, and constantly challenges the comfortable modern viewer to wonder how this way of life could have ever been tolerated. John Ridley’s screenplay—based on Northup’s autobiographical account of his experience published while slavery was still in practice—adroitly cultivates our sympathy for Solomon’s plight by giving us a glimpse of his sweetly commonplace life in upstate New York prior to his abduction. As the audience bristles at his cruel treatment in bondage, we slowly come to understand that the other slaves surrounding Solomon (now called Platt) deserve this life no more than he does. And when Solomon is finally rescued, we viewers rejoice for his liberation and yet grieve for those he leaves behind. The performances are uniformly excellent, starting with Ejiofor but also including Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Michael Fassbinder as sadistic plantation owner Edwynn Epps. Special praise goes to Lupita Nyong’o as Patsey, a young slave woman who is the object of Epps’ most vicious abuse (and obsessive lust). Nyong’o portrayal of Patsey’s anguish is wrenching. The film is the first major American feature for McQueen, who is black. He keeps the focus on the horrors of slavery as an institution, and by depicting it so forthrightly, makes the film all the more compelling. Although other films have touched on the harsh realities of slavery (Beloved, Amistad, TV’s Roots), more often the antebellum era has been depicted in Hollywood with misplaced nostalgia and romanticism, most egregiously in Gone with the Wind. This film compels audiences to adjust our perspective of that period. 70 DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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Movie Trivia Challenge


o, you think you know your stuff when it comes to Ron Burgundy, huh? Well, it’s no surprise really: He is kind of a big deal… Answer all the following questions from the first movie correctly, and you’ll be entered in a random drawing for a pair of tickets to the Premier Screening of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues at Penn Cinema on Thursday, December 19. Seven lucky readers will win. See far bottom for submission instructions. Ready, set, GO!! 1) Which city provides the setting for Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy? a) San Antonio b) San Diego c) San Francisco d) San Sebastian 2) What is the name of the up-and-coming female anchor who rocks Ron’s world? a) Valerie Carnington b) Valetta Corningware c) Veronica Corningstone d) Verona Cunningstand 3) What’s the name of Ron’s cute canine who apparently speaks in several languages? a) Bingo b) Barley c) Baxter d) Rosetta 4) Producer Judd Apatow makes a cameo as which character in the film? a) A news station employee b) A member of a jazz quarter c) A motorcycle gang leader d) A zoo keeper 5) Which of the following of Ron’s imaginative exclamations is not featured in the film? a) Son of a bee-sting! b) Great Odin’s raven! c) Sweet Lincoln’s mullet! d) Holy Hamburger Helper! Submit your answers online now at OutAndAboutNow.com or mail us your entry c/o O&A Movie Trivia. All submissions must be in by 5pm, Thursday, December 12. GOOD LUCK! DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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The merry elf has a naughty-and-nice record when it comes to his cinematic portrayals. Still, there are a few shiny presents among several lumps of coal.

The Santa Clause (1994) Tim Allen plays a divorced father who accidentally offs Santa, and by a bit of cinematic legal mumbojumbo, finds himself appointed as the new Claus. The movie is not without its charms as this contemporary man adapts to his fantastical new reality, but Allen’s self-important doofus persona is really better suited to short, sitcom-length doses, and his limited acting ability wears thin after a while. Rating: Ho-ho-hum Bad Santa (2003) A perfect Santa movie for people who hate all the warm sweetness of the holidays. Billy Bob Thornton plays an alcoholic, foul-mouthed crook who uses his Santa act as an opportunity to case department stores for his thefts. Tony Cox growls through his role as Santa’s angry elfin sidekick. Lauren Graham and the late Bernie Mac also play supporting parts. With its profanity, comic misanthropy, and lack of repentance, this movie breaks all the rules of holiday fare, delightfully so for the right, rather twisted audience. Rating: Ho-ho-horndog Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) Few people, even diehard Christmas revelers, remember this strange 1980s feature with David Huddleston as Claus, Dudley Moore as head elf Patch, and John Lithgow as a rather pallid villain called B.Z. Made by the same producers as the Christopher Reeve Superman, this movie shares that superhero epic’s same weak story and over-reliance on special effects. Flashy but empty. Rating: Ho-ho-hokey Santa Claus Conquers The Martians


Yes, you read that title right, and it’s among the absolute worst seasonal movies ever produced: incoherent, inept, and made on the cheap. Nevertheless, it’s one of those experiences that fans of bad cinema live for. Best savored after several large cups of eggnog. Rating: Ho-ho-horrible Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town


One of the best screen depictions of Santa is this stop-motion TV special from the studios of Rankin and Bass, makers of the iconic Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Featuring the voice talents of Fred Astaire, Keenan Wynn and a surprisingly sincere Mickey Rooney as Kris, the one long musical deftly explains all the quirky details of the Claus legend with warmth, humor and a twinkle of the eye. Rating: Ho-ho-homey Miracle on 34th Street


Edmund Gwenn won a much-deserved Oscar for his portrayal of Kris Kringle, a Manhattan department store Santa who turns out to be the genuine article. The movie transcends the simple mythos of the character to become a thoughtful, albeit light-hearted meditation on Christmas spirit. In the film, both children and adults who have lost their innocent faith find it restored by Kris’ selfless generosity. Perhaps some in the audience will experience the same feeling. Rating: Ho-ho-happy holiday!


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3. 1. Two Stones co-owners Michael Stiglitz (left) and Ben Muse at their North Wilmington location. Photo Tim Hawk 2. Madelyn Vogt with a perfect pour during Two Stones’ Giving On Tap fundraiser to benefit Meals on Wheels. The event raised $9435.00, up more than $1,400 over last year. Photo Tim Hawk 3. Cheers from Chef Bait, Jenny Brev, Matt Crissman, Jane Goldberg, Kelley Grovola and Dave McCormick during Wimlington Beer Week 2013. Photo Tim Hawk 4. Johanna and John Humphrey and Dan and Rachel Markowitz enjoy a laugh and a craft. Photo Tim Hawk











9. 5. Ann Cardillo, Janet Klimaszen and David Havens at Two Stones Pub. Photo Tim Hawk

6. Dead Presidents Pub and Restaurant staff, including owners Brian and Sarah Raughley (center), pose with the Washington Nationals presidents mascots during the pub’s Beer Week Tailgate Party. Photo Lori M. Nichols 7. Teddy Roosevelt of the Washington Nationals presidents mascots wins a race through the parking lot. Photo Lori M. Nichols 8. John Passwaters, of Bridgeville, and Laura Willey, of Felton, made the trip north to take part in Wilmington Beer Week festivities. Photo Lori M. Nichols 9. Dead Presidents bartender Anthony Manno, of Newark, pours a Flying Dog. Photo Lori M. Nichols



DDPHTO 9657_YoungAdult_Maxs_8x10.5_Layout 1 8/20/12 3:22 PM Page 1


Out & About Magazine’s



Sat, Dec 14 • 8PM • $5 Cover

Wear a Santa Hat or Ugly Sweater and DON’T PAY A COVER!

14 CLUBS Anejo Catherine Rooney’s Chelsea Tavern CR Hooligans Dead Presidents Ernest & Scott Famous Tim’s FireStone Grotto Pizza Kelly’s Logan House Lavish Satsuma Asian Kitchen & Bar Shenanigans Timothy’s Riverfront NEW THIS YEAR!



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OutAndAboutNow.com • 302.655.6483

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2. 3.

Got an ugly sweater? It could pay off at this year’s Santa Crawl.


4. 5.


1. Flapper girls (l-r) Joelle Cordrey, Angela Maxwell, Jenn Rogers cut some rug at Hops & Haunts on Saturday, October 19 at Ernest & Scott Taproom. Photo Tim Hawk 2. Pin-up Traci Ament and Top Gunner Kevin Thomas bull’s-eyed some fun at Hops & Haunts. Photo Tim Hawk

3. Aye, maties! Mihaela Ghetau and David Plaza broadsided the bar at Hops & Haunts. Photo Tim Hawk 4. Jeff Piñero, his wife Kelly Ruarke-Piñero (left), and friend (front) lit it up Sunday, November 3 at the 3rd Annual Wilmington Chili Challenge for Charity at Firestone Roasting House. Photo John Holton 5. Amanda Curry was the Bride to Ken Grant’s Frankenstein at the Fringe Fest Preview Party on Wednesday, October 30 at World Cafe Live at The Queen. 6. Leon Barton spun some vintage grooves at the Fringe Fest Preview Party.

or years, those donning a Santa cap gained free admission to the annual Santa Crawl. Ditto for those who were more ambitious, like dressing as Mrs Claus, The Grinch, an elf…you get the picture. Now, getting in free on the Santa Crawl is as easy as pulling something out of your “I’ll Never Wear That In Public” drawer— your ugliest holiday sweater. This year, the City Loop Series has teamed up with Wilmington-based Ugly Outfitters to add a humorous twist to this annual holiday bar crawl, set for Saturday, Dec. 14. Simply wear an ugly sweater and you will gain free admission to any of the 14 participating clubs. In addition, Ugly Outfitters will be cruising around the Loop and awarding instant prizes to sweaters that make a statement. Of course, those wearing a Santa cap or dressed in holiday attire will also get in free. The bottom line: Show some 4. spirit, otherwise you pay a $5 cover. This year’s venues include: Anejo, Catherine Rooney’s, Club Lavish, C.R. Hooligan’s, Chelsea Tavern, Dead Presidents, Ernest & Scott, Famous Tim’s, Firestone, Grotto Pizza, Kelly’s Logan House, Satsuma, Shenanigans and Timothy’s. The Go Dewey and Delaware Sports League teams will be making the rounds in special Santa Crawl shuttles. Public shuttles begin at 8pm and will run until 1:30 p.m. For complete Loop information visit outandaboutnow.com. And if you need help locating an ugly sweater, visit uglyoutfitters.com — Out & About DECEMBER 2013 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

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Playing to the Crowd The Grand: ‘The crown jewel’ of the state’s performing arts

this issue

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• December ‘IN’ Calendar • The Arts for the Holidays • Guide to Riverfront Events

DECEMBER 2013 Vol. 5


11/21/13 12:08 PM

DRIVE FOR DELAWARE WIN A 2014 KIA SOUL! Increase your annual donation by $52 to United Way of Delaware and be entered to win a 2014 KIA SOUL.

Last Year’s Winner: Linda DiSabatino

To donate online or for complete details, visit www.uwde.org.

AMERICAN MODERNS, 1910–1960: FROM O’KEEFFE TO ROCKWELL OCTObER 12, 2013 – JanuaRy 5, 2014 Drawn from the Brooklyn Museum’s renowned American art collection, this impressive exhibition features work by Milton Avery, Stuart Davis, Max Weber, Georgia O’Keeffe, Norman Rockwell, and Grandma Moses. 2301 Kentmere Parkway | Wilmington, DE 19806 302.571.9590 | delart.org 2 Yellow Leaves (Yellow Leaves), 1928. Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986). Oil on canvas, 40 x 30 1/8 inches. Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Georgia O’Keeffe, 87.136.6. | American Moderns, 1910–1960: From O’Keeffe to Rockwell has been organized by the Brooklyn Museum. The Delaware Art Museum’s presentation of this exhibition is generously supported by the Johannes R. and Betty P. Krahmer American Art Exhibition Fund, DuPont, Wilmington Trust, and individual donors. Additional support is provided by grants from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Produced by

all rights reserved

TSN Publishing, Inc. President Gerald duPhily

Contributing Editor Bob Yearick

Creative Director Matthew Loeb Catalyst Visuals, LLC.

Graphic Designer

December 2013 volume 5, issue 6

4 Cover Story A Grand Experience The venerable Grand Opera House is expanding its off-stage activities while scheduling up to 75 shows. By Larry Nagengast

6 The Arts

Toast to the Holidays A tasty flight of art samplings from Trout Fishing in America to New Year’s Eve with the Delaware Symphony. By Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald

Tyler Mitchell Catalyst Visuals, LLC

Advertising Sales Jim Hunter Miller Marie Graham

8 On The Riverfront Winter Wonders Riverfront’s December events calendar has all-ages appeal.

Contributing Writers Matt Amis, Barb Bullock, Krista Connor, Josephine Eccel, Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Larry Nagengast, Scott Pruden

Contributing Photographers Joe del Tufo, Tim Hawk Les Kipp, Matt Urban

Departments 2

“in” Calendar


Riverfront Map & Attractions


Downtown News

On the cover: Jeff Tweedy and Wilco during a memorable 2008 performance at The Grand. Photo by Joe del Tufo.

For editorial and advertising information: p (302) 655-6483 f (302) 654-0569

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Wilmington is truly in the middle of it all, and the “in” campaign is a celebration of the accomplishments we continue to achieve as a community to make our city stronger and more attractive. From neighborhood and business development to our arts and cultural scene, the people of Wilmington are working together to support our city’s ongoing growth and prosperity.


The mission of Wilmington Magazine is to capture, through stories and images, the ongoing energy present in the city. We aim to inform readers, both inside and outside Wilmington, of the city’s residential, financial, and cultural progress while remaining entertaining and vibrant. 1

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NOW - SUN, DEC 15, 2PM




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The Brian Setzer Orchestra: Christmas Rocks

Wizard of Oz

West Side Story

The Story of My Life

Delaware Children’s Theatre 1014 Delaware Avenue 302.655.1014 • bit.ly/HAkjzD

DuPont Theatre 11th & Market Streets 302.656.4401 • bit.ly/1a1dEaI

Delaware Theatre Company 200 Water Street 302.594.1100 • bit.ly/HAkXx1

FRI, DECEMBER 6, 3:30-9:30PM


FRI, DEC 6 - SAT, DEC 21, 8PM


Alternatives Holiday Craft Show

Eric Zippe’s Natural Perspectives

The Grand • 818 N. Market St. 800.37.GRAND • bit.ly/1bPVtUJ

City Theater Company presents: Gypsy

FEARLESS: A Fight Against Lyme

Delaware Center for Horticulture 1810 N. DuPont St. • 302.658.6262 bit.ly/1iFfnnY

OperaDelaware Studios 4 S. Poplar St. • 302.220.8285 bit.ly/HAlxee

Arden Gild Hall 2126 The Highway • 302.475.3126 http://bit.ly/IgkHCK


THURS, DEC 12 & 19, 7PM



Market Street Music: Mastersingers of Wilmington

Evening Tours of Eleutherian Mills

Wilmington Handbell Ensemble

Chesapeake Brass Band Holiday Concert

Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts 200 S. Madison Street 302.656.6466 • bit.ly/1alhYyf

First & Central Presbyterian 1101 N. Market St. • 302.654.5371 bit.ly/HvlTCq

Hagley Museum & Library • 200 Hagley Rd. 302.658.2400 • bit.ly/1axuO2E

Brandywine Hundred Library 1300 Foulk Rd. • 302.477.3150 bit.ly/1fcEyhX

The Music School of Delaware 4101 Washington Street 302.762.1132 • bit.ly/18QiCU1

SAT, DEC 21 & SUN, DEC 22


SAT, DEC 21 & SUN, DEC 22, 7PM


Play Date


Delaware Children’s Museum 550 Justison St. • 302.654.2340 bit.ly/1bPXuAu

Concord Presbyterian Church 1800 Fairfax Blvd • 302.654.9652 bit.ly/1cD76zn

New Year’s Eve with David Bromberg Quartet

First State Ballet’s The Nutcracker

The Grand • 818 N. Market St. 800.37.GRAND • bit.ly/1aUWwEM

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World Cafe Live at The Queen 500 N. Market Street • 302.994.1400 bit.ly/17G4QHR

11/21/13 1:16 PM




2301 Kentmere Parkway • 302.571.9590

Delaware Art Museum

Dan Orlando Fridays 12-2pm

Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts

Art on the Town • Various Locations Buses leave 5:45pm from DCCA, last return approx. 8:30pm • 302.576.2135 • 200 S. Madison St.

• The Topography of Oz thru Dec 29 302.571.9590 • 2301 Kentmere Pkwy

• Di Fang’s Hit Me! thru Dec 5 • Yoko Sekino-Bove’s Ceramic Works opens Dec 7 • Kay Healy’s Solo Exhibition opens Dec 7 • Little White Cubes: Artists' Makeshift Galleries opens Dec 7 • Kerry Harrison & Ken Mabrey opens Dec 3 302.656.6466 • 200 South Madison Street

Delaware Museum of Natural History

• Nikon’s Small World thru Jan 5 302.658.9111 • 4840 Kennett Pike

Mezzanine Gallery

• Anne Jankions’ Cycle of Support opens Dec 6 302.577.8278 • 820 N. French St.

Somerville Manning Gallery • Greg Mort’s Into White closes Jan 4 302.652.0271 • 101 Stone Block Row

The Station Gallery

• Artworks for the Holidays Dec 6- Dec 24 302.654.8638 • 3922 Kennett Pike

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1ST The Look of Love: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection thru Jan 4

Winterthur • 5105 Kennett Pk. • 800.448.3883

The Wizard of Oz thru Jan 26 Delaware Children’s Museum 550 Justison Street • 302.654.2340 Open Studio: Fall Food Art

The Grand • 818 N. Market St. • 800.37.GRAND

Rainbow Chorale of Delaware’s A Shining Night • 1st & Central Presbyterian

Aniya Colors of the Sun Release Show

Arts & Busines Partners Annual Cocktail Party • DCCA

500 Greenhill Ave. • 302.668.1078

Breakfast w/ Santa • Brandywine Zoo 1001 North Park Drive • 302.571.7747


Merry Munchies at the Museum


The Grand • 818 N. Market • 800.37.GRAND

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5TH Art Salad 12-1pm Thursdays

DCCA • 200 South Madison St • 302.656.6466

2301 Kentmere Pkwy • 302.571.9590

Tribute to Joe Strummer: Benefit for Strummerville • World Cafe Live at The Queen • 500 N. Market St. • 302.994.1400


1914 W. Park Dr. • 302.577.1164

Winter Solstice Labyrinth Walk & Luminaria Labyrinth Walk Delaware Art Museum 2301 Kentmere Pkwy • 302.571.9590

2301 Kentmere Pkwy • 302.571.9590

Wilmington Ballet Academy of the Dance presents The Nutcracker

Delaware Dance Co. presents: The

Nutcracker Ballet & Dec 8 • Dickinson High School • 1801 Milltown Rd. • 302.738.2023

& Dec 22 DuPont Theatre 11th & Market Streets • 302.656.4401

Love Cannon • World Cafe Live at The

The Hackensaw Boys • World Cafe Live at

Queen • 500 N. Market Street • 302.994.1400

The Queen • 500 N. Market St. • 302.994.1400



Baby & Me • Brandywine Zoo

Sing-A-Long Sound of Music

1001 North Park Drive • 302.571.7747

World Cafe Live at The Queen • 302.994.1400


Woody Pines • World Cafe Live at The Queen • 500 N. Market Street • 302.994.1400

du Pont • 11th & Market Streets • 302.571.4699

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28TH Grilled Cheese & Craft Beer Tasting

World Cafe Live at The Queen • 302.994.1400

World Cafe Live at The Queen 500 N. Market Street • 302.994.1400

Tom Wopat • World Cafe Live at The Queen • 500 N. Market Street • 302.994.1400

Montana Wildaxe

World Cafe Live at The Queen • 302.994.1400



Market Street Music: Center City Chorale • 1st & Central Presbyterian

New Sweden at 375

1101 N. Market St. • 302.654.5371

Delaware History Museum 505 N. Market Street • 302.655.7161

Rick Sciavicco & Mario Rocco’s Holiday Homecoming • World Cafe Live at

Noon Year’s Eve at the Zoo

The Queen • 500 N. Market St. • 302.994.1400

Brandywine Zoo 1001 North Park Drive • 302.571.7747


New Year’s RockIN’ Noon

Miracle on 34th Street thru Dec 28

Delaware Children’s Museum 550 Justison Street • 302.654.2340

Gable Music’s Singer/Songwriter Showcase • World Cafe Live at The Queen

Trout Fishing in America Countdown to Noon

500 N. Market Street • 302.994.1400

World Cafe Live at The Queen 500 N. Market Street • 302.994.1400

Brandywine Baroque: Vivaldi IN Love

NYE w/ the Spinto Band

World Cafe Live at The Queen • 302.994.1400

New Year’s Eve Celebration

A Cappella Pops: Do You Hear What I Hear • World Cafe Live at The Queen

Delaware Art Museum 2301 Kentmere Pkwy • 302.571.9590

500 N. Market Street • 302.994.1400

find more at { inWilmingtonDE.com }

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Clay Date • Delaware Art Museum

2301 Kentmere Pkwy • 302.571.9590

w/ Venice & Dec 15 • Barn at Flintwoods 205 Center Meeting Rd. • 877.594.4546

thru Dec 8 • 1012 French St. • 302.658.4535

The Queen • 500 N. Market St. • 302.994.1400


2301 Kentmere Pkwy • 302.571.9590

Tracy Grammer • World Cafe Live at The

St. Joseph’s 2013 Christmas Bazaar

Peace, Love & Poetry • World Cafe Live at

World Cafe Live at The Queen • 302.994.1400

The Second City's Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue • World Cafe Live at The



Peanut Butter & Jams: Steve Weeks

Wilmington Drama League 10 W. Lea Blvd. • 302.764.1172

Queen • 500 N. Market St. • 302.994.1400

Queen • 500 N. Market Street • 302.994.1400

Howard Pyle Studio Holiday Open House • 1305 N. Franklin St. • 302.656.7304

Festive Greens Make & Take Workshop

Queen • 500 N. Market Street • 302.994.1400

Queen • 500 N. Market Street • 302.994.1400

Ben Taylor • World Cafe Live at The

Studios • 4 S. Poplar St. • 302.658.8063


Delaware Center for Horticulture 1810 N. DuPont St. • 302.658.6262

The Sermon! • World Cafe Live at The

Hansel and Gretel • OperaDelaware

Market Street Music: Cartoon Christmas Trio • 1st & Central Presbyterian 1101 N. Market St. • 302.654.5371

500 N. Market Street • 302.994.1400

Delaware Museum of Natural History 4840 Kennett Pike • 302.658.9111

The Unsung Hearos Open Stage

Lunasa: Christmas From Ireland

Judith Hill • World Cafe Live at The Queen

Delaware Museum of Natural History 4840 Kennett Pike • 302.658.9111

Open Mic Night every Tues. 9pm-1am Oddity Bar • 500 Greenhill Ave. • 302.668.1078

Art Studio • 310 Kiamensi Rd. • 302.995.7661

Company • 200 Water St. • 302.594.1100

Bank of America Museums on Us

Centennial Speaker Series: Thomas Padon - The Wyeth Collection • Hotel

Polymer Clay Pendant Class

Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham & The Story of Babar, The Little Elephant thru Dec 29 Delaware Theatre


200 South Madison St • 302.656.6466


World Cafe Live at The Queen • 302.994.1400


The Great Confusion: 1913 Armory Show • Delaware Art Museum

Flight Club every Tuesday 5:30-7:30pm Chelsea Tavern • 821 N. Market Street

Queen • 500 N. Market Street • 302.994.1400

Diamond Bones • Oddity Bar

Ice Age Imperials thru Jan 4

Brandywine Zoo 1001 North Park Dr. • 302.571.7747

Max Bemis • World Cafe Live at The

1101 N. Market St. • 302.654.5371

Meet the Artist! Monthly Gallery Talks w/ Eunice LaFate • Blue Ball Barn

TodZOOler & PreK Programs

6 North Clifton Avenue • 302.998.4584

The Sound of Christmas w/ Elisabeth Von Trapp & the Carolian Brass

World Cafe Live at The Queen • 302.994.1400

Hadrosaurus foulkii thru Feb 23


Park • 41 Adams Dam Road • 302.577.3534

Blues Christmas w/ From Harps to Halos • Christ United Methodist Church

Mythica's Farewell (For Now) Show

Artist Talk: Jeffery Moser and The Topography of Oz • Delaware Art Museum

Centennial Afternoon Tea 3pm daily Green Room at the Hotel du Pont 11th & Market Streets • 302.594.3154

Winter Crafts • Brandywine Creek State

Artworks for the Holidays Party

DCM Story Time

Delaware Museum of Natural History 4840 Kennett Pike • 302.658.9111

World Cafe Live at The Queen • 302.994.1400

The Station Gallery 3922 Kennett Pike • 302.654.8638

Winter Art Fair • Delaware Art Museum

Delaware Museum of Natural History 4840 Kennett Pike • 302.658.9111

We Kids Rock Holiday Show

World Cafe Live at The Queen • 302.994.1400

Delaware Children’s Museum 550 Justison Street • 302.654.2340 Delaware Children’s Museum 550 Justison Street • 302.654.2340


Art is Tasty • Delaware Art Museum




11/21/13 1:17 PM

Executive Director Steve Bailey (left) and Managing Director Mark Fields oversee the 142-year-old theater. Photo Joe del Tufo


EXPERIENCE The venerable Grand Opera House—’the crown jewel’ of Delaware performing arts—is expanding its off-stage activities while scheduling up to 75 shows By Larry Nagengast 4

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11/21/13 5:15 PM


t’s show time at the Grand Opera House, and Steve Bailey feels more than the good vibes of the entertainment. He feels history. Surveying the audience before the curtain rises on a sellout performance, Bailey, the Grand’s executive director, reflects on that history. “The people in Row 13 all know each other. They always sit there. And it’s the same in the balcony. And the only thing that’s different from when the Grand opened in 1871 is the way people are dressed and that the building is electrified. It’s the same stage, the same physical layout, the same acoustics, the same great environment,” he says. “And that will never go away.” While the Grand celebrates its history as a performing arts venue—albeit interrupted by a 35-year run as a movie theater and a half-decade of silence from 1968 to 1973—it has turned a corner in both programming and operations as it strives to stay in touch with its audiences and the community. This year’s schedule lists 60 shows, but additions made during the season will bring the total to between 70 and 75, Bailey says. No longer does the theater rely on a season-ticket subscription model. These days, it’s much more mix and match. “We don’t care about (subscription) rules and details,” Bailey says. “We care about you coming to the Grand multiple times.” That means a schedule that includes traditional local favorites like the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, OperaDelaware and the First State Ballet, as well as pop perennials like Graham Nash, Don McLean and Arlo Guthrie and time-tested comics Lily Tomlin and Sinbad. No Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus here. With not quite 1,200 seats, the Grand can’t bring in the performers who routinely fill arenas that seat 10,000 or more. “We’ve shifted our programming focus in the last seven years,” Managing Director Mark Fields says. Previously the Grand would lock in the following season’s schedule each spring. Now, he says, “We’re dealing with artists who make decisions in a much shorter time frame,” often to coincide with the release of an album or a book. And, he points out, no matter how great a venue the Grand might be, artists don’t go out of their way to perform in Wilmington. Rather, the Grand has to fit comfortably with the other stops on their touring calendar. But there’s more to booking than knowing who is available on a particular date. It also requires knowing your audience—and listening to their suggestions. While putting a full schedule together has many challenges, “If you pay attention to what people are telling you, your job is easy,” Bailey says. “We don’t roll the dice nearly as much as we once did. The idea is to find a steady course of artists who can play the Grand every 18 to 24 months and not look like we’re gliding. People never get sick of Lyle Lovett. They don’t get sick of the Old Crow Medicine Show every 18 to 24 months.” There is, of course, competition. And it is “everybody,” Bailey says. Longwood Gardens comes closest to matching the Grand’s audience demographic. For pure proximity, it’s World Cafe Live at The Queen, just four blocks south on Market Street. When The Queen opened in early 2011, Bailey admitted to some concern that the new venue might steal some of the Grand’s thunder.

But that hasn’t happened. “They’re two very different experiences,” Fields says. “The Grand is more ornate, a historic, sit-down venue with great acoustics, and The Queen is a night club.” Rather, the two have created a special synergy. When coupled with smaller venues in the LOMA district and the jazz revival at the Nomad on Orange Street, plus chefs like Bryan Sikora opening his La Fia Bistro, Bailey says, they’re delivering the message that “you need to come to downtown Wilmington.” “It’s hard to imagine the resurgence of Market Street without the Grand,” adds Francis J. “Skip” Pennella, chairman of the Grand’s board of directors. “When we’re sold out, when The Queen is sold out, Market is bustling. When that occurs, it’s really cool.” But there’s more to the Grand’s story than what happens on stage. Today, Bailey says, “The Grand is doing more at street level by far than at any time in its history.” He’s talking about a multitude of off-stage activities that serve the community: music instruction for individuals and groups, summer and school-year programming for children, a steel band and a rock academy, as well as off-site events like the Summer in the Parks series, produced by the Grand and funded by the City of Wilmington, which brought 70 events featuring 400 artists to 11 different parks last June, July and August. “That’s the street-level effect,” Bailey says, “reinforcing the arts in the community.” In addition to broadening its outreach, the Grand is doing more to bring people in when there are no performances scheduled, renting the main theater, the 305-seat baby grand and six rooms of various sizes for meetings and social events. An exclusive catering agreement with the Chelsea Tavern, just across Market Street, makes food service arrangements a snap. Event rentals generate revenue when the facility would otherwise be sitting idle, and help offset annual heating and maintenance costs, Fields says. Several major businesses have used the Grand for special events, including the Delaware Air National Guard, EDiS, Capital One and CAI. The Cab Calloway School of the Arts, Delaware College of Art and Design and Springfield College have held graduation ceremonies there. One reason for the new push on facility rentals is to keep the Grand’s operations sustainable. Ticket sales generate 50 to 55 percent of annual revenues, better than the 40 to 45 percent collected by similar theaters in cities comparable to Wilmington’s size, but still short of the 65 percent goal he would like to achieve, Pennella says. To make up the difference, the Grand relies on its major fundraiser, the Grand Gala, as well as individual gifts and government, corporate and foundation grants. The $10 million Imagine Your Grand Tomorrow capital campaign is nearly complete, but is likely to reach only 85 to 90 percent of its goal, Bailey says. A major contribution to that campaign—$1 million from the Longwood Foundation— covered the cost of a new heating and cooling system. Bailey calls that “the gift that keeps on giving,” since it triggered other donations, has begun to lower utility bills and will ensure patrons’ comfort for years to come. ►


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11/21/13 5:16 PM

Grand Gala is Dec. 7 There’s nothing more grand about the Grand than the annual Grand Gala, and this year’s event, set for Dec. 7, will be no exception. Matthew Morrison, who plays Will Schuester, the teacher and coach of the titular glee club in Fox TV’s Glee, will be the featured performer, with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and Director David Amado providing the musical backing. Following Morrison’s performance, the celebration will move to the Hotel DuPont for the after-party, with live music, dancing, and open bar and gourmet foods spread among six rooms. The Gala is the Grand’s major fundraiser, netting more than $200,000 a year, says Fields. “We become the social center of Wilmington for that night, and it has residual value throughout the year.” The event consistently sells out, but a few tickets remain. They are $195, $300 or $500 each. A platinum package, which includes an overnight stay and valet parking at the Hotel DuPont and Sunday brunch in its Green Room, is available for $1,500 per couple. Call The Grand at 302-6587897 for availability.

Photo Les Kipp

The economic downturn, however, has squeezed the Grand, not only through reductions in the value of its own endowments and the income they generate but also in the form of diminished corporate, foundation and individual donations. It all came to a head in March, when the board of directors cut the annual budget by $250,000, to about $3.2 million, and let go 25 percent of the staff. “The operative word was ‘painful,’” Pennella says. With the cuts has come a renewed emphasis on development —cultivating a new generation of donors and building patrons’ awareness that the operation cannot survive on ticket sales alone. “You have to tell your story, and we haven’t been telling it well enough,” Pennella adds. In the recent past, when the Grand faced a financial crisis, it turned, as did many other arts organizations, to Gerret and Tatiana Copeland, Delaware’s leading patrons of the arts. “Their money saved our bacon many times,” Bailey says. But Bailey and Pennella point out that the Copelands’ greater contribution, to the Grand and the entire arts community, has been in mobilizing organizations to work together, urging them to do a better job of making the case for the arts as an economic development engine. The arts are the eighth or ninth largest employer in the state, contributing $143 million annually to Delaware’s economy, says Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. That awareness of the importance of the arts has led to increased grants to arts organizations, including $375,000 to the Grand this fiscal year from the state and city governments, Fields says. The Grand, Bullock adds, “is the crown jewel of performing arts venues in our state. It draws people to the building and to restaurants and other venues around it. It literally cannot be replaced.” Perhaps the greatest challenge the Grand faces is convincing the community of the crucial stake it holds in the historic venue’s future. Pennella, with other board members, often stands in the lobby before shows, greeting patrons and striking up conversations. “A lot of times, people say to me, ‘Are you the owner?’ And I say, ‘I don’t own it. You own it.’ Some people don’t understand. The community owns the Grand.”

The facade of the Grand at night.

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11/21/13 1:34 PM

Toasting The Holidays BY MICHELLE KRAMER-FITZGERALD Happy holidays, arts fans! Dewey the Art Dog and I are decking the halls in preparation for a wealth of Winter Wonderland fun. To share in the merriment with you, and to pair with this month’s wine theme, we’ve selected a delicious “flight” of arts samplings. Cheers!

Like a Bubbly…A Sparkling, Festive Start LÚNASA: CHRISTMAS FROM IRELAND

Nobody celebrates (Christmas) quite like the Irish! Join Lúnasa as they deliver an unforgettable blend of homey nostalgia and high-energy holiday music and storytelling, hosted by the band’s “teller of tall tales,” Kevin Crawford. The rollicking fun starts Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m. at The Grand Opera House. Get your tickets at ticketsatthegrand.org.

THURSDAY NOONTIME CONCERTS: CARTOON CHRISTMAS TRIO Market Street Music’s downtown Wilmington holiday tradition returns with the popular jazz trio playing music from classic Christmas cartoons of yesteryear, particularly music of Vince Guaraldi, from the Peanuts soundtracks. Come dance in the aisles with your entire family Thursday, Dec. 5, at 12:30 p.m. at First & Central Presbyterian Church on Rodney Square. Admission is only a $3 suggested donation—a bonus holiday gift!

LIKE A PINOT GRIGIO…REFRESHING, LIGHT AND A LITTLE SWEET THE MUSIC SCHOOL OF DELAWARE’S HOLIDAY SING Sing and play along with the Music School’s fun-loving Early Childhood faculty and students in the 23rd annual celebration of the season. The interactive event for families with children ages 1½ to 7 features a performance of The Gingerbread Boy. This FREE event happens Sunday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m. at The Music School of Delaware, 4101 Washington St., Wilmington.

TROUT FISHING IN AMERICA - COUNTDOWN TO NOON! Longtime Peanut Butter and Jams favorites Trout Fishing in America (bass player Keith Grimwood and guitarist Ezra Idlet) give a musical celebration for the whole family as they count down to 12…noon! Ring in the New Year with the entire family and then head out for more “adult” evening celebrations! Your day starts at World Café Live at the Queen, Tuesday, Dec. 31, at noon. Tickets are $17 and available at queen.worldcafelive.com.

Like a Chardonnay…Rich, Luscious Notes

CHRISTINA CULTURAL ARTS CENTER AND ELEONE DANCE THEATRE PRESENT CAROLS IN COLOR CCAC brings back this powerful show annually, and every year it continues to amaze audiences with its cross-cultural, nondenominational story. Based on the gospel according to St. Matthew, Carols in Color re-tells the story of the birth of Christ through exuberant dance, contemporary music and powerful narration. Audiences can meet the show’s creator, directors and cast from Eleone Dance Theatre following the show. This onenight-only performance is Sunday, Dec. 15, at 4 p.m. at The Grand Opera House. Tickets are $22-$30 and can be purchased at ticketsatthegrand.org.

Want more ArtStuff? Follow me and Dewey the Art Dog @ArtsinMedia. And find all the details on the Arts IN your backyard at inwilmingtonde.com!

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THE SOUND OF CHRISTMAS: STARRING ELISABETH VON TRAPP WITH THE CAROLIAN BRASS Who doesn’t love brass music at the holidays, especially when paired with beautiful, heartfelt singing? The granddaughter from the Sound of Music family sings carols of the season and regales us with rich tales of Christmas traditions from her Austrian childhood. Join her Saturday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m. at The Grand Opera House. Tickets available at ticketsatthegrand.org.

CHESAPEAKE BRASS BAND HOLIDAY CONCERT Get IN the spirit with classic holiday favorites with swing and jazz arrangements as a bonus. This sensational 30-piece, award-winning British Brass Band always delivers a captivating performance for all ages. Join the fun Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. at The Music School of Delaware in Wilmington. Tickets are $5-$10 and are available by calling 762-1132.

Like a Cabernet…Big and Bold…but Sometimes a Little Spicy & Dark CITY THEATER COMPANY PRESENTS GYPSY

Director Michael Gray and Music Director Joe Trainor promise a dark, edgy take on the popular musical by Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents. CTC’s revamp features a small cast playing multiple roles on an intimate set with cabaret-style seating. Be warned, this isn’t your mama’s Gypsy! The production opens Friday, Dec. 6, and runs through Saturday, Dec. 21, at The Black Box at OperaDelaware Studios, 4 S. Poplar St., Wilmington. All shows at 8 p.m. with one 2 p.m. matinee, Sunday, Dec. 15. Tickets are $25-40 and are available now at city-theater.org.

CHRISTMAS WITH THE MASTERSINGERS The celebrated Mastersingers of Wilmington, joined by organist Marvin Mills and an orchestra, bring you a big, bold performance of some of the greatest Christmas music of all time. From familiar carols and moving music of the Renaissance to music hot off the press and enchanting music of Mozart and Haydn, this concert will put you in the holiday spirit. First & Central Presbyterian Church on Rodney Square hosts the holiday performance on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 ($10 for students, age 14 and under free) and are available at www.marketstreetmusicde.org.

Like a Brandy or Cognac…A Delicious Ending

Take your pick for your favorite December “nightcap,” then start your new year with the Arts. NEW YEAR’S EVE WITH THE DAVID BROMBERG QUINTET Bromberg has played with everyone, toured everywhere, led a raucous big band and held an audience with a solo acoustic blues. Now he’s hosting a New Year’s Eve bash at the Queen, and you’re the guest of honor on Tuesday, Dec. 31, at 10 p.m. Tickets are available now at queen.worldcafelive.com.

UNCORKED! NEW YEAR’S EVE WITH THE DELAWARE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Maestro David Amado leads an evening of music and song inspired by the legendary waltzes and timeless music of old Vienna. Ring in the New Year with the DSO (and a little bubbly on the side) on Tuesday, Dec. 31, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets available at ticketsatthegrand.org.

11/21/13 1:27 PM




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1. Amtrak Station 2. Opera Delaware Studios/City Theater Co. 3. Wilmington Youth Rowing Assn., WYRA.ORG 4. Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park 5. Residences at Christina Landing 6. Harry’s Seafood Grill / Riverfront Market, HARRYS-SAVOY.COM 7. Delaware Theatre Co., DELAWARETHEATRE.ORG 8. FireStone Roasting House, FIRESTONERIVERFRONT.COM 9. Cosi at the Barclays Crescent Building, GETCOSI.COM 10. Hare Pavilion/Riverwalk

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11. AAA Mid-Atlantic Travel Center, AAAMIDATLANTIC.COM 12. Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, THEDCCA.ORG 13. Justison Landing, Currie Hair, Skin & Nails, CURRIEDAYSPA.COM Veritas Wine & Spirits, VERITASWINESHOP.COM 14. Kooma, KOOMASUSHI.COM 15. Delaware Children’s Museum, DELAWARECHILDRENSMUSEUM.ORG 16. Joe’s Crab Shack, JOESCRABSHACK.COM 17. Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, IRONHILLBREWERY.COM

11/21/13 1:36 PM




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20 15 29






DELAWARE TODAY’S WOMEN IN BUSINESS LUNCHEON December 3, 11am Chase Center on the Riverfront

ARTS & BUSINESS PARTNERS ANNUAL COCKTAIL PARTY December 3, 5:30-7:30pm Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts

18. Public Docks 19. Big Fish Grill, BIGFISHRIVERFRONT.COM 20. Frawley Stadium, BLUEROCKS.COM Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame 21. Chase Center on the Riverfront, CENTERONTHERIVERFRONT.COM 22. Dravo Plaza & Dock 23. Shipyard Center Planet Fitness, PLANETFITNESS.COM 24. Timothy’s Restaurant, TIMOTHYSONTHERIVERFRONT.COM

DCM PLAY DATE December 21, 5-9pm Delaware Children’s Museum

Molly’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, MOLLYSICECREAM.COM Ubon Thai Restaurant 25. Wilmington Rowing Center, WILMINGTONROWING.ORG 26. Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge/ DuPont Environmental Education Center, DUPONTEEC.ORG 27 DART Park-n-Ride Lot 28. Penn Cinema Riverfront IMAX, PENNCINEMARIVERFRONT.COM 29: CrossFit Riverfront, CFRIVERFRONT.COM Photo by Dick Dubroff of Final Focus Photography

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RIVERFRONT EVENTS DELAWARE TODAY’S WOMEN IN BUSINESS LUNCHEON* December 3, 11am This event will recognize the accomplishments of the businesswomen profiled in Delaware Today’s Women in Business editorial feature. Seek new ways to connect, grow, achieve success, and expand business opportunities by attending the Women in Business Upstate Luncheon! Featuring keynote speaker: Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, Chief Medical Office, Christiana Care Health System. Chase Center on the Riverfront DelawareToday.com ARTS & BUSINESS PARTNERS ANNUAL COCKTAIL PARTY* December 3, 5:30-7:30pm Art in the Age of consumerism: Guest speaker Missy Peltz, Executive Creative Director, Anthropologie. Enjoy wonderful, creative hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Ms. Peltz has worked collaboratively and individually on hundreds of interdisciplinary visual projects for the Anthropologie Retail Stores for over a decade, from her beginnings in one of Anthropologie’s stores as a visual manager to her current role as Executive Creative Director for 178 stores. Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts TheDCCA.org THE STORY OF MY LIFE* December 4-December 22, Show times vary. A tale of two friends who couldn’t imagine life without each other – until one of them could and the once inseparable pair separate. Through the rich melodies of this heartwarming musical, the audience accompanies these two friends through their adventures, struggles, and discovery that love is what binds us together. Afterwards, see if you don’t find yourself Googling the name of some long-lost friend who you simply let fade away. Delaware Theatre Company DelawareTheatre.org DCCA ALTERNATIVES CRAFT SHOW 2013* December 6, 3:30-9:30pm December 7, 10-1pm This is an indoor retail art/craft show that is organized & juried by The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. Meet the artisans and enjoy beautifully designed contemporary handmade craft items this holiday season from over 20 different artists. Alternatives Holiday Craft Show is truly a unique and exciting holiday shopping experience. Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts TheDCCA.org


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GYPSY: A MUSICAL FABLE AT CITY THEATER COMPANY* December 6-December 21, Show times vary. Producing Artistic Director Michael Gray directs December’s Gypsy — and promises a dark, edgy take on the popular musical by Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents. CTC’s revamp features a small cast playing multiple roles on an intimate set with cabaret-style seating. Be warned, this isn’t your mama’s Gypsy! City Theater Company in the Black Box at OperaDelaware Studios City-Theater.org INSIDE THE OPERA STUDIO: HANSEL AND GRETEL CHILDREN’S SHOW* December 7, 10:30 & 1:30 Just in time for the holidays, Opera Delaware presents Peabody Opera’s production of Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck. This charming, lively opera, performed in English, is based on the popular Brothers Grimm fairy tale. It features beloved characters and delightful folk music-inspired melodies such as “Evening Benediction”. When brother and sister Hansel and Gretel get lost in a forest, they are lured into a mysterious candy house, where they must outsmart a hungry, child-eating Witch to escape being eaten. Peabody Opera Theatre,cast entirely of Peabody Conservatory students, performs outreach operas each season in order to bring enjoyable, family-friendly operas to schools and communities. Opera Delaware OperaDE.org NATURAL HOLIDAY CRAFTS* December 14, 10-11:30am Happy Holidays! Deck the Halls, trim the tree, bring your friends and family and help decorate DEEC for the season! Collect material from the marsh to use in ornaments and greeting cards and create unique holiday crafts for your home. Sing a carol and sip hot chocolate. DuPont Environmental Education Center DupontEEC.org DR. SEUSS’ GREEN EGGS AND HAM, THE STORY OF BABAR, AND THE LITTLE ELEPHANT* December 16-December 29, Show times vary. Three actors...two books...one piano. You’re invited to spend the holidays with friends in this vaudeville-inspired celebration of two classic stories: Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham and Jean de Brunhoff ’s The Story of Babar. Delaware Theatre Company DelawareTheatre.org DCM $2 NIGHT* December 18, 5-7pm Visit the Museum in the evening hours for just $2 per visitor. Enjoy all the hands-on exhibits together, create a masterpiece in the Delaware College Investment Plan Studio D gallery, and join us for a reading of a special book each month during “Science About the Stories.” Delaware Children’s Museum DelawareChildrensMuseum.org

DCM PLAY DATE* December 21, 5-9pm Who said that kids couldn’t have fun on date nights, too? Ditch the babysitter and sign them up for a DCM Play Date — a night that both kids and parents will LOVE. Parents will love four hours to themselves to have a special night out on the town. And the kids will love having four hours of the Museum to themselves, with special programs and treats designed just for them. Delaware Children’s Museum DelawareChildrensMuseum.org DCM SNOWFLAKE FESTIVAL* Saturday, December 28, 5-8pm Explore a magical winter wonderland at the DCM with the whole family during our first-ever Snowflake Festival, a holiday fundraiser supporting the DCM’s Breaking Barriers Campaign (providing access options for all). Treat yourself to cookies and hot cocoa as you experiment with hands-on activities that include ice fishing with salt and sugar as “bait,” creating marshmallow igloos, racing ice cubes and different objects down a luge run, and creating snowflake ornaments; experience a special dance performance in our Grand Hallway; get your face painted and bust some moves on our dance floor; and more! But the best part of all? A step onto the DCM’s back deck, unveiling an ice skating rink for those both young and old to enjoy! Support the DCM and join us for a wonderful night of winter fun and memories! Delaware Children’s Museum DelawareChildrensMuseum.org NEW YEAR’S ROCKIN’ NOON* Tuesday, December 31, 11-12:30pm 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . NOON . . . Happy New Year! Grab the confetti and some party poppers and help us countdown to noon with a rockin’ DCM dance party! Delaware Children’s Museum DelawareChildrensMuseum.org

NYE EVENTS FIRESTONE’S NEW YEAR’S EVE 2014* It’s happening again! FireStones last 2 NYE parties sold out!! Get your ticket’s for the party now so you don’t have to be that guy that everyone has to tell all about it in 2014! Open bar from 9-1, complimentary valet parking, live band and DJ and more! FireStone Roasting House firestonenye14.eventbrite.com NEW YEAR’S EVE AT TIMOTHY’S RIVERFRONT GRILL* Ring in 2014 right with two great options! Join us for a 3-course fireside dinner in our Wilmington Hall Banquet Room from 5-9pm or for our late night Party Package, which includes open bar, appetizers, DJ & Dancing with party favors & a champagne toast from 10-1am. Timothy’s Riverfront Grill TimothysontheRiverfront.com DON’T FORGET to make your New Year’s Eve dinner reservations at one of our great Riverfront Restaurants! For more information, please visit: www. RiverfrontWilm.com/dining-nightlife/

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Shop Close to Home for the Holidays ’Twas the holiday season And all through the City Every neighborhood sparkled All decked out so pretty Bargains were plentiful Shopping was good With a selection of stores and boutiques In each neighborhood

Brandywine Hills • Café Palermo, Wilmington Drama League Brandywine Village • Colourworks Photographic Service Browntown • Cakes by Kim Cool Spring • Delaware Children’s Theatre Downtown • A.R. Morris Jewelers, Ninth Street Book Shop, Jerry’s Artarama, Nzinga’s Cultural Connection, Wright & Simon Men’s Store Forty Acres • Polish, Shop Mamie Little Italy • Kurtz Collection, Stylebug, Black Lab Breads

If you’re more of a boutique shopper than a mall-goer, be of good cheer: Wilmington has a number of great neighborhoods for your holiday shopping pleasure. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find in each of those neighborhoods—unique stores, shopping venues and great gift card ideas for even the most difficult-to-buy-for folks on your list. This holiday season, you can shop ’til you drop in Wilmington!

LOMA • Al’s Sporting Goods, Bliss Gourmet Gift Shop, Bloomsberry Flowers Quaker Hill • Creative Vision Factory, SoapsGarden, Isabella G. Fine Accessories & Apparel Riverfront • Delaware Children’s Museum, Penn Cinema, DCCA Museum Shop Triangle • Kreston’s Wine & Spirits, Brandywine Zoo

— Barb Bullock

STAFF PICKS Every month we highlight a few happenings in the City. Our favorites for December: West Side Story at DuPont Theatre, Dec. 3-8 More than 50 years ago, a show about New York City changed musical theatre forever. From the first notes to the final breath, West Side Story is one of the most memorable musicals and greatest love stories of all time. The score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim—including “Tonight,” “America,” “Maria,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Somewhere”— is widely regarded as one of the best ever written. More information: duponttheatre.com/west-side-story

Holiday Greens Workshop at The DCH, Dec. 5-8 Join the DCH for its annual Holiday Greens Workshop and add a little cheer to your home. Create a beautiful wreath or table arrangement from an unusual collection of fresh greens, dried flowers, seeds, fruit and ribbons. Bring hand pruners and gloves to work with prickly materials. More information: thedch.org/ activities-events/calendar-events/event/festive-greens-0

Trolley Square • Blue Streak Gallery, De Ja Vu, Trolley Bazaar

Breakfast with Santa at Brandywine Zoo, Saturday, Dec. 7 Everyone knows Santa loves reindeer, but many don’t know how much he loves the Brandywine Zoo animals. This event is extra special because you’ll get to have breakfast with Santa as well as the Brandywine Zoo director and the Delaware Zoological Society director. Then share your holiday wishes and take a photo with Santa, decorate cookies, and enjoy a few up-close animal encounters. More information: brandywinezoo.org/events.html

Miracle on 34th Street presented by Wilmington Drama League, Dec. 13- 28 See the classic story in which a disillusioned young girl and her mother meet a Macy’s Department Store Santa who claims to be the real thing. You will believe! Recharge your Christmas spirit as you thrill to a (Thanksgiving Day) parade of favorite songs, such as “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas,” all culminating in a dramatic and heartwarming courtroom climax to determine if a charming white-bearded man really is Santa Claus. More information: wilmingtondramaleague.org/miracle-on-34th-street/

First State Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker at The Grand Opera House, Dec. 21-22 Wilmington’s holiday tradition—The Nutcracker at the Grand with First State Ballet Theatre on stage, members of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra in the pit and the angels of the Wilmington Children’s Chorus in the balcony. More information: firststateballet.com/news.html 11

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