Monday, November 3, 2014

Seeking Innovative Ideas for Winter 2015

We are currently soliciting proposals for our next DISHES dinner event, taking place on Sunday, February 8th, 2015! If you are interested in pitching your idea on stage for a chance to win $1,000, submit your proposal today. To fill out an application, follow this link - Request for Proposals.

Deadline to apply is Friday, November 14th at midnight!

*This year's killer RFP design was created by Tommy Lincoln. Thank you, Tommy!

Monday, October 27, 2014

New Decorator and Graphic Designer join the team!

The DISHES team has a new Decorator and Graphic Designer joining our team for the upcoming dinner in February and we can't wait for you all to see what they have in store for you!

Shauna Mae, owner of Maeflowers Vintage, will be setting the mood at the next dinner with her d├ęcor.  In the fall of 2013 she returned to her hometown of Syracuse to begin her dream- Maeflowers Vintage.  Since then maeflowers has been "popping up" around town selling vintage frocks, and Shauna has fallen back in love with Central New York.  And how fun is this: she's also available to throw private vintage clothing parties! Check out her website for more. We just love Shauna's style and can't wait to see what she comes up with for the next dinner!

Also joining the team this year as graphic designer is Tommy Lincoln.  He is a Syracuse born and raised Designer and Illustrator.  He's worked at a few different Syracuse advertising agencies, taught courses in design at SU and Cazenovia College, and most recently started working full time as a freelance designer.  You've likely seen his work advertising the Funky Flea, Flicks on the Crick, selling his colorful paintings at the Salt and Pepper Markets, or on the walls of Funk'n'Waffles.  We're excited that he's bringing his awesome design skills to the team- which you'll get to see firsthand when our Request for Proposals are released in just one week, on November 3rd!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Exciting changes to the DISHES team!

The DISHES team is starting to get ready for the next dinner, set to happen in early February 2015, and we have some exciting new changes to the team! While we will miss working with the amazing Briana Kohlbrenner, we are excited to be bringing not one, but two new Co-Directors onto the team!

The first is someone we've all come to know and love: Sarah Pallo!  This year she'll be shifting roles from Co-Chef to Co-Director, though she'll still be very involved with the kitchen and planning the big meal.  She's done such an amazing job putting together delicious meals since the beginning, and now we are excited to see her apply that passion and dedication to the entire DISHES event.  Along with good local food and drink, Sarah is passionate about the environment and her community and loves spending time with friends and family- and she's hoping to bring all of those passions and interests together when starting her own business in Syracuse in the future.

photo courtesy of Ryan Delaney, WRVO

We also have Jeremy DeChario joining us as Co-Director!  Jeremy is General Manager at the Syracuse Real Food Co-op and has a great deal of connections across the small business and farming community.  Jeremy lives in the Westcott Nation and spends his time living the good life through food and drink, which is why he has supported DISHES from the beginning, attending almost every single event!  We are excited to have him on the team! 

Meet the rest of our team here!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cooperative Permaculture Garden Update: Summer 2014

Big and exciting changes are ahead for the Cooperative Permaculture Garden at Nottingham High School, the 2013 DISHES winner.  Unfortunately the current garden space has had limited access this summer due to maintenance needs and will eventually need to be moved due to school expansion plans.  But the move is leading to bigger and better things for the Garden.  
A new space at the school has been confirmed, and a landscape architect (and student’s parent!) has started drawing some sketches for projects to undergo with the groundskeepers.   They are working on also creating a space to use as a grow-room for winter sprouting and hoops for raised beds for early transfers.  And they are hoping to roll out composting procedures and education during school lunches starting this fall.  The biggest bit of news is that a career and technical education certificate curriculum has been approved for Nottingham for Natural Sciences, with a focus on urban agriculture and environmental sciences.  The garden will provide the perfect space for hands on experience for students in this program!  Parents of soon-to-be high schoolers can call the school at 435-4380 and contact Vice Principal Ms. De Tore for more information.
Reina Apraez has been working as a volunteer consultant with Vice Principal Lynanne De Tore, the leader on the project.  This summer will also see the creation of an advisory board made up of representatives of local businesses and non-profits who can give in-school demonstrations and take on students as interns and volunteers for credit.  Some of the businesses and organizations who have signed on to help so far include Main Street Farms in Homer, NY; Syracuse Real Food Coop; and Alchemical Nursery.  Other businesses interested in participating can contact Ms. De Tore at 435-4380 or email Reina for more information.
While the project has changed over time, it is unfolding into a longer, larger, more sustainable project that has the potential to have a great impact on many young lives.  Reina is grateful for the momentum from DISHES and the engagement of the students and community who have acted as the catalyst for a stronger school culture at Nottingham that is focused on ecological concerns.  As Reina recently said about DISHES, “That one dinner planted the seed!”

Friday, June 27, 2014

Forget-Me-Nots Concert this Sunday, June 29

The Forget-Me-Nots have been singing away for the last two months and are excited to have their final concert this Sunday!  When the group started, participants were pretty timid and took time to get to know the new songs and the new space.  As time went on, they got more confident and started singing with more energy, and now they sound great. Francine says it's been wonderful to see Alzheimer’s patients sing using their books, turning pages, and having a good time.  One gentleman who has had Alzheimer’s for several years and does not talk stays and listens to the group.   It was an incredibly moving moment when he began humming along one week! Another participant recognized another woman from a program they both attended last fall, and she stood up and started dancing with her, big smiles on their faces.  Each week is filled with incredible moments like these.   
The concert will take place this Sunday, June 29th at 1:45pm, in the auditorium at Menorah Park, at 4101 East Genesee Street in Syracuse.  The concert is 30 minutes long, but they will begin the program with a fun and energetic  a cappella mens group called NO EXCUSE.  Then the Forget-Me Nots chorus will perform.  The group is made up of 36 people; sons and mothers, daughters and fathers, husbands and wives, and residents of Menorah Park.  The chorus will sing a variety of songs including show tunes by Rodgers and Hammerstein; a medley of Pete Seeger songs; love songs; songs of hope; some “oldies and goodies”; and a medley of songs from George M Cohan. 
All are welcome to come see the Forget-Me-Nots perform this Sunday.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Join Our Team!

Photo by Allison Gates,

Our third co-director, Briana Kohlbrenner, is stepping down from her position. It’ll be impossible to replace her, but Stasya and Annalena are going to try! Think you may be interested in the role?  Check out the details here and submit your resume and cover letter by June 30th.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Forget-Me-Nots Chorus starts this weekend!!

The 5th DISHES winners, the Forget-Me-Nots chorus, will begin the first of three ten-week sessions this Sunday, May 4th at Menorah Park at 3pm.  The session runs for 10 weeks, and a concert will take place on June 29th at 2pm, so mark your calendars!! 

Anyone in Central New York is invited to join.  The chorus is free for care givers and their loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s.  The only requirement is that participants love to sing and can handle a one-hour rehearsal.  Each week a social hour begins from 3-3:30 in the lobby, and the rehearsal is from 3:30-4:30.  Rehearsals will include vocal warm-ups, breathing exercises, and songs that are stimulating, rhythmically driven, and energetic, resulting in the joy of singing.  Francine Berg, who will lead the chorus, has experience as a choral director during her 35 years of public school music teaching, and has worked for 6 years at various dementia facilities.  There will also be a professional accompanist, a social worker, and an activities assistant helping out during the rehearsals. 

The chorus is a great way for family members to spend time and connect with their loved ones with Alzheimer’s.  The chorus also aims to make the community aware that people with dementia can live productive and fulfilling lives, as well as spread awareness about Alzheimer’s disease.  If you’re interested in participating, contact Francine at