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Berkshire Tidbits: Brunch for New Year's
By Judith Lerner, iBerkshires Staff
10:35AM / Wednesday, December 30, 2015
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Berkshire Co-op Market
Names New General Manager

Berkshire Co-op Market in Great Barrington announced last week that, after a national search, it has chosen a new general manager. Daniel Esko, currently operations manager for Shire City Herbals in Pittsfield will become the Co-op's new manager.

Esko had worked in a variety of managerial positions at the Co-op and provided support, training and consulting services for a number of other co-ops over a 10 year period before he went to Shire City. He had previously worked at the Kushi Institute store in Becket and at Whole Foods in Boston.

Daniel Esko

"I'm incredibly excited to return to Berkshire Co-op Market," he said. "I am looking forward to working in partnership with the employees and board of directors to achieve a new level of success for the store and to expand our support for our local community."

Co-op board of directors President Dan Seitz said the board is very pleased to appoint Esko.

"His leadership skills, cooperative grocery experience, knowledge of our store and commitment to local food production will enable the Co-op to move forward rapidly with store expansion and other important initiatives.

Seitz thanked interim general Manager Zack Sheppard and the team who guided the Co-op through the transition since 13-year general manager Art Ames left at the end of his contract at the end of last May.

Esko will take over as general manager on Feb. 1, 2016.

"We will schedule a welcoming event soon after that date," Seitz said.


New Year's Day Breakfast & Brunch


Another year has gone by since I sought out all these local ways to start the new year. Here are your choices if you feel festive on the morning of Jan. 1, this Friday:

Amazing Pavilion: 413-448-2647, 88 North St./26 Dunham Mall, Pittsfield, Chinese brunch 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Berkshire Medical Center Cafeteria: 413-447-2673, Wahconah Street, Pittsfield, breakfast sandwiches, hot oatmeal, no hot dishes, 6 to 9:30

Bob's Country Kitchen: 413-499-3934, 42 South Main St./Route 7, Lanesborough, 6:30 to 8

Bombay Grill: 413-243-6731, 235 Laurel St./Route 20 in the Black Swan Inn, Lee, brunch/lunch buffet, noon to 3

BrewHaHa: 413-664-2020, 20 Marshall St., North Adams, 9 to closing

Chef's Hat: 413-458-5120, 905 Simonds Road/Route 7, Williamstown, 6:30 to 1

Cornell Inn: 413-637-4800 203 Main St., Lenox, 8 to 10

Cranwell Resort Mansion: 413-637-1364, Lee Road/Route 20, Lenox, brunch buffet 7 to 3

CrossRoads Food Shop: 518-325-1461, 2642 Route 23, Hillsdale, N.Y., 8:30 to 2:30

Elm Street Market: 413-298-3634, 4 Elm St., Stockbridge, 6 to 11:30

•  Ena Café: 413-528-3007, 389 Stockbridge Road/Route 7, Great Barrington, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fairview Hospital Cafeteria: 413-528-8600, 29 Lewis Ave., Great Barrington, 7:30 to 9

Flo's Diner: 413-442-3567, 1245 Housatonic St./Route 20, Pittsfield, 7 to 1

Friendly's: 413-443-0282, 841 Dalton Ave./corner Routes 8 and 9, Pittsfield, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Gala at the Orchards Hotel: 413-458-9611, 222 Adams Road/Route 2, Williamstown, 7 to 10:30

Great Barrington Bagel: 413-528-9055, South Main Street/Route 7, Great Barrington, 7 to 1:30

Haven Café & Bakery: 413-528-5433, 325 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, 10 to 3

Haven: 413-637-8948, 8 Franklin St., Lenox, 7:30 to 3

Juice N' Java: 413-684-5080, 661 Main St./Routes 8, 8A & 9, Dalton, 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Kripalu Center: 413-448-3400, West Street, Lenox,7 to 8:30 by reservation; main room silent

Kushi Institute: 413-623-5741, Ext. 0, 198 Leland Ave., Becket, 8 to 9 by reservation by day before

Lenox Coffee Shop: 413-637-1606, 52 Main St./Route 7A, Lenox 7 to 7

Martin's: 413-528-5455, 49 Railroad St., Great Barrington, 6 to 3

Misty Moonlight Diner: 413-499-2483, 565 Dalton Ave., Pittsfield, 8:30 to 1

Moonlight Diner: 413-458-3305, 408 Main St./Route 2, Williamstown, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Mom's: 413-528-2414, Main Street/Route 23, South Egremont, 6:30 to 3

Monterey General Store: 413-528-4437, Main Street/Route 23, Monterey, 7 to 6

No. Six Depot Roastery & Café: 413-232-0205, 6 Depot St., West Stockbridge, 10 to 4

On A Roll Café: 413-236-5671, 75 North St., Pittsfield, 7 to 1

One West: 413-499-2000, 6 to noon, buffet or omelet station

Ozzie's Steak and Eggs: 413-655-8309, 26 Maple St., Hinsdale, 7:30 to 12:30

Ozzie's Becket General Store: 413-623-5700, 30 Washington St./Route 8, Becket, 7 a. m. to  p. m.

Pleasant and Main Café: 413-274-6303, 1063 Main St., Housatonic, 8 to 3 breakfast, brunch

Red Lion Inn: 413-298-5545/1629, 30 Main St./Routes 7 & 102, Stockbridge, 7:30 to 10

Cherry pancake breakfast at Pleasant & Main in Great Barrington.

Renee's Diner: 413-664-2070, 780 Massachusetts Ave., North Adams, 7 to 1

Richmond Grille: 413-663-6500, 40 Main St./Route 8, Holiday Inn, North Adams, 6:30 to 10

Rita Marie's: 413-448-2742, 685 South Main St./Route 7, Lanesborough, 8 to 2

Riverbend Café: 413-528-0858, 403 Stockbridge Road/Route 7, Great Barrington, 9 to 5

Shots Café: 413-637-1055, 27 Housatonic St., Lenox, 7:30 to 5

Southfield Store: 413-229-5050, Norfolk Road, New Marlborough, 7 to 5

Spoon: 413-881-4040, 26 Housatonic St., Lenox, 8 to 3

Starving Artist Creperie 413 394-5046, 40 Main St., Lee, 9 to 3, brunch

That's A Wrap: 413-243-3209, 50 Water St./Outlet Stores food court, Lee, 10 to 9

The Dalton Restaurant: 413-684-0414, 401 Main St./Routes 8, 8A & 9, Dalton, 6:30 to 12:30

The Donut Man: 413-443-6161, 1653 North St./Route 7, on Pontoosuc Lake, Pittsfield, doughnuts, bagels, breakfast sandwiches and more, 5 a.m. to midnight


Becket Monthly Free Community Dinner

Friday, Jan. 1: 5 to 7 p.m.

The Yoked Parish of Becket presents its free monthly pasta dinner this Friday New Year's Day. All are welcome.

Parish minister, the Rev. Kevin Smail said that the meal includes a pasta dish, salad, Italian or garlic bread and an assortment of mostly homemade desserts and beverages.

The purpose of the regular meals is to build community, he said.

The free dinner will be at the parish house of the Becket Federated Church, (413) 623-5217, 3381 Main St. across from the Becket Washington elementary school, just past the intersection with Route 8 in North Becket.

Free Community Suppers
at Berkshire South Center

Monday evenings, 5 to 6

Almost every Monday evening for the last four years, Berkshire South Community Center on Crissey Road in Great Barrington, 413-528-2810, Ext. 10, has hosted dinners prepared very often by the area's fine chefs.

The dinners were started in summer 2009 by chef Tommy Lee and realtor/community activist Ciaran McCabe as a once-a-month event. They gradually grew to twice-a-month and settled into a much appreciated regular weekly offering. People look forward to them. Some people count on them.

Sometimes a community member will get into the kitchen and make dinner for 80, 90, 100 people. Big Y and Price Chopper have donated dishes and meals. The Masiero brothers of Guido's have made meals. Dan Smith chef and owner of John Andrews restaurant in South Egremont makes BSCC community dinners. So does Michael Ballon chef and owner of Castle Street Café in Great Barrington. The Eagleton School in Great Barrington makes hearty and tasty suppers there.

John Parker, director of community and enrichment programs, Executive Director Janise Lucey and the rest of the staff at BSCC invite the public to "join us for a delicious meal prepared by some of the finest chefs in the Berkshires. Greet your neighbors, meet new friends!"

It is a very social dinner. People talk to one another, even to strangers.

I knew a couple who used to drive down to the suppers from Pittsfield every week. And it wasn't because they were free, which they are. No reservations required, either.

For those who can afford it, the Center accepts donations gratefully. It also collects non-perishable food items for local food pantries.

The Monday evening free dinners are planned at least through April as follows: January 4, 11, 18, 25; February 1, 8, 15, 22, March 7, 14, 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18, 25.

And, who knows? Maybe there will be a dinner on Leap Day. It falls on a Monday this year.


Cooking at The Chef's Shop Series
Goes 'Back to Basics'

Thursday, Jan. 7, 5 to 7 p.m.

Julie Gale, chef and owner of At the Table Cooking School in Hillsdale, N.Y., will begin her 2016 "Cooking at The Chef's Shop" series with classes focusing on basic foods and winter comfort foods.

She will teach the first of three Back to Basics classes on the first Thursday in January, Jan. 7, with her versions of roast chicken, buttermilk biscuits and green salad with French vinaigrette.

The Chef's Shop offers class students a 10-percent discount on purchases made on a class day. Cost is $60 per person for a single class, $150 for a series of three. Payment is required in advance with a 48 hour cancellation policy. For more details or to reserve a place in any classes, call 1-800-237-5284 or 413-528-0135 or

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