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Yonkers, NY: Spuyten Duyvil's Mark Miller and Beth Kaufman raise $5,000 for environmental education at Urban H2O's "How 'Bout Them Apples"

Nov 19 | Posted by: Mark

"How 'Bout Them Apples?" celebrates the NYS apple harvest uniting star chefs, hard cider, craft beer, live music to raise money for environmental education and the arts in Yonkers, NY

Nestled in an industrial section of Downtown Yonkers between a school bus depot and a power station, a two acre green space opens to a reconstructed tidal marsh, the Hudson River and sweeping views of the Palisades. Standing guard guard over this urban oasis is The Sarah Lawrence Center For The Urban River at Beczak (CURB), an adaptive re-use of the Habirshaw Cable & Wire Company's Social Club. On November 15th, top Westchester chefs, NYS hard cider makers, emerging bands, a brewer, a baker, and a boisterous crowd gathered for Urban H2O's "How 'Bout Them Apples?" a celebration of the New York State apple harvest.


Finding this… here… was unexpected to say the least, yet, for years, this building and park have provided educational, research and service learning opportunities to the local community, especially to children in the chronically underfunded public schools. The space has also served as a cultural beacon hosting lectures, community athletic events and, since 2010, Urban H2O's monthly concert series.

To build an audience for live music, Urban H2O founders Mark Miller and Beth Kaufman partnered with award winning craft brewers The Captain Lawrence Brewing Company and stuck to a simple formula; 'post coffee house' Americana, Bluegrass and Indie-pop plus free craft beer for $10. As their community grew, they entered the food and music space by roasting a pig for a riverside bluegrass show. After selling out 2014's "Roots and Roast", the pair went whole hog and took on the complexities of pairing live music, a hard cider tasting and a multi-course, fine dining, star chef experience. "Well, CURB had a sink with running water," said Miller, "That's seemed like a pretty good place to start…."

To realize this farm-to-turntable dream, they met with Glynwood Farms queen bee Sarah Grady. Sarah connected them to newly formed networks of Hudson Valley hard cider makers and regional chefs including James Beard award nominee Eric Gabrynowicz of Armonk's Restaurant North. The couple then turned to local kid turned star chef Peter Kelly (Xavier's) and Dobbs Ferry upstart Dave DiBari (The Cookery and The Parlor). Backstopped by catering pros Eric Korn (Good Life Gourmet and Wolfert's Roost) and Ellen Spirer a seasoned event planner, "How Bout Them Apple?" came to life.  

Guests were greeted with Gabrynawicz' seared tuna with a cider reduction and Breezy Hill Orchard's Scrumpy, a colonial era yeasted 'live' cider. They mingled over a stunning cheese table from series sponsor the Garden Gourmet Market matched up with Orchard Hill's vivacious Red Label Dry. Seated for DiBari's crisp lamb cheek confit over mustard greens, celery root and apples and snuggled up with bourbon barrel aged Breezy Hill, the music kicked in. The Sea, The Sea's simple and true harmony filled the room with a raw yet graceful sound.

For the main, Peter Kelly's soulful braised beef short rib with apple and parsnip mousseline rubbed shoulders with Captain Lawrence's Golden Delicious, a strong ale (11%) bursting with apple brandy barrel overtones, as Miller and Kaufman took the stage with their band Spuyten Duyvil and spun the event into a rockin' roots revival.   

The evening peaked with both bands on stage, standing ovations, Eric Korn's salted caramel apple crisp, an unlabeled Breezy Hill Ice Cider, and an old school goody bag from Anna Artuso's Pastry Shop.

When the lights came on, the event had raised over $5,000 for environmental education and live music in Downtown Yonkers.  Exhausted and over joyed, Kaufman was heard to say "Right, so for next season, we'll…"  



















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