Runaway Spoon

D.C. Arts and Humanities Commission picks new executive director

October 15, 2011

Lionell Thomas, a resident of Ward 5, is the new executive director of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, replacing outgoing interim director Ayris Scales.

He recently served as executive director for the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council.

A native of D.C., Thomas previously served with the D.C. commission for 22 years in posts that included deputy director and interim director.

Judith Terra, who was selected by Mayor Vincent Gray as commission chair, praised Thomas, saying he brings enormous knowledge of the city and a great vision for the future.

Terra, a former Georgetown resident, had initiated the Thomas appointment. 

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Freed hikers drop into Café Milano

October 13, 2011

The three American hikers held in an Iranian prison didn’t get lost going to Café Milano Wednesday night.  In town to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, hikers Joshua Fattal, Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer dined at the Georgetown hot spot with a small group and didn’t appear concerned that any hirelings of their Iranian captors might show up.   

The trio came to Cafe Milano in Georgetown a day after U.S. authorities revealed an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador at a Washington restaurant, which could well be crowded with power players.

Justice officials did not name a precise eatery, and said there never was a specific restaurant identified in the alleged plot, but the ambassador has dined at Café Milano.

Fattal and Bauer, both 29, were freed last month under a $1 million bail deal.  Shourd was charged but freed before any trial on humanitarian grounds. She was released last year.




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Chefs take a busman's holiday and go Italian

October 11, 2011

Coming out of the kitchen, a force of embassy chefs on Tuesday joined foreign dignitaries at Cafe Milano to dine on the healthy Italian cuisine of executive chef Fabio Salvatore

The lunch for 25, hosted by Cafe Milano owner Franco Nuschese, toasted the successful heart-healthy series of food events at the World Bank last month.  Irene Pollin’s Sister to Sister Foundation, whose mission it is to make women aware of the perils of heart disease, was a principal sponsor of the World Bank events.

Cafe Milano's executive chef (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Cafe Milano's executive chef
At Cafe Milano, guests included Bulgaria’s ambassador Elena Poptpdorova Petrova; Nuchjaree Klongsungsorn, wife of Thailand’s ambassador; Eva Hafstrom, wife of Sweden’s ambassador; Andras Tibor Bacsi-Nagy, deputy chief of mission at the Hungarian embassy; and Pernille Florin Elbech, a senior advisor at the Royal Danish Embassy.  

Also among those celebrating were Sister to Sister board members Aniko Gaal Schott, Fariba Jahanbani (regional director of Cartier Inc.), Pennie Abramson, Dr. Dennis Cryer, Dr. Ed Rocella, and Dr. Celia Maxwell of Howard University’s Women’s Health Institute.

The chefs honored at Cafe Milano prepared last month’s healthy meals at the World Bank for employees and select guests. They are Lars Beese of the Royal Danish Embassy, Yordan Dimitrov of the Embassy of Bulgaria, Jitapa Haoharn of the Royal Thai Embassy (Georgetown), Frida Johansson of the Embassy of Sweden (Georgetown), and Viktor Merenyi of the Embassy of Hungary.

Franco Nuschese and Lotti Letanoczky (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Franco Nuschese and Lotti Letanoczky

Sister to Sister’s Vice President for International Programs Lotti Letanoczky, wife of the deputy chief of mission at Hungary’s embassy, and Cafe Milano’s banquet staff created the menu, which included sliced cabbage and lettuce salad, branzino (sea bass), and a fruit and sorbet dessert.  

Lapietra red wine (universally touted as good for the circulatory system) was donated by Nuschese’s Capital Wines, importers from Italy.

Aniko Gaal Schott, Sister to Sister board member (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Aniko Gaal Schott, Sister to Sister board member




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