Runaway Spoon

Il Canale Only DC Restaurant Ever To Win Honor from Italian Experts

June 14, 2017

Il Canale manager Giorgio Greco displays Italian food that helped win the honor (Photo by: il Canale) Il Canale manager Giorgio Greco displays Italian food that helped win the honor

il Canale, Georgetown is the only D.C. restaurant ever to receive the top culinary honor from the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce and the National Institute of Tourism. 

“…we are able to recognize and reward excellent purveyors of Italian food…” the Chamber said in presenting the award to Georgetown’s il Canale and a contingent of leading Italian restaurants in New York City on June 8.

In connection with the award ceremony  was the 7th annual show, “Ospitalita Italiana: The Authentic Italian Table,” one of the best Italian culinary experiences that New York City has to offer, said a statement from the Chamber.

In order to receive Italy’s prestigious National Institute of Tourism’s seal of approval, a restaurant must meet extensive criteria, including a menu of authentic Italian wines and specialty food products. Also, dishes also must be exclusively prepared by Italian-trained chefs.

Joe & Teresa Farruggio at the Il Canale food service table (Photo by: il Canale) Joe & Teresa Farruggio at the Il Canale food service table

Restaurant owner GiuseppeJoe” Farruggio accepted the plaque in ceremonies at the Consulate General of Italy in New York. Presenting the award were Italian Consulate General Francesco Genuardi, and Federico Tozzi, secretary general of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce.

“Ospitalita’ Italiana: The Authentic Italian Table” was held at the Metropolitan Pavilion, where more than 40 certified restaurants participated with tastes of authentic pastas, pizzas and much more.  Il Canale was part of this event celebrating all things Italian. Joe was accompanied by his wife, Teresa, and il Canale manager Giorgio Greco. Il Canale served Cannoli Siciliani and arancini at the show.  Teresa is the creator of il Canale’s arancini.

Said the Chamber in its publicity: “This consortium, founded in 2005, is an association that consists of farmers whose main goal is to bring the best quality Italian foods and wines to the culinary market…. Most member companies own farms or vineyards, and Alba Exports works with them alongside the Italian government to transport their products abroad.”


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Farewell to Hungary's Ambassador to U.S.

June 11, 2017

Washington Life's Kevin Chaffee, Rosemarie Pauli, Aniko Gaal Schott & Mary Mochary (Photo by: Michelle Belliveau) Washington Life's Kevin Chaffee, Rosemarie Pauli, Aniko Gaal Schott & Mary Mochary

Ambassadors, members of Congress and close friends honored the highly respected Hungarian Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi on Wednesday for her service to her country as well connecting favorably with U.S. officials.

She was appointed ambassador to the United States in mid-2014 and presented her credentials to then-President Barack Obama.

Marie Royce (left) and The Ambassador at the flag presentation (Photo by: Michelle Belliveau) Marie Royce (left) and The Ambassador at the flag presentation

Under her leadership, the embassy has strengthened the bond between Hungary and the White House “in not the easiest of times,” said several guests. Some 15 ambassadors R.S.V.P.’d, including those from Italy, Japan, Jordan, Finland, Croatia, Kosovo and Austria.

“We’re going to miss you,” said Rep. Dennis Ross of Florida. “I can tell you, because of you, our American relationship is much better.”

Rep. Ed Royce of California arranged for an American flag to fly over the U.S. Capitol Dome in the Ambassador’s honor. The flag was presented to her during the reception.  

Hungarian-American Federation’s President Frank Koszorus honored the Ambassador with a medal for all she has done to further U.S.-Hungarian relations.

The Ambassador and her family at reception (Photo by: Michelle Belliveau) The Ambassador and her family at reception

Former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary and TV producer Colleen Bell (“The Bold and The Beautiful) was among those who praised Szemerkenyi’s tenure as “bold” and who did much to strengthen the relationship with the United States.

Aniko Gaal Schott, a friend of Szemerkenyi, said the ambassador made it a point to travel to Hungarian-American communities across America to further deepen the ties between the two nations.  Schott, a D.C. public relations advisor, said the ambassador actively supported arts and cultural endeavors in Washington as part of her mission to successfully broaden the visibility of her own country.

La Meurmishvili and Ambassador Kurt Volker (Photo by: Michelle Belliveau) La Meurmishvili and Ambassador Kurt Volker

Schott and Mary V. Mochary hosted the event.  Among the 120 guests were Rosemarie Pauli, deputy chief of Protocol at State, and Kurt Volker, former U.S. permanent representative to NATO.  

One of the ambassador’s accomplishments was to move the Hungarian embassy from a relatively secluded area in D.C. to downtown near 16th Street, NW, a hub of diplomatic activity.   In the recently acquired historic mansion, Hungary sponsored policy seminars, musical events and informational functions that drew influential movers and shakers from the media and many governments.

Her successor is scheduled to be Laszló Szabó, Hungary’sdeputy minister for foreign affairs and trade. He is expected to assume the post later this summer.

Amb. of Finland KIrsti Kauppi and Amb. Szemerkenyi (Photo by: Michelle Belliveau) Amb. of Finland KIrsti Kauppi and Amb. Szemerkenyi

Amb. Szemerkenyi (middle) and her husband; far right Marie Royce (Photo by: Michelle Belliveau) Amb. Szemerkenyi (middle) and her husband; far right Marie Royce

Rep. Dennis Ross (left) & the Ambassador and her husband (Photo by: Michelle Belliveau) Rep. Dennis Ross (left) & the Ambassador and her husband


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Chelsea Clinton and Michelle Nunn Join Forces

May 24, 2017

With federal budget cuts looming for international and domestic aid to the poor and displaced, Chelsea Clinton, vice chair for the Clinton Foundation, and CARE CEO and President Michelle Nunn are lending gravitas to pleas for the Trump Administration and Congress to keep up funds for assistance to the poor.

The appeal was made at the CARE 2017 national conference at the Arena’s Mead Center for American Theater in D.C.  Conferees from most states and from as far away as Switzerland attended the nearly packed theater on Monday.

Chelsea Clinton greeted by Michelle Nunn, in background Amani Al-Khatatbeh (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Chelsea Clinton greeted by Michelle Nunn, in background Amani Al-Khatatbeh

The charitable organization CARE calls what is happening today the “largest humanitarian crisis since World War II.”

“This year’s conference theme, Now More than Ever,” underscores the urgency of action, particularly as we face deep and disproportionate cuts to the foreign assistance program,” said Nunn.

 “With more than 20 million people facing famine conditions in South Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia, and tens of millions still displaced by conflict, now is the time for the United States to stand by its commitment to U.S. foreign assistance, which has served as the beacon of American leadership and stability for decades in the poorest communities around the world.”

More than 400 conferees met with members of Congress and their staffs during the week to advocate for foreign assistance and steps to combat extreme poverty worldwide. President Trump’s federal budget was sent to Congress on Tuesday.

Nunn lauded Congress for maintaining the assistance levels at the same in the temporary budget passed weeks ago.  Nonetheless, she said the proposed 2018 budget should be more mindful of the dire needs of the world’s starving and homeless people.

In her remarks, which centered on empowering women and girls, Clinton touched on the importance of hearing the voices of others.

But Clinton said that in listening, “We have to know that sexism is not an opinion, racism is not on opinion, Islamophobia is not an opinion, homophobia is not an opinion, jingoism is not an opinion … In our posture of listening, we have to stand up and speak out.”

She said she is “fiercely proud” that her charitable organization has helped more than 12 million people around the world.

Secretary of Transportation Taiwan-born Elaine Chao, among other topics, addressed the challenges of women and girls everywhere.  She recalled that she came to America on a freighter with her mother and two siblings when she was eight years old.

Participating in a panel was Barbara Pierce Bush, co-founder and president of the public health focused non-profit, Global Health Corps. She is the daughter of former President George W. Bush. Also speaking was Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder and editor of MuslimGirl; Katie Meyler, founder and CEO of More Than Me, and Musimi Kanyaro, president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women.


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