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Chinese New Year Feast Kicks Off American Dance & Music’s 10th Anniversary Season

Evening included a gourmet 10-course dinner overseen by seventh-generation chef and owner, John Ho and his wife, Jenny

Zaca Mesa Winery Brand Ambassador Dane Campbell, AD&M Artistic Director Carrie Diamond, AD&M Music Director Eric Valinsky and Diane Gainey, an AD&M student. Click to view larger
Zaca Mesa Winery Brand Ambassador Dane Campbell, AD&M Artistic Director Carrie Diamond, AD&M Music Director Eric Valinsky and Diane Gainey, an AD&M student. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

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American Dance & Music kicked off its second decade with an intimate fundraising dinner at the iconic Ming Dynasty Restaurant on Storke Road in Goleta.

The evening celebrated the organization’s 10th anniversary with a gourmet 10-course dinner for Chinese New Year overseen by seventh-generation chef and owner, John Ho and his wife, Jenny.

While John was preparing the fantastic dishes in the kitchen, Jenny mingled with guests including AD&M board member Hylla Fisher, singer and actress Deborah Bertling, Pam Gunther, Ruth Connelly, Regina Henderson, Diane Gainey, Tanya Magid and many others.

Upon arrival, guests were served a signature Mai Tai created by general manager Steve Nogavich’s which was followed by a sit-down dinner at large round tables with a Lazy Susan type turntable in the center. Thus the large platters of traditional Chinese dishes, brought from the nearby kitchen, were shared in a friendly, family style.

A most popular attendee was Zaca Mesa Winery Brand Ambassador Dane Campbell who introduced the four wines generously provided by Zaca Mesa Winery that evening.

Campbell suggested food pairings for the 2014 viognier, 2012 Z Blanc, 2012 Z Cuvee and 2011 syrah that were poured. Special dishes included lion’s head, New Year vegetable and pork, long life noodles and a beautifully-presented whole rock cod fish.

Hostess and Ming Dynasty restaurant owner Jenny Ho said, “In Chinese culture, the New Year signifies the coming together of family and friends and the wish to enjoy a year of love, happiness, prosperity, good health and a long life.

“We have known Eric (Valinsky) and Carrie (Diamond) for many years, so it is our pleasure to be a part of this 10th anniversary celebration of their company,” she said. “We hope you enjoy this Chinese New Year dinner with us, while also supporting this wonderful community dance organization.”

AD&M’s Artistic Director Carrie Diamond and Music Director Eric Valinsky are well known for their dedication to dance and music and have been regular customers at Ming Dynasty for over 10 years. They even celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary at the restaurant.

“Chinese New Year, which celebrates long life and prosperity, is particularly meaningful for AD&M in our 10th anniversary season.,” Diamond said. “This is a memorable evening of sumptuous and authentic Taiwanese food and fine wine, all enjoyed while supporting the good work of AD&M as we enter our second decade.”

AD&M continues to grow and strives to expand its cultural impact by introducing compelling dance and music to more people of all ages and socio-economic means in Santa Barbara and beyond.

The purpose of this inclusive event was to raise funds to support AD&M’s upcoming 10th anniversary season. Season events include community outreach performances at senior centers and elementary schools and a nightclub/carnival themed event at Center Stage Theatre Friday, May 6, 2016.

The season culminates with the AD&M Performance Group at the New Victoria Theater the weekend of Nov. 4, 2016.

For more information on American Dance and Music, call 805.450.7535, visit www.adam-bsb.org or email [email protected].

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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