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Ellen Mittman: The auction item we won at JCHE’s auction was a wonderful one-of-a-kind experience!

Posted: March 7, 2013

Imagine inviting 10 special friends to your home for a delicious five course meal catered by The Fireplace in Brookline while enjoying a fun and stimulating conversation led by Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr.

This past December, my husband Bruce and I did just that! This unique experience was an auction item that we bid on and won at last year’s JCHE Spring Celebration 2012. The night was additionally sweetened by the knowledge that the revenue from this and all auction items would directly benefit the residents of JCHE.

The evening was fabulous! Jim Solomon, the owner and chef of The Fireplace, was so generous in donating a truly phenomenal dinner party to JCHE’s auction. Ty Burr as guest host was an added treat. He so graciously donated his time, knowledge, and flair for conversation. It was an evening filled with interesting dialogue and lots of laughter!!

While we knew that The Fireplace is a great restaurant, we were delighted to discover that their catering service is impeccable. The food was beautifully prepared at our house and the staff that assisted was extremely professional and personable. Working closely with General Manager Laurie Stuehmer, it was effortless to plan the menu, order the rentals, set the table, and organize my kitchen for cooking and serving. I was able to select our food choices and the feast was truly incredible: butternut squash bisque with blue cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds, pear and pomegranate salad with arugula and pine nuts, roasted maple-glazed chicken with mashed potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts, and chocolate fudge cake with vanilla bean ice cream and salted caramel sauce.  Wow!

Ty Burr is so charismatic, charming, and engaging. He began our conversation by asking each person to make an introduction and include his/her favorite movies (we had a very eclectic group…many people not knowing one another, but all film lovers). This simple task led to quite a dynamic conversation and allowed one another to learn much about each guest.  We then settled down to “serious” business. In preparation for the evening, Ty had asked us each to view the French-Canadian film, "Monsieur Lazhar". It was an interesting choice and it stimulated an insightful discussion. Then the conversation turned to the Oscars. They were just a few weeks away so Ty asked us to share our choices for the main awards. The evening went on until quite late; no one wanted it to end (even Ty was one of the last to leave).  Everyone had a great time!!

The combination of exquisite food and captivating discussion enabled us to host an evening that will be fondly remembered by all while supporting an outstanding organization!


Ellen Mittman was a co-chair of last year’s spring event. We are delighted that she will join Lynne Elfland and Robin Polishook as co-chairs for JCHE Spring Celebration 2013 on Sunday, May 19 at 6 pm at The Westin Waltham Hotel. We plan to have another exceptional auction. In upcoming weeks we will be posting new items on our web site. Check URL regularly  


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