Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Out of this world

Our Moveable Feast soiree took flight

Express Staff Writer

During ?Our Moveable Feast,? patrons and volunteers get jolly at the Italian bar, including, from bottom left, Sandy Eccles as the Tin Man, Alejandro Ponce, and Ruth Lieder, behind the bar with Steve Malkmus and Doug Taylor. Photo by Dana DuGan

Not a morsel was left to spare when The Community Library's annual fundraiser "Our Moveable Feast" came to a close on Sunday. The gourmet gala was inspired by Anne Tyler's best-selling book, "The Accidental Tourist." The event raised more than $100,000, according to an early tally of ticket sales along with an estimate of donations and silent auction sales.

Meandering through the guests were plenty of folks in costumes, including Chinese dancers, women in burkhas, choli skirts and tunics, Western wear and Oz characters.

Mary McCarthy's novels, "The Stones of Florence" and "Venice Observed," inspired the delicacies found in the Italy room, which featured offerings from Cristina's, Riccabonas and Ciro's. Patrons supped on tasty treats such as Italian sausage, seafood pasta and New York strip steak, as well as plentiful antipasto.

Traveling to the Far East section, the cuisine and décor were based on "The Travels of Marco Polo," the tales told by the explorer upon his return to the West after more than a decade. Tables were covered with fortune cookies and Asian delicacies and decorated by Kurt McAuley of Botanica.

The Middle East room, representing Lesley Blanch's "The Wilder Shores of Love," was brought to life with décor and cuisine by Judith McQueen Entertaining and Catering by Rasberrys. Mouthwatering humus, goat-cheese-stuffed mushrooms, spanakopita and fresh Venetian baklava kept patrons captive under the brightly colored, tent-like setting.

The American West room, created under the guise of "The Oregon Trail" by Francis Parkman, included several live musicians along with delicious regional organic food by Idaho's Bounty and Chef Cortney Burns. Using all-Idaho ingredients, there was elk and arugala, trout and pheasant, and cones filled with sturgeon caviar.

The children's library was transformed into a birthday celebration for Princess Ozma, inspired by "The Road to Oz," complete with delicacies by Chocolate Moose, Patti Cakes, Tully's, Bistro 44, H-G Reserve and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Wandering throughout were Oz inhabitants Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Wicked Witch of the East.

Nearly 500 guests crammed into the library, enthused by its creative makeover.

"I have supported the library for years," Seattle resident Buzz Birkeland said. "I have spent time with the new historian and like to do things for the history area."

Birkeland, like many of the attendees, said he tries to attend the fund-raiser every year.

"I love the library because it is one of the few private libraries in the country that is well stocked," Sun Valley resident Anne Kalik said. "The Gold Mine (which supports the library) is also wonderful and a real community service."

The silent auction bazaar, inspired by Colin Thubron's "Shadow of the Silk Road," featured over 100 items donated by valley businesses. Other auctions included fine wine lots, big-ticket trip packages, museum-quality prints of historical photos from the library's archives and the families and children auction in The Land of Oz room.

Many volunteers and patrons assisted in making Our Moveable Feast a success, including the work of Sun Valley Transfer and Storage, whose employees moved entire sections of the library to make space for all the food, auction items and people, event organizer Peggy Goldwyn said.

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