Miss A Columnist

Randi Roberts is a food blogger, living just outside of New York City. She has BA in Art History from Brown University and a Master’s in Art Business from Sotheby’s in London and a consuming interest in aesthetics, in art, fashion, or food.

She has lived and studied in Cannes, London and Bologna (not coincidentally, a food capital of Italy). Her experiences both here and abroad have helped to cultivate her sense of adventure and an open-minded approach to life. Those experiences have deepened her understanding of aesthetics and visual presentation. Such appreciation is reflected in her food photography as well as her writing, be it be fiction or nonfiction.

She has worked in retail exposing her to the fields of fashion, art and beauty products. Her customer experience has given her insight into people, their buying habits and the world in which we live. Her ability as a story-teller helps her to relate to others, a useful tool for connecting with readers or viewers.

Recap: Swiss National Day NYC 2013

Swiss National Day 2013

(Photo Credit: Randi Roberts)

Central Park Zoo was transformed on Saturday, July 27, into an enchanted garden; the light from lanterns played on the pools of water and on the leaves clinging to the buildings. The occasion was the Swiss National Day (SND) celebration to benefit the Swiss Benevolent Society of New York. The family-friendly event featured a program of activities celebrating Swiss heritage through food, wine, music and even science. A raffle and silent auction enticed the crowd with a grand prize of round-trip tickets for two to Switzerland on Swiss International Air Lines and an eight-day rail pass. Organizations, clubs, vendors and sponsors set up booths in the “Swiss Village.”

Swiss National Day 2013

(Photo Credit: Randi Roberts)

The affair’s 1,500 guests were taken on a culinary journey by Swiss celebrity chef, Chef Reto Mathis, who brought the flavors of Switzerland to Central Park Zoo. He pointed out that each dish was exemplary of traditional Swiss cuisine and Swiss comfort food— meaty grilled bratwurst, tiny cheese tarts, creamy mushroom risotto and hearty veal Zurichoise. The desserts were just as tempting, with tangy fruit tarts, chocolaty Toblerone mousse and traditional carrot cake. A sampling of wines from Swiss vineyards completed the experience.

Swiss National Day 2013

Chef Reto Mathis (Photo Credit: Randi Roberts)

The eclectic mix of live music switched from Yodeling to pop music with duo Leo & Walter and DJ Alexandre Segal. The music prompted dancing throughout the venue, in the Nespresso VIP lounge and under the large tents decorated with Swiss flags.

Staging the event in Central Park Zoo was in keeping with a theme of SND; people connecting with nature. “Tradition in Switzerland is to celebrate outside in a meadow,” event organizers say, “Central Park Zoo is the perfect outdoor venue in center of [the] city.” The zoo also offered opportunities for fun science and nature-oriented activities. Kids and adults alike swarmed to see the sea lion feeding demonstration as the summer sun was setting. Just before dark, the group was treated to the American premiere of the ballbot, Rezero. The Rezero robot, created by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, rolls on a single ball and uses scanners to sense obstacles in its path.

Swiss National Day 2013

(Photo Credit: Randi Roberts)

This year’s event, with its food and wine program, celebrity chef, more activities, and more sponsors, was bigger and better than previous years when it had been “more of a folk fest, or party of the people.” Yet its purpose remained the same: for the Swiss, Swiss-Americans and friends to gather and raise funds for the Swiss Benevolent Society which has served New York’s Swiss community for 160 years. Saturday’s event was successful in increasing “awareness and benefits of SBS’s scholarships and social services,” as well as bringing together the community.

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