Monthly Archives: October 2008

Food and Events: John Lo Manto and Lizz Torgovnick by Sara Blasingame

John Lo Manto

John Lo Manto helps Hearth Restaurant serve great food in
the East Village. Founded by Chef Marco Canora and Paul Grieco, Hearth’s menu
combines the traditional flavors and inspiration of Tuscany cuisine with an
American twist. The dishes change
daily so that the chef may take advantage of the freshest ingredients on the
market. Hearth also offers an extensive wine list, so that patrons can find the
perfect paring for their plate.

New York Magazine
recommends Hearth, but many of the readers complained that the food is too
expensive for the quality.[1]
However, the restaurant received a *star from the prestigious Michlen Guide
NYC. An entrée costs around $30, and a tasting menu (three courses plus
dessert) is available for $85.

Hearth is located at 403 East 12th St at 1st
Ave., and is open Sunday through Thursday from 6 to 10 pm and Friday and
Saturday from 6 to 11 pm.[2]


Steamed Chocolate Cake with Cardamom-Poached Pears &
Earl Grey Ice Cream

Lizz Torgovnick

Lizz Torgovnick graduated from Duke University in 2004 with
a B.A. in Visual Arts (with an Art History Minor). At Duke she received the
Mary Duke Biddle Visual Arts Award, the William J. Griffith University Service
Award, the Benenson Arts Grant, Undergraduate Research Support Grant in Fall
2003 and Spring 2004. As an artist, she works in the media of photography and
graphic design (please see the example of her work below). She interned in the
photography department at Fitness
Magazine and interned in the exhibition department of the International Center
of Photography.[3]

Lizz currently works with Paint the Town Red, a food and
events planning agency. Paint the Town Red founded by Howard Givner, helps its
clients, whether corporate, non-profit, or personal plan the events tailored to their needs in New York,
Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and Miami. The serve as a liaison between the clients
and the venues and vendors; they help the client find the right event location
with the food and entertainment to create a dream event. Their main goal is “to
ensure that the guests’ experience exceeds their expectations.”[4]


Go to
to see more of her work.

[2] All other
information, including the image, was found at

[3] All of the
above information and the image below were found at

[4] All of the
above information was found on


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

John Lo Manto and Lizz Torgovnick: A Look into the Worlds of Culinary Arts and Events Planning, by Pam Liu

Imagine celebrating an anniversary without
a fancy meal, or putting together an entire company picnic with one day’s
notice. Hard right? No memorable event in our lives is complete without either
good food and/or extensive planning. Whether it’s organizing weddings and award
ceremonies or providing culinary delight to small business gatherings and birthday
celebrations, Lizz Torgovnick, production coordinator at Paint the Town Red and
John Lo Manto, chef at Hearth Restaurant, know the key to success in the
service industries.

Lizz Torgovnick is the production
coordinator at Paint the Town Red (PTTR). Paint the Town Red is an events
planning company started in 1988, serving corporate and non-profit
organizations, as well as personal individuals. The company goal is to plan and
fully execute a truly memorable event, while staying within the budget and
style of the client. In the past, PTTR has organized a wide range of events
such as The Children’s Choice Book Awards, Dick’s Sporting Goods Rooftop
Fashion Show, Lehman Brothers Equity Research Offsite, and the Horticulture
Society Annual Fundraiser. PTTR produces nearly 500 events per year. Stressed
out about an upcoming wedding, anniversary or bar mitzvah? PTTR can help you
fulfill your vision. Just visit
and fill out an event registration form!

Children’s Choice Book Awards

2 Lehman Brother’s Team Building

3 Horticulture Society Fundraiser

 But what is a great event, or life, without
great food? John Lo Manto, a chef at the Hearth Restaurant in Manhattan’s
East Village, is a mastermind to creating
delectable cuisine. Hearth features a comforting environment with a menu
consisting of “classical dishes that have been given a contemporary spin”. The
food is created with traditional Italian cooking methods to produce the most
authentic and flavorful sensations. And don’t always expect the same dishes
every time you visit Hearth, the menu undergoes daily and seasonal changes! The
restaurant also boasts an impressive wine selection. Take a look at

Below are a few of Hearth’s signature dishes. Almost looks
too good to eat. Almost..


Snapper Crudo with Lemon, Red Pepper and Rosemary.


Apple Cider Donuts
with Apple Compote Maple Cream


Steamed Chocolate Cake
with Cardamom-Poached Pears & Earl Grey Ice Cream


Roasted and Braised Domestic Lamb
with Lamb Sausage, Buttercup Squash and Chanterelles

A Look inside the Hearth’s main dining area.


Interesting Facts:

 Lizz Torgovnick, offspring of Marianna Torgovnick, is a 2004
Duke graduate with a BA in Visual Arts. She, and her family, enjoy to cook, as
evidenced by this online cookbook from her personal webpage:



Hearth has been featured in a Japanese Calendar.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Talented Mr. Shakman, by Jenni Wei

Matt Shakman is a man of many talents—actor, producer, and, likely his best-known role, television and stage director.  Born August 8, 1975, the Yale University graduate began life as a young thespian of age 4, appearing in such shows as The Facts of Life, Highway to Heaven, and Diff’rent Strokes.  Though his acting days are now behind him, Shakman notes the impact of this performance background on his present journey in directing.   Shakman is currently in town to direct additional episodes of the ABC award-winning series, Ugly Betty, which is being shot on location in its current third season (the first two seasons were shot in Los Angeles).  Ugly Betty has been nominated for 48 awards and has won 38 of them, including two Golden Globe Awards, a SAG Award (Best Actress for America Ferrera), a Peabody, and three Emmys.   Production recently made the bicoastal move to provide greater realism to the series as well as for New York tax incentive purposes, and luckily for our program, Shakman has made the move as well.  Unlike films, television series use various directors for their episodes, so Shakman is one of many directors who have worked on this show.

Shakman made his television debut for the critically acclaimed series, “Once & Again,” before moving on to shows like “Boston Legal,” “Everwood,” Judging Amy,” “Oliver Beene,” and “One Tree Hill.” Some of his other well-known television work includes “Six Feet Under,” Brothers and Sisters,” “The Riches,” “Men in Trees,” “House,” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (several episodes of which he also produced).   Shakman has received several awards, including the 1989 Young Artist Awards (Best Young Actor/Actress Ensemble in a Television Comedy, Drama Series or Special), and for his theatre work, the 2002 Garland Award for Direction and the 2005 LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Direction.   Before going to the small screen, Shakman was known for extensive directing credits in theatre.  He is the founder of the Black Dahlia Theatre (BDT) in Los Angeles, which was recently named one of “A dozen young American companies you need to know,” by American Theatre Magazine, and “Best Small Theatre” by LA Magazine.   The Black Dahlia Theatre aims to develop and produce new work for theatre, and has mounted premieres by some of the most influential American playwrights, including Stephen Belber, Oliver Mayer, Austin Pendleton, Richard Kramer, Stephen Adly-Guirgis, and Adam Rapp.  The BDT’s latest production under Shakman was the world premier of Jonathan Tolin’s Secrets of the Trade, a seriocomic showbiz saga starring John Glover, Amy Aquino, and Bill Brochtrup.

  Spindle, Les.  “Matt of All Trades.” Backstage: The Actor’s Resource, March 25, 2008.
  “Matt Shakman,” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 
  “Matt Shakman,” The Internet Movie Database. October 21, 2008.
  HBO: Matt Shakman.  “Six Feet Under – Cast and Crew.”  October 22, 2008.

(please see attached documents for direct footnotes and images)

Download matt_shakman_blog.doc

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Meeting Matt: A Blog By Joyce

Matt Shakman is not just your typical Yale graduate.  A California native, Shakman began actingMattShakman at the age of four, appearing in a number of television shows, including “The Facts of Life,” “Diff’rent Strokes,” “Growing Pains,” “Webster,” and “Highway to Heaven.”[i]  He continued pursuing his acting career through theater training at Yale University and the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival.  Today, Shakman is most noted for his directing role in hit television shows such as “Ugly Betty,” “House M.D.,” “Psych,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “Everybody Hates Chris,” “Everwood,” “Six Feet Under,” “Boston Legal,” “One Tree Hill,” “Summerland,” and many more.[ii]  He has also worked as both a director and producer for FX’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

However, Shakman’s life isn’t all about the glamour of primetime television.  Active in Yale’s theater program, Shakman college extracurriculars included directing the Yale Undergraduate Shakespeare Company’s (YUSC) production of “Macbeth” in the Winter of 1996[iii] and acting in the role of Ascanius, Aeneas’s young son, in a Yale English department staged reading of “Dido, Queen of Carthage” by Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Nashe.[iv]*

Image.phpIn 2001, a few years after graduating from Yale and spending time in both New York City and Los Angeles, Shakman founded the Black Dahlia Theatre, a non-for-profit organization aiming to develop and produce new plays by both well-known and up-and-coming writers.[v]  The company has enjoyed successful premieres of an impressive list of eclectic productions, including Adam Rapp’s “Nocturne,” Charles Evered’s “The Shoreham,” and most recently, Stephen Belber’s “Finally.”  The Black Dahlia Theatre has since generated vast critical acclaim, being honored as “Best Small Theater” in Los Angeles Magazine among many other accolades.[vi]  Shakman currently serves its Artistic Director.

What is most remarkable about Shakman’s career is not simply his extraordinary resume of credits, but his ability to effortlessly balance his successful television projects with the responsibilities of maintaining a small theater company.  After so many hurdles cleared in such a cutthroat industry, fielding a room of Duke students’ questions should be a piece of cake!Ugly-betty


*Fun Fact: Along with Shakman and the faculty of the Yale English department, Richard Brodhead played the part of the winged god Hermes in a voice-over role.  Brodhead currently serves as ninth president of Duke University.

[i] “Matt Shakman,” The Internet Movie Database. 21 Oct. 2008 <;

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] “Past Productions,” The Yale Undergraduate Shakespeare Company. 21 Oct. 2008 <;

[iv] “Faculty Foster Drama Outside Classroom with Production of ‘Dido’,” Yale Bulletin and Calendar News Stories, Volume 25, Number 9, Oct. 21-28, 1996, 22 Oct. 2008 <;

[v] Les Spindle, “Matt of All Trades,” Backstage: The Actor’s Resource, 25 Mar. 2008, 22 Oct. 2008 <;

[vi] “Press & Awards,” The Black Dahlia, 2006, 22 Oct. 2008 <;

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Maggie Mahar: A Wiki Entry by Erin Bell

Maggie Mahar, Ph.D.

Born in Syracuse, New York in 1949, Maggie Mahar is a blogger for The Century Foundation. Her blog, entitled Health Beat, consists of comprehensive, research-based entries on topics like health care, poverty, medicine, and international health.1 Health Beat is intended for those who already have some knowledge of the issues.2 Its academic tone and its credibility render the blog an influential voice in current health dialogues.

Health Beat is only the most recent of Dr. Mahar’s efforts; she is also an accomplished teacher and financial journalist. She taught English at Yale University, the school at which she herself completed a B.A. and a Ph.D. Her career in financial journalism spanned the 1980’s and continued into the 90’s, during which time she was published in Money, Financial Times, Barron’s, and The New York Times among others.3 Dr. Mahar has also authored two books. Her first, entitled Bull: A History of the Boom and Bust, 1982-1999 (2003), discussed the stock market, its recent history, and implications for risk management. In Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much (2006), Mahar spliced anecdotes and research to illustrate the extent of this country’s shortcomings where health care is concerned.

Current Projects
Money-Driven Medicine was the basis for a documentary by the same name. Directed by Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, The Smartest Guys in the Room), the one-hour special is set to air later this year.4 Why are the inhabitants of Nashville, a city with the biggest, newest medical centers imaginable, still receiving sub-par care? Why are hospitals being run as for-profit businesses? Why is hospital money being put into hotel-like amenities but not palliative care? These are just a few of the questions Gibney’s new documentary will address.2

The Future
Mahar says she’d like to do more documentary work in the future. The visual nature of film elicits an emotional response that is distinct from the logical reaction inspired by more linear, written works.2 Mahar has always been interested in this dynamic, and sees documentary as an attractive alternative to writing books. “Publishing is dying,” says Mahar.5

Whatever form her future projects take, you can bet the issue of poverty in America will be front and center. Not only does Mahar see poverty as a cause of poor health, she also feels it’s been too long since we focused on this issue.2 In the 60’s, there were efforts to reduce monetary gaps and fight poverty. However, the Reagan era brought with it an animosity toward the less fortunate. Welfare gradually became a dirty word. Today, few other countries on Earth have the wealth discrepancies we see here in the US. The concept of “rich” and “poor” as two separate worlds not only hinders national solidarity, but also puts the health and longevity of low-income citizens at risk.6 "Poverty is the biggest cause of poor health," claims Mahar.5

Words of Wisdom
Due to her extensive financial knowledge, Dr. Mahar is the perfect person to advise young people with regards to the current financial crisis. “Don’t go into banking,” she warns.5 She believes the recession may be a good thing for younger generations, as it will discourage the brightest among us from using their talents to rake in the millions. Instead, promising students will turn to teaching or medicine. Dr. Mahar sees this as the silver lining of America’s predicament.



2 Mahar, Maggie. (Speaker). (2008). Speech to the Duke in New York Group [Presentation].



5 M. Mahar, personal communication, October 18, 2008.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

T. Rex and Billy Elliot by Asher Brown-Pinsky

After watching the recent New York
Broadway production of Billy Elliot recently, there was one salient cultural
reference that struck me in particular, the inclusion of the Marc Bolan Penned
“Born to Boogie” near the end of the first act of the play.

The song, originally released on
the 1973 album Tanx with his band T. Rex, and featured in the original
soundtrack of the original 2000 film, is not one the band’s best songs from the
band’s canon. Additionally, the standard Broadway musical treatment (remove any
grime, filth or edge, replace the idiosyncratic vocals with proper singing)
doesn’t do much to argue for the song.

However, the inclusion itself of
the song, in a play written around neither the band or rock music in general no
less, iss peculiar and telling however. Inclusion of T. Rex is telling (six
songs by the band appeared in the original film soundtrack) is unsurprising
given the theme of dance in the band’s song titles, but also for the very
specific place Marc Bolan and T. Rex had in the popular culture of the British

In the beginning of the 1970s, the
void in pop music left by the Beatles was quickly filled by Marc Bolan and a
newly revamped and electrified version of his old psychedelic folk outfit Tyrannosaurus
Rex. Playing a distorted, throwback style of rock and roll, with spiky guitars
and often lush brass and string instrumentation with often nonsensical lyrics,
simple rhymes and subject matter touching on cars, dancing, all through a lens
of absurdism, delivered with an unfathomable depth of sincerity. This
combination of pop catchiness and characteristically British oddness was
supplemented by the striking visual appearance of the band that would become
known as glitter or glam and was defined by androgyny, outlandish colors and
clothing, and, yes, glitter and makeup.

Although the band achieved only one
US hit (Bang A Gong), the band struck a nerve with the British public, resulting
in a cultural event known as “T. Rextasy,“ a moment of hysteria rivaling
Beatlemania. Bolan’s androgynous looks, ambiguous sexuality, outlandish
costume, helped usher in the glam the entire glam rock genre, including Queen,
David Bowie, Elton John, et al.

It could be argued that Glam rock
with all of its gender bending could be seen as both an outlet and presence in
public eye for gay youths in addition to establishing an acceptable alternative
to the hyper-masculine blue-collar model set by other bands. And while Marc
Bolan’s life and chart success predated the events of Billy Elliot a few
years, considering the immense cultural impact of the band and the resonance
this might have with audiences regarding the characters of Michael and Billy,
the inclusion of the band’s songs is understandable.

 Alas, this band was a greatly underappreciated British export
in America, greatly preferable in my eyes to those most overappreciated products
of modern Avalon, Margaret Thatcher worship and Winston Churchill quotation.

Anyways, here are some videos some
weirdos made for youtube with clips from the film and T. Rex songs from the
soundtrack. Enjoy:

This one is about cosmic dancers and birth and death and dancing and stuff.

This one is about enjoying boogying.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Maggie Mahar: Wiki (by Rachel Seidman)

/* Style Definitions */
p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal
font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;
mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;}
p.MsoEndnoteText, li.MsoEndnoteText, div.MsoEndnoteText
font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;
mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;}
a:link, span.MsoHyperlink
a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed
@page Section1
{size:8.5in 11.0in;
margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in;
/* List Definitions */
@list l0
mso-list-template-ids:1375755654 67698703 67698713 67698715 67698703 67698713 67698715 67698703 67698713 67698715;}
@list l0:level1

Maggie Mahar is a
renowned journalist who has chronicled events in both the financial and health
care worlds.  Her current projects are Health
(a Century Foundation blog covering current US
health issues) and the documentary, Money
Driven Medicine



  1. Education

  2. Financial Journalism
  3. The Century Foundation
  4. Health Beat
  5. Books
  6. Documentaries
  7. References
  8. External Links



Maggie Mahar attended
Yale University and while there, earned an English B.A. and
Ph.D.  Mahar then went on to be a member
of Yale’s English department[1]. 



Upon leaving Yale,
Mahar entered the rigorous world of financial journalism.  At Barron’s Mahar served as a
senior writer and then rose through the ranks to become senior editor from
1980s to the 1990s[2].  While at Barron’s, Mahar reported on topics
such as: Wall Street, Washington,
and foreign markets.  Her article, The
New Florida
shows how she can take finance and make it personal.  Upon leaving Barron’s, Mahar lent her expertise to Bloomberg,
covering international markets and economics[3]. 


The Century

Mahar currently works
for The Century Foundation.  
The goal of the organization is to
“explain and analyze public issues in plain language, provide facts and
opinions about the strengths and weaknesses of different policy strategies, and
develop and call attention to distinctive ideas that can work.”[4]  Mahar writes for the health care section
of the foundation, which discusses health care reforms in depth.  The page also has upcoming events,
publications, and a message board.


Health Beat

Mahar’s blog, Health Beat, is a labor of love.  It takes the author about two to three days
to complete a post.  Mahar’s posts are not
simple or short; instead, they are rather long essays that are often
accompanied by statistics and graphs (see this post for
an example)[5].  Her goal was to reach an audience who already
had some knowledge about health care. 
Mahar feels very strongly that a blog should be dynamic, which means the
“comments section” is vital.  At Health Beat, readers comment on her
posts and to one another.  These comments
will hopefully develop into a conversation which helps everyone learn more
about the topic[6].  In order to learn more about Mahar’s blog
please see my previous post. 



Mahar has published
two books: Bull!
and Money
Driven Medicine
both of which were published by HarperCollins
Publishers (which is where I intern).  Bull! is a great piece of financial
journalism.  The book is about the Great
Bull Market of 1982-1999 and provides reader with not only a financial history,
but a detailed portrait of the main investors of the time[7].  A review of the book by Paul Krugman, an
opinion writer at The New York Times, can
be found here.  Money
Driven Medicine
discusses the $2 trillion dollar health care industry and
how money is maneuvered and wasted throughout it[8]. 



Mahar is currently
expanding her resume even farther.  She
is in the process of creating a documentary based on her book, Money Driven Medicine, with the help of Alex Gibney (who produced Taxi to the Dark Side
and Enron: The Smartest Guys in
the Room
).  The documentary
centers on health care in
Nashville, TN and should air on television sometime this
fall.  Nashville is mecca of health care corporations, yet its
residents receive very poor health care. 
The film examines the tangled web of how medicine became business
based.  As corporations started
controlling the health care business in the 1980s, their top priority became
making a profit for shareholders.  The
film argues that corporations have created an unstoppable push for profit,
which is making health care unaffordable. 
By participating in this project Mahar has come to understand both the
workings of writing and filmmaking, stating that “the difference between film
and writing is enormous.  In writing you
start big and whittle down in a linear fashion. 
In filmmaking there is no linear fashion, instead you concentrate on
making people respond visually and emotionally.”[9]




[6] Mahar’s guest lecture.  October 2, 2008. 
Duke in NYC: Arts and Media Program.

Bronfman Center for Jewish Life.

[9]Mahar’s guest lecture.  October 2, 2008. 
Duke in NYC: Arts and Media Program.

Bronfman Center for Jewish Life.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized