County Fare | Lee restaurants dish out support for Khali Zabian

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Support for Khali Zabian keeps getting stronger as two well-established local restaurants have cooked up fundraisers to benefit the teenager recovering from severe injuries incurred two months ago.

Chez Nous Bistro and Salmon Run Fish House in downtown Lee each are hoping to bring in several thousand dollars to help offset Zabian's medical expenses.

The 19-year-old Lee Middle and High School graduate suffered a massive brain injury and broken bones on Aug. 7 in Great Barrington when she was struck by another vehicle on Route 7 while standing near her car after she struck a guard rail.

Chez Nous is raffling a chance to be pastry chef for a day, working side-by-side with pastry chef Rachel Portnoy. The Main Street eatery is also selling tickets for one lucky winner to be chef for the day under the tutelage of head chef Franck Tessier. The day will include prep, instruction and maybe even a little taste testing.

The husband and wife owners say all proceeds from the sale of each $10 raffle ticket will benefit Zabian's recovery.

Portnoy says the raffle, launched in mid-September, could be a sellout by Oct. 25, when ticket sales end.

"Lots of folks are interested in supporting the Zabians; some really want the chance to come spend a morning with us in the kitchen and some want to do both [chef jobs]," she told County Fare.

At Salmon Run, its "Dine to Donate for Khali" runs now through December. Restaurant co-owners Paul and Dawn Face are giving 20 percent of the total bill of each dine-in or takeout order toward the Zabian family.

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"Lee is such a great town and the Zabians are a huge part of Lee and have done a lot for the town," Paul Brown said.

The Zabians have been a Main Street fixture for more than 40 years with a men's clothing store and jewelry shop.

Writers honored

Authors Michelle Cuevas, of Great Barrington, and Brendan Mathews, of Lenox, were among hundreds in attendance — including legislators, writers, librarians and the book community — on Sept. 17 when the Massachusetts Center for the Book presented the 2019 Library of Congress/Massachusetts Literacy Award and the Massachusetts Book Awards at a Statehouse ceremony in Boston.

The awards presentations commenced with Sharon Shaloo, executive director of the center, reminding the audience that this is the largest state book awards program in the country.

"It's a testament to the vitality of the contemporary writing community in our commonwealth," she stated.

State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli presented citations to Cuevas, winner of the 18th annual Massachusetts Book Award in Middle Grade/Young Adult Literature for "The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole," and Mathews, author of "The World of Tomorrow," winner of the 18th annual Honors Book in Fiction.

County Fare, a weekly column featuring "tales from throughout the Berkshires," is compiled by Eagle staffers.


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