Go Back

The Sylvia Center’s 14th Annual Summer Celebration at Katchkie Farm



By Great Performances

Each year, we’re honored to plan and cater The Sylvia Center’s summer benefit at Katchkie Farm. Over the years, the event has evolved, most recently becoming a farm-to-picnic-table (or blanket!) celebration in the Learning Garden at the farm. This year, 250 people attended and were able to enjoy the beauty of our farm from the fields full of summer vegetables and sunflowers to the Learning Garden framed by the rolling Catskills on one side and woods on the other.

With a menu curated by Chef Georgette Farkas and featuring ingredients sourced directly from the fields, it was a delicious event that highlighted the best of summer flavors. Read on to learn more about the experience. To donate to The Sylvia Center and learn more about future events, visit their website by clicking here.

It was a beautifully warm, sunny day in July, and one could feel the anticipation and excitement as guests walked along the path (or rode in one of the golf carts!) flanked by fields of sunflowers. As guests registered for the event and bought raffle tickets, happy chatter turned to exclamations and warm hugs as familiar faces were spotted and friends reunited. The Sylvia Center Executive Director Jonathan Cetnarski was on hand along with CEO and Founder of Great Performances, Liz Neumark, to meet guests and towards the registration table Guests were greeted at the registration table by The Sylvia Center team, including Executive Director Jonathan Cetnarski, and by Liz Neumark, CEO and Founder of Great Performances. After registering and joining the raffle, they proceeded to the food tent where they picked up their picnic bags and headed to the Learning Garden where there was plenty of space to spread out and enjoy their feast. Drinks were served under the shade of the Pavilion, which also hosts the pizza oven we used last year. This year, Rafi Bildner brought his Hilltown Hot Pies pizza truck and served his pizzas – always a fan favorite!


Delicious food highlighting the best that summer in New York has to offer was packed in cooler bags that guests picked up on their way to their tables. The menu included fresh, flavorful foods like NY Collection of Cheese & Charcuterie, Dried Apricots, Assorted Flatbreads; Gazpacho; Parker House Rolls (cultured local butter); Sweet Pepper Roast Chicken (cippolini onions, smoked paprika aioli); Corn and Cherry Tomato Succotash (edamame, swiss chard, feta cheese, roasted sunflower seeds, lemon-basil miso vinaigrette); Roasted Sweet Yellow Peppers (cherry tomatoes, black olives, capers, anchovy, yellow raisins, basil); Watermelon & Radish Salad – featuring both watermelon and watermelon radishes – (kale, cucumber, black beans, ginger lime vinaigrette); Lemon Grilled Baby Zucchini (whole wheat apricot couscous); our fan favorite Eggplant Chermoula; and Peach – Blackberry Crumble Bars.

As a special thank you to our guests, Farmer Jon picked cherry tomatoes fresh from the fields and we paired them with a savory basil parmesan pesto.

Rafi Bildner debuted his Hilltown Hot Pies pizza truck and served made-to-order Neapolitan style pizza with his own artisanal, wild-yeasted dough featuring produce picked from the farm and local cheeses and meats.