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3/18/10 — Discover Ireland

This week's guests include Anna Teresa Callen, noted cookbook author and educator and founding member of the James Beard Institute in New York, Mr. Paolo Vannini, Vice President/Managing Director of Alta Cucina, a members only organization of shoppers of gourmet Italian food products and services, Mr. Morten Sohlberg, President & CEO of Smorgas Chef Restaurant Group, perveyors of Scandinavian cuisine with three restaurants in New York including Scandinavian House, where the theme is the "sensory experience" and Ms.Hsin-Mei Agnes Hsu, Director and Dean of the Confuscius Institute/China Instutite and member of the Unesco World Heritage Center, scholar, author and board member of the American Museum of Natural History. Each guests will talk about the type of cuisine best served for the holidays along with some of the customs and traditions that go along with them.

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Christopher Cahill
Executive Director,
The American Irish Historical Society

Christopher Cahill is the Executive Director of the American Irish Historical Society, a cultural organization founded in 1897 and located in A Beaux-Arts townhouse on Fifth Avenue's Museum Mile. He is also a writer and editor who lives in New York City, where he was born. He is the author of a novel, Perfection, published in Paris by LâAge d’Homme (1996) and is the editor of Gather Round Me: The Best of Irish Popular Poetry, published by Beacon Press (2004 hardback, 2005 paperback). His edition of Thomas Flanagan’s essays, There You Are: Writings on Orosh and American Literature and History, with a preface by Seamus Heaney, was published by New York Review Books (2004) and in London by Granta Books (2005). He has also recently completed a version of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin.

Cahill is a frequent contributor to The Atlantic Monthly, Time Out New York, The Village Voice, The American Spectator, The Boston Review and other national publications. His poetry and fiction – including selections from The Drug of Choice – have been published in Ploughshares, PNR, Western Humanities Review, Epiphany and other journals under the editorships of Paul Muldoon, Richard Howard, and Michael Schmidt. He has been nominated for the O. Henry Award and a Pushcart Prize. In collaboration with the Brazilian composer Ricardo Romaneiro, his poetry has been performed before an audience of 10,000 in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and has been broadcast on WNYC.

As the editor in chief of The Recorder, the journal of the American Irish Historical Society (AIHS), Cahill has published the work of Billy Collins, Mary Gordon, William Kennedy, Seamus Heaney, Martin Scorsese, Stanley Crouch and many others. The journal has been featured in Time Out, The Irish Times, Irish America and elsewhere and has been frequently included in Best American Essays and Best American Stories. At the AIHS he has run a popular and distinguished reading and lecture series since 1991. He serves as the Executive Director of the Society.

Christopher Cahill has considerable experience as a television broadcaster. For the past ten years, along with co-hosts Nancy O’Dell of Access Hollywood and Norah O’Donnell of NBC News, he has provided on-air commentary for NBC-TV’s four hour annual broadcast of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, for which he has been nominated for an Emmy Award. He has also been a guest on NBC’s Today New York, as well as numerous other television and radio venues.

Cahill holds a B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Virginia, where he was an Echols Scholar. He received his Master’s Degree in English Language and Literature from Stanford University. The founding director of Institutes of American Irish Studies at City University of New York and Pace University, he has taught literature and writing at Stanford University and New York University. He has received numerous awards for his cultural and academic work, including being honored by the Comptroller of The City of New York in City Council Chambers.

Patricia Harty
Editor / Co-Founder -
Irish America Magazine


Patricia Harty is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Irish America Magazine, which since its inception in October 1985, has become a powerful vehicle of expression on a range of political, economic, social and cultural themes that are of paramount importance to the Irish in the United States. It helped re-establish the Irish ethnic identity in the U.S. (40 million according to the last U.S. Census) and spotlighted political and business leaders, organizations, writers and community figures, who previously had no national vehicle for their aspirations./

The magazine hosts several major events each year including the Top 100 Awards, the Top Irish American Business Leaders, and the Wall Street 50.

As Editor-in-Chief Patricia Harty has turned Irish America magazine into what author Pete Hamill referred to as "one of the finest literary magazines around today.” Among Ms. Harty’s many interviews in the past 25 years are Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney, Wall Street guru Peter Lynch, best-selling author Pat Conroy, Hollywood legend Gregory Peck, and corporate titan Jack Welch.

Ms. Harty, is a native of Tipperary, also serves on the board of Glucksman Ireland House, NYU's center for Irish studies. She is the author of a book entitled The Greatest Irish Americans of the 20th Century.


Christina Byrne
Ardmore Country

Christina Byrne is the owner of Ardmore Country House bed and breakfast located at the crossroads of Ireland in Kinnitty Co. Offaly in the Slieve Bloom Mountains.

Specalises in Walking holidays, local heritage, local food, and Irish culture. Plays traditional Irish music on violin. Director of Bed and Breakfast Ireland the largest bed and breakfast organisation in Ireland . Kinnitty is located near Leap Castle Irelands most haunted, Birr Castle Heritage Gardens and Giant Telescope, Clonmacnoise Monastic site dating back to 500 and Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre.

Christina is a director of Bed and Breakfast Ireland the largest organisation for bed and breakfasts including farm country and town