Burning with style

What's required when a chef celebrates his birthday? Fire.

At birthday boy Michael Antonopoulos' party in a private Ashland home last Friday, fire dancers entertained as the night sky darkened. Antonopoulos, aka Ton Ton, is the mastermind behind the new mobile kitchen Agape's Affections.

"Healthful indulgence is an art and passion for me," he told partygoers near a table laden with his platters of his gluten- and sugar-free foods. Quietly, he confided: "I'm an entrepreneur, fitness trainer, martial artist, yogi, and the foods I create with are always healthful, delicious and intentional."

Guests were an attractive band of artisans that I affectionately call the Leather-Feather crowd. This group is bohemian in lifestyle and works in a variety of trades: chefs, teachers, shamans, dancers, DJs, fire performers, healers, artists and clothing and jewelry designers.

Many travel during the summer months to outdoor festivals selling their creations and connecting with their tribe. None of them like to be defined by what they do or wear, and most are constantly morphing into new incarnations or moving into new directions as passions guide them.

Conversations were about community, health and catching up with friends about their latest travels, dance and inspiration. Mothers and children made up a good part of those in attendance. Many of the women were in their mid to late 20s and presented the warm, earthy style I refer to as Ashland Beautiful.

Most noticeable was the natural jewelry worn by most of the revelers. Some of it was created by the host, Snow Panneton, and her daughter, the fire dancer, Bonnie Panneton.

— Troy Brown

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