city + food + culture
Highly anticipated things to read, watch and ponder in 2011
Your own private food film festival Butter
Actress Jennifer Garner and her production company are behind this comedy about a young, black, midwestern orphan who enters her town’s butter carving competition, thus pitting herself against the unscrupulous wife of the reigning champion. Mid-2011 Release.
Apompous TV chef exacts his revenge on an Internet food critic by kidnapping and torturing him at a remote cabin in the wilderness. Yes, the newest cult indie is a food-horror combo. Not too many of those around. Mario Batali has a walk on. New release - straight to DVD.
Ayoung Hamburg restaurant owner struggles to make a success of his business. But hiring a new chef only adds to the chaos after someone spikes the food with a tree bark aphrodisiac, causing everyone - staff, customers, health inspectors - to feel the effects. On DVD. 2009
Kings of Pastry
New food books for 2011 Blood, Bones, & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton (Random House, Release Date: March, 2011) When Anthony Bourdain calls this “the best memoir by a chef, EVER!”, and Mario Batali adds “it raises the bar for all books about cooking and eating”, what is left to say except “Get us a copy!” Catch up with Gabrielle Hamilton, the chef and owner of New York’s famous Prune restaurant, at Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks when she is in Vancouver on March 9th, 2011. Kate Aitken’s Canadian Cookbook by Kate Aitken (Whitecap, Reprint Release: March, 2011) Kate Aitken was the last word on cooking for Canadian women in the ‘40s and her recipes for classics such as Chicken Pot Pie and Blueberry Roly Poly taste as true today as they did then. Ahome canning expert, there’s treasure for the newbie canner in this paperback reissued by Whitecap.
The Art of Living According to Joe Beef (Ten Speed Press,Release Date: September, 2011)
For art and honour. The film follows pastry chefs in a grueling 3-day trial for the right to wear the coveted red-white-and-blue collar. Hear audiences scream as elaborate sugar sculptures shatter. Don’t watch if you can’t bear to see grown men cry. On the NAfestival circuit.
The Girl From Paris
An oldie more in tune with the times than it was in 2001. A women gives up her hi-tech job to buy a old farm and raise goats in the isolat ed French countryside. Her modern ideas on agriculture work fine until they have to get her through her first long winter. On DVD and available for loan at the Main Public library.
Like Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, here we have a two-hour-plus film that depicts a family cooking dinner...only without the plot. Long camera closeups on hands will work for viewers interested in Chinese cooking techniques, while the conversation will fascinate the social anthropologists. Released Nov, 2010. On the film festival circuit in 2011.
Eating their lines
Named after a legendary tavern, Joe Beef is one of Montreal’s trendiest bistros, known for its oysters, hearty food, and unapologetic quirkiness. The book is still in production, so no sneak peeks yet, but we hear it will include poutine - only Joe Beef style, so expect anything.
The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual by Frank Falcinilli, Frank Castronovo and Peter Meehan, 2010 For those who found the NOMAbook a little fey, here’s your antidote - a working manual of nononsense, how-to tutorials (with line illustrations) on such Italian cooking skills as making fresh pasta or tying braciola, along with recipes from the pot roast- and meatball-loving Brooklynites.
Life on the Line:
AChef’s Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death,and Redefining the Way We Eat.
by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas (Penguin Group, Release Date: March, 2011) The Chicago chef famous for his molecular gastronomic style, recalls his life and career , while stirring in some juicy gossip bits about the famous people he’ s worked with along the way.
From the Olive Grove
by Helen and Anastasia Koutalianos, (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2010) Our favourite local cookbook, and one we plan to cook our way through in 201 1. Well-loved, delicious recipes from the Greek family who bring Vancouver its best olive oil, along with contributions from friends and customers who also happen to be some of British Columbia’s top chefs. Also in the pipeline ... two new books from the Kambolis Restaurant Group ...
- CityFood Magazine
To Master the Art ..
is the play we most hope will make it to one of the city’ s theatre venues this year. Based on a recent biography of Julia Child’s life in Paris during the 1950s with her diplomat husband Paul, the play is currently enjoying its world premiere at Chicago’s TimeLine Theatre - to rave reviews. Especially for lead Karen Janes W oditsch, who cooks all through her performance, and who delivers a pitch perfect interpretation said to be better than Meryl Streep’s.