Monday, February 28, 2011

TV Bites: Vertical Ray of the Sun (Mua he chieu thang dung)

Cha Ca Ha Noi (Grilled Fish Hanoi-Style w/Rice Noodles & Herbs)

Well, I made it to Vietnam.

There are some films that change your life, sometimes in big ways and sometimes in small ways. For at least a year after first seeing Vertical Ray of the Sun (also known as Summer Solstice, and/or At the Height of the Summer), I began adding to my morning ritual listening to Velvet Underground's "Pale Blue Eyes" first thing as I did my morning stretches as do two characters in the movie. I was having a particularly stressful bump in my life and the harmony I found in that ritual truly helped smooth it out for me. I still occasionally return to it as a great song to greet the day. So I thank Tran in that way for making this film.

a little bonus....

I'm running a bit late on my schedule of putting up my post for the Vietnam leg of this trip, but it should be ready shortly.

Meanwhile, here's a little video I shot of the best place to get Pho Bo, Ha Noi style in town. Even Mr. Smug TV Travel Food Guy ate here on his episode about Ha Noi. But that's not why I went there, it's a favorite of locals. I took a little cooking class while in Ha Noi and hopefully can recreate this back home. But I'll have another Ha Noi specialty for the movie. Stay tuned....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We're going national, baby! USA Today covers Chef du Cinema!

Thanks USA Today and writer Sharon Jayson for the mention in their article on Oscar Party foods. And a tip of the hat to Joel Salcido for the excellent pictures! (though did they have to pick the one with my mouth open? sigh...)

Our story so far.....

If this is your first time here, let me welcome you.

If you've been here before, you're probably asking: "why is he writing this?"

What's going on is, first off - I'm on a trip to Southeast Asia, and second off - USA Today telephoned a week before I left asking if I could put together three recipes based on three of the ten (I'm sorry, but how lame is it that they went from five to ten?) Best Picture Oscar nominees for an article which is appearing sometime in the next 24 hours from now. And so I thought I should write something and get it ready to post since I'm not going to have great Internet access nor will I have time to write much right when this thing hits the newstands. Why do I care? Because I'd like to give some new folks who might be arriving based on that article, a quick summary of what the heck this is that I'm doing so you won't have to weed through all my ramblings to figure it out.

So... Our story so far.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tickets Available NOW - Buena Vista Social Club - April 9th!

Time: Saturday, April 9, 2011 · 6:30pm - 9:00pm
Location: Central Market North, 4001 North Lamar, Austin, TX

For my fourth Chef du Cinema class I will be offering up an exciting Cuban menu while discussing the award-winning documentary film that introduced the world to the Cuban ensemble known as the Buena Vista Social Club. Directed by Wim Wenders and featuring guitarist Ry Cooder, the film is a musical travelogue chronicling the group’s live concerts in New York & Amsterdam and offering us a window into their lives in Havana.

Empanadas de Queso
Mango, Avocado & Red Onion Salad with Papaya-Seed Dressing
Roasted Chicken, Versailles Style w/Black Beans & Rice and Fried Plantains
Coconut Rum Flan

Friday, February 11, 2011

TV Bites: Citizen Dog (Mah nakorn)

Nam Tok Moo (Waterfall Spicy Pork Salad)

Note: volume on this trailer is high, turn down volume before playing

Well, I'm on the road in Southeast Asia, so posting will be sparse on the writing, but interesting in the recipes.

My plan is that I've written the movie stuff prior to the trip and will fill in some background & context on stuff from my adventures, but most exciting for you is that I'm taking some cooking classes along the way. So I will be posting recipes from them for this post and the next one on Vietnam. In planning and researching this trip to Thailand & Vietnam I went catching up on some indigenous films looking for one that I wanted to chef-du-cinema-ize.