Monday, May 30, 2011

TV Bites: Paris, Texas

Chile avec Fromage (Chile con Queso)

A shorter version of this post was originally published on the Criterion Collection website.

In April, a new arthouse theater opened here in Austin, the Violet Crown Cinema. (Our city has several pet names and one of them is the “City of the Violet Crown.” Why it’s called that has been completely lost to history.) Local film director and cinephile Richard Linklater pick eight films from the Criterion Collection as a test run of their facility (and as a benefit for the Austin Film Society). Of the films he chose, the one I was most attracted to seeing was Paris, Texas. First, I couldn’t remember the last time I saw the film but always remembered how much I liked it; and second, I needed to pick something for my post here and was hoping to be inspired by something in the film. And I was.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Class: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Garlic Mushrooms in Red Wine (Champiñones al Ajillo con Vino Tinto)
Fried Eggplant With Honey, Mint, And Sesame Seeds (Berenjenas Fritas con Miel, Menta y Semillas de Sésamo)
Gazpacho de Pepa
Spinach with Pine Nuts and Raisins (Espinacas con Piñones y Pasas)
Orange & Brandy Pancakes with Cinnamon Ice Cream (Pescajus Naranja con Helado de Canela)

Was very pleased with the class today, though I wished, as always, that we had more people in attendance. Nevertheless, it all went very smoothly. And, as always, big thanks to the staff at Central Market for helping me pull it off.

I've never been a huge fan of Almodóvar's later films, but this one I think is my favorite and his best. It's very skillfully executed but never takes itself too seriously. So many perfectly shot scenes.

The idea to do the film came about because Central Market was doing this whole "Passport to Spain" thing and they asked me to come up a movie to do and this was the first one that popped into my mind, especially for a matinée class. And it was perfect and I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting it and researching the notes for the class.

Monday, May 9, 2011

TV Bites: My Favorite Year

Pot Stickers (Jiaozi)

My Favorite Year is one of those movies I go back to again and again whenever I feel the need for the warm & fuzzy. Even though I wasn't born yet, it reminds me of the New York I grew up in.... when real New Yorkers lived there, not people who say they're from New York but are actually from Ohio (no offense to Ohioans).

In the beginning of his commentary track on the DVD, director Richard Benjamin speaks about how this kind of comedy, those writers and comedians, could only have come from Brooklyn, the Bronx, and the Lower East Side and that they "clawed their way out" of there. Both my parents grew up in Flatbush (part of Brooklyn to your out-of-towners). My grandparents never watched a baseball game after the Dodgers left to Los Angeles. Going to visit them on the weekends was a lot like the dinner Benji takes Alan Swann to in the movie (if only Rookie Carroca was there!). They had the only color television set on the block and, on Sunday evenings, all the neighbors would come over and cram into the living room to watch with us.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tickets Available NOW! - Slumdog Millionaire - June 11th!

Time: Saturday June 11, 2011 · 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: Central Market North, 4001 North Lamar, Austin, TX

For my sixth Chef du Cinema class, I will be demonstrating a palate-pleasing 4-course Indian-inspired meal paired with the 2009 Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire. It’s a story of a teenage orphan from the slums of Mumbai who goes on India’s version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” and gets arrested for cheating. He tells the police the incredible story of his life, and of the girl he loves and lost.

Peach-Apple Chutney w/Goat Cheese on Toasted Naan
Karahi Chicken w/Tomatoes and Chiles
Shrimp Biryani
Coconut-Chai Sorbet