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Impromptu, Foodie Themed Short Film World Premiere at TIFF 2013

Impromptu takes a look at the redemptive power of food, wine, music and love through the eyes of a modern man. Chuck is in his element, cooking and listening to Chopin with his baby daughter, imagining what he will say to his wife Sylvie once he can get her to slow down long enough to have a real conversation. All goes awry when Sylvie spontaneously invites a group of colleagues over to celebrate a work victory. The festivities begin to spiral out of control, and Chuck must find his way through a planned diner à deux that has turned into pandemonium.

Filmmaker Bruce Alcock continues in the fine tradition of beloved food films such as Babette’s FeastBig Night and Like Water for Chocolate, using the preparation of a meal as a vehicle for exploring the grand themes of love and life. The loosely flowing movements of his simple and colourful line drawings suggest Alexander Calder wire sculptures come to life. Like the piano impromptu from which the film takes its name, the animation embodies the fleeting occurrence of those inner eureka moments that carry us forward—and bring order to the chaos of life’s rich pageant.

Impromptu

Impromptu. Photo taken from the production © 2013 Global Mechanic Media / National Film Board of Canada

The film is cute and quirky with a whimsical, unique style of 3D animation, inspired by filmmaker Bruce Alcock’s fascination with the 1080 Recipes cookbook. Bruce shares one of his favourite recipes for lamb below.

Juniper Lamb

Best with a frenched rack cut into lambsicles, also works with regular chops. Broil or barbeque on high heat. 

Ingredients

  • frenched rack of lamb, cut into lambsicles
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • coarse salt
  • peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon of cardamom seeds
  • a dozen juniper berries
  • pinch of chipotle
  • olive oil
  • dry white vermouth
  • juice of half a lemon
  • fresh rosemary
  • fresh bay leaf

Directions

  1. Crush with a mortar and pestle into a coarse paste: 4 cloves garlic, coarse salt, peppercorns, a teaspoon of cardamom seeds, a dozen juniper berries, a pinch of chipotle.
  2. Combine in a mixing bowl with 3 big glugs of olive oil and the same of dry white vermouth, and the juice of half a lemon or tangerine. Add two big sprigs of rosemary and a bay leaf (fresh is best).
  3. Squish around the lamb chops until well coated and leave them to sit, the longer the better the taste and more tender the chops. I like about 6 hours, but even no sitting time will work.
  4. BBQ high for 2-3 minutes a side and serve.

Are you a foodie and a film fan? Be sure to catch the world premiere of Impromptu when it screens at TIFF 2013:

  • Wednesday September 11 @ 9:15 PM / TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
  • Thursday September 12 @ 2:30 PM / TIFF Bell Lightbox 4

For more information, visit Impromptu on NFB.ca.

September 4, 2013 | By | Reply More

Interview With a Chef: Jason Bangerter of Luma

Chef Jason Bangerter began his culinary career in Toronto, Canada at George Brown College Chef School, followed by a three-year apprenticeship at Le Royal Meridian King Edward Hotel.

Jason’s drive for gastronomic excellence flourished, earning him a much sought-after position as assistant to John Higgins, the captain of Culinary Team Canada. This role also led him to a short stint at Paris’ Hotel Le Meridian Montparnasse.

He soon headed overseas permanently to join the brigade at Mosimann’s in London. Under Anton Mosimann, one of London’s leading chefs, Jason quickly rose through the ranks joining the opening teams for the Swissôtel Berlin in Germany and later Château Mosimann in Olten, Switzerland.

Upon returning to London, Jason often assisted at Mosimann Academy, where he taught alongside Chef Mosimann. Eager to continue his own learning, he spent free time as a stagiaire in the city’s top restaurants, such as Marco Pierre White’s Drones, Terence Conran’s the Orrery, Jean George’s Vong and Pierre Koffman’s La Tante Claire. Jason was next appointed Chef de Cuisine at the Kulm Hotel in the Swiss Italian Alps, where he was responsible for the hotel’s private dining club Dracula.

In February 2002, he returned to Toronto, joining the team at Auberge du Pommier. Long hailed as one of the city’s best restaurants, Bangerter committed to raising the bar even higher. His efforts paid off, earning the restaurant numerous awards and distinctions, including Restaurant of the Year by Post City Magazines, 5th place ranking by the Zagat Survey and Best Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year by Where Toronto Magazine.

luma_logo

In 2010 Jason’s success at Auberge du Pommier earned him the position of Executive Chef of Oliver & Bonacini’s two new restaurants at the TIFF Bell Lightbox: O&B Canteen, a casual street side market café, and Luma, a more upscale lounge and dining room on the second level. Since opening, Luma has been named one of North America’s Top Ten New Restaurants by Frommer’s Travel Guide, as well as one of Toronto’s top ten by local food reviewer James Chatto, and O&B Canteen has become one of the most frequented restaurants of the King West theatre district.

luma_sustainable

This Sunday April 14, 2013, Jason and the team at Luma will be hosting A Sustainable Evening with Ocean Wise and Mission Hill. The event will feature a multi-course tasting dinner by Chef Jason Bangerter, with wine pairings by Mission Hill as well as a pre-dinner reception. Sustainably harvested seafood will be provided by Steve Johansen of Organic Ocean (Ocean Wise certified). Tickets are $150 and are still available at lumaoceanwise.eventbrite.com.

Jason is passionate about food and aside from his duties at Luma, he loves getting people excited about great food. Frequently, he can be found participating in events like Death Row Meals Olde Hunters’ Feast, TIFF’s Food On Film Subscription Series, as well as giving back to the community through teaching, cooking demos, culinary tours and more.

Follow Chef Jason Bangerter on twitter @chefbangerter.

Luma, TIFF Bell Lightbox, 2nd Floor, 330 King Street West, 647.288.4715, oliverbonacini.com.
Hours: Lunch, Monday-Friday, 11:45am-3:00pm / Dinner, Monday-Saturday, 5:00pm-11:00pm

April 12, 2013 | By | Reply More

Interview: TIFF’s Food on Film Host Annabelle Waugh

Annabelle Waugh - Food on Film Host, Photo Credit: Ryan Brook - TC Media

Food on Film, the TIFF Bell Lightbox subscription series returns, offering food-lovers an interactive platform to connect their culinary love with great cinema. The second season of Food on Film series brings together chefs, food experts and film lovers to enjoy the best of culinary cinema and conversation. Each month series host Annabelle Waugh, Food Director of Canadian Living magazine, will welcome a celebrated guest from the culinary world to discuss the intersections of cinema, culture and gastronomy. Food on Film screenings take place Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

We recently spoke with Annabelle Waugh, Food Director of Canadian Living, and TIFF’s Food on Film host.

What is the importance of matching the speaker with the film?

Guests were paired with films to promote engaging and informative conversations, suitable to each expert’s culinary specialty. And all of our guests are very versatile — their expertise can apply to multiple films within the series. Hopefully, the audience will look back at past discussions, see how they apply to the film they’re watching at the moment, and how the themes relate back to some of our previous talking points.

What do you want people to take away from, or learn, from the movies?

Every film has something unique to offer, just like every guest has something unique to offer. It’s fun to take a well-loved topic like food and look at it through a different lens than you’re used to. It’s so interesting to think about how a food stylist sees food. Or a food and travel writer. Or a scientist. Or an activist. There’s always so much to learn and the films are a great catalyst for conversation.

Do you find it important to educate people on food? What can we do to educate the proper perceptions of food?

I’m not sure there is a proper perception of food. Food represents a million different things. It’s a conduit for love, friendship and closeness; it’s the source of political debate; it’s an expression of culture and religion; it’s an economic powerhouse; it can make the difference between life and death; or it can even be about something as basic as the pleasurable, yet simple, act of eating something delicious. There’s nothing wrong with any of those perceptions. This series is about exploring as many of them as we can.

What made you want to get into the food industry?

At first, it was about escaping my mother’s horrendous cooking. (Sorry, Mum!) Learning how to cook seemed like the most straightforward way to go about it. But I ended up falling in love. And now, I gladly cook for her instead.

What was your first experience in the industry?

In high school, I did a co-op placement at The Bonnie Stern School of Cooking. I looked at Bonnie and what she was doing for food — making it approachable and fun and easy — and thought, “I want to do THAT!”

Do you find the industry rewarding?

It can be. It can also be heartbreaking. It’s a labour of love. People often have romantic ideas about what it’s like to work in food and want to quit their jobs to open a bakery or become a chef. But if you aren’t really meant for it, the food industry will chew you up and spit you out before you even know what hit you. It can be a very hard life. But if you’re meant for it, then there’s not much else you can imagine yourself doing.

Who are some of your mentors? What have you learned from them?

Bonnie Stern was my first mentor. She showed me what it takes to be a good and patient teacher and she opened my eyes to a life that could be spent in food, but outside of restaurants. Elizabeth Baird, the former food editor of Canadian Living, is another mentor. She taught me to always put the reader first, and the importance of recipe integrity. Andrew Chase, the former food editor of Homemakers magazine and associate food editor ofCanadian Living, taught me more about cooking and taste than anyone. I’ve yet to meet anyone with a palate as good as his.

March 13, 2013 - The Trip (2010), Photo Credit: TIFF Film Reference Library

Upcoming guests and films include:

Chef Jason Bangerter will be carrying on the Luma tradition of a food & wine pairing for the TIFF Food on Film series. Chef Bangerter will be creating his own culinary interpretations inspired by the films in the series, and offering these creations for purchase exclusively at Luma.

Food on Film. Wednesdays (see dates above) at 6:30 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Follow TIFF Food on Film on Facebook and Twitter (#FoodOnFilm).

Single tickets are now available. $35 for adults, and $28 for students and seniors. To purchase, visit tiff.net/subscriptionseries.

March 8, 2013 | By | Reply More

Interview: TIFF’s Food on Film Programme Curator Theresa Scandiffio

Theresa Scandiffio - Food on Film Programme Curator, Photo Credit: George Pimentel, WireImage/Getty for TIFF

Food on Film, the TIFF Bell Lightbox subscription series returns, offering food-lovers an interactive platform to connect their culinary love with great cinema. The second season of Food on Film series brings together chefs, food experts and film lovers to enjoy the best of culinary cinema and conversation. Each month series host Annabelle Waugh, Food Director of Canadian Living magazine, will welcome a celebrated guest from the culinary world to discuss the intersections of cinema, culture and gastronomy. Food on Film screenings take place Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

We recently spoke with Theresa Scandiffio, Senior Manager of Adult Learning, TIFF Bell Lightbox, and TIFF’s Food on Film programme curator.

What goes into selecting the films?

Every stage of programming this series — from selecting the host to choosing the films and expert guests — focuses on creating a fun opportunity for our audience to explore the intersection of cinema, culture and gastronomy. Whether you are a fan of exposè-style documentaries, hit comedies, or Academy Award®-nominated dramas, this Food on Film lineup offers food lovers an exceptional and diverse group of films suitable for both mainstream audiences and cinephiles.

What is the importance of matching the speaker with the film?

The lineup offers audience members dynamic ways to understand how food is represented onscreen and, more broadly, in arts and culture. The interactive platform gives audiences the opportunity to be part of a conversation which explores how food intersects with cinema. Each film and guest pairing centres on a different culinary perspective which will drive the onstage discussion. For example, many people know James Oseland as the acclaimed Editor-in-Chief of Saveur magazine or as an expert judge for Bravo TV’s Top Chef Masters. But before James became an internationally-renowned food expert, he also worked in the film industry for over a decade. When he takes the TIFF Bell Lightbox stage on March 13, James will incorporate his diverse experience as a travel writer and expert judge to examine Michael Winterbottom’s characterization of foodies in his hit comedy The Trip. Additional upcoming guests include high-profile chef David Chang, renowned food activist Anita Stewart, award-winning sommelier Aldo Sohm, and leading food scientist Kent Kirshenbaum.

What do you want people to take away, or learn, from the movies?

We strive for our audience members to discover new and engaging ways to connect their culinary love with great cinema. We love the idea of bringing foodies and cinephiles together in one cinema, watching films and joining the conversation with our expert guests and Food on Film host, Annabelle Waugh. Throughout the series, we are excited to present the audience with what we like to call the six phases of the food experience, taking them through topics such as the aesthetics of food styling and presentation, the process of choosing a restaurant to dine in, what goes on in a restaurant kitchen, the inspiration behind pairing the perfect wine with a dish, the politics of food, and the science behind creating extraordinary dishes.

What made you want to get into the film industry?

While in school, students tend to have access to all kinds of highly-skilled lecturers, professors and experts in any given field. I always wondered why the opportunity to access to these types of speakers seemed to diminish once students leave a certain programme or school. I wanted to work in an environment that, through onstage events (lectures, interviews, panel discussions) provides Torontonians with ongoing access to leading experts in all things related to cinema.

What was your first experience in the industry?

My first experience in the industry was as a teenager when I became aware of James Quandt’s programming for TIFF Cinematheque at Jackman Hall. His programming at TIFF Bell Lightbox continues to open my eyes to the complex history, as well as current trends, in filmmaking practices from around the world.

Do you find the industry rewarding?

Absolutely. I am so grateful to be a part of the arts community in Toronto and to be able to interact with, and learn from, so many Canadian and international experts in both the film industry and academia.

Who are some of your mentors? What have you learned from them?

I have been fortunate to have a number of mentors over the years — advisors from school, as well as inspiring individuals who provide guidance for the programming and initiatives we do year-round at TIFF. They have all taught me the importance of trying to be a good colleague and community member — one who focuses on both paying it forward to emerging practitioners and students just starting out in the field, as well as paying respect and building on the work of those before us who work to foster film culture and community outreach.

Where did the idea to do this subscription series come from?

TIFF has always been dedicated to providing high-quality programming to its audience. With the creation of TIFF Bell Lightbox, we were able to expand our year-round offerings to include a number of subscription series (Science on Film, Books on Film, Food on Film) that provide audiences the opportunity to experience the arts with an engaging educational spin. TIFF’s subscription series are reflective of our commitment to foster an inclusive environment for anyone curious about ways film connects with literature, scientific discoveries and the culinary arts.

Where do you want to see this subscription series go in the future?

We are now in our second season and feel like we are just getting started in finding ways to provide the audience a premium cinematic experience. In the first season of our series, award-winning pastry chef, Jacquy Pfeiffer, brought the audience his macarons, jellies and caramels from his pastry school in Chicago. For this year’s final Food on Film event on June 19th, food scientist Kent Kirshenbaum will conduct an onstage demonstration on the principles of molecular gastronomy. There are so many incredible food films and local/global culinary experts doing really fascinating stuff with all things edible! Whether it is by giving away curated recipe cards, offering food samples or featuring live demonstrations, we are committed to delivering engaging and entertaining experiences to everyone who attends.

April 3, 2013 - Eat Drink Man Woman (1994), Photo Credit: PHOTOFEST

Upcoming guests and films include:

Chef Jason Bangerter will be carrying on the Luma tradition of a food & wine pairing for the TIFF Food on Film series. Chef Bangerter will be creating his own culinary interpretations inspired by the films in the series, and offering these creations for purchase exclusively at Luma.

Food on Film. Wednesdays (see dates above) at 6:30 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Follow TIFF Food on Film on Facebook and Twitter (#FoodOnFilm).

Single tickets are now available. $35 for adults, and $28 for students and seniors. To purchase, visit tiff.net/subscriptionseries.

March 8, 2013 | By | Reply More

FoodShootr at the 2013 CRFA Show

FoodShootr lets you get creative with your photos by letting you apply one of their many photo filters to your images and even adding a blur filter to create depth in your images. You can also easily interact with other users by mentioning them in your posts and using hashtags to help find your images. FoodShootr makes it really simple to find great restaurants around you. Using Foursquare’s services, you can find restaurants nearby, see what places are trending and search for restaurants in another city.

Download FoodShootr from the Apple app store.

For more information, visit foodshootr.com.

March 7, 2013 | By | Reply More