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 Feast, Big 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.
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.
Best with a frenched rack cut into lambsicles, also works with regular chops. Broil or barbeque on high heat.
- frenched rack of lamb, cut into lambsicles
- 4 cloves garlic
- coarse salt
- 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
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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
Fresh Guacamole features an unseen cook using a series of unusual ingredients to prepare a bowl of guacamole. Some of the objects used as “ingredients” include grenades, a baseball, dice, x-mas bulbs, a miniature golf ball, and poker chips. The hand’s in the video also belong to PES, the filmmaker.
I had the core idea of a grenade as an avocado. Even though this type of grenade is referred to as a “Pineapple Grenade” I’ve always thought they looked more like avocados. I built the film around this idea, filling in the blanks and ingredients around it.
One of the things that helped in making Fresh Guacamole smooth is that in real life I am a decent cook. I know how to handle a knife and can draw on this knowledge in breaking it down into a still image sequence. Animating your own body like this requires a balance of math and art. I make a quick computation in my head about how many frames I need to make something look the way I want it to, then intuition has to kick in and I have to trust my instincts while animating. I definitely have to enter a zone.
The Highland Companies has announced that it has withdrawn the application for a licence to mine 2,316 acres of land in Melancthon for limestone. Instead, Highland plans to continue to focus on its potato farming operations.
“While we believe that the quarry would have brought significant economic benefit to Melancthon Township and served Ontario’s well-documented need for aggregate, we acknowledge that the application does not have sufficient support from the community and government to justify proceeding with the approval process,” said John Scherer, principal of The Highland Companies, in a news release.
Highland has also announced that controversial figure John Lowndes has resigned as president and will have no more involvement with the company.
The review is full of sarcastic morsels like:
Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex?
Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste? The watermelon margarita? Any idea why it tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde?
Somewhere within the yawning, three-level interior of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, is there a long refrigerated tunnel that servers have to pass through to make sure that the French fries, already limp and oil-sogged, are also served cold?
“He came in with a different agenda,” Fieri said, “It’s a great way to make a name for yourself, go after a celebrity chef who is not a New Yorker.”
Over on Yelp the reviews aren’t that great either. Fieri explains, “we’re trying as hard as we can to make it right, to do it right,” he said. “Is it perfect right now? No. Are we striving for it? Yeah.”
The restaurant has only been open for two months. Fieri recommends Wells check back in six.