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.
Looking for something sure to impress, try this molten chocolate lava cake recipe! It only takes a few minutes to make, and will definitely make a great impression. Here are some more Foodea.com recipes, videos and tips to help you enjoy your food as much as the day itself!
- Pan-Seared Halibut with Tomato Bell Pepper Olive Ragu
- Sweet Beet and Apple Soup with Boar Bacon, Walnut and Apple Topping
- Cranberry Kumquat Compote with Dried Cherries and Persimmons
- Pasta with Clams
- Dijon Crusted Pork Roast
- Shrimp Cold Rolls with Spicy Mango Ginger Dip
- Panko and Tempura Battered Cocktail Wieners
- White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti
- Summer Berry Terrine
- Strawberry Shortcakes
Looking for more romantic Valentine’s food ideas? Try making a Steak au Poivre, or Seafood Paella. How about making some homemade pasta, our favourite is Lidia Bastianich’s recipe. Still hungry? The Food Network, Epicurious, and All Recipes also have great guides to Valentine’s Day eats.
Looking for more drink options? Pair your special meal with Love Cassis Aperitvio from Sandbanks Winery presents. Love is a blend of white wine and organic Canadian cassis and is available from LCBO Vintages. For something extra special, create your own molecular cocktail using our Molecular Mixology Kit. The MOLECULE-R Cocktail R-Évolution Molecular Mixology Kit includes everything you need to create original drinks with caviar beads that burst in the mouth, light airs and gelified alcohols.
On the new Foodea.com, it’s easier than ever to create, find and share your favorite food ideas. Browse existing recipes or add a new one, share your thoughts with an article, find innovative products to help you in the kitchen, view cooking videos and web series, and much more! Get social and fill out your user profile, add your Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts and subscribe to your favorite users.
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The new Foodea.com gives you all of the tools you need to create, find and share your favorite food ideas!
What does the founder of the most popular blogging platform on the internet make for breakfast? What type of creative pastry do Randi Zuckerberg and her sister Donna whip up for their family during the holidays? These recipes and more are featured in a charitable new cookbook, The Startup Chef, released Friday. Containing personal recipes and stories from over 7o technology founders, writers, investors and more.
The book is available as an e-book or PDF from Leanpub. There’s a suggested donation of $20 for the book and a minimum of $10. Proceeds are going toward helping hunger-fighting charities No Hungry Kid and the Hurricane Sandy inspired Rockaway Plate Lunch Project.
The Startup Chef is the brainchild of ABC News product executive Maya Baratz and Hunter Walk, head of YouTube for Good. The editors only started planning the book a month and a half ago.
The book will be continuously updated as Leanpub allows for digital changes post-publishing. If you would like a recipe considered for future inclusion you can submit it here (via a Google Doc form). The books’ editors also hope to see a print edition one day.
After much public excitement and a request on the popular Obama Reddit AMA, the White House has finally released their secret beer recipe.
Last year President Obama bought a home brewing kit for the kitchen. It took a few tries, but eventually they worked out the recipe. They’ve since added secret ingredients to make their beer even better and all of their brews use honey that was tapped from the South Lawn bee hive.
WHITE HOUSE HONEY PORTER
- 2 (3.3 lb) cans light unhopped malt extract
- 3/4 lb Munich Malt (cracked)
- 1 lb crystal 20 malt (cracked)
- 6 oz black malt (cracked)
- 3 oz chocolate malt (cracked)
- 1 lb White House Honey
- 10 HBUs bittering hops
- 1/2 oz Hallertaur Aroma hops
- 1 pkg Nottingham dry yeast
- 3/4 cup corn sugar for bottling
- In a 6 qt pot, add grains to 2.25 qts of 168˚ water. Mix well to bring temp down to 155˚. Steep on stovetop at 155˚ for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 2 gallons of water to 165˚ in a 12 qt pot. Place strainer over, then pour and spoon all the grains and liquid in. Rinse with 2 gallons of 165˚ water. Let liquid drain through. Discard the grains and bring the liquid to a boil. Set aside.
- Add the 2 cans of malt extract and honey into the pot. Stir well.
- Boil for an hour. Add half of the bittering hops at the 15 minute mark, the other half at 30 minute mark, then the aroma hops at the 60 minute mark.
- Set aside and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Place 2 gallons of chilled water into the primary fermenter and add the hot wort into it. Top with more water to total 5 gallons if necessary. Place into an ice bath to cool down to 70-80˚.
- Activate dry yeast in 1 cup of sterilized water at 75-90˚ for fifteen minutes. Pitch yeast into the fermenter. Fill airlock halfway with water. Ferment at room temp (64-68˚) for 3-4 days.
- Siphon over to a secondary glass fermenter for another 4-7 days.
- To bottle, make a priming syrup on the stove with 1 cup sterile water and 3/4 cup priming sugar, bring to a boil for five minutes. Pour the mixture into an empty bottling bucket. Siphon the beer from the fermenter over it. Distribute priming sugar evenly. Siphon into bottles and cap. Let sit for 1-2 weeks at 75˚.
WHITE HOUSE HONEY ALE
- 2 (3.3 lb) cans light malt extract
- 1 lb light dried malt extract
- 12 oz crushed amber crystal malt
- 8 oz Biscuit Malt
- 1 lb White House Honey
- 1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings Hop Pellets
- 1 1/2 oz Fuggles Hop pellets
- 2 tsp gypsum
- 1 pkg Windsor dry ale yeast
- 3/4 cup corn sugar for priming
- In an 12 qt pot, steep the grains in a hop bag in 1 1/2 gallons of sterile water at 155 degrees for half an hour. Remove the grains.
- Add the 2 cans of the malt extract and the dried extract and bring to a boil.
- For the first flavoring, add the 1 1/2 oz Kent Goldings and 2 tsp of gypsum. Boil for 45 minutes.
- For the second flavoring, add the 1/2 oz Fuggles hop pellets at the last minute of the boil.
- Add the honey and boil for 5 more minutes.
- Add 2 gallons chilled sterile water into the primary fermenter and add the hot wort into it. Top with more water to total 5 gallons. There is no need to strain.
- Pitch yeast when wort temperature is between 70-80˚. Fill airlock halfway with water.
- Ferment at 68-72˚ for about seven days.
- Rack to a secondary fermenter after five days and ferment for 14 more days.
- To bottle, dissolve the corn sugar into 2 pints of boiling water for 15 minutes. Pour the mixture into an empty bottling bucket. Siphon the beer from the fermenter over it. Distribute priming sugar evenly. Siphon into bottles and cap. Let sit for 2 to 3 weeks at 75˚.