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Culinary Cinema #1 – San Diego Film Festival

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This week (Sept 30 – October 4) the San Diego Film Festival had several screenings (and parties) that took place downtown at the Reading Gaslamp Cinemas and at the Arclight Cinemas in La Jolla.

I was so fortunate enough through my work with That’s My E to be able to attend some screenings.
Now, I don’t know if San Diego Film Festival had a culinary track last year, they certainly did this year. I will most certainly attend next year, especially if they have the Culinary Cinema again!

I have been looking forward to this for a few days.

The featured films for the Culinary Cinema were:
King Georges
Cooking up a Tribute

Both amazing documentaries. First, we discuss King Georges:

King Georges is a film about Georges Perrier, a respected, renown French Chef since 1967. Owner of Le Bec Fin, an elegant French restaurant in Philadelphia. Le Bec Fin opened in 1970 and closed its doors in 2010.
Here is a snippet of Erika Frankel at the Traverse City Festival in July 2015

During that time, Georges was (is, honestly) an award winning chef and amazing saucier.
Saucier is one who makes sauces as an art. A quote that sticks with me: “To be a great chef, you must be a great saucier” (quoted from Chef Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room- I do believe he mentioned someone else saying the same thing).
In the film, you see Georges being hard on his staff, not because he enjoyed it. Because, as he said, he wants them to be better. Watching the behind the scenes, creating phenomenal dishes, it is so sure to get your mouth to water. Words like “duck” and “wine sauce”, and learning the term “galette” and to not burn them unless there is butter on them and a very watchful eye. I love to watch a chef’s passion. Hard work, blood, sweat and tears go into running a restaurant.
As a blogger, food lover and consumer, I can only imagine the hard work it takes to create dishes for our tasting. I know that I don’t have the patience, but most certainly appreciate the Chefs who put their passion into their dishes.
In the film, we also learn that his Chef de Cuisine, Nicholas Elmi, became his partner, then when the doors closed, he went on the Bravo TV show, Top Chef and won. He opened his restaurant, Laurel, where Georges consults for him from time to time.
Here is the trailer for the wonderful film we watched today!

I learned about the Chaine des rotisseurs (and wondering why I am not a member!!) one of the oldest group of culinarians. Literally, the first foodies (I am so inspired)!!!
This was an amazing film!

I previously posted a post asking how you (as the reader and consumer) enjoy food. You should take a read to it. It definitely circles to this one.

After the film, there was a Q&A Panel with Chef Yannick Engerran and Chef Bernard Guillas, as well as Fernando Garciola and Tru Miller. The panel discussed food and wine pairings. The wine pairings were from Baja, mainly the Valle de Guadalupe. The winery, Adobe Guadalupe named after archangels. I need to make a visit south of the border. There are 150 wineries in existence. SO MUCH wine!!!
The wine tastings we had were Gabriel and Kerubiel. Beautifully blended reds. Smooth and aromatic.
Here is a photo of the panel after the first film. Chef Yannick came in ten minutes later.

L to R: Fernando Garciola, Tru Miller, Chef Bernard Guillas and Hal Small

Chef Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room

Chef Bernard is 1 of 2 French Masters here in San Diego.
Some great questions were asked: How do the chefs think how true are food shows to the craft?
Chef Bernard felt that the Food Network is a great platform to showcase chefs where Chef Yannick felt that it is good for those who cannot cook, but believes that the smell and flavors in the kitchen needs to stay real.
After the Q&A, we were guided to the hallway where we were able to taste some AMAZING delectables.

Chef Yannick – European Champion Foie Grasa and Maitre Saucier

Chef Bernard

Foie Gras slightly dipped in chocolate

My tasting with Kerubiel to wash it down.
The Foie gras with fig was amazing. It just MELTS in your mouth. I am so glad it is back in San Diego, foie gras that is. The sandwich, chicken with mayonnaise and something added, fantastic!
There was so much food to snack and pair. By the way, the Paoloni, a Chenin Blanc was added. Notes of honey, perfect to pair with foie gras. Both reds: Gabriel and Kerubiel were beautiful. So smooth.
I was so eager to get into the second film, I must have been such a bother to the volunteers.

I hope the Film Festival does something like this again next year. This was amazing and so worth the ticket!!

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No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters

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If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago. 

It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced. 

 Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.

Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game. 

From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.

Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.

The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.

What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?

And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Back to the movie. 

Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.

Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.

The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!

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Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023

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Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).


Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm

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Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

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