Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cooking French Food: What You Should Know

When it comes to food, France has mastered the art of cooking. Often hailed as the number one favorite food worldwide, home gourmets and enthusiasts alike want to learn how to create these wonderful sauces and foods, but are often intimidated by the mystique behind French food. French food requires time, not cutting corners, and a love of ingredients. What makes French food so desirable is that it’s an experience- not only is it delicious, but it also tastes like someone took a lot of time to prepare the dish. When starting out, the French are known for their sauces. The sauces are not only used widely in French food, but have also migrated to influence other cultures’ food. The classic French sauces to learn are the Béchamel Sauce, Velouté Sauce, and Butter sauces. Learning these three sauces, and perfecting them, will add a whole new layer of depth to the food you cook.

Next, learning the basics of French cooking…Start with a good French cookbook, and practice a few recipes. One of the best in-the-kitchen tricks you can learn for French cooking is the conversion of grams to cups. French recipes are all in grams, whereas in the United States, everything is in cups. Learning the conversion will help you to get the measurements right, which makes the food taste right!

The French are also known for using only fresh ingredients. The key to delicious French cooking, or any cooking for that matter, is finding the freshest quality ingredients you can. It is imperative to cook with fresh fruits and vegetables to get the authentic taste you are searching for. Using frozen or subpar ingredients will show up in the taste of the finished product. You will also want to become familiar with French terms used in cooking, Googling some translations or having a language book on-hand will help. The more you immerse yourself in French culture, the more your food will benefit!

Finally, read all the French recipes you can! The more you consume and take part in it, the more familiar you will be with ingredients. Like anything else, you will start to see patterns develop and you will learn to pick tastes out and find flavors you enjoy more. Cut recipes out of magazines, or save pages online that interest you. The more you are researching, and the more you practice, the better your food will get. The key to good French cooking is practice, practice, practice. If you find any local classes specializing in cooking techniques, don’t hesitate to sign up! A lot of culinary skills are rooted in French cooking. Good luck learning all you can about French food, and most of all, have fun cooking your own French culinary masterpieces at home!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Deauville American Film Festival

This year, from August 30 to September 8, American and European film stars head to the small coastal town of Deauville for the Deauville American Film Festival. Since 1975, the festival has sought to highlight the best of American cinematography. This film festival in particular has hosted a number of notable premiers, including, Rush by Ron Howard, Wrong Cops by Quentin Dupieux and Blue Jasmine by Woody Allen— as well as tributes from various film personalities.

This year, the Deauville American Film Festival continues to explore the life of hero’s in American society. The movies in competition all explore the theme of heros who often seem weary and demotivated, yet who are curious to understand what they are going through and what it means for them in the course of their trials, while at the same time, seeking to confront themselves. This years lineup features:

·      David M. Rosenthal’s A Single Shot
·      J.C. Chandor's All is Lost
·      Jeremy Sulnier’s Blur Ruin
·      Drake Doremus’ Breathe In
·      Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale Station
·      David Lowery’s Les Amants du Texas
·      Matt Creed's Lily
·      Logan Miller and Noah Miller’s Sherif Jackson
·      Destin Cretton’s Short Term 12
·      Sam Fleischner’s Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
·      Chris Eska's The Retrieval
·      Jim Mickle's We Are What We Are

The idea for the Deauville Film Festival was born of the passion shared by two men, André Halimi and Lionel Chouchan. They both loved American cinema, and dreamt of sharing their love of American cinema in Deauville. The seaside resort town was the perfect location for showcasing a smaller and more intimate film festival, which over the years has gained international recognition. It is now recognized as the ephemeral site where young and rising American directors are discovered and acknowledged. The Deauville Film Festival has created a space where films come to life, and where dreams of directors are realized— it is truly something not to be missed if your are in or around Deauville.

Sources: 1, 2.

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