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Day trip to Waiheke Island, Auckland NZ

A 45 mn Ferry ride, Waiheke is the perfect weekend get away from Auckland.
A beautiful cost line surrounded by aquamarine waters, beautiful beaches and rolling hills covered with vineyards and olive orchards, who can ask for more?
The ferry arrives to Oneroa, from there several buses deserve the island. We stopped in Onetangi and spent the afternoon wine tasting (and eating) in several wineries. 
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Auckland Ferry Terminal for Waiheke Island
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Leaving Auckland

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On the way to Waiheke

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Arrival to Waiheke

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View of Waiheke

 

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Vineyards in Onetangi

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View from Te Motu Winery tasting gardens, in Onetangi

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Olives and wine, is there anything better?

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Grapes protected by nets

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La pâte à crêpe

Every year on February 2nd we celebrate la Chandeleur and make crêpes. The tradition in our house started in 1995. At the time, pregnant with our first child I was on maternity leave from my investment banking job (in France you get to rest the 6 weeks before the due date). Happy, not very busy (with another child for example)  and in “full form” as we say in French, I would very often make lovely dinners and have friends over in our apartment  in Montparnasse. The night of February 2nd was one of those. But it was the Chandeleur,which is a christian holiday celebrated 40 days after Christmas commemorating the presentation of Jesus to the temple,  but for us average French not caring much about religion it is the crêpe day!

So, I invited Yves and Jean Louis and a couple of other friends, made a large jar of  pâte à crêpe. We had the most wonderful evening eating savory and sweet crepes til late at night. In the middle of the night my water broke and the next day Thea was born ( a little early) at the hospital in the 14th Arrondissement of Paris.

So now its a tradition, every February 2nd I make crêpes.

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Of course there are plenty of recipes on the internet and you don’t need mine. But this very simple recipe is actually from a hand printed book my friend Claudine had made in Marseille, at the grammar school called Ecole Amedee Autran (the most adorable small school you can imagine, up the hill from our house) gathering recipes of their favorite dishes from each child (or their parents). This one is from Yann Vallani-

IMG_5061Ingredients:

200gr –  7/8 cup of flour

1/2 liter – 1 pint of milk

2 eggs

pinch of salt

and that’s all. You put all the ingredients in the blender, the mixture has to have the consistency of a thick soup basically. Let it rest  in the fridge for an hour and its ready.

I usually start serving savory crepes with ham, eggs, arugula, mushrooms etc, and once we are done with the savory ones, I add some lemon or orange zest to make the sweet crepes with some sugar and Grand Marnier, or Nutella.

That’s my crepe story, if you have one, please share!

Merci

Talin

 

 

 

 

Citinerary: Chef John Wipfli, The Minnesota Spoon

I had the pleasure of meeting Jon while he was in charge of a beautiful oyster platter at a local store’s holiday event last December. He was opening his oysters presented on a large crushed ice bed with such délicatesse and simplicity that Arthur (my husband) and I headed towards him right away.

We spent the evening devouring his oysters and talking about oyster bars in France, including our favorite, Le Baron Rouge, in the 11th. For Citinerary, I took the opportunity to interview Jon at his home and find out more about his passion for food.

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Image to the courtesy of Colleen

How did you start doing what you do?

After high school I went to art school in Wisconsin and I also had a cooking job. I quickly realized that I was better at cooking and I could make a living. I have been working in restaurants or around food for thirteen years now.

After going to the French Culinary Institute in NY, I worked at Marlow and Sons and Cookshop. I came back to Minneapolis after splitting with my girlfriend and worked for Meritage which had just opened and later as a sous chef at Bachelor Farmer for two and a half years.

Two years ago, I started The Minnesota Spoon. We do private home dinners, catering for events, Oyster Bar, Whole Hog Classes, and various other private cooking classes.

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Image to the courtesy of Colleen

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Image to the courtesy of Colleen

What are your inspiration sources?

This is going to sound cliché but it’s mostly the farmers market that inspires me, I cook with the ingredients that are in season.

Where do you get your ingredients?

I usually go the Minneapolis Farmers market on Lyndale; it’s reasonable and there is a lot of choice. And to the various co-ops, of course.

I get my seafood and oysters from a company called Sea to Table that connects small-scale sustainable wild fisheries and delivers overnight direct from the dock to the chefs. I get my duck from Au Bon Canard in Caledonia (MN).

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Name 3 indispensable ingredients in your shopping basket.

Lemon, onions and thyme.

Your favorite heroes or heroines?

I was lucky to have met Kevin Caracciolo in Montana, who taught me how to work appropriately and efficiently. Jacques Pepin is a must. Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall who wrote the “River Cottage Meat Book” and Steve Rinella who is all about harvesting your own game and using everything without wasting.

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Image to the courtesy of Colleen

Your favorite spots in Minneapolis?

Quang for a simple Vietnamese cuisine, Palen’s which a family owned restaurant supply store, and Bower Brothers for anything salvage.

A regular work day is…

If it’s a crazy working day for a catering event I get up between 5-6am. I organize, make lists, and map out the day. Usually, I meet my staff around 9am and load the truck, the trailers and head on site.

We set up and head back to pick up the food, and start cooking for the next 4 hours. Followed by clean up, load back, do dishes, and drink beer for a couple of hours!

For private dinners, it’s usually a shorter day that I start with the farmers market, go to the location, and start cooking.

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What is your “peche mignon” (your cure sin)?

I can’t have Salsa con queso around; I can’t leave the house without finishing it!

What’s a Good Life for you?

To set goals and turn them to reality. To make the best possible thing every moment and spending more time outdoors and with family and friends.

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Image to the courtesy of Colleen

What’s next for you?

I am starting a personal chef home delivery system with high quality food at a reasonable price, delivered fresh weekly. October and November are usually slow so that is what I will be devoting my time to.

Thank you Jon for taking the time to share your story with our Citinerary readers, we hope to see you soon around town either with your succulent oysters or your beautiful catering menu.

www.theminnesotaspoon.com

– Talin –

Find the original article on Citinerary

Ciné Club: Timbuktu (2015)

Seen at the Walker Art Center last winter as a part of an Abderrahmane Sissako retrospective,  we were mesmerized by this cinematographically stunning film about a group of Islamic fundamentalists taking control of the town of Timbuktu… to watch as soon as possible, on a large screen if available…

Here is an article written by the Walker Art Center about Sissako:

“I think for me, cinema, or to make movies, or any act of creation is the research of yourself.” —Abderrahmane Sissako

In his first stop on a US tour, Oscar-nominated director Abderrahmane Sissako comes to the Walker to present this short retrospective. His films are distinguished not only by great formal beauty and poetic imagery but also by humor, profound sympathy with human suffering, and an almost philosophical inquiry into relations between West Africa and the rest of the world.

Although officially labelled a Mauritanian director, Sissako made films in Russia, Tunisia, Angola, and Mali before returning to his mother’s homeland to shoot the masterful Waiting for Happiness(Mauritania, 2002). Since then, his work on films such as Bamako andTimbuktu has been centered on the Sahel region of Africa, but he remains a cosmopolitan practitioner of cinema as a world form. If he has commitments to a certain region and its people, he expresses them very differently than the engaged anticolonial nationalist filmmakers of the previous generation.

All of Sissako’s films show great respect for the difficulty of genuine communication across different cultural spaces and for the complexity of translation. Music is important to cinema in general, but Sissako has been especially brilliant in mobilizing the best of African great music to reinforce his visual imagery. Nearly all of his films also make spectacular use of Africa’s extraordinary creativity with textiles.”

“Passionate and visually beautiful … Timbuktu is a cry from the heart—with all the more moral authority for being expressed with such grace and such care.” —Guardian (UK)

Nominated for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film,Timbuktu is based on factual events of the brief 2012 occupation of the legendary city by religious fundamentalists. The film focuses on the humanistic effects of the conflict on the townspeople. The familiar woes of everyday life and remarkable resistance to a hostile takeover encircle a narrative that follows a herder and his family residing on the outskirts of town. Universal truths of human nature emerge as he experiences an upturned idea of justice following a dispute over his slaughtered prize cow. Cast includes musicians Ibrahim Ahmed, Telawt Walet Bilal, and Fatoumata Diawara. 2014, DCP, in Arabic, Bambara, French, English, Songhay, and Tamasheq with English subtitles, 97 minutes.

Citinerary: A Not Very French Bastille Day

Unlike previous years, this summer I am staying in Minneapolis and the city is just a delight in this season. Minneapolis residents seem to spend every moment possible outside in the summer and there are celebrations and block parties just about every weekend – all of which make the city an extremely vibrant place to be in.

And with my friend, Carole, visiting from Paris and my parents coming in August – it’s a little bit of France coming to me instead.

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Staying here meant that, for the first time, I would be able to check out the Minneapolis Bastille Day celebrations. As you can imagine, Bastille Day is a big deal in Paris, with dances (bals de pompiers) starting on July 13 in the various fire stations of the city, followed by the grandiose fireworks on the night of the 14th.

Being in Minneapolis, the Barbette Bastille Day Block Party in the Uptown neighbourhood is the place to be, so Carole and I decided to go and check it out. The flyer looked rather French, as did the beautiful blue, white, and red balloons at the entrance to the street – both promising signs.

However, the event was not French at all. Instead of the red wine or rosé that I was imagining, there was lots of beer (Minneapolis’ specialty, of course). Instead of baguette, cheese, and saucisson… hot dogs and burgers. But there were French fries galore.

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We met my neighbor Bruce who was enjoying a cold beer on a very hot and humid day, listened to several bands (some good, some bad) on the stage, and had a lot of fun people-watching.

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All in all it was a great event – granted just not very French. With its craft beer and very friendly atmosphere, it was very Minnesotan though. I did see a booth from the organization, Alliance Française, offering French classes; maybe thanks to them, it will become a little more French next year.

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– Talin –

Find the original article at Citinerary

Buenos Aires: Rogelio Posello at the MALBA

A beautiful 120 work tribute to the Argentinian artist (1939-2014) with an exhibition that includes paintings, prints, acrylic objects, textile design, advertising design, graphic design, and environmental design made between the late fifties and mid-seventies.
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Exhibition is on show from June 26th to September 10th 2015

at the MALBA Museum

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Ciné Club: Ran (1985)

To introduce this movie, here is an excerpt from an interview by Peter Grilli from a wonderful book on Kurosawa: Perspectives on Kurosawa edited by James Goodwin.

“Kurosawa Directs a Cinematic Lear”

KUROSAWA: What has always troubled me about King Lear is that Shakespeare gives his characters no past. We are plunged directly into the agonies of their present dilemmas without knowing how they came to this point. How did Lear acquire the power that, as an old man, he abuses with such disastrous effects? Without knowing his past, I have never really understood the ferocity of his daughters’ response to Lear’s feeble attempts to shed his royal power. In Ran I have tried to give Lear a history. I try to make clear that his power must rest upon a lifetime of bloodthirsty savagery. Forced to confront the consequences of his misdeeds, he is driven mad. But only by confronting his evil head-on can he transcend it and begin to struggle toward virtue.

I started out to make a film about Motonari Mori, the 16th century warlord whose three sons are admired in Japan as paragons of filial virtue. What might their story be like, I wondered, if the sons had not been so good? It was only after I was well into writing the script about these imaginary unfilial sons of the Mori clan that the similarities to Lear occured to me. Since my story is set in medieval Japan, the protagonist’s children had to be men, to divide a realm among daughters would have been unthinkable…

We rehearse a scene or bit of action over and over again, and with each rehearsal something new jumps forward and they get better and better. Rehearsing is like making a sculpture of papier-mâché; each repetition lays on a new sheet of paper, so that in the end the performance has a shape completely different from when we started. I make actors rehearse in full costume and makeup whenever possible, and we rehearse on the set… In costume, the work has an onstage tension that vanishes whenever we try rehearsing out of costume.

RAN by Kurosawa