Rapscallions on Rocksmith with California Dream

Prince was in town to kick start his Welcome 2 Canada Tour, and if you did not know it Prince is the only artist to have the credits, producer, composer, lyric’s, singer, and performer as he played all the instruments on his first album while 21 years of age. Times now have changed and if you are a young aspiring musician and want to learn to play guitar you are probably going to end up learning it on Rocksmith for Xbox to the tune of my friends band Rapscallions. The best time I had during the Toronto International Film Festival was hanging out with Chris Clemence and doing a photo shoot with Toronto photographer Michael Patrick. It’s rare when you have everyone on the same page, and Chris not only went crazy full of creative energy he also donned on the fashion of Toronto’s own cutting edge fashion house Magpie the exclusive designers to visiting rock stars. Yes, Prince is a legend the master of funk, pop , jazz and rock he has inspired so many and when I spoke to Chris about Prince his response was “epic”.
The Rapscallion are the next big thing, and I am telling you this because they just did a show in Vegas and what ever happened in Vegas did not stay in Vegas. The word was out, the band rocked it with the creative energy, it’s just pure free energy, and to top it all off they are really nice dude’s who love to have fun, make music their passion and like to roll with whatever!, just like true California surfer dude’s would with a wave, just go with it. They’re a California group mixing rock, rap, and funk. Prince should have this band as his opening act, and let me tell you that would be cool, but what would really be dope if Prince and the Rapscallions jammed, that could be just be an all time high. The band has smooth up beat guitar riffs, killer bass grooves, and some great vocal performances by vocalist Matt Still. My buddy Chris well his bass groove’s are wicked. California Brain the single on Rocksmith is a freaking great song, I live the lyric’s in my dream’s “California is all I see when I close my eyes”. This song is so well done. It has the awesome rap vocals during the chorus singing over the smooth lead guitar lines, and another great bass riff matching a great drumbeat from Adam Fisher. The chorus is great and the classy solo provided by guitarist Dario Forzato is done well. I can see these guys explode, China, India, Germany and United Kingdom but then again the world is shrinking and if I was Prince I would call these guy’s up and do some mini gig’s. Prince listen up my man, let’s do a show with these dude’s in Vancouver what do you say?


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Mausam Walts Away Megan Fox Walts In !

I have a friend name’s need not be mentioned who is a director and gave final cut approval to his friend the actor of the film.  The actor  demanded it, and was given it. Naturally this taxed the relationship. India is still the same old same old, it take’s one step forward and ten steps backwards.  Rule number one of business in India is never ever get involved with any government run agency and this should include the Indian Air Force. Why would any production company ever give final approval to any one that is not creative.  Giving this to IAF was crazy and thus resulted in the cancellation of the World Premier of the film at Toronto International Film Festival, need an air-force base plenty of them around.  Just a few months ago all of Bollywood descended upon Toronto took the city by storm and due to final approval not coming in a timely manner prevented Mausam from being part of the glam of Toronto International Film Festival. Not to worry, Megan Fox will make all of you forget with a glance of her honey glazed eyes. It is best to simply do that Indian thing and say “it never happened”, and soak the disappointed soul in some Grey Goose Vodka and there was plenty of that in town and if you need Grey Goose and some good food well Cafe Belong was more then happy to accommodate.

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Blonds Belong at Cafe Belong-Madonna !

The United States of America flag and that of Sweden was not displayed above the London’s 68,000 stadium during the Olympics of 1908. The Swedes skipped the opening ceremony while the United States of America flag bearer Ralph Rose from the University of Michigan refused to dip the flag for the reviewing Royal Box of King Edward VII.  Martin Sheridan, the captain of the American team later defended Ralph Rose by stating, “This flag dips to no earthly king”. Madonna is also from Michigan, and my grandmother resided in Michigan and thus our lives become intertwined due to the subject of Madonna’s second outing as a director.  My grandmother would never have hosted HRH Queen Elizabeth II had it not been for the abdication of HRH Edward VIII. So this blond women from Michigan found a subject she was interested in and went off to co-write it and direct it. This is not a film review so I will abstain from going there, it’s difficult to get films made and do them the way you want is even more difficult just ask Brad Pitt. Madonna got the film made and she mounted it beautifully, the film that is.

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While Madonna paraded the red carpet and did what she does the team of Chef Brad Long were busy also doing what they do on this day 5 of Toronto International Film Festival.

Cafe Belong

The kitchen at Cafe Belong was in full swing as usual. This is going to make you very hungry. Cafe Belong food to go with the film W.E. was being prepared and a wine was selected to accompany it. The party never stops for the Material Girl, Cafe Belong and My Name is Khan.

 

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Chef Alberto Prince of Amalfi !

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Cameron Crowe is certainly idiosyncratic as a writer as Chefs can be about their kitchen. Both Chefs and writers can be loved by critics because they are off beat or simply not understood. At Toronto International Film Festival sitting with an exceptional writer is like being with a master chef with the taste for the exotic. I was asked where to go to write and without missing a beat I suggested Amalfi Coast and the new luxury hotel Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi where my friends husband Alberto Annarumma is the Chef. The writer asked me how was the view from this hotel? and I told him well it is like being in paradise, where your mind will want to wander and you will see that the world is always there, always interesting and always a challenge to write about but a writer needs to write and a reader needs to continue to read. The writer smiled and asked me about the food. Well I think that Madonna, Cameron Crowe Eddie Vedder, Keira Knightley, Bono, Edge, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and crew as well as those Formula One drivers Jenson Button, and other should take a brake and taste the orgasmic food from the kitchen of Chef Alberto Annarumma. Just like I did. So first let me introduce you to the destination and you will want to buy a ticket or jump on a jet.

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The Prince of Amalfi Chef Alberto Food and Interview

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It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to the Prince of Amalfi. Italy has long history with the name Khan.  It started out with Marco Polo who went to meet the great Khan in China only to learn of the exotic spices and teas, then The Aga Khan once had a luxury hotel group in Italy, so it should be no surprise that today once again Khan as in My Name is Khan discovers the magic of Italy with Chef Alberto. The interview is in Italian and English.

Cosa ti ha ispirato a diventare uno chef?
In realtà da piccolo non avrei mai pensato di diventare uno chef ma il mio sogno era dipingere (passione che coltivo ancora ora); mi piaceva disegnare, copiare, riprodurre, stilizzare. Tutto, qualsiasi cosa, paesaggi, personaggi dei fumetti, animali ecc ecc.
Poi, la vita vera, sai com’è, ti riserva altri progetti ed all’età di 8 anni, un po’ per gioco, un po’ per evitare che la strada mi “raccogliesse” (la mia terra, ai tempi della mia infanzia era una terra difficile), d’estate, finita la scuola, cominciai come garzone di pasticceria. Dopo un paio di anni, poi, ebbi l’occasione di fare un’esperienza in una cucina. Ancora non fu subito amore, ci vollero ancora altri 2 anni perché qualcosa scoccasse; e qualcosa scoccò. Iniziai ad incuriosirmi, ad informarmi, e, ad innamorarmi.
Così, si può dire che l’amore per la cucina è arrivato per caso.

L’ultima volta che ti ho incontrato, stavi raccogliendo delle erbe dal tuo orticello; ne hai uno anche ora?
E come farei senza!?! È facile comperare da fornitori specializzati delle erbe rinomate come il centocchio, il coriandolo, rosmarino, il timo limonato, ma le erbe che raccogli tu stesso, non so, sembra abbiano tutto un altro profumo. E poi fresche raccolte!!!

Quando viaggi, che cosa cerchi/guardi nei ristoranti?
Mmm… Premetto che quando vado a cena fuori mi piace sedermi con le spalle rivolte alla sala del ristorante per godere al meglio chi mi sta accanto, amici, parenti ecc. Però sono molto attento al menù, ai prodotti della terra di quel territorio che altrimenti a casa mia non troverei, piuttosto che alla cultura intessuta in quel luogo concernente la gastronomia. Mi piace immaginare come riuscirei a riprodurre quel piatto, quel gusto , quella sensazione in chiave Alberto, con un tocco asiatico che nei miei piatti non manca mai.

Dove prendi l’ispirazione per i nuovi piatti?
È raro che immagini un piatto in assoluto… capita ma è raro. Un piatto di solito lo concepisco pensando a tutta la carta, studio il menù a “tavolino”.
Pertanto mi arrivano dei flash, a casa a letto ad esempio, sotto il cuscino ho un block-notes. Sullo scooter mentre ritorno o vado a lavoro penso ad un ingrediente base per costruire un piatto… Quando è il momento di concepire una carta, allora diventa un vero e proprio momento di studio che dura intere settimane tra flash, spunti, schizzi di disegno su carta di come sarà costruito esteticamente e cromaticamente il piatto (e qui metto in essere la mia prima passione!). poi le prove tecniche, le cotture e infine la ricetta finita.

Alcuni chefs a volte utilizzano il loro tempo libero per viaggiare ed esplorare. Lo fai anche tu?
L’ho fatto per una vita intera!!! E continuerò ancora.
In questo nuovo luxury hotel, cosa ti aspetti che le persone sentano/percepiscano quando entrano nel tuo ristorante? Vuoi che vengano a scoprire cose nuove?
Suonano come due domande differenti. Cominciamo dalla prima:
Mi aspetto che percepiscano familiarità, armonia e affabilità. Non amo la forma espressa in quanto tale. Si può essere cordiali, informali e professionali allo stesso tempo facendo sentire l’ospite un conoscente di vecchia data.
Non proprio. No, anzi direi di no. Non mi aspetto che vengano a scoprire cose nuove… anche perché sembra quasi tutto già inventato o scoperto… mi soddisfa però il fatto che l’ospite se ne vada con l’idea di aver compreso cosa ha mangiato; mi gratifica che chi viene al mio ristorante, porti via con sé il ricordo di cosa ha mangiato, a prescindere che dietro a quel piatto ci sia della tecnica. Se poi c’è anche la curiosità di capirlo, il piatto intendo, di informarsi, di chiedere magari al cameriere come venga concepito, allora sì, la giornata ha raggiunto e anche superato il suo scopo.

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What inspired you to become a chef?
When I was a child I never thought to be a chef, my dream was to be an artist (painting is my passion that I grow even now), I liked to draw, copy, reproduce, stylize everything such as landscapes, cartoons, animals, etc… Then, you know, real life had other projects in store for me. At the age of 8 years old I’ve started a bit for fun but also “to keep away from the road” (my land, at the time of my childhood was a difficult land). During the summer, after the school, I started as a pastry trainee. After a couple of years I had the opportunity to gain experience in a kitchen. Still it was not love at the first sight, yet it took another 2 years for something to shoot one, and something struck. I began to intrigue, to inform,, and to fall in love. Therefore one can only say that love for cooking has arrived by chance.

Last time I saw you, you were walking through your herb garden, do you always keep a garden to select herbs etc, for your kitchen? Do you have one near the hotel now?
How would I do without!?! It’s easy to buy from specialist suppliers of herbs such as the coriander, rosemary, lemon thyme, etc.. but the herbs you collect yourself, I do not know, seems to have a completely different scent. Just fresh collected!

When you travel, what do you look for when going to restaurants?
Hmm … I state that when I go out for dinner I like to sit with my back to the dining room to enjoy people around me, friends, relatives etc.. But I am very attentive to the menu, products of the region that otherwise would not find at home, rather than interwoven with the culture in that place on the food. I like to imagine how I could reproduce that dish, the taste, the sensation in Alberto’s key, with an Asian touch that never fails in my dishes.

Where do you get your ideas for new dishes?
It’s rare for a plate images ever happen … sometimes it does but it’s rare. A dish usually conceive it in mind throughout the menu. So I get the blazes, at home in bed for example, under the pillow, I have a notebook. While I’m travelling on the scooter to go to work I think of a basic ingredient to construct a plate … When it’s time to design “la carte”, then it becomes a real moment of study that lasts for weeks on the blaze, ideas, sketches, drawing on paper will be constructed of how the plate appearance and color (and here I put into being my first passion!). Then the tests, and finally cooking the recipe.
Some chefs take time off to travel and explore do you do this as well?
 I did it for a lifetime! And I will do it for ever.

At the new luxury hotel, what do you want people to feel like when the
come to your restaurant? do you want to them to feel as if they are coming
to discover some thing new? something unusual? Etc
They sound like two different questions. Let’s start with the first: I expect that they perceive familiarity, harmony and friendliness. You can be friendly, professional and informal at the same time making the guests feel an acquaintance of long standing.
Not really. No, I would say no. I do not expect them to come and discover new things … because almost everything seems to have been invented or discovered… It satisfy me the fact that the guest go away with the idea of ​​having understood what he ate; it gratifies me that whoever comes to my restaurant takes away the memory of the plate, whether behind the dish there is the technique or not. If then there’s the curiosity to understand, I mean the plate, to inquire, to ask the waiter how it is even conceived, then yes, the day has reached and even exceeded its goal.

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Films Food at Chef Brad Longs Joshua Tree !

Who Belongs here. Let me start. The guys who are opening the Toronto International Film FestivalU2 belong here. Bono getting to Cafe Belong is like driving into St. Paul de Vence to get to our favorite place La Colombe d’Or. This is Chef Brad Longs own oasis like the sole Joshua Tree amid the natural beauty, it is not South of France but only a few minutes from the hustle and bustle it has a mix of that Dublin modern among old bricks, well not nearly as old as Dublins. For Madonna, Clooney, Brad Pitt, Jane Fonda, Dafoe, Woody Harrelson, guys this is like going to Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur  for some nice wine accompanied by what you really came here for the food. For Frances Ford Coppola, Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Robin Wright this is a mix of Sonoma and Napa and while it’s not the French Laundry it is where you will feel right at home while Brad Long does his magic. Rachel Weisz, Eathan Hawke, Clive Owen, Keira Knightly, Tilda Swinton, Sam Neill this is like Geoffreys and this is as close you will get to Malibu in this city. To all the Aussie’s Cafe Belong will remind you of Sydney Harbour and you know how nice that can be and the kicker is the food and wine. The drive to Cafe Belong reminds me of the time my godfather would take me from his home on Baroda Drive to Spago on Sunset, in the day’s when Wolfgang was still trying to find the right mix.  Chef Brad Long is a true artist he is still tinkering, not with the food but the place, kinda like Michael Jackson never finished really finished. My Name is Khan will be bringing films, foods and wine together each day of the festival from the kitchen of Cafe Belong. So get ready for the feast of films, food, wine and off course need I spell it out champagne baby!

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It’s show time ladies and gentlemen.  It was at the Toronto International Film Festival years ago that Ismail Merchant and I sat down in front of the press corp to announce my companies five film finance agreement with a showing of Maurice with James Wilby and Hugh Grant, directed by James Ivory. It feels like old times in Toronto as people trickle in from all over the world. This year at the Toronto International Film Festival there are 123 world Premieres, with 2,502 International Submissions, and 59 Countries are represented. So let the games begin and to all enjoy the egalitarian city of universal love where My Name is Khan will take you from the kitchen to the silver screen each day that you are here the party never stops at My Name is Khan.

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The Unforgetable SENNA !

Nothing is possible alone. I would thus like to thank Bernie Ecclestone, Michael Schumacher, Mercedes Petronas, Jean-Claude Biver and the team at Hublot, and former team-mate of Ayrton Senna, Stefan Johansson.

(Sunny day out side hotel San Marino the mobile rings )

KHAN

Hello.

CALLER

Hello Mr. Khan?

KHAN

Yes.

CALLER

Please hold for Mr. Ecclestone

(Some static on the phone the line clears)

KHAN

Hello Bernie

BERNIE

Yes, hello.

KHAN

Bernie I was coming to the track to see Flavio and wanted to let you know that The Aga Khan might be coming.

BERNIE

Oh, I was just on the phone with The Aga Khan.

KHAN

Oh, well good. I would like to come and see you.

BERNIE

Yes, well I should be around just come by.

KHAN

Thank you Bernie. Good.

BERNIE

Good.

( The call ends as )

CUT TO:

(Walking through a gate, to get to the garage area at San Marino, a black van stop near by the door open’s abruptly, as a petite man jumps out, I move back out of the way and hold the door of the van which almost slams into my face. The petite man looks at me, with a tranquil gaze.)

SENNA

Obrigado.

KHAN

Boas-vindas.

It would be the last time, I would see the great Ayrton Senna alive. Two day later Ayrton Senna died in a fatal crash.  He had no broken bones. It was only a matter of inches,  a flying piece of the broken axle hit in the helmet when the tires exploded when his car crashed into the wall.

This year is the first time in it’s 36 years that The Toronto International Film Festival will open with a documentary From The Sky Down on the Irish band U2, and why not. Senna the film documentary by one of my favorite little production companies Working Title Films and directed by Asif Kapadia who was born in United Kingdom and written by Manish Pandey is not just about racing, it’s about life, doing what you want to do that makes it fun for you, living each moment as if it could be your last, looking for that small window to open then squeezing through it, leaving all those who settle for mediocrity wondering how you did it.

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“Having been close to Ayrton I was pleasantly surprised how the film allowed you to get close to him and to show his personality. He was without doubt a very special person. In some ways a little complicated, in others, very open and sincere. This film is a must-not just for Formula One followers”.  Bernie


 “I loved the way Ayrton was driving. Already when I was a kid I had watched him at a karting race, and I was impressed by his lines and moves. Since then, I knew the name, and obviously when I came into F1, I got to know him. It was terrible to hear about his death later, I was really shattered. It`s great to hear they made a movie on him.” Michael

“I was his team mate at the end of 1984, in the Toleman team. Already then he was incredibly intense and focused, and obviously fast…You could tell he was special, and no matter what career he would have chosen, he would have been brilliant at it, at least in terms of success, as far as his personal happiness however, I am not sure he was ever
content…” Stephan
“ The 21st century will be the century of sharing. We will have to learn to share the planet earth, its climate, its resources,its wealth. Instituto Ayrton Senna has not waited for the 21st century to help children in Brazil. It has been its philosophy for so many years. Today we are proud to share a little part of the mission of the Instituto Ayrton Senna and hope that you will all share with us this incredible and extraordinary adventure”. Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Hublot
The King Power Ayrton Senna,a split second chronograph movement with power reserve indicator – a limited edition of 500 numbered pieces, stamped with Ayrton Senna’s signature – made entirely from materials used in Formula 1, such as carbon fibre for the case (a first for Hublot), ceramic, Nomex…This series is Act 3 in the friendship between Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Hublot, and Viviane Senna which began in 2007. A friendship which has since raised more than 1 million US dollars for the Instituto Ayrton Senna.

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The King Power Tourbillon Ayrton Senna, 10 exceptional tourbillons manufactured entirely by Hublot, 10 unique commemorative pieces with a different engraving on the case-back of each watch, showing one of 10 highlights in the driver’s career, chosen by his sister and mother. Exclusive Limited edition for Brazil.

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