Brando at Cafe Belong !

Mulholland Drive, is a great road, and if you have a house on Mulholland then you were somewhat detached from reality as your world was your oasis, your private Shangri- la on top of the world looking down on Los Angeles or the valley . Tucked away on Beverly Glen and Mulholland are some small restaurants that I would frequent they are not only good, they seem so far removed from Los Angeles. The parking lot is littered with BMW’s, Mercedes’s, Porsche’s and the ultimate urban assault vehicles Range Rover’s. You are in nature and you don’t want to leave. Yet Beverly Hills, Westwood, Hollywood, and the Valley are just five minute drive down from Mulholland Drive.

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Cafe Belong this week for me had become an oasis during the Toronto Film Festival, away from the madding crowd.  Set in the tranquility of splendid nature only minutes away from all the hustle and bustle of the film festival. Yes, one of my friends commented ‘It’s so far”, and came with me twice to the Cafe Belong while realizing it’s not that far at all. I thought, Marlon Brando would like this place.  Marlon Brando would have liked the colourful pieces of Le Creuset cookware throughout the restaurant, the wood tables, the Emeco chairs made from recycled pop bottles, and he would have loved the tomato salad, the meat dishes, and oh yes let’s not forget the staple food of comfort for many the french fries which are to die for. Marlon Brando would have gone crazy watching Sean prepare the artichoke sauce let alone tasting it with the duck and a bottle of wine. Most of all Marlon Brando would have liked the intentions of Chef Brad Long, and the farm to table concept which may be new to Toronto but for many of us who have traveled and lived else where in the world this is nothing new at all. It is just common sense, and Marlon Brando would have been the first to applaud the great team of Cafe Belong and Chef Brand Long,  as I got in my car and went off to screen Always Brando.

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Cage, Dump your Agent We’ll Do Lunch at Belong !

While Nicolas Cage sat in the press room at the Toronto International Film Festival waiting to be knee capped. In the kitchen of Café Belong, the butter melts, and the milk thickens, with little sugar on top, tray’s are ready to be baked. Thank the god’s for great food because the film Trespass you would not wish on your worst friend. This film most certainly will make the worst film of 2011.

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This is also the worst Joel Schumacher film to date, and that means “DO NOT WAIST MONEY ON THIS FILM”. If you do go a see this film you will scream like the sound of a lemon-sour twangy intensity of a guitar.Joel, dude, come on man get it together, I can help you get back on track, did the guys at Creative Artist’s allow you to make this film, if so dump those agents. Like I tell everyone who wants to make a film, the rule is very simple. “If it’s not on the page it’s not on the stage”, rule one start with a good script.
Oscar winning writer Ruth Prawer Jhanvala of Room With A View, had written a script for a studio, and they wanted to make some changes. The Producer got up, walked to the window looked out over Culver City, and dropped his pants saying, “You can kiss this”, then walked out. Do not let your agent get you into those contracts that stipulate “and will make a future film yet to be named” don’t do that.

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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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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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Zoe! Zoe! Zoe! La Llave de mi corazon !

Zoe Saldaña kicks some serious butt in her new film Colombiana. Born in New York City, she also spent a good part of her life growing up in The Dominican Republic, so to all my friends In The Dominican Republic who like to tango too much, don’t cross this girl especially when she has a gun, because she can shoot, “sabes”. Zoe got her first break in the 2000 film Center Stage, followed by Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek, and a starring role as Neytiri in James Cameron’s Avatar, the highest-grossing film of all time. Zoe has also done her part for that all American brand Calvin Klein.

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Hollywood goes through it’s own mood swings. There was a time if you did Television you could not do Feature Films, so many actors have proven that to be all need I spell it out. Then those Hollywood agents got into the act and balked at the prospect of their client sharing the screen with another star, that went out to the wind. Then there is that Hollywood saying “Can she carry the film?”. In the case of Zoe, she carried the film and all you wanted really in Colombiana was Zoe to just go wild with action and do serious damage which she did. Looking at her in a body suit and slipping and sliding through air vents, your mind thinks “She moves like a cat!”, and you wonder wow! she really would have made a great Catwomen, but that role my friends has gone to Anne Hathaway. Zoe! you need to come to Toronto, yes it’s the film festival but more importantly you need to try some of the food from Chef Brad Long at his Café and Bistro. After all it’s all about the food as you so well put it in the Calvin shoot. Zoe Saldaña, is full of life, and the people of The Dominican Republic are family, that would make Zoe my sister. So Zoe from MY Name is Khan “What Up?”.

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