Action! The Kitchens for Tiff12 Toronto International Film Festival

I started to document the dance that takes place in the kitchen of Chef Brad Long’s Cafe Belong last year during the Toronto International Film Festival.

This year for Tiff12, I selected those restaurants where you will most certainly have great food, meet the team at these restaurants who are really a lot of fun, with great chef’s, and most importantly great food.

Daily, you’ll see the kitchens at work while films get screened, so when you are hungry, these kitchens will look after you.

I had my own place in Monte Carlo, and my all time favorite place is still La Colombe d’Or (St-Paul-de-Vence, France). So yea, I have standards.

All the spots are meant to let you explore Toronto, and I know everyone at these places, so if you go you will really have a great meal and good time.

Toca – Ritz Carlton – Toronto

The kitchen is great and the team and chef’s of the Ritz Carlton are catering the very exclusive Ball to which a private jet thanks to Bombardier is flying in with stars. They would not be doing it if they did not know food. ( Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner )

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Nyood

Talent is all around the kitchen, vibe is great, the food is great.
(Dinner)

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Ursa

The bar will make you killer cocktails, and the kitchen here well Lucas and Jacob Sharkey-Pearce and the team will make sure you have a great time. (Dinner).

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Acadia

Little Italy, catch the buzz and the food without question you will enjoy. (Dinner)

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Kanji

The sushi is so fresh the fish is still fluttering on the kitchen table. Chef James from Nobu in New York, need I say more. (Lunch – Dinner)

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County General

Food, drinks, feel like your in Santa Monica. (Brunch, Lunch, Dinner)

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Maizal

Great place if your running around and need great Mexican fresh. The designers of Prince love this spot (Lunch)

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Cafe Belong

As always great food, it like being in Big Sur at the Post Ranch Inn.
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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Ravine Valley Vineyards

Finished with your gig at the festival?, then head out of town to my friends Vineyard. Great food, it’s like being in Napa.

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Special Thanks To The Sponsors

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Oh So Delicious ! Abu Dhabi to Toronto!

Abu Dhabi to Toronto is an effortlessly seamless transition as if walking from Soho to Midtown Manhattan, Mayfair to Chelsea, Alexander Platz to Postdamer Platz, made possible thanks to Etihad Airways. Going from a table at Frankie’s at the Fairmont to embark on a three day delicious food show in Toronto. Chef to Chef. Farm to table. Fairmont to Fairmont. How simple life can be and how much fun. Yet nothing is complete without food, it is the essence of life, and if you don’t like eating then I don’t want to know you. Toronto has it Delicious Show and you don’t want to miss this experience, of wine, cocktails, beer’s, foods, cafe’s, and learn how to cook without oil or butter without comprising taste. The Dj’s get the party started, and from start to finish it’s just one big party the kind you don’t want to miss.  I recently got inspired to look into kitchens of Chef’s thanks to a brilliant stage play The Kitchen. During the Toronto Film Festival My Name is Khan featured the kitchen of Toronto Chef Brad Long’s Cafe Belong with films of the day. In Abu Dhabi it started with Kings of Pastry a 2009 Documentary  about collar awarded to the winner of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France  the ultimate recognition for every pastry chef,  it is a dream and an obsession. Along came films and the Chef Marco Pierre White food and films, and so the journey seems seamless as the thread that connects is food.  The adventure of discover and the party never stops at My Name is Khan.

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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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The Posh Irish Cross Dresser!

Five Star, posh, butler service these are a few of my favorite words, and then I don't feel so bad. I have the greatest respect for writers, my best friend is Irish and a writer and a very good one at that. Words are magic, they can make a heart beat faster, they can ignite a war, they can form a composition of a lyric that can be everlasting such as "We're so sorry uncle Albert".  In  the case of Albert  Nobbs the words are magic co-written by Glen Close.

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Chef's are also like writers they use what has been around and provided by nature and with their creative imagination dazzle your sense's. Glen Close was passionate about getting this film made as is Brad Long about Cafe Belong.

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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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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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