Food and film: Rinco’s Restaurant


This movie is Slow Food personified. It is about food that’s cooked in a slow way (literally), and the movie itself is at a pace that could not be slower. Since childhood, the protagonist has always dreamed to make a restaurant. With the help of a family friend, she succeeded in converting her mother’s back shed into one, where she only serves one table per day, and the customer leaves it up to her to decide the courses. Her restaurant is named Restaurant Snail. As always the case with Japanese movies, there are several scenes that can easily be a painting. The cast doesn’t go the cutesy or glamorous way; in fact, they don’t make themselves beautiful, but the beauty comes from the realistic portrayal of people in their normal lives. The food is quite diverse, it’s not only Japanese food. I was surprised that Rinko can find some of the ingredients that she uses, considering that the setting of her town seems to be rural Japan. I mean, would we be able to find lamb chops and pomegranates in a local grocery store in Smallville, Kansas? Hmm… Continue reading Food and film: Rinco’s Restaurant

Food and Film: 4 short animations with food

Short films are the best, because sometimes I get cravings in the middle of the night and there are no restaurants open (I wish something opened between midnight and 5 am, a rice porridge stall or a noodle soup vendor would be nice). 1. Omelette – by Madeline Sharafian. (Copyright CalArts Films) Simple and sweet. 2. French Roast – (Oscar Nominated Animated Short 2010) It’s coffee, not really food, but still…

MasterChef U.S. Season 4 Mid-Season Commentary

Masterchef is a reality TV show that currently airs on Fox and is in its 4th season. I’ve watched the show for three seasons now (I missed out on the first season), and have been increasingly bothered by much of the show. While I understand the need to create drama to boost up ratings and that shows about cooking that are not on food-specific channels really aren’t actually about food per se, there are some issues, particularly in this newest season, that have been consistently bothering me about Masterchef. I figured that Mai would also feel the same way, so I asked her to watch this season with me and then see if my angry reactions were justified. We decided to share our many Facebook chat conversations with you guys (slightly edited and condensed). We’ll love to create an ongoing dialogue about this show so feel free to talk back in the comments! Any points that you disagree/agree with us? Who’s your favorite/least favorite contestant? Any judges you love/can’t stand? Join in the Flavor Boulevard conversation! Mai: Hmm, I’m watching episode 2 of MasterChef now. Doesn’t it feel like the judges choose people based on their inspirational backstory or […]

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Food and film: Bread of Happiness and Kimchi Family

Movies are food for the eye (and ears, and brain, or whatever else you like). I watched Bread of Happiness on the plane ride from Houston back to SFO, and it made me happy that whole day. It also strengthened my resolve to study Japanese. The breads shown in this movie don’t seem particularly complicated, their presentation doesn’t sparkle, but they perfectly suit the gentle atmosphere that flows through the plot: looking at the steam rising as you break a fresh loaf in half, you can smell a sincere love. Something that I learned from the main guy, a baker, in Bread of Happiness: do you know the literal meaning of “compagnon”? Also designed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, the Korean drama Kimchi Family hits the spot on days when I feel down (and also when I’m eating my cup noodles). It’s another string of small stories of how food made with heart can touch people’s lives in positive ways. If you don’t watch it for the plot, watch it for the kimchi! So many kinds of kimchi that I haven’t thought of being possible before. You can watch […]

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Pieces of Copenhagen in Redwood City

I have a soft spot. If I like someone’s movies, I have to try their food too. Take Korean for example, I saw the actors eating bibimbap and ddeokbokki with so much joy I had to find and like them myself. Many months ago my friend Rashmi posted a link of this adorable short movie The Danish Poet, and now I’ve finally found Copenhagen. A Danish restaurant that I will frequent. Most of the menu is above twenty, which doesn’t seem to bother the elderly ladies and gentlemen dining here. They sip their white wine, take small bites, talk with their backs straight and eyes observant. I always have to watch my pitch in this kind of casual expensive place. Thankfully, the food is plentiful. A choice of soups or salads precedes every entree. I like how they top my spinach salad with boiled eggs and bacon bits and very little vinaigrette. Split pea soup seems more popular than potato and leek soup and cream of mushroom soup, but as the staff said, they’re all good. I’m not crazy about mushy soups, but a small nutty cup paired with crusty […]

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