City of Lights – City of Angels Col-Coa French Film Festival – 2013

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By now we all know I’m a wife, Mother, Friend and daughter with a costly passion for food, fashion and anything that involves a plane ticket. It isn’t where we’ve been that matters but where we’re headed, and this fearless wonder is headed for the Stalker Stars, well, after I go to Paris that is. I’ve been there many times but the very idea of Paris still seduces me. The city is a tapestry of memory and magic. At night walking along the scenic River Seine under the stars with a lover, intimate cafes, boutiques, and of course infamous burlesque shows all come to mind. Throw in a few delicious meals (with a crunchy baguette from any boulangerie), cobbled streets, the Eiffel Tower and helicopter ride to the wine country for the day and you’ll understand how a more passionate nostalgia beckons. (that’s a whole different blog post my friends). I can’t imagine leaving this world without ever seeing Paris, let alone in springtime. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and with a Stalker schedule as tight as mine these days, the City of Lights, City of Angels Film Festival featuring new French works alongside cinema classics, was the next best thing.

This fashion plate slipped on her finest French undergarments, (one must feel parisian from underneath first, right?) Dolce & Gabbana silver and gold lame skirt-pants with black sequin biker jacket and hightailed it to the Directors Guild of America for the Opening Gala. Kora Kroep of Club Culinare coordinates the food each year including such top chefs as: Marius Blin of Sofitel Hotel – seared Scallops with Carrot Harissa and Faro Grain Taboule while Tony Esnault and Yassmin Sarmandi of Church & State served a chilled market vegetable salad with Tomato Concasse with herb vinaigrette. Josie’s Restaurant shared wild Mushroom and Gruyere Quiche while Paul Rosenbluh of Firefly Bistro satisfied my sweet tooth with Lemon Grass Panna Cotta with a blissed out Thai Basil-Blackberry crush. Yes, I went back for seconds and thirds and took some home in my handbag! Yvan Valentin of Sweet Temptations, Oliver Rousselle of Luxe Hotel, K-ZO Restaurant, French Market Cafe, 9021Pho – so many chefs, so little time! The wine and bubbly were flowing in the standing room only theatre lobby as French filmmakers, movie lovers, actors and sexy actresses such as Jacqueline Bisset were on hand to share their passion for film. The weeklong festivities include tributes to such directors as the late Louis Malle, Jacques Demy and Alain Resnais.

The 17th annual event brings 38 French features to L.A. for a week, including the North American premiere of Danièle Thompson’s new romantic comedy, “It Happened in Saint-Tropez” Starring Monica Bellucci and Kad Merad.  It’s about two cousins who fall in love with the same man (been there, done that)! Did you know that long before Jay Z & Beyoncé, St.-Tropez was a quiet 15th-century fishing town, written about by Colette in the 1930′s and painted by Cezanne? It wasn’t until 1955, when Bridgette Bardot arrived with her husband, director Roger Vadim, to shoot the film ”And God Created Woman,” the small fishing village was put on the map. I imagine back then the place still had its magic, its bohemian vibe, that was forever changed once the grand yachts appeared. (“It Happened in Saint-Tropez” screens again Saturday, April 20. Check ColCoa website for ticket information. All screenings are in French with English subtitles except in the case of the family oriented animated films, dubbed in English).

Look, even if I couldn’t get to Paris, I was determined to capture a piece of it in my own backyard, right off Sunset Boulevard to be exact. Less stressful than arriving to the airport two hours prior, checking luggage, being groped by airport security (maybe that’s not so bad) and a 12 hour flight wouldn’t you say? Nah, nothing like the real thing….

Paris, a place that once you leave, you have an overwhelming desire to return…very soon.

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris…then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast.” – Ernest Hemingway

* Mark your calendars for Club Culinaire’s Picnic de Chefs June 2nd 2013!

 


With an Italian background, she cites her Mother and grandmother ( Mamie ) as the major influence of her love for food.  Yes, homemade pasta hung from the clothesline in the kitchen and rolling 100 meat balls for a holiday dinner was the norm.  Raised in Pennsylvania. she spent time in Atlanta, Georgia and ultimately settled along the stunning coast of Laguna Beach, Ca. Self taught in everything, she learned to appreciate the amazing flavors, scents and uses for exotic herbs and spices and applies her knowledge to cooking today. Despite enjoying other creative endeavors like painting, photography and clothing design, she realized she would never love another career the way she loves all the stories surrounding food.  And it's capturing those stories that has not only become her greatest passion but a culinary drug worth passing around!  After all, food is a shared experience and no one better to share it with than the entire world. And thus the Food Stalker was born, utilizing all that passion and her fearlessness to capture even the most impossible stories. It's one thing to write about food, but far more exciting to actually capture it and all those stories that make every scent come to life.  And once she sets out, there's no stopping her, because no one follows that scent better than her---and no telling where she'll end up next.  

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