By macleans.ca - Tuesday, January 1, 2013 - 0 Comments
By Jessica Allen - Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at 8:12 AM - 0 Comments
Sometimes it’s difficult not to grow weary in the face of keeping up with food trends. But there are writings relating to food of which I will never tire. Here are some of my favourites that’ve been covered really well in 2012 and that I hope to see more of in the year ahead.
1. Great profiles:
In 2012, I enjoyed reading more about people who make food rather than reading pieces devoted to food itself. There were some incredible profiles this year, from such big-name industry players as London’s Yotan Ottolenghi and Paris’s Apollonia Polaine–both from The New Yorker food issue–to local chefs like Toronto’s Keith Froggett, whom David Sax wrote about in The Grid. More please!
2. Heritage foods:
Speaking of profiles, remember when the New Yorker wrote about South Carolina locavore-extraordinaire Sean Brock in 2011? He’s the chef of Husk Restaurant who’s obsessed with bringing many of the region’s forgotten varietals of plants and animal breeds back to the table (he also has a cookbook coming out in 2013.) ”Since building a network of farmers, grain purveyors, food historians, and scientists during the past few years, Brock’s seed-saving mission has revived about 35 Southern plants, some of which might otherwise have gone extinct,” writes Cooking Light, which awarded Brock its Trailblazing Chef of the Year Award. In recent years, there’s been plenty of attention to paid to heirloom foods: from Red Fife, a Canadian grain that fell off our radars until Toronto chef Jamie Kennedy championed its virtues in 2006, to apples, of which there are thousands of varietals besides the ubiqitious Red Delicious, Granny Smith or Macintosh. And even though seed libraries, repositories that preserve seeds for generations to come, are nothing new (even Thomas Jefferson collected heirloom seeds), I hope to read more about them–and all things heirloom-related–in 2013.
By Jaime Weinman - Tuesday, January 1, 2013 at 7:36 AM - 0 Comments
If I made a list of the best TV shows of 2012 it probably wouldn’t be too different from most. A TV world where the best of the best are Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Parenthood, Louie, Girls and Parks & Recreation isn’t always my ideal television world (good as all those shows are), but they represent what current television does best. When it comes to “termite art” – shows that don’t have to be good, but are – television is not in a great place at the moment, but that may change. But this piece isn’t about the best of 2012, it’s about what to expect as we move into 2013.
Television is at a strange transitional stage in its history, the best of times and the worst of times: its business model is becoming obsolete, but its product – the shows themselves – is more prestigious than it’s ever been. What’s going to happen this year, as the shows continue be good and it gets harder to sell them? And which will give out first: will the business pressures on the industry make it harder for these prestigious shows to get made, or is the business on the verge of finding new ways to monetize its quality shows?
So here are some general predictions about what to look for in the television world of 2013. If any of them are right, I win. If any or all of them are wrong, hey, these predictions were free of charge and as with free broadcast TV, you get what you pay for.
1. More high-concept shows. There may not be any definite evidence that TV audiences gravitate to high concepts. But network executives have been stung by the failure of most of their recent shows and stunned by the success of The Walking Dead, by some metrics the most popular drama on TV. So they’re going to be under pressure to come up with show concepts that at least sound like the big, spectacular, boundary-pushing shows that everyone’s talking about on cable. That means not only more shows about monsters, which was starting even before Walking Dead; it means more shows about serial killers (at least a couple are in development, including a TV version of Hannibal Lecter) and more shows with epic historical hooks, like a planned TV series about Cleopatra. There are so many scripted shows on so many channels that it will be difficult for any show to stand out unless it has a really eye-catching premise.
By Jessica Allen - Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 9:40 PM - 0 Comments
Food trends can be fickle. You never know what sort of comestible is going to make it big. Imagine it is 1992 and you get the chance to step into a DeLorean that doubles as a time machine and travel to 2012 for dinner. Here’s how that meal might play out.
Server: Welcome to the future of food. May I take your …whoa. First thing’s first: nobody really wears oversized blazers with shoulder pads anymore. Most people’s jackets are really tightly tailored.
Man: Yeah, but not men’s jackets.
Server: Especially men’s jackets. But that’s not why you two are here. Please, sit down. Here’s our cocktail list.
Woman: Sweetie, look at this! They infuse their bourbon with bacon!
Server: We distill it ourselves.
Man: I think I just want an Old-Fashioned. Do you have that?
Server: Actually, we make the authentic version of the Old-Fashioned. Our mixologist–
Woman: What’s a mixologist?
Server: She makes our cocktails.
Man: Like a bartender?
By macleans.ca - Tuesday, December 25, 2012 at 8:48 PM - 0 Comments
The last word on the best films of the past year
By Patricia Treble - Monday, December 24, 2012 at 7:10 PM - 0 Comments
1. Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, By the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith: Okay, the title is just fun. And so was the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s reign. It started on Feb. 6—though that’s not “celebrated” as it’s the day her father, King George VI, died—and went right through into December. Canada got a nice stamp, an even nicer stained glass window for Parliament Hill, 60,000 Diamond Jubilee medals, with accompanying paper personally signed by Governor General David Johnston, and a visit by Prince Charles and Camilla, duchess of Cornwall. The world got a four-day extravaganza in London. Not even the pouring rain on the Thames River pageant could drown the enthusiasm of millions. Hundreds of thousands turned out for a huge concert in front of Buckingham Palace with millions more showing up the next day for the main event—a service of thanksgiving in St. Paul’s Cathedral followed by a carriage ride through London and the traditional balcony scene back home. Only the hospitalization of Prince Philip (see also below) put a damper on events.
2. Wedding of Prince Guillaume, hereditary grand duke of Luxembourg, and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy: Oooh, a royal wedding. Luxembourg might be tiny—population 520,000—but it more than made up for its geographic deficiencies by throwing a spectacular wedding. And that involved inviting tons of royalty who dressed up in spectacular gowns and tiaras for two days of events. (The fabulous Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor website has a complete rundown on all the fashion hits and misses.) Best of all, the bride wore a spectacular Elie Saab dress with her family tiara (to have a family tiara!)
By Brian D. Johnson - Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 9:20 AM - 0 Comments
From M to Pi, Brian D. Johnson with the best of the year and some Oscar predictions
Oh what a lovely war it was at the movies. There were battles for all ages—against alien invaders, Islamic fundamentalists, Maﬁa vampires, Middle Earth orcs, Southern slave owners and rising floodwaters. Masked men ruled the box office in The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man. But 2012 was also an exceptional year for heroic women and children. Naomi Watts braved a tsunami in The Impossible, Jessica Chastain hunted Osama bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty, and as the crypt finally closed on the Twilight saga, Jennifer Lawrence unleashed a sharper fan-girl franchise with the twang of a bow in The Hunger Games. Kids who had never acted dominated the drowned bayou of Beasts of the Southern Wild, the shipwreck adventure of Life of Pi, the African killing fields of Rebelle, and the pup-tent puppy love of Moonrise Kingdom—all less juvenile than the comic-book blockbusters.
Old folks got to shine in Amour, Quartet and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Even James Bond came of age, as Hollywood showed hot flashes of maturity. Narrative puzzles such as Stories We Tell, The Master, Holy Motors and Cloud Atlas rocked our intelligence. In a U.S. election year, Lincoln, Argo, and the bin Laden film made backroom politics thrilling. And now we’re looking at an Academy Award race of unusually smart, provocative and flat-out entertaining movies. Here are my favourites of 2012, including Oscar-qualified films that won’t be released in Canada until the new year.
By Julia Belluz - Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:48 AM - 0 Comments
The year 2012 brought with it many opportunities for wielding a big, debunking stick and pointing it towards outrageous attacks on science. From the Science-ish archives, to be read with a festive beverage, here are the worst offenders from 2012:
1. DR. OZ, FAITH HEALER
Though he may have started out as one of America’s most-trusted MDs after earning a seal of approval from none other than Oprah Winfrey, the medical community has long known that Dr. Mehmet Oz can be a font of pseudoscience. This year, when he was in Toronto to give a motivational lecture about the “biology of blubber,” I had a chance to sit-down with Oz and grill him about his use of medical evidence. In particular, when asked about his promotion of raspberry ketones for weight loss—a dubious supplement—he said it was “an example of where I’m trying to give you hope.” Needless to say, he didn’t pass the evidence test. I’m pretty sure I was the only reporter in the room he didn’t hug that day.
Related link: Dr. Oz, faith healer