Saturday, February 25, 2012

Les Cesars du Cinema

"The Artist"
 This Sunday February 25 is Oscar night in Hollywood.  Just this Friday night in Paris the French Film award ceremony, the Cesars took place at the Chatelet Theatre. Created in 1976, the Cesar award ceremony is considered the French equivalent to the Oscars.  The name of the award comes from the sculptor Cesar Baldaccini who designed the trophy.   This year, the black and white silent movie “the Artist” won six awards including Best Movie of the year, Best Director Michel Hazanavicius and its star Berenice Bejo was voted by the French Academy of the Art and Technique du Cinema- Best Actress.  The same director, actress and male star Jean Dujardin are also strong contenders to win Oscars.  After partying the night away, the team flew off to Los Angeles to participate at the Ceremony of the Oscars.  This year, French people are awaiting with bated breath the outcome of the Oscars.  Indeed, they will be very proud of their cinema, if “The Artist” was to win best picture.  This could be the first time that a non Anglo-Saxon film is awarded this supreme accolade. By the way, I expect UGGIE, the cute Jack Russel Terrier who co-stars with Jean Dujardin to steal the show on Oscar night.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Vive Le Carnaval!

When you think of carnivals, the iconic destinations that come to mind include: Rio, New Orleans and Venice. But don't overlook Nice on the French Rivera. In the midst of frigid winter temperatures afflicting most of Europe, Nice holds its Carnaval festivities under mild clime and sunny skies. This year from February 17 to march 4, Nice will hold its 128th Carnaval and the theme is sport as a tribute to the upcoming Olympic Games in London in 2012.  As per tradition, a parade of some 20 dazzling and colorful flower covered floats will  take place day and night on the seafront along the famed Promenade des Anglais. Leading the way, is the King of Carnaval and its court made of traditional papier-mache. The unique characteristic of Nice Carnaval is the flower battle (bataille des fleurs) in which at top floats, armful of flowers (some 100,000) are thrown to the happy crowd. Nice and its surrounding region is a major producer of flowers and this is the occasion to showcase the quality and variety of its production. Ninety percent of the flowers used at the parade are produced locally --Jasmin, gladiolus, mimosa, daisies, carnations and roses. Of course,  Carnaval means music and dance. Thus,  musicians and theater groups from around the world accompany this joyful cortege. At the end of carnaval the King is paraded one more time then set afire while fireworks illuminate the night sky over the Mediterranean Sea. Long live Carnaval !!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

La Chandeleur-Le Jour des Crepes

February 2 means a lot to me.  It is my son's birthday.  It is also the popular celebration of Groundhog day which determines how soon Spring will arrive and it is the day when we celebrate my favorite French desert-- the crepes.  Traditionally, the second of February is called Candlemas,; a Christian tradition  that commemorates the ritual purification of  Mary 40 days after the birth of Jesus. Today in France,  la Chandeleur is the occasion to eat crepes--a thin savory pancake.  To celebrate my son's birthday that is exactly what I prepared for breakfast.  Here is a simple recipe I would like to share with you.
2 eggs
1 cup of milk
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 cup of flour
drop of vanilla or you can add a few teaspoons of rhum

Mix the eggs and the milk; add the sugar and the salt; blend in the  flour.  Let stand at least one hour in the refrigerator.  Heat the crepe pan with a drop of oil or butter and add a thin layer of batter to cover the pan.  Cook till golden on both sides  Bon appetit!!

#crepes, # french desert; # french tradition