Plenty of Chinese cooking philosophy can be learned in the release of Zao Dao’s comic anthology Cuisine Chinoise: 5 Tales of Life and Food. Dark Horse Comics is publishing the translated edition and it is set for release June 2020.
In what’s key to this culture’s style of cuisine is in different ingredients gel together. It’s not just about the tastes, but also in how it brings people together. It’s said to bring different people of conflicting ideologies together. Just look at Voltron: Legendary Defender. In the finale. Hunk (the Yellow Paladin) believes he can bring feuding empires together at the dinner table. Peace can be made one meal at a time. Mending old wounds can be tough, and when some food has healing properties, perhaps all that’s needed is a careful time to taste that fine red wine.
Not only are the principles of yin and yang involved to bring balance, there’s other facts to be found that nearly all Chinese master chefs share. Key to bringing this balance to the force are also the five flavours–Sour (酸 suān); Sweetness (甜 tián or 甘 gān); Spice (辛 xīn); Bitter (苦 kǔ) and Salt (咸 xián). These specific natures are reflected for those who read Dao’s work when it was originally published in France. Editions Mosquito handled this release and those impatient can hunt Abebooks.com for a copy.
The overlap between food, family, and culture are seamlessly highlighted in this special “cook book.” From insects looking for a meal to a man whose passion for cooking is the only hope of maintaining a family legacy, these wonderfully illustrated stories explore the rich and humorous world within while showcasing the beautiful relationship between Chinese culture and food.
Cuisine Chinoise: 5 Tales of Life and Food has two release dates. Some may consider comic shops are getting the appetizer on June 10, 2020 and hopefully a main course (book signing perhaps?) at bookstores June 23, 2020. The 96-page paperback graphic novel anthology is available for pre-order through Amazon and at your local comic shop for $19.99.
From September 17 to October 13, 2019, the Belfry Theatre will present The Children by British playwright Lucy Kirkwood. Directed by Michael Shamata, this localized version stars Nancy Palk (Hazel), Brenda Robins (Rose), and Joseph Ziegler (Robin).
Brenda Robins was (as the delightful 90-year old Vera) in our production of 4000 Miles earlier this year. Nancy Palk and Joseph Ziegler (who are married in real life) are returning after making their Belfry debuts in Da (in 1979). The three actors are longtime friends.
Playing at the
Victoria Film Festival
Victoria, British Columbia
Feb 1 to 10th
Tue | Feb 5 | 9:00 PM | SilverCity #3
Thur | Feb 7 | 6:15 PM | SilverCity #3
Back in 2011, I saw Chef of the South Polar (review link) at the Victoria Film Festival (VFF), and I learned a good noodle consists of a lot more than the love put into kneading the dough and creating the strands. Kansui is one part sodium bicarbonate and many other parts other trace minerals. To put them together in perfect harmony is part of many an Asian culture.
This year marks this event’s 25th anniversary (Taking place from Feb 1 to 10) and Ramen Shop (Ramen Teh) will continue to teach me something new in terms of how to celebrate life and food. Life lessons are often part of the theme in these movies, and I’m looking forward to what this year’s crop of films will offer.
19080-96th Avenue Unit 8
Surrey BC V4N 3R3
While everyone loves to have a good sandwich, not every body visits the same place to have it made … and hear the life story of the shop owner at the same time. The Sandwich Nazi made waves last year at the film festivals. As I wrote in my review of the film, “A trip to the industrial neighbourhood of Port Kells in Surrey, BC is needed to experience ’s capricious if not salacious behaviour in The Sandwich Nazi. Yes, the allusions to Seinfeld are there, and if the two had to be compared, Kahil is funnier.”
Filmmaker Lewis Bennett said in an interview on otakunoculture.com about how he loves how juvenile humour can play out on screen (i.e. when the cameras are rolling). “I’ve been drawn to people like Salam since I was in kindergarten. He kept making us laugh so we wanted to spend more time with him. The project started with a short documentary and as we were making that film we felt that there was a whole lot more to his story so we expanded it into a feature,” revealed Bennett.
I thought about visiting this operation on my last recent trip over to the Lower Mainland since I was there with a friend driving us around, but alas … it was on a day when the shop was not open. Fortunately, for those people who have not seen this funny, serious and somber documentary, it is now available on iTunes and Google Play. Additional services include Vimeo on Demand, Amazon Instant Video, and Microsoft Video.
To stay abreast with other releases, including a physical home video release (let’s hope there will be outtakes!), please visit them on:
Cherry Bomb Toys in Victoria, BC is expanding. Not only do they have the National Toy Museum of Canada, on the second floor, which showcases approximately 80 years of love for childhood knickknacks, but soon, they will be opening their basement for people to use on a by appointment basis. The official opening is tentatively set for the end of March.
This area will not be limited to families wishing to celebrate their child’s birthdays (or an adult’s) in a venue that does not have to be their home. B Woodword, manager of the store, explained that not everyone has the space, especially if they live downtown, and cleanup for a whole home can be a chore. This operation’s idea is to offer a safe space so people can have fun in. There’s an arcade area filled with classic gaming consoles (Nintendo and SEGA were spotted) and four separate television screens so anyone can game with. People can bring their own next-gen consoles, but the purpose of this space is to stay retro. A dining room type area (with a few basic kitchen essentials) exists so people can mingle in. Of course, washroom facilities is down the hall.
Included in the rental party package ($200 for 2 hours) includes LEGO product promotions. Anyone celebrating a birthday here gets a build-a-fig product to take home. The honouree gets a $20 gift certificate and lots of bricks to play with while here.
The 2017 Victoria Film Festival‘s Gala film certainly painted the night a pretty shade of pink with its opening film Window Horses to kick off the night. I thought the heroine Rosie Ming was wearing this event’s colours before putting on the black chādor, before arriving in Persia. Intentional or not, the first day was certainly fun, bright and cheerful. The morning and afternoon were wrought with continuous snowfall, and some of the organizers worried that it might cause problems since social media was on fire with reports of icy conditions and accidents already happening.
Thankfully, the troublesome weather faded away by evening so filmgoers can safely drive instead of slide to and fro from home. But for those who want an early start, Fort Tectoria is running virtual reality demos during this 10-day event to show off this technology as the coming thing. Eventually, some futurists predict it will integrate with cinema to create enhanced experiences. By the time I arrived downtown, I had a tough call to make: to go see Journey to the West 2: The Demons Strike Back at Cineplex Odeon or play video games. Very rarely, does a film festival offer this kind of opportunity for nerds like me!