Tuesday, February 17, 2009

El pollo, el pez y el cangrejo real

Went to cinema to see a film called
"The Chicken, the Fish and the King Crab"
at Toldi
Bajcsy Zsilinszkyút 36-38.
"The Chicken, the Fish and the King Crab" is a document about food
by Jose Luis Lopez-Linares.
Following Spanish master chef Jesus Almagro as he prepares for
the Bocuse d'Or, a top cooking contest.
The Bocuse d'Or, founded by the legendary Paul Bocuse,
is the Olympics of the culinary world, a two-day event in Lyon, France,
that brings together 24 chefs from as many nations.
In 5½ hours, each chef has to prepare two courses using prescribed main ingredients
- in 2007, they were halibut with king crab for one dish, chicken for the other -
plus three garnishes of the cook's choosing.
While each country is meant to create dishes conveying the essence of its national cuisine,
it's tacitly understood that everything must be prepared using
traditional French techniques.
Named Spain's best chef in 2006, Almagro was the obvious choice to lead his underdog country to the world championship.
Lopez-Linares picks up the story at the beginning of the trial period, when Almagro, with assistant Felix Guerrero,
tries out his ideas before a highly critical group of fellow Spanish tasters and chefs.
From the start, with Almagro's choices roundly torn apart,
it's clear he's got a long way to go to achieve that prize-worthy perfection
demanded by world-class judges.
Along the way, Lopez-Linares takes auds on a journey to the ingredients' origins,
swimming with "happy halibut" in cold Norwegian waters,
admiring enormous king crabs further north in Polar Circle,
and then inspecting the famed chickens of Bresse, France,
natural patriots with their blue legs, white body and red crests.
Back in his Madrid kitchen, Almagro refines his ideas
as advisers force him to rethink everything from taste emphases to platter designs.
Once in Lyon, Almagro is focused and open-minded, neither too confident nor too insecure, making him the perfect figure to root for.
Other chefs, including Norwegian contestant Sven Erik Renaa,
bring additional voices into the picture,
saving docu from any sense of nationalistic bias.
Liked the film alot.
The language of the film was not only Spanish but also English and French
(which part didn't understand! Well, there was Hungarian subtitles)
The film gives the idea what it takes to attend in a cooking competition,
especially Bocuse D'Or.
To win it is not enough that one is an excellent chef, but in this case
must follow the French kitchen.
And as Jesus said, chef is also an artist.
The Spanish team game 9th
and they were happy for it.
French team won
and all Scandinavian teams: Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and Iceland
were among the 10 best ones!

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