Monthly Archives: September 2009

The September Issue

The September Issue

The September Issue

This documentary tells some interesting stories about a bunch of larger than life editors at Vogue.

Editor in chief Anna Wintour – behind her icy armour, it is her business talent that has been driving Vogue to success.

Grace Coddington, ex-model turned creative director, seemed to eclipse Anna in the film. Her working relationship with Anna, however odd it is, is the compelling driving force at Vogue. In the end, Anna had to put some of  Grace’s ingenious ideas back to the drawing board.

Grace and Anna

Grace and Anna

I often thought fashion designers predict the trend for the next season.  I was wrong. It is Anna Wintour who influence the fashion industry. She has the final say about what goes to the issue. We, as readers of Vogue,  will probably never have a glimpse over what she has ‘killed’.  I was very surprised to see how those big names so scared of Anna. If she breathed a word like ‘no’, their effort over months would go to the drain.

Some critics claimed that this film failed to probe deeper into Anna’s inner world. I think the film is good enough to prevail what’s behind the glitz of fashion industry.  Do we really want to know more about Anna’s private life? We were told that her father was an editor at Evening Standard and her siblings all engage in rather respectable and more serious jobs.  Anna’s daughter wanted to go to a law school, she did not think a job like her mom’s is serious enough for her.

It is a serious job to run any business into profit.

Anna Wintour is doing a damn serious job.

Someone like it a bit hot

Chicken Curry with Vegetable

Chicken Curry with Vegetable

Inspired by Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey, a cookery programme I saw recently, I came up this simple but very tasty dish – Thai Chicken Curry.

This has become one of my signature dishes. It has everything – meat, vegetable, spices……I love this exotic dish!

When it comes to food, my favourite has to be food in Asia. But I have to avoid most dishes in Thai restaurants here in London. Simply because they are too spicy. And I believe too much chili ruins my taste buds as I can’t taste anything else after I got this burning sensation in my mouth.

This dish will give you a spicy taste, a tingling sensation, yet rather subtle, you will then be able to taste other spices in this dish.

Here is a list of ingredients:

1. Meat (cut into small pieces): 500g organic chicken thighs (never use chicken breasts, they will be tough and dry, alternatively use chicken drum sticks, but make sure you make a few cuts in each drum stick so it can be cooked through.)

2. Vegetable: potatoes, carrots and zucchini.

3. coconut milk (1 can, 400ml), galangal, lemon grass, shallots, fish sauce, shrimp paste, curry paste, palm sugar, fresh lime, coriander.

Now cooking instruction:

1. Heat oil in the wok, stir fry the chicken until the meat turns to white, take them out of the wok and leave them in a bowl.

2. Add some more oil to the wok, heat it, stir fry the following ingredients in the wok:  sliced galangal (one chunk is enough), chopped lemon grass, 4 or 5 shallots, then added chunks of potatoes, carrots, zucchini to the wok, stir them.

3. Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of curry sauce (depending on how spicy you want the dish to be), I used Matsaman curry sauce as it’s less spicy than other pastes. Pour a can of coconut milk, add some fish sauce (2 tea spoons), palm sugar, mix the shrimp paste with a little bit water, add it to the wok, some fresh lime juice, add half tea spoon of turmeric powder, close the lid, bring it to boil, then taste the soup and see whether you need to add more paste or fish sauce.

If you are happy with the soup, now add the chicken pieces, simmer for about 20 minutes.

When it’s ready to serve, sprinkle some coriander to the dish.

Bon Appetit!

P.S. All you need is your passion for food, plus a little imagination, you won’t fail, I promise:-)

Matsaman Curry Paste

Matsaman Curry Paste

Galangal

Galangal

Lemon Grass

Lemon Grass

Seriously, is this……?!

Can someone tell me what it is on the plate:

Dessert1

What the hell is this?!

Dessert2

I ate it because I was hungry:-(

Jesus, I had the worst Kaiserschmarrn I ever had yesterday at Wolseley..really overrated restaurant. I could not believe what I saw when the dish was delivered to the table. How could anybody call this a ‘Viennese Cafe’ if they can’t even manage such a simple dish?!

To start with, we had to wait for 45 minutes to get a table…Saw Salmon Rushdie walk into the restaurant with his young son.  So what! I know that place is packed with 33% celebrities, 33% middle class who desperately want to rub shoulders with upper middle class or upper class, 33% of tourists who want to bring back the news – dined at such such places, had such such dishes..I saw a Japanese woman was eating Yorkshire pudding with sugar! LOL..obviously, she thought that was a dessert…well, the fact is Yorkshire pudding is NOT dessert pudding!

Two young girls from the states, one with LA accent  was giving the other (with NY Yankee accent) fashion tips. I quickly worked out their relationship. One hired the other to be her fashion consultant. Can I call her a stylist or wardrobe adviser –  she wore shining sequin in the bright day light! How could one seriously take her advice serious?! Did they come to London for a bit of fashion inspiration? Have they learned anything yet? I don’t think so.

I must admit it’s a place you see all kinds of people – including some very pushy American tourists. This guy stood next to me near the bar asked the Matre D at least 3 times with the same question – Is my table ready?

While I was gazing at the dinners out of boredom, I had dizzy spells due to lack of sugar in my blood – I was bloody hungry! Felt like to rush to Pret bought myself a sandwich before I faint in this up-market restaurant.

Finally, we sat down. Fish stew – the chef was most generous with the salt! Ok, main dish was rather disappointing, I still held the high hope for my dessert – after all, I came to Wolseley for my beloved Viennese dessert. ….OMG… I wanted to cry out loud over that grotesque-looking….Kaiserschmarrn? – what the hell was that? Did the chef ever see a real Kaiserschmarrn?

A Scandinavian couple next to me was murmuring the name of my dessert.

“May I just say, it doesn’t look like the Kaiserschmarrn I had in Munich, Salzburg and Vienna. ” I warned them.

“We just wonder what it is, how does it taste?” They were very curious.

“eatable”

They burst into friendly laughs.

My co-dinner obviously was very happy about his choice of food – he had Roast Beef with Roast Potatoes and Yorkshire Pudding – first thing I learned about English cuisine (if they call it cuisine at all) when I was learning English from Follow Me, a programme produced by BBC. I was about 12.

Kaiserschmarrn normally looks like this...

Kaiserschmarrn normally looks like this...

Good old English food is what they can do in this restaurant, but please invent a different name for what they called Kaiserschmarrn on the menu. Call it – God Knows What It Is!

Mesrine: Public Enemy No.1

mesrine_public EnemyI stared at the screen – the final scene – a close up of dripping blood from Mesrine’s head.

If you salute to Godfather and its sequels, you will take your hats off to this brilliant gangster film of the year.

Jean-Francois Richet’s second-part biopic of Jacque Mesrine is even more exciting! More bank robberies, more prison breaks, more escapes, at one point Mesrine was holding a judge as his hostage – one of the many highlights in the film. Kidnapping, car chasing, gun shooting, bang! bang! bang!

This installment revealed more the psychology behind Mesrine’s acts – how did he use mass media to get his household name status in France and how he fell out with the media and thus became a notorious criminal and finally gunned down in the street of Paris by a carefully planned police operation.

Mesrine’s charisma was brilliantly captured by Vincent Kassel, who obviously gained quite a bit of weight for playing the role. Mesrine ‘s multifaceted personalities – violent, ruthless,  smug,  humorous, and yet he loves pretty women. They found him irresistible – women!

The music just added more excitement to the incredibly swift pace. I was fascinated by the stylishness and the thrilling sequence throughout the film.

Ludvine SagnierFinally, Ludivine Sagnier   was sensational – she was naked again. “But I didn’t get naked in cheap movies. It’s not in order to tease the audience and it never got obscene……” She said in an interview.