Athena Lamberis

Posts Tagged ‘festival’

Share. Cook. Love: The Cook Book

In Events, Friend's Kitchens, Recipe, Stories on August 5, 2012 at 15:53

Athena and Chris on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

Our story began 2005, Feb 14th.

Durban, South Africa.  A Surfer met a Gypsy at Capoeira class.  It was a Monday, after the first day of our third year at University.

7 years later, in the province where it all began, we told everyone we loved to join us for a festival of families, a love

celebration . . . our wedding.

Friends and family came as far as California, Thailand, Belgium and Detroit. And on the Monday before our wedding I was given the most thoughtful and loving gift.

My sister, Koko, compiled a recipe book that she titled:

A collection of recipes on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

Share. Cook. Love

The cookbook

Gathered by the women that love you.

As I opened this gift at my surprise Kitchen Tea, it felt as though my heart was reliving my most touching memories-an overwhelming feeling of love washed over me and misted my eyes.  I paged through over 50 recipes of family and friends that represented so many facets in my life.  From friends that were celebrating our marriage from afar, in Brasil, New York, Chicago and Nicaragua- I was able hear their voice through their shared words and recipes.  This cookbook was made for me and the diversity in dishes and loving varieties directly reflected the beautiful community of women in my life.  From dressings, to desserts, every tradition and recipe chosen for my own personal anthology of culinary linguists will be cherished throughout my life.

Now when I am missing my family and friends and want to create and cook from my heart–I can thank everyone who contributed to this emblem of friendship and love.  As a bride, it was a collage of memory that reverberated through my heart and now as a wife, it is a personal love resource from all the sisters and mothers that I get to celebrate with.  I have years of memory and new memories to look forward to, by creating edible creations curated by them.

This is culinary linguists at it’s best: a true example of love.

My family recipe contributors on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

My mom, sister, myself and mamabel

Athena and Chris Wedding Day on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding

Our wedding day June 30th

Athena and Chris on The Culinary Linguists blog #love

the day before our wedding day

The recipe book on The Culinary Linguists blog #cookbook

Diving into the culinary linguists!

Athena and Koko on The Culinary Linguists blog #family

Koko and I in 1984

Athena, Bride to be on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding belindaandAthenakitchenteakitchenteainDurban Wedding Stationary Athena and Chris on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding Athena and Chris' reception on The Culinary Linguists blog #wedding

Semi-Sweet Film Food Documentary: Life in Chocolate

In Events on July 28, 2012 at 10:36

It’s 37 degrees in Paris while Patrick Roger’s chocolatier workshop is busy transporting his sculpture of a Orangutan made of chocolate.

Chocolate melts at 37 degrees, the same as our body’s temperature.  Roger explains: “Chocolate acts the way we do . . . It’s a love story.”  Roger’s story amongst others features in the food documentary: Semi-Sweet, Life in Chocolate.

Image It’s African premiere at the Durban International Film Festival gave viewers the chance to travel to three continents and hear multiple perspectives around the complex chocolate sphere.  The director, Michael Allcock and producer, Lalita Krishna immersed themselves in the art, politics, production and conflicting ideals on the chocolate coated topic. This documentary took four years to find the most compelling tales that showcase our relationships within the world of Chocolate.

“Someone promised us a better life  . . . And because of that we almost lost ours,” are the words from the young girls who chose to leave their home in Mali.  Many children are recruited to cross the border into Cote d’Ivoire for the promise of earning money on the cacao plantations.

Cote d’Ivoire produces nearly half of the world’s cacao and most are collected by the hands of young children. The film showcases the stories of youth who were lured by plantation recruiters to earn money that they could never imagine attaining if they stayed in their villages of Burkina Faso or Mali.  Most youths that chose to escape to a empty promise land lose their lives due to the conditions on the fields.  80% of pesticides used on the fields are banned in most countries and poison the workers, amongst other working hazards.

A young man who had survived the harsh conditions on the plantations was given some chocolate to taste after he confessed “Frankly, I do not know what they use cacao for.”

It reminded me of an image that speaks so clearly to what their stories portrayed:

Bustart image via GetGroundedTV

From the plantation field, “If you get tired, it’s not like you can rest.  There’s a quota and you have to get it.”

The film’s powerful choice to reveal the stories of these young workers allows viewers and activists to wake up to the real effect of consumer power, money and the faceted influence it has on lives that live close to the natural resource.

The truths of gross labour from the voices of these children reveal the dichotomy of youth that collect chocolate from pinatas, Halloween bags and Christmas stockings.

The film introduces the world of Hershey, Pennsylvania where Milton Hershey built a fictitious world that breeds naive ignorance since 1903.  Interviews with Hershey’s Public Relations and Marketing Managers expose a honest oblivion to the effects of mass corporate consumerism.  Hershey’s profile plays an interesting role in the film, as the town anthropomorphizes into both a naive narrow-minded child and the enabling greedy Uncle.

Sip through the jetstreams to Northern Ontario, Haliburton and your eyes and ears feast on the poetry of Ron and Nadine, raw food enthusiasts and producers of raw handmade chocolate concoctions of Living Libations.    “. . . They played and played until nectar was made.” exclaims Ron and his confessions of love for his craft.  Light-heartedly, I giggled during scenes of him marketing their ‘out of this world’ chocolate, to the NASA caterers for moon missions.  David Wolfe visits their Secret Land of Is, and dives into the food history of cacao, the value it had as currency until 1886 and the health benefits of this concentrated anti-oxidant tree.

Semi-sweet is Culinary Linguistics at the heart-using media to illustrate the language of chocolate that highlight the diverse realities on such a valuable food resource.  This is a great film to add to the top must-see food documentaries that evoke awareness and call for change.

Any suggestions of films, please share.   Here are some nice lists on great food sites: Lettuce Eat Kale, The Good Human

Celebrating Vetkoek, Beats and Madiba at the the Ubuntu Festival in Cape Town

In Events on July 18, 2011 at 13:53

Ubuntu Festival-Madiba's birthday on The Culinary Linguist Blog #CapetownTata Mandela celebrates his 93rd birthday today.  His life and dedication to the public’s well being has been a symbol for us to trust that we have the capacity to make changes in our life that leads to freedom and positive transformation.  Giving life to metaphors.  On Sunday, July 17th, the city of Cape Town hosted the Ubuntu Festival.  Activities were bustling on St. George’s Mall & Church St and on the ground level of the Mandela Rhodes Place.

Ubuntu Festival-Mandela's birthday on The Culinary Linguist Blog #Capetown

Ubuntu Festival-Mandela's birthday on The Culinary Linguist Blog #CapetownUbuntu Festival-Madiba's birthday-vetkoek on The Culinary Linguist Blog #CapetownA festival that bridges the city’s diverse spirit had independent locally produced food and farm stalls and young local DJ’s and muso’s that delivered positively hip bass-bumping beats from the Red Bull converted land cruiser turned DJ booth. I especially enjoyed GoldTooth’s vocals that dripped like honey off the amp.

Ubuntu Festival-Mandela's birthday on The Culinary Linguist Blog #CapetownMandela's birthday on The Culinary Linguist Blog #CapetownUbuntu Charity Cook Off Mandela's birthday on The Culinary Linguist Blog #Capetown

Inside the Mandela Rhodes Place, festival attendants could give 67 minutes of their time (The number of years Mandela dedicated to public service) to wash, peel, and chop vegetables for soup that was being made for the city’s shelters.  The Charity Cook and Chop had tables of donated vegetables from Shoprite surrounded by tables of chopping boards, knives and peelers that were populated by shifts of about 50 people at a time.  Everyone was in a meditative state, getting into the rhythm of chopping onions, or peeling carrots.  Some people confessed it was a therapeutic activity to prepare the food together, peel, cut and chop and watch the crates fill with all the chopped vegetables.

Ubuntu Charity Cook Off Mandela's birthday on The Culinary Linguist Blog #CapetownUbuntu Charity Cook Off Mandela's birthday on The Culinary Linguist Blog #CapetownUbuntu Charity Cook Off Mandela's birthday on The Culinary Linguist Blog #CapetownCraig Anderson, the Chief Chef at Mandela Rhodes Place led the kitchen logistics of transforming the ingredients into soup. A call for volunteers to stir and cook was announced over the upbeat radio pop songs that were provided by 94.5 Kfm when the Chef needed to quickly prepare the dinner shift for the restaurant upstairs. “Just take a look around you!” exclaimed Craig Anderson, “It’s great! All this soup will be picked up by Red Cross at 5pm to be delivered to the city’s shelters”  So much love was being put into this communal cooking event and it wasn’t the first or last time the Charity Cook was going to happen.Vegetables on Cutting board on The Culinary Linguist Blog #Capetown

Earth Fair Market on The Culinary Linguist Blog #Capetown

Outside along Church St and St. George’s Mall, the Earth Fair Food Market curated the stalls that served traditional Umngqusho and Vetkoek, free-range biltong, farm-cured olives and preserves, Chinese spring rolls, a variety of fragrant curries, chilli bites, freshly juiced apples and beetroot, savory pies, and sublime local wine and beers at The Laughing Crocodile Bar.

Olive Products in South Africa on The Culinary Linguist Blog #CapetownBeef Biltong in South Africa on The Culinary Linguist Blog #Capetown Fresh Produce in South Africa on The Culinary Linguist Blog #CapetownFresh Juice in South Africa on The Culinary Linguist Blog #Capetown

Fat cake in South Africa on The Culinary Linguist Blog #Capetown

Vetkoek a.k.a Fat Cake, Fried Dough, Donut of delicious Msanzi variety

The Ubuntu Festival celebrated the beautiful struggle of freedom, bringing dancing vibrations and nutritious food together in our public city centre to commemorate communities celebrating together in a democratic South Africa. With the spirit of Ubuntu in all of us-Happy Birthday Madiba!

Mandela in South Africa on The Culinary Linguist Blog #Capetown

Raise your Glass to Gugulethu Wine Festival

In Events, Travel on June 28, 2011 at 15:41

Just like food and wine pairing flavours highlight salt, sweet, sour, bitter or umami (lekker or ‘scrumptious’), the Gugulethu Wine Festival proved to be a super umami event experience pairing all the right festival flavours. On the same weekend of the Good Food and Wine Festival, Gugulethu hosted a vibrant well-attended wine tasting event founded by Mzoli Ngcawuzele (owner of Mzoli’s Place) and Lungile Mbalo. The founders explained that the festival aims to enrich and serve the well populated township as a whole by showcasing the community as a vibrant market for wine brands, highlighting “Gugs’ as a tourist destination, and experiencing and hosting South African wine festivals in a proud community style.

It was evident that many people enjoying the festival were passionately appreciating a proud South African commodity. The vibe was positively buzzing, networks bridging, people sipping on the lifestyle quality of wine and wine tasting. It was the inaugural festival of wine in Gugulethu and proved to be a magnetic atmosphere that may inspire more food, wine and lifestyle festivals of Cape Town to be hosted in Gugulethu.

As for the wine-tasting, Plaisr De Merle-Cabernet Sauvignon, Solms-Hiervandaan and Re Mogo Pinotage were my top favorites. I didn’t get a chance to do the winetasting with Nederburg Wines but did enjoy the opportunity to start my Saturday night evening in Gugulethu which has never proven to be salty, sour or bitter, just sweet/Umami. Here’s to more vibrant events for Cape Town in well-populated communities outside the city centre.

Diego’s Fish Festival Birthday in De Waterkant

In Events, Friend's Kitchens, Recipe on April 3, 2011 at 22:23

When you meet Kimon and Diego, you’ll understand that when they throw a birthday party it becomes a street feast festival of seafood, love, family and friends.   On Sunday afternoon, there were four generations of family and friends, sharing steamed paprika-cream mussels out of the pot and apricot-butter fish fresh off the BBQ under the shady hibiscus trees in De Waterkant, Cape Town.

Finger food: dunk your bread in the pot and top it off with a marinated mussel

When I entered the kitchen, there were six friends already preparing an element to the feast; boiling the potatoes, chopping the parsley, crushing garlic, etc.

Preparing the Octopus potato salad

Diego was in the kitchen with a cold Corona in one hand, and a kilo of fresh octopus in the other.  He confirmed that, “Everything made in this kitchen is made with love,” he exclaimed, enjoying the bustle of his kitchen and wearing his pinstripe apron with a hand-sewn felt caricature of Kimon and Diego’s dog, Ferdinando.

Linguine con le vongole

The food that was brought, shared and prepared for Diego’s fish festival birthday party was a testament to how handmade food caters love to everyone’s digestive system.

We celebrated that Sunday with Kimon as our menu MC, hosting popping flavours, beautiful friends in a breathtaking city for what I hope becomes an annual feeshy street birthday festival of shared handmade feasts and love.

Kimon's kitchen graffiti

Crispy flaky philo quejo cups, wish I had more than just one!

The traveling mussel pot of white wine and creme deliciousness. Avô picking his share of the mussels

MC Kimon and Catch of the Day: Diego

Yes thats a gem squash serving as a bowl for mussel stew

a spicy tomato mussel pot

 

raw salsa appetiser on rye crackers

Recipe for Raw Salsa on Crackers:

2 fresh tomatoes

1 onion

1 small bunch of scallions

1 can of corn

3 TB olive oil

1 carrot

sprinkle of salt, pepper, cumin and parsley

Grate tomatoes and onion into a fresh pulp.  Chop scallions and add to the tomato and onion mixture.  Stir in one washed can of corn and chopped scallions.  Add oil, salt, pepper, parsley and cumin to taste.  Spread out rye crackers on a platter and dish one spoonful of the salsa on the crackers.  Grate thin strips of carrot and sprinkle as garnish over the salsa.  Serve immediately to hungry guests.

Salsa feasting

Recipe for Diego’s Octopus Potato Salad:

1 kilo octopus

1 large bunch of fresh parsley

8 potatoes

4 finely chopped cloves of garlic

Clean and pound the octopus to make the meat tender.  Boil water and dunk the octopus in the water at 2-3 second intervals 5 times.  Once octopus is cooked enough to not break the muscles down in your jaw, cut the tentacles and body into bite-sizes pieces.  Put them in a large bowl with  the garlic and salt/pepper  and olive oil to taste.  Cut the potatoes into bite-size chunks and boil until soft. Drain the potatoes and add them to the octopus. Stir and mix in the fresh parsley, adding more oil and salt to taste.  Serve with freshly ground pepper or a drizzle of red wine vinegar.

 

Octopus salad

The Rotating Lamb Spit at Up the Creek

In Events, Stories, Travel on February 6, 2011 at 13:22

 

the lamb spit

The Lamb spit combo

We floated on the Brede River for 8 hours, jammed to great South African music collaborations and ate delicious festival food at Up the Creek.  There was one food tent where Ma and Pa came up the creek and cooked for their whole festival family.  From a military tent, the food army family catering fed the thousands from three 100 litre potjie pots and a 2 by 8 meter rotating lamb spit.  As one of festival soldiers, they fed me well.  Butternut, beetroot, pasta salad, beans, pork, lamb and mash for R50. When the plate couldn’t handle anymore food, they asked if you wanted s’more.  There will delicious food stands but I’ll have to admit that the Ma and Pa meal was one of the highlights at Up the Creek.  Read more about the festival experience on Mahala.co.za

Up the Creek: floating on the river

 

The plate of glory

The food assembly line

a trailer pizza oven: brilliant

Stir-fry at Up the Creek

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