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French Food At Home

Laura Calder

So my latest tv obsession has been focused on the food network.  French Food At Home, hosted by Laura Calder focuses on, well…french food.  The show, which is in its second season, focuses on food from France and French Canada as well as tid bits of french culture from both France and Canada.

Lets talk about the host first.  Not only does she have this passion for French food, but she is amazingly educated.  She has 2 BAs from two universities in Canada, and Masters degree from the London School of Economics.  Moreover, she studied cooking at The Dubrulle Culinary Institute in Vancouver, Canada and at L’Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne in Burgundy, France where she studied for 7 years. 

With that said, she has written for a number of magazines: Vogue Entertaining and Travel, Gourmet magazine, Gastronomica, Salon.com, the Times of London, the Los Angeles Times, the Wine Journal, and Flare magazine.  She has written her own cookbook as well which was published back in 2003, the title the same as the tv show.

The first season of the show was done quite well actually.  There’s nothing on the Food Network about french food.  So it was good in the sense that it was different.  On top of that, I loved the set and the lighting as well as the camera angels, camera work and the type of camera that they used (they didn’t use the typical camera that one would use to film a tv show; rather they used what seemed like a high quality dvd type of camera).  But the best thing I loved about the show last season was that it was simple; something that I have always loved about Canadian television as a whole. 

The second season is just as good, if not better.  Although they have begun using a different camera and the set is a bit different as well, the second season is more casual and open.  Laura has begun to display more of her personality via her hair, her clothes and her makeup.  She is more relaxed and is beginning to tell jokes in between kneading and mixing.  I can’t say anything about the food since I am not at all familiar with french good.  But judging by Laura’s passionate explanations, I am sure its quite good. 

One thing, however, that I would change is the lighting.  The lighting this season isn’t as good as it was last season.  The way they have it this time around is that the show is trying to go for that ‘natural light look without any evidence of any light bulbs’ type of thing.  It can work, and it does work to make Laura’s dresses and makeup pop but it kind of makes the rest of the set look a bit dark.  If the set had bright colours instead of warm colours than perhaps they could pull it off.  But as of right now, I don’t think the lighting is as good as it can be. 

So if you like food, its a nice little half hour escape into the realm of wonderful french cuisine.

More Nostalgia – Electric Circus on MuchMusic

January 7, 2008 2 comments

When I was in elementry and Jr high, I used to look forward to Friday nights.  Friday nights at 9pm in particular.  That was because Electric Circus used to be on Much Music.  Electric Circus was the live dance show dedicated to Club, House, and Trance music.  As far as I can remember, it was Monica Deol, who I had the biggest crush on, hosted the show.  Later on, when she left Juliet Powell hosted the show.  I would say that after Juliet left, the show and Much Music in general began its decline into crappiness.  Electric Circus was a good show in that it gave the mainstream access to music that wasn’t very mainstream.  Plus for those that lived in Toronto, it was a place to find out where all the DJs who came into town were playing.  I remember, during the late 90s, they began to have live chat rooms where you could talk to some of the dancers while you watched the show.  Electric Circus was one of the more unique shows on television at the time.  I think it was new years where they used to go upto Parliment Hill and have the show and dancers in front of the House of Commons.  The Wonderland Parties were always hype as well.  God I miss those days…well here are some clips for you guys to go back into time with. Enjoy!