Stock Footage: The Palace Flavors

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Since the ICKFD gained a new face (and beautiful!), The blog inside the site, the same one you are reading, has also won several columns. This is part of Dani’s project to bring more content in a fun and dynamic way, that is, different people talking about varied subjects and with one thing in common: the passion for gastronomy. Well then. I did not know what to talk about if I had a column here on the site, since I usually write posts from Curitiba’s Gastronomic News and Itineraries, Secrets and other things about Everything and About Nothing but which are always Small Pleasures.
Until I thought of combining two contents that give cloth to the mango and yield looongas conversations. Cinema and Food, Food and Cinema. Because like that … Think about it. It is very rare to remember in the head of a movie that does not have a scene with food, whatever. Anyway, this column will focus on feature films (and of course if there is a cool short, there will also be times here) related to gastronomy. I talked to Jéssica Giovanini about the idea, regretting that I didn’t have enough time to dedicate myself to the reviews, and didn’t the solution come quickly? Jé studies cinema and writes in the Literary Gastronomy column, here at the ICKFD, and nothing better than combining the useful with the pleasant ((:
So, I start the first text from Cinema & Comida, which will feature two monthly reviews (one of mine and one by Jé) of the films that made us laugh, cry, reflect and, of course, run to the kitchen! And you will always have a special recipe to complete your reading. I hope you like it and send us movie tips to talk about, too. The first was Dani’s recommendation, who watched and loved it. Come on?
The Palace Flavors
From time to time, I like to imagine what a restaurant chef’s routine is like. The challenges of coordinating a team prepared to cook vegetables at exactly the right point, grill the meat and leave it to the customer’s taste or make the pasta al dente, as our Italian Amici say, are at least breathtaking. . Coordinating a private kitchen is another story. And no, it doesn’t seem to be any less difficult when you and the whole country (if not the world!) Meet the only person for whom it will be necessary to cook.
In Os Sabores do Palácio (2012), Hortense Laborie (Catherine Frot) is a cook who lives in Périgord, in the interior of France, and works with young foreign gastronomy apprentices. From one day to the next, he receives an unprecedented and very difficult proposal to be rejected. Madame Laborie, 40-something, owner of big brown eyes and amused smile, addicted to truffles (mushrooms, not chocolate) and classic French cuisine, is invited to be the private cook of François Miterrand, the president of France.
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She tries to explain to all the men in important positions that she is not, she is not the right person for that, after all, her specialty is preparing a good and fresh meal for her uncles. Homemade food. Despite the arguments, everyone tells Hortense that yes, she is the right person since she was requested by the President because, after all, he has his reasons. Even without knowing the tastes of François Miterrand, she needs to put together a menu, every day as soon as she receives confirmation of how many will be the president’s guests. Then, she has two hours to assemble a complete meal, with starter, main course and dessert, of course.
Between Broth of Garlic with cubes of fresh foie gras, Magret with sweet and sour sauce accompanied by sarladaise potatoes and a beautiful Saint Honoré for dessert, Hortense Laborie understands why she was hired. The president of the French republic wants to recover his childhood memories and rediscover the taste of things, sometimes with a simple bordeaux mushroom omelette, as she prepared the first day he arrived at the Elysée’s private kitchen.
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Gastronomy is a macho universe, and we have already discussed this post here. Still, the film moves even more because it is a real story. In other words, Hortense did exist and suffered a great deal of prejudice on the part of all the men who surrounded her work; from the very traditional chefs of the central kitchen, responsible for the events of the Palace, to those who took care of the president’s budget.
With a strong and determined personality, she did not give up. His assistant and confectioner, young Nicolas, shared the oven and the pots while they worked for hours on end in search of impeccable recipes. One of my favorite scenes is when the two try the final version of Jonchée Rochefortaise, a white cheese made from curdled milk and perfumed with bay leaves, served with almond cream and jam under a strip of braided reed strips. The scene is so comforting, it makes you want to transport yourself to Elysée’s kitchen and share that moment with them.
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The film’s narrative follows a linear structure, alternating between the current moments in Hortense’s life, already in another job, and the time he spent preparing the best meals that Miterrand has ever tasted. In the same vein, the soundtrack is very subtle throughout the film. In the scenes in which the dishes are made, on the other hand, it is as if classical music takes the form of a conductor and guides the movements of the duo in the kitchen. Inspiring.
THE FLAVORS OF THE PALACE – Les saveurs du Palais
By Christian Vincent
with Catherine Frot, Jean d’Ormesson, Arthur Dupont.
2012 – Comedy – 1h35
I know, I know I should start this column with an exclusive recipe for the film’s dessert and I apologize in advance. But I won’t make you feel like it. It is a classic French pie with a puff pastry base surrounded with mini bombs (pâte a choux) filled with icing cream and then caramelized. The filling of the pie is icing cream covered with fresh cream with sugar.
Dani made a recipe for Saint Honoré de Piña Colada. Click on the photo to check it out; D

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