Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Carnish Culture: Levi's Film Workshop

It was lunch time and I was rushing hungry through Little Tokyo plaza with my camera - but not for ramen. The surprisingly warm afternoon sun bathed downtown for the first time all week, and as I wished I had my sunglasses, Shepard Fairey passed briskly, politely waving off several lingering press folks outside the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. I was en route to the preview of Art in the Streets, and clearly I had found it.

The invite came from Levi's, to check out their impressive new Film Workshop set up in conjunction with MOCA's vast exhibit comprehensively surveying graffiti and street art through the past several decades. Rather than exiting through the gift shop, museum-goers would exit through the workshop.
The industrious creative work space is fully staffed and open to the public free of charge during regular museum hours inside the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (152 North Central Avenue) in downtown Los Angeles now through August. Key resources available include latest generation computers and edit suites provided by Intel; a green screen “cyc” provided by Quixote Studios; a slow-motion video booth; stop motion and multiplane animation stations; Adobe professional video, animation, compositing, audio, and design software; Magic Bullet Suite for color correction and visual effects plug-ins; a Phonotrope and hand painted film table. The Workshop Equipment Rental counter will offer a selection of vintage and modern cameras including Super8, Flips and DSLRs; sound equipment from RØDE; grip and lighting gear from Quixote; tripods and accessories from Manfrotto; a host of devices for duplicating and transferring; a screening facility for filmmakers to share their creations... All free of charge.
Throughout the next few months the workshop will also host collaborations with artists from the Art in the Streets exhibition and pioneers from the worlds of street art and graffiti, skateboarding, food and music. Weekly Educational Workshops will be taught by industry experts and special guests that cover topics including everything from found footage, Super8, 16mm film techniques and direct animation to stunts and 3D. A series of film screenings related to art, skate, music and food will also be presented in partnership with LA-based curators and theaters.

But what I am looking forward to most? Shockingly, the food segment coming up in July! Levi’s has only hinted at some of the programming (still in the works), but disclosed a project that will pair celebrated food trucks (Kogi BBQ confirmed among them) with respected filmmakers to create short films celebrating the food truck trade. Stay tuned, I will post the full food schedule once it's released.

In the meantime, who wants to get green screened into Babette's Feast?

For more information about Levi’s Workshops and the Levi’s Film Workshop, please visit http://workshops.levi.com, http://www.facebook.com/Levis and @levisworkshops.

And since I had a press pass in hand, I quickly toured the exhibit next door. Not to be missed!
I'll leave you with an animated film made in the Levi's Film Workshop by Filmmaker Cat Solen in collaboration with Art in the Streets featured artist Swoon.

Swoon + Cat Solen from Levi's Film Workshop on Vimeo.

ART IN THE STREETS: April 17 – August 8, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Carnish Culture: BabyCakes Gives Birth - Again!

If you've EVER followed my blog for more than like a second then you know that I'm a faithful lover of NYC-native vegan and gluten-free bakery BabyCakes. And Erin McKenna, the sweetheart behind the delicious operation has been keeping mighty busy. She's opened outposts in downtown Los Angeles and Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort Florida, released an acclaimed cookbook (check out the Sweet Paradise Cake!), and now already a second book, in stores today.
The new edition, dubbed "BabyCakes Covers the Classics: Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes from Donuts to Snickerdoodles" contains 50 dietarily-reinterpreted recipes for favorite treats like Thin Mints, whoopie pies, waffles, pancakes, hamentashen, sugar cookies, German chocolate cake, donuts, Mounds, and madeleines... Finally, sweets for all!

Erin McKenna will be doing baking demos and signing copies of the new cookbook at the following Williams-Sonoma locations, hopefully near you:

Saturday, April 16 at 1:00pm in Short Hills, NJ
Sunday, May 1, at 1:00pm in Santa Monica, CA

BabyCakes Covers the Classics: From Donuts to Snickerdoodles. It's the New Cookbook!!! from BabyCakes NYC on Vimeo.
Preview vid shot & directed by David Mettler, produced by David Mettler and Chris Cechin, and edited by Justin Gallaher.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Croquer: Mother Dough

You've probably already heard of it. You know, the new Los Feliz pizza joint that's "better than Mozza." But I'd like to suggest we not compare the two. Mother Dough is playing a different hand, and for the moment anyway winning the Neapolitan game in LA.
Just one week after supping on Greenpoint, NY's popular Paulie Gee's Neapolitan style pizza, it was refreshing to walk into Mother Dough and find a similarly casual room with a sister 6,000 pound imported high-temp wood burning oven. A single pizzaiolo tossed the pies in and out (for a mere 60 to 90 seconds each at 850+ degrees). I couldn't help but feel a little pride that LA could finally be catching up.
Wind Attack and I snagged the last table (not bad for a Friday night). Our server warned us that the entire room had just ordered and pizzas were running behind. No problem for us, we ordered the mixed greens to start, a vibrant blend of kale, arugula, radicchio, mint, and tomato in a punchy vinaigrette.
Contrary to the admonition our pizzas didn't take long at all, and even came out at the same time. Mother Dough offers 5 pies (ah, focused simplicity!). We of course ordered a classic Margherita as well as the Whiskey-Fennel Sausage (essentially the Margherita with a few slices of tasty sausage). The pizzas are thin and char-blistered, mottled with bright San Marzano tomato puree and buffalo mozzarella. Each batch of dough carries a small piece of the dough before it (the "Mother Dough" lineage) which baked is chewy and tart, with a soft center and a charred underside that packs a considerable bitterness.
A destination for purists, some may scratch their heads at Mother Dough's pies. The pizzas may not be crowned with squash blossoms, hot chiles or funghi misti, but I bet they can sleep at night.
4648 Hollywood Blvd. LA, 90027; 323.644.2885