Combining movies & food

Two of my favorite things are movies and food/cooking. The 2014 film “Chef” (Japanese title: シェフ : 三ツ星フードトラック始めました is one such movie about food and cooking (and other things) that I enjoyed and it made me want to make hot sandwiches. Here are a few videos to watch (and whet your appetite):

“Chef” movie trailer:

How to make the cubano sandwiches:

How to make the bread (this guy has an odd sing-song voice, and the habit of saying “We’re going to go ahead and …” but the instructions are easy to follow).

Discussion and writing questions / projects:

  • What movies about food and/or cooking have you seen and enjoyed (for example, “Tampopo” and “Ratatouille” (Japanese title: レミのおいしいレストラン), and here’s how to make ratatouille from the same site as the cubanos above:

  • Do you prefer hot or cold sandwiches? What are your favorite ingredients?
  • The director of “Chef” is Jon Favreau. He also directed the Iron Man series. Who are some of your favorite movie directors? Have they tried very different genres like Mr. Favreau? Do they often use the same actors in their movies?
  • Do you think the movie title シェフ alone would be enough? Does it need the 三ツ星フードトラック始めました」explainer? Why do you think Japanese titles are often more detailed than the originals?
  • The movie “Chef” is, in part, about a man who changes jobs when he’s not happy/satisfied. This seems to be more common in today’s Japan. Do you think it’s a positive trend?
  • Try making a “how-to” video of your favorite recipe. Or, write a recipe and add plenty of photos to show us how to make it.
  • Do you think making your own bread (or any other homemade food) is worth the time and effort?
  • Do you prefer how-to videos that show the person’s face?
  • Tattoos (like the guy in the first how-to video) are not as uncommon in Japan these days. Do you have one? Would you get one?

Humans vs. AI

A Japanese insurance company replacing workers with AI was in the news a week or so ago:

“Japanese insurance firm replaces 34 staff with AI” (from BBC)

And then there’s the hotel in Kyushu (within the Huis Ten Bosch theme park) where 90% of the workers are robots:

These stories reminded me of one man’s quest to fight automated advertisement e-mails. I don’t recommend dealing with your frustrations the same way, but he sure is funny:

Silver linings

Refugee camps may seem to us to be some of the most dismal places on earth, but there may be a silver lining for some:

“Business tips from a refugee camp” (from 1843)

There are shops popping up all over the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. The camp is just (!) a day’s walk from the Daraa region of Syria.

The author of this article is a professor at the London School of Economics, and he visited the camp recently.

From bread to meat to coffee to colorful bicycles to haircuts to wedding dresses, you can find almost anything you want in the more than 1,400 shops in the camp area, talking to the refugees, the shop owners, and the NGO people in the area.

It’s an example of the most fundamental concept in economics: supply and demand.

In perfect harmony

This is a “two birds with one stone” remedy to at least a couple of issues facing Japan today.

I haven’t heard the term “parasite singles” in the news recently, maybe because it’s rather insulting (here are a few more examples)?

Here are a few articles about young (and even older) adults who live with their parents:

Some related topics:

  • “I don’t” (from the Economist) — this is about how many Japanese people these days find it hard to marry and the effects on society and the economy

I kept thinking of this song when I was trying to decide a title for this post: the original Coke ad from 1971, the popularity of which led to this song which dropped the Coke reference, and the “Mad Men” version of the ad from 2012