Documentary: The Dark Side of Chocolate

Seventy percent of the world’s cocoa, the essential ingredient in chocolate, is grown in West Africa, a region plagued by abusive child labor, forced labor and trafficking on cocoa farms.  Click Here to Read More and See Trailer


Playing Pasadena, CA: Topdog/Underdog

The Pulitzer Prize winning play Topdog/Underdog written by Suzan-Lori Parks hit theatres recently at the Fremont Centre in Pasadena, California.  The two-character play centers on the rivalry between African American brothers Lincoln and Booth who live in a run down efficiency apartment in New York City. READ MORE

Shakespeare in Topanga Canyon, Hillside of CA.

Theatricum Botanicum kicks off its 2010 Summer Repertory Season with two offerings from the Bard. Artistic director Ellen Geer directs Hamlet, opening on Saturday, June 5 at 8 pm. Melora Marshall directs Theatricum’s one-of-a-kind, signature production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, opening on Sunday, June 6 at 3:30 pm. Both plays will run in repertory throughout the summer in the Theatricum’s 299-seat outdoor amphitheater, carved into the Topanga Canyon hillside.

Following the death of his father, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his uncle now occupies the throne and the queen’s bed. Spurred by the ghost of his father and surrounded by spies, Hamlet must avenge his father’s murder.

Fans of Shakespeare’s seminal revenge tragedy might want to think about seeing the Theatricum production twice: longtime company members Mike Peebler and Jeff Wiesen don’t just alternate performances in the title role – each also plays Laertes to the other’s Hamlet.

“Our actors are accustomed to playing multiple roles in numerous plays each season, and also to double casting – but with Hamlet we’re trying something new,” explains Geer. “It’s been a wonderful rehearsal period. Mike and Jeff work together like a dream, watching each other and listening to each other’s notes. They have set a wonderful tone for the whole company to emulate.

See what food to pack for dining before the show: Picnic tips in Video Section

Johnny Depp Mania at “Almost Alice” Disney Event

Disney held their ultimate fan event at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Tons of fan rocked out to bands who performed on the soundtrack before the main event/person everyone came too see walked on the stage…Johnny Depp.  The superstar was greeted with no shorter of screaming fan from generation to generation.  Tim Burton and all of the main cast was there too.

Get Cultural!  Find out about the Multiple Cultures of Johnny Depp

MCCN plans to have plenty of  tea party coverage.

Dinner and A Movie: Best Football Films

With the Super Bowl right around the corner, MCCN’s film critic has picked some of the best football movies to help mentally prepare you for the big game on February 7th. So get ready, get in the mood with our movie food matches by a comfort food critic and go through our list of football faves:

Brian’s Song
It’s hard to not cry during this touching and very true film. Starring James Caan and Billy Dee Williams as Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers respectively. The film follows Piccolo as he becomes fast friends with Sayers before finding out that he is dying. Both Caan and Williams give great performances that stand out amongst their early work.-

Dinner: for old time sake a TV Dinner.  Come on, transport yourself to the 70’s. No fuss just sit back and enjoy the movie. These days there are new spins to the classic meal.

We Are Marshall
Matthew McConaughey and McG the director combined deliver their best work of the 2000’s. The film follows the rebuilding of the Marshall football team after a devastating plane crash in which a majority of the team and coaching staff were killed. McConaughey plays the coach who volunteers to coach the team and attempts to console the campus after tragedy. Dinner: Traditional Mexican chili is simmered beef chunks, spicy and seasoned, served seperately from the beans.

Remember the Titans
Remember the Titans is a touching story about racial divide and the desegregation of a suburban Virginia high school. Denzel Washington leads a strong cast in this 2000 drama. Future stars Ryan Gosling, Kate Bosworth, and Hayden Panettiere make an appearance, but the true star is the touching story and the triumph of friendship over social divides.  Dinner: Considering that the film centers on a college football team, go with milkshakes and hamburgers. Even Denzell Washington ate those foods to gain 40 pounds in Pelham 123.

See the Rest of the listing at:

Golden Globe 2010 Menu: Feeding the Stars

2009 Golden Globe Award Winner Kate Winslet

As one of Hollywood’s most celebrated events of the year, the Golden Globes are viewed by millions of people in over 150 countries worldwide. And we generally know what to expect by the time the 67th annual ceremony rolls around on Jan. 17— the bright lights, gilded statuettes and round tables filled with celebrities. The only thing you probably aren’t used to seeing is what the stars are eating for dinner.

The thought of some celebrities actually eating a real meal might surprise the fans who watch them on screen showcasing their well-trained physiques, but part of the time-honored traditions of this event—held every year at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills—is the food.

This year is no different, albeit a little less flashy than you might expect. According to a recent Associated Press article, the menu includes herb-crusted mozzarella and grilled eggplant salad over vine ripe tomatoes, braised beef short ribs and artichoke sweet pepper ragout, as well as sautéed sea bass with truffle endive fritto.

Moet, still the official champagne brand of the Globes for the past 16 years, will be adding some social lubricant to the party with personal-sized bottles topped with mini-champagne flutes.

For dessert, a chocolate concoction, called “The Envelope Please,” includes a dark chocolate truffle filled with chocolate mousse and mandarin orange jelly sitting next to a chocolate envelope with a thin letter-sized piece of chocolate poking out of it.

With approximately 1300 guests in attendance, the challenge of serving and satisfying the diverse pallets of everyone from Zoe Saldana to Mickey Rourke has to be a challenge, And can you imagine having to plan a menu six months in advance just to make sure everything is perfect? Soon a team of over 100 chefs will be working from 6 a.m. to midnight the day of the awards all the way to the last minute before service ends.

But maybe it helps that the culinary staff will be using some familiar products. With an eye towards fresh, California cooking and the use of native products, the menu for the Globes this year is steeped in predictably tasty local flavors. Organized by Beverly Hilton executive chef Suki Sugiura (a four-time veteran of the Golden Globes) the menu is one that seems to symbolize Hollywood’s health-conscious culture, minus the dessert. And even though Hollywood surpassed $10 billion dollars in box office profit, it’s nice to see that the menu keeps things modest and light.

Article by Nate Jackson

The History and Food of the Golden Globe Awards

Chef Suki Sugiura is now in his fourth year of planning the menu and cooking for Golden Globe attendees.

Sunday, January 17, 2010 will mark the first time the Golden Globe awards ceremony will broadcast live all over the United States. Ricky Gervais will serve as host for the 67th incarnation of the awards show presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.  First held in January 1944, the Golden Globes celebrate the best in film and television.  The first award ceremony was held at the 20th Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles and consisted of an informal and short awards presentation. The first awards recipients included: “The Song of Bernadette” (Best Picture), Jennifer Jones (Best Actress), and Paul Lukas (Best Actor). 

 Even though the ceremony has been held at various sites, including the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the Beverly Hills Hilton hotel now serves as the official annual site of the ceremony.  As usual, Hollywood’s top players will come together in spectacular and fashionable harmony to celebrate and honor one another in a dinner party-type fashion. While sitting at conversation-inducing round tables, award attendees will partake in, both, fine wines and foods.  

Suki Sugiura, executive chef at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, is in charge, for the fourth time, of feeding Hollywood’s elite.  Planning six months in advance, the professional chef works with a kitchen crew of 100 and works from 6am-12 midnight to ensure the tastiness of his work.

The official menu of the 2010 Golden Globes includes:

—Garden herb-crusted California mozzarella with grilled eggplant on vine-ripened tomato and arugula radish salad

—Mediterranean herb-braised California beef short rib with artichoke sweet pepper ragout, along with sautéed filet of Pacific sea bass with truffle endive fritto and aged balsamic extra-virgin olive oil

—White chocolate envelope filled with mousseline of lime and citrus cake alongside a chocolate dome sponge cake with Cointreau and mandarin orange center topped with chocolate glaze and gold leaf, garnished with raspberries.

For more information about the menu, see Golden Globes 2010 Menu: Feeding the Stars and for details about the 2010 Golden Globes please visit:

 Article by Catrina A. Sally