Director Peter Bratt Talks About Latino Diversity Issues

MCCN’s Erika L. Holmes is of Puerto Rican and Panamanian descent; after hearing Peter Bratt (Director of “La Mission” and brother of actor Benjamin Bratt) speak at 2010 NALIP she then poses a question to him about diversity issues within the Latin Community.  Watch this telling video.

The Multi Cultural Norah Jones

You know the Grammy Award winning artist simply as Norah Jones but her birthname is Geethali Norah Jones Shankar. Does that help to shed some light on mysterious dark good looks?  Jones was born to a Bengali Indian father, a famed sitar musician Ravi Shankar and an Anglo-American mother.

Face it, the Irish & Italian-American Actor Bradley Cooper Sizzles

Valentine's Day: Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts

He played the character Face in the remake of the A-Team Movie,  the star of the Hangover showed women a case of when He’s(your husband) Just Not That Into You, shared scene stealing moments with Julia Roberts in Valentine’s Day, it is fairly obvious to say Bradley Cooper’s career is sizzling.  And did we mention that he cooks too!  In an interview with People magazine the actor shared this statement:

“I seriously love to cook… My grandmother was an amazing cook. As a kid I used to help her make handmade pasta, Cavatelli and Ravioli. It was one of my favorite things to do. I love the idea of making whatever is in the fridge into something.”
Before his breakout success in movies, his love for cooking had a chance to be played out in Fox’s Kitchen Confidential where Cooper’s character was based on the memoir of star chef Anthony Bourdain (Cooper’s character is renamed Jack Bourdain).
What else do women want to know about the tall piercing blue-eyed actor? In an interview with CBS News he shared  if he had a girlfriend, he would cook her “whatever she wants.”

Make Yourself Comfortable with MCCN Host Carla Crudup

Carla Crudup is the face behind that delicious home style mac & cheese.  The MCCN host of the New show Make Yourself Comfortable American Style is well traveled and billingual in Spanish and English so we are so happy to have her.  So watch the video and make yourself comfortable with Carla🙂

Multi Cultural Film & Foodie DVD Pick: Rachel Getting Married

You are all invited to the parties, the kitchen, the wedding and receptions in the film Rachel Getting Married, shot with a personal hand held touch. Although, not one of the happiest film you will ever see it surely is one of the most quirky films.  If I didn’t have a both an abundance of jazz musicians  in my family and a number of family members interracially married I might think the story to be contrived in the casting.  Moreover, despite my familiarity with the culturally intertwined social scene not everyone sees the world in which sisters Rachel and Kym(Anne Hathaway) live.    Their Dad is remarried to an African-American woman.  Rachel is marrying an African-American man.  The bridal gowns are Indian Sari’s.  The wedding activities including a make up of Asian-American, Caucasian and African-American people.  The reception includes all sort of international music from Brazil to Africa.  The story is penned by the grand-daughter of legendary African-American singer/actress Lena Horne and daughter of acclaimed American director Sydney Lumet, Jenny Lumet.   Growing up in a world of Jazz, Black, White and inevitable international exposure bleeds on to the paper and gives you Rachel Getting Married.

Multiculturalism arguably subtley pushed in the film but make no mistake the story is multi-layered, addiction, ramifications of divorce, death, sibling rivalry, and the last stages of wedding preparation all wrapped into one is the story of Rachel Getting Married.

Review by Crystal A. Johnson, MCCN Editor & Film Critic for the Valley Scene Magazine

(Jonathan Demme with Writer Judy Lumet)

Dinner: Join the party feast on Masala and naan.

Ann Hathaway fan? Check out our review of Valentine’s Day at:’s-day.html

The Olympic Village Menu

Free! Free! Free! That’s the million-dollar word for Olympians who moved into the swanky Olympic Village digs in Whistler/Vancouver. After the games, the upscale athlete neighborhood will convert to a residential neighborhood, but for now it’s free living, free Wii, and free food.

 “Food, folks and fun” is the name of the game and “bah, dah, dah, dah, dah…” the athlete’s “are loving it.” For the eighth consecutive Olympics, fast food mega-chain, McDonald’s, spreads its golden arches in the Olympic Village, and they are the only official restaurant feeding the Olympians. On the eve of the Olympic’s Opening Ceremonies, with the help of Olympic gold medalists Cassie Campbell (Canada), Shawn Johnson (USA), Picabo Street (USA) and Katarina Witt (Germany), the fast food chain unveiled its new upcoming menu item — Real Fruit Smoothies.

Available in Strawberry Banana and Wild Berry, the beverages will debut at the three McDonald’s restaurants in the village. For the rest of us, we will just have to wait for the summertime when the Real Fruit Smoothies becomes part of the McCafe line-up. Other items being served to the Olympians include, Mickey D’s signature item, the Big Mac, as well as Chicken McNuggets with a new Spicy Szechwan dipping sauce, and of course, the international favorite French Fries

Now, don’t you worry about your favorite athlete over-indulging on meat and carbs; salads and parfaits will also be available on the menu as well. Beyond McDonald’s there are other options, the Olympic Village contains a cafeteria which serves dishes like Egg Foo Young, Chuckwagon Chowder, Carved Jamaican Pork Tenderloin, and grilled chicken and roast potatoes. The catering is provided by Sodexo.

*Olympic Village Cafeteria Menu Breakfast:

  • Breakfast: (4am -10am) Cereal, egg dishes, assortment of breads, meats, potato dishes, and other hot items such as waffles.
  • Lunch (10am – 4pm) and Dinner: (4pm-12am) – Lunch and dinner meals include soups, international entrees, an Asian section, grill/carvery, a Native Canadian section, pizza and pasta, halal and various vegetables and starches (rice, noodles, pasta).
  • Late Night-soups, pizza, salads, omelets, pasta, salads and a Native Canadian section. *Menu taken from:

Learn about Olympic Athlete Apollo Ohno:

by Monica Johnson

New We Are the World Recording Session

The new We are the World video directed by Paul Haggis and featuring 70 stars including LL Cool J, Carlos Santanna, Barbara Streisand, Lil Wayne, Vince Vaugn, Jamie Foxx, Celine Dion and many more will debut at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Click Here to see Essence Black Women in Hollywood Video

Worldwide Cultural Remedies for the Common Cold

As the editor, of the Multi Cultural Cooking Network Iproudly have friends from all walks of life.  While pressing through a cold and sore throat I became aware of the plethora of remedies hitting my face book page.   When Chef Jay Bonilla of our upcoming show En La Cocina Para Mi Amore and executive chef D’Cache in Los Angeles suggested tea with lime, it suddenly dawned on me there is a twist to all this.  Whether mothers, chefs, anthropologist or PhD’s gave me advice it all came from a cultural place of familiarity or generational word of mouth.- Crystal A. Johnson, MCCN Editor.

In a Report from ABC News Health,Dr. Marjorie Mau, chair of the Department of Native Hawaiian Health at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii said as a the daughter of a Chinese father and Hawaiian Chinese mother, Mau fondly recalled her mother’s spin on chicken soup, which she loves to this day. It combines chicken in a clear broth, ginger root … and a little bit of whiskey.

Chinese people may use folk remedies. These remedies are applied to a wide variety of aliments and may be used for general health maintenance as well. Because colds and flu are usually self-limiting, certain remedies are likely to shorten their course and help alleviate associated symptoms.

Wind-Heat Type Cold and Flu

Foods like peppermint, chrysanthemum, Chinese box thorn, mung beans, lotus leaves, olives, Chinese spinach and spinach are recommended. They are cold or cool in properties, which help to relieve heat symptoms.

Chrysanthemum and peppermint tea: Boil the chrysanthemum (6g) with 400ml of water. When brought to a boil, add in peppermint (3g) and crystal sugar (15g), boil for 2-3 minutes. Take the hot tea twice a day. It helps to relieve symptoms like sore throat, nasal congestion, headache and fever that occur in “heat” type flu.

Cayenne pepper was used by South American Native Americans thousands of years ago. In fact, it has been traced back to as early as 7000 B.C. Natives used it most often as an edible spice; the combination of peppers and cocoa was reserved for royalty only.

  • John Gerard, an herbalist, used the plant to treat ailments of the skin and throat. His contemporaries in England used it to treat all sorts of other ailments, such as indigestion, arthritis and kidney stones.

Cayenne dissolved in water and drunk or gargled, can relieve the symptoms of a sore throat. This is because cayenne peppers contain a great deal of Vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant. They also contain Vitamin A, which helps avoid mucous membrane infections. Lastly, the pain is lessened by capsaicin, the chemical in peppers. Capsaicin works by reducing a substance that transmits pain signals to the brain.

Cultural Cold Remedies

Multi Cultural Super Bowl Appetizers

Crab Ceviche- Photo Credit

All recipes can be found here or the official Multi Cultural Cooking Network at   Click on Recipe choice for recipe

Photo Credit: BBC

Olympic Games 2010: The Ultimate Multi-Cultural Event

The excitement of the Olympic Games 2010 is coming soon to Vancouver.  Here are some of the torch highlights.  Featured above is the arrival of the Olympic torch on the traditional first nations canoe.  Torchbearers from Sandspit to Skidegate to Queen Charlotte and on to Whitehorse handed the historic symbol from one Canadian to another.

Shania Twain lights the Torch in Toronto.  The singer  and  proud Canadian carried the Olympic torch the final 400 yards into Hollinger Park, cheered on by thousands of parka-clad fans who turned out in arctic.   Twain said of the moment, “It’s a highlight of my life to be able to carry the flame, to light the cauldron.”