Ambler Theater's Babette's Feast: Film & Food Recap

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Since beginning Tinsel & Tine in 2008, I've gotten to learn more, be a part of, and savor these two creative expressions: Film and Food.

The pinnacle of my experiences thus far, took place on Thursday night (March 8, 2012) at the Ambler Theater.   Those of us in attendance were not only given the opportunity to see Babette's Feast, the Oscar winning, Danish film, considered one of the all-time great "food films"; we also got to taste Babette's menu!

Quail en Sarcophage avec Foie Gras, Wild Mushrooms and Truffle Butter Sauce
The event came together pretty quickly, the idea coming from Chef Drew Abbate of the The Vine and Fig Tree Bistro which is located across the street from The County Theater in Doylestown.  County and Ambler are sister theaters, so it was decided it should be a dual event. Ambler's Director of Special Programs, Christopher R. Collier, contacted Chef Joesph Koye of Wild Blue Creative Catering  (caterer of their annual Oscar Party) to create his own interpretation of Babette's Feast, and oh my, was it spectacular!

Chef Joseph Koye, President of Wild Blue Creative Catering Inc.
7 courses all with accompanying spirits. The theater's lobby was transformed with elegantly set tables, crystal stemware and a jovial costumed General to host as we dived into delight after delight.

(See below picture slide show for Chef Koye's menu, all the dishes and attendees)

My table included two birthday celebrations: Ginny who was given the evening as a gift from her son Chris and daughter Amy. And Audrey who gave more than a little hint to her husband Peter that this was what she wanted to do for her birthday.  The other couple, Dena & Richard, were just celebrating their passion for good film and food.  In fact, I asked Dena if she would begin guest blogging for Tinsel & Tine, because this fun loving couple not only dine out frequently in and around Philly; they also try recreating dishes at home.  Doesn't that sound like a perfect post combination?! 



I don't know, but I suspect Chef Abbate chose to do this event now, as we are in the season of Lent and Babette's Feast has deeply religious themes -
Behind the film’s deceptively simple story is a sort of parable or fable of religion and life. A voice-over narrator introduces us to a pair of aging sisters, daughters of a now-deceased Protestant minister on the Jutland coast of Denmark, whose names are Martina (Birgitte Federspiel) and Philippa (Bodil Kjer) — "after Martin Luther and his friend, Philip Melanchthon."

These pious sisters lead quiet lives of touching service among their late father’s remaining followers, a handful of older residents of a tiny nineteenth-century coastal settlement that is at once almost a religious community and a sect unto itself.

In their youth, we learn, both Martina and Philippa were once courted with opportunities for love and/or fame that would have taken them away from their father and his work. These offers, much to the grief of heartbroken suitors, were turned down. - Steven D. Greydanus
Babette's Feast is a story about pietism and the sensuality of food.- Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen)
 Babette can be seen as a Christ-figure. A good woman, she has been exiled from her own country and been received by kind people and employed as a servant. In her service of the sisters, she emerges as a saviour-figure. In creating her feast, and spending all her money, like the widow in the Gospels, giving everything she had, she empowers the women and their guests to embrace a fuller quality of life, to forgive one another, to be reconciled and to be open to a world of grace - Fr. Peter Malone, MSC

The story of Babette's Feast was first published in the Ladies Home Journal, then later appeared in Isak Dinesen's Anecdotes of Destiny (1958). The movie, directed by Gabriel Axel, received the Academy Award in 1987 for Best Foreign Film.

By the way, County Theater/Vine and Fig's Babette event takes place next Wednesday, March 14th. If you are reading this in time, I sincerely recommend trying to still get tickets.

Philly Food Blog

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.
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Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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