[GIVEAWAY] Interview with Chef-Turned-Artist Kristina Groeger

I’m really drawn to people who hold many talents. It might be that I see myself in them, but I think it’s mostly because it excites me to think of all the collaborations and conversations we could have, and the things that we can put out into the world. Chef-Turned-Artist, Kristina Groeger, has been a FGFS Fan Club member since Day One and was the first submission to roll in when we announced our gallery show, Fat In Public. If you live in or around Roncesvalles, or are an adventurer, you can see Kristina’s design work in the logo for Extra Butter, a nifty addition to the bourgeoning strip. I recently roped Kristina into answering a few burning questions about her work and life. kristinaG FGFS: Who are you?

Kristina: Oh, hi hello. I’m Kristina Groeger.

FGFS: What do you do?

Kristina: I am a visual artist that lives in Toronto. I was a chef for a good number of years and decided to do a bit of a career change to focus more on making art and comics.

FGFS: What gets you excited about what you do?

Kristina: Half of my life ago (in high school), I can remember feeling really excited by creating a whole world with paint or pictures. I loved the idea of telling a story through something so simple. It’s exciting to watch a blob of paint or plate of food turn into a person with personality or a symphony of colour and taste.

FGFS: You’re like me in that your talents are varied. We do it all. Web, photography, art, cooking. I can’t imagine life being any other way. How about you? Is that just who you are, and how you function?

Kristina: I think this is definitely something I still explore and struggle with a bit. Without seeming like a “Jill of all trades, master of none” I like to think of myself more as an absent minded professor who is super close to a breakthrough. I’ve tried very hard to string together why I am such a “renaissance woman” (read: distracted aquarius). But, as far as web, photography, art, cooking? I see them all as forms of creation, story telling, or challenge and those are my favourite things to explore.

FGFS: What dish are you really, really good at making? Either you’re known for it, or just can just bang it out no problem and impress everyone.

Kristina: I would say that I am fairly known for my savoury or sweet pies. I really love working with pastry, also encompassing pasta and bread. I love kneading and sculpting the mixture of water, flour, and fat. It’s crazy how powder and liquid takes form into a delicious vehicle for flavour.

FGFS: Why is it that you create imagery and art that deals with food so prominently?

Kristina: Food for me has been an enormous part of my life for a really long time. I’ve been on a strict regime for the past six months to have more energy and start getting back into some sporty stuff I used to enjoy (skiing, swimming, baseball). When I was painting the donuts [paintings featured in Fat in Public], it was having an intense internal struggle about eating for pleasure vs. eating for body fuel. I also notice that everyone takes photos of their food the same way people would take photos of their family. The way we view food has shifted. When you see the way chefs like Michel Bras, Jason Bangerter, Daniel Humm, or Graham Elliott plate food you realize that this is art. They are using textures and viscosity to paint a beautiful landscape and story. I love exploring this in all types of mediums.

Ref: Chef Michel Bras Gargilou Source

FGFS: Anything else to add?

Kristine: This is one of my favourite videos of all time that shows the melding of food/art : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ_zMnxR9z8

Kristina has generously given us some prints and stickers(!) of the donut paintings from her series, Round Food Makes You Round, that hung in out gallery show in February.

To be one of the lucky winners follow these steps: 1. Go follow Kristina on Twitter 2. Tweet using the hashtag #FGFSxRoundFood and let us know why you want to win!

For further exploration find Kristina at these hot online places:   Tumblrhttp://tumblr.kristinagroeger.com/ and Etsyhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/KristinaGroegerArt
Portfoliohttp://kristinagroeger.com/

[GIVEAWAY] Good Food & Drink Festival

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The Good Food and Drink Festival is a three-day epicurean festival featuring all the best in gourmet fare, natural foods, exotic ingredients, and expert speakers.

Packed into the Direct Energy Centre for the 22nd year, visitors will be treated to delicious food, drink and discussion regarding culinary trends over April 4th thru April 6th.

Foodies from far and wide will be coming to listen to the likes of Vikram Vij, Frankie Flowers or Terry Salmond (Top Chef Canada) provide live demos and discuss all things food.

But beyond the celebrity demonstrations, you could visit some of the artisan vendors, get a crash course in how to be a sommelier or perhaps visit food truck alley to take in some of the delicious food whilst learning about food truck culture.

Tickets are $12 online or $15 at the door. With several different options available for 2014, including the Couples Option and the VIP Preview Party (available Thursday only) both in the $50 pricepoint.

We are giving away 1-pair of tickets to the Good Food & Drink Festival! So how do you enter?

1) Like Fat Girl Food Squad on Twitter or Facebook.

2) Tweet the following: Experience an epicurean delight at @GoodFoodDrinkTO with @FatGrlFoodSquad! #FGFSlovesGoodFood

3) This contest will run from Monday March 31, 2014 until Wednesday April 2, 2014 at 5PM. We will announce all the giveaway winners via our Twitter and Facebook, so check back there!

[GIVEAWAY] The Good for Her – Feminist Porn Awards

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The Good For Her Feminist Porn Awards are the longest running celebration of erotic films that celebrate all sexualities, including men, women, trans folk, and genderqueers. Porn is an extremely vast world and that of queer porn is not as limited as you’d expect. Every year, Good For Her hosts this awards series to shed light on nominees that prove feminist porn continues to evolve, grow and create outstanding representations of sexuality from the raunchy to the artistic (and sometimes both at the same time).

Some of this year’s nominees include Alice Inside, Best Slumber Party Ever, Dear Jiz, Femme Facial, Girl Pile, Hard Femme: Lesbian Curves 2, Little Vulvah and Her Clitoral Awareness, Space Labia, Trans Grrrls: Revolution Porn Style Now! and Unicorn Gangbang.

Some of these films will be screened on Thursday April 3rd as part of Public Provocative Porn at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema with directors in attendance for a moderated Q&A session. Tickets are $15 advance an $20 at the door.

The Awards themselves will be happening on Friday April 4th at the Capitol Theatre. $25 advance and $30 at the door. Glittery butt plug statues will be handed out accompanied by a mountain of eye candy and the best movie clips ever seen at an awards show.

We are giving away 1-pair of tickets to the Good for Her – Feminist Porn Awards! So how do you enter?

1) Like Fat Girl Food Squad on Twitter or Facebook.

2) Tweet the following: I support Feminist Porn! @FatGrlFoodSquad, please send me to the @goodforher @FemPornAwards #FGFSheartsFPA

3) This contest will run from Monday March 24, 2014 until Wednesday March 26, 2014. We will announce all the giveaway winners via our Twitter and Facebook, so check back there!

[GIVEAWAY] Toronto Festival of Beer’s Spring Sessions

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Toronto’s Festival of Beer (TFoB) announced its new Spring Sessions festival slated for March. Because who needs to wait until summer for an ice cold brew?

The Spring Sessions will take place at the Evergreen Brickworks on Friday March 28 and Saturday March 29. The entire area will be filled top to bottom with ales, lagers and ciders from some of Toronto’s top craft brewers: Left Field Brewery, Mill Street, Steam Whistle, Great Lakes and Brickworks Ciderhouse.

With entrance fee a measly $30 and providing you with 5 sampler tickets and a mug, it’s a weekend date that can’t be missed. To date, the Saturday session is sold out. But fear not, our fellow Fat Girl Food Squad readers! We have tickets… to give away… for free.

As mentioned, we are giving away 1-pair of tickets to the FRIDAY MARCH 28 date of Spring Session. So how do you enter?

1) Like Fat Girl Food Squad on Twitter or Facebook.

2) Tweet the following: Spring is here & I want beer! @FatGrlFoodSquad, please send me to the @TOBeerFestival Spring Session! #FGFSlovesSpringSession

3) This contest will run from Friday March 21, 2014 until Tuesday March 25, 2014. We will announce all the giveaway winners via our Twitter and Facebook, so check back there!

[CONTEST] Monster Cereals Are Coming Back At Ya

2013-10-12 11.07.30By Acacia Christensen.

Currently it is #NationalCerealLoversWeek and there is plenty going on to celebrate that crunchy goodness you get first thing in the morning. At Fat Girl Food Squad we’ve decided to celebrate that and a mix of Halloween by bringing you a chance to win some special edition re-releases of some of our favourite cereals and a few that might be new to some of you.

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When I think of the cereal I ate as a child I tend to remember all of the crazy mascots and jingles as well as the prizes that came in the box. One thing that I find now living in Canada and making frequent trips to the US is that we have a much smaller variety of fun kid’s cereals available to us now. A specific example would be the General Mills brand Monster Cereals! Now we are all familiar with Count Chocula which is now only available on Halloween, but every year over the Halloween season there are releases of Frankenberry and Boo-Berry.

Many moons ago there were two other howling good flavours: Frute Brute – cherry ghosts with lime monster-mallows, and Yummy Mummy – orange ghosts with vanilla monster-mallows! These two flavours have not been available since 1988 and 1992 respectively. What the amazing folks at General Mills have done this year is re-ressurected all 5 flavours at once for us for a limited time only. Even crazier is that the original retro-packaging is available at select Target locations across the US. They are definitely a monstrously delicious sugar treat for breakfast that are as great as I remember them to be.
2013-10-12 11.05.10
Up for grabs are a box of Frute Brute and Yummy Mummy, the two resurrected flavours, in their retro packaging.
How to enter:
2. Tweet @ us your best spooky puns and/or jokes and use the hashtag #FGFSlovesSpookyPuns

Contest runs from Thursday October 17th through to Wednesday October 23rd at 5PM EST. Winners will be notified of their win 24 hours after contest close.

Art Gallery of Hamilton: World Film Festival {Interview & Giveaway}

AGH WFF 2013

The AGH World Film Festival is celebrating its 5 years of showcasing award-winning film in Hamilton. It is an awesome community event that brings critically acclaimed film to Hamilton. The World Film Festival, which runs from September 20th, 2013 – September 29th across the city, give audiences have the opportunity to see wonderfully made film. I have been going to the World Film Festival since it started, and have enjoyed watching it grow and turn into a great night out. I can personally say that it gets better every year. Check out the festival line up and view trailers here.
I had a chance to sit down with the Festival Director, Annette Paiement, and talk about film programming in Hamilton.

FGFS: How did the World Film Festival come to Hamilton?

Annette: It came out of need. Film is and has always been a strong part of the Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH). Our members and community expressed an interest in the film arts. In the past we had had some film programming, like Photophobia, where it was entry based. The World Film Festival just seemed like the next logical progression for the AGH. We wanted to be venue for to a certain kind of film that the community did not have access to with the closing of theatres in the Hamilton area. We are proud because the festival continues to grow each year, and the audience keep coming back to support it.

FGFS: What is the process like for picking the selections for the film festival?

Annette: I keep my ear to the ground. We are screening films all year round to prepare. I look at selections for film awards and international festivals, what is being noticed in the film world. IMDB is an excellent tool to help us make selections as well. We have our programming committee and we take suggestions from our members and the community. We want to select films that our audience wants to see, to give everyone a chance to have access to these films. However, there have been times when I’m unable to get films that I would really like because of copyright. Now, I have built relationships with filmmakers and film houses to get permission right from the source and bring the films to Hamilton. There are so many strong films out there, it’s often difficult to choose.

FGFS: I have to make a confession, I was delighted to see that you have added a segment to the festival highlighting Food in Film. I feel that our local landscape of food has changed within the past 3 years, and in my opinion, this change was made possible with the encouragement from our strong art community. How did this Food in Film come about this year?

Annette: I have always wanted to include Food in Film in the festival line up. I have been searching for the perfect film that showcases that connection. It was a difficult decision, but both films Hungry for Change and El Bulli are strong films. Definitely, we have seen a change in the food industry in Hamilton and surrounding area. We have seen the creation of a night out in Hamilton – great food and great film. We are situated, closely to many local farms. I feel that people are thinking more and more about where their food comes from. I wanted to choose films that celebrate that intimate part of our lives.

FGFS: It’s been really nice to see the community engagement grow each year. I am looking forward to the special presentation by Chef Wes Lesco (Sarcoa) before the screening of El Bulli. How have been able to create these partnerships with local institutions?

Annette: With the World Film Festival, we have been wanting to engage the community and our audience. I’ve been reaching out to local establishments and have received a great response. I start by asking places if there is a film that they can stand behind; it just goes from there. It just makes sense to have that partnership. We have partner with events like Localicious since day one. This year the Anchor Bar is our official meeting place! Working with theatres and venues within Hamilton to has also allowed us to bring film to different neighbourhoods – bringing film to our audience.

FGFS: It’s been really nice talking with you today! Last question, favourite place to dine in Hamilton?

Annette: Wow, that’s a tough one. I have to admit that I am a sushi fan. I love August 8 – their food is always fresh and it has a great atmosphere! There’s also Work, that has the best pub-style food. I was talking with my friend, and we agreed that the menu at Work is everything you would want in a comfort food!

I am super excited to this share with FGFS readers…

ElBulli

We have partnered with the Film Festival to give 2 tickets away to our readers to the screening of El Bulli on Saturday September 21st, 2013 at 6:00pm at the Hamilton Public Library.

1. a) Like us on Facebook
    b) Like AGH on Facebook
    c) Come back and comment on this post.
OR
2. a) Follow us on Twitter and Tweet: “Hey @FatGrlFoodSquad send me to the #AGHWFF!”

Best of Luck! You have until Friday at midnight EST to enter!