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Catching Up in February

Since this is my first real catching up post this year, I had to find the right image to illustrate the month. It’s been such a mild winter that February didn’t really look like February, so I thought of valentines instead. My absolute favorite came in the form of Fernando Trueba’s Chico & Rita, set largely in 1940’s Havana, Paris and New York and scored by Bebo Valdes. Lovely from the first note, I can only say that the film is una joyita. Though it inexplicably lost the Academy Award to a movie about a lizard (full disclosure I’m both biased and haven’t actually seen Rango), there were some inspiring wins at this year’s Oscars like Christopher Plummer for Beginners and Octavia Spencer for The Help. On her fantastic new blog The Peacock Chronicles, my sister Carmen used a recent experience filming a commercial to write up her own take on the Help controversy in To Maid, Or Not To Maid.

It’s turned out to be a fast and furious month and far more eventful than the nose-down-let’s-just-make-it-to-spring February I was expecting. Starting it off in Miami, I happily ate my way through my post-run recovery in the name of research. Back in New York, I missed the crowds of the SOBWFF that descended on South Beach but found Black Book’s roundup here. A few friends also sent me this link (hints?)  for the black bean cupcake with guava frosting that were featured at the festival so I may have a taste of it soon. Mostly, it was exciting to see so many high profiles chefs with Miami roots highlighted, like this update on Douglas Rodriguez and a feature on prominent Latina chefs like Michelle Bernstein and Lourdes Castro.  In celebration of Brazil’s carnival, another great Latin American chef, Leticia Moreinos Shwartz did this fun segment on feijoada for the Today show that you can see here.

Going farther out, Ignacio de Los Reyes did a great piece on the exciting state of Mexican cuisine that manages to be uniquely contemporary while staying true to thousands of years of tradition. Don’t miss the photo essay on Mexico City’s San Juan market that accompanies it. Whether you’re planning 48 Hours in Lima, Peruor need to not be completely at your desk for a few minutes, this Reuters link includes great food ideas. Before you go anywhere though, it might be helpful to read this piece on international food etiquette rules.

On a personal note, I was thrilled to see my post up on Freshly Pressed this month! Overwhelming in the best way, it was incredible to hear from so many of you and discover fantastic new sites that made the wordpress world just a little smaller. Hope you enjoyed the leap!

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