#SPOTTED: 2014 COSTUME INSTITUTE GALA (MET BALL) HIGHLIGHTS
The 43rd annual Costume Institute Gala was held last night in New York City. The annual Fixture at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art pairs Fashion and Starpower together in a dazzling Red Carpet Affair with a hand-picked A-List of Invitees approved none other than by Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour – the most respected and at once feared Woman in the Fashion industry. Earlier in the day, American First Lady Michelle Obama honoured her in a Ceremony at the Venue.
Bringing the focus on influencial Fashion Designer Charles James, Men for the first time ever played a more pronounced role at the Gala. Hugh Jackman, Neil Patrick Harris, Jim Parsons, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Bradley Cooper – the latter serving as Chair this year, were among the many Hunks gracing the Red Carpet which shut down a portion of Fifth Avenue. A mandate was set by Wintour encouraging Coat Tails and white Bow Ties, most adhering as would best be advisable at the profile-boosting Extravaganza of the highest form.
As always, the Ladies are front and center. Sporting and among the Red Carpet Favourites last included Supermodel Cara Delevingne in a Pantsuit by Stella McCartney, Karolina Kurkova in Marchesa, Lupita Nyong’o in a sparkly green piece by Prada and Blake Lively in Gucci.
The Party didn’t end right there though as the stars came out in full force at the Afterparties around town. It is said Beyoncé and Jay-Z got swarmed by Fans, travelling separately from one Party possibly for their own safety. Sean Penn and Charlize Theron were seen happily out and about as were another new Couple in Michael Sheen and Sarah Silverman. We wonder if there were any moments of awkwardness as Toronto’s own Rachel McAdams also attended; she previously was involved with Sheen. All eyes however were on Lively and Ryan Reynolds as loud cheers were hears upon their cozy displays of affection.
Several were disappointed about Jennifer Lawrence‘s deeply-felt absence despite being scheduled to be dressed in Dior and without Madonna this year, there seemed to be that little bit less enthusiasm in the air.
Some got a bit tipsy as we witnessed Academy Award Nominee Ejiofor getting a bit of help back to his Hotel, as was 20-year-old French Acting Sensation Adèle Exarchopoulos. And was that Tomato Sauce we saw on Lily Allen‘s cheek as she made her way back to her Hotel with a big box of Pizza in-tow?
Personally, we are still giddy about meeting Australian Beauties Naomi Watts and breakout Star Margot Robbie! And did we mention that we got an ultra-rare opportunity to meet the biggest Celebrity in New York right now, Pasty Chef Dominique Ansel? The soon-to-be Author and Beard Honour-receiving Cronut Inventor has the Culinary World and New York City at the palm of his hand. It was also sublime getting to meet Celebrity Photographer of the highest calibre, Mario Testino!
Just some of the Snaps below of whom I got to meet:
Thanks again, New York City for the fun times!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#FOOD: “THE CRONUT BURGER” AT THE 2013 CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION
Now in its 134th year, the Canadian National Exhibition, known affectionately by Torontonians as The Ex for the 18 days leading up to and including Labour Day, promises novelty, guilty pleasures and an opportunity for Families and Friends to create memories together. I admit I’ve long outgrown my love for the rides at The Midway and arrive later in the day to take advantage of the $5 Admission Charge after 5:00 PM, enjoying the benefits of less congestion. I am drawn by the festivity, the lights and all that over-the-top charm.
The highlight for me every year is visiting the Food Building, which essentially is one gigantic Food Court filled with every single variety of not-so-great-for-you, whether it be Tiny Tom’s Donuts, Beaver Tails (a fried Pastry topped with lemon, cinnamon and sugar), Homemade Fudge, Fish & Chips or $0.99 Pasta. The rage this year, The Cronut Burger, combines the Pastry Craze which has consumed New Yorkers, The Cronut (combination Croissant and Donut) with an all-time favourite in The Hamburger. The item is available exclusively at the Epic Burgers & Waffles Food Stand only.
Although I’ve been on an all-Vegetarian Diet since January, I decided to make one meat-eating exception to try this Novel Delicacy. Splitting it with my BFF Fran after already being decidedly full, the $10 investment came with mixed reactions. Fran found it “not bad”, while simply it wasn’t a Love Connection for me. For one, the Cronut itself lacked any resemblance to a Croissant, sans flakiness and it appeared to have been sitting out for a while – tough, if you will. A Maple-Bacon Drizzle was completely unnecessary and did little to complement the flavour other than to cash-in on the Bacon trend, giving the Burger a bit of added relevance. The Patty itself was smokey though – not bad. Surely, acclaimed New York City Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel would be fuming if he saw for himself what we were doing to his prized Creation north of the Border. Consumers of the Krispy Kreme Donut Burger at $9, seemed much more pleased with themselves.
If you have $10 in your pocket and want a sure-fire Hit, I’d say go for Far East Tacos, which took noted Korean-American Chef David Chang‘s concept of the milk-infused Steamed Bun (Bao), which can be enjoyed at his Momofuku Noodle Bar in Toronto, fusing it with Asian-inspired fillings like Breaded Fish Filets, Kalbi Ribs and more. Add a bit of cheese, lettuce, tomato, hot sauce and Kimchi (Pickled Cabbage) and what you have is a sensational delight. You get two for $10 and you have the option of enjoying it in Taco form also. We learned sadly that the Shop only will be available at The Ex with no immediate plans to launch into a Restaurant just yet.
Learn more about The Ex and start planning your visit right here!
UPDATE 8/21/13 9:00 AM EST: Thank you for everyone’s concern as I’ve received multiple messages asking if I’m well after News of this broke this morning. Multiple Outlets are reporting that at least 12 people fell ill last night after eating at The Ex and some are reporting that these Patrons consumed The Cronut Burger.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
Basically, these need to come to Canada STAT! Originated at the Dominique Ansel Bakery on Spring Street in New York City, the Cronut Craze has taken over the Big Apple with fervour. With people queuing in droves on the daily at the Bakery for their 8:00 AM opening, even Craigslisters are quick to cash-in, offering a Box of Two reportedly for up to $50 (U.S.) on the secondary market. The retail originally at $5.00 a piece, but good luck on getting one. Insane.
A Cronut is simply/not so simply this: a half-Croissant, half-Donut, filmed with layer of Creme Anglaise. Either it is sprinkled with sugar or glazed. Flavours vary monthly.
Don’t confuse the Pastry simply as being deep-fried Croissant Dough though. As per the Bakery, it is “made with a laminated dough similar to a croissant (but not exactly), the Cronut is first proofed and then fried in Grapeseed Oil at a specific temperature.”.
Although Cronuts launched only this May, they already have Fans internationally with Celebrities already singing its praises. Kelly Ripa on-the-daily is plugging how amazing they are, telling Jerry Seinfeld today on Live! with Kelly and Michael, “There’s a reason why they’re shaped like an ‘O’!”.
Canadians may have to wait a while for the rage to hit north. Some Shoppers at Loblaw’s fancy Carlton Store in Toronto earlier this year spotted a more simplified version of the Cronut, sans filling or the embellishments, before the fad even began. And those businesses looking to follow suit should be aware that the name Cronuts actually is trademarked by Ansel, so expect some creative takes and various on the name to come.
Learn more here.
(Photo credit: Dominique Ansel Bakery)