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LAST HOLIDAY

About The Food
In "Last Holiday,” Georgia dreams of one  day owning her own  restaurant, but lacks the  self-confidence to see her  dreams become a reality.  When she arrives in Europe, she meets the world-renowned Chef Didier, who is impressed with her taste for food and lust for life.

A food lover, director Wayne Wang has dealt lovingly with the culinary arts previously in such films as "Eat a Bowl of Tea” and "Dim Sum” and with this project wanted to take the preparation and presentation of food to an even higher level.

"I wanted to make a bigger meal of the food in this film, so to speak,” says Wang. "We met with Susan Stockton at Food Network in New York; I stressed a desire for fresh ingredients and for the food to look organic and rustic. I really liked the idea of a French chef working in Central Europe during the winter – a man who has to be very creative in preparing dishes as he doesn't have access to all the produce he might have in Paris.”

Wang toured Food Network's studios in New York and began coordinating with Stockton the enormous variety and number of meals that would need to be prepared.

"We do several live shows daily in the studio, plus location work across the country, so we are well-trained and prepared for this kind of thing,” says Stockton. "All of our cooks are also food stylists – they know how to make food look good on camera.”

Seven Food Network chefs assisted in the preparation of the film food in New Orleans, which required making numerous servings of the same dish, explains prop master Douglas Fox, who coordinated the effort. "The chefs had to have several options available each day, just in case the shooting order changed. In addition, we never knew how many takes would be needed to complete the scene. If the actor took a bite of the food, and then we shot another take, we had to have a fresh dish available. We tried to be prepared for as many as 10 takes, which meant having 10 versions of each dish.”

New Orleans is familiar territory for Food Network, thanks to Emeril Lagasse's popular show, which airs on the network and has its executive offices and recipe developers headquartered in the Crescent City. The participation of the famed Emeril, who has three restaurants in New Orleans, was a boon for the filmmakers.

Emeril recalls spending "a marathon day with Queen Latifah a few years ago during the shooting of an episode of ‘Who Wants to Be A Millionaire' and falling in love with her passion and spirit. We had a terrific time together, so I was happy to lend a hand to the film. And I appreciated that the production was taking food preparation seriously.”

Early in the film, Georgia is seen watching and cooking along with a televised episode of an Emeril show in which he's preparing a dish of his own creation, Chicken Tchoupitoulas. Emeril taped the program specifically for the film, and provided his cooking facility for Queen Latifah to practice making the dish during pre-production.

Says Susan Stockton, "Queen Latifah made Chicken Tchoupitoulas several times with our staff and did extremely well in the kitchen. She has good knife skills; she learns quickly and retains the knowledge.” Several crewmembers were on hand to sample Latifah's efforts, which met with unanimous approval. The large pans were empty within minutes. "I must have done all right,” Latifah laughs.

Georgia prepares such classic New Orleans dishes as jambalaya, pork chops and savory bread pudding. When she gets to Europe, as Georgia tastes the culinary creations of Chef Didier, her options become even more expansive…

Georgia's Dinner Menu:

Warm lobster salad in potato nest with leeks and caviar - Cassoulet plated for one – gratineed with whole leg of duck on top - Risotto Barolo with winter vegetables and truffles - Beef<

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