Everything I love in bits of text, photo, video, audio, and anything else.
I have a few strong recommendations that I’d like to
shove down your throatmake
Seirei no Moribito (Guardian of the Spirit)
Genre: adventure, drama, fantasy
Description: A wandering spearwoman named Balsa takes it upon herself to protect people in atonement for her past sins, and is hired to protect the Second Prince from his father, the Emperor, who wants him dead. The Prince is possessed by a spirit who, if allowed to be born into the world, will cause a destructive drought that will cause the Empire to fall into ruins.
Why you should watch it: Badass lead female character, scenery porn, gorgeous fight scenes, beautiful animation and engaging storyline
Genre: adventure, fantasy, supernatural
Description: Mushi are organisms that are neither plant nor animal, and most humans cannot see them, nor are they aware of their presence. Ginko travels the world to study them. In the process, he also lends a helping hand where he is needed.
Why you should watch it: This series has a real Ghibli feel to it. It’s very imaginative and adventurous with fascinating creatures and fantastical stories to tell. Every episode is a story of its own.
Genre: action, drama
Description: Muugen, a samurai with a unique Bboying inspired fighting style and Jin, a samurai with a traditional style meet up and have an all out brawl in a town that gets them into a load of trouble. A ditzy but clever and competent waitress named Fuu saves them with the promise that they’ll accompany and protect her while she searches for a mysterious “Sunflower Samurai”.
Why you should watch it: Combines classic Edo Japan era with modern hip hop elements in a stunning eye candy of a show. Lots of action and humor with just the right touch of drama.
Monster (Naoki Urasawa’s Monster)
Genre: drama, psychological, thriller
Description: A Japanese brain surgeon named Kenzou Tenma, living and working at a hospital in Germany had the perfect life- an amazing career, a beautiful and rich fiancee and a bright future. Then one day, he had to choose to save the life of either a young boy who was shot in the head or the mayor. Going against the hospital’s direct orders, he saved the boy. As a result, he lost the support of the hospital director, his position and the hospital, and his fiancee. Shortly after, the hospital director and the committee board members are murdered, placing him back on top.
As the chief suspect of the murders, Tenma has to set out to clear his name. And it turns out that the young boy he saved is much more than he appears to be.
Why you should watch it: Imagine Hannibal and Will Graham, minus the cannibalism, add in some personal vengeance and no special skills and change the scenery to Germany and the Czech Republic. That’s what Monster is. A psychological mindfuck right up until the end. It’s a true masterpiece.
Genre: fantasy, drama, science fiction
Description: Post apocalyptic future where wolves have been extinct for 200 years. Or rather, that’s what the “common knowledge” says. It would seem, rather, that they have taken on human form to blend in. A lone wolf wanders into a city following the scent of a flower that is believed to be able to lead wolves to “paradise”. The smell is a girl named Cheza, suspended in sleep. They are drawn to each other. However once they find one another, Cheza is kidnapped by a man named Darcia, and Kiba, the lone wolf, teams up with three other wolves to hunt him down and find her.
Why you should watch it: Honestly the plot sounds a bit silly, but the anime is one of my favorites. It has such an interesting sci-fi element that blends with the fantasy. The whole time the wolves are hunting down the flower maiden, the aristocracy go to war with one another as well, creating a rather interesting arc. It’s just a beautiful show.
Cromartie High School
Description: Takashi Kamiyama enrolls at a new high school, starting a new life just like many anime protagonists. Unlike many anime protagonists however, he quickly realizes he’s entirely surrounded by delinquents and thugs. As the only non-delinquent in the school, the students decree that he must be extremely tough, like a really badass rabbit in a lions den. Thus begins a parody of “tough guy” anime featuring Freddie Mercury, a gorilla, and a robot that doesn’t know it’s a robot.
Why you should watch it: It’s hilarious. I don’t know what to say, it’s just downright hilarious. This show makes fun of every high school anime troupe and just runs with it to a ridiculous degree. Not to mention, IT HAS FREDDIE FUCKING MERCURY.
Grave of Fireflies
Description: At the end of World War II, fourteen year old Seita and his four year old sister Setsuko are orphaned after their mother is killed in an air raid by American forces in Kobe, Japan. After having a fallout with their aunt and having nowhere to turn, they move into an abandoned bomb shelter. With no rations or emergency funds and no relatives to turn to, they must struggle to survive the hardships of their country as it nears the end of the war.
Why you should watch it: This film is a true masterpiece of art and story. It’s one of the stories that you’ll remember, because the imagery is so vivid and even though it isn’t a true story, in a way it sort of is. This is the untold story of hundreds if not thousands of people during the war.
Why you shouldn’t watch it: You will cry. You will cry until there are no more tears in your body and then you will shake until you hurt.
[YOU ARE]: Brittanny Anderson / Metzger Bar and Butchery
[YOU ARE]: As in ‘you are what you eat’. Chefs share food-related details from their lives outside the restaurant.
Brittany Anderson, Metzger Bar and Butchery - Richmond, VA
When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
I worked FOH (front of house) since I was in high school, and in my early 20s I realized I wanted to know EVERYTHING about restaurants, so I cooked for free for a month & was like, yes. This is what I want to do.
What was the first meal that you prepared that really made you sweat?
I guess my finals meal in culinary school. At FCI, they assemble a panel of great chefs to judge the final & when I learned I would be making a souffle for Mark Ladner & Adam Kaye, I started sweating a bit.
What excites you at the grocery store?
Right now it’s stone fruit - if I see a fat plum, I. MUST. EAT. IT! Tomatoes are killing it right now, too.
Strongest food-related memory from your childhood?
My family is from the Northern Neck, so lots of seafood stuff - crabs, oyster stuffing. But I remember the weird stuff most - cold spinach out of the can with vinegar, my grandma’s crazy jello salads, salt & pepper canteloupe, eggs & pineapple.
Number one place on earth you’d go for food adventures? Why?
Florence, Italy is amazing! Meat heaven. They have whole hog porchetta in the markets that kills me! I’m also excited about an upcoming trip to Scandinavia!
Most unusual thing you’ve eaten? Where?
Cured puffin in Reykjavik, Iceland. It was chewy but tasty.
Dish in your repertoire that you’re proudest of?
I think cooks usually hate everything they put out & that’s what motivates us to move forward & be more creative, so I’m not 100% stoked on one particular dish, although I do think I make a mean pork chop. :)
What keeps the flame burning?
My husband Kjell is always pushing me to grow & is so supportive and that really helps in this industry. I’m also constantly inspired by other chefs in this awesome RVAdine community! XO
(Pickled eggs with mustard aioli.)
(Pork schnitzel, duck fat potatoes.)
(Rockfish with summer vegetables and crispy speck.)