All about food: What’s on offer at post-Oscars ball?

Updated 24 January 2013
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All about food: What’s on offer at post-Oscars ball?

LOS ANGELES: Hollywood’s elite will chow down on vegan pizza and kale salad in addition to the traditional smoked salmon Oscars at the annual Governor’s Ball after next month’s Academy Awards ceremony, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck announced on Tuesday.
Unveiling his menu for the year’s biggest movie party, Puck said chicken pot pie with shaved black truffles, mini Kobe burgers, Japanese baby peach salad, steamed red snapper with Thai spice, Tuna Nicoise and his signature gold-dusted mini-chocolate Oscars also would be served. Some 1,500 guests are expected at the ball immediately after the Feb. 24 Oscars ceremony, including nominees such as George Clooney, Steven Spielberg, Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain.
Puck’s menu could be the first chance for many of the attendees to eat since breakfast, as nominees and presenters stave off food in order to squeeze in to fitted gowns and tuxedos for the televised red carpet arrivals and ceremony.


Rickshaw pullers fade from India’s streets

Updated 27 April 2018
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Rickshaw pullers fade from India’s streets

KOLKATA: Mohammad Maqbool Ansari puffs and sweats as he pulls his rickshaw through Kolkata’s teeming streets, a veteran of a gruelling trade long outlawed in most parts of the world and slowly fading from India too.
Kolkata is one of the last places on earth where pulled rickshaws still feature in daily life, but Ansari is among a dying breed still eking a living from this back-breaking labor.
The 62-year-old has been pulling rickshaws for nearly four decades, hauling cargo and passengers by hand in drenching monsoon rains and stifling heat that envelops India’s heaving eastern metropolis.
Their numbers are declining as pulled rickshaws are relegated to history, usurped by tuk tuks, Kolkata’s signature yellow taxis and modern conveniences like Uber.
Ansari cannot imagine life for Kolkata’s thousands of rickshaw-wallahs if the job ceased to exist.
“If we don’t do it, how will we survive? We can’t read or write. We can’t do any other work. Once you start, that’s it. This is our life,” he tells AFP.
Sweating profusely on a searing hot day, his singlet soaked and face dripping, Ansari skilfully weaves his rickshaw through crowded markets and bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Wearing simple shoes and a chequered sarong, the only real giveaway of his age is his long beard, snow white and frizzy, and a face weathered from a lifetime plying this disappearing trade.
Twenty minutes later, he stops, wiping his face on a rag. The passenger offers him a glass of water — a rare blessing — and hands a note over.
“When it’s hot, for a trip that costs 50 rupees ($0.75) I’ll ask for an extra 10 rupees. Some will give, some don’t,” he said.
“But I’m happy with being a rickshaw puller. I’m able to feed myself and my family.”