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776: Streep talk
775: World of difference
774: Shocks and Bonds
773: Viva La Revolución
772: Jacqui Bayne
768: Beyond the universe
767: Yasuhito Endo
766: Aroon Mahtani
765: Dr. Hidemi Akai
764: Badr Hari
763: Mizuki Kubodera
761: Patrick W. Galbraith
760: Jean-Pierre Felix
759: Philippe Grau
758: Emi Kashiwara & Elekiteru
757: Aura Virginia Chirculescu
756: Aaron Davis
755: Happy days
754: Bryan Au
753: Martin van der Linden
752: Qinggelete
751: Chuck Johnson
750: Mike Applegate (aka Magic Mike)
749: Yukie Kito
748: Steve Kaufmann
746: Samira Zarghami
745: Raising the Bar
744: Pierre-Gilles Delorme
743: David F. Hoenigman
742: Miwa Gardner
741: Kevin Cooney
740: Kyle Cleveland
739: JJ
738: Bruce Stronach
737: Yoichiro Dennis Ide
736: Mike Garrett
735: Hiroki Suehara
734: Rise and Shrine
733: Patrik Washburn
732: Michael Bumgardner
731: Patricia Bader-Johnston
730: Darin Maki
729: Hiroshi Fujimaki
728: Misha Janette
727: Jon Mitchell
725: Hokuto Konishi
724: Rita Lamah Hankach
723: Kisui Nakazawa
722: Angela Jeffs
721: Simon Wood
720: Yasuko Yokoyama
715: Jason Kelly
714: Dominica Serigano
713: Erik Gain
712: Genevieve Maylam
711: Masahiro Gono
710: Eikou Sumura
709: Eikou Sumura
708: Malcolm Thompson
707: Makiko Tsuji
706: Dominic Allen
705: Maria Heitanen
704: Beckie Cassidy
703: Jett Edwards
702: Yoshinobu Furuichi
701: Silvestre Jacobi
700: Jah-Light Sound System
699: Daniel Velazques
698: Lynne Charles
697: Eric Bragg
695: Susan Nichols
694: Anna Kunnecke
693: Kenneth Pechter
692: Kazu Wakui
691: Antonio Inoki
690: Hiroko Noguchi
689: Richard Bysouth
688: Eric Bjorndahl
687: Andrew Shuttleworth
686: Sayuri Suzuki
685: Yurie Hatanaka
684: Miogi Takii
683: Thierry Cohen
682: Ahmed M. Elmardi
681: Aya Kitagawa
680: Suzanne Ng and Yoriko Soma
679: Ricco DeBlank
677: Takenari Shibata
676: Kirk R. Patterson
675: Satoko Yahata
674: Flavia Nishimura
673: Ryo Shoji
672: Chip Eckton
671: Yuko Ito
670: Marja Kullberg
669: Laur Meyrieux
668: Slavomir Stanislaw Kowalewski
667: Ryan McGuire
664: Life force
663: Steve Marshall
662: Jeff Klein
661: Ahn Soon Han
660: Straight shooter
659: Marcello Pietrantonio
658: Glitterball 2006
657: Alison Roberts-Brown
656: Girl on the go
655: Rob Hoey
654: Kahori Ochi
653: Ed Wells
652: Haruka Orth
651: Laura Cook
650: Uleshka Asher
649: Full speed ahead
648: Katsumi Namekata
647: Top talent
646: No heels, no life
645: Joanna Roper
644: Lu Nagata
643: Kirill Konin
642: Gabriele Roberto
641: Carlos Gibbs
640: Blair Falahey
639: The Three Waiters
638: Simon Woodroffe
637: Tony Virili
636: Paul W. Creager
635: Randy Channell
634: Mari Takeuchi
633: Stephanie Schueller
632: Tara Tan Kitaoka
631: Katherine Mok
630: Bob Tobin and Hitoshi Ohashi
629: Tommy Kullberg
628: Toshio Nagashima
627: Eiko Kondo
626: Embrey Ramon Williams
625: Neil Day
624: Mong-Lan
623: Tor Hideki Kashio
622: Elizabeth Heilman Brooke
621: Louis Carlet
620: Theo Panagiotoulias
619: Lionel Gougne
618: Sarajean Rossitto
617: Christian Hassing
616: Kiho Takashima
614-615: David Wagner
613: Heather Stuart
612: Erica Angyal
611: Jack McLean
610: Fumine Yakumo
609: Yasutoshi Hirabayashi
608: Yoko Hijikata
607: Jim Frederick
605: Yuka Murakami
604: Chayne Ellis
603: Marco Antonio Nakata
602: Kicking Back
601: Stand by your man
600: Hero worship
599: The Candy man
598: Heart strings
597: Sweet and sour
596: Subtitle subtleties
595: The right moves
594: Mother’s day
593: The clone ranger
592: A career kicks off
591: Woman of substance
590: Final conflict
589: World Ready for ‘War’
588: Fun in the sun
587: New life for an old hero
586: Fun and games
585: Knockout punch
584: Patrick’s day
583: Marcia marches on
582: Brunch break
581: Kingdom come
580: Gentle as a beast
579: Prime time
578: Devil of a time
577: In first Gere
576: Bright spark
575: Rei of sunshine
574: A star is reborn
573: In search of geisha
572: Marshall law
571: In the Nic of time
570: Holding a grudge
569: Bourne again
568: Soap opera
567: Alexander and friends
566: Oceans apart
565: A night at the opera
564: Just joshing
563: McPain in the neck
561-562: Hanks for everything
560: Reading between the Klines
559: Risqué business
558: Sky highs
557: Korean boom
556: Queen Victoria
555: Glitter Ball
554: Peter Miller
553: Ralph Frehner
552: Dimension K
551: Tokyo Game Show
550: US Embassy
549: I, Robot Premiere
548: Mauve
547: Xterra Japan
546: Earth Celebration
545: Idée R-bar
544: Laforet Museum
543: Hara Museum
542: Fuji Rock Festival’04
541: Bunkamura Museum of Art


Ralph Frehner

If Ralph Frehner hadn't been a chef, he probably would have been a daredevil. The Swiss-born executive chef of the Park Hyatt Tokyo is currently into whitewater rafting, jet-skiing, parachuting and go-carting. He is also a ski patrol member, dive master, painter and art collector. Frehner began his culinary career as an apprentice with the Restaurant Giardino in Brissago, then worked his way up with stints at La Tour d'Argent in Paris and Grand Hyatts in Melbourne, Seoul and Bangkok before arriving in Tokyo in April.

How did you get into all these sports?
I used to work on a private yacht for a very rich family. The yacht was only used for eight weeks a year and the rest of the time we cruised throughout the world and got exposed to many different kinds of sports.

Courtesy of Park Hyatt Tokyo

What's your food philosophy?
Fresh, fresh and fresh. There has to be a very fine balance between flavor, combination, texture and temperature. The most important aspect is the product itself; it has to be the best available at any time.

How far will you go for the best ingredients?
In 1997, I traveled to Russia and Romania in search of the finest caviar. After inspecting the process from the fishing boat to the final lab inspection, I crafted my own recipe for the caviar to include sea salt from the south of France and spring water from the Swiss Alps.

Do you eat in the hotel every day?
Nearly every day. It is important to experience the food that my chefs produce daily. I eat in the staff canteen, too.

What do you eat at home?
Lots of Thai food. Guess where my wife is from? At home it has to be simple country-style food.

You wouldn't be caught dead at McDonald's, right?
You won't see me in those places, that's for sure. I hate that kind of food.

Are you a better cook than your mother?
We don't compete with each other. I left home when I was 15. My mother has a very good hand when it comes to traditional Swiss food; heavy but good. She has never come to visit me and tried my food. She refuses to get on a plane. CB





star struck

House of a rising son
First-time director Vadim Perelman scores with the drama House of Sand and Fog
By Chris Betros

Very few filmmakers are fortunate enough to be screenwriter, producer and director on their debut-which is why Ukrainian-born Vadim Perelman, 40, is reveling in the acclaim that his first film House of Sand and Fog is attracting around the world. "What makes me really happy is that I can reach many people with a film that means something to me," he says.
Based on the novel by Andre Dubus, House of Sand and Fog tells the story of Iranian immigrant Massoud Behrani (Ben Kingsley), a former colonel in the shah's army who has fled to the US with his family. While pretending to lead a life of affluence, the colonel works at two menial jobs day and night to make ends meet. One day, he sees a chance to make some money in the auction of a semi-isolated coastal bungalow being sold for back taxes. His plan is to renovate it and then sell it for up to four times what he paid for it. However, due to a bureaucratic snafu, the house has been improperly seized from its rightful owner (Jennifer Connelly). She wants it back, but the stiff-necked colonel believes he is in the right, setting off a legal and ethical battle.

"This film works on many levels. Different people see different things in this film, even in Japan which doesn't have much of a history of immigration," says Perelman who has been to about 20 countries promoting the film. Wherever he goes, he gets asked the same question: Does the movie parallel his own experiences as an immigrant? "It's boring to talk about my life," he says with a laugh. Still, his story is worthy of a movie in itself. Born in Kiev, he left Ukraine with his mother in 1977 for Italy, where he was a street urchin for awhile. The pair then went to Canada, but after his mother remarried, Perelman quarreled with his stepfather and left home at 16. He got into scrapes with the law and was threatened with deportation. He studied filmmaking and started making TV commercials in LA. When he read Dubus' book at Rome airport four years ago, Perelman knew he had to make it into a film and persuaded Dreamworks to let him do so.

"I was very lucky that Andre trusted me with his book and I wanted to pay back that trust. I feel like it is my adopted child," Perelman says. For his cast, Kingsley, who received an Oscar nomination, and Connelly were his first choices, as was Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo (also an Oscar nominee). "Don't forget the house itself and the fog. They are equally important characters," adds Perelman. "As a result, I think we ended up with a pretty good emotional thriller."

Photo credit: Chris Betros



The Scene

Tokyo's celebrity crowd turns out for the weekly party at Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill

Clockwise from top left: Party girls Reika Nakamura and Mamiko Otsubo,Party Producer Kevin Ochi (center), with Nanae and Yumiko, DJ Flourish, WP Consulting Manager Michael Dargin with Shiodome branch chef Yusuke Moriya

Photos by Carlo Niederberger