Saturday, July 4, 2015

Chef Tómas Urrialde

Tómas Urrialde was the founder of the Association of Segovia Chefs , the oldest in the country, and co-founder of the National Association of Chefs of Spain.
He was named 'Favorite Chef of Segovia' in November 2007 after an emotional popular tribute and receiving the Government of Spain's Medal of Merit at Work. 
Tómas Urrialde was a chef for 42 years and chef de cuisine of Hotel Los Arcos.
At a time when vegetables were considered little more than cattle fodder in the 1970’s, the great chef found ways to popularize vegetables and beans. He was the first Spanish chef to write a book on the use of mushrooms.
Tómas died in 2010 after suffering from Alzheimers disease and is remembered for his easy-going walk, his large handlebar moustache and the always present black beret with which recalled his Basque ancestry.

Friday, July 3, 2015

30 Years of Darkness

30 Years of Darkness is not a documentary about the Spanish Civil War. It goes further. It tells about the post-war years and in this sense it is not one of those documentaries that approach war. The worst thing about wars is not just their victims, but the consequences that they cause. 
After the end of the Civil War, Manuel Cortés, a former mayor of the town of Mijas in the province of Malaga, had no chance to escape from Spain. After a long and dangerous journey, he managed to get home at night without being discovered. His wife, Juliana, warned him of the numerous firing squads that were taking place in the village. So, they decided to open a small hole in the wall where Manuel could hide. Manuel Cortés could never have imagined that this small space behind the wall would become his personal prison for 30 years. This is the story of the so-called post-war moles who had to sacrifice an entire lifetime to escape repression.
30 Years of Darkness tells how war affects families, no matter what side they are on. The characters range from those who were clearly involved politically, to those who felt locked in the midst of a fratricidal struggle they did not understand. 30 Years of Darkness is, above all, a story of survival. In this sense it takes a universal look at a local issue.
Available on DVD from Amazon

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Daniel Samuel a.k.a. Denis Gauthier

Daniel Samuel, or as he was known in the resistance “Denis Gauthier”, was born in Strasbourg in 1921.
During the occupation of Paris by the Nazis, Daniel worked with an optician until he was drafted in 1941 to the "Chantiers de la Jeunesse”, a paramilitary organization created by the Vichy government for youth between the ages of 18-20, who were called up for six months. The uniform of the organization was in fact a French army uniform.
A few months after his release, Daniel moved to Nice (in Vichy France). They lived with his aunt, who, together with her husband, was active in the resistance. Their address served as the “post office box” for a Jewish resistance group called “La Sixieme” ("La Sixieme Eclaireurs Israelites de France").
In his aunt and uncle’s home, Daniel met Maurice Cachoud (whose real name was Maurice Loevenberg), one of the leader’s of “La Sixieme”. Maurice sent Daniel from Nice to Lyon with false identity papers under the name Denis Gauthier to learn how to create forged rubber stamps and documents. The patience and precision that he had learned as an optician were a great advantage in his new role, for the work required an ability to carve official seals including tiny text that had to be carved in mirror image.
The raw material used to make the forged seals was linoleum, taken from the floors of trains on his late night train rides to Paris.
At the beginning of 1943, Daniel was sent to St. Etienne where he made contact with the "L ’Aide aux Mères” organization and in cooperation with them he forged rations cards that were supplied to hidden Jewish children. Among the hidden families he prepared ration cards for in St. Etienne, was the Levie family, his future wife’s family.
In February 1944, the Gestapo in Nice arrested Daniel’s aunt. She ultimately managed to escape and survive the war. Tragically, Daniels mother and his brother Claude, who was active in the ORA resistance group (Organisation de résistance de l'armée), were caught as a result, deported to Drancy and from there to camps in Poland, where they perished.
St. Etienne was liberated in July 1944 and the resistance groups joined the Free French Forces and fought together with the Allies in remaining battles. Denis Gauthier returned to his original name, Daniel Samuel, and fought with the Alpine troops. He was injured while fighting on the border between Italy and France in the Alps and released from the army.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


This post may shatter a few concepts, taken for granted by most Francophiles and gourmets. The "French" croissant is not French, but Austrian!
The kipferl, ancestor of the croissant, has been documented in Austria going back at least as far as the 13th century, in various shapes. 
The birth of the croissant itself can be dated to at latest 1839 (some say 1838), when an Austrian artillery officer, August Zang, founded a Viennese bakery ("Boulangerie Viennoise") at 92, rue de Richelieu in Paris. The French version of the kipferl was named for its crescent (croissant) shape and has become an identifiable shape across the world.
A much nicer story, and by many taken as “the true story”, it is said that the pastry was invented in Vienna to celebrate the end of the second siege of the city by the Ottoman troops (1683). While the enemy decided to attack at night to avoid being noticed, the Viennese bakers, up before dawn gave the alarm. This is to capture the victory that they were allowed to make the “Hörnchen” (little horn in German) with its shape that resembles the symbol of the Ottoman flag.
Another version attributes the invention, still in 1683, in a Vienna cafe, named Kolschitsky, which would have recovered bags of coffee left by the Turks during their hasty departure, and would have had the idea of ​​serving this coffee and a pastry crescent-shaped in memory of the departure of the occupier …
Definitely true: this has led to croissants being banned by some Islamic fundamentalists.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Black Panther Inspired Fashion

These pictures come from this blog.
An interesting photo shoot of fashion inspired by the Black Panthers. 
Looking great, and I like the fact the model wears a Basque beret (with cabiliou). 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Justin Bridou

Justin Bridou is a French household name for cured meats and sausages. It is a subsidiary of the Spanish Campofrio Food Group, itself owned by the Chinese group Shuanghui.
The brand was created in 1978 as one of the Aosta group, itself owned by the American multinational Smithfield Foods. We’re talking big multinational corporations here. In May 2013, the Chinese Shuanghui International Holdings bought Aosta for $ 7.1 billion.
Jean Feppon, resident of Rumilly; located in the Haute-Savoie gave his image Justin Bridou in 1978. 
The fictional character Justin Bridou is the stereotype Frencman: moustache, sweater and beret.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Gauchos from Chile

Some beautiful Chilean gaucho con boina pictures found on the travel blog of Linn:

Friday, June 26, 2015

Radical Brown Berets

Not all girl scouts are concerned with peddling shortbread cookies. There’s one troop of young girls in Oakland that discusses matters of racial inequality and wear brown berets in an homage to radical civil rights groups.
The girls, ages 8-12, are part of the “Radical Brownies,”an edgier, younger version of the Girl Scouts, where girls earn badges for completing workshops on social protests, and a beauty workshop that celebrate racial diversity.
Radical Brownies is dedicated to providing young girls of color relevant life experiences.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Manfred J. Nittbaur

German artist Manfred J. Nittbaur was born in  Wertingen, 1949. Between 1972 and 1976 he studied painting and sculpturing at the Academy of Fine Arts in München.
Since then Nittbaur worked as an independent artist with many exhibitions within Germany and abroad.
His works encompass a broad range of materials and techniques; portrait and landscape painting, sculptures in bronze and steel, glass painting and the making of fountains.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


It is quite amazing how many photographs I found of men wearing a beret..., sitting on a bench.
It seems for many photographers irresistible to picture a seated boinero in the park or at the sea side.
And they come in all shapes and sorts; the fashionable gentleman in Paris, the abuelo in the Spanish Basque Country, 
awake and asleep...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Carl Einstein

Carl Einstein (1885 – 1940), born Karl Einstein, was an influential German Jewish writer, art historian, anarchist and critic. He was a nephew to the physicist Albert Einstein.
Regarded as one of the first critics to appreciate the development of Cubism, as well as for his work on African art and influence on the European avant-garde, Einstein was a friend and colleague of such figures as George Grosz, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso and Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. His work combined many strands of both political and aesthetic discourse into his writings, addressing both the developing aesthetic of modern art and the political situation in Europe.
Einstein's involvement in social and political life was characterized by communist sympathies and anarchist views. A target of the German right wing during the interwar Weimar period, Einstein left Germany for France in 1928, a half-decade ahead of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, later taking part in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the anti-Francisco Franco anarcho-syndicalists during the 1930s.
Trapped in southern France following Nazi Germany's defeat of the French Third Republic, Einstein took his own life by jumping from a bridge on 5 July 1940.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin has featured on The Beret Project before (here and here), but where he wore a beret as part of his role as Monsieur Verdoux, here we see him wearing a beret of 'free choice', while in Biarritz, August 1931.
 Accompanied by a beret wearing Basque in Biarritz, 1931;
and here in the company of faithful beret wearer Groucho Marx, later in life.