We’ve done a few pieces in the past on our culinary films (in case you want to check them out here’s 1, here’s 2, and here’s 3). But alas, it is time to revise this list once again, so turn up the air conditioning, make some kettle corn, and put your arm around your sweetheart as you get ready to stimulate your appetites:
Eat This New York: Directed by Kate Novack, Andrew Rossi (80 Minutes)
Did you know that there are 18,000 restaurants in NY that 1,000 new ones open up each year, and that 1/5 survives? John and Billy Phelps are hoping to be the survivors. Follow them in their adventure to open up Moto in hipster-Hasidic-Dominican Williamsburg. This is a great film for business buffs, foodies, and anyone crazy enough to want to open up a restaurant…because you do need to be at least a little crazy to get into this industry.
Kings of Pastry: Directed by Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker (87 Minutes)
There is a reason French Chefs are the culinary masters of the world. If you watch Kings of Pastry, you will understand. In France there is a title called Meilleurs Ouvriers de France. Once a chef has earned the title of Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, he is given a collar in the colors of the flag of France. If someone who is not an MOF is caught wearing the collar, they are sent to jail. This is serious stuff. How does a pastry chef become an MOF? He has to compete with other pastry chefs to show his talents. I cannot explain just how tense I got watching this film. Your heart literally breaks when you see these amazing chef’s sugar creations crumble. Watch this movie, and understand why French Cuisine rules supreme.
Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven Directed by Andrew Rossi (78 Minutes)
There are few restaurants as famous as Sirio Maccioni’s Le Cirque. Dining at Le Cirque is a rite of passage for “foodies” and “gourmands”. The film is set in 2005, when Maccioni, closed Le Cirque, and transitions to 2006, when he and his three sons, open Le Cirque in a new location. The film is a lovely look at family and business dynamics, and not to be missed.
Pressure Cooker: Directed by Mark Becker, Jennifer Grausman (99 Minutes)
The film is set in Philadelphia’s Frankford High School. The students at this school have not had the easiest lives. They have gone (and are going through) money problems, family issues, and abusive family relationships. The film follows three students who are taken under the wing of Culinary teacher Wilma Stephenson who trains them for a competition that can earn them a culinary scholarship. Watch and see if the students make it through and change their lives.
Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution Directed by Jean-Paul Jaud (112 Minutes)
A town major in small French village in France mandates that the school lunch menu must be “bio”: organic and locally grown. In the film, one is exposed to the reactions and opinions of children, parents, teachers, health care workers, farmers, elected officials, scientists, researchers on this incentive. After watching the movie, you will be left with knowledge of why our children are at so much risk from something they must do every day.
The Restaurateur: Directed by Roger Sherman (57:00 Minutes)
What can I say about this film that I haven’t said before. WATCH IT. This is one of my favorite food films. It is all about NYC, the restaurant industry, and one of the most beloved restaurateurs, Danny Meyer. The film follows Meyer through the struggles of opening up what became one of NYC’s most respected restaurants, Eleven Madison Park. Seriously, don’t miss this one either.
A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt Directed by Sally Rowe (68 Minutes)
If you’ve ever wanted to become a chef, A Matter of Taste may make you think it over a few more times. The film follows the incredibly talented Chef, Paul Liebrandt. In the film, one sees that it takes more than just talent to make it in the cutthroat culinary world. One must be creative, business savvy, be willing to work long hours of extremely physical work. On top of that, one must learn to deal with reviewers, critics, rival chefs and more.
Three Stars: Directed by Lutz Hachmeister (94 Minutes)
Three Stars gives you an inside look not just into the kitchens of Michelin Starred restaurants, but also into what these tiny little symbols can mean to the restaurants and the people in them. The film gives a candid look from chefs such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, René Redzepi, and even the guide’s former director Jean-Luc Naret. A must watch.
El Bulli: Cooking in Progress Directed by Gereon Wetzel (108 Minutes)
Now that El Bulli is closed, this is probably as close as you’re ever going to get to eating Adria’s cuisine. Filmmaker Gereon Wetzel gives us a “behind the scenes” at the famed Molecular kitchen. Over the course of the six months, Adria and his team create new recipes, the goal is to wow and never repeat themselves. Meals at El Bulli consisted of a 30-course menu. Not my favorite food film, but like I said, it’s as close as we’ll get to tasting Adria’s food.