Excellent documentaries about food, wine and passion.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2012)
Jiro, like Achatz, is singularly dedicated to his craft, which is to serve the perfect plate of sushi; a task he approaches with spiritual solemnity.
Jiro, who runs an elite sushi bar in Tokyo, does not possess Achatz’s idiosyncratic eclecticism, but rather a sense of single-minded purpose; a dogged tenacity to achieve a very specific goal – that which he knows to be impossible, but will strive for until death.
Chef’s Table (2015)
An exquisitely well-made Netflix Original, Chef’s Table is a sophisticated docu-series which explores the imagination and culinary inspiration of the world’s top rated chefs, from Melbourne to California. Each featured chef has a unique style, which they explain in terms of their life experiences and personal struggles, all of which have contributed significantly to the different ways they approach cooking. One episode features molecular gastronomist Grant Achatz of Alinea, the highest rated restaurant in North America, whose culinary artistry is a marvel to behold. The obsessive Achatz applies his energetic creativity to combining science, art and food to dazzling effect.
Foodies is a beautifully filmed, romantic documentary about the world of fine-dining food bloggers. These are no ordinary food writers; they frequent only the most high-end restaurants where a single plate of food can cost $8000. Such a lifestyle may seem needlessly extravagant, but when you see just how passionate these haute cuisine connoisseurs are about the fare they review, you will understand why they do it.
Cooked (2016) Directors: Peter Bull, Alex Gibney, Ryan Miller, Caroline Suh
This Netflix Original is narrated by the American food writer Michael Pollan who shares thoughtful observations about food and its significance to human beings and their civilisations. Pollan advocates slower, more traditional methods of food preparation than our highly industrialised, fast-paced societies currently allow for. He underscores this simple approach to cooking by presenting his culinary ideas through four elemental lenses: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.
Second Image Credit: “Dessert at Alinea”
Also see: Three Incredible True Stories on Netflix