Culinary Cinema | 2017 | 67 minutes
Stranger Says: Chef Edward Lee guides viewers through the art and science of fermenting foods for preservation and flavor. Produced by Zero Point Zero—the same folks behind Anthony Bourdain’s television shows—the visuals of aged cheese, kimchi, and sourdough bread will keep eyes wide, even as the dialogue stays relatively surface level. More like a supermarket pickle than the artisan craft sauerkraut in the movie, it makes a nice mind-snack, but it doesn’t delve deep enough into any of the half-dozen segments satisfy a serious gourmand.
SIFF Says:Chef and author Edward Lee hosts what he calls a “human process and journey” to discover the answer to the question: What is fermentation? Along with director Jonathan Cianfrani, Lee travels all over the world to introduce the audience to the people who live and breathe fermentation daily: food writer/activist Sandor Katz, America’s live-culture guru; Soyoung Scanlan, an experienced cheesemaker; and Augustino and Antonio Fiasche, a father/son salami-making team. These creators show the audience that fermentation is not a cooking technique or strictly a science experiment; it’s an art of letting nature take its course. Lee is able to explain the complex process of fermentation in a way that’s interesting even to those who got a D in high-school biology, and aims to simplify it so that anyone can see fermentation as a lifestyle that’s possible, not a task that’s unconquerable. Vegetables, cheese, beer, bread, salami, and so much more--this documentary is the gateway to a behind-the-scenes look at the culinary process that has fascinated and inspired different cultures (pun intended) for centuries.
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