Culinary Cinema | 2017 | 82 minutes
Stranger Says: The Michelin Guides were created in 1900 by a pair of cunning tire-salesmen brothers, who wanted to entice motorists and would-be motorists to take more trips by providing trusted recommendations for hotels and restaurants. Today, they’re a behemoth in the food world, able to decide the fate of any establishment when they add or retract a star from their ratings. This documentary balances the lightness and beauty within the pinnacle of the restaurant industry (like the thrilling shots of plates being obsessively composed with tweezers) with its shadowy undercurrent (abusive workplaces and chefs driven to suicide in the cutthroat environment).
SIFF Says:You might think that the hole-in-the wall burger joint down the street or even your grandmother's kitchen create food so unmistakenly delicious that they deserve to be Michelin Star rated. But what exactly are the requirements for this age-old, controversial rating system? As of 2016 there are 119 3 Michelin Star restaurants, and each of them have proven to provide an unforgettable dining experience. This documentary visits several starred restaurants around the globe and dives tastebuds-first into the unique characteristics that help them take the cake: consistency, quality of ingredients, mastery of technique, harmony in flavor, and food that portrays the unique personality of those that cook it. Chefs from Paris, New York City, Tokyo, and Copenhagen among others reveal what being Michelin-rated means to their career and culinary identity, and the importance of experience and emotion in fine dining. Delicious and beautiful behind-the-scenes footage at restaurants such as Noma and Narisawa are paired with discussions on the politics of these reviews, from those who have maintained the coveted Stars and those who try, year after year, to earn one.
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