Breaking Bread goes beyond simply showing how this food product can be delicately designed. There’s many ways to make it, bake it and serve it. What’s presented is more than an attack on the taste buds. To know what it represents to bring peace along the Gaza Strip is at the core of this work by filmmaker Beth Elise Hawk. Her film is excellent at highlighting how this part of the world operates because it shows not everyone is an extremist. They’re just business and everyday people too.
This work carefully looks at the life and times of many restaurateurs of different local nationalities and cuisine. In terms of how many operations were profiled, I lost track after counting at least twelve.
To find local showings, please visit the official website.
Doc NYC Nov 12th, 2021
Masamoto Ueda is a ramen master in the documentary Come Back Anytime, and this title is perfect to reflect his attitude and love for his regular customer base. He’s the owner/operator of Bizentei, a shop located roughly between Shinjuku, Bunkyo and Chiyoda City (municipalities of Tokyo). It’s not too far off the beaten path, and he gets his regular customers and the occasional newcomer.
Ueda became a legend in the forty years since he’s been in business, and when he’s not tending to the shop, he’s gardening. Everything he offers in the diner is handpicked by him. From pears to bamboo shoots, he’s very particular. And this documentary is an excellent profile. It doesn’t reveal his cooking secrets, but instead shows just how loved he is by the local neighbourhood community. We get to see what he does in his spare time, and this look only rounds out who he is. He’s sometimes a grand father too.
Location: Al Whittle Theatre, Wolfville, NS and Online
Date: Oct 21, 2021
Time: 5:30 pm – 6:50 pm
Price: $15 – Buy Now
Chiliheads is a fascinating look at the love for the hot pepper. Julien Fréchette created a very insightful documentary that features people from different walks of life who are obsessed with this fruit. From its roots of being a very regional plant to its pollination around the world (mostly because of trading from the Portuguese traders), it’s growing everywhere. Each variant has its own flavour profile and heat level. A lot of information is densely packed in this 73 min work, and it’s certainly worth watching again just to learn about why it’s become part of certain cultures’ cuisine.
World Premiere at Hot Docs
April 29 – May 9, 2021
Tablescaping is serious business in SET! a documentary. In the competitive world of where up and coming talents show off their skills at county fairs, it can make or break–especially if that’s these people’s job! It’s not just about how to fold that napkin into an attractive flower but also knowing how to arrange the plates and food together in a way so the diner can feel like a king. These contests also requires a list of pretend meals to go with the display, and I suspect the skills can also be applied at promotions at many a convention (comic book or otherwise). Having a well organized table attracts returning customers.
California’s Orange County hosts one of the most recognized events for this state, and there’s many more world-wide. To be a judge, however, means working in the catering business for a long time and knowing what your clients want. It’s less about the fancy decorations for that one individual to feel like he’s in the jungle (one of many themes seen in this doc), but more about what the table setter can dream up for that ultimate dining experience. Writer/director Scott Gawlik’s work spotlights an eclectic mix of folks to show what this artistic endeavour means to them.
On YouTube, Google Play and Amazon Prime
After watching The Donut King, I now know where to go to get my sugary fix when travel without restrictions is allowed again. The various delights offered by one Santa Monica operation is enough to make me want to jet down instead of fly across the Pacific Ocean! This work was released last year at the Los Angeles Asia Pacific Film Festival and was quickly picked up for wider distribution. To find it, however, meant waiting in line like the time I was in Oregon for Voodoo Doughnut. Though the wait was thirty minutes long, the wait was worth it.
Ted Ngoy is hailed as a pioneer of the enterprising spirit in California. He’s as shrewd as Ray Kroc in taking partial ownership of the name and franchising out McDonalds. The variation is in how he helped his fellow Cambodians who came to America open their operations and when he took a slice of the American dream.
AGELESS GARDENS, SEASON 3
World Premiere on VisionTV
Monday, February 15, 2021, 9:00pm ET
Ageless Gardens is demonstrating that not even this show can end. Season 3 is set to premiere on VisionTV Monday, February 15 at 9pm ET.
This latest chapter expands upon the original series vision, focusing on the ‘ageless’ aspect of gardening. This season features five new 30-minute episodes that each tell the story of the health and wellness benefits of gardening at any age. The episode to keep an eye out for is “Sacred Spaces,” which explores not only what this activity can do for the soul, but also to “ground” yourself during these times. Not everyone knows how to manage stress well, and it’s just about connecting with the divine.
While British Columbia is beset with a last minute winter sneeze, this season is hardly that. It was partially filmed during the pandemic and with heavy safety protocols in place, was able to finish production to show no virus can halt what hearty Victorians can do in any time of the year–illness or not.