This job lets me watch a lot of movies, which means I don’t get to watch much television. In fact, my television has been boiled down to fake news, mindless sitcoms, and food shows. Oh, do I love food shows, Top Chef, Iron Chef, Master Chef, etc. My love of food shows has seemingly become a new category of culinary films making the festival run.
So my first culinary film review starts at the top with Rasmus Dinesen’s Michelin Stars: Tales from the Kitchen. As the title suggests, this is a film about the Michelin Star system and its effect on the culinary world, but let’s face it, this is food porn. Most of the film is subtitled and who can read subtitles when you’re looking at some amazing food. Let it be known that my popcorn started tasting progressively worse throughout the film.
“…the deep depression one experiences when the star is taken away. Hint: they kill themselves.”
There’s not a lot of surprises when it comes to the content of the film. We get a little history. Did you know the Michelin name’s origin comes from the tire company? It started in 1900 when cars were a new thing and the Michelin Guide encouraged rich readers to travel to restaurants throughout France so as to wear out the tires of their cars.
Predictably, we are treated to talking head interviews with the world’s finest chefs talking about how important it is to have a Michelin Star; the crazy things chefs do to get one; and the deep depression one experiences when the star is taken away. Hint: they kill themselves.
The content is informative and the stories are fascinating, but this documentary is really about what you see. We travel around the world to France, Austria, New York, and Tokyo. We see food prepped and plated in spectacular magnificence. Again, food porn. At the end of the film, you’re salivating, starving, and exhausted.
“…film’s interviews and information serve as a way to get you from one plate of food to the next.”
The worst part of Michelin Stars: Tales from the Kitchen is the sudden realization that you are so poor, you will never experience a Michelin Star meal, let alone a 3-star Michelin meal. The torment and pains these chefs go through are lost on the common viewer, who really has to struggle to survive. Question: do you know the salary of a film critic? Nuff said.
If you love food…really good food…absolutely beautiful food, go see Michelin Stars: Tales from the Kitchen. The film’s interviews and information serve as a way to get you from one plate of food to the next.
Michelin Stars: Tales from the Kitchen (2018) Directed by Rasmus Dinesen. Written by Jesper Jarl Becker, Carsten Holst, and Rasmus Dinesen. Michelin Stars: Tales from the Kitchen screened at the 2018 Newport Beach Film Festival.
4 out of 5 stars