Stage: The Culinary Internship Image

Much of the documentary covers the research and development, and we get an instructive view of the science behind molecular gastronomy. As one story goes, researchers enlisted the help of a local university to break an ingredient to capture its specific aroma and was able to isolate that particular molecule. It dives deep into taste and understanding of how food and science can produce unique and innovative flavors.

Stage: A Culinary Internship is going to “wow” anyone who loves food documentaries. I say this because molecular gastronomy produces dishes that will “wow” the senses…except for possibly the eyes as some of the food and plates are not-so-attractive. I wouldn’t say ugly, but they lean on the science end of cooking. It can best be described as abstract or deconstructive art.

“…not only the beauty of the dishes but of this tranquil restaurant in an equally peaceful forest location.”

The documentary does not present that typical high-pressure kitchen situation, known in most restaurant-related films.  The interns are pushed hard and pushed toward perfection, but not with drill-sergeant-style discipline. The chefs at Mugaritz are “encouraging,” while always insisting on perfection. Pressure comes not from a screaming chef, but the gaze of disappointment.

This unique approach to restaurant management is why you’ll like Stage. It’s unique and offers a fresh take on the kitchen environment. The food is art…it’s a highly sophisticated art. Unfortunately, like real art, only the wealthy can enjoy it, which makes the food in the film inaccessible to the commoner like most of us. Visually Ainsworth captures not only the beauty of the dishes but of this tranquil restaurant in an equally peaceful forest location. As with all food documentaries, don’t go in with an empty stomach.

Stage: The Culinary Internship (2020)

Directed and Written: Abby Ainsworth

Starring: Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Stage: The Culinary Internship Image

"…unique and offers a fresh take on the kitchen environment."

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