Monday, April 29, 2013

Netflix Documentary: A Matter of Taste

"Sally Rowe`s documentary dishes a rare glimpse into the heated world of haute cuisine, with brilliant and controversial chef Paul Leibrant navigating other chefs, food critics, restaurant owners and more"

This one caught my eye because I love to cook. I went to a culinary Vo tech program in high school and missed finishing by one test..that they wanted me to pay like 100 dollars to take after I had graduated. So I said screw that, and took my cooking to my home life. At least this way my food is enjoyed after it has been slaved over.

We watch from the underside as Paul Leibrant decorates what would be a dish with food sauces in an artistic way. I always loved being able to express myself with the food sauces in school. He is described as being an innovator and being cutting edge in nearly every way. He makes food that other people would only dream to try, and successfully gets people to like it. A few dishes that are told to us are:

*Chocolate Covered Scallops
*Espuma of calf`s brains and foie gras

A few chefs comment on Paul`s food, saying there really is no way to tell if you`re going to like it, because there has never been anything done like it before. One chef refuses to comment because he hates the food style, and we watch as a dish is constructed with cherries and some sort of jelly. The dishes we have seen so far are tiny and delicate. The speaker describes them as "cute" Then we learn that in 2000 Paul became the youngest chef to receive 3 stars from the New York Times. Which makes you start to wonder if he really is innovative, or if he is just different and that is causing a stir?

 Paul says he learned his style from a few guys he trained with in Europe. He states the restaurants  he worked in were very very good, but they were all the same. What he has started doing is taking a base, which is something we know, and taking away a flavor, or adding in something you would never add in on your own. It makes people wonder, and throws people off. This could have gone very badly, but he got lucky that humans are a curious species.
   We watch him work for awhile, and just by watching his demeanor you learn he is very passionate about his work. Even though he is famous, he still crafts nearly every plate by hand, and makes most of the food himself. The plates are constructed one by one, each one could be the same dish but they look unique.

He is a bit goofy, they had a spot of bad luck with one of his restaurants and had to go back to making burgers and fries. So he decides to have a french fry tasting with different cuts and spices for the fries.  Paul has no lover, instead prefers to say he is married to the kitchen. We witness him leaving the burger flipping trade and heading out to get back into serious cooking.

It was a slower documentary, with a lot of comments and insight from Paul himself. You really get to see inside his mind and see some of the unique dishes he thinks up. He wants to create emotion with his food, and awake the senses, not just give you something you`ve had before. I rated it as a 4 star myself but it is definitely worth the watch in my opinion.

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