Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Step Up to the Plate

Step Up to the Plate (Entre les Bras) is a new movie about the Michelin three star restaurant Michel et Sébastien Bras in Laguiole, France.

The restaurant is situated on a hill about 300 miles from Paris in a modern glass structure with sweeping views of the countryside. Just like Jiro Dreams of Sushi, the film focuses on the father Michel passing the stewardship of the restaurant to his son Sébastien.

The documentary is divided into four segments named after the seasons and features snippets of Michel's and Sébastien's daily life: selecting vegetables in the market in the early morning, preparing for dinner service, and after hours relaxation.

The film is also about the creative process and how childhood shapes one's culinary preferences. It opens with Michel explaining and assembling Gargouillo, his complex herb and vegetable course. The most interesting sequence shows Sébastien developing a new dish based on a childhood snack prepared by his grandparents, and then reinterpreting the dish in Hokkaido using Japanese ingredients.

Step Up to the Plate is essentially about food as art, the lifelong dedication that goes with it, the dynamics of tradition versus innovation, and familial heritage. It's a must-see for foodies and anyone who appreciates the hard work that goes behind a great dish.

This inspiring documentary is currently playing at the Quad and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.

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