Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Documentary Review: 'A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt'

A Matter of Taste has been sitting in my instant queue for some time now.  I'm not familiar with Paul Liebrandt nor any of the restaurants mentioned in this documentary, except Guilt, so my desire to view this was minimal, but for 68 minutes-I felt it deserved some attention.

 A Matter of Taste takes the viewer on a journey documenting a man who won't settle for another person’s menu.  Liebrandt is a visionary chef who creates visually stunning art with his food and gives his guests a true dining experience in some unsuspecting places.  The kitchens Liebrandt is cooking in are stepping stones, as he discusses how as a chef-one often is required to cook for the owner, using the owner's menu as opposed to cooking one’s own food.  This conundrum of food preferences creates less than creative environments for culinary artists such as Liebrandt.  In A Matter of Taste, we watch Paul move between different restaurants, each giving Paul more freedom of expression, until years later-when he finally gets his big break. 

Watch Chef Liebrandt go through the perils of developing a relationship with an investor, creating menus, training and coaching kitchen staff-all to lead up to a make-it-or-break-it review by the Times' own Frank Bruni.

A Matter of Taste is only a snapshot of a chef, well known to chefs, but not to the general public.  While only a 68 minute film, the story did drag at times, but as a viewer you receive an understanding as to how in any business-it takes time to build a career and a reputation.  I recommend this film to those foodies, looking for a view behind the curtain of Corton. 

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