Posts filed under Hospitality Industry

CHEF is a Movie Even the CIA Could Love

There are foodie films and then there are movies that reach beyond Hollywood’s stereotypes about romantic soufflés into the art of heart of why professional cooks cook. One wonderfully different film that pulls no punches is Jon Favreau’s new film CHEF.

And, no, this film is not about the military CIA but rather the far more peace and creative CIA (Culinary Institute of America) in upstate New York, Texas and California.

The authenticity of this film is amazing from knife skills to how chefs create. The story begins as Chef Carl Casper (written and played by Jon Favreau) faces culinary boredom as a ‘successful’ high-end Los Angeles chef who has been cooking the same boring dishes for five long years. Mon dieu!

                     

When Chef Casper learns that he is about to be reviewed by the famed critic Ramsey Michel (played to perfection by Oliver Platt) he decides to alter the long established menu and create something new and innovative.

His urge to create brings him into direct conflict with the restaurant’s owner (played as a cold hearted money man by Dustin Hoffman). The result is a disaster that literally goes viral thanks to the Internet and soon the Chef is unemployed, drifting without a compass professionally or personally.

The rest of the film follows the Chef with humor and pathos as he rediscovers thanks to a food truck, an insightful son and fine friends that cuisine to be authentic must reach beyond the kitchen and connect with life.

In the end there is laughter and music and joy for both the Chef and the audience lucky enough to catch this uniquely honest film that in the end does more than show the stress and strain of the back of the house. It captures as few films do the true reason cuisine is an art – when well done we can changes lives: including our own.

Your Culinary World Copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2014

Why We All Want to Go to The Grand Budapest Hotel

Well, Wes Anderson has done it again. For those who were charmed by the movie Moonrise Kingdom, there is now another film that equally delights while urging one to think just a little more deeply about what life is all about. 

All one has to do to achieve such wisdom (besides seeing the film) is check into The Grand Budapest Hotel and embrace the wisdom of Monsieur Gustave, concierge extraordinaire.

The film reveals through flashbacks the story of Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy (played by the newcomer Tony Revolori) as he learns about hotel protocol, poetry, courage and how one lives a life of meaning – all taught, of course, by Monsieur Gustave.

Ralph Fiennes plays the central character, Monsieur Gustave, with humor, style and a view of life crafted by years of perceptively watching the rich and famous come and go. It is an overview so accurately presented that anyone within the Hospitality Industry will adore the humorous but honest insights on life and service that this film presents in scene after scene.

The famed set designer, Adam Stockhausen, skillfully caught the feel what a legendary hotel must be when he converted the cavernous former Görlitzer Warenhaus Department Store building in Görlitz, Germany into the Grand Budapest Hotel during its grand (and not so grand days). In keeping with the storybook-feel of years gone by, he also created a miniature model of the exterior at the Studio Babelsberg, near Berlin. 

There’s death, romance, jeweled guests, theft, running up and down the stairs, fabulous pastries, keys, cocktails - in short just another day at a grand hotel, all handled with a clarity of style that defines the very heart of our Industry.  

Your Culinary World Copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2014