Thursday, 27 April 2017

Film - Cafe Nation at Hot Docs

How serious are you about the coffee you drink?

Do you drink anything that's cheap and convenient or do you seek out the best coffee you can find or make?

If you are obsessed with the quality of the coffee you drink then you will enjoy the journey of Canadian Ben Put who strives to be one of the Best Barristas in the World.
He has travelled to Dublin, Ireland to compete in the World Barrista Competition.

Ben is the part owner and Barrista at Monogram Coffee,  Coffee is  his career and his life.  He practices his coffee making techniques like he is training for the Olympics.  With his wife's support he has dedicated years to pursue the Top spot in the world of coffee making.

Maybe you just think your cup of Java is just some coffee beans and hot water.  Ben thinks there is a lot more to it than that to make the most perfect cup of coffee and he is not alone.

Director; laura o'grady
Tue, May 2 - 8:15 PM -  TIFF Bell lightbox 4
Thur, may 4 - 3:30 pm - scotiabank theatre 7
sun, may 7 - 9:15 pm - scotiabank theatre 13



Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Film - Ramen Heads at Hot Docs


In Japan Ramen is like a Sandwich in the West.  It can be breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Japanese people are very dedicated to their favourite Ramen restaurants.  I have even seen this trend in Toronto.  There is a fairly new Ramen restaurant on Dundas near University and just before lunch people start to line up outside.  I don't get it because there are other Ramen shops nearby, but they must like that one better than the others in the area.  I prefer the broth of Pho to Ramen broth as it has more depth in the flavours but people love to slurp up those noodles and suck back that broth.

This documentary is the story of a man in Japan who has become the King of Ramen Heads and has developed a system to serve his customers. His name is Osamu Tomita. He is an obsessive perfectionist and will not allow his apprentices to take over.  If he can't be in his shop it doesn't open.  He searches the highest quality ingredients and makes his noodles by hand every day and they are longer than everyone else's and has a specific stretch that keeps them from breaking.  

Ramen Heads looks at the Ramen culture in Japan and Chef Tomita's mentors and influences and some of the other styles of Ramen in other restaurants in Japan.  

He won the "Best Ramen in Tokyo" for 4 years in a row and people come from all over to try his Ramen.  His shop celebrates it's 10th Anniversary and this is a behind the scenes look at their practices and success and why they have over 200 people who line up everyday for his noodles and broth.  

He only eats Ramen and will work all day without a break and on his days off he goes to eat at other Ramen shops.

Is it dedication or obsession?  Watch the film and you decide.

See it at HOT DOCS 

Thursday, May 4 5:45 PM, SCOTIABANK THEATRE
Friday, May 5 10:15 AM, TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX
Saturday, May 6 10:45 AM, TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX


Saturday, May 6 10:45 AM, TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Film - New Chefs on the Block - Hot Docs


Have you ever wanted to own your own Restaurant?  Do you think it's easy?  

People have told me for years that I should open a Restaurant but they seem to think it's really easy to just open the doors of a space and start selling food.  

Not so much.  Nearly 30 per cent of new restaurants fail within the first year.  

It's a very high risk investment where most of the capital comes from borrowing from banks, credit cards and friends and family. 
If you aren't financially independent or have lot's of support from friends and family, you will find the process very challenging.  It takes a village to open a great restaurant.  If you want to know why your meal costs so much then you should see this film as it takes you through the behind the scenes process of building a restaurant from the ground up.

New Chefs on the Block is a feature documenting the roller-coaster ride of two young chefs in Washington, D.C., as they estimate their budgets from design to opening nights of their first restaurants.

Chefs Aaron Silverman of Rose's Luxury and Frank Linn of Frankly...Pizza! are in for a big shock as they incur increasing costs due to the number of obstacles in their way in the process of construction, permits and human resources issues that they must overcome to get to their Opening Nights. 

How important is a review from the Big Local newspaper?  It can make or break a restaurant.  Social media is also the new game changer although influenced mostly by the original big media reviews.

The Chefs featured in the film are a dedicated new breed of Chef/restauranteurs who have modelled their businesses after successful restauranteur Danny Meyer's practice of treating his staff well and building a community that stays together.  Gone are the days of the loud dictator chefs.  And the diners are better off for the changes.

Two chefs in DC struggle to open their first Restaurants.  NEW CHEFS ON THE BLOCK

Directed by Dustin Harrison-Atlas

Starring Aaron Silverman of Rose’s Luxury and Frank Linn of Frankly...Pizza! Featuring legendary chefs and restaurateurs Danny Meyer (author, “Setting the Table”), Michel Richard (2-time James Beard Award Winner), Mike Isabella (Bravo Top Chef All-Star) and Washington Post food writer Tim Carman.





“What is good food? Food made with Love. Love, love, love, love.” -Chef Michel Richard

TJFF Doc - Praise the Lard

Praise the Lard (Documentary)
Director- Chen Shelach
Israel (2016)

Did you ever wonder why Jews don't eat pork?  Praise the Lard tells the story of the pork industry in Israel and the power struggles between different ethnic groups in transition.  There is a term "New Jew" to describe Jews who eat pork.  Pork was considered the dirty animal but modern times have changed the pork industry and some people wonder why people fought over the right to produce, sell and eat pork in the first place.

What does eating Pork have to do with being Jewish?  Are you less Jewish if you eat Pork?  These are questions you will ponder while watching archival and current footage in Praise the Lard.

This is the story of the Mizra Kibbutz pork producing business and the people that fought for and against it's existence.

Is it time to rethink the Jewish laws that dictate what Jews should eat?  Are they outdated and don't match the current times.  Why is what we eat connected to your religion?

This documentary shows and intriguing look at the history of pork in Israel and where we are now.

See it at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival.  Note.. (Subtitled)

Screening at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival (TJFF)
Friday 5 May, 4:00 PM - Cineplex Cinemas Empress Walk 6  
Monday 8 May, 3:30 PM - Alliance Francaise