Archive for the 'Documentary' Category

Big Screen Food in El Bulli: Cooking in Progress

October 1, 2011

Film, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, is screening in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Cinemas (various locations) through October 6, 2011

“Creativity means not copying.” Ferran Adrià and his team have made Jacques Maximin’s aphorism the motto of their everyday pursuits. The film El Bulli: Cooking in Progress is the close observation of that quest – from initial experimentation to the premiere of the finished dish. In the course of that process, however, many an ingredient is examined in a totally new way. What novel product can one derive from the sweet potato?  (from

About the Restaurant:

Revolutionary Spanish eatery El Bulli is a Michelin three-star restaurant in Roses, Spain (two hours northeast of Barcelona); each night, it serves a tasting menu of 30+ courses, prepared by over 40 chefs, to a single seating of up to 50 guests. For the current season, its last before transforming into a culinary academy, over two million requests were received for the 8,000 available seats. Head chef Ferran Adrià, who took over the restaurant in 1987 and instituted the tradition of yearly developmental sabbaticals, has become the leading inspiration for avant-garde cuisine worldwide, alternately referred to as a mad scientist or Salvador Dali of the kitchen.

About the Film:

For six months of the year, renowned Spanish chef Ferran Adrià closes his restaurant El Bulli — repeatedly voted the world’s best — and works with his culinary team to prepare the menu for the next season. An elegant, detailed study of food as avant-garde art, EL BULLI: COOKING IN PROGRESS is a rare inside look at some of the world’s most innovative and exciting cooking; as Adrià himself puts it, “the more bewilderment, the better!”


Forks Over Knives

August 12, 2011

“To begin with, it is true that people have a craving for oil, dairy, and animal fat, and that includes the medical scientists who study the problem. We are immersed in an environment of toxic food that is attractive, tasteful, reasonably priced, and heavily advertised. And there are powerful commercial interests that want no change in the American diet.” – Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.

Can I Change?


Dr. Esselstyn and T. Colin Campbell, PhD think I can, and they give me hope that plant-based nutrition will help me sustain both health and energy. It is evident that the health-care industry is out of control and that pharmaceutical marketing is a form of gossip with stockholders. We are eating what larger forces direct us to buy, cook, consume, and call healthy. See “Forks Over Knives” today.

The film, according to IMDB, “examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.” The film according to this blog gives the viewer pause to reconsider his/her own relationship with food and reintroduce the oft-ignored value of taste. I caught a screening at the Laemmle Cinema in Pasadena on a Saturday morning. My next stop was to Whole Paycheck/Foods to buy Esselstyn’s book. Modifying my diet has been an easy leap and one fully supported by Greg. He cooks meals without meat so that we can enjoy it together. Cooking has a new cast of characters and changes up worn routines. I feel better and suspect that although I won’t become a spokesmodel I might even lose some inches. Win win.

Start with the website:


A disproportionate amount of the home page is a variation of “calls to action.” Social media links instantly connect us with an unspoken peer pressure as we scan the names and profile photos of friends who have “liked” this movie, or at least liked the Facebook page which represents the movie which represents the opinions of the doctors in the documentary. We can share the website, tweet about it, and even meet others who crave more interpersonal interaction through Meetup. I should be thankful there’s no link to Vegan Sweethearts Dating Site. Visit the store, buy the book, buy the movie, or get exclusive content when you surrender your email privacy.


I like tempeh now and invent with it regularly in my cooking. I am vocally critical of restaurants’ menus which do not offer a plant-based entree option (yes, Hoff’s Hut has chicken, beef, pork or eggs in every single dish! Even salads aren’t safe!) Finding places like the Veggie Grill are like a lost civilization to me as I nibble and savor each bite of veggie-centric food. Sustainable menus seems inseparable from plant-based nutrition.