netflix does design(er movies)


In the past I have done my fair share of entertainment listing. Foodie film lists, obsessive indulgence in the cinematographically superior Breaking Bad (here and here and here), what’s available at this or that film festival. But for this list I take zero credit…and I’m honestly sharing this as much as a bookmark for myself as for the good of my ever so loyal readers (you). Mark Wilson over at Fast Company put together this list of twenty-two movies for designers and lovers of the visual….and they are all available streaming on Netflix! If you are that one person on this planet that is not a Netflix user, bless you. Some of these are available, in toto, on YouTube as well.

And yes, a couple of them I’ve mentioned before. For good reason.

1&2: Objectified/Urbanized

3: Design is One: Lella & Massimo Vignelli

4: Gucci: The Director

5: Once Upon a Time in the West

6: Leviathan

7: Indie Game: The Movie

8: Bill Cunningham New York

9: Cutie and the Boxer

10: Detropia

11: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

12: The Grandmaster

13: Exit Through the Gift Shop

14: The Waiting Room

15: Metropolis

16: Jiro Dreams of Sushi

17: The City Dark

18: Melancholia

19: Pina

20: Drew: The Man Behind the Poster

21: Life in a Day

22: Snowpiercer

So get on it…add these to your queue and stop watching those silly reality shows.

Keep in touch,

summer food porn


The summer movie season, which usually leaves us a little hungry, unless of course we are 8 years old and still believe in dragons and princesses, is a great time to catch up on those movies we meant to see but never got around to. As much as I love the worlds of food and restaurants and the people who live and work there, I also love movies about food and restaurants and the people who live and work there. So here is a list of food movies you can find online (except of course for Chef, which is in theaters now and I plan to see at the late show tonight) and enjoy at home with a bottle of wine. Yum….summer food porn. If you have anything to add, let me know in comments. (note: I also covered a few food movies here and here).

Chef…the chef gets fired and decides to buy an old taco truck.

Dinner Rush…dinner and gangsters….

American Meat (documentary)…sustainable meat production is economically viable people!

The Way Back to Yarasquin (documentary)…coffee from Honduras to San Francisco…one woman’s story of bringing hope to a community.

Nothing Like Chocolate (documentary)…Grenada Chocolate Company revolutionizes chocolate….without using slave labor. Mott Green’s story.

Big Night….an oldie (1996) about Italian immigrants trying to make it in the American restaurant business.

Eat Drink Man Woman…another oldie (1994) chef as single father raising three daughters.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (documentary)….a thoughtful meditation on family, perfection, and the world renowned master of sushi, Jiro.

Somm (documentary)….so you think wine tasting is fun? Yea, me too. But becoming a master sommelier, not so much.

The Trip…two friends take a road trip to visit and report on the best of English restaurants. Hilarious.

Food, Inc (documentary)….the dirt behind the food industry and where your food comes from. You should know what you’re eating.

I was going to add Super Size Me to the list, but I just can’t. Watch it if you haven’t seen it, but if you read my blog, there’s a good chance that fast food isn’t a big part of your life anyway and you are hopefully already spreading the good food word. Enjoy the movies!

Keep in touch,


mof…the best of the best


One of the joys of the business that I’m in is the opportunity that I have to work with amazing artisans and artists who ply their trades with their hands. As we push our children harder and harder to intellectual pursuits, are we pushing them away from other work that might be more meaningful to them? Who will bake our break and build our homes, sew our clothes and decorate our walls? These manual pursuits, at least in the US, seem more and more neglected, even discouraged, and yet they are the foundation of all society. While the intellect may serve to elevate society, if it doesn’t have a foundation then where will we be?

In France, these vocational trades are still honored and revered. Nearly a century ago the French created a competition, the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France  (how’s your French?….the Best ‘Maker’ in France), to preserve and uplift over 100 artisan trades from embroidery and jewelry making to baking, butchering and tending bar. The competition is held every four years, and we are smack in the middle of the current competition. Entries were accepted through September of 2013. Competition is underway now to determine the semi-finalists in each category who will compete in 2015 for the title of MOF. Each semi-finalist is judged solely on their own merits and not against the other semi-finalists, and so there is no limit to the number of MOF titles that can be bestowed. Once designated an MOF, the appellation follows the winner throughout his or her career and life and expects the victors to continue to learn and grow within their field in a constant search for perfection.

In 2009  Kings of Pastry was released, a movie that carried us through the pastry world of the 2007 Meilleurs Ouvriers de France. In order to succeed in this competition and earn the acclaim within their field that follows, the competitors spend up to two years practicing and honing their skills. Marriages dissolve, friendships are lost and spirits are broken in the process. But to win the title of MOF is to receive the absolute highest commendation, promoting both the individual and the field in which they practice. This is the foundation on which intellect may soar…and this is one area where the world should be looking to France for direction.

Rant over….now go watch the movie! It’s wonderful. And here are a few more movies on food that I recommend…

sf film fest on food and art

The 57th annual SF Film Festival begins tomorrow…enjoy these films that have something to do with art or food. All photos courtesy

Art and Craft


a documentary centering on the life and mental illness of a philanthropic art forger

Cesar’s Last Fast


the story of Cesar Chavez centered around his 1988 fast, the final of many taken to highlight the rights of his fellow farm workers



improvised around a storyline, four couples attend a dinner party when a comet passes by and things get weird

Fed Up


a cautionary documentary that follows the obesity crisis and its connection to federal dietary guidelines

Impossible Light


about our very own Bay Bridge…..counts as art in my book

The Last Season


documentary about the (mostly) southeast Asian immigrants who make up the seasonal collection of mushroom hunters in Chemult, Oregon

Soul Food Stories


a mixed bag of Muslim, Christian, Catholic and atheist communists living together in Satovcha, Bulgaria come together over their shared love of food (reminds me of the boys behind the Jerusalem Cookbook…food brings us together politicians!)

iconThe Trip to Italy


more food porn from director Michael Winterbottom (The Trip) and the duo Brydon and Coogan who hilariously needle each other in the most beautiful places that you wish you were visiting!

Enjoy the festival….

Chefs Catalog

3. Genesis: Noah

Okay, one more thing.  About the Tower of Babel.  See the movie Babel.  It came out a couple of years ago.  Amazing.  Talk about confounded speech.  Read 11:1-9 first.  Otherwise the movie has little meaning.  Tell me if you like it.