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A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt


Fri 12 Aug 2011, 3:00pm
Sat 13 Aug 2011, 4:15pm

Where: Hoyts Northlands, Northlands Shopping Centre, Main North Rd, Papanui, Christchurch

Restrictions: All Ages

Listed by: nickparis

Festivals: SXSW, Tribeca 2011 --- (Director Sally Rowe in attendance at all Chch screenings...)

In 2000, at the age of 24, Englishman Paul Liebrandt became the youngest chef ever to receive a three-star review from the New York Times. It was an extraordinary breakthrough for such an early adventurer in post-modernist cuisine. Expat Kiwi Sally Rowe began filming Liebrandt soon after, never anticipating the setbacks that he would face before achieving anything like the success heralded by his stellar entrance. Landlords and investors, it seems, were reading the bottom line, not the reviews – and after 9/11 New Yorkers’ tastes for inspired experiments in haute cuisine declined noticeably. The Times cemented this anti-postmodernist trend in 2004 when they appointed Frank Bruni chief restaurant critic. While Liebrandt struggles, Rowe captures his intense creativity and unyielding determination to make a stand of it. As he rallies support for a splendid new venture, we feel a decade’s build-up bearing on the outcome. Finally the restaurant is ready for business – and staff investigate every name in the reservation book for a clue that it might be hiding an incognito Bruni. — BG

“Paul Liebrandt makes a charismatic focus for Sally Rowe’s camera in this kitchen confidential. While Mr Liebrandt speaks passionately about his cooking philosophy, Ms Rowe builds a climactic drama out of a looming make-or-break review from a demanding and influential critic. The chef’s self-deprecating wit keeps his Olympian ambitions on a human scale, but as he pushes to realize them the film turns into a gastronomic thriller.” — Steve Dollar, Wall St Journal

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