What To Eat While Binge-Watching Food Documentaries
If you love food, you should probably take a look at these 5 fascinating food documentaries I first watched at the outstanding Seattle International Film Festival, now streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV, or iTunes. All are fueled by a quest for perfection, whether it's finding the freshest fish for sushi, creating the tastiest steak, creating a cutting-edge menu, solving the world's problems via food. These thought-provoking movies will no doubt make viewers hungry, so, here are my suggestions for what to serve as you take them in.
A French chef searches for the most tender, flavorful steaks on the planet. It's an ambitious journey that makes the somewhat obvious point: The better a cow's diet, the tastier its meat. That goes for the heritage breeds munching on tender grass in the Scottish Highlands to the beasts babied with beer by small family farms in Japan. Viewers will also meet a breed from Spain that lives for 10 years before heading to the table, where the slabs of beef are massive yet surprisingly tender.
Perfect meal match: Buy a top-notch rib eye from a specialty butcher or at the farmers market and season it in the Best Steak Marinade in Existence before using a reverse sear to make the most tender meat you've ever tasted.
2) For Grace
So, maybe you'd like to open a restaurant? This film about Chicago chef Curtis Duffy will probably crush that dream. Everything that can go wrong does in the year-long build-out of this project; the chef's marriage even falls apart. Despite that and some other sad events, this film isn't a bummer, because of the way the incredible team sticks together to make it happen. Bravo, and yes, Grace has earned tons of accolades since finally opening.
Perfect meal match: Gourmet Mushroom Risotto tastes like a chef made it, but it's easy to make.
At Yoshida Brewery, saké is an art form. The small group of people who make it are artists who live, sleep, and breathe the stuff for a big chunk of the year the rice wine is being made. The tradition of living on site is rapidly disappearing in our world of mass-produced goods. This might seem like a hyper-niche subject, but there's plenty of human drama that makes this beautifully filmed movie so engaging.
Perfect meal match: There's much soup slurped throughout the movie, so give into that inevitable craving for ramen.
This stirring movie makes a strong case that eating a plant-based diet is better for our bodies, and for the planet. Two physicians and researchers have dedicated their lives to proving just that, and the results are compelling. Since coming out in 2011, Forks Over Knives has become a full-on lifestyle operation complete with merch and downloadable apps that help make following a vegan diet doable.
Perfect meal match: Zucchini Stuffed with Chickpeas and Mushrooms is so satisfying you won't miss the meat. It's among the 1,500 vegan recipes on Allrecipes.com.
Legendary Jiro Ono has been making sushi and other culinary delights for many of his nearly 90 years, and serving it in a teeny spot in a Tokyo subway station. People come from around the world and pay big bucks to sit at the humble 10-seat counter because the chef demands perfection from his suppliers and his team, which includes his son.
Perfect meal match: Sushi is the obvious choice, but most home cooks are intimidated by the process. Don't be. Sure, there are a few steps involved, but once ingredients are assembled, it's time to rock and roll. Check out our guide to making sushi rolls.