A Matter of Taste

I attended the Tribeca Film Festival screening of A Matter of Taste tonight.  Above is a picture of me with chef Paul Liebrandt of Corton.

A Matter of Taste is a documentary film by Sally Rowe that follows Liebrandt, a young rising star pre-9/11.  The film shows him getting rave reviews from New York Times food critic William Grimes for his creative work at Papillon.  Unfortunately, post 9-11 New York wanted “comfort food,” so Liebrandt found himself flipping burgers at Papillon, a change that made him quit.  In his words, it was making his brain turn to jelly.   Years later, he gets a second chance at Gilt and is fired shortly after a not-so-stellar review from New York Times food critic Frank Bruni.  In American fashion, there is a happy ending in the movie, a resurgence of the acceptance of creativity in New York food, as Liebrandt gets another chance.  He impresses Bruni with his new Tribeca restaurant Corton, and in a year, turns it into a two Michelin star restaurant. 

The movie was short at about an hour.  It had funny moments and tense moments like when they are waiting for Bruni to come and review; however, it wasn’t dramatic like a reality show would’ve been.  It felt more real, like a documentary should be.  The movie spans a long period of time, ten years, and I almost wish it had been longer and showed Liebrandt’s struggle through unemployment and odd jobs a bit more.  Personally, I think it would have made the reward at the end all the more exciting.  In all, I enjoyed the film and was excited to see his career bounce back and the restaurant become a success.  Perhaps it’s a harbinger of brighter economic days to come?

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