Saturday, June 9, 2012

Film Review: A Matter Of Taste

Charles A. Smith

"A Matter Of Taste," from filmmaker Sally Rowe, opens the door to the life of the immensely talented and driven young chef, Paul Liebrandt. The culinary artist, who at age 24, was awarded 3 stars by the New York Times for his uniquely original works. The documentary, which is both fascinating and informative, tells of his journey as an innovator and artist in the hard and competitive field of preparing top haute cuisine in New York restaurants. Witness first hand the creative genius that is Chef Liebrandt, and a lifestyle where you get one and only one opportunity to entice and win over the buyer. That's the restaurant business, where only the best, most passionate, strongest, disciplined, and exceptional individuals ever make it to the top. For Liebrandt, the ride to success has been both grueling and delicious.

Treats of all kinds from the inventive super Chef who, after years of harsh words from critics, is finally being recognized for his genius and ability to please even the most discriminating palates with his masterful creations and the perfection with which he so carefully creates them.

Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant kitchen knows that teacher, motivator, big brother, disciplinarian, critic, and dad are all roles that the Chef must play, and with "A Matter Of Taste," viewers have an extraordinary glimpse into the story of the man who did it like Frank Sinatra -- "his way." Most Chefs don't actually work in the kitchen, as once they've obtained notoriety, they simply supervise and become executives of a sort. But Liebrandt is different than most, and is still in the trenches with his troops/cooks, training his staff with military precision to produce what he wants the way he wants it. Dealing with management, menu choices, rejection, staff, and opportunity are just some of the difficulties of the profession, and though the road to success isn't always as easy as most of us would like to be, Chef Liebrandt isn't afraid of allowing his difficult moments and obstacles he faced to be shown to viewers during his ten years of becoming one of the most renowned Chefs in New York City. Reinventing the wheel and trying square tires at times makes him either loved or hated by critics, but one thing he isn't and that's easily forgotten. His customers are completely loyal to him, and critics now rave about the man whose name they once used to smear -- all in the line of duty of course.

"A Matter Of Taste" is a highly recommended watch for those who like to cook, aspiring chefs, food lovers, and anyone who wants to be entertained.

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