An international gourmet meal in five courses of cinema: diversity beer, weed soup, and protest tea, with plushies and spirits as guests—a tasting menu to nourish all senses
Dinner parties are fun, but sometimes you have to listen to people complain about their boring job or aren’t able to find a common topic. This is why we propose you do something different for the next time you’re hosting: pair your dishes with films, some short, some feature, some fun, and some sad, but all remarkable in their observations and all close to the subject of food. You will have a delightful evening and a lot to talk about with the guests, and your eyes will open to the complexities of the politics implied in the food you eat. But most importantly, these films, while different, all put forward the idea of nourishment as a social event. Food is joy; food is community; food comes with friendship, and sometimes with loss. But most importantly, food is something that we all need and can share.
PAIR WITH: A flight of beers from black- and women-owned craft breweries.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: 2018 saw the United States’ first Black beer festival happen in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While not scheduled to repeat in 2019, it will hopefully return in the future. The film showcases the participants of the 2018 event, all of whom are merging their African-American identities with their love for delicious hops: a refreshing take on the white male-dominated industry.
PAIR WITH: Smoked bulghur tabbouleh, savory green tea pannacotta, chilled 1336 mint green tea cocktails, virgin, or spiked.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: In 2010, Unilever decided to close its tea factory in Provence. The workers chose to fight back and went on a strike that lasted for 1336 days. Now a cooperative, “Scop-TI” is making tea again: including their organic line awesomely called “1336”. But this is where new challenges arise. How to balance output with the workers’ happiness? How to make sure their product can contend in the saturated field where marketing trumps product? And how to teach people to appreciate that organic tea that hasn’t been artificially enhanced doesn’t taste as strong as the mass-produced counterparts?
3. MAIN COURSE FROM SOUTH KOREA: The Wandering Chef, dir. Hye-Ryeong Park, 2018
PAIR WITH: Moss broth with weed dumplings, acorn jelly, rice with wild growth relish, seaweed infusion: 108 dishes in total.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: A celebrity chef who is often invited to cook for various dignitaries, Jiho Im is at his happiest when he can scavenge around rural South Korea in search of unexplored products to use in his creations. The meals that Jiho prepares are rooted in the traditional culture and medicine of the region, but they also defy the paradigm of what constitutes good cooking. He shares these carefully crafted meals with the local elderly people: after all, the most elusive ingredient of all is the human connection. And Jiho knows a thing or two about it: he had lost two mothers throughout his lifetime.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Every year on November 1, Sardinians host meals for their deceased. Spirits can’t eat, but they can inhale the aromas of carefully prepared dishes, and understand that they are still loved, remembered, and cared for. The film follows one such woman as she makes supper for her late beloveds.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Mogu and Perol are two furry friends who live on the edge of a bountiful forest on Yummy island. Mogu likes to cook, but he has noticed that whenever he makes a delicious plate, Perol always comes along and eats half of it. However, when the friends disagree over a berry, Mogu understands that meals are not the same without his friend. Will he be able to win Perol over again with a delectable feast in her honor?