'documentaries' on Serious Eats

Meet & Eat: Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis of Truck Farm, a Farm on a Truck

Longtime friends and documentary filmmakers Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis broke onto the food scene with their thought-provoking documentary, King Corn. Still hopeful to arouse new interest in agriculture, the two are now attempting to prove that farming can happen in even the most urban of areas. Despite many skeptical looks, they are successfully growing vegetables in the bed of a pickup truck! I chatted with Curt and Ian about their current projects and their hope for the future of urban agriculture. More

Video: Being A Fish In Japan: Tuna

Japanese fishmonger/rockstar "Captain" Tsurizao Morita started his fish-themed band Gyoko ("fishing port") to get people to eat more fish and learn to appreciate it. Besides singing about fish, part of the way he does this is by filleting a tuna's head on stage and describing how to cook it. Watch Morita in action, learn what makes tuna "rock," and get a look inside Tsukiji, the world's biggest fish market, in this segment from the series Being a Fish In Japan. More

Serious Green: Movies That Go Beyond Food Inc

©iStockphoto.com/thebroker This summer's Food, Inc. has brought food consciousness in the U.S. to a whole new level. If Food, Inc. made you hungry for more info on food production in the U.S., you should get your hands on one of the movies below. These films range in theme from school lunches to genetically modified foods. People can talk and write about food production and industrial feed lots till they're blue in the face, but seeing sometimes makes all the difference. Food, Inc. was groundbreaking because it was the first enviro-food film to be screened at major movie theaters across the country. But the small, food-focused films that follow after the jump played at independent festivals and then never seemed... More

In Videos: Man Sleeps With Pigs for BBC Documentary

It’s one thing to read about the conditions in which factory-farm animals are kept. But it’s another to actually live the life of a pig slated for bacon. For a recent BBC documentary, titled My Life as an Animal actor Richard da Costa spent four days in the pigpen—sleeping on a bed of straw, feeding on soy-alfalfa pellets (“so disgusting that you would rather go hungry”), and dodging the frequent tussles of his snorty pen-mates. Did bonding with the piggies turn da Costa off meat for good? “It was two months before I could eat pig after coming out of the farm,” he writes in the corresponding article. But his aversion didn’t last. “I finally cracked…I was lured back... More

Ethicurean Reviews New Documentary 'Food Fight,' Underwhelmed

The Ethicurean, a blog devoted to the organic and sustainable eating ethos, is predisposed to love a film like Food Fight (not to be confused with Foodfight!), where the premise rests on the same mantra. But get ready for a plot twist—they didn't love it. Here’s where I bite the nice hands who fed me the DVD review copy. We three found ourselves squirming restlessly in our pews. Too many putative saints were being paraded past us on litters of glistening lettuces, and the familiar hymns sounded off key in their new arrangements. Ethicurean founder Bonnie Powell watched a preview copy (screenings are just in Los Angeles currently) and while she found it beautiful visually, said it could have... More

'The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World' Documentary Series

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET is the premiere of the four-part documentary series The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World on Sundance Channel. The subject of the series, West Lake Restaurant in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, has 5,000 seats and over 300 chefs, and holds stage shows in addition to serving food. Watch the restaurant in action in a promo of the series after the jump. [via New York Times]... More

'1 Bite, 7 Days' Documentary Project

I didn't go to last weekend's Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, New York expecting to eat anything interesting or unusual, but thanks to 1 Bite 7 Days I got the opportunity to taste three dishes that were new to my taste buds. 1 Bite 7 Days is Heather Menicucci's documentary project named after a Japanese proverb that says, "For every new food we eat, we gain seven days of life." After trying one of her complimentary dishes (or three, if you're a glutton like me), participants enter a private booth where they can talk about what they would do with their extra seven (to twenty-one) days, with their responses being recorded on camera to be compiled into the final... More

In Videos: Sneak Peek at Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow's Spanish Road Trip

Spain...On the Road Again is an upcoming PBS series documenting Mario Batali during his four month-long eating spree through Spain with a few of his friends. Maybe you've heard of them: actress Gwyneth Paltrow, food writer Mark Bittman, and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols. Take at peek at their fooding adventures with this four and a half minute montage of their travels. The full series will air in September.... More

On DVD: 'Donut Day' and 'Dishes'

Speaking of food films, a couple cute food-related documentaries came across my desk recently, and I figured I'd pass word of them on to you. Donut Day, produced by Amy Levine and Dhera Strauss, follows the staff of Sweetwater's Donut Mill over a 24-hour period. You're treated to a behind-the-scenes look at a beloved local doughnut shop as it bakes five- to six-thousand doughnuts a day for its customers, many of whom keep their own coffee mugs there, a testamanent to the shop's quirkiness and hominess. I especially liked seeing the doughnut-filler machine in action and learning the term "cosmetic icing"—a glazing applied to blemished yet still edible specimens. 52 minutes. Available on DVD for $15 (includes shipping), at donutdaydoc.comDishes,... More

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