For the sixth time, the Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest features a special section called Culinary Cinema, which combines the latest films with a unique dining experience. The project’s founder is the former Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick who has now become a programme consultant for Febiofest, as well as a patron of its cinema-meets-dining evenings. One evening will be focused on modern Czech cuisine, another on Japanese cuisine and the third one will be run by a female master chef.
As part of the 27th edition of the festival, Culinary Cinema will once again offer three special menus put together by renowned master chefs: Mirek Kalina, Tereza Jeřábková and Ondřej Koráb. The screenings of Puzzle, The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution and Le Chocolat de H. will take place from Friday, 20 March to Sunday, 22 March at the CineStar multiplex in Prague’s Smíchov. Viewers will then move to the adjacent Vienna House Andel’s Prague hotel, home of the novel restaurant Delight.
Friday, 20 March will be dedicated to Puzzle by American producer and director Marc Turtletaub. The story of a woman who develops a passion for jigsaw puzzles which subsequently helps her put together the puzzle pieces of herself has inspired chef Mirek Kalina to put together a unique menu. His jigsaw for this film – a menu entitled A Taste Puzzle – comprises a broad array of tastes: savoury, sweet, bitter and sour. Diners can enjoy Wallachian sour soup, beef tartar, roast cod, veal sweetbread and semolina pudding.
Saturday’s film-matching menu has been created by a female master chef, Tereza Jeřábková. Her menu, entitled Northern Spring, will complement The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution by Canadian screenwriter and director Maya Gallus. The film, which opened Culinary Cinema at the 2019 Berlinale, is a documentary about women who have overturned the traditional view of the chef profession as a purely male preserve and changed the rules and customs of the culinary craft. Tereza Jeřábková highlights this development with a novel menu including duck, catfish and chocolate, all paired with complementary wines.
The three-day culinary feast concludes on Sunday, 22 March with a screening of Le Chocolat de H by Japanese director Takashi Watanabe. The documentary portrait of Japanese confectioner Hironobu Tsujiguchi, who has turned chocolate making into an art form, has inspired the menu of the highly acclaimed Ondřej Koráb. Entitled Chocolate Samurai, it will include Japanese pancakes as well as beef sirloin and salted chocolate.
All film screenings begin at 6 pm with dinner following at 8 pm. Each evening will be hosted by TV presenter Jolana Voldánová while pianist and singer Václav Tobrman will help create a pleasant ambience.
Well-known two-season juror on the MasterChef TV show, owner of the Kalina Anežka and Kalina Kampa restaurants in Prague and expert on fish and game. Focuses on Czech cuisine, high-quality ingredients and precise seasoning. Garnered experience throughout Europe and today passes it on at the Gourmet Academy.
After 13 years at the Municipal House’s Francouzská restaurace moved to Le Terroir and began making gastronomy-focused trips to northern countries. Cooked at Bistrot 104 and today is a deputy head chef at SOHO+ and a head chef at the KVLT13 pop-up restaurant where she cooks 13-course meals for 13 guests.
Gained experience at restaurants in England and Canada, cooked at Mandarin Oriental hotels in Prague and London and at the Prague hotels Augustine, Kempinski Hybernská, and The Grand Mark. Most recently worked at the Michelin-starred Marcus in London. Has enjoyed success at cooking competitions and food festivals and has cooked for global celebrities.
Marc Turtletaub, co-founder of the Big Beach production company, is behind many award-winning films, from the Oscar-winning Little Miss Sunshine, to Philip Seymour Hoffman's debut Jack Goes Boating, and Away We Go by Sam Mendes. Puzzle is his feature debut.
Forty-something, Agnes is a typical housewife who has devoted her whole life to taking care of her sons and husband Louie. But everything changes when she gets a jigsaw puzzle for her birthday. To her own surprise, she realizes that she has found something she not only really enjoys, but also truly excels at. Soon after, she meets the reclusive Robert who introduces her to the world of jigsaw puzzle tournaments. Director and producer Marc Turtletaub's feature debut is a unique portrait of a woman who discovers her passion in life, and starts putting together the puzzle pieces of herself.
The Canadian director and screenwriter has devoted her film career to life stories on the periphery of our attention. She explores the world of eroticism from the female perspective in the Erotica: A Journey Into Female Sexuality documentary, examines the environment of women's amateur boxing in the Punch Like a Girl series, and – as a former waitress – depicts the problematic position of female service workers in restaurants and bars in Dish: Women Waitressing & the Art of Service. Maya Gallus has received numerous awards, including a Focus On Award.
The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution
Professional kitchens have been traditionally perceived as a purely male domain. They tend to be associated with a tense, stressful environment, emphasized by extreme working hours, sleep deprivation and macho military drill. Maya Gallus's documentary focuses on female chefs who have broken this traditional view of the seemingly masculine profession, and started to change the rules and customs of culinary craft.
Since 2003, Takashi Watanabe has been working for TV Asahi Productions. He has conducted interviews for television news programmes with more than a hundred writers, politicians and businessmen. The unique documentary Le Chocolat de H is his feature debut.
Le Chocolat de H
Artisan chocolate making as an artistic expression similar to poetry or music – at least when speaking about the sweet treats created by Japanese confectioner Hironobu Tsujiguchi. The five-time winner of the prestigious Parisian chocolate festival Salon du Chocolat would like to win the award again with his culinary art based on Japanese traditions. This lyrical documentary portrait embarks on a journey in quest of a unique sweet taste, flavoured by rice flour and tea leaves.